Before you hire a commercial snow plowing services company, there are a few things you need to consider. Snow plowing services come in different forms. Are you looking to clear a large public area like a shopping mall parking lot or the roads in a private subdivision complex?
Suppose you are a business owner or property manager. In that case, you need to look for a reliable and experienced snow plowing contractor to clear pathways, parking lots, sidewalks, and other large outdoor surfaces quickly and safely. You’ll find yourself in a slippery situation when it comes to liability if these areas remain covered in snow or ice, even for a short period.
Snow plowing, Ice Removal and Liability
Snow plowing is misleading because clearing snow is about more than just pushing it around in big trucks. It is also about ice removal and prevention, salting, sanding, and adding grit. Most importantly, snow plowing is about protecting people and reducing your liability. That being said, big trucks and equipment are what it takes to get the job done, so you should ask for an equipment list from your contractor to make sure he is up for the job and can get to your property in a reasonable time.
To demonstrate that you have taken full precautions to reduce the risk of accident or injury, hire a certified contractor who offers a full range of snow plowing services. Look for ISO and ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors Association) companies. ISO Certification is the top designation a snow plowing contractor can receive.
Only a handful of contractors have guaranteed salt supply also, which can make the difference between managing the worst of storms with ease to falling desperately behind. Ask about guaranteed salt supply and other salt options and choose the contractor that has the best options for your property.
Consider Your Environmental Impact
Remember, as a property manager or business owner, you also have a responsibility to the environment, and so too should your snow plowing contractor. Salt keeps our roads, parking lots, walkways, and driveways clear, but it can also damage the environment (not to mention your landscape) if misused. Choose only a contractor who has their Smart About Salt certification and demonstrates their attention to detail in managing their salt solutions.
Communication is hugely important when it comes to snow plowing contractors. When a significant snow event hits, you’ll want to know exactly what’s going on, when you can get your snow cleared and what to expect in the coming hours and days.
Choose a snow contractor with an active communications center so that when the next big snowstorm arrives, you aren’t left in the dark.
Your snow plowing contractor should also be available for contact 24/7 during major snow events – after all, snow plowing is a matter of safety.
Four Questions to Ask Your Snow Plowing Contractor
- “Are you insured, and what does your insurance cover?” This should be your first question. If the answer is “no” then walk away. Saving a few dollars on snow plowing isn’t worth the risk of using an uninsured snow plowing contractor. You should also require your contractor to submit proof of their insurance as part of your contract terms.
- “Is your company licensed/do you require a license to operate in my city?” Depending on where you live, snow plowing companies may require a license from the city. The purpose of the permit is to protect customers like yourself from fraudulent or wrong practices. Research your municipality’s bylaws, especially regarding how quickly snow has to be removed after a snowfall (this varies by municipality).
- “How long have you been in business?” The longer, the better. Good snow plowing contractors stay in business by offering the best services year after year. There is always room for competition, but younger contractors should spend some time being mentored in the company before taking on large properties themselves. Ask how long they have been around and how many properties similar to yours they look after.
- “Do you have references?” The best companies can easily find a client willing to speak on their behalf.
Taking the time to investigate a prospective snow plowing contractor thoroughly is time well spent and an investment you will never regret. Ask them for a list of companies they work with or other property managers you may know.
We look forward to delivering NEXT-LEVEL snow removal service to your property!