How To Find a Good Commercial Snow Plowing Company
Are you a business looking for a qualified snow plowing company? This page is designed to give you the information to make an educated choice. Below is a compilation of top snow and ice management industry practices and a list of questions you should be asking your current/ potential provider.
Does the company have commercial liability insurance?
When “John Doe and Company” is servicing your business they may cause damage to your property, vehicles, employees, customer, or patrons. Is the proper insurance in place? Snow Plowing companies should carry at least 1 million dollar commercial liability insurance. In addition an umbrella policy can cover any additional expenses incurred from accidental damage.
What backup equipment is included in the fleet?
The consistent barrage of snow fall can take a toll on any vehicle. Be sure that the company you choose has plenty of equipment available to handle the job.
Is the equipment used adequate for your location?
Snow plowing a small parking lot can be done with a standard truck. However, larger lots may require an additional truck or even a loader to clear snow in an appropriate time frame. In addition spreading salt with a small tailgate spreader may work for some locations but others require a large dump truck to perform this task.
Can referrals for the company be provided to ensure credibility?
Snow Plowing is a service based industry right? Providing referral contact names, email addresses and phone numbers should be a must. Use this information to inquire how the company has handled service and resolved any concerns in the past.
Does your estimate include the entire parking lot or loading docks?
Be sure to clarify what areas of the lot are to be plowed and where snow will be stacked. If you have areas of concern such as loading docks inform the company upon initial contact. If you do not require the entire lot cleared this will allow for a saving in the cost of your contract.
Do you require sidewalk service including shoveling and salting?
Including sidewalk clearing and/or salting will increase the cost of your contract. However, paying for this service to be performed may save you in the long run. Paying employees to do such work takes away from their regular duties. Be sure to notify your potential snow plow contractor of such service needs.
Is salting/sanding included in your quote?
Salting adds an additional level of service to your agreement with a snow plowing company. If you have a high amount of elderly, children, trucks, or tow motors at your facility then salting should be a consideration. Avoiding potential safety concerns lowers liability and allows for your business to run smoothly and maximizes your concentration on what matters most.
What are your business location hours/shifts?
An office building that is only open from 9-5 requires less effort than a 24-7 manufacturing location. Be sure to clarify your business’s snow and ice management hours to eliminate any additional cost that may have been added or subtracted from your pricing.
What types of snow plowing service is being offered?
There are many types of service available for snow and ice management. Choosing the right one for your business location depends on your budget and needs.
Per Push-this is a per occurrence option. You may opt for an on call service or a at driver discretion service. Generally this service is performed at a set “trigger point.” When will billing be sent out? You may find yourself with a large bill in your mailbox when the snow season is at its peak.
By the Hour-this is an hourly option. How will you know the timeframe for completion? If your driver has years of experience then this should go quickly (depending on size of lot). You will have to rely on the driver to report accurate times. Does the company use GPS reporting? When will you be billed?
Per Event-this option is based off either a time period and/or amount of snow fall. Be sure to get a clear understanding of this option and what billing entails. There are many variations of this type of billing and it can sometimes get confusing.
Seasonal-this option allows for service to be billed at the beginning or end of the season. This option is well suited for a business for budgeting reasons. Knowing the amount your location will be charged has a great deal of advantages. Can payments be made to avoid upfront payment by your business only to have the contractor vanish mid-season?
If seasonal is there a limit? Verify that there is no limit or cap to the number of times service is allowed.
All-Inclusive-this is like a seasonal rate but with your customized needs included. Your business may need several different snow and ice management options performed such as plowing, salting, walks and salting walks. All-inclusive allows you to pick and choose your company needs. Making payments may help your budget and relieve any concerns over failure to complete service.
What is the “Trigger Point” of the contract?
Generally the “trigger point” is 2 inches. Meaning when there is an accumulation of two or more inches of snow service will begin.
Are reflective makers included in price?
Reflective markers should be set up at every location to be plowed. This can be a billable expense for some snow plowing providers. Be sure to ask if there is an extra charge. If your location is being charged per hour reflective markers play a huge role in how long servicing your location will take.
When will the service be performed daily?
Generally service is performed based off your business needs. Again if you’re a 9-5 outfit your needs are different that a 24 hour operation. Be sure to express your business needs to ensure adequate staffing is obtained by your snow plowing contractor.
Is spring clean-up a part of your contract?
Damage to sidewalks, curbs and landscaping is a possibility. Will the cost to repair any damage covered by your sow plowing company? Damage done be the snow plow business should be repaired at no cost to the organization in spring.
What payment options are available?
Cash, check, invoicing, credit cards, and payment plans are all viable options for payment. Be sure your business is clear on forms of payment before signing any agreement.
Is snow removal a concern for your organization?
Snow plowing in some locations is not enough. Actually removing snow from parking spaces and lots may be a concern for some companies. If your company has any concerns about this be sure to inquire about necessary equipment to ensure this will be handled appropriately through-out the season.
Does the snow plowing company use GPS reporting?
Larger companies use GPS reporting and have the ability to notify someone in your organization when services are performed. Some of these systems even allow for emailing/reporting while on site for accurate reporting of hours and time spend at your location.