Larger Crews Don’t Always Improve Quality

by Marge Lang 25. February 2014 08:37

The biggest myth in snow and ice management is that larger crews mean better quality.  It was born from the fallacy that it takes more time to do a job properly, and that speed is a detriment to quality.  It simply isn’t true.  Quality is the result of trained people operating the correct equipment according to set procedures.  In large crews where accountability is minimal, quality is often sacrificed.

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Post-Season Plow Maintenance Tips

by Marge Lang 18. February 2014 08:22

From sub-zero temperatures to nasty snow storms, it’s been difficult for much of the country – and especially those in the snow and ice management industry - to keep up with Old Man Winter this season.

With so much attention being paid to keeping your plow and vehicle on the road right now, it’s important to remember that eventually that last snowflake is going to fly, the temperatures will warm up, and you will be able to store your plow.

Like you do during the plowing season, you can and should take steps during the post-season to ensure your plow and vehicle operate to the best of their potential for many years to come. 

Cleaning Cycle. Post-season maintenance is essential to keeping your plow in peak working condition.

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Managing Front Line Workers is Essential to Your Bottom Line

by Marge Lang 4. February 2014 10:40

Effective management of front line employees can help your snow and ice management business thrive.Managing people in the snow and ice management industry, whether on-site or in multiple locations, is a complex issue.  In most organizations people are hard working, but productivity increase announcements are often perceived as a demand for front line workers (specifically those in sidewalk snow removal) to try harder.  This isn’t necessarily true – usually it’s about working more effectively and being accountable for the results. 

 

People are by nature territorial.  They tend to accept more responsibility and be more accountable when their territory is well defined.  Sometimes it’s difficult for workers to fully grasp the scope of their territory or responsibility because in our industry the areas are so large and/or spread out.  It’s hard for management to keep track of individual performances if workers don’t know the outline of their territories.

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Proper Injury Management Can Boost Your Bottom Line

by Marge Lang 21. January 2014 09:43

Workers compensation claims can put your company out of business if you don’t take them seriously. While injury prevention should be your primary concern, workplace accidents do happen and must be dealt with quickly.  Disregarding the importance of injury management can be disastrous, resulting in increased premiums, decreased worker productivity and an adverse effect on your bottom line. 

 

Make no mistake – this issue should be viewed as injury "management," since you can actively govern employee care and get your employees back to work quickly. 

 

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How to Stay Warm on the Job—A Cold Weather Checklist

by Marge Lang 7. January 2014 07:52

Icy toes and frozen fingers go hand-in-hand with spending time outside in the winter. But when it's your job to work outside, not being prepared for cold weather can have serious consequences. Here's our quick checklist to make sure you're ready to tackle anything mother nature has to throw at you this winter.

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5 Quick and Easy Maintenance Tips for In-Season Snow Plow Maintenance

by Marge Lang 30. December 2013 08:17

Winter weather can take a toll on your vehicle, making mid-season checks vitally important in preventing costly breakdowns on your snow removal fleet. The following are simple maintenance steps you can take throughout the plowing season to keep your vehicles running at their peak performance:

 

 

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How to Plow Effectively While Driving Safely this Winter

by Marge Lang 26. November 2013 11:17

When winter hits, everyone changes their driving habits to adjust for the new obstacles and dangers snow poses to roadway travel. Your fleets’ effectiveness depends on how well they can navigate through the very obstacle they are responsible for clearing. 

Most plow drivers admit that the snow is the least of their worries, citing other hazardous elements which make the roads a dangerous work zone. While drivers cannot prepare for every occurrence, there are several threats which can be minimized to ensure they are as safe as possible on the road this winter. 

 

Ensure your fleet drives safely and plows effectively this winter with these snow removal tips.

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Use Outside Service Providers to Grow Your Business

by Marge Lang 5. November 2013 11:32

Growing your snowplowing business to the next level often depends on how much equipment and manpower you can muster to deal with the increased business.  Additional equipment requires a substantial capital investment, but you can reduce those costs by using outside service providers to supply both the manpower and equipment to serve your customers during peak times.  If you aren’t familiar with securing and organizing outside help to grow your snowplowing operation, here are some suggestions and guidelines to assist you.

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4 Snow Removal Secrets to Successfully Plow Rural Areas

by Marge Lang 29. October 2013 08:00

When you plow rural areas, your team may encounter new application challenges along with different weather conditions which can greatly impact their ability to complete snow removal tasks successfully. Rural snow plowing has its own set of rules and guidelines to consider to ensure your drivers do a quality job while keeping themselves and your vehicles safe.

Learn the most effective ways to snow plow rural jobs.


1. Plan for Tricky Driveway and Lot Mixtures

Gravel or other dirt and stone mixture driveways are common in rural residences or commercial lots. This type of loose stone can present a challenge when plowing because it is difficult to gauge how well packed the gravel or stone is and where the edge is between the gravel and grass.

To overcome these obstacles, make sure you have a plow that can use skid shoes. These plow accessories enable you to set the scrapping height of the cutting edge of the plow blade. For gravel drives or lots, you will want to set the scrapping height for about one inch higher than the surface. This distance keeps the blade from digging in too far and ripping up grass or pushing a lot of gravel into the grass.

2. Use the Right Vehicle

Many times in rural areas, the job has tricky areas that could cause your truck and plow to easily get stuck. These instances require a durable, high-performance plow attached to a tractor or all-terrain vehicle (ATV). There are options available to utilize the features of a commercial grade plow on smaller off-road vehicles. Meyer's Path Pro plows are one model that is well-suited for the off-road demands of rural areas and are built to take the punishment less expensive brands can’t handle.

3. Prepare Before the Storm

Before the season starts, inspect the entire area for potential hazards such as holes, speed bumps, medians, low landscaping, fire hydrants and other obstacles that will be covered with snow.

Plowing with the storm is the key to overcoming the challenge of wind and vast open areas. In rural areas, it is common to find more open spaces because of fields or larger properties. Without many buildings to block the wind, gusts of any strength can make keeping up with the snow fall a challenge for even the largest fleets. These areas require more attention and constant maintenance when there is a storm.  Spreading sand or other de-icing materials as a preventative measure can help decrease problematic areas, keeping them from becoming too slick until your crew is able to clear them.

4. Communication Readiness

Part of the challenge in servicing rural areas is a fewer number of people around at a given time. This lack of activity can mean a driver who experiences some type of a stuck vehicle, medical emergency or other unplanned event may not have any immediate resources to offer assistance with their problem. Ensure your drivers are prepared and have the communication equipment and procedures necessary to receive help when it is needed. Establishing a type of buddy-system amongst your fleet can decrease the opportunity for driver emergencies due to lack of communication or attention.

Learn more industry insights to improve your fleet's efficiency this season with Meyer's free plowing tips guide

 

What other tips do you have for snow plowing rural applications? What lessons have your learned? 

How to Prepare Your Snow Plow Crew and Have the Best Winter Ever

by Marge Lang 9. October 2013 16:00

You have already done your pre-season equipment check to prepare your vehicles for the mechanical demands of the winter season but another asset you need to prepare is the members of your plowing fleet crew.

Even if you have seasoned plow veterans on your staff, there are several important health, safety and productivity issues to pro-actively address to keep your team's efficiency high throughout the demands of the winter season.

 

Prep you snow plow fleet with these health, safety and productivity tips.

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