Finding the right winter services provider for your needs can be tricky. Whether you are looking for a provider to clear a driveway, a five acre parking lot, or something in between, there are many things you should consider.
Avoid Unprofessional and Costly Shut Downs - Value vs. Cost (ROI)
How many days, hours or minutes can your business afford to be closed? Michael Merrill, CEO said "If a large distribution center shuts down, it can cost them upwards of $40,000 a minute. So it is a wise decision for them to partner with a professional service such as ours" and as a result, North Country Snow and Ice Management can offer the level of service a business needs and expects because we charge appropriately for the job. "In a clients mind, ‘if we hired Local Joe Snow Plow for $50,000, and they dropped the ball it cost us two days of operations or even worse if they create a slip and fall situation it could cost millions. So we’ll hire North Country. It is going to cost us more, but the job will be done professionally". Targeting such high-end clients, however, means North Country Snow and Ice Management is prepared to deliver high-level, 24-hour service with the proper insurance and trained employees. "We really try to foster a one-to-one relationship with our clients. North Country offers much more than 'snow plowing' service; we reduce liability and increase client profits during the winter months."
Regular communication from our office, service reports for insurance documentation, direct phone numbers to your area operations manager combined with our 24-hour a day, 7-day a week dispatch center; sends a message to our clients that we are professional, accessible and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. We also monitor our weather service and call the employees when a storm is on the way so that we can be proactive rather than reactive.
*2008 Industry Study
What Services do I Require?
In addition to plowing, will you need deicer applied? Do you want a provider that is equipped to handle high-accumulation storms? Will you need to have snow removed from the site?
Are you Satisfied with your Current Level of Service?
Can your current service provider fix and maintain snow removal equipment, carry the necessary deicers and provide the necessary staffing to service your property? Can they handle an unexpected storm or breakdown? Is your current level of service lowering your exposure to potential litigation due to slip ad fall accidents? If you answered "Yes" to all these questions, why change? A long term relationship with your service provider is in your best interest.
Lowering Your Exposure to Potential Litigation.
Much of the reason proactive ice control services have become popular is the reduction of liability they afford property owners. One study from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center revealed that 27 percent of patients admitted to three Buffalo, NY area hospitals for pedestrian-related accidents were injured on icy surfaces. "When a client signs a contract with North Country they are in essence buying preventative slip and fall insurance and that is why so many companies are looking for proactive Ice Control Service in today's litigious society" said Scott McDonald, Chief Production Officer, North Country Snow and Ice Management.
Professional Service Providers May Not be the Lowest Bidder, but Remember that they Are:
Maintaining and paying insurance, payroll taxes, overhead and reinvesting into their employees, communities and businesses
Commited to Service and Quality
Are members of trade associations that keep them abreast of the ever-changing industry
Keep their equipment operable and purchase the necessary products to maintain their accounts and grow their business
Always Choose A Professional
If you receive a low bid use caution. The business may not be properly insured and if they are underbidding the market, they probably won't be around for long as they will not have the cash flow necessary to survive.
Sand vs. Straight Salt Application for De-Icing
Abrasives have no melting effect for deicing operations, in fact research by the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) and the University of Wisconsin suggests that sand inhibits the melting process of deicing materials. - University of Wisconsin Study
"Evidence is becoming more conclusive that sand is not environmentally safe to use as a traction agent. In Colorado, if they are forced to use sand on the roadways, state law says it has to be cleaned up within 48 hours. The particulate matter that is introduced into the atmosphere during sand spreading operations is harmful to lungs. Some authorities on deicing (mostly from studies done at various educational institutions) predict that sand will be outlawed in most states within the next 20 years." - j. allin - Industry Consultant
“… applying abrasives dry is of limited value in providing lasting friction enhancement. This represents a substantial change in current practice. Nonetheless, the results of a variety of studies are unequivocal in finding that abrasives applied to roads where significant traffic travels at high speeds are swept off the road rapidly, remaining in place (and providing friction enhancement) for somewhere between 10 and 100 vehicle passages, at most.” A “solution” that dissipates after one or a few dozen cars pass is hardly a solution at all"
- Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Highway Research Board
"Studies show that the effects of sanding are temporary, whether spread dry or pre-wetted. Abrasives do little to improve driving conditions on roads with high traffic volume. When dry sand is spread, 30% of it immediately scatters. Over time, cars usually displace most of the remaining sand. As few as 8 to 12 vehicles can sweep it from snow covered highway surfaces. Even with light traffic, friction gained from dry sand is quickly diminished."
- University of New Hampshire Technology Transfer Center
"Don't overlook salt's anti-skid value. Tests conducted in cooperation with the National Safety Council show that salt, applied at normal deicing rates, gives as much anti-skid protection as abrasives. The anti-skid effect of salt is immediate as it starts melting snow or ice."
- National Safety Council/ Salt Institute