It seems that accumulating snow is happening earlier and earlier in the fall season here in the northern Illinois Chicago area. Over the last 20 years, we were considered “lucky” (from a plow contractor’s perspective 🙂 ) to get accumulating snow as early as mid-to-late December, but the last few winters have proven otherwise.
From our company’s point of view, accumulating snow in November is now to be expected. Even though snow and ice service planning, operational improvement and efficient route creation never stops and truly happens year round, being fully operational and ready to successfully service our clients properties on November 1st. is now the rule, not the exception.
After spending the last 25 years in the business of commercial snow removal, even to this day, we continue to learn and find new ways to tweak our operational techniques and further improve the level of service we provide for our clients. Here are 3 readily available resources that if used, will help a snow removal contractor increase efficiency, improve quality and ideally, stay a few steps ahead of the storm.
1). Skid-Steer Loader: Very reliable, extra maneuverable and can clear a lot of snow in a hurry! Regardless of the brand of skid-steer (Bobcat, Cat, New Holland, etc.), these machines run on either wheels or tracks and can quickly attach to just about any snow removal attachment ever created (universal attachment mounting plate used across all manufacturer’s machines). Couple a sectional containment plow/snow pusher (8′ to 12′ wide) to a highly maneuverable piece of equipment like a skid-steer loader and you have a winning combination for just about any snow clearing operation!
2). Industrial Snow Pusher Shovel: Simple, durable and excellent scraping ability. These “Snow Plow/Snow Pusher” shovels are constructed almost entirely of polyethylene/fiberglass and perform flawlessly! With only a minimal initial investment ($25-$80 each), these snow shovels come in a variety of sizes ranging from 12″ to 48″ wide and can be easily refurbished (if ever needed) with parts available direct from the manufacturer. These shovels are especially great for clearing snow from somewhat delicate surfaces that are prone to scratching and damage from normal steel edged snow shovels (wood decks, brick pavement, stone, outdoor carpet, stamped concrete, etc.).
3). Mobile Storage Containers: Large or small sizes readily available, own or rent, super secure and can be delivered just about anywhere.These strategically placed, on-site, all steel containers have truly revolutionized the way ice melt materials (bagged and bulk) and snow removal equipment can be stored, secured and maintained to achieve a constant state of readiness.
Please be sure to contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any snow and ice management service need you may have. We remain ready and able to assist any way we can. Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!
Being a contractor in the landscape and snow industry means you have the honor of working with fantastic people, spend your days in the great outdoors and are surrounded by, and rely heavily on equipment. Whether complex vehicles or simple machines, the need for work producing equipment in the contracting industry is just about mandatory.
In my opinion, an aspiring contractor today must strive to continually learn (at the very least) the “inner-workings” of the various pieces of equipment used daily so that a reliable and cost-effective service can be consistently delivered to it’s customer.
If you happen to be interested in how plants grow and keeping machinery in great running condition, take a look at the landscape and snow management industry as a career.
You will never have a dull work day ever again!
Thank you for visiting our site and as always, please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all your lawn, landscape and snow management needs. Have a great day!
We just had quite the winter weather experience here in the Chicago area. Weather forecasters were predicting anywhere from 5-10 inches of snow for our area. Over the past 3 or 4 days, all we heard from the major news networks was to prepare for a major winter storm that was heading our way (high winds, heavy snow, etc.). Ok, fine by us. We are ready, let’s do it!! We’ll, fast forward 12 hours and we had basically no accumulated snow on paved surfaces (barely a trace in a few areas), temperatures remained slightly above freezing and the forecasters proved to be entirely wrong yet again. Of course, no big deal either way. However, a day in the life of a snow management professional is one that has no guarantee.
Our customers rely on us to make trusted service related decisions while “babysitting” winter weather from November thru early April. Our clients expect prompt service all winter long and whenever the need arises.
Snow Management Professionals take NO WINTER VACATIONS!
Whether we experience a fast moving ice storm overnight or a multi-day blizzard, we are expected to be properly equipped, ready and able to act in a very timely manner.
On behalf of our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc., we would like to thank our valued clients for yet another wonderful winter season and we look forward to earning your business well into the future!
Depending on actual pavement and ambient temperatures (+/- 32 degrees) at time of application, you can effectively melt light snow and ice (up to 1″+/-) within a very short period of time. With just a single application, calcium chloride is very effective at eliminating the formation of ice on pedestrian and vehicle traversed pavement.
Calcium chloride is not perfect, but it is considered to be the finest form of deicing material available (in it’s pure granular pellet form – in particular) due to it’s ability to easily melt snow and ice at very low temperatures (-25F). It also creates relatively low environmental stress to nearby plants, lawns, etc. (compared to sodium chloride – rock salt) and can be purchased in small or large quantities at a relatively fair price. A 50lb. bag of calcium chloride normally comes in a very durable plastic bag that can be rolled closed for long term storage (as/if needed). As long as the calcium chloride material remains dry (stored in it’s original plastic bag if possible and not left open to attract moisture from the atmosphere), it will remain active, granular and ready to spread whenever the need arises.
Manually spreading calcium chloride by hand (directly from plastic bag or a 5 gallon plastic bucket wearing PVC coated gloves) is the preferred approach for small paved areas. However, large area applications will require the use of a walk behind rotary/drop type spreader or a vehicle mounted material spreader for best results.
Areas best served by the melting power of calcium chloride are:
If you are responsible for winter maintenance (ice melting and plowing snow) at a northern Illinois commercial property, I highly recommend taking a look at this particular bulk ice melt material to properly service your property.
It is not very often that a material has a lasting impression on me (bulk deicing salt in particular), but this this experience is different. After many years of storing, grinding and even milling down frozen clump-prone untreated rock salt in preparation of spreading eventually, along comes a treated salt product that really surpasses all other bulk ice melt materials we have used to date. It’s called Thunder Melt and is sold by Conserv FS. It melts snow and ice very effectively and truly remains granular and machine spreadable no matter the sub-freezing temperature.
Material details for your review:
Cut application rate by 25%-30%
Safe surface faster and lasts longer with less product used
Resistant to wind and bounce
Non-caking and does not clump or clog application equipment
Delivered in semi truck loads of 22-24 tons (only)
More effective at lower temperatures than straight sodium chloride
Whenever visiting a new prospective snow and ice management property, one of the first things we quickly notice is if there are any plants, fences, sprinkler heads and/or any other obstructions located within anticipated plowed snow stacking areas.
Plentiful OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED snow piling areas usually translate into maximum snow clearing efficiency and reduced cost of overall service.
Here are a few important details that if implemented, will further improve the quality of snow and ice management services currently performed at your property.
Prepare a formal plan with your snow removal service provider that indicates acceptable on-site locations where any/all plowed snow can be staged.
Avoid (or relocate) delicate ornamental fencing and non-critical signage located adjacent to plowed drives, roads, parking lot and sidewalk areas (if possible).
Ensure irrigation system components (heads, risers, etc.) are installed properly below the soil surface to avoid shovel, snow blower or snow plow contact/damage.
If plants must be installed within the 4′ wide (or less) areas surrounding snow plowed or ice melt treated surfaces, be sure to choose salt tolerant/hardy/sturdy plant varieties that can tolerate winter related stress.
Be sure to install snow marker stakes (at least 2′-4′ tall) along the edges of inconspicuous parking lot and sidewalk areas targeted for snow removal.
If possible, place mobile garbage containers/dumpsters in an area that will not interfere with planned snow piling, stacking or staging areas.
If property has limited parking spaces available (overall), be sure to use traffic cones or other temporary markers to ensure no vehicles park within specified parking stall spaces needed for snow staging/piling.
Please remember that when hiring a qualified contractor to clear snow and ice from your site, it is very beneficial (for the property owner and contractor alike) if adequate open space is made readily available for shoveled, pushed or plowed snow.
We started by filling the 1 yard bucket with 50lb. bags of rock salt (our known weight constant).
Bulk deicing salt generally weighs about 80 lbs. per cubic foot (1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet) which equals 2,160 lbs. per cubic yard or just over 1 ton.
The moisture content of salt will also play a part in it’s overall weight at any given time.
We filled the 1 yard material bucket with 40 bags (50 lbs. each) of deicing rock salt. Since of course 2,000 lbs. equals 1 ton, we can quickly rationalize (without the use of a scale) that generally speaking, 1 ton of deicing salt can easily translate into 1 yard of material by volume.
40 – 50lb. bags of Diamond Crystal Winter Melt (Rock Salt – Halite) placed in a 1 yard material bucket pictured.