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How should I choose a commercial snow removal company?

Published
August 6, 2019

How should I choose a commercial snow removal company in South-East Wisconsin?


August heat waves aside, the frigid temperatures of winter will return in the blink of an eye here in Wisconsin. It’s as certain as death or taxes.

Being prepared for snow and ice events is of tremendous importance in this region of the country. Do not allow your commercial property to become a legal liability when the snow and ice returns. It is best to find a company who can meet your snow and ice removal needs, and to plan for these events well in advance. Parking Lot Maintenance of Southeastern Wisconsin is here for your snow and ice removal needs!

It is important to not scramble to put together a plan with your chosen contractor about how they will manage your property when the first flake falls. Discuss with them ahead of time so they know which areas are of the highest priority on your property, and to map out your entrances so there is no guesswork when everything is under a blanket of fluffy white snow. 

To ensure your property is well maintained and limit your liability come winter, here are six tips for choosing the best commercial snow removal company in Southeast Wisconsin.

Inquire about their turnaround time following a blizzard.

One of your primary concerns is likely how the contractor will attend to your site after it snows.   It’s important that the snow removal happens quickly, finishes on-time (prior to the required clear time) and preventative measures are taken to avoid logistical problems that may arise.

So, be sure to ask how quickly the snow removal company will start working to clear your site after it snows and ensure they have a strategy for above-average snow events, not just the simple 1-2” snow removal events. 

Check Their List Of Services

Be sure to assess the level of services a commercial snow company can offer. Have the company list exactly what they will do for your parking lot this winter.

Questions to ask:

Do you clear parking lots, sidewalks and entrances of both snow and ice?

  • Do you use different deicers for different scopes/types of hard surfaces (and what kind)?
  • What preventative / pro-active measures will be taken prior to a storm?
  • Where will snow be piled on-site?
  • How will melting days be managed for ice control?
  • Who will be the single, primary contact with overall responsibility for the site?
  • Are you self-performing or utilizing sub-contractors?
  • Do you include snow removal and where will the snow and ice be taken?
  • Is the actual removal an add on to the service?

It’s imperative to be clear before entering into any agreements with an ice and snow removal company. Snow storms are challenging enough to predict, avoid any unforeseen contractual issues by establishing the scope of services beforehand. 

Be Sure They Have Proper Insurance

When everyone else put on the hot cocoa and hunkers down from the snow, your plow team will be mobilizing into the frigid and icy weather. Although they should have proper risk assessment training to handle the conditions, you still want to ensure they carry the proper insurance in the event of any accidents or operating error. 

Too many Wisconsinites believe they can just throw a plow on their truck and start going — without insurance, specifically workman’s compensation and general liability. Be sure that isn’t the story with the contractor you choose to control your site. They should establish with you their proof of coverage, at a minimum to your standards for commercial coverage. Cutting corners on coverage can prove to be a costly and easily avoidable mistake with proper due diligence.

Be sure they keep proper records of both equipment and personnel

Heaven forbid someone slips on your site, or you need questions answered about the specific time the services were rendered, you must be able to establish when the contractor was at the site and performed what they said they would. Essentially, you need a contractor that can establish evidence the site was serviced following a storm.

Look for a company using a GPS system to track the location of the equipment, the time it arrived and the time it departed.

With these systems, a contractor can provide you with reports on an established basis that let you know exactly what they are doing- now or in the future when you need it. 

Evaluate Their Equipment

Snow storms enter the scene quickly, so the contractor must be ready at the drop of a hat. However, if their equipment outdated or in disrepair, they can’t arrive at your parking lot in prompt fashion. So, be sure their operation is using quality equipment.  Having the correctly sized equipment is important because while small trucks can handle most storms, the most common failures occur when the same small equipment is used on large storm events.

The company should possess commercial-grade machines to remove snow and ice from your parking lot. The company should also maintain routine daily inspections on their snow removal gear to be certain it is in proper working order. Also inquire if they have backup machines in the event of a mechanical failure.

Safety First! Always!

Snow and ice often brings with it treacherous conditions. Factor for extreme temperatures and often operating in the dark of night, and you have a recipe for an accident if safety is not prioritized. ALL of the personnel should be current on safety training on proper maneuvering on ice and snow, ways to stay warm, how to prevent collisions and the right (PPE) personal protective equipment to utilize.  Validate the contractors Experience Modification Rating (EMR) prior to awarding contracts as this is an OHSA standard which all insurance companies utilize to rate businesses.

Be certain safety is a major priority for the contractor and that they have a strong record of operating safely. This will allow them to be focused on maintaining your property safely to avoid weather related accidents. 

Choosing a snow and ice emergency company you can put your trust in

Limit your liability from slip and fall accidents this winter. Pick a snow contractor that guarantees quality work, fast turnaround times, safety and proper logistical assessments of your parking lot. 

Parking Lot Maintenance is known for its commercial snow and ice removal services throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Our equipment operators undergo rigorous safety training, and we are fully insured. Our services include hand shoveling for maintaining walkways and stairs, along with using the best equipment and salt spreader trucks for roadways. We always inspect our gear before it leaves for your parking lot and maintain all of our machines with care

Call us at 262-691-3964, or request a quote online to ensure your commercial property is ready for anything this crazy Wisconsin winter will throw our way!


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