Understanding Large Volume Snow Removal

Posted: Jan 28, 2023

Understanding Large Scale Snow Removal

Managing snow and ice on a commercial property is a serious task for any business. It’s vital to maintain a safe environment for customers, employees, pedestrians, and anyone else who may go to or pass through your property. Although it may be relatively simple to keep a small parking lot clear, removing snow from large properties is often a much more daunting task.

Individual businesses with large parking lots (think large retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.), shopping malls, business complexes, industrial parks, and similar areas all require extensive logistics, planning, equipment, and man-hours to remove snow efficiently. It’s not uncommon for places like these to require a small fleet of trucks working several hours (even half a day) to clear snow after winter storms, so maximizing efficiency can lead to huge savings on time, fuel, and labor costs in the long run.

Prepping for Large Volume Snow Removal

  • Plotting out efficient routes for snow plows can save huge amounts of time, fuel, and man hours, especially for large or complex properties. When planning the plow routes, determine if there are any suitable locations on the property to store all the cleared snow, and plan for snow hauling if none are available.

  • Plotting out plow routes will also ensure that plow drivers are aware of all curbs, parking blocks, parking lane planters, and other things that might get covered up under heavy snow. Nothing can halt progress while plowing quite like a broken plow/vehicle or damaged property.

  • Before plowing, shovel any adjacent sidewalks into the parking lot so all that snow will be taken away as the blow passes by. This will help prevent piling snow up alongside walkways and creating hazards or harming your landscape by smothering your grass, flower beds, etc.

  • Snow piles – even ones from small properties – can be massive and takes weeks or even months to disappear. Because they can greatly restrict visibility and create icy conditions, avoid putting snow piles near property entrances of other areas that may cause safety hazards for vehicles or pedestrians.

  • Blocked surface drains, catch basins, and other drainage systems can lead to a multitude of safety hazards and property damage if not taken care of. Make sure that all drainage systems on the property remain clear at all times so that water runoff is carried away effectively.

Tips for Efficiently Plowing Large Areas

  1. When plowing parking lots, business complexes, runways, and other large areas, plow in straight lines whenever possible and avoid going back over areas you’ve already plowed. Cutting down on unnecessary passes with the plow is a key part of efficient plowing.

  2. Whether you are going to store snow on the property or have it hauled off, snow piles should be placed as far downwind as possible to prevent snow from blowing back onto already-plowed areas.

  3. The best way to remove snow from around buildings, curbs, and other obstacles is to drive alongside them with the blade angled away. If that’s not possible, backdragging the plow may be the best solution – or even manual snow removal for areas the plow just can’t get to.

  4. Operating your plow and vehicle properly, and using proper plowing techniques, is the best way to minimize wear-and-tear on your plow equipment and your vehicle’s transmission, brakes, etc. Careless plow operation is one of the main causes of vehicle breakdowns and costly repairs for snow removal contractors.

  5. If significant snow is expected, prepping your property with de-icers and plowing during the storm will help prevent large accumulations and reduce the chance of ice compacting. It’s much easier on the plow (and drivers) to make two passes with light accumulation, rather than waiting for the storm to pass and moving a lot of snow at once. Applying de-icers regularly will also help prevent ice from forming overnight when temperatures drop.

Large Commercial Property Owners Can Rest Easy With Snow Management Services

For over 25 years, SMS has been the preferred snow removal contractor for hundreds of commercial properties in the Denver area. Our team has the equipment and expertise needed to keep your property safe, even in the roughest of winter weather.

Our process starts with winter property planning. Taking the time to identify the most efficient way to keep your property clear, and highlighting any possible trouble areas, is the best way to ensure quick and effective service.

Quickly clearing snow and de-icing is critical so that parking lots and sidewalks stay clear, reducing the risk of winter accidents or injuries. We can even remove snow off the property altogether if need be. Our team is committed to rapid response times to keep your property safe.

To see how SMS can help keep your Denver-area business or commercial property protected from winter weather, give us a call today at (303) 750-8867 or get in touch with us online to get started.