The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) held a symposium in Schaumburg, Illinois this summer not far from our location in Chicago, IL – so of course we attended! Among the topics covered was a checklist of “Best Practices” for snow removal companies. The checklist was designed to help companies who desire to operate a professional, quality business but it’s good to know info for businesses hiring a snow removal service too! As you choose a company for your winter snow removal needs, be sure they are aware of and follow these seven best practices for a commercial snow removal company:
1. Winter Safety, Snow & Ice Liability, and Risk Management
The major reason for snow removal in Chicago (or anywhere) is safety. Does your snow removal company have insurance? Do they know about the impacts of salt for ice control on the environment? Do they know how to plow snow in such a way that it prevents refreezing problems? And are they deliberate about snow pile safety for visibility reasons – or do they offer snow melting or snow moving services to keep parking lots safe?
2. Snow Removal Price Estimating, Planning, and Cost Effectiveness
Professional snow removal is much more than just pushing snow with a shovel or snow plow. It takes proactive planning, careful execution and clear communication. Is the snow and ice management company you are planning to hire asking to meet with you to talk about the best ways to remove snow and ice on your property? Do they have the right snow removal equipment and capacity – liquid deicing trucks, plows, front end loaders, snow melters, etc. – to remove the snow in case of a severe winter storm?
3. Snow and Ice Management and Responsiveness
Does the company you are looking to hire have a documented snow site engineering plan? Do they have an emergency response plan? Are their systems certified and audited? Have they addressed how they will deal with handicap areas, fire hydrants and drains in writing?
4. Quality of Snow Removal Services
Beyond the planning, it is important to have an experience snow professional on site during snow removal. The employees need to have had proper training so you get the best service possible. Ask about your snow plow company’s approach to ongoing training and certification.
5. Proactive Client Communication, Documentation, and Verification
Does your snow removal company communicate with you before, during and after a storm? What do their invoices look like and how do they handle them? Do you feel informed and secure knowing your snow removal needs are being taken care of without getting involved?
6. Certified Snow Professional or Certification, and Standards of Excellence
Does your snow plowing company continue to educate themselves and employees on snow and ice management? Do they have a CSP (Certified Snow Professional) on staff? Check their affiliations and associations to make sure they are interested and connected to industry professionals.
7. Expertise and Professionalism
Experience matters when dealing with snow removal. Do the managers and employees have multiple years of experience in the snow removal business? Do they have the proper training and know-how for the job?
If you are looking for a professional snow removal company who consistently follows these guidelines, please contact us at Brancato Snow and Ice Management. We have been in the snow removal business for 21 years and we have to capacity and expertise to handle your winter snow removal needs and make sure you are ready for the Chicago winter weather.