August 8, 2018

It’s time to talk winter whether you like it or not.

Are you ready? It’s okay – no one really is ever ready for winter. But you can be prepared by figuring out what you’re going to do when the snow starts to fall now.

Commercial plowing is a great option, but finding the right contractor and choosing a contract or commitment that works for you can be tricky. Below, we’ve put together a quick, easy guide to understanding the difference in the two most common types of snow plowing contracts.

Per Push/Event Pricing

Per occurrence, snow removal pricing calls for a flat rate every time the property is serviced (or however the contractor and their client decide what counts as an ‘occurrence’). This option is great for those who are only planning on getting their area plowed, salted and/or shoveled once at a time. However, pricing is vulnerable to Mother Nature so it is hard to budget.

With these snow removal contracts, clients pay the contractors only if there’s snowfall, but because the cost is calculated per inch of snow, if there’s a big storm, you’ll be paying more.

Commercial accounts with a per push price typically are based on the number of inches of snow that are being pushed. This is due to the additional time it takes to clear the snow as well as travel to the site. There are typically three price points. They are:

  • 2 – 4 inches
  • 4 – 6 inches
  • 6 – 8 inches

These types of contracts are typically done year to year, and each company only has so many per push contracts available.  It’s best to firm up your per push contract with your snow removal company as soon as you can. Start contacting companies in August or September, well before winter begins to secure your spot on their commercial snow removal list.

Customized Full-Service Contract

Seasonal contracts are like a winter weather insurance policy. You know you are covered if it snows. Once you are a contract in place you know your snow will be removed and so don’t have to worry about. Your snow removal contractor will automatically take care of it for you.

Full-service contracts cater to both parties. A seasonal agreement guarantees some income for the contractor during the winter months, which is great because they need cash flow to purchase de-icing materials and equipment and pay their workforce during the winter months. It also gives peace of mind to the commercial property owner knowing that no matter what mother nature has in store, their commercial snow removal company has them covered.

Every site is different, which is why some snow and ice management programs are customizable. A business’s snow and ice management service plan will be tailored to its specific requirements.

In addition, the full-service option can be attractive due to the work being done prior to and following a snow event. This includes pre-treatment and ongoing treatment for ice and slippery spots. This would be in addition to plowing, snow removal, and shoveling walkways.

Another factor considered is the hours your business is open.  Are you a 9 to 5 location or are you open 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Each business will have different requirements.

Of the two snow removal options, a seasonal contract is easier for budget planning, because your snow removal costs won’t vary wildly month to month through the snow season. You pay the same fixed amount, no matter how many times your snow removal contractor ends up plowing your property. Think of it as snow insurance for your property.

Typically, these seasonal contracts are three-year. That way, the mild winters and the heavy-snow winters usually balance out for both the commercial snow removal contractor and the commercial property owner.

Things to Remember

Your costs will usually be based on the type of commercial snow removal contract you agree to and how large of an area that is to be treated. Additional services like pre-treating, salting or sanding are commonly extra unless included in a customized contract. It is important that you contract outlines all expected services like plowing, sidewalk clearing, or snow hauling.

A Good Snow Removal Contract Covers:

  • When services will be performed
  • Where services will be performed
  • Who is responsible for initiating services
  • The responsibilities of both parties, the contractor and you
  • The cost and how frequently that cost is incurred

The contract should also indicate who is responsible for any damages to site structures. Your contractor may have you place snow stakes along curbs, sidewalks, driveway entrances, signs, storm drains or other site structures to avoid damage.

Which Option Is Best?

Both options have their benefits so it basically boils down to one thing: would you rather have snow services covered entire season regardless of how snowy the winter is, or would you rather pay as you go?

At Twin Oaks Landscape, we provide dependable, top-quality commercial snow plowing services for all types of businesses. Whether you have a retail establishment, commercial office building or property management company, our commercial snow plowing contracts and services will keep your business open and your employees and customers safe through the winter season. We want to help you get through old man winter.  Contact Twin Oaks Landscape today about our commercial snow removal services.