Who thinks about snow contracts when it’s 80 degrees and sunny? Ummm…companies that provide snow and ice management services do! There is a significant amount of preparation that happens before the flakes begin to fly, so the more time contractors have to get ready properly, the better.
Even though there may be MONTHS before snowflakes are in the forecast, signing early has benefits for your property and for the company you choose to work with. But don’t forget to do your research. There are lots of companies to choose from, but they are not all created equal.
What to Know About Your Snow Contractor
As Property Managers and Owners, you want a partner that is capable of providing the service your property needs. Snow and ice expose properties to liabilities related to property damage and slip and falls. Not having a partner that can manage your property’s needs can result in unnecessary risks.
Before you select a snow contractor, make sure the company has the resources to service your property. Ask for references – SNOW MANAGEMENT references. Verify that their liability insurance coverage is current and adequate. And last, but not least, make sure they have an after-hours communication system that works for your property’s needs.
Why Commercial Properties Should Choose Their Snow Contractor Early
So what exactly is “early?” Most snow removal contracts in the Mid-Atlantic begin on November 1. And typically, there’s some kind of winter event by Thanksgiving. Signing a snow removal contract anytime before October 1 would be considered early.
It’s important to know that signing a contract early has many benefits for commercial property owners and managers as well as the company you choose to work with.
- Companies that provide snow removal services have a finite amount of resources. That means trucks, snowplows, equipment, and people. When they’re booked…they’re booked.
- New equipment and parts to repair existing equipment are scarce due to manufacturing shortages.
- Ice melt is in short supply. Committing early helps contractors estimate pre-orders for salt, calcium, brine, and magnesium.
- Many companies tie snow removal services to an annual maintenance contract. BID EARLY!
- Requesting a snow removal contract when snow is in the forecast can result in sub-par service. Contractors have their routes set long before the snow comes, so late signers go to the end of the route.
Why Snow Contractors Love Early Signers
Snow removal companies have a lengthy list of things to do before plowing snow or treating ice. The state of their equipment determines how many properties they can properly service in a winter event.
When properties sign up for snow management services early, snow contractors have the ability to plan more thoroughly for winter weather which, ultimately, means better service.
- Assign equipment and other resources to contracted properties.
- Pre-order and schedule delivery of ice melt and storage containers
- Show employees that may be unfamiliar with the property the lay of the land
- Get familiar with property-specific needs and communicate them with their staff
Early signers take the rush out of snow removal set up for snow removal contractors. And the good news is – you have nothing to lose by choosing early! Wait until November or later and you could find that your property gets left out in the cold. If you haven’t selected your snow removal contract yet, now is the time.