Don’t Hire Landscaping Services without this Checklist

With brutal winters in Grand Rapids comes the inevitable snowfall. Are you prepared to handle the long months of snow removal? Do you have the equipment needed to remove the snow and ice as well as time management to do it?

Snow storms brew quickly which means you need snow gone immediately – employees can’t work and customers are inconvenienced.

If you already use commercial law care services, ask if they include snow removal. If not, you may want to look for another commercial landscaping company that provides lawn maintenance, including snow and ice removal.

Most companies carry several different types of equipment and custom ice removal treatment needed for every desperate situation.

When choosing a commercial snow plowing service in Grand Rapids, here is a checklist:

1. Timely and Efficiency

When a snowstorm hits, you don’t have time to wait on a snow removal company to come out and do their “best” to remove it. You want professionals to get rid of all of the snow and in a timely manner. When your business opens, you do not want employees and customers unable to enter the building or parking lot due to piles of snow. Be sure to ask about their response time.

2. Methods of Communication

When looking for landscaping services, particularly snow removal services, find out their communication methods. Can you expect a call back within an hour? Often, companies send an email or call before or after they’ve done a job.

3. Price

Obviously, a company that offers everything may be pricier than one that only offers a few basics. Remember, it might be more cost effective and less stressful to choose a company with everything. You only have one phone number to call in an emergency.

4. How Long Will the Job Take?

Once you’ve hired a company, it’s not irrational to ask the company how long a job will take; they should be able to offer an estimate.

5. Insurance

Always, always be sure to hire a company that is insured. If someone from the landscaping company gets injured on your premises, you can be liable.

6. Types of Services

It’s important to try and find landscaping services that offer multiple snow removal services (see below for different types).

In order to be effective, several different types of equipment is necessary to do the job of snow removal:

Snow Plows

Different sized snow plows are used to do specific jobs. Most companies have different types of snow plows, ranging from smaller plows that fit on an ATV to 20’ or larger specialized box plows that hook on a large loader. The company will look at the snow volume, the size of the area, obstacles to move around, and where to plow the snow to determine what size they will need.

Front End Loader Snow Plows

These types of snow plows are generally used for large areas with mountains of snow. Front end loaders and heavy duty dump trucks are utilized. These plows are important if you need timely snow removal from a large area.

Snow Shovels

Often times, landscaping services will include shoveling snow when they can’t get equipment into the area or it’s a small amount of snow. It’s important to leave this to professionals and not send an employee out to do the job. According to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, men and women over the age of 55 are four times more likely to suffer a heart-related injury when shoveling snow.

Sidewalk Snow and Ice Equipment

For some areas, such as a sidewalk, many companies prefer to use small tractors or ATVs with fitted snow plows to remove snow. They also may use snow blowers, ice melt spreaders, and brooms powered by hydraulics. You definitely want landscaping services to include sidewalk snow and ice equipment as not all do.

Ice Melt Trucks

One major item at the top of your list needs to be ice management. With cold months come ice, and you don’t want employees and customers slipping and falling on sidewalks or in parking lots. It’s best to find a company who enhances their rock salt with a brine product to improve it’s effectiveness.