Where Should I Push and Pile Snow when Plowing?Dave Botz
As a snow plower, it’s all about having a game plan. If a storm hits, and you don’t have a strategy, you’re already behind. No part of plowing demands a strategy more than deciding where to pile snow. Not only do you have to get the job done efficiently, but you also have to be looking ahead to future storms, AND keeping people safe and pathways clear.
Using the tips below, you’ll be able to craft the perfect piling strategy for each of your properties.
It’s the Customer’s Call
Many property owners have specific rules and requests for the location of snow piles on their property. As long as these requests do not yield a potentially dangerous or hazardous situation, they should always be written into the customer’s contract. Communicating with your customers up front is a way to help ensure customer satisfaction.
Keep Entrances and Pathways Clear
The plower’s job—in its simplest form—is to clear the way. That doesn’t just include where people drive, it’s about where they walk, too. Make sure that your snow piles aren’t blocking any sidewalks, driveways, doorways, fire hydrants, mailboxes, drains, or anything that your customers will need to access.
Keep Drains Clear
Drains and catch basins are typically found in lowest-lying areas for collecting surface water and run-off from melting snowbanks. Drains and the areas surrounding them should always be kept clean and clear of snow and other debris to avoid blocking the drain, which could result in flooding and subsequent ice hazards from refreezing.
Pile Snow Away from Buildings, Downhill and Downwind
This set of tips isn’t always possible as a whole given the circumstances, but if you can accomplish them as a part of your strategy, that’s even better. Piling away from buildings can reduce building damage, basement flooding, and avoid injury hazards. It also makes the property look more appealing. Piling downhill and downwind can help avoid drifts if the wind picks up.
Think Two Storms Ahead
Yes, the storm at hand is the most important, but it’s not the only storm of the season. If you can make room in your piling areas for future snowstorms by pushing snow back or piling it higher, do so. It’ll save you from doing extra work down the road.
Make the Decision Ahead of Time
When you’re out in the storm, time is of the essence. Get familiar with your properties in advance and have an idea of where you’re going to pile snow. The worst thing you can do is get halfway through the job and then change your mind about where you’re going to put the snow. Make a game plan ahead of time and stick to it.