Top 5 Snow Removal Hacks for Home Owners and 5 More for Snow Removal Businesses
2023 is here already, as is the snow!
The new year is here! You have probably enjoyed the first snow of the year already and are done making snowmen and snow angels in your yard. Now, with the holidays over and regular life resuming its pace, the piles of snow are becoming more of a headache for you. Clearing up the driveway every morning before you leave for work feels like a hassle. If this sounds familiar, then you must be looking for an easier way to deal with this problem. And we heard you!
In this blog, you will find some of the coolest snow removal hacks. (pun very much intended!)
While this could be lifesaving for homeowners, these tips could come in super handy for snow removal businesses as well. As a business owner, the sooner you finish clearing snow and ice from a client’s property, the sooner you can get to the next paying customer. If you break it down to its barest essentials, a snow removal business is all about how much you can get done in a day, within reason. So, if you are looking to earn some more profit this winter, this is your key to success.
Snowfall can be a pain to clear, but don’t worry – we’ve got some clever snow removal hacks that will save you time and money! From simple solutions using salt and shovels to using a combination of hot water and boiling oil, these tricks are sure to make snow removal quick and easy.
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So, what is the fastest way to plow snow? We’ll be the first to admit that there is no magic bullet solution. But if you follow these tips, it is surely going to lessen your burden and enable you to work more efficiently. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump right in and find out what you can do to reduce your hassles before the next storm hits.
Table of Contents
1. Ice Melter
When it comes to snow removal hacks, it is always better to be prepared than to put in a lot of effort later. Be ready and get some work done before the storm hits. Once you hear a storm is on the way, it’s time to get into preparation mode. The first thing you should do is spread salt on your driveway, walkway, and front steps before it starts snowing, so no treacherous ice forms underneath the layers of snow. An environment-friendly ice melter works like a charm for keeping your driveway safe and making sure it is not slippery.
If you do not have any ice melters stashed away in your garage, you can simply use the usual table salt. When used in moderation, table salt also works as a temporary deicer. To avoid a hard frost forming overnight on your car windshield, spread it over the windows the night before. This will make shoveling much easier once the snow starts falling. Use this approach cautiously because it can damage the areas you’re deicing if you use it too often.
2. Sand or Gravel
This is another smart snow removal hack to reduce hassle later. Identify the areas where snow piles up the most and distribute gravel, wood chips, and straw to offer traction before snow and ice develop. Sand can also improve ice traction and is harmless to plants. It needs to be cleaned up after usage to avoid clogging drains and run-off into plants and gardens. Moreover, it will not melt ice but will only provide traction.
3. Plastic Sheets
Cover your car, porch steps, and walkways with a strong cloth or tarp if snow is expected. Drag the snow-filled tarp to the side of the yard before you leave the house in the morning. However, this technique will only work in the event of a very light snowfall.
4. Warm Water
Pour lukewarm water over the area to melt ice from car windows, door locks, steps, or walkways. You may need to repeat the process multiple times, depending on how much ice has piled up. However, you need to make sure the water is not too hot. Using piping hot water to speed up the process will fracture windows, deform the metal, and eventually crack concrete due to the temperature difference.
Whether you are removing snow for a client or just on your own property, this is a great snow cleaning tip for everyone concerned. Use your blower to clear light snow from steps, walkways, driveways, and cars for double duty. It can be used only in mild snow showers.
If you are running a snow removal business, you can use these hacks as much as home owners. But cleaning snow for your clients require a little bit more professional approach. Plus, you will be cleaning multiple driveways and walkways on a single day, not just one. So, here are some effective snow removal hacks for snow plowing businesses.
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6. Get the Right Equipment
Accessorizing isn’t just a technique for making a fashion statement. Yes, even a plow truck can be equipped with plenty of bells and whistles that make your job both safer and easier. Many of the things that come stock on your favorite truck might not cut it when you’re pushing snow in the middle of a Midwest blizzard. So, before you set out to clear the snow, upgrade your truck and make sure you have the right tools that reduces your workload. Using the right products means faster, more effective, and longer-lasting results, which will make your clients happy and allow you to prioritize your time better.
7. Buy a Quality Plow That is Easy to Repair
All plows need maintenance, and the easier it is to maintain your plow, the better. Quality models and brands are designed to make routine maintenance and emergency repairs much easier. If you’re new to plowing, easy maintenance will pay off double.
To cut unnecessary maintenance costs, buy a new plow if possible. When you buy a new plow, you can ensure that it will work with your truck. If you buy a used plow that doesn’t match your truck, you will need to purchase and install a truck mount, a headlight adapter, and wiring. Paying for these necessary upgrades can actually make it more expensive to buy a used plow than to buy a new one.
8. Strategize Before Piling
It can be challenging to stick to a strategy under the stress of time, especially when snow and ice are involved. However, we suggest you plow in a way that piles your snow in one spot. Furthermore, your municipality more than likely has local laws that will tell you where you can and cannot pile snow. Whatever the case, pushing a pile of snow from one side of a lot to another without a clear plan will mean you double or triple your efforts.
If your laws allow it, we suggest trying to pile your snow near a storm drain. As things thaw out, the snowbanks will gradually melt and have an easy escape. If you pile snow in the wrong place, you could unwittingly create a new water feature for your client come spring—one that they didn’t ask for and don’t want.
9. Don’t Push More Snow than You Can Handle
Sometimes rookies think that just because they’re driving a plow, they’re invincible. So, only plow enough snow that you can handle easily and efficiently. There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting stuck and having to call a friend to get your plow plowed out.
One important tip in this regard is to know when to shovel snow. Don’t wait until the snowfall stops to begin plowing. In any serious snowfall, you’re going to face more snow accumulation than you want to tackle in one go. Waiting until the last flake has fallen to begin plowing is a rookie blunder that can often get you into trouble.
10. Plan Before You Start Cleaning Snow
Check out the area you’re planning to plow ahead of time and place reflective markers around obstacles. The markers should keep you aware of potential hazards even in thick, blizzard-like conditions. Just make sure that the markers are tall enough that they don’t get buried in heavy snow.
It is also a rookie mistake to miscalculate the amount of snow. You can accidentally pack the snow so tightly that it forms a wall with all the strength of a concrete barrier. When you’re clearing a large area in multiple waves, make sure you push the first clearing of snow back far enough so that you have somewhere to go with the second wave. If you don’t provide yourself with enough room ahead of time, you’re going to struggle to find a place to push the rest of the snow.
Snow and ice management isn’t a reactive business if it’s done right. As the owner of said business, it’s in your best interest to offer your services before a weather event rears its head. If you keep tabs on the regional weather, then you should know exactly when to deploy your fleet before the first snowfall.
Having said that, scheduling and dispatching are great challenges for any business. But when it comes to snow removal, the stakes are even higher. This is why we recommend investing in a snow removal business software solution like Field Promax. With this smart digital tool, you can check fleet availability, manage inventory, and assign teams with a few clicks on your computer and smartphone. That’s not all. This smart software system offers you a wide range of paperless business solutions, including estimates, time-tracking, GPS-tracking, team management, billing and invoicing, among other things. As such, it provides all-around automation support to make your business more efficient without burning a hole in your pocket.
For more information, contact Field Promax.
- Use ice melter
- Spray hot water
- Use cooking oil
- Use leaf blower
Simply grab a bucket and add half of a gallon of hot water, one-fourth a cup of rubbing alcohol, and around six drops of dish soap. Once it’s all combined, you pour the solution over the driveway. The snow should bubble up and begin melting.
For heavy-duty snow removal tasks, the kind typically required for commercial property maintenance, you want a backhoe, wheel loader/compact wheel loader, or skid steer. These types of power equipment serve as the heavy lifters and pushers when it comes to snow removal.
Never leave the snow. Keeping snow away from the perimeter of your house is one of the best things you can do to prevent foundation damage. When snow melts, the water has to go somewhere. If snow is built up around your house, the water may seep into any existing cracks in your foundation, leading to basement flooding.