Snow Daze

The first snow fall has come (and gone). When Mother Nature finally gets serious and the snow sticks, who’s gonna plow it? By now, you should be under contract with a snow clearing firm. I like to have my clients signed up by early October, at latest. I’m old enough to remember the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991.

Invariably after a heavy dump or a sustained event (as the industry likes to call it), the question arises: So where are the plows? At times the complaint is justified. Plowing snow ain’t rocket science but it is a complex dance of getting crew and equipment from one site to another within a certain time window. Sometimes the dancers step on each other’s feet and sometimes they fall right off the stage.

Most often, however, the question is posed from an incomplete understanding of the contract parameters. Most professional firms hew to standard industry language such as: plowing begins within “x” hours of “x” inches (i.e. the trigger depth). When an event tops a certain inch mark, a new set of parameters applies. An open-up plowing of drive lanes will occur, typically by 7:00am or 5:00pm with the final clean up occurring within “x” hours of cessation of the snow fall.

Of course that’s confusing. But the take-away is that professional snow clearing services may not be in synch with your particular job schedule or the myriad other times you need to be out in the world. When dozens of neighbors are gathered together in a community association, that sort of customization isn’t possible. Not to say that contract parameters cannot be enhanced. Like Alice’s Restaurant, you can get anything you want but you have to pay for it. That is a discussion I am continually having with my Board members. Is the additional cost worth the upgrade in service?

To appropriate Jeremy Benthem: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Happy Snow Days!