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Schill Grounds Management Blog

How Our Smaller Snow Crews Keep Your Property In The Clear

20141124_schillplowWhen it comes to snow removal, crew size matters. It makes the difference between plowing your retail parking lot, multifamily property or commercial grounds just one time during a storm—or having a team return to make a second pass (or more). Smaller crews with tighter territories finish routes faster so they can make second rounds on properties.

Another benefit to smaller teams that pay close attention to your property: In Northeast Ohio, we’re on the cusp of a snow belt and lake effect, which can lead to dramatically different snowfall amounts. Your site may be buried, but 5 miles from you, there may be next to nothing.

At Schill, we run lean, efficient teams that are equipped to manage even the largest commercial sites. Here’s why we maintain smaller snow removal crews—and why that’s better for you.

Large Snow Crews Have Drawbacks

Boasting about large crew size might make a company sound like it has a village prepared to manage snow on your commercial property. But larger crews get bogged down on a site, and it can actually take longer for them to complete the work.

Assigning more crewmembers to a property is also less efficient, so you can bet that you’ll only get a single visit from that contractor during a snow event — and the timing might not be convenient. (If your building is open for business at 7 a.m. and you’re last on the big crew’s list, you may not have a clear lot until lunchtime — or after.)

Asking a snow contractor about crew size is probably not the first question on your list when vetting a snow removal company. But we recommend finding out how many teams the company dispatches in your area.

Compact Territories Offer Personalized Service

20141124_schillsnowcrewsIf we asked our supervisors at Schill to oversee far-reaching territories, including multiple cities in Northeast Ohio—say, 60 to 70 properties—there’s no way those customers would get the attention they deserve.

Our supervisors are dedicated to more compact territories. So, rather than letting Doppler call all the shots on how to prepare for a snow event, our supervisors are out on properties making visits and calling in additional snow and ice management resources if necessary.

Tighter Salt Routes Mean Just-In-Time Response

If a salt truck’s route is too large, the time required to manage ice during a storm can exceed what customers require to maintain a safe property. Safety is our No. 1 priority in our snow and ice management efforts.

If we spread resources thin and push our salt trucks to cover more ground, our clients suffer.

At Schill, our salt trucks’ routes can be completed in two to three hours. This is critical because if a snow event occurs at 4:30 a.m., we need to respond immediately and efficiently so all of our commercial clients have clear, safe properties before the start of the business day — whether they’re the first property we visit, or the last.

Small Crews Have Time To Clear Properties Twice (Or More)

A crew’s “day” can start at any time. (We can’t plan when Mother Nature is going to blow in a storm.) Timing is everything with snow removal, and smaller crews allow our teams to plow all of their assigned properties, and then return to continue keeping the property clear and safe.  

Generally, our plowing routes take four hours to complete. So, if a Schill crew plows a multifamily property at 9 a.m., the property managers on site know that our team will be back to plow again at about 1 p.m. And if the snow’s still coming? A crew will be on the property once more at 5 p.m.

When snow removal crews are too large, then a property may get only a single visit during a snow event. That’s not enough to keep a property safe.

We also switch up the order in which properties are plowed. So, if Retail Property A was the first to get plowed this week, then Commercial Site B is first the next snow event, and Condo Complex C is first after that. We continue the rotation all season. This way, we can assure that every client is getting a “first response.”

Stay In The Clear With Snow Removal By Schill

At Schill, we dispatch small snow removal crews because we can work more effectively and efficiently this way, delivering you the best results for your budget. On large properties we service, dedicated equipment is on site so we’re prepared to respond immediately to snow events.

Let’s talk more about how you can keep your property safe this winter. Call us any time at (440) 327-3030, or fill out our simple web contact form and we’ll get in touch with you. 

In the meantime, learn the right questions to ask and how to select the right winter service partner in Schill's FREE e-book, the Guide To Hiring A Snow & Ice Management Contractor.

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Topics: Snow and Ice Removal

Jason Dickey

Written by Jason Dickey

Jason Dickey is in charge of all operations at Schill Grounds Management and is responsible for training managers. He has worked in the snow industry since 1998 and in commercial grounds management since 2003. He is ASCA-certified and has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College.

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