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Monthly Archives: Dec 2016

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Tips For Booking A Commercial Snow Removal Service

Winter is just around the corner again and that means snow, lots of it. This is usually a busy time for snow removal companies, so booking one might not be as easy as you think if there is high demand. Also, there are things you should look for and questions you should ask before signing the dotted line with any snow removal company. It will save you a headache and money later on. Some of the things you should look for include the specific services they provide, reviews from previous clients, their equipment as well as insurance.

Commercial Snow Removal

Insurance Coverage

Some smaller contractors can’t afford the adequate insurance that is required of snow removal companies. While this can enable them to offer you a competitive rate, the downside is that there is little or no coverage in the event of an accident or claim. Contractors should have at least $5,000,000 in coverage and include a “snow removal” rider in the coverage. Ask the prospective contractor for a WSIB clearance certificate before negotiating services.

Pricing

Even though a contractor might offer you an attractive price up front, be careful of additional costs that come after. The contractor can make additional charges that were not covered in the contract, so make sure to look at the details before you sign. While contractors should not be outrageously expensive, don’t be fooled by very low prices either. Also, find out exactly how much is being charged for what service. Also, do they charge by the hour or by the project? If it is by the hour how soon can they do the job?

Accessibility

A snow removal contractor should be accessible. Even if the contractor himself is not available to take your call, there should be someone at the office you can speak to. This helps to facilitate trust with the customer and it helps handle any issues that might have come up. If the company does not have a physical address, then you should probably steer clear of it. Any professional contractor should have a physical address that can be found.

Staff

What kind of staff does the snow contractor hire? Is it full-time staff or part-time? How experienced is the staff? These are factors that could determine the level of service you are likely to receive. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor these questions. If there is a website, check it to find out more or make a phone-call if there is an office.

Equipment

The equipment is probably one of the most important things you should consider. The type of equipment the contractor uses will determine the cost and quality of the service. Plow trucks tend to break down frequently, and this can affect the contractor’s ability to carry out the promised service. Ask if the contractor has backup equipment or if they are relying on just one vehicle. Although the best equipment can mean a higher price, it is worth paying knowing that you will receive the best possible service.

Reviews

Talk to previous clients of your contractor or look for reviews online. This is one of the best ways to know what you might be getting for your money. Ask friends or neighbours who they are using. The best contractors often get marketed by word of mouth. Hopefully the reviewers should not have a vested interest in recommending the contractor. They can tell you the specific things that you need to know.

Call Many Companies

Call at least three companies of a similar size and compare. Don’t go with the first company that is available, shop around a bit. Sometimes you might be able to get some discounts or special offers. There are many companies offering this service, so you don’t have to go with the first one that you come across. Snow removal companies vary in size, quality of service and cost. It is only by doing a little research you can come up with a shortlist of the best ones to hire that are within your budget.

Read The Contract

Read the contract thoroughly before you sign and make sure there are no surprises. The contract is going to be the first point of reference for anything, so be sure to read the details. Verbal agreement is not enough; you should always have everything documented in writing.

Snow removal is necessary but it doesn’t have to be costly. The best way to protect yourself is to gather as much information as possible about the company and the services it offers. Always read the contract and shop around. If you would like more information about snow removal, or you are thinking about buying equipment, then give us a call or browse our website to look at our catalogue. Best of all, come visit us! With the right services you don’t have to worry about the winter.

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Ergonomic Snow Removal Techniques

Shovelling snow is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be a strain on your body. You can shovel snow without hurting your back if you use the right equipment and the right techniques. Whether you are going high tech or low tech, snow removal can be a lot easier than you might think. Here are a few ergonomic snow removal techniques that are worth trying for this coming winter season.

Ergonomic Snow Removal

Use A Snow Blower

The snow blower is as easy as it gets when it comes to removing snow. It is great for those who have back problems or other conditions that prevent them from removing snow manually. It is great for clearing away dense, compacted snow and has a chute from which the snow can be expelled.

Types Of Snow Blowers

Snow Blowers come in two types: single-stage and two-stage. Single-stage snow blowers both move the snow into the machine and expel it. They are more suitable for suburban homes and neighbourhood sidewalks. Two-stage snow blowers remove snow in two distinct phases: the first phase involves breaking up the snow before sucking it into the impeller and then blowing it out the shoot. This machine is more suitable for heavy-duty snow removal, such as snow that is more than a foot high.

Use An Electric Shovel

An electric shovel is a good alternative to a conventional shovel or snow blower. They are lightweight, efficient and easy to use. You don’t have to have strong arms to use them and even if you do, they won’t be tested as with a regular shovel. Electric shovels are also great for people with disabilities and seniors. Compared to snow blowers, they are easier to maintain and do not require fuel. Shovels come in various sizes, so pick one that suits your own size, budget and physical ability.

Push The Snow

It is easier to push snow than to lift it. For pushing to be effective you need to use a shove that is as wide as possible. Preferably it should be made out of plastic and not heavier materials like wood or metal. If you are creating a large pile of snow, then make sure it is not a great distance from you.

Work With Your Knees And Not Your Back

When pushing or lifting snow, you should bend your knees and keep your back straight. If you aren’t sure if you are lifting correctly, see if you can feel the weight on your knees. That said, you shouldn’t put pressure on your knees if they are in a bad condition. Shovel snow only if you are in a relatively fit condition.

Take Breaks In Between

When removing snow, take short, frequent breaks to give your body the maximum energy to keep going. By resting frequently you can get more done over a longer period of time and without the risk of injury.

Warm Up

Stay warm without overheating. The cold is going to make your muscles tight, and this could increase your risk of injury if you don’t warm up beforehand. It doesn’t have to be anything lengthy, but just enough to get the blood flowing. Also, make sure that you don’t have on too many layers, because movement will naturally make you warmer. You can risk sweating if you do, and this could make you colder because of moisture. Also, keep hydrated. Just because it is cold doesn’t mean that you don’t need water.

Turn Your Whole Body

Try not to twist your body, instead turn your whole body when you are throwing snow. Twisting your body can cause unnecessary strain and increase your risk of injury. Work within your limit and do not overextend yourself.

Use A Good Shovel

Shovels have various shapes and sizes. If you like pushing snow, it is better to use a longer shovel. If you are lifting snow, use a shovel with a shorter handle. Be sure that the handle fits your hands to avoid unnecessary injury or strain. Deeply curved shovels are especially suited for removing a lot of snow.

Whether you decide to go high tech or traditional, snow removal doesn’t have to be as difficult as it first appears. While it will never be one of the most fun things to do in winter, it doesn’t have to be something that is risky. Use the right shovel in accordance with your physical state and practise good techniques. If you cannot remove snow at all, then you can enlist the help of a friend or hire a snow removal company. They can remove your snow efficiently for a reasonable fee. If you would like to find out more about snow removal techniques or equipment, give us a call or visit our website for products and information. Our staff will be happy to help you find something that suits your needs.

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