Use Construction Equipment for Commercial Snow Removal
BY Sandy Lender
The team at Case Construction Equipment, Racine, Wisconsin, shared in the online event “Build the Ultimate Snow Fleet” that contractors dedicating a piece—or two—of construction equipment to a client’s site for snow removal can gain efficiencies in winter operations. What they were talking about is parking a skid steer or compact wheel loader at the client’s site in preparation for the first weather event of winter and leaving the equipment there throughout the season.
This means a dedicated equipment operator goes to the site, fires up the engine, and tackles snow removal without having to deliver the equipment to the site each time there’s a need for it. As Case has included on its website, this also helps with response time because your workers are driving to strategically placed machines to perform work in specific locations. Plowing can get started pretty darn quickly.
If the idea of leaving your compact wheel loader alone in the back of a strip mall parking lot gives you nightmares, fret not. With on-board telematics, you can reduce your security worries. Tag that machine, set up a geofence and you’ll sleep better in between snow events.
If the idea of plowing between and behind expensive cars driven by corporate types—who may not be watching for a skid steer in the fancy parking lot complex—also gives you nightmares, again, fret not. With the litany of lighting packages standard on construction equipment these days, you can create an eye-catching machine that even the most distracted driver will notice behind his Lexus during a blizzard. Case CE experts spoke of the four-corner strobe lights for the top of construction equipment used in snow removal applications as well as night paving applications. Beacons also help with machine visibility for stressed out customers in the parking lot.
Beacons also help your operator with visibility. Take advantage of lighting options and backup cameras with in-cab displays to make safety a priority for everyone.
The main point Case has made through its online event and the article “The Case for Equipment Over Trucks in Snow Removal Applications” centers around making the most efficient use of your workforce and fleet in the non-construction season. Do you find your company competing with municipal crews or agency teams for road-clearing contracts each year? Does that give you a headache? There’s logic in seeking commercial clients, instead.
You can make the client-service provider relationship more logical, according to Case CE’s experts, by parking one large and one small piece of construction equipment at the client’s location. Then have your dedicated operators bring the appropriate attachments for snow removal applications when the weather requires it. The experts spoke of the arctic sectional snow pusher, specifically, because it’s a Case CE product with a host of features including the ability to “give way” when encountering obstacles. Consider the benefits of your plow “lifting” when you run over an island obscured by snow in the parking lot, rather than crumpling into the hydraulic arm of the host machine.
Case CE experts also discuss the benefits of focused fuel use when focusing on commercial—or otherwise off-road—clients. Because construction equipment often requires a lower horsepower to operate than a truck-and-plow out on the county roads, you see a smaller fuel spend to choose parking lot maintenance versus roadway snow removal. From Case CE: “Why perform a job on a platform that runs at 300-400 horsepower when equipment that operates at 74–200 horsepower will work just as well? The most common machines in snow removal applications range from 74 to 110 horsepower.”
For more information on the use of construction equipment for snow removal applications, contact your local Case CE dealer.