As Boston digs out after the first major winter storm of the season, municipalities and private snow removal companies are still undertaking the arduous task of clearing roadways, parking lots and private properties to ensure public safety and clear roads and walkways as quickly as possible. While much of this task still falls on the backs of the plow drivers and employees with shovels, technology is making the backbreaking work a little easier to handle, cheaper and more streamlined. Wollaston Development, a Greater Boston-based site development and property design company that also provides snow removal services in the winter, discusses the newest technologies and processes they are implementing in their annual war against Jack Frost.
One of the biggest issues during these types of massive storms is manpower and trying to keep up with the accumulation. While you can use plows to clear roads, parking lots and driveways, you still need a workforce to clear the sidewalks and other tighter areas. In the past, that meant a large team of shovelers. Now, thanks to equipment like the BOSS Snow Rator - think of a small ATV with an operator on the back and a plow on the front - an area that once took five people multiple hours to clear can be done by one person in a small fraction of the time. Additionally, it saves time by allowing the operator to brine, spread, and plow at the same time, maximizing productivity and reducing costs that can be passed along to the clients.
One of the more challenging aspects of snow removal is ensuring it is being done in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. From shipping and disposal of contaminated snow to the application of eco-friendly products, there are many ways to green your team. When you are working around conservation land, which we often do, it’s essential to use approved and registered Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP) such as pre-wetted salt. This Magic Salt is coated with a small portion of biodegradable liquid derived from byproducts from the fermentation and distillation processes of liquor production. It’s not only environmentally responsible to use this around conversation land, it’s the law.
Planning and preparation is essential to success in the snow removal game. This can be particularly challenging when the weather reports say that the snow is going to stop falling at 1pm, but a few hours later it’s still a blizzard. That’s when having your own personal meteorologist on call becomes a game changer. “Subscribing to a service like WeatherWorks can mean the difference between a profitable storm and a financial loss,” continued Pallone. “Getting real time snowfall projections and updates from a meteorologist helps me plan better and lets me know if I need to keep twenty team members on site or if I can send them home. Also, when pricing is being done per inch, your personal meteorologist can let you know the accumulation at any given address. Some of the towns we operate in have great variations in elevation, so one side of town may experience four or five inches while a hillier section many see seven or eight.”
Lastly, GPS systems that allow you to track the fleet of trucks ensures your equipment is where it needs to be. Battling the snow can be like a game of chess. There can be light flakes west of Boston and a raging storm south of the city. Knowing where every member of my fleet is at every given moment allows me to be agile, repositioning assets quickly to ensure we are being as efficient as possible. During a Nor’Easter, you need everyone working at the top of their game.