Winter brings us a snowy wonderland that may look beautiful, but can create a lot problems. If you’re stuck shovelling on your own, you could find yourself shivering outside for hours clearing your driveway and steps. Plus, you risk back and arm injuries, not to mention catching a cold. For these reasons and more, many people turn to a commercial snow removal company to clear away mother nature’s debris.
If you’re looking for a commercial snow removal operation to take care of shovelling and clearing, you should do your research before settling on a company. Ask around to see which companies other local businesses use, and read online testimonials if possible. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few snow removal companies, give them a call and ask the following questions. The answers will determine if they’re the right commercial snow removal company for you.
Do you have insurance?
Any reputable commercial snow removal company will have general liability insurance. Moreover, they should also have a workers compensation program in place for their employees. If something happens on your property that is out of anyone’s control, the snow removal business must be covered. You must be covered as well, so contact your insurance provider and make sure that your house insurance includes accidents related to snow removal (it probably does but it’s better to be safe than sorry).
What services does your company provide besides commercial snow removal?
Snowfalls come in all shapes and sizes. Does the snow removal company have other services in place to deal with the different conditions associated with snowfalls? For instance, will they salt the area as needed? Will they haul the snow away if the accumulation is too great? Will they provide a shovelling service to clear walkways and maintain your safety? Most snow removal businesses will provide these additional services. If the company you are speaking with does not, move on to another one.
Will you be assessing my property before the first snowfall?
Any company that refuses to visit your site before taking you on as a client is not one you should work with. There is ample planning that must go into snow removal and any company that is willing to wait until the first snowfall before assessing your home and street shouldn’t be considered for the task of snow removal.
Are you in good standing with the Better Business Bureau?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Canada is an organization that holds companies accountable and provides consumers with trust. If the commercial snow removal company you are considering isn’t in good standing with the BBB, move on.
What kind of equipment will be used?
A regular truck is not going to do the job of commercial snow removal. In order to ensure the company you are looking into has the right equipment for the job, make sure they use high-grade snow removal equipment like skid steers, plows, pushers and front-end loaders.
How many clients do you currently have?
This questions ties in to the one above. A snow removal business that has forty clients should have the equipment and manpower to service each one in a timely manner. If the company only has two trucks and forty clients then your needs will not be met and you’ll be waiting for hours for your snow removal service. Make sure that the commercial snow removal company you choose has enough equipment and employees to deal with each of their clients properly.
When do you get to work?
Any reputable snow removal business will get to work as soon as there’s a centimetre of accumulation. Companies that wait any longer before starting their snow removal process are putting you at risk. Black ice can form quickly, leaving you with a greater chance of someone slipping or skidding and increasing the likelihood of collisions on your property.
Do you work with any subcontractors?
A worthy snow removal operation will not use subcontractors. If they do, then consider everything they told you about equipment, insurance and manpower meaningless, because a subcontractor could operate within their own set of rules that have no bearing on the company you have agreed to do with business with.
How much do you charge for your services?
Ideally, you will find a commercial snow removal company that charges a flat-rate for the season and not per snowfall. It’s easier to sign a contract for the winter at a fixed price then to be billed after each snowfall. If you live in a place that receives constant accumulation this can quickly exceed your budget and take a toll on your finances.
Do you have a dispatcher to respond to emergencies?
Snow doesn’t always fall on command, and ice build-up and other problems can arise without snow even falling, which is why you want a removal company that is available 24/7. Any company that does not employ a dispatcher for emergencies isn’t one you want to work with.
Any Canadian city will be hit with more than one snowfall during the winter months. It’s important to find a commercial snow removal company that you trust, and that will be attendant to your needs.