As we gear up for another winter, it’s a good idea to implement preseason planning practices to ensure your season goes as smoothly as possible. Now is an ideal time to prepare your snow and ice management processes and equipment. Here are some tips to ensure your season goes smoothly:
- Train your team – All team members, rookies and veterans, should receive preseason training on equipment, safety and operating procedures. Review site binders, documentation requirements, emergency actions, etc. Proactively address any challenges and shortcomings to ensure success this winter.
2. Subcontractors – Recruit subcontractors if you don’t already have them lined up. Employee referral programs, vocational schools, military veterans, job boards and trade associations are some sources to use for recruiting. Make sure your subcontractor contracts — and certificates of insurance — are compliant and come from the insurance company, not the subcontractor.
3. Contracts – Review your contracts and make necessary revisions (fuel surcharges, price increases, liability provisions, etc.) Get signed copies from your customers. The Snow & Ice Management Association, sima.org has contract templates to review.
4. Insurance – Confirm your insurance coverage is up to date and adequate for new customer sites you may have picked up since last season. Better safe than sorry!
5. Salt supply – Hopefully you’ve already preordered your salt inventory and have backup suppliers in place. If not, we can help! Don’t forget to order spreaders, shovels and flags for staking job sites.
6. Equipment – Now is the time to give your plow trucks, snow blowers and other equipment a thorough once-over to ensure they are in top shape. Check fluid levels, belts, defrosters, tire pressures, and inspect plow blades and mirrors for cracks, etc. Have a plan in place for breakdowns during storms. Develop relationships with local rental stores and dealers of your equipment for backup equipment.
7. Outfit trucks – Stock your trucks with reflective vests, first aid kits and keep basic items such as hydraulic hoses in the cab, in case you need to make a quick onsite fix during the season.
8. Schedule site walk-throughs – Now is the time for site inspections and documentation for your signed accounts. When possible, walk the site with the customer so you can alert them to any pre-existing damage, site condition concerns, and make sure your expectations are in line with theirs.
9. Review your resources – When you’re in the cab of your truck, mobile apps are your best friend. Take a second to review your weather / snow forecast / gas apps to ensure you will have accurate information, and budget accordingly, before and during snow events.
10. Kickoff celebration – Show your appreciation, build camaraderie among team members, and get everyone motivated for the season. A cookout, softball game, or party are good ways to get everyone together, set expectations and answer questions.
Good luck this season!
Reinders is an authorized dealer of Morton and other salt products, offering the largest salt and ice control inventory in the Midwest – we are your single source for all your winter product needs.