Snow Plowing in the Twin Cities

By | January 3, 2011

For Twin City homeowners, snow removal, if not snow plowing, is inevitable.

Among the top 101 cities with the highest average snowfall in a year (population 50,000+), fourteen of them are in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Snow PlowingSnow Plowing Twin Cities is your guide to services and equipment that will get you out of your house and about your business as soon as possible.

How many times have you seen the snow start to fall, pretty at first, then … one inch, two inches, four inches … when will it stop?! The wind starts to howl. Looking out the window, you can no longer tell where your driveway was.

Eventually, the storm passes and you look out, again, to survey the result. You see a blanket of white, no telling how deep.

The only visible contrast is the gray-blue shadows of the drifts that have formed. But, life goes on. You need to get to work, to that dental appointment, or out to pick up the kids from school. How will you get there?

You know that your car is safely tucked into the garage, but can you make it to the street? Oh, oh, here comes the city’s snow plow. Ssccrruunnch! That plow just compacted the snow and tripled its depth at the end of your driveway. What now?

Your choices are few. You can bundle up in your sweater, parka, hat, boots and mittens, get out that snow shovel or snow blower, and start clearing the driveway.

You fondly remember those days when the kid next door would come over and offer to clear your driveway for a few bucks. But, that kid went off to college and is, now, your chiropractor. If you shovel the snow yourself, you may well need to avail yourself of his services, again, but this time in his new professional capacity.

It’s a well known fact that hospital emergency rooms get busy after a snow storm. Avoid injury!  Snow Plowing Twin Cities is your guide.

Don’t you wish that you had planned ahead and contracted a snow plowing service? On days like this, the welcome sight of a snow blade equipped pick-up truck plowing out your driveway would make the contract price seem a bargain!

How do you find a trustworthy and reliable snow plowing service? Snow Plowing Twin Cities shows you how to choose a snow plowing service.

P.S. If you really want to do it yourself, you will find helpful information in Snow Removal for the Twin City Do It Yourself Home Owner.

How to Choose a Snow Plowing Service

By | January 5, 2011

Snow plowing services operating in the Twin Cities are found on the Internet. Snow Plowing Twin Cities gives you tips on how to choose the right one for you.

It used to be that you would let “your fingers do the walking” and flip through the telephone book, but as you are reading this online, a Google search is your best bet.

hand mouseA search using the words “snow plowing [your city]” will bring quick results. That’s the easy part.

The services that top the list of results will be those that your search engine determined best match the words you used in your search.

Google provides a map showing the locations of the snow plowing services with addresses nearest your location.

However, the one that tops the list or the one on the map that is nearest may or may not be the right one for you.

How to Tell Which Snow Plowing Service to Pick

Ask friends and neighbors which service they would recommend. A satisfied customer is one of the best sources there is. A qualified snow plowing service that already does work in your neighborhood will often provide you with a better quality result than one that must drive extra miles to get to you.

Be wary, however, of the neighbor whose brother-in-law has a cousin who just hooked up his first plow to an old used truck he just bought. You may be less than satisfied with the service that you receive.

Before you call a snow plowing service, start a list of the things that you would want your snow plowing service to provide. Here are some important considerations:

  • Reliability – You don’t want to wait very long for your snow plowing to be done.
  • Careful – You want the snow removed without damage to your property.
  • Insured – In case some property damage does occur (accidents do happen), you want the service to be able to make things right.
  • References – The service should have a list of references available.

Check Out Snow Plowing Services BEFORE You Need One.

reference callA little time spent in investigating alternative providers of snow plowing services will be time well spent. Call two or three snow plowing services.

Have your list during the call, so that you are sure to cover all of the points that are important to you.

Take careful notes during the call, so that you can check the information discussed against an eventual contract.

When you are close to a decision, make a couple of calls to verify the reference information that you got from the service. It is also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. Ratings and reports for local business are available to you online at the Better Business Bureau.

Once you decide on a snow plowing service, you will want to have a written agreement that specifies the services to be provided. This may include:

  • How much snow must fall to trigger the service?
  • Within what time frame will the snow plowing be finished?
  • What specific areas of your property [driveway, walkway(s), etc.] will be cleared? (You should be prepared to describe any applicable city ordinances.)
  • Where will the snow be deposited?
  • What payment methods are acceptable, and when must payment be made?

These arrangements are best made before the first flake falls from the sky! Once the snow begins, your choice of services may be limited. The best snow plowing services will be booked.

A snow plowing service that does take you as a client after the season has begun may take longer to arrive after each snowfall.  Or, you may be serviced by a sub-contractor, like your neighbor’s brother-in-law whose cousin just hooked up his first plow to an old used truck he just bought.

However, even if you have waited longer than you should have and you have an immediate need for snow removal, be sure to get clear answers to all of these questions.

Secure a Snow Plowing Contract for NEXT Year

Once you have found a snow plowing service that meets your needs, lock it in for the following year. You will, probably, get a better rate than you would if you wait until the next snow season is upon you.

You won’t have to go through this process all over, again. You will have peace of mind, and your snow plowing contractor will be better able to plan ahead to provide you with the best service possible.

P.S. Bookmark Snow Plowing Twin Cities for future snow removal tips and recommendations.

Snow Removal for the Twin City Do-It-Yourself Home Owner

By | January 3, 2011

You may choose not to use a snow removal service and remove the it yourself.  In this case, as well, Snow Plowing Twin Cities has information that you will find useful.

You may have good reasons for doing your own snow removal. You may be physically fit and want to burn some calories. Your property may have relatively small areas where snow collects. You may have landscaping that requires particular care in the winter time.

You may just enjoy being outdoors, even during a Minnesota winter. Whatever the reason, you will want to be sure to have the right snow removal tools and equipment to safely and effectively clean your driveway and walkways.

Frankly, whether you use a snow removal service or you do it yourself, there is always some finishing work to be done. Based upon your decision, you will need at least some of the tools and materials that are recommended by Snow Plowing Twin Cities.

Essential Snow Removal Tools

Snow ShovelsYou will, certainly, need a good snow shovel. This is the basic tool for winter survival in the Twin Cities. So, what do I mean by a “good” snow shovel?

There is a wide variety of implements that fit the definition of “snow shovel.” By “good”, I mean one that is sturdy enough to handle the job and designed to perform well with the minimum of physical effort.

While I have used shovels made from various type of plastic, I have, yet, to find one that is as durable or performs as well as a snow shovel with a metal blade or scoop. Remember, since you will be lifting it over and over, again, aluminum is lighter than steel.

Besides a shovel, another hand tool that should be included in your winter arsenal is an ice scraper. I have found few shovels that are effective in removing hard packed snow that the city’s plow packed into my driveway. For these situations, an ice scraper or a flat shovel work much better than even a good snow shovel.

When the physical strain becomes too great, there are mechanical means for tackling this job. We hope that you won’t need a machine as large as the one in this video:

What a Wonderful Invention is the Snow Blower!

To clean up after what the weather reporter describes as a “light dusting” (definitely, less than an inch) I have found that a leaf blower works very well. For deeper snow, a snow blower (or snow thrower) will be needed.

Depending on the size that you choose, this machine will pick up snow of nearly any depth and shoot it several yards in any direction that you choose. Snow blowers are either gasoline-powered or electric. There are single stage snow blowers for snowfalls that are light to moderate in depth (2” to 5”), as well as, two stage snow blowers for heavier, deeper snow. These more powerful machines have one engine to drive an auger which lifts snow and feeds it into a separate, high-speed impeller which shoots it out of the machine.

As with any machine, particularly one with moving parts exposed, snow blower safety is an important consideration.

There are many varieties of snow blowers. If doing it yourself is your preference, return to Snow Plowing Twin Cities in the future for our specific recommendations.

Finishing the Job

Once the bulk of the snow has been removed, I recommend that you use a broom to sweep up the remainder from your driveway and sidewalks. It doesn’t take long for winter weather conditions to turn the thin layer of snow, left by your blower or shovel, into a sheet of ice.

There are chemicals that will melt snow and ice. Ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) will lower the temperature at which ice will melt. Other chemicals may be used to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks, but care must be taken to prevent unintended damage to concrete surfaces, metal objects, lawns and shrubbery.

If you take the time to remove that last thin layer, you will be much more satisfied with the result. You may even save yourself a law suit from a guest or visitor who happens to slip on that ice layer and get injured in a fall!

P.S. Remember to bookmark Snow Plowing Twin Cities, so that you can return to find more specific recommendations among the snow removal products that will be featured on this site.