Why It’s Never Too Early to Think About Snow Removal

April showers bring May flowers.  What do May flowers bring? That’s right.  Snow removal plans.

Why Now?

You may be asking yourself, “Why would I be thinking about snow in the springtime?”  For commercial property owners and managers, May is the perfect time to make your winter preparations for a myriad of reasons.

First, it gets them out of the way.  As winter approaches and the year begins to wind down, the winter preparedness procrastinators will be frantically trying to make plans for the impending snow.  Getting your winter contract out of the way early will allow you to deal with other end-of-the-year tasks. As the procrastinators will tell you, the good snow removal providers like Bluegrass fill up quickly.  They can only take on so many customers in order to clear them all in a timely fashion so if you wait too long, you may be out of luck. Don’t be a winter preparedness procrastinator!

Last winter is still fresh in your mind.  What worked, what didn’t, and how you want the job done are easier to figure out while your memories are fresh.

Mother Nature loves to play pranks on us.  “Did you enjoy that snow in April?” she laughs.  “How about a nice ice storm in October?”  Getting your snow removal plans out of the way in May means you’ll be ready she plays a trick on us with an early winter season.

Large commercial properties require a lot of planning.  Many factors need to be taken into consideration when determining the amount of time and the cost of the snow removal and ice treatment of your property.  Its overall size, number of walkways, the size of the parking areas, time of normal business hours, and type of business all factor into the cost. A retail establishment may not need to be cleared until shortly before the business opens, whereas a hospital needs to have a clear path for emergency vehicles at all times.  Part of the planning process for snow removal providers is to purchase all of the deicers and equipment they anticipate using in the upcoming season. If their customers sign on too late, there could be shortages.

Before a quote is put forth, it’s important that the snow removal provider assesses the property to note areas that may require different treatments or areas that might be hazardous.  All of this becomes much more difficult if you wait too long and your property is already covered in snow.

Bidding Types

There are many types of contracts you can get for your snow removal services so you can find the right type to suit your needs.


This is an agreed upon price for every hour put into clearing snow and ice from your property, including different rates for different types of removal (equipment use or man-hours shoveling walkways) and deicing.  Crews usually do a thorough job because they’re getting paid for every minute but there’s no incentive to invest in more efficient equipment.

Per Inch, 2-inch, 3-inch

This type of contract charges different prices per amount of snow.  For example, there would be a set price for 0-2” of snow, a higher price for 2.01-4” of snow, etc. with additional charges for deicer applications.  Snow removal providers will need to be efficient so they will invest in efficient equipment to do so. However, their rush to efficiency may result in issues with the quality of the work.


Seasonal contracts use a set price for the entire season based on historical data, typically going back 100 years.  Property managers tend to prefer this type of contracts because it helps them budget for it with no surprises. Problems arise when there are seasons with little snowfall and property managers feel like they’re paying for nothing or seasons of heavy snow and the snow removal provider doesn’t make enough money to cover costs.  Implementing a longer 5-year contract may remedy this as snowfall amounts will average out over time.

Per Push

This type of bidding is per push, or snow session.  This is not a price per storm, as your property may need to be cleared several times during one storm.  Many property managers prefer to be billed this way but it can add up if the contractor has to return several times during one storm.

Before you put out your RFP (Request For Proposal), there are some questions you should ask your potential snow removal providers.

Are you fully insured?

What types of deicers do you use?

Will you remove the snow from the property?  Where does it go?

Do you track your equipment and employees? (For slip and fall liability issues.)

How do you track the storms?

A good snow removal provider will be able to provide you with answers to these questions and a bid for services to fit your needs and your budget.  At Bluegrass, we’re ready to respond to snow or ice emergencies 24 hours a day. We closely monitor weather conditions using The Weather Pros so we can predict when we’ll be needed, how much manpower is required, and how much deicer to use.  We’re fully insured and have the equipment and crews to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Don’t be a procrastinator!  Call Bluegrass today at (314) 770-2828 and get the ball rolling on your snow removal needs for next winter.