Reference Articles

snowplow vehicles

Business Advice

Get the honest truth straight from the experts at SnowEx® as we debunk the top four misconceptions about the snow and ice industry and provide some safety tips.
Liquid Brine Application

Liquid Application

Feeling reluctant about the world of liquid brine? SnowEx is clearing up doubts and hesitations so you can gain confidence in this anti-icing approach.

Business Advice

As a business owner, the last thing you have time for is taking care of your own snow and ice control. Here are the top 3 reasons to hire a professional.

Spreader Tips

Operators driving equipment with salt spreaders or liquid spray systems must adhere to best practices for safe backing, especially given the sight obstructions. Understand the dangers and follow these steps for safer operations.

Resource Articles / Business Advice

Great plow drivers are comprised of many personality traits that can positively impact your business. By looking out for these key signs in your next hire, it's easy to foresee a great fit for the job.

Business Advice

Communication is crucial to any business and learning insider “lingo” can be hard to determine when starting in a new industry. To help get you get up to speed so you can talk-the-talk; we created this quick guide that includes everything you need to know about snow and ice control.

Buyer's Guide / Business Advice

Anyone working in snow and ice removal knows that being efficient is good for business. Investing in a few accessories now can allow you to be more profitable, save time and make your job a whole lot easier. SnowEx® recommends these long term solutions because we want to help you work smarter, not harder.

Snowplow Tips / Business Advice

By setting your plow in the proper position, turning off the control and following these safety guidelines, you’ll be able to protect your plow and vehicle during transit.

UTV & Sidewalk Tips

Sidewalk crews play a crucial role in snow clearing operations; and they are the team members most exposed to the elements during a storm. Be prepared to safely perform in the field by knowing how to identify hazards, dress for success and when to speak up if you feel unsafe.

Snowplow Maintenance / Snowplow Tips

Hidden obstructions can be dangerous for operators and may result in equipment or property damage. Marking pavement boundaries and hidden obstacles with stakes reminds drivers that danger lurks below.

Snowplow Maintenance / Snowplow Tips

As much as we’d like to plow snow year-round, winter has to come to an end at some point—at least for most of us. And when the seasons change, we have to adapt, too. The plows go into hibernation for the summer, and you bring out your other equipment to get you through the spring, summer and fall.

Buyer's Guide / Business Advice

Having the right tools and knowing how and when to use them are the keys to success with any job. When a winter storm hits, commercial snowfighters have a limited timeframe to deliver on the service goals specified in their contracts. For them, having the right tools can make the difference between getting by and getting ahead.

Liquid Application / Business Advice

In the commercial snow and ice industry, the most common push-back for investing in liquid technologies is that the average service provider has no need for liquids as long as salt is cheap. Recent events are causing many to reconsider that position.

Liquid Application

The many benefits of liquid strategies for snow and ice control have been well documented in numerous, wide-ranging field studies spanning two decades. Expanded use of liquid strategies by DOTs across the U.S. Snowbelt has resulted in a significant decrease in accidents and operational costs, with improvement in a variety of performance indicators.

Liquid Application / Business Advice

With any project, a variety of essential tools is required to effectively and efficiently master the job. The same holds true with snow and ice control. Liquid materials and the strategies for their application are integral tools that offer versatility, capabilities and efficiencies that solids simply cannot duplicate. They are not intended to replace solid deicing strategies, but rather to complement them.

Business Advice

Get a better understanding of our snow plow verbiage by visiting our glossary of terms page.

Liquid Application

When the snow flies, I can’t waste time mixing cocktails: Salt brine is made in advance of the storm and stored for use. It is not only much more effective to do it this way, but it is also more efficient and costs less. Be prepared in advance. Make the salt brine during non-storm-event weather conditions and be ready to go when the storm arrives.

Business Advice

Of the concerns commercial snowfighters voice about adding liquids to their winter operations toolbox, perhaps the most challenging is how to sell the property owner on liquid services and build them into their contracts.

Spreader Tips / Liquid Application

There are three fundamental snow and ice control strategies in winter maintenance: Anti-icing, Deicing and Snow Removal…all of which seek to address the safety issues that result from the buildup of snow and ice on pavement.

Spreader Tips / Liquid Application

Sidewalks have always been among the most challenging applications for snow and ice management professionals. Although the industry has made tremendous advancements in clearing more snow using less labor and de-icing materials, many facility managers and contractors still struggle with their walkways. For The Henry Ford complex, however, the grounds maintenance personnel decided it was time for a change. And finding a better solution meant having them drop what they were doing…literally.

Spreader Tips / Liquid Application

Located in Warren, Mich., Berns Landscaping Services, Inc. is one of the snow and ice management firms that is taking a proactive approach and adapting to salt supply challenges. Originally founded in 1982, the company began extending its offering in 1986 to include snow and ice management. Jim Berns, founder and president of Berns Landscaping Services, takes great pride in his commitment to learning the newest technology. And one of his most recent advancements began while investigating ways to combat the salt shortage.

Spreader Tips

For years, corrosion has literally eaten away equipment budgets of snow and ice management fleets. Luckily, there are more options than ever to alleviate these concerns. One of the best places to start is to spec equipment that has rust-resistant material hoppers.

Liquid Application

For years, manufacturers have anticipated a higher use of liquid solutions among snow and ice management contractors. What wasn’t anticipated, however, was the winter of 2013-2014, which literally took the industry by storm and created immediate demand for liquid equipment. That’s because, as temperatures dropped and salt supplies dwindled, liquid solutions became the only option for many contractors to still make money and fulfill the ice control obligations in their contracts.

Liquid Application

If you’ve been considering whether or not to add anti-icing to your snow and ice management operations, you’re not alone. Many other contractors have been debating the same question. In most cases, the answer is straightforward: Anti-icing is an essential tool of the trade, allowing snow professionals to optimize their storm management and deliver level of service goals in the timeliest manner. Used appropriately, anti-icing will increase operational efficiency, reduce material cost and boost profits.

Spreader Maintenance / Spreader Tips

The job of snow and ice management professionals is to create safe driving and walking conditions for others. However, in the process it can be easy for them to slip up on their own safety precautions. Take salt and sand spreaders, for instance. So much focus is placed on material types and application rates that people sometimes overlook the proper techniques for installing, operating and maintaining the equipment safely.

Spreader Maintenance / Spreader Tips

When winter hits, hopefully you’ve already prepared by conducting a preseason maintenance program on your spreader. The oil change, greasings and wear part replacements leading up to the season are always well worth the effort to help ensure all your time is spent in the field and not in the shop.

Buyer's Guide / Business Advice

Managing a snow and ice removal company requires a person to wear many hats. To be successful, you must understand more than plowing and spreading – it requires knowledge of running a business. But that’s where many contractors fall short. They don’t often think of things like keeping accurate track of jobsite statistics or providing proper documentation. We didn’t sign up to be lawyers or accountants, did we?

Spreader Tips / Buyer's Guide

On the surface, material spreading doesn’t seem all that complex. Buy a spreader, fill it with deicing material and go to work. Simple, right? Yes — provided you have the right equipment for the job. But too often contractors fail to consider the big picture when selecting a spreader, leading to anything from minor headaches to major issues.

Snowplow Tips / Spreader Tips

So, you’re ready to equip a truck for snow and ice management. You take a half-ton truck, install an eight-foot plow, throw on the largest spreader that will fit in the truck bed, and you’re ready to start making money. What else is there to consider? Actually, contractors have quite a few factors to keep in mind when they spec a truck and fit it with snow and ice equipment. Unfortunately, many don’t put much thought into the process and, consequently, their trucks are taken to an early grave—or salvage yard.

Spreader Maintenance

Every year, winter maintenance contractors are counted on to keep our roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe. And without proper preparation, the spreaders that perform these tasks may not be ready for all that the winter season can bring. That’s why it’s imperative to take spreaders through a pre-season maintenance routine to ensure they’re ready for anything old man winter might throw at them.

Spreader Maintenance

Another winter has passed us by, and for most people in the snow and ice business, it was another above-average year for making money. But even though the snow has turned to rain, it’s not quite time to take your mind off winter maintenance equipment. Instead, it’s time for a little post-season maintenance and storage.

Spreader Tips / Liquid Application

In the old days, contractors kept winter maintenance simple. Take a pickup, add a snowplow, throw in a spreader with deicing material and you were in business. Wait for a snow event, push snow around and put down rock salt to melt any ice. And if one layer of salt isn’t enough — no problem — just put down more. It wasn’t exactly scientific, but it was accepted practice.

Business Advice

Anyone working in a service industry knows what a struggle it can be to find a good balance in serving multiple clients. That struggle can become pure chaos if every client suddenly demands full attention at the exact same time.

Spreader Tips

The introduction of polyethylene (poly) spreaders to the market in the early 1990s generated mixed reactions among snow and ice control professionals.

Spreader Tips / Business Advice

When winter rolls in, landscaping contractors’ work typically comes to an end — and so does the income. More have been turning to work that allows the business to operate year-round, such as snow and ice removal. It seems like a fail-proof idea — the basic business has been established already.

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