1. What percentage of your business is snow removal?
Gosh, I’d have to say 40 percent because we are doing seven to eight months of mowing and landscaping, and then the other four to five months we do snow removal.
2. How busy do you get during the winter season?
When it snows, we’re busy. The medical places, patients can come in as early as 4 or 5 a.m., so we have to get it done before then. I have other guys in Wapak and Lima. We have about 20 places we are contracted to do, which is a bunch. You don’t have a week to get it done like with mowing either — you have that moment.
3. Do you have certain places that are a priority?
Medical centers come first and then probably hotels because people are getting up early to leave. Banks and businesses generally open a little later.
4. What types of places do you do snow removal for?
Medical facilities, banks, hotels — places like that.
5. What type of equipment do you use?
My 1 ton pickup truck has a 9-foot, 2-inch V-plow blade. I like the V-plow over the straight plow because you can get more done in less time.
6. How many do plows do you have?
We have four plows this year.
7. What does a job look like for you?
I give the guys a call, and everybody knows where they are supposed to go and where to start. We start plowing and do the sidewalks first. When the snow slows, we treat and salt the pavement so people don’t slide. We clean everything up after the storm stops, and then we put our equipment away and get it loaded back up with salt for the next job.
8. What’s the thing that most people don’t realize about snow removal?
That they need to slow down. People need to just let us do our job and get things cleaned off before they get out there.
9. What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Where to put the snow sometimes. If there’s been a lot of snow, every once in a while we have to bring out our loader. Really, there is nothing challenging except the weather itself. I don’t like the cold and it has to be cold to snow. Now one time, a few years ago, I was out 24 hours straight. I started at 6 p.m. and didn’t finish up until 6 p.m. the next night. I called my wife to tell her I was picking up a pizza and told her I was fine. When I got home and sat down, I don’t even remember eating that pizza I was so tired. That only happens now and then though.
10. What other things do you do?
We do mowing and landscaping — so flowers, trees, shrubs, plants. We also build barrier walls and decks.
11. How long have you been doing this?
Part time for 12 years and full time for five and a half years.
12. Do you end up missing holidays and things?
Yeah, you do, but you usually don’t miss the whole day. You generally are out in the earlier morning. It’s not too bad — you get the job done and then you go home.