A lot of property owners and managers in Ontario, especially up north, dread the winter months for two simple reasons: snow and ice. Staying on top of snow and ice removal isn’t always easy if you don’t have the proper equipment to maintain your property in the winter. In fact, it can be downright challenging and physically draining, but unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil that all property owners must contend with every year.
The question is whether you should incur the cost and risk involved in renting the equipment and performing the grounds keeping duties yourself or if you should hire a professional landscaping company to do it for you. The latter option is more favourable for the simple reason that professional landscapers have special training and usually many years of experience working with high-tech snow and ice removal equipment. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have some background knowledge so that you know what you’re getting into before hiring landscapers.
With that in mind, here’s a list of professional snow and ice removal equipment that meet industry-wide standards.
Although you might not recognize this powerful machine by name, you’ve very likely seen it on construction sites many times. Skid-steer loaders have a wide range of applications from breaking ground for major excavation projects to carrying raw materials to and from those holes. In the winter, they’re excellent for lifting heavy layers of hardened snow and relocating it to a single collection area on the side of the road or unused corner of your parking lot. Skid-steer loaders are equipped with versatile arms on each side that connect to a wide range of attachments for different uses. For better traction in the snow, it’s highly recommended that you opt for snow tires. Skid-steer loaders are most efficient in small spaces.
Since skid-steer loaders are also commonly used for landscaping projects in the spring, summer and fall, it’s likely that a professional landscaping company will already have one on hand, so you won’t have to worry about the astronomical cost of renting one in the winter.
Snow buckets are a useful attachment for skid-steer loaders in the winter. Their main function is to hold the snow that’s loaded into them and then transport it to trucks for full removal. However, these attachments are only capable of carrying moderate to large amounts of light packing snow.
All-Wheel Steer Loaders
Another major piece of machinery you’ll often find on construction sites are all-while steer loaders. These mammoth-sized machines are much more efficient at removing snow from large commercial properties because they have a much higher weight capacity. Not only are they easier to operate, but you also have the option of renting one with an open or closed cabs depending on the preferences of your snow removal crew. You can even add a cab add-on to cover up open cabs and generate more heat for the operators. Driving them around can be tricky for inexperienced operators because of all of the obscured angles, so it’s best to leave this one up to the professionals.
Spreaders are add-ons that aren’t designed to remove ice or snow. Instead, their job is to evenly distribute de-icing and snow melting agents throughout your property. Spreaders are an essential add-on for any snow and ice removal job because they work effectively on concrete walkways, driveways, asphalt parking lots, and pretty much any other paved ground. They facilitate snow and ice melting and prevent future ice formations in the winter.
Backhoe loaders are essentially used to collect, compact, and load large chunks of snow onto the backs of transport trucks where the snow will be melted down and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. Many of them come with heated cabs for safety and convenience and they’re compatible with pretty much any snow removal attachments on the market. Backhoe loaders are most commonly used for large parking lots and long commercial roadways because they offer smooth operations and stability compared to other snow removal equipment.
Snow Pushers and Blowers
Snow pushers are designed with your commercial or residential asphalt driveway in mind. They feature rubber edges which prevent them from damaging your asphalt as they carefully scrape against it to remove snow and ice. Snow pushers gently push the snow and ice to one side where it’s later collected by the landscaping crew working on your property.
Snow blowers, on the other hand, are usually used to literally blow snow away to one side and clear pathways, walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots to make them safe for people to use. They work most effectively on what’s known as light “packing” snow which is more like a powder rather than sludge.
Snow and Ice Scrapers
While scrapers aren’t suitable for removing heavy compacted snow, they’re an excellent solution for breaking up snow and ice that’s stuck to the surface of your commercial or residential property. The blades are very low maintenance because they become sharpened as they scrape against the snow and ice, which actually saves you a lot of money in the long run because it means the landscaping crew doesn’t have to sharpen them.
Scrapers are basically large cylindrical discs that rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise beneath the machinery they’re attached to in order to create tension between the snow and the ground on which it’s settled without actually making direct contact with the surface asphalt.
Angle plows are arguably the most important winter equipment add-on that any landscaping company uses because they’re the most versatile. They work well on all types of snow removal machinery and they’re effective in every capacity of snowfall imaginable. Angle plows stack the snow extremely high off to one side so that it doesn’t hinder your ability to safely and conveniently use your property. This is ideal for areas that don’t have an easily accessible snow processing facility nearby.
FOREVER GREEN LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC. offers year-round ground management and maintenance services including snow and ice removal in the winter. Whether you own a residential, commercial, or industrial property, our crews have the extensive level of dedication, training, and experience required to help keep your grounds perfectly maintained during the winter months. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation!