Big snow blowers are usually priced on an hourly basis that can seem expensive even though the cost per ton of snow moved can be quite small. The point is, when you rent a blower, you want to keep it working. Consider these tips to maximize your benefits:
- Preplan! Plan routes in advance to keep the blowers working! Money is lost if planners wait until blowers are arriving to decide where to use them.M
- Minimize transit time. Plan routes so that long travel distances between them are reduced. The machine should move only a short distance from the end of one route to start of the next.
- Pick routes carefully with consideration given to surroundings. The machines can blow snow 20-200’ from the edge of the roadway. Do not route a blower next to car lots, buildings with large glass windows, etc. Potential damage caused by discharged snow must be kept in mind by route planners. There are some places where blowers should not be used.
- Clean highway shoulders before snow begins to fall. Big blowers are protected by two sets of shear pins that break off when mufflers, pieces of tire and other debris are sucked into the blower. The machine is not blowing snow when the operator must leave the cab, get tools, and replace the pins. The shoulders should be checked for such objects before snow starts to fall.
- Determine in advance where blowers will take breaks. The machines must be fueled and greased every 8-9 hours. Arrange for the route to have a parking lot, etc., where the machine may be serviced without danger to the operator or service person.
- Keep detailed records for future reference, to verify billing and to calculate savings over conventional snow removal techniques Records should include the supervisor that the machine is working for, the beginning and ending times on each route, and when the machine is transferred to another supervisor and/or route.
These simple concepts will save significant money, make the snow removal process easier, and simplify procurement, operations and billing. Please keep them in mind when you are using Alpine’s big blowers.