Snow removal and snow plowing are often confused. Many businesses mistakenly use them interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference.
Snow removal refers to removing all of the snow from a property, not just pushing the snow from roads and driveways into piles. Snow removal relies on heavy machinery such as front-end loaders and dump trucks to clear sidewalks, curbs or or areas where snow piles have accumulated from plowing.
The cost of snow removal depends on the size of the property, the amount of snow and your geographic area. It is common to see rates of $50 to $100 per hour for each piece of heavy equipment used. Business owners should sign a contract with a snow removal company before winter begins to lock in a rate for the season and ensure prompt service.
- Safer - Your property is much safer when all of the snow has been removed. Visitors are less likely to slip on sidewalks or icy patches. Drivers are less likely to have accidents caused by big snow piles obstructing their vision.
- Ideal for tight spaces - Snow removal is a great option for small properties where snow piles simply take up too much space.
- More expensive - Complete snow removal is significantly more expensive than basic snow plowing.
Snow plowing refers simply to removing snow from drivable surfaces such as roads, driveways and parking lots. The snow is pushed into piles or the side of the road, where it remains until it melts or is cleared in a separate snow removal process.
Snow plowing rates also vary based on geographic location, the size of the property and, to a lesser extent, the amount of snow. Some plow companies charge by the “push,” with rates ranging from $25 per push for residential driveways to several hundred for large commercial customers. Other plow companies charge by the hour or negotiate a flat-rate for the season.
- Less expensive - Opting only for snow plowing, not snow removal, is much more economical. If you’re on a tight budget, it might be all you can afford.
- Not as comprehensive - Snow plowing accomplishes the important task of making your roads and parking lots passable, but it leaves behind a lot of snow. Sidewalks and curbs will have mounds of snow, and big piles will accumulate throughout the property.
- Not as safe - If you hire a plow guy but decide to skip snow removal, your property won’t be as safe. Pedestrians could slip or fall on sidewalks or icy patches. Drivers could get in accidents because their view is obstructed by snow piles.
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