Understanding Snow and Ice Removal Contracts

Budgeting for snow and ice removal can be challenging. Some winters are one snowstorm after another, while others can be extremely dry. Because of the fluctuating amounts of precipitation each winter, it may seem hard to make the best decision for your snow and ice removal needs. Terracare understands these challenges and has the right contract for your needs. We offer three unique contracts that allow our clients to select the best fee structure that meets both their needs and budget. Below is a description of these snow and ice contracts to simplify the process.

Lump Sum Price

A lump sum price is usually the safest contract to decide upon. It allows the client to pay a fixed amount per month and no matter how much or how little it snows, our crews will be there. Many clients love having a fixed amount because they do not have to worry about the price fluctuating throughout the season. The bill is always the same. In addition, another beneficial aspect is that we will have crews on-site at the property. Whenever it snows you can feel at ease knowing the snow will be cleared without delay.

Snow PlowPay Per-Push

This type of contract is for property managers that just want to pay for when it does snow. If there is no accumulation then the clients are not billed. However, when it does snow our crews will be on-call and will be dispatched accordingly. This contract also allows the client to set a fixed amount of snow whether it be any snow at all or a couple of inches before we send our crews out. The benefit of this contract is that if the client believes the winter is going to be particularly dry than they save the money that would have been spent on a fixed contract. The risk of pay per-push is if there is large amount of accumulation then you will be paying for each snowstorm that year. There also is a delay because the crews are on-call instead on on-site.

Hybrid

The last contract that we offer is a combination of the first two. A hybrid contract allows the client to set a base limit of hours that they pay for up front and then after that limit is reached they switch to the pay per-push contract. This contract is valuable to clients that want to make sure they have our crews on-site and available in case a storm does happens. Clients that usually utilize this contract are larger such as cities or municipalities.

What’s next?

Take time now to plan and be prepared. Let Terracare do the rest. Our snow and ice removal experts at Terracare have a vast amount of knowledge and experience. If you have any other, questions about snow and ice removal or want more information on which contract best fits your needs feel free to reach out to us.

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Bailey Winfield- Leadership Earned

Bailey Winfield began his career with Terracare in 2013 and has continued to make a positive impact at our Centennial branch. He began his career with TCA as a Snowplow Driver and continued on to a public infrastructure General Laborer, then transitioned to Asphalt Crew Member. From there he went to be a Yard and Sweeping Foreman and Trainer and currently is an Assistant Production Manager.

Bailey’s career at Terracare however is only half the story. Before he began his career with Terracare, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving as a sniper and a Platoon Sergeant in Afghanistan. He also was responsible for managing 23 million dollars’ worth of equipment. This experience in the army combined with his understanding from working his way up at Terracare has made for a phenomenal leader. As Ruben Alonso Garcia Hernandez, a Labor Maintenance Crew Member who reports to Bailey said, “he is one of the best leaders we have at Terracare right now because he understands what it’s like to be in the field. He worked his way up from the bottom to where he is now. He can really relate to the crews he is in charge of and he builds them up with the understanding he gained from being in their same position throughout his career.” TCA is grateful to Bailey for his many contributions and his leadership in the field. We are proud of your service to our country and all you have done for Terracare Associates.

Tips for Driving Safely with Snowplows

Winter is just around the corner. Municipalities, cities, DOTs, and others are gearing up for the winter by preparing their snowplow crews and equipment. We can all learn valuable lessons from these agencies by preparing our vehicles and ourselves for the upcoming season.

 

Snowplows serve to make the community and roads passable during the worst winter weather. Snowplows are fitted with heavy, wide plows on the front of the truck to clear as much snow and ice from the road as possible – this means sometimes they may cross the centerline, shoulder of the road or make other moves in their effort to provide a driving surface the general public can navigate. If you encounter a plow, slow down and give them the space they need to perform their task. Your best chance to arrive at your destination safely is to stay behind the plow as the worst of the conditions are in front of the plow. It’s important that everyone, from individual drivers to plow operators, stay safe on the road to get home safely so here are some tips.

 

Prepare your vehicle

It is good practice to maintain your vehicle year round, however it is especially important to winterize your vehicle to avoid the dangers of frigid winter weather.

Check the following before snow begins to fall:

 

  • Wiper blades and windshield washer fluid
  • Battery
  • Ignition system
  • Brakes
  • Electrical system
  • Tires
  • Antifreeze
  • Heater and defrost system

 

Additionally it’s recommended to carry blankets, booster cable, a flashlight and extra batteries, snow scraper and shovel.

 

When driving:

  • Give snowplows room to do their job. It’s best practice to not tailgate or try to pass a snowplow while it’s in working.
  • As a general rule, stay at least 200 feet behind a snowplow.
  • Plows pushing snow can create a cloud which can blind drivers who are following too closely.
  • These are large, heavy vehicles and the drivers are intent on their task at hand, don’t be another distraction to the plow driver. They cannot stop in a short distance.
  • There may be spreaders on trucks to distribute salt or sand on the road, these can cause damage to cars if driving too close, stay back to protect your car and you.
  • Always turn on your headlights, and have plenty of fuel and wiper fluid (carrying an extra gallon is a good idea) and have appropriate tires for winter driving conditions.
  • Don’t over estimate your braking capabilities, many 4 X 4 vehicles are heavier than normal, thus the braking distance is greater. Your traction is determined by weight and tire tread. Sand or cat litter in your trunk will add weight and can be used if you do need help with traction.
  • Leave extra space between you and the vehicles in front and behind you.
  • Bridge decks freeze first so take extra caution when driving on these.
  • Remember to always buckle up!
  • Ignore the phone and email until you get to your destination. There are other people on the road that deserve your attention.
  • Most importantly, SLOW DOWN!

 

It is not too late to get help with your snow removal needs. Send us a note or give us a call, we’ll get back to you with a proposal and estimate for how we can help you.

Snow season is coming, we’re preparing

At Terracare Associates, we like to prepare. As fall weather settles in and gives way to cooler temperatures, we are preparing our company, teams and equipment to handle colder, nastier weather conditions including freezing rain, blizzards and ice storms in the communities we operate in. Preparation now is essential; it allows us to perform timely, accurate and thorough work when winter conditions and weather hits quickly. Here is what we are currently doing to prepare our teams and clients for the upcoming winter season:

 

  • Hiring Staff. These team members are essential to keeping the communities we operate in safe and their roads clear. Staff is typically on-call from October through mid-May. While you stay warm at home, these dedicated team members are in trucks, on ATVs, even out shoveling so the community has access to as safe of conditions as possible. (Looking for extra work? Check out our careers page and apply!)
  • Training. Training is an on-going process at Terracare Associates. Once staff is hired on, we do conduct an “All Staff” orientation in early October which includes video training, necessary paperwork, equipment training and a driving test with a snow plow. Depending on our contracts with clients, we create curriculum and training around individual routes so our drivers are familiar with the routes before they are deployed to these routes during bad weather conditions.
  • Setting expectations. Our managers have thorough discussions with property managers and owners, and municipality staff to clarify the expectations of service delivery expected for each snow event. We work with property managers to plan and prepare for a variety of conditions and weather including managing tree and property damage from early season storms, huge storms that may disable an area for a while and more.
  • Preparing vehicles. Currently, our full-time personnel have started the process of changing over our vehicles from summer work to the winter outfitting of snow plows and sanders. They are running through safety and equipment checklists that include examining and checking tires and conducting preventive maintenance.
  • De-icing materials. Our team is in the process of gathering, cataloging and preparing materials to combat snowy and icy conditions on the roads. We’ve placed orders on ice melt material orders for most of our municipal contracts and will soon be ordering those same materials for the properties we currently partner with and serve.

 

If you have not made arrangements for snow removal this season, give us a call or send us a request for proposal and a manager will be in touch to address your needs.

Drive safely and stay warm.

5 tips for handling snow-damaged trees

snow-damaged trees
A broken tree branch. Photo courtesy of Hope Carmody & 9News (KUSA-Denver).

Spring snowstorms – like the snowstorm Denver just experienced – often create wet, heavy snow and the snow’s weight can cause considerable damage to a property’s trees and shrubs. Here are 5 tips for handling snow-damaged trees and shrubs:

Assess the area. Before clearing branches, make sure the surrounding area is safe. Broken tree branches often affect and damage utility lines. Be sure to take the proper steps to ensure the situation is safe – this could mean cutting the power to those lines until clean up can be handled.

Check the damage. Trees and shrubs that bend under the weight of the snow will recover. If a tree is overall healthy and possess its main branch, most of its major limbs, and 50 percent or more of its crown (top branches), then the tree has good chances of making a full recovery.

Be patient. There is little during a snowstorm, or in the immediate days following, that you can do to help a tree. Remove any hazards and broken branches, but save major decisions for later. Concentrate on how to save the tree rather than making an impulse decision to chop it down.

Don’t over prune. Remove and prune the damaged parts of the tree. The tree might look uneven for a bit however trees quickly grow new foliage that will soon cover up the bare areas.

Seek help. If the job requires a chainsaw or later or is just too much to handle, contact an insured, certified commercial company that can help assess the situation and with the clean up.

For more information when it comes to assessing and cleaning up damaged trees, visit 9News.com or the Colorado State Forest Service website.

Terracare Associates leaders in outdoor maintenance for commercial and public properties.  Find best practices, tips and industry news at Terracare Talks.