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Snowblowing Video Contest 2015-2016 Results

July in Vermont and we are already thinking about snow and reminiscing over snowfalls (albeit scant) from this past season.  We sponsored a snowblowing video contest where we asked you, our clients, to take video footage of our tractors at work around town in Essex and Essex Junction Vermont.  Because of the light snowfall year and because of our late start to the contest we only received 4 entries, but we have prizes and we have feedback from our distinguished panel of judges.

First a little background on our judges and the purpose of the snowblowing video contest.  We selected a panel of four peers in the residential snow removal business from both the US and Canada.

Andre Begin and Pat Michaud from Deneigement Nutripro in Brossard, Quebec, Canada.  These guys clear ~2500 driveways with 28 tractors  in Brossard and some surrounding towns.  They have been in the business since 1989 and we met them at the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) symposium last summer in Chicago.  We have been to their facility in Brossard on several occasions and have looked to them for advice on growing our business and how to overcome certain operational hurdles.

Ross Abraham from RAB Snowblowing in Grand Haven Michigan, USA.  Ross met us through the internet on a forum and seeing our video on youtube.  We met in person at the SIMA symposium in Chicago as well.  Ross’ company is almost identical to ours in size and scope with ~175 driveways and three tractors.  Ross and his wife Kim came to Vermont over Memorial day weekend and each drove tractors in the Essex Junction Memorial Day Parade.

Yeh Diab, co-founder of PlowMe.com has extensive experience with residential snow removal using different removal technologies.  We met Yeh online as well through the youtube video and have since become involved with a re-branding and expansion of PlowMe.com.  PlowMe serves the greater Boston market but the PlowMe tractor service is focused exclusively (for now) in Newton, Massachusetts.  The two PlowMe tractors served 75 driveways this first season and PlowMe.com serves over 400 driveways total.  The two PlowMe tractors live here in Vermont and you might have seen them in the Essex Junction parade.

We sponsor this snowblowing video contest for many reasons.  We want to engage you the client in our process, generate some publicity, but most importantly we use this footage for training purposes.  We as a team watch your entries to see what we are doing well and how we can do better.  They say it takes 1000 hours of operational time to become proficient and 10,000 hours to become a master.  Snow season ends up being about 200 hours of operational time so it takes 5 seasons for simple proficiency.  We use the videos to help shorten the learning curve and increase the value of operational time.  So without further adieu–the grand prize winner, a credit for up to $360 against this season’s snowblowing invoice from Greenfield Drive in Essex Green Grand Prize

and second place with a gift card towards dinner @ Essex Grill-from the Woodlands Second Place

Thank you for your participation in our contest, we look forward to working with you again this season.  We will have this contest again this season and you can enter multiple videos.  Renewals will be coming out after the block party where we will be giving out free snow cones–come and see us.  I ve included some pictures of the touch-a-truck event snow cone day we had back in May @ Sand Hill Park.

Thinking snow in May Snow Cones and Snow Tractors

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Snow in July?

Snow and climate change–leave the unpredictability and hassle to the professionals:

The weather in Vermont is somewhat fickle and most of us that grew up here live solidly by the mantra “if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes it will change.”  Currently we are in a rainy pattern and June is making a valiant effort to bring our precipitation levels back into a normal range for the year (we were ~3″ under average coming into June).  In fact according to Wunderground for Essex, VT we are 2″ ahead of the June average and it is only June 16th.  Imagine if all this rain was snow–almost 6″ of rain would be a minimum of 36″ of snow.

Climate change has added a certain feast or famine to our weather patterns.  The averages are staying pretty constant but the events are becoming more severe.  May this year was unseasonably warm (12 days above 80 degrees vs 1 day above 80 degrees in June) and almost drought stricken.  June has been cool and wet–the average of the two is ideal, but the reality has been a bit extreme.

Winters are becoming this way as well–more extreme temperatures, wildly fluctuating snow events, later start of winter, later end end of winter.  While the climate is out of our control we can provide some certainty to your schedule with our residential snow blowing service.  In winter 2014-2015 we received over 85″ of snow and we cleared 19 events over 2″ with a minimum of 19 clears of a driveway to a maximum of 57 clears of the driveway.  We take the unpredictability out of the snow fall and keep your life moving like the snow never happened.  You don’t have to worry that we will forget your house because we are so busy clearing off commercial sites because residential snow removal isn’t our afterthought it’s our only thought.

Even though it’s only June 16th we are ramping up for the 2015-2016.  Contract renewals are out and we have several early payment incentives.  On July 18th we will be at the Essex Junction block party with one of our rocking snowblowing tractors.  We will be meeting a greeting with all of our neighbors and friends.  We would encourage you and your family to join us and have a great night meeting neighbors.  During the evening we will be having a drawing to pick from those who have already paid–one lucky pre-payer will receive free driveway snow removal up to $360 of their total price.  Prices will then go up 10% after October 15th.

We look forward to working with you again this season keeping your driveway passable at a reasonable rate.  If you aren’t currently a S & D Snowblowing client we would invite you to hang up your shovel and leave your winter woes behind.  Call Hannah (802) 922-7699 or email info@snowblowvermont.com

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Tractor Snowblowing for Sports Turf

In Vermont, we know that winter is an almost 6 month affair and we have to do everything we can come March to hasten the onset of spring.  Spring sports seasons are just around the corner and rugby, baseball, lacrosse, and softball teams are getting stir crazy in the gym.  Tractor snowblowing is the best method for clearing the snow off the sports turf–synthetic or natural.  By removing the snow, the more intense spring sunshine can warm the ground, release the frost and get things dried out and greened up faster thus allowing the teams to get out of the gym and practicing in full field situations.  Snowblowing for sports turf is better than plowing because the snowblowers don’t have to push or pile the snow  to the sides of the fields.  Tractor snowblowers can set the draft control so that the blowers do not gouge the turf.  We have a blower with a plastic cutting edge for final clean up on artificial turf fields as well.  If you or someone you know is the decision maker for a high school or college athletic department or parks and recreation department we would love to schedule field snow clearing in March so that their team can be practicing outside.  Speed up spring with tractor snowblowing for sports turf.

See action shots of S & D snowblowing on an Essex Junction field here and a similar company Wikworks inc clearing turf fields in Massachusetts here.

 

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Residential Snow Removal–Not an Afterthought, Our Only Thought

Residential snow removal, whether snow plowing or snow blowing, often isn’t a priority for snow removal professionals.  After all it is the large commercial accounts with zero tolerance policies and tenth inch service triggers that pay the big bucks.  Armed with that responsibility and contractual obligation most snow removal companies simply service residential driveways as an after-thought to their larger commercial accounts.  It is very difficult for larger companies to justify equipment resources exclusively to small pay per push accounts such as residential driveways.  What happens then is the residential driveways they do service become an after the storm “afterthought”

I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to get out easily to go to work in the morning and I like to be able to get into my garage without a struggle in the afternoon.  How can I have a residential snow removal service that delivers a commercial level response time that won’t break the bank?  The answer— a tractor driven driveway snowblowing approach that takes a reasonable, fixed price seasonal contract in conjunction with the most efficient technology for clearing driveways.  The result—a winter that is free from the extra burden of clearing the driveway or worrying if the plow guy will show, more time on the slopes instead of behind the snowblower, and best of all sleeping in instead of setting your alarm clock based on the forecast.

S & D Snowblowing is committed to providing the premier residential snow removal service in our market of Essex and Essex Junction Vermont.  Contact us today and learn how “your driveway isn’t an afterthought—it’s our only thought!”

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Tractor Snowblowing for Driveways in a Nutshell

Our tractor snowblowers are not like traditional plows.  S&D Snowblowing leaves your property perfectly clean, leaves no piles of snow to block your vision, and your driveway and lawn won’t need repair in the spring.  No matter how bad the winter is, for one low payment your driveway will be cleared on time, the first time. We come back throughout the storm to make sure that for you it’s like the storm never happened.  This Vermont snowblowing service is equal to none other!

While using tractors with blowers for residential snow removal isn’t a new idea, it is a new idea to our market. In our search for a better tool, we turned to our friends in Canada and studied how they handle the mass amounts of snow they receive each year. That’s where S&D Snowblowing found the tractor/blower combination, and saw its potential in our market.

A 100hp tractor can service approximately four times more customers per hour than a pickup truck with a front plow. Yes, one tractor/blower can do the work of four trucks. So not only is S&D Snowblowing able to provide a better service by blowing instead of plowing, we are also eliminating wasted fuel from multiple trucks, which not only saves expense, but also saves the environment. Because of the saved expenses, S&D Snowblowing is able to both lower the price of our service, AND increase value by blowing instead of plowing.

Tractor snowblowing has three distinct advantages over traditional snowplowing service:

  1. It’s efficient.  The snowblowers have the distinct advantage of handling snow from 2”-12” at the same pace—meaning our rate of service remains mostly unchanged with the severity of the snowstorm.
  2. It’s clean. Tractor-driven snowblowing leaves behind no snow piles or lawn damage and leaves your property intact while clearing your driveway better than a plow ever could.
  3. It’s budget friendly.  You don’t have to worry about incurring bills when that Nor’easter hits; one reasonable price keeps your driveway clean through the entire winter!

 What does the service include?

We begin our route at 2” of snow, and we shoot for a five hour complete cycle time.  When the tractors come to your house, they will service as much of the driveway as they can safely access.  When the route is complete we revisit to make sure we get everything left by the city plows. The day after the snow stops we run through the route again starting at 9 AM and insure snow is clear from where cars may have been parked during the storm.

How much does it cost?

Residential driveways are billed a fixed price ranging from $300 to $450 for the season. This allows you to keep your household budget/expenditures level from year to year, and it helps us fix our costs by investing in technology used exclusively for this service and paying our tractor drivers a salary. Our pricing will not suddenly change; if it snows everyday until Spring, our one low rate locks you in and digs you out!

If you are interested in a quote, or would like more information about our service, please contact us or see us in action.

photo 2

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Environmental Benefits of Tractor Snowblowing

Winter is now in full swing and a blast of Arctic air is really pummeling the Champlain Valley with low temperatures and scary wind chills.  We have had a strange brew of snowfall this year and winter is far from over.  I thought that I would take this opportunity on a cold night to take some time to really break down some of the benefits of the tractor snowblowing system.  Environmentally tractor snowblowing has many benefits over both traditional trucks and plows as well as your personal snowblower.

Environmental benefits begin with efficiency.  The tractor snowblowers take between 1 minute and 6 minutes to clear a driveway depending on the size of the driveway.  Some driveways can even be cleared in less than a minute.  An average two car wide, two car deep driveway takes between 60 and 90 seconds to clear with the tractor.  This time remains unchanged even in snow depths up to 12″.  Personal walk behind snow blowers are much more affected by snow depth and moisture content.  Driveway clearing times with personal walkbehind snowblowers are exceptionally variable.  The same two car wide, two car deep driveway would take a personal walk behind snowblower about 3o minutes in up to about 8 inches of snow accumulation–more time for deeper snows. The tractor-blowers burn between 2.5 and 4 gallons of diesel per hour (depending on engine load).  With good route density a tractor and blower can clear between 20 and 40 drives per hour.  Smaller drives in really tight neighborhoods and a tractor blower can clear upwards of 50 drives per hour.  This driver here keeps pace at a drive per minute.  At 20 drives per hour and fuel usage of 3 gallons per hour we get fuel consumption of .15 gallons per driveway.  Most personal walkbehind snowblowers consume between .75 and 1 gallon per hour calculating out to between .375 gallon and .5 gallon per driveway usage rate—double to triple the usage of a tractor blower.  Newer diesel engines also have emissions controls while small engines on personal walkbehind snowblowers are some of the least emission controlled engines available.  Read more on small engine emissions here.  Less fuel consumption, less emissions–using a tractor snowblowing service brings significant environmental benefits.

Save your time, save your back, save your money, and save the environment with a tractor snowblowing service.  

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Snowblowing 2014

Late September and the temperature is see-sawing all over the place as we transition from summer into autumn.  Predictions are flying from the Farmer’s Almanac about the coming winter.  The general consensus is an El Nino pattern and a cold and snowy winter for Essex and Essex Junction Vermont.  Winter is just around the corner and we are preparing to serve our clients in Essex and Essex Junction with one of a kind snowblowing operations focused exclusively on residential clients.

We are currently running call in discussions on AM 1230 WJOY every Monday morning @ 8:20–you can tune in to learn more about the service.  If you have questions you would like us to address on the air please email info@snowblowvermont.com.  We are also cruising through the neighborhoods in our service area making a database of all the driveways and the base pricing.  This will allow no delay–when a client calls in or emails in we can simply consult the list and immediately respond with a price.  We are about 25% complete with this project.  We have also registered our snowblowing service with Project Evergreen/Snowcare for Troops to provide complimentary service for families of deployed servicemen or service women.  If you qualify please register through their site and they will contact us–Thank you for your service.  Renewals are out in full force and we welcome back our clients from last season.  Like seasons passes at a ski resort the best deal on our service comes when you pay by October 15th.  Please do not hesitate to get your renewal and payment back to us.  This service works best for both client and company with dense service areas–concentrated driveways allows us to focus tractors in smaller geographic spaces and gives your driveway more prompt attention.  We are offering our clients a $25.00 discount (unlimited) for every new client they refer that signs on with S & D snowblowing.  In order to qualify for the referral the new clients must not be current snowblowing clients or current landscaping clients of S & D Landscapes LLC.  We will be going through the equipment shortly and getting things setup for the coming weather.  At that time, our tractors will be cruising through our service area to generate more interest and to answer any questions your or your neighbors might have.  We have expanded our service area slightly–see the map below showing the neighborhoods where we offer snowblowing.

 

We encourage you to take it easy this winter and make the easy choice.  S & D Snowblowing for convenient, environmentally friendly, fixed price snow removal service. (802) 922-7699

Think Snow.

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The Skeptic’s Guide to Believing

Things are busy here at S & D Snowblowing as we prepare for the oncoming winter months.  There is much preparation needed to equipment, staff, and clients to make sure that we can offer our service with as few glitches as possible.  We just took delivery of our second tractor and our new blowers arrive either Friday or Monday.  We are currently out hanging door hangers and engaging with our target neighborhoods to educate our clientele about our one-of-a-kind residential snow removal services that is contract based with no hidden fees.  During our discussions we have encountered a few skeptics—let’s look at our case studies below.

1.)    I own a snowblower and I am capable of doing my driveway myself:  I would like to first ask you what your time is worth—if you own an average driveway you are looking at a commitment of about one hour per storm for clearing.  This doesn’t include the time required to clean up the banks that the city plow leaves across the driveway on the clean-up pass.  On average we receive 17 to 20 snow events over 2” which adds up to a time commitment of at least 15 hours.  If you earn $25 per hour this represents a lost opportunity cost of $375 not to mention the lost family time or the hassle of getting up early to get things cleared before work and school.  Don’t over value a snowblower asset and undervalue your far more valuable time.

2.)   I’m skeptical of the seasonal contract:  The seasonal contract can be a bit of a scary concept as it is money up front—where does it go?  We have invested in ag tractors, inverted snowblowers, which while they can do an impressive amount of work also command a fairly aggressive price tag.  We also pay our operators a salary whether it snows or doesn’t so that we can keep them off of unemployment and create a company that provides sustainable jobs.  In essence we have discovered a technology that can reduce the time to clear your drive to a window so small we can offer a ridiculously low price.  In an average snowfall season our fee averages out to about $5 to $7 every time we clear the drive.  To get it this low we ask you to share some of the risk up front.  In return we give you prompt, predictable, and affordable service.

3.)   I don’t currently pay for a service:  We believe that our service is priced in such a way that it is affordable for almost all homeowners and as illustrated above the time saved not having to clear the driveway can provide opportunity to more than cover the cost of the service.  The benefits compared to a plowing service are astounding (no sight blocking piles, no lawn and landscape damage)  This is a tried and true service in Canada, and several cities across the US.  We are excited to be the first to bring it to Vermont and offer it to homeowners.  If you don’t currently use a snow removal service I would ask you to consider the value of your time and the cost benefit we can offer for this often tedious task.

S & D Snowblowing is Essex, Vermont’s premier residential driveway snow removal solution.

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Welcome to S&D Snowblowing

Although it seems simple enough, there has been tremendous innovation in the snowblowing snow removal method and this state-of-the-art innovation is now offered by S&D to select neighborhoods in Essex and Essex Junction, Vermont.

Shoveling or snowblowing snow is a tedious, time consuming, and unpredictable task.  A big snowstorm can hit on the morning you have a big presentation to give at work—instead of last minute preparations and an early departure to deal with snowy road quality you are out sweating in the drive to clear a path to your street.  You rush back inside to shower and collect your things and return to your car only to see the city plow “bank in” the bottom of your driveway.  Leave the task to the professionals at S&D Snowblowing.

We use large 4 x 4 agricultural tractors with inverted PTO snowblowers to ensure rapid, thorough clearing of any amount of snow.  Each snowblower is outfitted with a Teflon like cutting edge and will not damage even the most sensitive paved surfaces—pavers and concrete.  We do not at this time provide services to those with gravel driveways.  We back in towards the garage and pull the snow away and blow the snow off into the lawn and landscape.  We do not leave piles that block sight-lines like a plow, and we have no need to go on the grass which can cause significant lawn damage.

Our program relies on a fixed priced contract for the snow season running from November 15th to April 15th with monies due before services will commence.  This allows you to accurately budget your snow removal expenses from season to season—with no surprises.

We offer unlimited clearing over our 2” trigger and we have a 5 hour route time so in the case of a continuous snow fall your driveway would be cleared twice in a ten-hour period—getting you out to work and back in at the end of the day.  We also return after 10 AM the day after the snow (you will need to have all cars removed) and we perform a final clearing—we truly do define unlimited snow removal.

From an environmental standpoint blowing snow onto the pervious landscape is much better for storm water remediation than leaving piles to melt and run-off in the street.  Because we clear to a thin film (as close to the pavement as possible) there may only be minimal to no need for ice melting products.  We can sell to you an icemelter called CMA that is pavement and landscape friendly.

Our neighborhoods of service for 2013-2014 snow season are:

  • Logwood Circle, Greenfield Drive, Alderbrook Road, Greenbriar Drive, Hillside Circle
  • Pinewood Manor
  • Woodlands and Woodlands Glen at Lang Farm
  • Fairview Farm
  • Countryside

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us or email—We look forward to taking the hassle out of your snow removal this winter.

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