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.