It comes equipped with a plow, several engines and a laser. Don’t worry, the laser is just for guidance.
A plow needs to be able to hold up on a slick surface and move heavy snow, and can’t rely on GPS while surrounded by buildings in an urban landscape, both tough for a small machine.
Want to see M.A.C.S. in action? Watch its journey from workroom to snowplow victory right here!
Whether it was a crystal ball, reading tea leaves or just dumb luck, Chris Marino made the decision to go snow-only at the right time.
In 1991 I opened up my landscape company (C&M Landscapes) and we did that until 2007, when we sold the business.
I also wanted the site to have a certain “wow factor.” I wanted it to appear that we were bigger than we were... to give the impression that we were a big-time national company.
What is the best way to price your service? Is it by the hour, seasonal, by depth, per event, per push or maybe even what the client is willing to pay?
On the surface, hourly rate pricing is the easiest way to match or beat a competitor’s price. However, there are a few questions your clients must ask before deciding on a cheaper hourly rate. For example: What type and size of equipment am I getting for that price and how experienced is the operator of that equipment?
Have you heard of the Neave Group in New York? If you haven’t, then you haven’t been keeping up with social media for the snow industry. The company, headed by Scott Neave, has been making a push to be visible in all online media. There are updates over at their Facebook page, @Scott_Neave on Twitter and even a regular blog.
Checking out the feeds right now, you might notice a lot of information about the company and summer landscaping projects. It might seem like a waste of time for a landscaper who does snow removal to talk about those projects online. But keeping winter clients aware of summer work might open up new revenue, and acts as a live portfolio that might give otherwise seasonal clients new ideas.
But the best part is that staying active now means being on top of both search results and on quick recall for property managers later. What better way to convince clients it’s time to start preparing snow plans early (giving yourself plenty of time to get ready for the season) than to get the word out through social media. Show some sample plans you’re using and you establish even more credibility.
It doesn’t have to be the full social media blitz @Scott_Neave is taking on, but a little time now could make the shift in seasons more smooth later.
Once you check out the story of Monocular Autonomously-Controlled Snowplow,” on page 30, be sure to head online to Snow Magazine online, or just type http://bit.ly/k6etIk into your web browser to see the robot’s journey from parts to plowing machine.
Grand Forks, N.D., winters are as bitterly cold as they are long. So by the time the season is over, most snow contractors are content to put their winter maintenance equipment away and prepare for warm-weather work.
“When the customer calls, we’re there in a timely manner, and we get the job done right,” said Bohlman.