Aquilino offers some professional insight to assist in making the best decision for your snow and ice management operation.
Don’t Make Excuses There’s too much equipment to buy. Do I pretreat, post-treat or both? I may still need to use a granular product. Aquilino says excuses like theses are simply questions that need to be research in order to find the answers that relate to your operations. Instead, start small and grow slowly to address each of these issues. “Dip your toe in and look for repeatable successes and then expand upon those (to grow your liquid operation).”
Take advantage of industry associations, publications and online groups that can share available educational material and data on brine use and can direct you to industry professionals and suppliers who will share their knowledge and experiences, Aquilino says. “There’s a ton of great information out there that you can use to make better decisions,” he says. “The resources are there.”
Editor's Notebook: Put Away The Rock Salt
Manufacturer claims its equipment’s unique design clears pavement without the need for deicing.
Originally geared for the municipal and highway markets, newcomer Snow Lion is refocusing its marketing efforts to bring its line of unique ice clearing tools to the commercial snow contractor.
Snow Lion is a Chinese company now doing business out of Reno, Nev. It’s had success in the municipal highway markets along the West Coast in California, Alaska and Canada, says Bob Burger, a consultant working with Snow Lion. Recently, the company expanded its product line from 14 units to 40 ice-breaking and snowpack-removal systems. These systems can be attached to front-end loaders, wheel loaders, graders, tractors and, recently, traditional plow trucks. Compared to traditional snow and ice clearing methods, the company claims its equipment is seven times more cost effective and efficient, and results in a 50 percent to 85 percent reduction in labor.
That technology is based on an articulated, multi-wheel ice crushing system. “So, you’ll have one end high and one end low with maybe a crown in the middle,” Burger says. “The articulation takes care of that, whereas a solid wheel going across the width of the road can cause you some problems.” And that’s all without the use of rock salt, brine or other ice mitigation chemicals, and without marring the pavement surface, according to the company.
Of interest to commercial snow contractors is the compact WS12N model, which features articulating crushing wheels to attack hard-pack ice and a plow blade for clearing ice from sidewalk pavement. “It uses the exact same patented technology for mechanical pulverization of ice/compacted snow as our larger units in just a smaller size,” says Snow Lion Business Development Manager Alan Di Stefano.
In addition, a three-year study recently released by Waterloo University/Ontario Ministry of Transportation seemingly validates Snow Lion’s claims on performance. According to the study: “Results show that the mechanical icebreakers are effective in removing packed snow from the road surface compared to the conventional methods and can achieve bare pavement much earlier, which could result in substantial safety and mobility benefits besides reduction in resources utilized and environmental benefits while having no negative impacts on pavement surface.”
“This report not only validates this new technology as superior to traditional ice removal techniques, such as using salt, brine or other chemicals, but it also works at below zero temperatures where salt is not effective,” Di Stefano say. “It also validates our performance claims.”
The systems aren’t cheap, running between $20,000 and $30,000 for contractor-grade units, with municipal and highway units considerably more expensive. However, if the material and labor cost reduction are accurate, commercial snow and ice management contractors could see their ROI rather quickly. At this time, the company is focusing its sales efforts on snow and ice operations with large footprints in their respective markets.
Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Events; One Recap
ASCA Executive Director Kevin Gilbride discusses what was accomplished by co-locating Snow Show and Executive Summit this year.
Anytime you do something different there is always anxiety as things begin to unfold. That’s the feeling I fostered in the weeks leading up to the ASCA’s Snow Show and Executive Summit, which took place in Pittsburgh last week.
For nearly 10 years, Executive Summit has been the industry best management-level conference, gathering many of the industry’s leading commercial contractors for high-level education and networking. We have always described the Executive Summit experience as education focused on your business. Whether it’s marketing, financial management, strategic planning, or learning how to read someone’s body language, Executive Summit offers topics not found at your typical industry events.
The Snow Show, previously held in May, brings more industry-based education into the fold. Focused on the day-to-day operations of your snow and ice management company. Topics include deicing, routing, safety, processes and procedures, even how to prep for ISO certification. The bottom line is the Snow Show delivers a full array of education to assist in your day-to-day operations.
In co-locating our two marque events, the intent was to reduce the number of trips for attendees, while enhancing the experience for both events. As I observed the educational sessions at the Snow Show, I knew we had succeeded in delivering on attendees’ expectations. Nearly full session rooms, with many of the sessions running a little long due to the valuable interactions between attendees and speakers/panelists.
Through the show, watching attendees network and learn from each other, hearing the positive feedback on the depth of the education, and looking around the floor and seeing so many new attendees I knew we had succeeded in our mission.
As we morphed into Executive Summit, the crowd settled in with the same enthusiasm we’ve come to expect. The education was great and the feedback was as positive as it has been any other year. The leadership winners, tributes, and awards ceremony was both powerful and emotional. A great group of industry leaders sharing their success stories.
As I returned home at week’s end, that feeling of anxiety turned into a feeling of satisfaction. A feeling that was confirmed as I flipped through social media throughout the weekend and saw post after post reminiscing about the event, the attendees’ awards, and the awards banquet.
At the heart of it all was an organic and enthusiastic outpouring of leaders proud of the work accomplished by their teams, their company and the ASCA. And from that, I confidently placed two more tallies in 2019’s win column.
Kevin Gilbride is the ASCA’s Executive Director. Reach him at email@example.com
ASCA announces special Connecticut snow academy
Half-day August seminar in Hartford focuses on educating contractors on the impact of and doing business under the new hold-harmless law.
The Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) has announced a special session of its Snow Academy for the Connecticut snow and ice management community to discuss the impact of the recently adopted Commercial Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act.
The ASCA's model legislation prohibits clients from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses. Versions of this legislation have been adopted into law in Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut, and is under consideration by Massachusetts state legislators.
The half-day itinerary features ASCA Executive Director Kevin Gilbride, ASCA General Counsel Josh Ferguson, and Noah Sherman from Mill's Insurance.
Ferguson, will dial down on how the new law may require modifications to contract language, while Gilbride will provide a strategic overview on the new law's impact on sales. Sherman will discuss the new law's influence on insurance coverage.
CLICK HERE for a complete Hartford Snow Academy schedule.
The event takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Hartford/Windsor Airport Marriott.
The event is $75 for ASCA Members and $99 for Non-Members. You may register for the event by CLICKING HERE.
You may also register in-person the day of the event.
Pennsylvania's General Assembly considers ASCA model legislation
ASCA: Goal now is for Pa.'s contractor community to educate and lobby for HB 1702.
The proposed legislation, House Bill 1702, prohibits clients from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses. This legislation has been adopted into law in Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut, and is under consideration in Massachusetts.
HB 1702, introduced by Rep.Thomas P. Murt, has been assigned to the House Insurance Committee for discussion.
ASCA Executive Director Kevin Gilbride says he’s encouraged by the chances of this legislation getting through the state legislature and on to the governor’s desk.
“At this juncture, the key to success is generate grassroots support from the state’s professional snow and ice management community to educate legislators and lobby for the bill’s passage,” Gilbride says. “It’s a game plan that has proven successful for us in other states.”
Keystone State snow fighters learned more during a special meeting at the 2019 Snow Show, which took place in Pittsburgh in late July.
PA SnowPros played host the the meeting, which served to educate and rally support for HB 1702. The ASCA’s model legislation prohibits clients from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses.
Versions of the ASCA's model legislation have been adopted into law in Illinois, Colorado, and most recently in Connecticut, due primarily to grassroots legislative efforts from within those states’ snow and ice management communities.