How to Look for a Snow Plowing and Salting Service Company

Originally posted on December 23, 2013

There is something magical about snow, but these romantic notions vanish when you realize that snow can be a pain, especially when it’s time to clearing the driveway. If you can’t be bothered to clear the snow yourself for reasons involving time and a busy schedule, you’re better off getting a snow plowing and salting service company to handle the job.
Here are some tips on what to do when finding one.
1. Don’t hit the Yellow Pages, look for referrals
There’s no denying that the Yellow Pages are an important tool for finding businesses in your area. However, the Yellow Pages don’t tell you what you need to know about how good (or bad) a snow plowing and salting company’s services are. All businesses look alike on paper, and they all pretty much tell you the same thing: “We’re the best!”
You’re better off relying on ‘Word of Mouth.’ Look for referrals from family, friends, and neighbors on which companies can be trusted and offer the best value for money. This is the best kind of advertising money can’t buy.
2. Look for an address
A snow plowing and salting company with no address is always a warning sign you should heed. Steer clear from companies that don’t have a permanent physical address, and no, a PO box doesn't count. A reputable company, no matter how small will always have a physical address. Unscrupulous companies usually have just a phone number and PO box listed as their contact information.
3. List down at least four companies instead of just one
It makes perfect sense to narrow down your search to four promising companies instead of just one. Try to talk to as many snow and salting service companies as you can, and select four companies that you like. After that, you can go deeper by making comparisons between the four, taking into account their rates, freebies, location, and other such factors.
4. Be specific about what you need and ask for exact an exact quote
When talking to a company, be sure to highlight just what areas you need cleared of snow and salted. Are you looking at clearing just the driveway, or do you also want snow off nearby sidewalks and steps? Each area will have a corresponding cost, so let the company know of this to get an exact quote of their rates. This is important because depending on the company’s rates, you may be better off just shoveling the sidewalk yourself and have only the driveway cleared to save money.
5. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid questions, no matter how stupid it may sound. Snow removal and salting services don’t come cheap, so you might as well try and get your money’s worth.
Some good questions to ask are:
a. How long have you been in business? Is this a legally registered business?
b. How many employees and trucks do you have?
c. What kind of equipment do you work with? Do you use a snowplow or manually remove snow with shovels?
d. Do you have liability insurance?
e. How often will you clear the snow? Will you monitor snowfall levels and come to my premises automatically, or       do I need to make a call?
f. Do you offer discounts for regular customers?