• Online Events For Landscapers!
    With GIE+EXPO cancelled, virtual education and product launches are filling up the fall. Check out dates for Caterpillar, Exmark, NALP, and more. Click here to learn more.

How to get snow totals?

Mike_Smith

LawnSite Member
This is for a per storm charging obviously.
What do you guys think is the best way to get snow totals for a storm-
-Measure the driveway yourself(wouldn't you lose money because snow settles and you'll actually be measuring less, also wasting time.)
-Get a national weather service report of a place that is about 30 miles away, but is basically in the same storm track and aproxiamley the same snowfall totals
???
I'm talking about plowing simsbury and then using windsor locks reports for all you people from connecticut.
Thanks ahead.
 

diggerman

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Iowa
We go by what the local newscasters measurements, were it seems like they like to make it seem like a bigger storm than it usually was, so we tend to do well by his calculations.Also people don't argue if it's the amount they heard on the news
 
S

snow

Guest
well, unless you plan on getting out of the truck and measuring every snow fall, i'd just stick to how many times you plow it. you bill on 0-3", 4-6",etc. u don't need to measure every driveway. just look outside and you can get good at the amount of inches that are on the ground. if you still want to measure, do it at one driveway, just to see what price range you bill for. i'll let the experts add more info.


bryan
 

BRL

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Somerset, NJ
Check this site out. If you're goiung to do your own measurements, there is a page with the exact directions for accurate measurement. Or, you could try to find one of the observation sites that may be close to you. The second site you can also use to find someone in your area who tracks weather observastions in general, however there is no verification of these people's observation & measurement techniques. Its simply everyday people posting info from whatever weather equipment they have.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/snowpln.htm

http://www.ems.psu.edu/wx/viewobs.html

Also, if there are any large colleges or universities in your area with a weather department, they usually provide storm totals. You could also check with local radio stations to see if the have weather forecasters & equipment on site & do their own forecasts. Many of them buy their weather reports from other sources though so make sure.
Also, find the closest place to your accounts to use. Know your general winter weather patterns also. During any storm in my area there can be a few inches of difference in storm totals by only driving 5 - 10 miles from my house. I do some work in an urban area & the totals are always less there. Also, being in central NJ, our weather is affected greatly by storm tracks and their proximity to the coast. There can be rain or mix at some of my accounts, and others getting 4" - 6" during the same storm. And all of my snow accounts are within a 15 mile radius.

 

plowking35

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
S.E. CT
Snow is so geographically senstive that 1 mile can make a huge difference is storm totals. The NWS and local media dont have a clue. We measure each site, on a table or wall that is elevated to get an accurate measurement. And they are marked on the route sheet.
What snow said about charging for the amount present at each plowing is what we do. Just be sure to have that stated in the contract.
Dino
 
OP
M

Mike_Smith

LawnSite Member
Yeah, thats what I'm going to do is to measure snowfall present on site at the driveway, but I'll only measure one driveway in the area since all the accounts are very close to each other. Should I measure on the driveway itself? I don't think there will be a table at every account. How do you have time to measure each account?
 

plowking35

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
S.E. CT
Measure on the grass, elevated surface or concrete. Paved areas retain heat and may melt some of the snowfall. This is very appearant in early/late snow storms.
We dont measeure every account, we have many seasonals that we plow and service with no limitation on amounts of snowfall.
We do it primarily so I know, and to check snow fall rates.
The table is right next to a access road I plow, and I always have a tape measure with me. I service the property every hour during a storm, so I just add the amount to the last measurement I had, and presto hourly snow fall rates.
This is good for me, cause I then move trucks to the aplicabale properties that need constant service, and can call in more subs as needed.
Dino
 
Top