Winter in Northeast Ohio brings freezing temperatures, shorter days, and lots of the white stuff -- snow and ice.

Despite the falling precipitation, people still need to get to their destinations, whether that’s employees going to an office park, visitors going to a hospital, students going to school, or shoppers making it out to a retail facility. Your parking lot needs to be accessible and snow and ice just gets in the way. You know the negative effects a snow-covered parking lot and entryway can have on your operations.

A lot of snow requires quite a bit of heavy lifting.

Luckily, snow removal companies are there to help you take care of that heavy snow and thick ice to ensure easy access to your facility.

As you might expect, snow and ice removal services come with price tags. As you’re looking for a professional to take on your job, you’re probably wondering about commercial snow removal costs in Northeast Ohio.

There are quite a few factors that can impact snow removal pricing -- from equipment to labor to overhead and materials. Let’s learn more about each of them and then talk about how to best set up your snow and ice removal contract to ensure you’re covered no matter what Mother Nature brings.

Commercial Snow Removal Costs

Choosing the right commercial snow plowing company can be tough. No two companies are the same, and Northeast Ohio winters are always unpredictable.

The goal for any commercial facility eager to avoid business delays due to random snow and ice storms is to plan early and secure your contract so you aren’t taken by surprise and have a professional on board to help in a pinch.

snow pile in front of plow

But you want to not only make sure your needs are met, but also that the services align with your budget. We understand that. No one wants to exceed the budget they’ve carefully allocated.

To know what snow removal costs are fair and get a better understanding of the variables, let’s review the biggest factors that can impact pricing.

Equipment

Because snow and ice can be heavy and thick, to remove it efficiently and effectively requires the right equipment.

skid loader to remove snow

Commercial snow plowing at a professional level starts with a solid truck that is built for plowing and costs upwards of $90,000. Another great snow removal and management tool is the skid-steer that can cost between $50,000 and $60,000. The front-end loader is also a proficient snow moving machine that runs between $120,000 and $180,000.

All of these pieces of equipment can take on snow plow attachments that can cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Finally, a salter, which costs around $5,000, is helpful for melting ice or preventing ice buildup on your walkways and in your parking lots and entryways.

Labor

Once you have equipment, you need the employees to do the snow plowing and ice melting work.

snow removal crew shovels walkway

They need to be trained to operate the equipment effectively and paid between $25 and $30 an hour typically to do the work. Labor is probably one of the biggest factors that implement commercial snow removal costs.

Overhead

Every business carries overhead expenses that impact their bottom lines.

Each increase in overhead directly reduces profit -- gross profit, operating profit, and bottom line net profit.

When you hire a professional business for commercial snow plowing and ice management services, prices will naturally be impacted by overhead.

Some typical overhead costs include insurance, middle management, labor burden (the full costs a business incurs for employees; not just their wages), and equipment maintenance.

Materials

Commercial snow removal in Northeast Ohio also includes materials, mainly salt.

salt being poured into piles

As salt prices fluctuate, this can impact snow and ice removal management costs as well. Salt prices have fluctuated quite a lot in the last few years, costing up to $90 per ton.

Service Scope

The specific services you need on your property during Northeast Ohio’s coldest months is also a factor that can impact your commercial snow removal costs.

Many companies offer snow and ice management services in different ways: per-occurrence or for the seasonal.

turfscape truck lays salt on roadway

A per-occurrence contract means that you pay each time your professional commercial service provider plows or salts the property. You can also specify how high that snow needs to be for plowing to take place. Typically, this is set at 2 inches or above, but if you are particularly worried about the safety hazards that snow and ice can cause on your property, you can discuss 1-inch snow heights with your provider.

A seasonal service agreement, sometimes called all-inclusive, means you pay a monthly rate for four months and no matter how many snow and ice events occur, you are covered by your commercial snow plowing services provider.

Some companies like Turfscape can even provide combinations of the two service types to fit your specific property’s needs and budget. For instance, maybe you need an all-inclusive contract for snow removal but would prefer to only have salt for removing ice after each plow versus at other times. You can always ask about this option of customizing your services to fit your pricing needs.

Since there is always a guess when it comes to weather predictions for the upcoming season, forming a relationship with your service provider is essential in figuring out your service requirements. As with any service, you ideally want to have a clear idea of service expectations. Your service provider should be asking you questions to learn your facility’s traffic flow and get an understanding of your highly-trafficked areas to understand what service package would best meet your needs.

Above-and-Beyond Needs

Some winters can be especially snowy. This is when snow piles get too high to handle with no melting in sight.

If it gets too high, you may actually need the snow removed from your property for safety purposes or to keep your facility traffic running smoothly.

You can always ask your commercial snow plowing services provider to include an hourly rate for these services that can be considered above and beyond. The reason these services are excessive and cost extra is because your contractor will need to bring in extra equipment, such as skid-steer loaders or a front-end loader, as well as a dump truck, to actually get that heavy snow off of your property.

CAT 950 for snow removal

You can also ask for an hourly rate for any hand-chipping of ice you might need on your facility in case ice buildup is extreme during the winter. The crew would need to do this if they can’t melt the ice using other methods.

While these types of extras are rare, knowing your costs up front in case a bad winter is on its way is important so you’re not caught off-guard later.

Understanding Pricing for Snow Removal in Northeast Ohio

Understanding commercial snow removal costs before the season starts is great homework for any facility manager to do.

As you do your research, remember to ask your service provider a lot of questions so you can get a thorough understanding of their services, contracts, and pricing. Communication and partnership is very important with winter services. If a contractor doesn't respond to you when it’s autumn and only gentle leaves are falling, then you might not be able to count on him or her when the snow and ice are piling up.

Figuring out pricing can be complicated and time-consuming. We understand. We have 30 years of experience providing snow and ice removal services in Northeast Ohio, so we know this region’s winters. We’d be happy to help you navigate this unpredictable season on your commercial facility.

Turfscape would love to learn more about your commercial site and provide you with some specific insight into how you can keep your snow and ice removal costs in check while improving safety and security on your property. Request a proposal today. We’ll review your options together so you can make the best choice.

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