Elbers Landscape Service
Site: A Small Commercial Parking Lot
Location: Buffalo, NY
Average annual snowfall: 90" - 100"
Sno Pusher Type: Rubber Edge Sno Pushers: 8' Skidsteer
Equipment: 1 Skidsteer, 1 Tractor
Keywords: EFFICIENCY, DURABILITY, LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS
This is a case study involving a small to moderate sized landscaping and snow removal business located in Buffalo, New York. Elbers Landscape Service own (2) 8ft. Pro-Tech Skid Steer Sno Pushers which they began using two years ago in 2005 to handle their commercial parking lot contracts. This Study demonstrates the efficiency and profitability that can come from choosing to use Pro-Tech Sno Pushers over trucks with two way adjustable V-Plows in parking lot snow removal. Pushers are ideally suited to areas where traditional windrowing only shifts the snow rather then moving it off site such as parking lots, runways, ramps and large industrial sites. Sno Pushers are superior in these types of sites as they allow them to be completely cleared of snow far faster and cleaner then traditional plowing methods.
Elbers has been operating in the snow removal business for over 40 years. With all of this time in the industry they have been able to refine their snow removal techniques and adapt new types of equipment where it is appropriate. Currently, they handle numerous residential snow removal contracts and 50+ commercial contracts. All of their contracts are divided into two categories; zero tolerance contracts are plowed no matter how much snow is on the ground, and 2”+ contracts are only attended to after 2” of snow has fallen. All of their commercial contracts are zero tolerance accounts. For use in their snow removal operations, Elbers uses: (4) 1 ton pickups with front and rear plows, (3) 1 ton dump trucks equipped with reversible V-plows, (1) C4500 dump truck, (1) 60 hp John Deere tractor equipped with an 8 ft Pro-Tech Skid Steer Sno Pusher (SP08S) and (1) S250 Bobcat Loader also equipped with an 8 ft Pro-Tech Skid Steer Sno Pusher (SP08S).
The site analyzed in this study is a 4.5 acre parking lot in metropolitan Buffalo. It is a relatively easy lot to plow as it has very few obstructions and several areas to pile snow. It is a mixed use lot but is almost always empty when plowing and typically has very little snow compaction from vehicles. Buffalo receives an annual average snowfall between 90 - 100”, usually spread out over 28-30 events during the season. In addition to snow, Elbers also handles another 17-20 ice events. Most of the snow events are between 2 - 3” and consist of wet heavy snow.
Comparison: 'Before & After" the Addition of Pro-Tech Sno Pushers
Before: For many years, Elbers utilized (2) 1 ton dump trucks equipped with V- Plows on this site. They would use the plows to windrow the site and then adjust them to V-Plows to collect and pile the snow at various strategic locations around the lot. This method utilized two trucks and operators for an average of 2 to 2.5 hours in a typical 3” snow event. For a total of 4-5 man and equipment hours and at a cost of $85 hr/truck, this could cost as much as $425 dollars per event. In addition to operating costs, each V-Plow requires up to $700 dollars in annual maintenance including parts, labor and a new coats of paint.
After: Since Elbers started using Sno Pushers they have been able to achieve high quality levels using only an S250 Bobcat Skid Steer equipped with a SP08S. For a typical 3” event the Bobcat is able to clear the lot in an average of 2 to 2.5 hours requiring a total of 2 to 2.5 man and equipment hours. The Bobcat costs $105/hr, dropping the cost for the job to $263 per event. This is a reduction of man hours by 50% and cost reduction of 160% over the V-Plows. In addition the one Bobcat is able to handle three of Elbers commercial jobs for each event. The Pro-Tech Sno Pusher used with this machine has been in operational use for 3 years and has yet to require any maintenance or paint. Another benefit is the ability of the Sno Pusher to stack the snow higher on site, meaning that it does not have to be transported away which results in a significant cost savings.
Facts and Statistics
- For 3” snow fall events Elbers was able to achieve removal rates of 8.8 min/in/acre or 78,408 sq. ft./hr
- An 8’ Skid Steer Sno Pusher created a 50% reduction in man hours over 2 truck mounted V-Plows
- An 8’ Skid Steer Sno Pusher created a cost savings of 160% over truck mounted V-Plows
- No annual maintenance or painting has been required over three seasons of use
“Absolutely no durability or construction issues”
“I wouldn’t look outside the brand”
“I haven’t put a dollar into my plow since I bought it.”
“I have to paint my truck plows every year, I haven’t had to paint it (Sno Pusher) in three years”