The Anatomy of Michigan’s Winter Dangers

Christmas Dinner

As the dark shadows of another Michigan Winter begin to loom over us and we head toward the Christmas Season, most of us look forward to our favorite winter enjoyments: skiing, building mammoth snow castles, Christmas shopping, or simply curling up by the fire with a good book.

We here at Sneller Snow Systems, however, would like to remind you that winter is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Not to be a downer, but we’ve built our business around helping businesses reduce risk and feel it incumbent upon ourselves to remind you of some of Michigan’s greatest holiday dangers so that you can begin preparing early.


Statistics tell us that incidents of home fires and electrical incidents greatly increase during the winter Christmas season. Decorations not only increase your chances of a house fire, but they also increase your risk of injury due to slips, falls, and other accidents.

Reports of falls from ladders while stringing lights and hanging decorations, incidents of lacerations from broken glass ornaments and other holiday-related injuries are increasing. During November and December 2010, CPSC estimates that more than 13,000 people were treated in emergency departments nationwide due to injuries involving holiday decorations (CPSC).

While we’re not recommending that you completely tamp down your decorative instincts, we do suggest that you always complete outdoor decorations while taking proper safety precautions and using the buddy system.

Sidewalk Ice

Every year, thousands of people slip and fall on icy sidewalks during the holiday season. Apart from the pain of embarrassment, many who slip also deal with the physical pain of bruises, fractures, or head injuries. While it’s true that Michigan’s slip and fall laws leave some flexibility for liability, it’s also true that business owners have a responsibility to keep their sidewalks clear of accumulations of ice and snow, thus rendering them more safe for pedestrians. Using a professional snow and ice management company will help reduce risk of injuries and lawsuits.

Family Dinners

Family dinners can be more than just a danger to your blood pressure at times. Each year in the United States, 100,000 people are treated in Emergency Rooms for scalding incidents–many of those a result of holiday cooking frenzies. Bacteria from improperly-thawed turkeys can lead to intestinal distress. Apart from all of the food-related dangers, carrying and lifting luggage while helping out-of-town relatives settle in before the big dinner can lead to further complications.

Since the holidays are widely celebrated in West Michigan, we can only imagine how high our state statistics will rise in these particular categories this coming holiday season.

While we know that this isn’t the typical sort of post you’d expect from us, we couldn’t avoid telling you what the data says. Although we focus on snow removal and ice management, those aren’t the only things we care about. We really do have our clients’ best interests at heart–and it’s in your best interests to be extra careful as you make your way down those frozen sidewalks to your family’s decked-out houses for a Christmas dinner.

We can’t do much to help you with the cooking or decoration-related injuries, we’re more than equipped to ensure that an accumulation of snow and ice does not turn the sidewalks and walkways around your business from turning into a hazard. For more information on our commercial snow removal services, or to discuss a winter snow plowing contract, please contact us.

Insider’s Guide to Commercial Snow Removal Equipment used in Grand Rapids & Lansing MI

Deicing Truck Grand Rapids MI Lansing MI

When it comes to keeping you safe and clear during winter, the best Lansing & Grand Rapids Snow Removal companies make use of a variety of commercial snow removal equipment. Since not all situations are the same, professionals must employ specific equipment and custom ice removal treatments to specific situations in order to be effective. To help you understand the process, we’ve put together this helpful insider’s guide to commercial snow removal equipment.

Snow Plows

Depending on the size and scope of the job site, we will assess which of our 60+ snow plows will best handle the job. Factors to be weighed during the decision-making process include the shape and size of the site, the volume of snow, where the snow needs to be moved to, and the number of obstacles to work around. We use plows that range from 8’ V plows on pick up trucks, to 17’ specialized box plows on large loaders, and quite a variety in between. Once we’ve considered all the variables, we decide which equipment to route to each site.

Front End Loader Snow Plows

Loaders equipped with large snow plows are an important tool for plowing snow. Especially on larger parking lots that would be a struggle for pick up trucks, a loader with an appropriate snow plow can clear the snow in a timely manner.

When the mountains of snow are taking up too many parking spaces, we utilize front end loaders and heavy duty dump trucks to haul the snow to off site locations.

Ice Melt Trucks

Not all winter weather conditions require snow removal or relocation. Ice management is also a major concern. To that end, we maintain a fleet of trucks equipped to provide pre-treating of parking lots before the snow and ice arrive, and to melt any snow or ice that does form. Based on weather conditions and client expectations, we can choose from a liquid chloride brine, or our customized granular ice melt blend.

Sidewalk Snow & Ice Equipment

For smaller jobs such as sidewalks, we employ ATV’s, small tractors, and Ventracs.  These can be fitted with snow plows, hydraulically powered brooms, snow blowers, and ice melt spreaders. Using these quick, compact machines, our crews are able to accomplish their tasks with great efficiency. While not all snow removal companies care to deal with sidewalks, we are uniquely equipped to handle the most complex sidewalk clearing jobs to the highest standards.

Snow Shovels

Although we carry an impressive line of powerful and technically-impressive equipment, there are many scenarios where a simple shovel is the best tool for the job. We approach the task as professionals, however, well aware that over 11,500 people visit the emergency room every year due to shovel-related injuries. Because of the little known (and yet obvious) danger of shoveling, it’s just one more task that we’re happy to take off our customers’ hands, leaving them to enjoy a much safer and happier winter season.

At Sneller Snow Systems, we enjoy not only keeping your Michigan business’ roads, parking lots, and walkways clear, but we also enjoy broadening your understanding of the industry that we love. If you have further questions or comments, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us or comment below.

It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Snow Plows: Safety Tips & Scary Clips

Snow Plow Accident

December. It’s here and time for us to get serious about Lansing and Grand Rapids snow removal services. We’ve already had our first snow event that sparked the idea of a few new winter safety tips. When sharing the roadways and parking lots with heavy equipment this winter season, there are a few things you should know to help keep you safe in Michigan or wherever you drive. Here are a few snow plow safety tips and scary video clips that might help:

The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall

Although snow plows and snow removal equipment are effective at spreading salt, deicer, or other ice melt chemicals on slick surfaces, those surfaces aren’t always equipped to bear the weight (This is NOT our equipment, and hiring a professional like Sneller Snow Systems will ensure that this does not happen to you!). Be cautious when driving or parking near these machines.

The Bigger They Are, the Slower They Stop

Remember that it takes great skill and precision to handle large machinery. Often operators are required to obtain extra licenses and specialized training before handling them. We believe the best snow removal services include certified operators and ISO certified snow removal systems. But even all of these precautions are no match for the unexpected. Other motorists, unaware of how long it can take large vehicles to come to a stop, could pull out at the wrong time and cause a problem.

If you’re going to share the roads with large snow removal equipment, take sensible precautions. First, allow big rigs more time for slowing and stopping. Second, leave plenty of room. Most states require you to stay back from snow plows at least 200 feet by law.

The Bigger They Are, The Further Away You Should Be

Take a lesson from one reporter from Traverse City, Michigan, who discovered what happens if you stand too close to the edge of the road when a snow plow goes by. If you’re going to walk or stand alongside the road for any reason, pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your head up and keep well back in the event of snow plows.

The good news is that all of our operators at Sneller Snow Systems are well-trained, well-qualified, and fully experienced in winter safety. We take great care to follow guidelines and keep our eyes out for other drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for every truck, plow, or big rig on the roads this winter. It’s our hope that this post will remind you to exercise caution.

If you have questions or comments about our Lansing or Grand Rapids snow removal services, snow plowing, or ice management services, please feel free to contact us.

What We’re Thankful For As A Grand Rapids Snow Removal Company

we give thanks - Sneller Snow Systems

As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, we can’t help but send a message about how thankful we are for the many blessings we experience every day at Sneller Snow Systems. We prayerfully hope you see some new blessings upon your life through this humble blog post.

We are thankful for God’s blessings on our business.

We strive to be a blessing to our customers, but it’s only by the grace of God that we have been able to service Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan businesses since 1984. We strive to conduct ourselves with integrity and bring honor and glory to Him in all we do. Thank you, Lord, for blessing our business.

We are thankful for our employees.

We feel richly blessed with skilled and passionate employees at Sneller Snow Systems who truly care about the work they do. We are thankful for each employee and their family’s support as well. As you can imagine, with a Michigan snow removal company, many of our employees work at all hours day and night. We wouldn’t be here without their commitment and hard work. Thank you for all you do to make us the best snow removal company in Michigan!

We are thankful for our families.

It goes without saying, but it still should be said – we are abundantly blessed with our own amazing and supportive families. We work crazy hours, but never forget why we are doing it. We love our wives and husbands, children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Along with God, family is who we need, love and appreciate beyond measure. Thank you for being there for us and supporting us through the years.

We are thankful for our freedom.

There is one quick way to blow a great mood – read the news. Our world is in a ferocious battle with sin. Innocent people are being killed daily, terror runs rampant and our liberties are being threatened. Yet in America we can still speak freely, worship Jesus without imminent persecution, hold democratic elections, bear arms, pursue dreams and live with basic freedoms. Thank you to God’s blessings and brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to keep us free.

What are you thankful for?

There are many more things we could list here. Please comment below if you’d like to chime in. We’d love to hear from you! Learn more about our mission and core principles here. As we celebrate our blessings and focus on thankfulness this week, we pray you will do the same. We pray you have a heart of gratitude and that God blesses you richly!

Winter Is Here! 3 Safety Tips To Be Prepared for Grand Rapids Snow

Shoveling Snow

Last weekend we received our first real snowfall in 2015 in the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas. It’s not clear if the snow will stick around this week, but either way – before long, Lansing and Grand Rapids snow will hold us in a cold embrace; and the sooner we prepare ourselves, the better off we’ll be. Forewarned is forearmed. So here are three important winter safety tips to help you prepare for Michigan snow in 2015-2016:

Winter Safety Tip 1: Don’t strain yourself.

We’re all aware that we need to walk carefully on icy sidewalks, because every year people injure themselves when they slip and fall; however, there’s a greater risk that you will die while shoveling snow than by slipping on ice! According to the National Safety Council, shoveling hundreds of pounds of snow can be quite a strain on the heart–especially for older people and sedentary individuals. Just as you would for any workout, prepare yourself for shoveling by being well-rested and well-hydrated. Start by stretching, and then warm up slowly as you work. If you feel tired or strained, take a break. Last, always remember to lift with your legs instead of your back.

Winter Safety Tip 2: Don’t minimize the small storms.

We’re all on guard for the big ones, but smaller storms can cause quite a bit of damage as well. As the experts at NOAA remind us, a few inches of snow or ice is all it takes sometimes to shut a city down and create hazardous conditions on the roads. Exercise just as much caution during small storms as you would during the large ones. The life you save may be your own.

Winter Safety Tip 3: Don’t overlook your disaster communications plan.

Although many of us prepare our houses, cars, and businesses for winter storms, we overlook preparing our families and employees for how we will contact one another if communication systems fail. For more information on family communication plans (which can easily be adapted for commercial use), check out resources through FEMA.

It’s our hope that you take these winter safety tips seriously. Given that during the winter of 2014, a single storm was responsible for the death of six Michigan residents, we know that there’s some room to grow in the area of education and preparedness. Here at Sneller Snow Systems, we’re interested in much more than just snow removal and ice management. We’re here to help educate and prepare our customers for whatever the coming months may bring to the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us or comment below.