Winter Driving Tips From a Grand Rapids Snow Plowing Company

driving-snow-covered-roads

Nobody knows about driving in Grand Rapids snow better than us – a Grand Rapids snow plowing company! Driving in winter can be scary, especially when you get the kind of snow and ice we get here in Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI. However, here are some things you can do, to keep yourself safe while you drive. Some of these tips may be well-known, but others are not. Check it out!

Winter Driving Tips

  1. Be cautious while driving in adverse weather and be aware of your surroundings. Why? You never know how the road will be in bad weather. Black ice, for example, is almost always invisible to the naked eye and can make anyone crash if they are not careful.
  2. Avoid driving if you feel fatigued. This is a tip that should be applied to driving in any weather condition, but especially during the winter. When you get enough rest, you can react faster to any potential surprise in the road. Typically when people experience fatigue, they have slower reaction times, they may hallucinate or feel dizzy. It is better to play it safe and drive while fully alert.
  3. Do not warm up a vehicle within an enclosed space like a garage. Exhaust fumes could be hazardous to your health as they accumulate while the car runs.
  4. Always have properly inflated tires. It is a myth people should have under-inflated tires. In fact, having under-inflated tires could increase your chances of experiencing a blowout.
  5. Never use cruise control if you’re driving on any kind of slippery surface (ice, sand, wet). You need to pay full attention in case your car gets out of control, which can easily happen on slick or coarse roads.
  6. In order to avoid gas line freeze-up, keep your gas tank at minimum, half-full.
  7. If you can, avoid using the parking brake in cold, snowy and rainy weather.
  8. Never mix radial tires with any other tire types. This could lead to another potential accident.
  9. If you become snow-bound, do not leave your vehicle. Stay inside as the vehicle will act as a temporary shelter as well as make it easier for rescue personnel to find you.
  10. Make sure to pack any essentials you’ll need like medicine, a first aid kit, food, a cell phone with your local AAA’s telephone number, blankets, hats, gloves, and water in case of an emergency.

 

At Sneller Snow Systems, we care about more than commercial snow removal. We want to help with the bigger picture of keeping people safe and helping you battle the storm. If you want more great tips and other informative articles, be sure to read more on our Sneller Snow Systems blog. If you need landscaping or snow removal services in the Grand Rapids or Lansing areas, contact us.

Some tips were provided by the AAA website

A Glimpse into the Hidden World of Snowflakes

Alexey Kljatov Snowflakes

As you watch the snow lay down a thick blanket for winter at last, to some it is a welcomed beauty while others find it nothing short of a nuisance. However, while watching the snow fall, few remember that they are actually looking at a somewhat hidden world. That thick blanket of snow is made up of hundreds of billions of individual snowflakes, none featuring the exact same patterns. However, one photographer out of Moscow is making the world remember by giving the world an up close and personal look at snow’s hidden world.

Following in the footsteps of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley and Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Alexey Kljatov has moved on from taking macro images of bee eyes and fruit to the wide world of snowflakes. Using a low-cost variation of the lens reversal macro technique with his compact Canon Powershot A650is at maximum zoom, Kljatov is able to capture the majesty of unique snowflake designs like never before. Through this technique, Kljatov is able to not only achieve superior magnification, but his pictures have much less chromatic aberrations and blurring than say, the original snowflake pictures taken by Bentley.

The pictures are taken from inside while snow falls against his balcony window in his home in Moscow. By placing an LED light outside behind the snowflakes, he is able to capture individual flakes in a series of 8 to 16 shots. Through the use of multiple shots, Alexey Kljatov is able to align the pixels so as to reduces noise over the subtle details and color transitions of the snowflake.

The pictures he captures while using this unique technique have burst the hidden world of snow wide open. However, it is easy to look at individual snowflakes and see how beautiful they are.

When they come in great numbers, however, it is time to have something done about these pesky beauties. For businesses that need snow removal services in the Grand Rapids and Lansing area, contact Sneller Snow Systems today to see what we can do about limiting the disruptive beauty of snow at your business.

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.

Slip and Fall Lawsuits: Can a Michigan Business Be Sued?

Slip Fall Accident

Michigan’s snowy winters, especially in areas such as Grand Rapids and the state capital, Lansing, are often impressive. When snow falls, businesses have risk management concerns of slip and fall accidents on their property. Can a Michigan business be sued for slip and fall accidents on ice? The answer’s a bit complicated but in the end, relatively clear. While we’re not lawyers, here’s what we dug up to help you:

Liability Increases During the Winter

A business that knowingly and negligently disregards its duty to keep its walkways, parking lots and entrances free of snow and ice increases its liability risks. An army of personal injury attorneys in Michigan eagerly await the start of winter, and they can’t wait to file lawsuits, no matter how frivolous they might seem. Fortunately for the average Michigan business when it comes to slip and fall injuries:

  1. Over the last several years, it’s become increasingly difficult to press slip and fall injury claims against Michigan businesses because of snow and ice on their premises.
  2. A January 2013 article posted on the Insurance Journal website reports that Michigan courts are using a tough recent standard, set by the state Supreme Court, to rule against numerous slip and fall injury claimants.
  3. Detroit’s local CBS affiliate, in a December 2012 online piece, also notes that slip and fall injury claimants must prove they had absolutely no other way to avoid the hazard to press their lawsuits.
  4. As a consequence, CBS reported wintertime slip-and-fall injury lawsuits have declined from 20 percent of business to 2 percent for some Michigan personal injury attorneys.

Should a Business Risk a Slip and Fall Lawsuit, Though?

While Michigan businesses can often beat wintertime slip and fall lawsuits, the bigger question is if the business should take such a risk at all. Consider:

  1. Slips and falls due to wintry conditions can quickly spread negative feelings about your business, both by word-of-mouth and over the internet. It costs your business goodwill, and that hurts.
  2. A business is also being ethical and smart to keep its premises free of snow and ice. Doing so helps increase customer safety.
  3. “The NSC says that approximately 25,000 people are victims of slip and fall accidents every day, costing businesses $3.5 million dollars every hour, 365 days a year. With the average cost to defend slip-and-fall lawsuits running $50,000 (as reported by the National Floor Safety Institute), developing and implementing a plan to reduce slip and fall claims against your business can dramatically improve your bottom line. The first step is to realize that you can’t protect yourself from false slip and fall claims without proof of due diligence.”

So who can help you in proof of due diligence and risk management in Michigan?

Sneller Snow Systems can. As Michigan’s only ISO 9001/SN 9001 certified snow and ice management company, we have endured and passed a rigorous audit process, which ensures that we adhere to the ANSI accepted snow industry standards, and maintain the appropriate records surrounding each snow event. This helps you to build a solid defense against a potential slip and fall claim.

For the best high-quality commercial snow removal in Grand Rapids MI and Lansing, contact us at Sneller Snow Systems today. We have ISO 9001 certified snow removal systems in place to keep your business open and visitors safe.

How Winter Weather and Snow Affects Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan Businesses

Lansing Michigan Capitol in winter

All Michigan business will be affected by intense Michigan winters in various ways depending on your type of business and how prepared you are for the snow and ice. If you live in Grand Rapids or Lansing, you don’t need us to tell you winters are as unpredictable as they are cold, but let’s look at some of the details so you can be better prepared.

According to The National Weather Service, Grand Rapids had the coldest February ever recorded in 2015, which resulted in loads of school and business closings. And the Grand Rapids snowfall total for November 2014 broke historic records.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Businesses in Michigan?

The answer to this question depends upon the type of business, as well as the area of Michigan in which it is situated.  The largest determinant of winter impact on Michigan business is typically the amount of snow that falls (or, in some cases, fails to fall) in particular areas. Typically Western Michigan is hit with significantly more snow than Eastern Michigan.

Of course, some businesses thrive when Old Man Winter reaches out his frosty fingers.  Notably, ski resorts, Bed and Breakfast establishments and local restaurants often increase sales during intense or snowy winters. However, the effects of inclement weather on most businesses is not favorable. These detrimental effects are likely to include:

  • Property damage
  • Flooding
  • Employee absence, illness or injury
  • Lack of resource availability
  • Price fluctuations for resources needed in business operations
  • Increased costs of goods and services
  • Transportation and project delays
  • Need to increase prices to business patrons
  • Higher risk for potentially dangerous walkways and parking lots

Even businesses, reliant on snowfall for profitability, need professional and reliable snow removal services in order for customers to access their locations. This is particularly true in areas like Grand Rapids and Lansing, where Lake-effect Snow is a probability.

Contact our highly experienced team of snow removal experts to keep your business on track during long and bitter Michigan winters!