Landscapers: Weather the risks of snow removal season

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For many landscaping companies, operations don’t stop when snow begins to fall. As a means to address seasonal shifts in work and keep profitable in the off season, a significant number of landscapers segue from lawn services to snow removal services to maintain profitability during winter months. 

But as landscaping organizations prep for the winter season, they face business model changes, rising insurance premiums and operational risks not present during the summer lawn maintenance months.

A cold reality: Snow and ice leads to slip and fall claims

Model legislation from The Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) was recently signed into law in Colorado, now making it two states that have made it illegal for property owners to “use unfair contract language in snow and ice management agreements.”1

The passing of ASCA legislation is a good start when it comes to protecting winter operators.1 It’s imperative that companies engaging in snow removal be able to better protect themselves against other liability claims – and the possible resulting higher insurance rates – should they find themselves being blamed for a weather-related slip and fall accident. GPS tracking could help.

GPS tracking “breaks the ice” on proof of service

Landscaping companies who transform into snow removal operations during winter months can make use of GPS technology through the winter months to enhance peace of mind with data, not only in helping to prove that snow removal service was provided, but also in addressing general work management issues, as well. As liability is a major concern for companies performing these services, GPS tracking can help businesses mitigate risk by keeping detailed records of their activities automatically and accurately.

GPS tracking enables companies to view and store historical data about vehicles, drives and services.

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This allows organizations to amass a permanent record of work completed, work orders requested and proof of service information (like photos and accurate time stamps). In the event of a weather-related liability claim, this would go a long way toward supporting a company’s account of how, when and where work was done.

However, GPS tracking tools are beneficial far beyond a remediation capacity. With this technology, landscapers can gain better visibility, not to mention accountability, into each job and the travel, expenses, safe driving behavior and vehicle maintenance associated with it. In addition, regardless of season, landscapers/snow removal companies can better control fuel and other costs, as well as use GPS analytics to improve customer response time and customer service.

Plow toward the right solution

Choosing the right GPS tracking solution is important. It must be flexible enough to fulfill your business needs, whether it’s snow removal season or lawn maintenance time. In general, it’s important to look for a solution that gives you:

  • Access from anywhere: the ability to view data and maps on a mobile device at any time
  • Detailed maps: letting you view near real-time activity and current status of all vehicles, workers and equipment
  • Easy-to-use dashboards: showing you up-to-the minute fleet analytics

Success snippet: GRITIT warms to GPS tracking and improves winter services

GRITIT is the leading provider/contractor of gritting services in the U.K., supplying winter services protection and winter risk management services to organizations in the retail, commercial, financial, high security, industrial, logistics, health, and education sectors. GRITIT uses Verizon Connect location tracking data to proactively provide proof of service, and as part of its daily reporting to clients – Verizon Connect Fleet is used to track all vehicles during and after service for proof of attendance, and as a vehicle arrives onsite the amount of data collected is increased to enable them to track exactly where the vehicle is within the site.

1http://www.ascaonline.org/article/asca-colorado-legislation/

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