These short stories will be an interesting look into a fictional snow removal company. Many of the experiences, problems, solutions, and headaches were real. Let’s cut the fat, snow removal can be a disaster. Couple no sleep, breakdowns, tempers, and hasty decisions with customers that expect real performance and you’ve got a real volatile business. One not for the faint of heart.
Speaking of heart, our first lesson is to set your heart and mind to the same vision. If you can do that nothing will stop you. Our vision is to replace the snow plow on your truck with a skid steer and snow plow box.
“So Adam, where would you like to put the Tattoo?” The tat design is a custom one that throws all expense and care to the wind. Kind of like what Adam does in real life when he’s leading his snow plow crew. The way he leads is by example. If he asks someone to do something, you know sure as heck Adam can and would do it. Not only that, but he’s the hardest worker of them all.
“Put it on my left shoulder blade” he says.
As the tattoo artist begins to outline the massive, colored scene, Adam thinks back on how this bold design was inspired. It was a blustery winter day in Woodbury, Minnesota. Nothing had gone right. Last time he was home was 4 days ago, the snow just wouldn’t quit. The bedside phone rang, chasing away the dream Adam was having.
As he picked up the phone, “This is your courtesy wake up call”. He looked at the clock and it was 5:01 PM. Just getting dark again. He looked outside at the wind swirling snow around the outside of the window sill, and a little farther off, the silhouette of the restaurant sign. Hunger pains kicked in and he got dressed.
He picked up his still wet boots and winced as he put them on. Adam winced as the needle started buzzing along against his shoulder, breaking into his train of thought.
“Where did you come up with this idea, Adam?” The tattoo artist asked as he traced around the outline.
“I plow snow for a living. It’s what I do and I do it the best,” said Adam. “This one is dedicated to a night that I thought everything was lost. PERSEVERANCE is embossed into the pile of snow, and that is what it took that night. Shear perseverance.”
Adam’s thought drifted back to the hotel where he woke up that evening. He went down to the lobby, grabbed a coffee cup from the reception table in the foyer, and emptied what was left from the carafe into his small cup.
Pulling on his knit cap, he walked outside into the blustery cold evening. The parking lot lights had started to come on, and he noticed right away that the plowing of the hotel hadn’t been done since the last 6” of fresh snow.
Cars were buried, and the previous efforts of the plow truck had left large windrows of snow along the parked cars, and sidewalk adjacent to the entrance. What a mess, he thought. Piles were everywhere in the small hotel parking lot, and there were no convenient places for any additional snow storage.
Climbing back into the truck he starts the diesel engine of his ¾ ton extended cab pickup. Seconds later the radio comes on at an ear-splitting volume. Quickly he turns it down remembering that he had it up loud on the way back to the hotel in order to stay awake. Even just the 10-minute drive back to the hotel in the morning he had started to fall asleep.
Adam pulls out of the hotel parking lot and looks for the opening to cross over the median making a left turn. Down the way he sees an abandoned car along the side of the road, now buried from the city trucks.
Pulling into the gas station Adam gets his diesel fuel, hot dogs, snacks, coffee and energy drink. Even though he knows this part of town like the back of his hand, he has to think about how to get over to his first plow site. His mind is still slow from lack of sleep.
His first plow site is a small medical building on the east side of town. This little parking lot takes 43 minutes on a 2-3 inch snowfall. Since it’s still snowing an open-up needs to be done by 6 pm. Open-up means a full plowing without cleaning corners.
On the way Adam dials up the rest of the guys under his command from his cell phone. Aaron at the hospital, Greg at the medical center, Joe at the clinic, Tony in charge of the hand crew. Everyone except the hand crew is already mobilized and on their sites.
Good, Adam thinks. Good start. At least everyone is awake and moving already. Often he calls and has to wake them up. What do you do, he thinks. You can’t fire guys when they aren’t always on time. This type of snow event is mentally and physically draining so you have to pick your battles.
As long as the hand crew is mobilized and onsite by 6:00 PM there shouldn’t be any complaints. After all, it’s been snowing for days and most sidewalks at other competitor’s sites are still unusable. Adam pulls into the drive of his first site, drops the V plow and angles it away from the sidewalk as he trims up to it. As he pulls around the south side of the building, he notices that all of the cars are gone already. Sweet!
He thinks, no need to back drag all of those parking spaces. Beep beep, off goes his cell phone.
“Adam!”, Tony says in a frantic and shaky voice “I crashed the truck”.
“What?” Adam says back into the phone.
“Si, I’m in the ditch against a telephone pole,” exclaims Tony.
Adam thinks, “What was he doing? Now what?”
Without hesitation he picks up his plow, and rips out of the parking lot he was plowing to head over and rescue Tony and his 2 hand crew guys from the ditch. Upon arrival, he sees a mess. The brand new 3/4 ton Chevy pickup is crumpled up against the side of the telephone pole about 40’ down into a steep ditch. The snow blowers and shovels were tossed about, and a couple landed around the truck during the accident. Worried that the police would show up and slow things down, Adam jumps into action.
“Are you OK Tony?” asks Adam.
Tony, visibly shaken and still under a huge amount of adrenaline says “Yes, SI, me Bueno.”
“Your guys too?” asks Adam.
Tony replies, “Si.”
“Ok, get the tow strap around the front tow hooks. After dragging the crashed truck out of the ditch it looks even worse than imagined. Judging by the driver door and crumpled cab, the truck is totaled. It’s going to be interesting and even more dangerous just getting back to the shop that’s 8 miles away.
“We’ll be lucky if we don’t get pulled over,” he thinks.
Making it back to the shop with the crashed truck and crew, Adam hurries to get them back into a spare truck and on their way. Customers sidewalks need to get done by 6, and it’s already 6:50. They are way behind schedule. Just as Adam is getting back to the lot he started on, his cell phone goes off.
“Uh, Adam, my plow fell off my truck. It’s in the snow in front of me!”
“Is that why I’m drawing a caricature of a pickup truck wrapped around a telephone pole on your shoulder?” Asks the tattoo artist.
The design depicts a wreckage of massive proportions.
“Yup,” declares Adam. “And wait until I tell you about the rest of the tattoo.”
That next day …”, his voice trails off as he recollects the next events.
Well, that’s all we have time for today. Stay tuned to see how a Skid Steer Plow known as the KAGE® Snowfire not only helped Adam and his crew deal with an epic snowfall and keep their small business rolling, but also grow it into a massive and widely respected snow ONLY business.