Cutting-Edge Downtime Equals Less Seat Time for Seasonal Property Services
David Kooiman is always looking for ways to make life easier for his crews and get his customers’ snow removal done faster. He found a single solution for both in an AutoWing plow.
Seasonal Property Services
David Kooiman started Seasonal Property Services with a pickup and straight plow attachment in 2012. There was a growing need in Cambridge, Minn., a community of around 8,800 around 30 miles from the northernmost suburbs of Minneapolis, and Seasonal Property grew right along with it.
As the lots got bigger, and Seasonal Property landed more snow-removal contracts, Kooiman added equipment to keep up.
Time, Time and More Time
Growth is a good thing. Until it starts taking a toll on your staff.
Seasonal Property’s six to 10 snow-removal machine operators handle 30-50 properties, depending on the year. This year, contracts cover everything from town home and home-owners associations to big-box stores.
Among them are several suite projects with lots, islands and peninsulas in the parking lots. For those, it’s not just a rectangle where the operator can windrow and be done. Instead, a good curb-to-curb clean requires significant backdragging and maneuvering to get close to obstacles.
The company also has several mid-sized to large rectangular lots. With the box pushers they typically use, operators have to raise the cutting edge off the plowing surface and back up for every pass. Add to that more unproductive time needed to go back and clear away the overflow.
It all takes time.
“We hit it hard when there’s a good snowfall, sometimes running 40 to 50 hours at a time, and the guys obviously get really tired when you do that,” Kooiman said. “I’m always trying to find ways to cut seat time, and at the same time get our customers taken care of faster.”
Taking the Lead
For Kooiman, efficiency means two things: fewer man hours and cleaner passes so his crews don’t need to use as much salt.
“We’re a company that, when we see a new technology we want to at least give it a fair trial and see how it goes,” he said. “When I first saw the QuattroPlow, I thought it would be an advantage over anything else.”
This season he bought his first QuattroPlow with an AR400 edge and mounted it on a Bobcat® S650.
Following the first snowfall of the year – an inch of light, fluffy stuff – an operator with several years of snow-plowing experience gave it a try. He handles six accounts that normally take 3-3½ hours with a box pusher on a one-inch snow. With the QuattroPlow, he knocked that down to exactly two hours.
“Looks like I was right,” Kooiman said. “If you have a full night of plowing, and you’re able to take two hours or more off of that one guy and put him on a different account, that’s a huge savings for us already.”