Snow Plowing vs Snow Removal: Digging Into The Differences

Snow plowing, snow removal — it’s all the same thing, right? The bottom line: getting all that white stuff off your parking lot.

Nope. They’re actually two different procedures, with an important distinction.

Snow plowing vs snow removal? Let’s dig into the differences.

Perplexed About Per Push?

If you’ve looked into commercial snow plowing or removal at all, you’ve likely encountered the phrase “per push.” A per push snow plow price typically includes only pushing and clearing the snow to an easily accessible area for snow storage.

The snow stays on your property — it’s simply pushed out of the way so employees, customers and visitors can navigate your parking lots without wading through snow.

If we tell you our fee is $200 “per push,” that means we’re pushing the snow out of the way of cars and pedestrians.

It Sounds Easier Than It Is

It’s not easy for commercial plows to turn corners and make turns when pushing the large amounts of snow that often fall on a commercial property.

Your property needs to have adequate space for us to push and store the snow. Don’t expect our crews to load up your snow, navigate it to back behind your building, make two turns, and shove it neatly over a curb with no damage.

We can push the snow over a curb with large loaders, but can’t be liable for damage to the curbing if that’s what we’re asked to do.


snow plowing vs snow removal

When It’s Time To Haul

When a property runs out of room to store the pushed-aside snow — or doesn’t have room for it in the first place — the snow has to be hauled away, off your property. That’s where “snow removal” comes in.

There’s an extra charge for that. Hauling snow is expensive. We need two pieces of equipment and a loader large enough to load the snow quickly. We also need more than one truck, so the loader isn’t sitting idle in between hauls to the snow storage location.

Read 10 Things Most Landscapers Won’t Tell You

When Snow Isn’t Hauled — But Should Be

When there’s no more room on your property to store snow, and it should be hauled away, problems arise. Parts of your property can be damaged. Snow ends up being pushed into covered parking spaces and the piles start to encroach on your parking areas and garage.

If you don't have the space to store large amounts of snow, you need to pay to have it hauled away.

Taking A Look At Trigger Depth

Trigger depth is the amount of snow accumulation that needs to fall before plowing begins.

Typically, it’s between one and two inches.

We know what you're thinking: If you ask for a higher trigger depth, that means less plowing, and you’ll save money, right?

Wrong. Plowing snow with a higher trigger depth does not save you any money. In fact, it’s more expensive.



A Tale Of Two Trigger Depths

Say you have a 2-inch trigger depth for your property, and the property next door has a 1-inch trigger depth. Both properties have high traffic.

The snow starts to fall, accumulating to 1.5 inches. Your property doesn't get plowed. The snow is wet, and the temperature is mild. The sun comes out and melts half of the snow. You’re in luck, right?

That evening the clouds clear off and the temperature drops to 15 degrees. The leftover slush on your property freezes solid. Now your property is a slick of treacherous ice.

Your pal next door, with the 1-inch trigger depth, was plowed that morning. When the sun came out, his lot dried out nicely within a few hours.

The next day, another 2 inches of snow falls. So your property is plowed — but there’s ice under the snow. It takes your snow removal company twice as long to plow, because they have no traction to push snow.

Their trucks and loaders slide, especially if there are any inclines.

Visitors are slipping and falling. You have to call for a de-icing application to clear the ice, costing you more money.

The Value Of A Good Plan

It’s crucial for commercial properties to have a comprehensive snow and ice plan in place with a contractor you trust.

At Outback Landscape, we’re snow experts. We watch the weather like hawks. While you might be tempted to wait it out and hope the snow will melt, we know that clearing evening skies after a wet snow equals big time freezing problems.

Adjusting the plan of attack based on both current weather conditions and the future forecast saves money and gives you a parking lot that’s clear and dry. And safe.

Safety and accessibility are crucial for a commercial property owner. It has a huge impact on your business.

Trust Your Snow Removal To Outback Landscape

Our team monitors the weather and prepares for storms three to four days out for our clients.

Our staff includes certified snow professionals, and we’re also insured for snow removal. All of our snow removal equipment has GPS systems on board and is well maintained

Snow plowing vs snow removal? Either way, we give you what you pay for — a complete menu of snow removal services, including snow plowing, hauling and ice melt applications. We only use environmentally friendly de-icing products, so they won't harm your property’s turf or plant materials.

Located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, we serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Contact Outback Landscape for a free snow removal estimate at 208-656-3220, or fill out the contact form to schedule an onsite consultation.

Don't wait until you’re snowed in.

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