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Not every snow contractor service is the same when it comes to quality. A couple of buzzwords are associated with dealing with snow on parking lots, sidewalks, and other hardscapes: snow management and snow plowing, which are essentially synonymous, right?

Although many companies use the terms synonymously, snow management and snow plowing are not the same thing. Understanding the distinction can help you avoid misconceptions and ensure you receive the services you pay for.

We’ll go through the distinctions between snow removal and plowing as well as how to choose the right provider for your company:

Snow Management vs. Snow Plowing

The simplest method to distinguish between snow removal and plowing is to list the services’ respective components:

Simply said, snow plowing involves cleaning the area and moving all of the snow to a conveniently located spot for storage. Really, all that’s required to clear the parking lot and move the snow out of the way of passing automobiles and pedestrians is a truck with a plow on the front. The main responsibility of the snow plower is to make the road passable in an emergency; he does not clear the snow completely. The snow plower’s blade does nothing to clear the ice that can soon form on the packed highway left by the plow.

Snow management is snow plowing with extra processes. The process involves clearing the area and collecting all the snow for off-site transportation, not keeping it on the property. Additional equipment is required. Typically, a truck is necessary to remove snow from the property, and a heavy loader is used to push and load the snow onto the truck.

A full-service snow and ice management business will prioritize the needs of its customers and be proactive and preventive. To stop ice, they will put de-icers and ice repellents on public streets. In addition to clearing the roads of snow, they also get rid of the snowdrifts, which avoids hard-pack and expedites removal in the future. When you personally hire a full-service firm, expect prompt service and a cleared, de-iced driveway.

If you run a business, a comprehensive service provider can offer you 24/7 assistance. They’ll clear snow and ice from your parking lot, ensuring you can start operations for the day.

Snow Disposal: How it Works

Snow management businesses face challenges. They struggle to find disposal spots for snow gathered from sidewalks, parking lots, bridges, and roadways. They recognize snow as a public safety hazard. Yet, they also acknowledge that gathering snow contaminated with debris, sand, road salt, and car pollutants like oil endangers the environment and human health.

When the snow melts, it carries pollutants such as road salt, sand, trash, and other materials into surface water or through the soil, with the potential to eventually reach groundwater. At certain concentrations, pollutants such as road salt can poison aquatic life and contaminate water sources. Sand that washes into waterbodies can fill in ponds and marshes or form sand bars, which can damage aquatic life, cause flooding, and have an impact on how humans use natural resources. Snow management companies will follow industry guidelines designed to protect people and wildlife. This means they will either dump snow in a safe location or they will purchase a snow melting machine that melts the snow and disposes of the polluted water in storm drains.


Customers frequently mistake snow removal with snow management. We know the process of clearing snow off a customer’s property as snow removal. Once the snow falls, it is typically only a one-time service that is reactive in nature. On the other side, snow management takes a completely different strategy that begins with anticipating our customers’ demands. A snow management company will start preparing the property and its teams months in advance. In addition to creating site maps and doing property walks, their employees receive both on- and off-site training. When the first snowfall occurs, their staff will be prepared. They’ll have a well-defined strategy for snow removal and de-icing.

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