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Snow Removal Contracts: Types, Terms, Conditions, etc.

June 2, 2022
Snow Removal Contracts: Types, Terms, Conditions, etc.
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Snow removal has been around as long as snow has been. So it’s only natural that snow removal contracts have been drawn out to ease the whole process.

Snow removal or snow plowing contract, whatever you might call it, gives any business an opportunity to grow without worrying about hiring new snow removal crew each time it snows. To ensure a smooth, seamless operation of your parking lot, your restaurant, your commercial area, you ought to have a typical snow removal contract.

Snow Removal Contract Terms to Know

Snow removal contracts, like any other legal contract, can be filled with industry jargon. On the surface, this jargon may sound well and dandy, but if you’re not careful with these, your business might not get the best possible service. To get around this jargon, you need to know some basic snow removal terms and conditions. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from this article.

After this article, you’ll be able to distinguish between a good and a deceptive contract. So let’s go through these terms, so you make an informed decision when choosing a contract.

Snow Removal

Snow removal, as the name suggests, refers to the removal of snow from the property. This means that the snow is first plowed and then removed from the property to ensure smooth operation without any snow piling on the sides.

Snow Plowing

When we usually talk about snow removal services, we’re actually referring to snow plowing services. In the contract, if you see that the contractor wants a snow plowing agreement, that would mean they will plow the snow and pile it on the sides. This is ideal for your business if you have a large space available and want to save money.

Plowable Events/Trigger

A plowable event refers to a heavy snowfall that definitely requires plowing. In your contract, you need to have a clear understanding of what your contractor refers to as a plowable event. Getting serviced as soon as possible could make a big difference for any business, and prevent any accidents from happening. If the contract says that any snowfall is a plowable event, then you’ll end up paying much more than needed. Similarly, a heavy snowfall of 4-5 inches can also be referred to as a plowable event. In this case, you’ll be exposing your business to unnecessary danger. So a proper balance is required, which definitely depends upon your business type.

Estimate Tonnage

Estimate tonnage refers to the required amount of salt or deicers in tons to keep the surfaces of your property from becoming icy after the snow has been removed. Like everything else in the contract, you need to have a clear idea of how much is good for your business. If you go too high with the amount, you’ll add tons of bucks to your cost. Similarly, ordering a very low amount may lead to a shortage on the spot and cause your business to lose some customers in the process. So a healthy balance is always required here, which you can ask your contractor about.

Types of Contracts

Snow removal contracts

There are mainly three types of snow removal contracts that you can get. Each comes with its own specification.

Your business may find Per Push contract while another might prefer Per Event contract. So to know which one is better for you, let’s discuss each type briefly.

Per Push

A per push snow removal contract is for you if you want to pay for each time you have snow plowed, ice treated, or any area shoveled. This means that your business is liable to pay the contractor each time they plow your property. This is ideal if you’re not expecting too many visits, or you expect a low snowfall. However, this can backfire if you have like snowfall each day, and you need to pay each time the snow is plowed. The billing for per push can either be by the inch, or by the hour after the snow has reached a certain height and it will take additional work. For this situation, going with a seasonal contract might be better.

Per Event

Like Per Push, Per Event snow removal contract also gives you the freedom to pay whenever the snow is plowed. The difference with per event is that you pay typically per storm, in a 24-hour window. As with per push, if the storm requires multiple visits, the billing may increase as it will take more work than anticipated. However, you need to clarify with your contractor about the extra payments they may ask for. This is because a storm or an event can be severe and lead to multiple rounds of plowing, which means extra hours and extra expenses. Per event is ideal if there is severe winter weather in the forecast.


This is the Netflix subscription of snow contracts. You pay once and enjoy the benefits for a certain amount of time. This is the reason for its extreme popularity, too, as it relieves all the tensions that come with a snow removal contract. Usually, these contracts can last for 3-4 years, which means you don’t have to worry about a light snowfall this year, and next year will compensate for it. When coming up with the pricing for a seasonal contract, companies will take many things into account from the past 10-15 years of snowfall, to set a reasonable price. However, it is also important to ask what the billable cycle of the contract is, so you know exactly when you are paying for your snow removal services, and how often.

Why Seasonal Snow Contracts May Be the Best Value for Your Money

Have you considered seasonal snow contracts? They are also referred to as flat-rate snow removal services, and they’re an increasingly popular offering across landscaping companies. This offering typically extends from March through November, and many commercial snow removal companies seek multi-year contracts for this type of removal.

Seasonal snow contract benefits are multi-layered:

  • They allow for budget predictability as the cost is consistent regardless of how much snow comes down each season.
  • Property managers don’t have to worry about going over budget or negotiating contracts for multiple years.
  • If you live in an area that often receives tons of snow, seasonal snow contracts provide high value for your money.
  • Even if you don’t receive a ton of snow one winter, the next winter’s snow storms can help level out the average costs.
  • Avoid monitoring the weather to ensure your business remains functional year-round.

If you’re interested in exploring seasonal snow contracts, be sure to act proactively. Many companies have hit their limit of signed contracts by the time November hits. Start considering if this is a viable option for your commercial business.

Common Snow Removal Equipment

Snow Removal Equipment

In your snow plowing contract, you’ll see the mentioning of the snow removal equipment your contractor will use. This means that you’ll have to know about some commonly used equipment before committing to the contract to save money and time during the plowing process.

To get through this, let’s talk about some of the most commonly used snow removal equipment.


A plow, or snowplow, is simple equipment that’s attached to the front of the vehicle. It is used to remove snow and ice from roadways and other surfaces that are used for transportation. It pushes the snow to the sides, thus clearing a pathway for your customers.

Snow Blower/Mover

A snow blower is another machine used to remove snow from any unwanted surface. Like a lawnmower, a snow mower (or snow blower) cuts through the snow. The snow comes in from the front and is collected on the side or taken on another vehicle so it can be removed from the property. Snow blowers can be small and something you keep in your garage, or they can be attached to large vehicles, depending on how much snow you are clearing.


A skid, or skid steer loader is the machine that a snowblower or a plow can be attached to. This allows for fast and smooth plowing of snow without needing extra labor. A skid steer is a type of loader.


A loader, or a front loader snow plow, is a type of plow that can be used to collect snow from the snowblower or collect snow from the sideways. Once collected, it can be driven to a remote location to dump the snow.


A spreader, or a salt spreader, is used to evenly spread the salt faster and in larger quantities on snow while being pushed by a human or a vehicle. It makes the whole process a lot easier, and the snow melts evenly for quick removal. If rock salt deployment is a service in your contract, then you need to ensure they are using a spreader to efficiently manage your parking lot and sidewalks.


For more details, contact Earth Development Inc. We’re here to guide you through your snow removal contracts and are providing the best contract in the states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, and Iowa to a number of satisfied clients.

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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The amount of snow Minnesota gets each winter fluctuates, but it’s typically safe to expect a consistent amount throughout the winter months. Last year, did you have enough space on your property to store plowed snow?