Is it too late to employ a contractor to help manage unpredictable winter conditions?
We think we’re done with winter, Christmas is over, and so many of us associate Christmas time with being the coldest time of year, after all, the greetings cards portray snowy scenes or beautiful frost-laden landscapes. We head back to work with a ‘New Year, new start’ mentality, discuss plans and objectives for the coming 12-months, look forward to more daylight, maybe even start planning that summer holiday?!
But then it gets cold, really cold, we slip and slide into the winter period, that we think we left behind, and continue to witness sub-zero temperatures across the country - because winter is only just taking hold. You thought about putting a winter maintenance plan in place before Christmas, but then the weather became mild. Perhaps the business can manage? Perhaps you can think about shifting this work forward by 8-months or so? In doing this you could save money?
However, a cold snap is only around the corner, so how long do you go between one cold period and another, hoping that an incident won’t occur involving a staff member or customer on your premises? How many times do you hope that unpredictable weather won’t affect the day-to-day running of your business?
Cold weather isn’t going anywhere during the winter season, so why not prepare for it, instead of hoping for the best? When it comes to planning, there is no time like the present to implement a winter maintenance programme, not just for the remainder of this season, but the next too.
Of course, winter gritting can be managed in-house by maintenance and security personnel, but this job involves more than tossing salt onto the ground. The training, equipment (and its servicing), materials, buying and storing salt, alongside commitment from staff can be a huge undertaking and investment. When the research and cost exercise is carried out, many businesses decide to reach out to contractors for support.
So what should a good contractor offer your business?
On request / pay-as-you-go servicing gives you the choice when the temperature gets to zero degrees or below. On checking a recognised Road Surface Temperature (RST) forecasting system, the client can make a decision whether or not to accept a grit of their grounds.
Alternatively, when a certain temperature is forecasted a grit service will automatically take place, unless instructed otherwise. This is an ‘opt out’ rather than an ‘opt-in’ service - ideal for busy days when you have to dedicate your time to more pressing matters and don’t have a chance to deal with the weather forecast. On these days you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that this task is looked after by trusted, external support.
A fully automatic service can be executed, when an agreed temperature trigger point is detailed on the forecast. A site can be automatically gritted with no decision making process from the customer required.
The flat feeoption can help with budgeting and covers the whole winter period, generally ending on 31st March.
Dedication is offered to our customers. Our teams are on standby from 1st November to 31st March, gritting over the Christmas and New Year periods.
The job can be dangerous and exhausting. Our teams take the responsibility very seriously. After all, the smooth running of your day can often hinge on the complex operation that they have administered in the cold, dark, small hours, whilst we are unaware and safely tucked up in the comfort of our beds!
Our postcode specific forecasting service is tailored to suit our client’s needs. This involves a full season subscription. We urge anyone to be wary of free air temperature weather sources, as understanding surface temperature is essential, alongside knowing how to interpret the data involved.
Supplies & Equipment
Avoid the issue of buying and storing salt, running out or having too much left over. Your contractor will have a trusted supplier in place, buying in bulk and passing on savings. The burden of investing and storing equipment is also not yours to bear. It is our responsibility to source innovative equipment and technology so that we have options to suit all client requests and needs.
Despite weather warnings, snow still seems to take businesses by surprise! If your contractor does not offer in-house snow clearance options, ask why. A good contractor will also have a strategy to talk you through, giving you peace of mind, as the subject of snow cannot be avoided when considering a winter maintenance partnership.
Health & Safety Considerations
The health and safety element underpins all client /contractor liaisons and worst case scenario must be considered.
So how can you prove that a grit was carried out on a particular day? A trail of accountability must be logged, from forecasting system to vehicle tracking and proof that the salt was applied correctly to the site. When implementing a winter plan, our customers are, understandably, considering risk management and protecting themselves should legal claims occur. Don’t be afraid to ask pertinent questions. A good contractor will have the appropriate systems and legal cover in place.
Local Support From A National Company
Our customers aren’t actually buying a gritting service, they are investing in a relationship, best practice methods, centralised record keeping and national standards - all partnered with local experts and vast experience. This sets Complete Ice Control apart from the competition. With a network of highly skilled teams, you can be assured that we have someone steadfast, and close to you that can offer you the service that encompasses all of the above key topics when considering who you should entrust with your business premises, precious workforce and valued customers.
It is never too late to put a contractor in place to help manage unpredictable winter conditions…For more information about our winter maintenance services click here
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