Private plow drivers gear up for winter storm, ask public for help

After little snow this winter, plow drivers could be busy over the weekend
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 16, 2020

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — It has been a relatively mild winter, so far, with only small amounts of snow. But that could change over the weekend as forecasters predict areas in WNY might get a significant amount of snowfall.

"Yes, I get exited and a little bit anxious," said Connor Kolb from WNY Snow Removal in Orchard Park.

In 2014, Kolb and his two brothers founded WNY Snow Removal. Their first year in business turned out to be a "trial by fire" as the "Snowvember Storm" hit with 7-feet of snow. "Mother Nature was like "What are you guys made of? Will you guys be able to endure?," laughed the plow business co-owner.

The company now has several pieces of equipment and drivers. With a storm on the way, it was time to make sure equipment is working, vehicles fueled, and plowing schedules in place.

Despite the demanding hours, the brothers say they still enjoy plowing snow. "Just the satisfaction of knowing those people will now be able to get safely to work," said brother and co-founder Bryn Smith.

While WNY Snow Removal is structured financially so it can survive mild winters with season contracts, having snow means extra money from non-contract costumers who pay for "per-time" plowing. It also keeps workers on the job.

The plowing business said its goal, and every private plow driver's goal, is to work quickly, but there are times when the public can really help, explained Kolb:

  • Be considerate when you see a private plow with flashing amber lights trying to get to a location. "The longer they sit in traffic, the longer it takes for everyone's driveways and parking lots to get done."
  • Give plow drivers room when working in parking lots. "Try to steer clear of them."
  • Get by driveways quickly where plows are working and be conscience of not blocking the trucks in.
  • For businesses with multiple-car parking lots, try to have the cars moved to the same area when a plow arrives so it can be cleared more completely. If there is time, move the cars back to the cleared area so the remainder of the lot can be plowed.
  • Wear the proper footwear! Too often, said Kolb, he and his plow drivers see people in the parking lots they are clearing not wearing winter footwear - which greatly increases the chances of slipping and falling.