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Snow Removal FAQ

Why do I need snow removal services?
Snow removal services are for anyone who expects their vacation time to be a vacation, and not a snow-clearing day. They are for the working man that longs to arrive at work refreshed from a pleasant nights sleep and not worn-out from clearing the driveway. Living in snow country can be challenging, but with our help it doesn’t have to be such a chore. We have the equipment and the know-how to make snow removal one thing less you have to think about.

How much insurance do you carry?
We carry a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy and all of our employees are covered by a workers’ compensation policy.

Do you have a Contractor’s License?
We do have a Contractors License for General Building (B) and for General Engineering (A).
J.G. Dollar & Associates Inc. CA Lic# 606944

Can your snowblowers handle our Sierra winter conditions?
Yes, we have been successfully removing snow from Dorrington/Camp Connell area  for several years. The durable, compact and lightweight design of our tractors makes us especially well equipped to handle the narrow, steep and often poorly paved or unpaved driveways common to our service area.

How many driveway clearings come with a seasonal agreement?
Your agreement provides you with unlimited driveway clearings from Nov 15th thru April 15th

When do I need to sign up for service?
We encourage early commitment (by Oct 1st) as this allows us time to accurately plan our winter operations. Early commitments help us hire the appropriate number of operators, invest in new machinery and stake your driveway before the snow removal season begins.  We will often take on new contracts after the season begins but encourage returning clients to contact us as early as possible if they do intend to renew the service contract even if payment will arrive later.

Do you accept credit cards?
We accept Visa, Discover, Diners Club and Mastercard payments thru Paypal.

Rather than use a seasonal contract, can we give you a call and have our driveway cleared as needed?
Of course we offer on call service for all Dorrington/Camp Connell residents, however it is important to take into account the different cost structure. For on call visits we calculate the fee for service based on the driveway size, slope and amount of snow that has fallen.

Because of this, many customers find the break-even point with a seasonal contract to be only six or seven visits to the site. You also may find that with only on call service, a sheet of ice has formed beneath the snow creating a much larger problem.

Many of our clients enjoy the following benefits of having their driveway cleared all winter:
Unlimited emergency access to their home in case of fire, plumbing freeze-up, etc.
No phone calls or emails to coordinate on-time clearing hoping that we are available between storm cycles.
No concern over changing arrival and/or departure times.

What time will my driveway be cleared?
We will begin snow removal operations when snowfall reaches a depth of approximately 4″ in your route area. Therefore, the timing of snow removal may vary from day to day. We try to begin snow removal operations between 1:00a.m. – 3:00a.m., with our routes taking about five to eight hours to complete. Because of the unpredictability and severity of the weather, we cannot guarantee that we will arrive at your house at a set time every day.

Why do you perform snow-removal in the middle of the night?
Traffic and safety concerns make nighttime the best time for our operators to be out. While our tractors are light and highly maneuverable, they are constantly backing out of driveways. Operating during the middle of the night allows us to work quickly and without the risk or delays of vehicular traffic.

Do you remove berms?
While we cannot coordinate our efforts with the County, our crew monitors their snow removal progress. Based on that information we decide whether or not the berms are a significant hindrance to homeowners and whether they should be eliminated immediately or during the next day of snow clearing. However, there are times when we are not able to return the same day because of operator fatigue, heavy snowfall, slow road clearing response from the County, etc.

What if the County berms me in after my driveway has been cleared?
We will make every effort to return to your home and clear the berm. Please realize that a number of factors (including snowfall conditions, number of available operators, etc) will influence our ability to do this. If we cannot return to your home on the same day, the berm will be removed on our next pass through your route.

Is the County responsible for the berms they leave?
As a general rule, no. You can view their official snow removal policy on the County’s Website
http://co.calaveras.ca.us/cc/Portals/0/Dept/PubWorks/Pub/Winter_Operations_Policy.pdf

Should I be protecting my landscaping from your equipment?
Our snowblowers will not damage your landscaping. That being said, you should always stake and tie off shrubs, bushes, and trees before the snow season starts.

Will my driveway always be snow free?
In an ideal world the snow would fall in short blocks, then have long breaks. In our world, the snow falls inconsistantly and sporadically. Your contract with us guarantees you one snow removal per 24 hour period. While this is usually sufficient, we do recommend you prepare yourself to remove the snowfall from small storms that may be less than 4″.

How close can you get to my garage door?
Our tractors are highly maneuverable and lightweight. In most cases, this means we can safely operate within a foot of your garage door, a parked car, or other object blocking our tractor. If the operator deems that the potential for damage is too high, we will not approach the object so closely.

Do I need to call before coming up to my home?
Although it is always nice to hear from our customers, no phone calls or emails are necessary. We remove the snow from all of the driveways in our routes without regard to their occupancy. This helps ensure no ice sheets or other problems are created.  If you need to get out for an appointment or are concerned about access during a major storm event you may call to let us know of your specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate.

What if there’s another car parked in my driveway when you come to remove the snow?
We will safely work around the parked car(s) and clean up any remaining snow on our next pass. Because our routes are often cleared in the middle of the night, we will not disturb the occupants of the house to move their cars. If possible, we ask that you park on one side of the driveway rather than the middle. This allows us to clear the unoccupied side rather than nothing at all.

If there’s heavy snow falling, and a couple of feet in my driveway, but I need to leave, what can you do for me?
If there’s heavy snow in your driveway, there’s probably also heavy snow on the roads. Until the County clears the roadways, it may not be safe for you to operate your vehicle on the road. We encourage you to proceed only if you can do so safely.

The steep slope of my driveway is causing me difficulties.
Some homes in the Dorrington/Camp Connell area were built without fully considering the effects of winter. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee full access to the home in these situations. We will make every effort to keep constant access available, but recommend using a four-wheel drive vehicle and/or tire chains to access your home.

Do I need to wait for my driveway to be cleared before leaving?
Not at all. Driving on the snow will only pack it, and with our regular snow removal service, it will not turn to ice.

What if one of my snow stakes is knocked out?
If you find you are unable to repair the stake yourself, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Useful Links:

Winter Operations – County of Calaveras
http://co.calaveras.ca.us/cc/Snow.aspx

Winter Driving Tips
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/snwice.htm

Chain Control/Road Conditions
KVML 1610 AM
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/chains.htm

Public Works
email: snowplower@co.calaveras.ca.us
telephone: (209)754-6402

Local Weather Conditions & Forecasts
http://www.bigtreestech.com/home/forecast

Web Cams
http://www.ourbv.com/index.cgi/Webcams

Public Works will respond to all legitimate emergencies (threat to life, health or property).
The Public Works offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be
contacted at (209) 754-6402.

In the event of an emergency on weekends or evenings, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at
(209) 754-6500 who will then dispatch the proper Public Works employees in the area.