Municipal contractor relies on dependable gear for Boston snow removal
Stocking the right equipment, preparing it at various locations and having dependable employees on standby are three reasons George Sarris made it through the worst winter in Boston’s history. During winter of 2014 – 2015, Boston, Mass., broke an all-time season snow record — which meant lots of work for snow removal specialists like Sarris.
Sarris and his family own and operate Sarris Auto and Truck Equipment. Sarris Snow Removal is a division of Sarris Auto and Truck Equipment, and specializes in snow and ice removal. When Boston was hit in January and February 2015 with back-to-back mega snowstorms, Sarris fought back with snow and ice removal equipment to help his customers maintain their daily schedules.
Sarris and his equipment operators clear snow from large municipal parking lots, big-box home improvement stores, area shopping malls and even a few residential neighborhoods. To handle bulk snow removal, Sarris has purchased five Doosan wheel loaders. Altogether, Sarris has 40 pieces of equipment, including trucks, some with salt and sand spreaders in the cargo box and plows on the front. He owns four Bobcat skid-steer loaders and snow-removal attachments to clear snow from areas where his larger machines and trucks can’t fit.
“In the snow removal industry, you have to have good equipment to be able to do the work,” he says. “You have to have dependable machines and you have to do a good job. Any kind of edge you can get is a good thing.”
Sarris believes in planning for snowstorms, having his equipment ready and employees on call, available to respond quickly after a storm. “I have my equipment onsite, and it is serviced and fueled,” he says. “I call my operators and put them on standby when a storm is approaching. I have dedicated employees at certain locations and they go to work as soon as they can.”
Commercial centers and government operations want their parking lots free of snow before they open each morning. That can present a challenge for Sarris, depending on the timing of the snowstorm. “We try to clear as much as we can before the stores open, depending on the timing of the snow event,” he explains. “We do a lot of our work after hours and in the early morning. When you get snow early in the morning and the store has to open at 7 a.m., you need to move quickly.”
Snow removal can be a challenging business because of the unpredictably of the work. Unlike planned construction jobsites, Sarris has to always be ready to respond to a storm. “When the big snowstorms strike, you need to get things done quickly. If you don’t have the right equipment, you are not going to keep up.”