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Profiting from snow – without a plow

Industry News

Capital Turf Management has found a good revenue stream in treating roads.

Lee Chilcote | October 24, 2011

The extreme winter weather that’s been hitting the Northeast U.S. region in recent years has often made it tough for plows to clear the roads effectively. Yet that has led to a profitable side business for Capital Turf Management in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. 

“If there’s a storm, cities and towns will call us in to pre-treat the roadways,” says Andrew Adams, president of Capital Turf Management, which has offices in Pennsylvania and Maryland and 12 full-time employees.

“We have a truck with a modified boom arm, and we use that to apply a combination of salt and magnesium calcium,” Adams says. “We will put lines in the roadway, and when temperatures get to a certain level, that helps to melt the snow.”

Perhaps the best part is that Capital gets paid for the service whether it snows or not, unlike plowing businesses that are dependent upon the snowfall an area receives.

“It’s a crapshoot for people,” Adams says. “We’ll get a call and do it, and if it turns into rain, then we still get paid.”
Adams believes that add-on services such as this one, if they are properly thought out and managed, can be very profitable for landscape companies. “As much competition as there is, it’s not a bad idea to diversify a little bit,” he says. “As long as you stay focused on your main thing and it doesn’t take away from what you know best.”
 

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