The Inn at St. John’s is a luxury resort located in Plymouth, Michigan. Over the last 18 years, it has seen numerous updates, expansion, and redevelopment while maintaining the Romanesque architecture that gives it such a unique energy. The resort currently features the St. John’s Conference Center, a Grand Ballroom adequate to accommodate up to 450 guests, two regal ballrooms, a two-story Atrium Room, as well as twenty-two meeting rooms. The hotel offers a total of 118 luxury guestrooms, choice of a fine-dining or casual dining experience, and an impressive golf course spanning a total of 27 holes.
With a resort this massive, you can be sure The Inn at St. John’s has some particular snow removal needs that must be met in order to keep things running smoothly. With so much to offer, they undoubtedly have many different areas to maintain during the cold winter months; such as driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. Back in February, Orec America spent some time with David Pawluk, the Golf and Grounds Superintendent, and Jake Doby, a member of the Grounds Crew, to show them just how much the Snow Bull can do and how it can meet and even exceed their expectations for grounds maintenance during the winter months.
Removing Snow with a Snow Bull
Imagine turning a once-dreaded task into one that is enjoyable by removing snow with a Snow Bull, our walk behind snow plow! It is quality crafted to make the job of removing snow easy, efficient, and uncomplicated. While snow blowers are appropriate for some conditions, they present a few challenges and may not perform as desired when dealing with especially wet or compact snow. In these types of snow conditions, they can get clogged and/or throw ice and other debris into areas that may create a safety hazard. With the Snow Bull, that’s not a problem.
In the below video, you’ll learn some of the key features and best applications for using the Snow Bull. Enjoy the video as we had a blast spending the afternoon with the wonderful team over at the Inn at St. John’s. They got the chance to test out this new and improved walk-behind snow plow prior to it hitting the market last month.
As you learned in this video, the Snow Bull is a great machine for snow removal professionals, landscapers, business owners and large property owners that need continual maintenance of sidewalks, pathways, driveways, ramps, bridges and other areas that are too narrow to clear with large snow removal equipment.
In addition, it is important to point out that when the snow is particularly wet, we recommend the removal of one or both of the side panels from the snow shovel. Then, simply adjust the plow angle to 15 or 30 degrees to allow the snow to freely flow off to one side. This will prevent the snow from building up and rolling up into too large of a “snow log” that can potentially become too heavy to push in a straightforward direction after too long of a stretch.
When the operator is working with dry and more fluffy snow conditions, they should remove one of the side panels so that the snow can flow off to one side. Unlike wet and compact snow which builds up in weight very quickly, dry snow builds up in height very quickly as the user plows straightforward. Therefore, the snow depth should not exceed 13 inches which is the height of the plow itself. When the snow depth is higher than the snow plow, it will then flow over the top and back onto the area the user is attempting to clear.
Lastly, we wanted to highlight one key upgrade to this new version of the Snow Bull since shooting this video last winter. In the video around the 4-minute mark, the Snow Bull required the loosening of manual finger nuts to remove the side walls of the plow. We have now made both side walls a simple quick release for your convenience! We do listen to ALL the feedback we receive from all our customers in person and on social media.
Removing Snow on Narrow Ramps
One of the many challenges of outdoor maintenance during the winter months is removing snow on narrow ramps and clearing it from difficult areas and/or surfaces. Snow removal from ramps can be quite dangerous as they can be covered in ice and very slippery. This is not a problem with a machine like the Snow Bull. The tracks provide excellent traction on icy surfaces and the machine itself isn’t too bulky to get through those sometimes difficult to reach places; places that would be too restrictive to reach with large equipment such as a truck-mounted plow. The plow on the Snow Bull measures at 31.5” across, making it suitable to clear snow from narrow pathways or ramps with ease.
What makes removing snow on narrow ramps so difficult, is getting the snow in the desired end location. With the Snow Bull, you can easily adjust the plow angle to either side at a measure of 0, 15, or 30 degrees. This allows you to clear the snow from the ramp and have it pushed to either side without having it thrown into the air and possibly not being placed in the appropriate location. No more snow throwing onto neighboring properties!
Removing Snow on Pathways
Removing snow on pathways can present some challenges depending on what kind of surface you are trying to work with. Gravel pathways can be quite dangerous when looking at the different snow removal options out there. Snow blowers could potentially become incredibly dangerous if they were to pick up rocks with the snow. Another thing to keep in mind is the damage it could do to your machine if you were to get gravel in your snow blower. A walk behind snow plow proves to be a better solution, offering a higher level of safety and lower risk of harm to you or your machine. The Snow Bull allows you to adjust the height of the plow as well as offering an optional rubber scraper attachment, making it easier to meet the needs of all different type of pathway surfaces.
Removing Snow on Sidewalks
Removing snow on sidewalks is one of the most common outdoor maintenance needs during the winter months. For many people, using the old method of handheld shoveling is not always optimal, as it can take a lot of time to complete and can sometimes be a bit too physically strenuous on the body for certain individuals. Some states actually require that your sidewalk is cleared of snow. If it is not, and a pedestrian slips and falls or gets injured due to the snow and/or ice, you could potentially be facing a lawsuit. In fact, in most places, you are responsible for not only your private sidewalks but any public sidewalk that touches your property. This makes removing snow on sidewalks a major concern. Many people turn to snow blowers or other machines to make this process as easy as possible. Unfortunately, some communities do not allow the use of snow blowers due to things like safety risks and noise ordinances.
Overcoming a Flight of Stairs While Removing Snow
Snow removal for a luxury resort the size of The Inn at St. John’s includes so many different surfaces to be cleared and sometimes the biggest problem ground crews face is getting the equipment to the desired location. A lot of the machines on the market for snow removal do not allow you to maneuver the equipment over various landscapes such as up a flight of stairs. This creates complications when trying to access certain areas. Having a machine with powerful dual tracks eliminates this issue. Tracks allow you to guide the machine up and down stairs with minimal effort, which is important when removing snow from such a large and diverse expanse of property.
The Snow Bull Makes Removing Snow Easier in Challenging Areas
Removing snow is largely viewed as a challenging and unpleasant task. The Snow Bull has the ability to change that outlook. Its versatility and effectiveness make it a superior choice for winter maintenance. Wet and compact snow, uneven surfaces, and even stairs are no match for this innovative machine. Since its arrival in 2016, we’ve continued to innovate the Snow Bull based on the feedback we receive daily from YOU. Some of these changes include quick-release side walls, an optional rubber scraper blade attachment, wider stance, and longer tracks. The Snow Bull tackles snow removal without being held back by tough landscapes, wet snow or the machine malfunction due to clogged augers that you might experience with a snow blower. This is definitely a product to consider if you’re looking to work smarter, not harder, this winter.