Have you decided you want to find a better, longer-lasting solution to your blade wear and tear? There are lots of great options for upgrading your snow plow blades, but often the biggest obstacle is convincing others you need a change.
Most government organizations can have red tape at many levels and pushing for change amidst differing layers of bureaucracy can be even harder. However, it is doable! One of the best ways to create change is to get the right people at the table early in the process.
Think about who has a role to play in the entire process from acquiring to using the blades your municipality or DOT owns. Some typical job roles involved in these decisions are the Road Maintenance Supervisor, a Maintenance Division Director, someone from purchasing, budgets, or accounting, and someone who works on bids and contracts. Each person at the table has a different priority and you’ll need to appeal to a wide swath of concerns.
Cost, safety, uptime, and timelines are all potential concerns to be discussed. Here are some tips on how to address each!
Do the math. How much are you currently spending on blades and blade-related items each season? If you could use the same blades for 3-4 seasons would the one-time cost of longer lasting blades be less than what you are paying year after year? Try plugging your numbers into a comparison calculator to see.
Safety is a huge liability and should trump most other concerns. The Village of Buffalo Grove in Illinois adopted new blade systems, and reported, “We have not spent a single minute working on cutting edges during a storm event.” With often low visibility, handling tools and other heavy equipment in hostile weather, and general fatigue, having reliable blades cuts down on top safety concerns.
The amount of man hours during a storm spent changing out blades can be staggering when you consider the full season. The Village of Buffalo Grove did the math on this as well, and realized when they switched blades they saved around 70 man-hours over the life of the blades.
Learn to speak the language of the people you are working with. If a bid or contract writer has a certain time frame that they collect bids, don’t suggest the change after that timeframe has closed. Be mindful of their limitations, too, in order to maximize your chances of them working with you for a better solution.
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