The contractor’s preparation for the winter season usually starts already in the previous winter season. When the winter season for street and road maintenance officially starts at the beginning of October, the equipment and workers must already be ready to go.
The mornings are cool again and the evenings are dark, which means that the maintenance of streets and roads has moved to the winter season again. The busiest season is just ahead, but the contractors have already started preparing for the current season in the previous winter season.
We found out from Viherpalvelut Hyvönen Oy, which does regional contracting, green construction and maintenance of green areas, what all the contractor’s preparation for the winter maintenance season entails. Viherpalvelut Hyvönen has used the Fluent Kunto system in its street and road maintenance work since 2014. The company is one of Fluent’s important customers, whose expertise is used to continuously develop the application to better respond to all situations encountered by contractors.
Planning and procurement take time
“Preparation for the winter maintenance season already starts the previous winter, for example in terms of tendering contracts and equipment resources. Machine purchases and planning take time”, says Viherpalvelut Hyvönen Oy’s site manager Jenni Lehtoaho.
In terms of maintenance, the winter maintenance season officially starts on October 1st each year. However, Lehtoaho reminds us that this year in Northern Finland, other contractors have been able to plow as early as September.
“The contractor must be ready for winter maintenance work depending on the weather, and in southernmost Finland this early October is a typical time to be ready. Preventing slipperiness on streets and roads can be needed surprisingly early in the fall”, Lehtoaho says.
Preventing slipperiness on streets and roads can be needed surprisingly early in the fall.
Preparatory work and familiarization play an important role
For the contractor, the most important thing in preparing for the winter season is the functionality of the whole and the smoothness of the cooperation.
“All individual elements play an important role. Preparation includes, among other things, planning, doing preparatory work such as putting the plowing signals on place, planning and allocating the resources and familiarizing the drivers with the tasks and guiding them with the area”, says Lehtoaho.
According to Lehtoaho, the so-called general plowing cannot be carried out without falling snow, but for example, the contractor should study routing with the drivers in advance.
Preparation includes, among other things, planning, doing preparatory work such as putting the plowing signals on place, planning and allocating the resources and familiarizing the drivers with the tasks and guiding them with the area.
“Many nuances emerge during the first plowing sessions, and the operation is developed accordingly. Plowing signaling is a good job for the driver, because over time you get to know your own area,” says Lehtoaho.
New contracts engage at the beginning of the season
Winter seasons always vary, and according to Jenni Lehtoaho, no two seasons are the same from a contractor’s point of view. For example, last winter the first plowings were done relatively early in Southern Finland.
However, at the beginning of the winter season, the contractor is usually most busy with new starting projects and new workers, because getting to know new areas and their special features as well as new pits and plowing routes takes time.
“Establishing something new is always engaging. If, on the other hand, there is an already existing contract, then historical information and existing practices have already been created, and the start of winter therefore usually takes less work than when starting a new contract”, Lehtoaho sums up.