Four Seasons Landscaping uses its fleet of Volvo construction equipment to clear away snow and ice for customers across Connecticut, USA.
Connecticut lies on the northeast coast of America, bordering New York and Massachusetts. It’s susceptible to extreme weather – from hot and humid in the summer to snow storms in the winter and temperatures dipping below -10°C. Although only the third smallest state of America, northern Connecticut gets twice as much snow on average compared to the south. Most snow storms usually bring 127- 203mm (5-8 inches) but once every five to 10 years a heavy snowstorm drops 305- 457mm (12- 18 inches) of snow on the state.
Four Seasons Landscaping Inc. was established in 1980 and operates between Hartford in Connecticut and Springfield in Massachusetts. The company clears away snow and ice to keep paths, roads and sites clear for its customers during the winter months. That’s not all, it also specializes in landscape construction and management, tree transplanting, sports field maintenance and earth moving.
Many of Four Seasons Landscaping’s clients are commercial and rely on the company when Mother Nature dictates extreme weather. A snow storm can affect a large amount of the company’s clientele all at once, which calls for precision, coordination, manpower and high quality mechanical assistance – provided by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE).
In the past the company used many different brands of skid steer loaders and pickup trucks with snow plows but today, it uses a fleet of Volvo wheel loaders. The company owns six Volvo compact loaders – ranging from a 6.8-tonne L35B-Series wheel loader to a 20-tonne L120D-Series loader.
“The compact loaders have great stability – which is particularly helpful in the snow and ice,” says Bob St. Jacques, president and owner of Four Seasons. “Removing snow is made easier with the machines’ power, maneuverability and control. The crew and I also appreciate their efficiency in terms of time and fuel. They allow us to work on bigger projects and properties. Towns are also restricting permissible noise levels so it’s good that our Volvos are quiet – some of our clients are in residential areas and if we are clearing snow at night, loud machinery could disturb the residents.”
Four Seasons has several customers with large grounds and over 300,000 m2 (a million ft2) of pavement, including a Walgreens distribution center and the Griffin Land Holdings warehouse. About 75% of its customers have used the company for over a decade.
“No two snow flurries are the same – every minute counts when it’s coming down thick and fast,” says St. Jacques. “We have to assess and prioritize the most pressing jobs based on when the storm hits. For a midnight storm, most of your nine-to-five medical offices, banks and businesses need to be cleared by open hours. But places like hospitals and colleges need to be clear at all times. You want to make sure everyone is safe, you have the right people and machines in the right places and that you have adequate man and machine power at each job.”
The company started using Volvo wheel loaders in 1997 when it was expanding and looking to purchase snow removal equipment. Tyler Equipment, Volvo CE’s dealer in the region, helped Four Seasons with its requirements.
“At the time, the industry didn’t see many landscape companies asking for the same machines as construction companies, says St. Jacques. “Not only did the dealership respond to our needs, it let us test drive the machines and really looked after us – we have been getting our Volvo wheel loaders from them ever since.”
“In the past we’d see customers buying large skid steers just to get the push they needed,” says Doug Ryan, a sales representative from Tyler Equipment. “But a Volvo compact wheel loader can out push a skid steer and generally has more capacity, depending on the application and needs of the customer. The difference between Four Seasons and its competitors is that it will take on jobs that others won’t touch. And as they’ve grown, its need for bigger equipment also meets the demands of a lot more customers.”
Picture 1: A snow day for the Volvos
Picture 2: The Volvo wheel loaders carry out site maintenance