Four Seasons breaks the ice

Four Seasons Landscaping Inc. uses its fleet of Volvo construction equipment to clear away snow and ice for nearly a hundred of its customers in 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 and ice in the winter – when it has been known to plummet to below 10oC. Northern Connecticut gets twice as much snow on average compared to the south and most snow storms usually brings five to eight inches, but once every five to ten years a heavy snowstorm drops 12 to 18 inches of snow on the state.

Landscaping company, Four Seasons Landscaping Inc. established in 1980, operates between Hartford in Connecticut and Springfield in Massachusetts, clearing away snow and ice to keep paths, roads and sites clear for its customers during the winter months. The company also specializes in landscape construction and management, tree transplanting, sports field maintenance and earth moving.

Many clients are located in commercial properties and rely on the company when Mother Nature dictates extreme weather. A snow storm can affect a large amount or the company’s clientele at once, which calls for precision, coordination, manpower and high quality mechanical assistance – provided by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE).

Better results with Volvo

In the past the company used a fleet of skid steer loaders and pickup trucks with 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 that still run like new.

“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 cracking down on noise 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.”

Volvo CE’s latest L120 G-Series wheel loader features a Tier 4 Interim engine, delivering reliable power, fuel efficiency and lower environmental emissions and noise. The machine’s patented torque parallel linkage allows the machine to get closer to the snow and raises it quickly with smooth, horizontal stability. More accurate loading saves time and increases productivity. Its high breakout torque, even in the highest position, gives you increased power for the biggest jobs.

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 and 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 have around-the-clock-needs. 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.”

Shape shifting

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 a machine 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 have 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.”

“We might be ready for another loader now,” adds St. Jacques. “But I won’t look anywhere else than Tyler Equipment. I get the quality and dependability I need and dealer support that’s just a call away.”