PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich-
It’s depressing for Brent Fields to watch the weather forecast these days. Brent is the owner of The Lawn Ranger, a snow removal and plowing company. He says this year has been one of the worst years ever for his businesses, due to the lack of snow.
“Without a heavy snowfall there is no snow removal as far as haul away and stacking snow. No salting is going on. Salt is extra, and that’s not happening,” Fields said.
During a normal winter, The Lawn Ranger sends the trucks out to plow about 25 times. Last winter, they plowed a total of 13 times and this season they’ve gone out only once.
Brent says 2008 and 2009 were great years for his business, with over 100 inches of snow keeping them busy. Now, they have nothing to do.
“Normally there are things to fix, things to wash, things to straighten up. But, this place is completely organized and it’s just weird, it’s really strange,” Fields said.
Brent says the lack of snow isn’t hitting his business as hard as smaller plowing companies, because most of his customers have prepaid plans. That means they’ve paid a flat fee to have their parking lots and driveways plowed for the season.
Good for business this winter, but that’s not always the case.
“The people that prepaid in 08-09 had us there 38 times in 08 and 33 times in 09,” Fields said.
Brent says all he can do now is keep his fingers crossed for some snow.
“I don’t have any winter hobbies, because usually when it’s winter I’m so busy with it and if I’m not, I’m trying to catch up on sleep. I should probably learn how to ski or something,” Fields said.
Brent says he’s lost about 30% of his residential customers due to the lack of snow, and about $20,000 in lost revenue overall.