Years ago, people predicted winter weather by counting the number of acorns that tumbled from oak trees or observing orange stripes on fuzzy woolly worm caterpillars.
These days, Level Green Landscaping snow manager Greg Stacho has a lot more tricks up his sleeve.
He uses the latest technological advancements to monitor the weather, plan our attack and track snow crews so our customers have the best and safest snow removal in the area.
Here’s a look behind the tech:
It’s Unpredictable Around Here
“The Maryland region is unique because winter weather is extremely unpredictable here,” Stacho says. “We’re right on the line of temperature swings and on the battleground for storms that can either come up the coast or across the country.
“With warm gulf air often meeting cold Canadian air, we need all the weather models we can get to help us predict what’s ahead. The forecast can change even just a couple hours before a predicted event.”
While our customers likely watch the TV news for weather forecasts, we have our own meteorologist we can call for the latest weather updates.
“We call on him to get live data on how a storm is tracking,” Stacho says.
Stacho also monitors several online weather resources, using the same models and data meteorologists use.
“I’m looking at several different models five and six days ahead,” he says.
(Learn more about how we leverage technology in the short video below.)
Stacho has two computer screens tracking state highway administration traffic cameras that show him in real time what’s happening out on the roads.
“The state of Maryland has cameras from the state line all the way along the 95 corridor to DC,” he says. “I can see that 15 miles away the roads are starting to get covered with snow. I can see that snow is coming from the south. It’s information I can use to tell snow crews to get their trucks ready and plan to head out in a half hour.”
Sensing Ground Temperature
Stacho also monitors information from the state of Maryland’s ground sensors that tell how cold or warm the ground is.
“Even though the air temperature is below freezing, the ground temperature might not be,” he says. “I use that real time data to make decisions about how we react. We don’t want to assume we should put salt down when the ground is so warm no snow will even stick.”
GPS On Vehicles
“At any time I or any of our managers can pull up a screen and see where any of our vehicles are,” Stacho says.
If a mall property manager is on the phone reporting ice and wondering when our truck will arrive, a manager can look on the screen and say, “I see a truck is at the back of your property now, putting down salt.”
Mobile Device Tracking
All crew members have time tracking programs on their cell phones that show where they are and what task they’re doing.
“A crew member arrives at a job site, opens their phone and clocks in to their location,” Stacho says. “Then he logs in that he’s shoveling the sidewalk. If a property manager calls us we can use that technology to tell him exactly where our crews are and if they’re shoveling, salting or plowing — and even how many bags of salt they’ve put down.”
Level Green: Ahead of The Curve
While all this technology is standard procedure at Level Green, you won’t find it at all landscaping companies, Stacho says.
He knows of many large companies that still use paper forms and logs.
“We’re ahead of the curve compared to other companies,” Stacho says. “Not many companies have GPS on all their vehicles or use time management technology. We’re ahead of the competition.”
We Keep You In The Loop
Technology helps us keep you, our customers, updated as storms approach.
Five days before a predicted weather event, we send an email about the impending weather.
Then, 48 hours before, we call or email with an update. Another call goes out 24 hours ahead.
You’ll know our exact plan of attack.
Then, we keep you updated throughout the storm. Crews take photos of their progress with their cell phone cameras that account managers can forward to keep you posted.
And because we tell you, you have all the information you need to tell your tenants, customers, delivery people, employees and anyone else who needs communication updates.
Trust Your Snow Removal to Level Green
This top-notch, technology-enhanced snow service is available only to our year-round landscaping clients.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.