Living in Eastern Idaho brings with it beautiful summers and falls. The weather is calm as the leaves go from green to the amazing fall colors. However, being a resident here you definitely know what season is around the corner. When winter comes into Eastern Idaho, it doesn’t walk, it runs. For some this means winter sports, such as skiing, sledding, or taking out the snow machines. For others it means a busy time of year keeping the snow off of the roads and sidewalks so that society can continue functioning.
Snow removal has been around for years. It has allowed us to operate daily even though there are tremendous amounts of snow seeking to impede our way of life. An increase in snow removal technology has allowed us to live richer lives during these snowy seasons. Technology will only get better to assist us in snow removal. Having a brief understanding of the history of snow removal and the technological changes can help us be aware of how important snow removal is for our way of life. Also, it is important to know how snow removal can keep us from legal ramifications.
What is the history of Snow Removal?
You can imagine what Eastern Idaho was like 150 years ago. There were probably a few stores and houses. Travel was accomplished by horse and sleigh during the winter months or by walking. Snow removal wasn’t realistic at this time, aside from the occasional manual labor involving physically removing the snow by hand or shovel. The thought of having the ability to remove snow in large quantities could not even be understood by people in that time period.
It would be easy to think that the concept of a snow plow has been around forever and that people have been using them since the early 1800s. However, this is not the case. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has said, “the first snow plow was deployed in Milwaukee in 1862 and it was attached to a cart pulled by a team of horses through the snow-clogged streets.” As you can see, it took a long time to create a plow system pulled by a team of horses. Even with this new invention, it most likely didn’t make its way to the west until years later.
These horse drawn plow systems allowed cities to maintain snow removal on main streets. However, clearing the streets using this system caused many issues. The National Snow and Ice Data Center explained that many individuals “complained and even brought lawsuits against the plowing companies … [claiming] their storefronts were completely blocked with mounds of plowed snow, making them inaccessible to their customers.” This was an early invention that may have caused more troubles than help. The plowed snow would prevent many people from accessing side streets to get from business to business or even to their homes.
Even though there were a lot of problems with the way the first snow plows operated, it was an invention that propelled society forward. Figuring out the snow removal issue has allowed many cold and snowy areas to be thriving cities. Places that could not be sustained as a city can now be with technological advancements to remove snow.
How has it improved over the years?
If one were to pause and think about how technology has changed snow removal, it would be easy to understand how different things are now. Often, when we think of the earliest days of snow removal technology, we think of the horse, basic plow, and a shovel. There really was nothing else during this time period. The invention of machines, such as cars and tractors, has vastly improved the snow removal process.
Removing Snow with Improved Technology
In the early 1900s, vehicles and tractors started to appear on the scene. These new creations would change the country, especially in snowy regions. Areas that were difficult to live in during the winter season would now be a place where life could continue uninterrupted due to these technological advances. The following advances changed snow removal:
- Large trucks to plow snow
- Dump trucks to transport the snow
These are the technological advances on a large scale, but even the small scale advances are important. These smaller advances can come in the form of more power output from an engine or even better tires to maintain traction. Technology has truly changed the way we live, and it will continue to improve our way of life.
As discussed earlier, there were means to push the snow with the horse and plow, but actually removing the snow was a big problem. This problem is now easily dealt with. The addition of dump trucks and excavators has made this problem disappear. Trucks can take snow out of city limits and away from impeding anyone’s business.
What are the legal ramifications of not removing snow from your commercial or residential property?
With the improvement in snow removal, there should be no reason that you should have to deal with a lawsuit. We have all heard of slip and fall lawsuits, but as a business owner do you know when you could be liable. A legal analyst has said, “Generally, the person who is in the property is responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of the residence or business.” This means that a business owner is responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their business.
There may be times that a business owner is not responsible. This most often occurs in the form a lease agreement. In a lease it can be stated that the true owner of the property is responsible for snow removal. However, usually the business owner is the responsible party. Avoiding a lawsuit regarding snow removal should be fairly straightforward. It is important to keep your parking lots and in front of your businesses clean of snow and ice. If an individual were to slip and fall in front of your store because of your negligence, then you may be liable.
Taking simple precautions can protect you from future lawsuits. Some of these simple precautions could involve shoveling the snow off the walk every time it snows, putting ice melt down to prevent ice buildup, and hiring a company to clean your parking lots as well as any of the former precautions.
Simmons Sports and Services can help protect you from any legal troubles. They can assist you in cleaning snow from lots or sidewalks as well as making sure that you do not have any ice buildup. A simple phone call can help you avoid litigation and keep your business thriving during the snowy winter months.