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Efficient Crew Size for Sidewalks

The most efficient crew size for performing sidewalk snow removal activities has been discussed, argued, and subjected to trial and error testing. Since sidewalk snow removal emerged as a separate (or specialty) business, the issue became more important. By adding mobile crews, we discovered the importance of correct crew sizing. In today’s competitive labor environment the need for higher productivity and increased quality suggests a ‘new look’ at sizing sidewalk snow removal crews.

Let’s look back at our (non-snow related) experience with small crews. Most of us at some time in our careers have worked as a one-person crew. Remember how much you could accomplish in one long day? Remember the first really good helper, the one who read your mind and did what you wanted him to do? You increased your production when you added the helper -- BUT you did not double it. Sidewalk snow removal (and snowplowing too, for that matter) is a series of solo, one-person tasks. Unlike landscape installation or construction, sidewalk maintenance crews do not handle heavy or awkward materials or equipment requiring more than one person to improve efficiency. This lack of synergistic benefit on a per task basis encourages us to think of our crews as combinations of one-person crews.

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