Terms and Conditions
- Shwaders will use a tractor with a blade and blower attachment to clear snow from driveways for any snowfall where total snow accumulation that sticks on pavement is at least one inch through March 31st, and two inches in the month of April.
- Our season runs from November 1st – April 30th, 24/7, which is six full months of service for one price.
Signups & Pricing
- Signups are open June 1st – October 25th. We may make exceptions to the October 23rd deadline on a case-by-case basis depending on driveway location, but pricing deadlines are final.
- A signed contract and payment in full are required for every driveway we service before enrollment is finalized. If we do not receive both the contract and payment by the deadlines listed below, the next pricing tier is in effect, regardless of when the signup process was initiated.
- Signup Date | Price Per Driveway
June 1 – September 30 | $425
October 1 – October 25 | $475
October 26 & later (per availability) | $525
- Pricing for shared driveways is per street address.
- Homes with more than one driveway can pick one driveway to be serviced or pay separately for each driveway.
- Shwaders Tractor Blowing services residential properties in Richfield, Bloomington east of Normandale Boulevard, and Edina east of Highway 100 and south of 54th Street . If you would like a quote for a commercial property, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our tractors are safe for use on asphalt and concrete driveways. We do not service pavers, gravel, dirt, nor stamped concrete.
- We do not service alley driveways, driveways on very busy streets, nor driveways narrower than ten feet wide.
- Steep/sloped driveways pose a unique challenge for our tractors and may not be a good fit for the service, depending on how steep they are and how well the homeowner can keep the driveway salted and clear of ice.
- All branches that hang over driveways must be trimmed to at least 10 feet high to allow clearance.
- This is a driveway snow removal service only; Shwaders does not perform shoveling of any kind.
- Unfortunately, we cannot recommend a shoveling service. Most of our customers who need help shoveling enlist the services of a neighbor or relative.
- This service is designed to clear the bulk of the snow from your driveway quickly and efficiently, blowing the snow into the front yard.
- Our tractors will do most of the work for you, but not all. Those signing up for this service understand that they still may need to do some shoveling in front of the garage door and around the edges if they desire a very clean, manicured look.
- How clear our tractors can scrape a driveway depends on many factors, including driveway shape, slope, condition, type and timing of snow, and sun exposure. Because none of these factors are within our control, we cannot guarantee that every driveway will look exactly the same at the end of a plow. Some driveways scrape clean to pavement every time, while many others maintain a small coating of snow.
- Our operators will do the best they can to get as close to the garage as is safe (usually about two feet).
- We will clear bump-outs to the best of our ability. Due to the size of our tractors and their inability to execute sharp turns, there may be snow remaining in the corners.
- Tuck-behinds can be very difficult for our tractors to navigate. Depending on your property, we may only be able to clear a path from the garage to the street. If you have questions or concerns about how much of the snow we will be able to remove, please call our office to discuss with a member of our team.
- Different tractor operators have different levels of comfort getting close to garages, landscaping features, etc. Within a snow removal season, we try to have the same operator running the same route except in the case of illness or vacation, but there may be changes in operators from season to season. Please note that we will not assign operators to routes until after signups have closed, and we cannot honor requests for specific operators.
- While we do our best to clear in front of mailboxes as a courtesy to our customers, Shwaders is not responsible for mailbox clearing and will not do service calls for mailboxes that have been plowed in.
Timing & Routing
- Shwaders does not guarantee snow will be removed within a particular time frame or by a certain time of day.
- Our tractors typically begin their routes when the snow stops falling, but start times may vary depending on the severity and timing of the storm.
- If an open-up is required, our tractors will begin their routes before the snow stops falling to do an initial pass and then follow immediately with a full clearing. Customers will be informed of the plan in these situations via text message.
- For snowfalls between one and two inches that wrap up at 8 p.m. or later, routes may begin at 7:00 a.m., allowing us to more efficiently clear city plow ridges, as cities will usually wait to plow side streets until the following day when snow totals are this low.
- Shwaders reserves the right to make calculated, context-dependent decisions on when/if to plow in unusual circumstances. For example, if we get 1.5 inches of snow when it will be 50 degrees the next day, we may opt not to plow routes. We will always communicate our plan to customers. This is a good-faith clause that will only be used in the event that the snow will melt; if all the snow will be melted by the time we finish our routes, we should not be plowing.
- Our routes are generated in such a way that ensures we are able to service all customers as efficiently as possible. We are unable to grant requests for priority service.
- There are benefits to every position on our routes. If you are at the beginning of the route, you will be at the beginning for the entire season, and likewise for the middle and end. Our routes are static and not subject to changing or rearrangement.
- Returning customers cannot expect that their driveway will be cleared at the same time this year as it was in previous years, as routes are subject to change from year to year based on volume of signups in any given part of our service area.
- If you need to be out of your driveway by a certain time, you may need to make other arrangements (shoveling a path, changing an appointment time, getting a ride from a friend or rideshare service, etc.), depending on when the snow stops falling and where you are on our route. If you can drive through the snow, feel free to do so; this will have very little effect on how well a tractor can clear the driveway.
- For most snowfalls (one to two inches), main routes typically take less than eight hours to complete, with return service for ridges to follow when necessary.
City Plow Ridges
- Shwaders clears the ridges left at the foot of the driveway after the city plows clear the street.
- If the city has cleared streets before we arrive, Shwaders will clear the driveway and ridges in the same visit and will not return.
- If the city has not yet plowed streets when we come to clear the driveway, Shwaders will return to clear the ridges once the city has completed their plow. In the event that return service is necessary, ridges will be cleared after Shwaders’ initial route has been completed, meaning there may be a significant wait for ridge clearing. (Example: Shwaders clears your driveway at 4 a.m. The city plows the street at 7 a.m. Shwaders finishes their main route at 12 p.m. and returns to clear the ridge at 1 p.m.)
- Shwaders clears ridges only once per actionable snow event and only if the city plows within 12 hours of cessation of snowfall. This means that we will not go out to clear ridges if the city plows a snowfall with accumulation less than one inch or if they wait an undue amount of time before plowing.
- You will receive text message updates informing you when ridge clearing will start and when it has been completed. Please refrain from contacting us to ask when your ridges will be cleared until after you receive the ridge completion text message.
- We will mark the boundaries of your driveway with our stakes prior to the start of service to ensure your driveway is visible and we can do our best to avoid causing damage to your lawn. This includes large, red stakes with Shwaders’ name and phone number at the foot of the driveway.
- Do not remove, move, or physically modify the stakes in any way. These stakes are a necessary part of our service and ensure our operators can pick out your property from all the others at a glance. We charge a $20 stake replacement fee for individuals who intentionally modify/vandalize these stakes.
- Please be very careful not to drive over the stakes and instruct visitors to exercise caution as well.
- You are welcome to add more stakes in addition to the stakes we put in; however, please do not use metal stakes, as these are hazardous for use with our blowers. Shwaders is not responsible for replacing homeowner-installed stakes that are damaged or lost over the course of snow removal operations.
- These stakes are a visual guide only, and our operators may not clear flush to the edge of the boundary.
- Sometimes over the course of the winter, stakes are run over, blown over, etc. If you are unable to replace the stakes in the ground and you think this may be a barrier to service, you may call our office.
- We will collect our stakes at the end of the snow removal season.
- Shwaders is not responsible for scrapes, scratches, and/or rust marks left on driveways or further deterioration of already crumbling driveways. These are considered normal wear and tear.
- Shwaders Tractor Blowing is not responsible for damage to downspouts, landscaping lights, planters, hoses, lawn ornaments, etc. Please remove as many of these items as possible prior to November 1st.
- While our goal is to never cause any damage, sometimes low visibility and icy conditions can cause problems. Please report any property damage (garage, garage doors, gutters, house, fascia, soffits, etc.) within 48 hours of the plow event. If we find that our equipment was responsible for property damage, Shwaders is fully insured and will work with homeowners to bid out the repairs. Homeowners are not to hire a repair service and send us the bill without our agreement.
- Customers are responsible for watching the forecast and staying informed about potential snow events to ensure they are able to prepare their property to be serviced.
- Customers are responsible for maintaining ice-free driveways by using salt or other abrasives prior to each snowfall as necessary. Use of salt/abrasives prior to freezing rain is strongly encouraged. Shwaders will attempt to clear all driveways but will abort attempts on driveways that are too icy to be cleared safely.
- Customers are responsible for keeping their driveways clear of items such as hoses, downspouts, dog chains, planters, newspapers, basketball hoops (or nets for immovable hoops), etc.
- Customers are responsible for removing all obstructions prior to service. If we are unable to service your driveway due to an obstruction, we will not come back once it’s been moved.
- Our operators are instructed to stay in their tractors, and they will not get out to move obstructing objects (such as trash and recycling bins).
- Whenever possible, vehicles should be parked in the garage. If a car must be parked in the driveway, please be thoughtful about where you park the vehicle to ensure the tractor is able to clear the majority of the driveway—park it in a bump-out or as close to the garage and one side of the driveway as possible. Our operators are instructed to stay a minimum of two feet away from all vehicles.
- Our operators are instructed to skip driveways that are impassable due to obstructions at the entrance of the driveway.
- Customers are responsible for checking their text messages during snow events and following the Complaint Procedure in this contract when necessary.
- Customers are responsible for performing a visual inspection of their property in the unlikely event of any property damage, and communicating damage to the office within 48 hours. If you are on vacation during a snow event, please inspect your property upon returning home.
- For safety reasons, please do not approach the tractors. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the office, and we will communicate with the operator.
- Text Messaging
- Shwaders Tractor Blowing uses a one-way, outgoing-only text messaging service to communicate all relevant information about snow events, including start times and route completion for both main routes and ridges. We will not send text messages between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- We are unable to monitor incoming text messages, so please contact us via email or phone.
- Emails sent to email@example.com are our preferred method of receiving customer communication.
- Email is monitored 24/7 during plow events. We will respond only to emails that require a response per our Complaint Procedure and Complaint Scale.
- Phone Calls
- Phones and voicemails are monitored from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except during a snow event, when we do not answer phones. We do, however, screen voicemails and respond as soon as we can to those requiring a return call (see our Complaint Procedure and Complaint Scale for guidelines on which calls will be returned and which will not).
- If you call our office, please listen carefully to the prompts.
- If you are calling to hear our pre-recorded message about snow event status, call our main number (952) 303-4898 and enter extension 109. (Please note that this option will not get you to a live representative, and you will not be able to leave a voicemail.)
- If you are calling to speak with someone or leave a voicemail, call our main number (952) 303-4898 and dial 1 for residential services.
- All of our customers are very important to us. In an effort to service everyone fairly and respectfully, we have developed the following Complaint Scale and the follow-up plan for our team. We know it can be stressful to feel anxious about snow removal, and our strategy is to monitor service for our entire customer base, caring for the one by caring for the many.
- Customers will achieve the best results by emailing complaints with good, clear photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closeup photos can be helpful, but please also include a photo taken from the street facing the driveway, as this helps us establish the context for your concern.
- We do not answer phones while we perform service, even during office hours. Our attentions are directed elsewhere during this time, and live conversations cannot be supported. We do monitor voicemail, however, and will respond to the concerns that require response.
- Do not send us text messages. We do not receive them, and we want the chance to address your concerns.
- 0 – No Follow-Up Communication (concerns addressed proactively by this contract)
- Timing of service/ridges (“Where are you?”)
- “You missed me” while service is still being performed
- If you would still like to discuss these concerns with a member of our team outside of a snow event, we welcome you to call our office during business hours.
- 1 – Next-Day Communication (we contact you on the next business day)
- Basic quality complaints (e.g., the driveway did not get clear enough, missed a bump-out, etc.)
- Concerns about stakes
- Property damage
- Service call requests
- Please watch your text messages for service call request deadlines, and be specific in your message requesting service. (Example: “The operator did not clear the bump-out on the west side of my driveway, and I would like someone to return to clear it.”)
- If we were unable to clear your driveway due to an obstruction (a car parked in the middle of the driveway, garbage bins blocking the driveway entrance, etc.), you may request return service for a fee of $50.
- 2 – Immediate Intervention (we will address the issue as soon as we are aware of it and can act)
- Missed a driveway completely due to operator oversight
- This will only happen in the event that the GPS in one of our tablets is malfunctioning, which is very rare.
- In the event that your driveway was not missed, and the operator simply has not yet arrived, we will not respond.
- Missed a sizeable ridge completely
- Utility damage (very, very rare)
- This is an at-will service that either the customer or Shwaders may cancel at any time.
- If you would like to cancel service, contact our office. For cancellations prior to January 1st, we will prorate a refund for the rest of the season minus the current month. For example, if you call to cancel service on December 3rd, you will receive a refund for January, February, March, and April. Refunds will no longer be available as of January 1st.
- In the unlikely event that Shwaders needs to discontinue service at your property, we will give you two weeks’ notice, and prorate a refund for the rest of the season.