Bitter winter brings challenges for snow removal companies

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The latest round of winter weather has private plow companies working overtime to keep up with the fresh snow and ice.

“It’s definitely been a challenge the last few weeks,” Phil Van Straten with DJ’s Landscape Management told 24 Hour News 8. “We have seemed to get winter all together at the same time, all at once. For us, we have got a lot of processes at DJ’s and we got a lot of great team members.”

DJ’s is one of the biggest companies in the area with crews working in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland and Muskegon. Overnight, the company has upwards of 400 people working around West Michigan.

Van Straten has been in the business 15 years. He is used to handling snow storms and freezing temperatures, but this year is different.

“This winter we kind of got all that at once. A lot of snow, bitterly-cold temperatures, big time, gusty winds all at once and now it’s kind of continued over a few weeks. That’s made this winter really unique compared to other winters and the challenges they have brought,” he explained. 

Van Straten said the recent weather takes a bigger toll on employees, so they are monitoring how long people are out while balancing their workload.

While it might not feel like it lately, the company is already thinking about warmer weather.

“We are thinking about the summer season and how do we prepare for that and take care of those same customers,” Van Straten said.

If you’re looking for a job with DJ’s, several are posted online

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