Staking properties in the preseason makes it easier and safer for operations teams once winter hits. Staking can identify hidden obstructions, mark pavement boundaries, and flag important structures like fire hydrants, utility markers, drainage basins, etc. How can you get the most out of your staking process?
1. Color coding. Use different colored stakes to identify different hazards. Fire hydrants can be marked with red stakes, for example. You don’t want to have so many colors that it looks a rainbow on site, but enough that your drivers (and your clients) can more easily identify which hazards are marked and why. Quick Tips - powered by Pro-Tech - are quick, easy tips on highly specific topics in snow management. Read all Quick Tips at www.sima.org/quicktips.
2. Branding. Depending on the size of the stake, some companies can include company name, logo, and/or phone numbers and websites. These stakes will be on-site for months and can serve as a branding tool for your company. For residential staking, be aware of the city’s regulations on permissible stakes and length of time they can remain.
3. Inspection value add. Your staking process can also double as a site inspection, allowing you to identify and document any pre-existing damage or potential problems. Bring these to your client’s attention so they can be addressed prior to winter precipitation. As well, when it’s time to take the stakes down you can do a postseason inspection and see how well your stakes worked in protecting those hazards and whether you need to adjust staking procedures for the following winter.
Investing your time and money into a staking program will allow your company to show your professionalism, protect your clients’ properties, and make your operations team safer and more efficient. Those benefits will most likely far outweigh the cost to install and remove the stakes.