Plow, shoveling businesses hope for more snow

A lack of snowfall means cut revenues for some companies
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:39 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s been two years since Lincoln faced two inches of snow, a sorry sign for snow removal workers.

“I am praying to God that that snow comes, and I’m pretty sure other snow companies are, too,” Quatez Johnston said.

Johnston started his Dragon and Son landscaping and snow removal service about six years ago; then it was a hobby. But it became more serious three years ago.

“So far it’s been working out as far as I have been doing the lawn care services,” Johnston said. “The only issue has been the snow removal.”

Johnston’s business is small and all in the family. He works in Lincoln’s neighborhoods with a shovel and blower, not a plow.

For larger companies like Summit Lawns, snow storms like the one that raged across Nebraska on Wednesday make for a planning nightmare.

“Our job is to get out there and keep places safe. the problem with that is that if you’re the first responder, when do you go?” Ted Glaser, the president of Summit Lawns, said. “How do you know when to go? How do you react to something that is completely unpredictable. so days like today have been very logistically confusing.”

For Summit Lawns, declining snowfalls cut a little less than 10% out of the company’s annual revenue. Johnston’s ratio is more dire. Deflated by an almost 25% decline in revenue, Johnston fears the snow drought will continue.

“It makes it very difficult to survive until spring to make revenue to cover fall, winter, and then summer,” he said. “Now the only thing I can hope for is that sometime between now and the next storm system that comes through us from the west comes to us and sticks around for a while.”

The company’s name stems from Quatez’s long-time love of dragons. He said his early life was hard, and dragons became a symbol of survival.

“He doesn’t quit,” Quatez said. “He doesn’t stop surviving. He just adapts and works it out.”

This a sentiment close to home for Quatez with the threat of bankruptcy floating in the clouds. If more snow doesn’t come soon, he says he may have to leave Nebraska.