RICHMOND, Va. -- Nick Lopez said his passion for pushing snow and ice off of pavement started when he graduated high school more than a decade ago.
“I have always found it interesting to go out and clear snow out of parking lots,” Lopez recalled. “It’s one of those passions that I’ve had for a long time.”
Lopez operates Virginia Snow and Ice Management Inc. based out of Fredericksburg during the winter season.
He also runs a landscaping company during the warmer months.
While VDOT focuses on clearing and treating interstates and the area’s primary roads, Lopez and his crew concentrate on everything else.
“We service apartment complexes, HOAs, shopping centers, distribution centers,” he explained. “We have just over 200 seasonal employees who have joined us for the wintertime to make sure all of our customers are taken care of.”
Lopez and his trucks operate mostly along the I-95 corridor from Northern Virginia to the south of Richmond. He has since expanded his Fredericksburg headquarters to include an office in Metro Richmond.
Last week, his operation helped push feet of snow for a contractor in Pennsylvania.
“When we see a heavy forecast coming, we gear up and move equipment where it’s needed,” Lopez stated.
Winter weather advisories are in effect for the entire area thru midday Friday.
Lopez operates 35 trucks in his fleet and rents other vehicles to help with the workload. More than 200 tons of salt are stored nearby.
He deploys the latest in snowplow technology like the Snow Wolf loader plow.
“If you ever lived in an apartment complex you know the nightmare of a plow contractor coming through and leaving the big pile of snow behind the cars. That’s what we do not do,” Lopez explained.
Property managers have come to rely on Lopez and his services during winter storms. He urged others to do their homework before hiring someone to clear snow from their property.
Make sure you research who you have on your property, he warned. Find out if the business owner is certified in snow removal and ensure their equipment is up to date.
Lopez also urged pedestrians and other drivers to watch out for his trucks.
“Oftentimes when we are in these shopping centers and apartment complexes a lot of people are face down in their phones and not paying attention to the truck that’s going through and spreading material or liquid. Then they walk into the path of what we just sprayed,” he said. “Just put down your cell phone and pay attention to what’s in front of you.”