Elite Snow Removal is on the job

Service helps residents and businesses cope with winter

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tyson Barnett, owner of Elite Snow Removal, poses with his plow outside Tea Thyme at Sadie’s, one of his customers. Barnett’s company is now in its third winter, although Barnett has been clearing snow for longer than that while working for other snow removal firms.

Throughout December and January Mother Nature treated Fort Dodge residents kindly. Despite some extremely cold weather, the most notable thing about snow was that there was very little of it. On Feb. 8 and 9, everybody got a forceful reminder that this is still Iowa and winter is more than capable of making its presence known and felt.

To help cope with the snowy reality of an Iowa winter, many area businesses and homeowners are finding that a call to Elite Snow Removal is a wise decision.

Tyson Barnett, who owns this relatively new Fort Dodge business, said he and his team stand ready to get the snow and ice removed efficiently and promptly.

While Elite Snow Removal is only in its third winter, Barnett has several years of experience in this field.

“I was doing it for other people,” he said. “I just decided to do it on my own.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tyson Barnett Spreads salt on the sidewalk at a customer’s business.

At this point the enterprise is small.

“It’s just me and then I have a couple guys who if we have a big snow are a sidewalk crew that follows me around,” Barnett said.

Elite Snow Removal responds to the wintertime needs of the broad range of clients. Residential customers, businesses and anybody else in need of help dealing with snow are all welcome.

“It’s a mix,” Barnett said, noting that he will respond to requests for single-time services but also offers season-long contracts.

“I have contracts,” he said. “I have other people who call me when they need snow removed. I probably have 20 to 25 contracts where I do every snow. I start around June or July looking for contracts.”

Barnett said he makes it a priority to keep his customers snow-free both during and after a snowfall.

“I’ve got to keep them opened up,” he said. “I’m often there during the snow. It’s all about the timing of the storm. It can be tricky because everybody wants their driveway cleaned at the same time.”

One of the advantages of having a contractual relationship with Elite Snow Removal is that it ensures prompt attention when snow arrives.

“My contracts come first,” Barnett said. “Then I work on whatever comes in.”

The services Elite Snow Removal offers go well beyond simply plowing out a driveway.

Barnett said he wants to address the full range of the removal needs his patrons have when a winter storm disrupts their ability to function normally.

“I do sidewalks and everything,” he said. “I’ve got snow blowers, ice removal equipment. We do everything.”

Barnett also is available to handle snow removal jobs in locales not too distant from Fort Dodge.

“Within in 10 or 15 miles of Fort Dodge,” he said.

Barnett said he finds this work a pleasant undertaking.

“I find joy in it,” he said. “It’s just peaceful plowing away and helping everybody else out.”

Barnett has aspirations to grow his business. It already has a Facebook page and a website is under development.

“I have one main truck that I use and I have a backup truck,” he said. “Next year, I’m probably going to expand one more truck if not two more that will be running full time.”

In addition to being seasonal, the success of this type of undertaking is very much influenced by the severity of the winter.

“You hope that you’ll have a good winter but it doesn’t always happen,” Barnett said.

In addition to operating Elite Snow Removal, he has a full-time job at Bergman Plumbing.

“That’s my main job,” he said, noting that his employer gives him the flexibility to take time off from that endeavor when a winter storm hits. “I’ve been there 13 years now.”

Barnett has a straightforward message for prospective customers.

“I’m young, trying to start out,” he said. “I’m a good people person and I’m good at being on time. If we have a snow in the middle of the night, I like to get there before people get going in the morning. It is a 24-hour business. This last snow, we worked 21 hours straight.”