Lake Forest plow company not daunted by light snow
Christopher Johnson (right) owns and operates Christopher Johnson"s Snow Removal in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff with his dad, also named Christopher Johnson. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Christopher Johnson’s Snow Removal
SPECIALTY: Snow removal service, including plowing driveways and hand-clearing sidewalks and stairs
LOCATION: Lake Forest and Lake Bluff
CONTACT: Call (847) 913-6448; visit www.christopherjohnsonsnowremoval.com
Updated: February 27, 2013 11:26AM
LAKE FOREST — At age 12, Christopher Johnson used to shovel out his neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway before heading to class at what was then Deer Path Junior High.
Fourteen years later, Johnson still clears the snow for his first client — only now his shovel, a snowplow, is much bigger.
“As I grew older, I got bigger toys,” said Johnson, owner of Christopher Johnson’s Snow Removal.
His client list likewise has grown to 125 residential homes and four acres of commercial properties, including a church and preschool.
“All our clients are in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. I live in Lake Bluff — I just bought a house there, and my mom and dad live in Lake Forest. We just service our neighborhoods,” Johnson said.
And that’s the way he intends to keep it.
“Our motto is ‘Premium service at a neighborly price.’ That’s important to us,” Johnson said.
This year, the company has made just four passes on its clients’ properties and two of those passes were on the same day, Feb. 7.
“It’s been just like last year: Pretty lean,” Johnson, a Skokie and Knollwood firefighter, said.
Last year the company “pushed snow” five times, but salted more, Johnson’s father, also named Christopher Johnson, said.
“On average, we go out about 10 or 11 times year. We were right at that threshold two years ago. The year before that we went out 18 times,” he said.
Typically, a two-inch snow triggers the company’s crew, which includes Johnson’s dad, brother, future father-in-law and other firefighters, to action.
“We aim to have all driveways cleared by 7 a.m., weather permitting,” Johnson said. “We’re out at all hours of the night” to meet that deadline.
Crews will make a second pass after 9 a.m.
“We clean the bottoms of driveways after the village or city snowplows go by,” Johnson, his dad, said.
Crews also clear walkways using a snowblower and will even pull out a shovel for stairs and fine-tuning, when needed. For an extra charge, workers will clear a back patio or dog for a dog or cat.
Commercial properties are handled a little differently.
“We salt twice as many (commercial properties) as we plow,” Johnson, his dad, said. A one-quarter-inch ice accumulation triggers a salting.
Though the second slow winter might sway some to hang up their shovel for good, the Johnsons are sticking with their plan to assist friends and neighbors in need.
“It’s good to help people. We’re not in the snow game for a one- or two-year quick gain,” Johnson, the owner, said. “I plan on doing this as long as I can.”