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Averaging 900lbs per Salting - Property Manager wants us to average 3-400. (80,000sf)

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by lawnlandscape, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Our company is well established in the snow removal and salting business. With salting we all know how much must be used varies greatly based on amount of snow/ice, temperature and other conditions.

    We have an apartment complex we do the snow removal for (this year is our first year at this location). The total area of the roadways and parking areas measures almost exactly 80,000 sq. ft.

    Today I got an email from the property manager and she stated she is concerned with the amount of salt we have been using so far this season and stated in her email (our average was 300-400 lbs per spread, as high as 800). The lowest amount we have ever used was 450lbs for a minor dusting and the highest we have ever used was 1,350lbs, but over the course of the 11 saltings we have done so far this season, we have averaged amount 900lbs per salting.

    When comparing this to our other properties 300-400 lbs does not even make sense. We have averaged 500lbs per salting this season on a 30,000 parking lot for example. (Which is well under half her properties size).

    When comparing this account to all of our others we are already using the lowest amount of salt per area then any of our other accounts.

    We still used bagged salt which is loaded into tailgate salters, so we do want to lift as few as possible per snow event.

    I am curious as to what you guys think about this request as they are requesting that we drastically reduce our salt usage to a point that I don't feel it will be all all effective.

    Another Note: This account also was the first account since we have been in business that made our company sign a form that said if there is ever a time that anything happens on the property we are at fault if we were negligent. Which makes this request concerning to me.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  2. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,535

    wow.......you put your neck in the noose, and now they want you to jump?

    tell them to go pound salt.
     
  3. aahicnow

    aahicnow Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Just my opinion But I would say Sure no problem , Ill do that just as soon as you give me a legal document stating that the property manager is assuming all legal responsibility for any incidents resulting from the reduction of salt usage. But of course in proper legalese. The proper manager may not be so willing to reduce the usage if he has to assume responsibility.
     
  4. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I did have a conversation about this with my foreman, we had the same conversation. We are only cutting back to levels that I feel are irresponsible if there is signed documentation from them stating that is what they want.

    I honestly believe this amount of salt on this sized property would make things worse, as it would probably slightly melt the top of the snow and then it would refreeze...
     
  5. G.Landscape

    G.Landscape Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 850

    Apartment complexes are tough because there may be lots in the roadway but you can't always get it in the parking spaces, to get around this we often put more in the roadways so its reasonably clear and hopefully it gets tracked into the spaces. With that in mind our average is around 350lbs per acre (43500sq.ft.).

    We base these rates on years of experience, training (Sima & Smart about Salt) and through client expectations. When its -10 and flurries you shouldn't expect the lot to be 100% clear but traffic will move the salt around and clear things up. We may have to do return trips for spot salting depending on weather but that's all factored in.

    on the other hand a quick google search found this. http://www.drscw.org/chlorides/PLsarg.pdf seems to fit the property managers expectation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  6. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    G, 350lbs per acre still feels a bit low to me, as we tend to average 450-500. However, we are also salting away anything under 1". Do your average figures just figure salting after plowing or minor dustings?
     
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,507

    I'd say you are over applying. I have an account that size and I'm at 350-400lbs. That amount works great for me. I'm using bagged Blue Halite or a combo of Blue Halite and Pro-Slicer when temps are colder like this morning. You're not alone though...there are lots of companies over applying.
     
  8. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    This account has a set price per pound they pay for salt. We can not afford to use more expensive salt, as the margin is already very slim.

    What do those products cost you in comparison?

    And just to be clear... you are talking about 7 50lb bags over almost 2 acres of hard surfaces.. that would amount to 3-4 handfulls per 1,000 sq ft.......
     
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,507

    Halite- $5/bag and Pro S- $9/bag roughly... And yes, 7 bags, sometimes 5 if it's warm or going to be warm.
     
  10. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    After speaking to 2 other what I would consider friendly contractors in my area, I respectfully think your nuts. I am not sure how much salting you do, however between the 3 of us we make up about half of the snow removal in our area. Both said they would have averaged between 1,400-2,000lbs for that sized property per salting.

    I also contacted my salt supplier (who is more then just a supplier that wants me to use salt, we also have a personal relationship) and he laughed saying the property manager is nuts.

    I am interested in others thoughts, as there is clearly some very different opinions here already.
     
  11. G.Landscape

    G.Landscape Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 850

    the 350lbs per acres is an average including minor dustings , we do plow at 1". If its cold (-10 to -15 celsius) and trying to salt 1" of snow away the lot won;t be clear with 350lbs per acre, you will definitely need more.

    Also a big factor (Dare i say huge) is asphalt condition. On new asphalt the salt brine will flow and cover a large area vs a old cracked parking lot where the brine doesn't travel as far.

    Sooooo many conditions its hard to give a fair comparison. You may have to try a lower rate on one storm and see how it goes, just keep on eye on the property and be prepared for a second application if it doesn't go well.
     
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,870

    Somebody must have been listening to JAA, since he is down to 70#\acre.

    But he is also a consultant and not a snow contractor anymore. For a reason.

    She's nuts, others are nuts. On a perfect day in March? Sure.

    On a snowy day in January or February? Fat chance.
     
  13. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    tell em if they want you to use an amount that wouldnt even be effective fine but rip up that contract that says you are responsible for everything and make a new one saying youre not responsible for anything now
     
  14. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,507

    Haha...that's fine. Like was said, conditions vary from site to site. In this industry there is a gross over use of salt, it actually pisses me off. Of course the salt suppliers want you to use as much as possible, thats a no brainer.
     
  15. nighthawk117

    nighthawk117 Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 165

    If you know all of this then why are you asking others there thoughts ?? Seems pretty simple to me, no one else knows the conditions, pavement temps, moisture content of the snow , air temps, time of day, moon alignment wherever your conducting business. A property "manager" is attempting to tell you how much product to use in a lbs/k formula ?? Really :laughing:
     
  16. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,898

    We average in the area of 450 pounds per acre for the whole season. In a warmer climate. I think they're slightly off their rocker if they think you can cover it with 400 pounds at most.
     
  17. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Well, she did not specifically say how many lbs per acre to use... lol...

    She just said our property has taken an average of 3-400lbs total in the past, and I figured it out.
     
  18. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I have concluded that you don't do very much salting and don't know the industry well. We service many zero tolerance accounts such as BioLife.

    You show up at BioLife's 52,000 sq. ft. parking lot with your 4 bags of salt and spread it. Then tell them wait and they will see it starting to work once the temperature gets up to 32 degrees in a few days. But you better comp prepared with a suggestion of how they should handle the 2,000 people and cars that are going to show up in the meantime....
     
  19. nighthawk117

    nighthawk117 Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 165

    Okay, here ya go! Ask her for an application chart on official letterhead addressed to your company stating rates to be applied and product to be used and when to use it, both of you can sign and date it, send it to your attorney for review and bingo ! Problem solved :drinkup:
    Honestly, let her know that you really appreciate her concern, but ultimately as the service provider you are responsible for liability and will apply product as needed to provide safe conditions, period .
     
  20. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I sent a relatively long winded email (longer than you guys would care to read), but here is how it ends:

    At the end of the day, you are our customer and we will.cater to your wishes. However, spreading 3-400lbs (that is only 6-8 50lb bags) of salt on average over the 1.84 acres of hard surfaces at ____________ would be irresponsible and dangerous. I would strongly prefer you remove salting from the services we provide instead of seeing that requirement, because what would happen would be that the salt will not be sufficient to completely melt off hard surfaces and what would result would be partial melting then refreezing as ice which will be far more dangerous than not salting.

    If you would like us to lower the amount of salt we are using at ___________ to levels that we honestly feel are extremely risky and dangerous, we would request this request to us be sent in writing which includes the maximum amount of salt we are able to use per salting, the pound range you would like your salting to fall between and language that states if we did salt within your specified guidelines and there is an incident because of it that we are not responsible.

    Thank you for your understanding.