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Salt Rationing ??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by John Allin, Dec 29, 2000.

  1. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    My position as Board President of the Snow & Ice Management Association allows me to hear of certain situations and events prior to their becoming public.....

    The largest supplier of salt in the USA had a mine shaft collapse. Salt production has been adversly affected by this event. Combined with the continuing ongoing snowfalls over the northern half of the USA and with the repeated ice events in the southern portion of the middle US - it is my understanding that salt rationing will begin in earnest sometime next week.

    By the end of next week, it is my understanding that private contractors north of the mason-dixson line may be unable to purchase salt. Municipalities will be instructed to begin mixing anti-skid sand with their existing salt piles. Existing salt reserves in the USA will be used up by the end of January at the current pace.

    It is my understanding that the USA needs 3 weeks of nice weather to alleviate this problem. This is not likely given the long range forecasts and the current position of the polar vortex that is forcing low pressure systems into the lower and mid states.

    Please plan accordingly, and good luck.
     
  2. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Wonderful....

    -Tim
     
  3. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    My local salt supplier is the distributor for Cargil (sp) and their price is going up roughly 14% Jan 1. Is this related to the mine problem?
     
  4. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    I don't get it,

    Here we are, living on a planet that is 75% covered by salt water and we have a salt shortage? How can this be?..........

    Maybe a 'add on business'. Truck tank fulls of salt water around the country to be used as de-icing treatment.......
     
  5. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    That's a good point. Piss-poor planning if you ask me...

    -Tim
     
  6. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Alan,

    Price increases are happening all over. As you are no doubt aware, this is a result of the old business adage... "supply and demand".

    Yes, indirectly this price increase you speak of is because of what has happened. Supply is down, demand is way up - so up go the prices.

    I have 150 ton in stock right now, 150 ton ordered locally for early next week. In addition to what I have ordered locally, I did locate some other salt from another supplier, and am paying 35% more to get it. It is coming from two hours away from me, and I'm glad to get it. I have 150 ton (extra) coming next week. I also had to pre-pay it in order to guarantee it. So... we Fed Ex'd payment in full today in order to guarantee delivery sometime next week. That hurts the old cash flow pocketbook.

    And.... it's gonna get worse.

    We bought in 50 ton of anti-skid sand today... just in case we have to mix it into the salt to strrrreeetch what we have. I also faxed all my customers this afternoon, warning them of what is going to happen. Better they know it's coming than to surprise them. This weekend we will salt only those accounts we know, for sure, are open over the weekend. And, at that, we will only do cruise lanes and aprons out of the parking lots (the "in" lanes will get salted from what the cars bring in from the street).

    Time to conserve.......
     
  7. PINEISLAND1

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    Sounds like you guys with the stockpiles of Magic wont need to worry about how you're going to store whats left over in the spring!

    I have a feeling Dino and NY Snowpros will have many new friends in the upcoming months!
     
  8. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    Our suppliers here have ordered more salt but I don't think that they will get enough fast enough. They have a couple of snows worth of salt. I figure too that the prices will eventually go up. Snow plow parts and supplies have already increased dramatically. Last week I bought a cutting edge and bolts for $52. I went yesterday to get another at the same place and the cutting edge alone was $97.

    My suggestion to everyone: Stock up it is going to be a long winter!!!
     
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Watched the 6 oclock news, at one of the DOT loading stations the guy says he has 900 tons of salt on hand, more waiting if they need it, and then the camera pans to a <i>mountain</i> of sand (weeds and brush growing out of the top) and a loader scooping buckets and mixing with the salt.

    Seems theres always the excuse for a price gouge...er, increase when demand seems high, look at gas in the summer they blamed it on refinery shutdowns, diesel and heating oil in the winter, blamed it on whatever...
     
  10. cantoo

    cantoo PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 66

    Sifto Salt is located 20 miles from me, lineups of tractor trailers there everyday storm or not. Boats are still being loaded too. We're about 100 miles from Port Huron, maybe you Michigan guys should be running up here for salt considering the U.S. dollar vs Can$ difference.
     
  11. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    thanks for the heads up;
    remember you heard it first on Lawnsite!
     
  12. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I am all set for the rest of the winter, i have 7-8 tons left of morton(blue) salt sitting in my driveway . And i have a pallet of 25 pounders as backup just in case. So i am not too woried about a shortage, but going thru 150 tons with 150 more on the way,
    that makes me feel like a 10 yr old with a shovel and a 5 lb bag of halite..... LOL
     
  13. finnegan

    finnegan Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    buffalo is already running out of salt and are starting to use a sand mix,looks like i wont have to sandblast the blades again this year....
     
  14. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 536

    john, had a load cancelled on me last tues 12/26. This was the exact reason that they gave me. Since I ordered it in september it is not like I waited to the last moment. I fired off a e-mail to rohm and Hass to supply proof of this mine collaspe since they neglected to tell their investors on the stock market of their doom. I am still waiting for an answer. Schoenberg Salt was happy to supply the order on the 28th at the same price they quoted in sept.

    Things could be worse, maybe three or four oil refiners slid into the mine shaft too! Now gas could go up and you can't get urea.
     
  15. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 140

    You're not kidding about Urea

    Talked to my salt supplier - we're a-ok for a while. But the Urea is going through the roof. You'll see that in the fertilizer prices this Spring - I just ordered several tons and locked in a good price now.
     
  16. jaclawn

    jaclawn Member
    Messages: 92

    Update on salt supplies please???
     
  17. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    bone dry in toledo ohio, went friday with my moms boyfriends tri axle dump truck to kuhlman , they looked at me and started to laugh, but i am getting a good deal on bagged salt 80# 3.79bag over 40 bags and 50# 2.79 bag1-100 bags, and 25# 1.39 bag,with employee discount,
    but i now have about 15 tons left
    of morton and 5 pallets of 80#'s so i hope that i wont need anymore this year, i am tired>:eek:)

    [Edited by plow kid on 01-09-2001 at 02:14 PM]
     
  18. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    The people I talk with (higher ups at a couple of the salt suppliers) tell me that if the weather eases up for a week to 10 days, that the supply crunch will ease up too. Ashtabula, Ohio docks just (this morning) got a 28,000 ton barge in - which will help some up in this area.

    I'm getting salt, but I'm getting it trucked in from all over creation, taking what I can get from where I can get it at whatever price I'm quoted. We're staying ahead of it but it's taking loads of work on my part (on the telephone).

    What with using it every day, and what I'm able to buy in fomr TimBuckTwo, I hope to have 250 ton surplus by this coming Monday - and then I'm praying it'll ease up some because that will only last me a week.
     
  19. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    well i guess that i should get the dump truck warmed up,
    ROAD TRIP!!,GOIN TO CLEVELAND!! (aghhh 1/4 tank of desiel)
     
  20. Iceman

    Iceman Member
    Messages: 31

    We use all bagged salt products and stocked up early this year due to pricing. Unless things get much worse in terms of snowfall, we should be alright.
    Thanks though for the update!