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Small order of bulk in Chicago?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by crazyskier537, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Hey, I have been buying bagged salt at $5.50, and would really like to switch to bulk next year. I would need around 1 ton of material for most of the season (10-20 residentials). Please don't tell me that it's pointless to go through the hassle for only 1 ton.;)

    My question is where can I get a ton of bulk around chicago? I went on arlingtonpower.com, and tried to checkout with only 1 ton for $67, and it would have gone through (didn't press checkout at the end). How does this bulk salt operation work? I know they deliver, but would they deliver only a single ton? Could I rent a pickup for $20 for a day, and put some dropcloth in the bed, then have them load it up into there?

    What would you do in my position (other than buy a pallet of bagged). I plan on storing it in a small plywood enclosure and tarp, then putting it in 5 gallon buckets for transport.
     
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    You might want to look at a bulk bag. That will be more expensive than buying a ton of bulk salt, but way cheaper than buying bagged salt. Your other option would be to hook up with a local plow guy, and see about buying a ton off of them. To me the second option would make the most sense.
     
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    just buy a pallet at the end of this season for cheap and store it for the summer. With the amount you are using then the difference in price is not going to effect your bottom line to much.JMO
     
  4. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Wouldn't it turn hard over the summer?


    Also, Can't I just build my own "bulk bag" out of an empty pallet, some plywood and 2x4" :)laughing:I'm good with wood:D).


    Would any of you sell some bulk to a guy like me? It sounds all handy dandy until you find out that noone wants to mess with you, and your stuck with no salt.
     
  5. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    If the bags are sealed, and you keep them dry, they will be fine for a year or two. I always buy up as much bagged salt as I can starting about April 1st. Salt is one of those things that don't go down much in price, so when I can clear out a dealers inventory and save 2 bucks a bag in the spring, I get it and store it for next year. As far as selling to a guy like you, why not. I would have no problems selling it as well as delivering it to you, as long as I was getting paid for it. So what I am saying is if I was buying my salt for 65 a ton, I would deliver it to you for 100 a ton if you were close enough to me. That would save you 120 dollars, compared to what your paying for bagged.
     
  6. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Get bulk 3311.
     
  7. streetscrapin16

    streetscrapin16 Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    I keep my bags all year long and they never get hard. I am paying right around $250 for a skid.
     
  8. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Wait what?

    1 ton of salt is equal to 2000lbs. Would a pickup be able to haul this in it's bed? How much cubic feet is a ton equal to? I think I remeber hearing 1 cubic yard?


    There is a target next to my house that stores bulk on site. It is a HUGE lot, and they have a mafia block setup to hold it all. (It's so big they have a line of tractors on the side of the buildings). They have lots of salt leftover right now. Is there any way I could contact the person they have contracted to talk to them about taking some off their hands and storing it over the summer? I could jump into one of their skid steers and load some up for myslef, but I don't think they'd like that:laughing: Would bulk get hard over the summer?
     
  9. dbarkie11

    dbarkie11 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    go to any landscape supply place, im in the northern suburbs, and ive gone to town and country landscape supply company, they have several locations around chicagoland, anyways, i just buy whats called a supersack, and have them load it in there. they charged me $20 for the super sack but the loading was free. Lurveys landscape supply is another one. I only go through like 4 tons a year, and its all at one building, so i just store it on site with a tarp over it, and just scoop it out when i need it. To me, the $62/ton is well worth it because i always have plenty on hand and can always get more quickly, definately improved my bottom line compared to $5.XX a 50lb bag.
     
  10. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    what are you spreading the salt with? just a walk behind spreader or do you have a spreader on your truck? bulk can be a pain for anything smaller then a v-box spreader as it always has crap in it and clumps up and you spend more time breaking it up then its worth. you would not wanna store bulk over the summer as it would definately get moisture in it and turn to cement, once again spending a ton of time breaking it all up again. your best bet is to do what others were saying nas pick up a skid of salt in the summer that someone is trying to dump for cheap. last summer i picked up about 70 bags of salt for like $100 bucks cause guy was getting out of the biz and just needed it gone. also though, been meaning to pm ya, been busy. im about 90% sure im going out on my own for next season and will be running bulk salt, ill hook ya up if ya still need it but like i said, look for that good deal on a pallet of leftover salt in the next month or so. bag will be the way to go for what your doing i think.
     
  11. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,262

    crazyskier, sometimes bags are worth it just for the convenience. While I have bulk and also sell off excess to a few other guys, the whole process of having the ability to store it, load it, carry over excess to the next year isn't always worth it. I go through several hounded ton a winter and even I have thought about teaming up with another company so we can get salt in the over 1000 ton range and make it worth the hassle.
    For 1 ton, I'd have 50# bags.
     
  12. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Metal- thanks for the offer. I will be spreading this with either a wb or a small rack mounted atv spreader. I would still prefer not to store it over the summer, and really would like to put the bulk in buckets that will have my company name and phone number to sell to my customer as "backup salt", since they buy salt anyway, so why shouldn't they buy from me. I will consider the purchase for this spring though.

    Also, how do you unload and transport the sack to your location?
     
  13. dbarkie11

    dbarkie11 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    if you get the super sacks, they'll load them into your truck after they are done filling it, then you usually have to get weighed again, since nobody can load just a ton with any degree of accuracy unless they have a scale on the loader. i lucked out because the building i take care of has a forklift on site, so i just pick up the sack with the fork and put it on a pallet so its not sitting on the ground and picking up any water
     
  14. SullivanSeptic

    SullivanSeptic PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,422

    Crazyskier. What part of Chicago are you from. I sell salt to a few local guys. A ton is about a bobcat bucket full. And yes, a pickup truck bed can hold that much.

    If your selling it to customers, a ton doesnt go far. But bulk salt can clump really easy. Most tailgate spreaders and walk behind spreaders wont spread it.
     
  15. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    I'm from the north side, 8 miles east of ORD. Pretty close to i-94 (couple blocks away).
     
  16. dbarkie11

    dbarkie11 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    town and country landscape supply has a location in i believe des plaines. so not too far from you
     
  17. dbarkie11

    dbarkie11 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    whoops, my mistake i forgot its Lurveys landscape supply thats in des plaines. sorry.
     
  18. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    FWIW, if you're not using a larger spreader, don't waste your time with trying to run bulk through a WB unit. It's not worth the aggravation. Bagged product is screened for consistency, and generally never has a chance to get wet (goes from the barge to the bag, and seldom touches the ground, in most cases).

    For comparison, an average ton of bulk is around $60-68, picked up (yes, there is lower, but in quantity only). A pallet @ $4/bag is $160/ton--easy to get early buy, or even less ($5 is $245). Yes, you will spend more--but if you only need a ton for the season, buy it once and buy it right. A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks, but you can surely make that up in time you'll save trying to spread it...and cussing during a storm when you can't salt jack sh*t.

    Mind you, we sell a considerable amount of bulk & some bags, but I always recommend the best solution to a potential client, based on their needs.

    It's not worth the $100 savings.
     
  19. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    I have one ton left over. It is yours for $50.u just have to come and pick it up in cleveland.
     
  20. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Thanks for the response. The one big "pro" about bulk, is that it will be more effecient to give the customers.

    Say I have 20 accounts. I will be giving (actually selling for $5) each of them a 5 gallon bucket and a plastic "scooper", with my name and number spray painted on them. 5 gallon bucket ~ 50 lbs. of salt. 50lbs. of salt for 20 ppl, is 1000lbs. I don't see a point in buying bagged, just to pour it out of the bag the day I buy it, and put it in a bucket. Although I am scared it might harden...:help: This alone, will let a ton off my hands.

    Burk, Clevaland is a little far, but thanks for the offer.