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Complete newbie to melting ice....have several commercial places that are wanting it

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by BrokenMRanch, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. BrokenMRanch

    BrokenMRanch Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I am a complete newbie when it comes to using de-icers on commercial parking lots. In our town only the highway department and hospital have de-icing units. I push snow for about 30 commercial accounts including a WalMart, Dillons, and Bosselmans, which after the past years icy weather have expressed interest in having some sort of de-icer included in their snow management program.

    I have been searching the site for what is the best/cheapest/most effective way to handle ice removal and have not really come across any good answers that fit my needs. I realize that best/fast/cheap are generally not all found in the same product.

    I am open to any type of ice removal, as I currently have no equiptment for either a brine or salt or ???. If some of you that have used different methods could advise me on, that would be great! Pros/Cons of different methods. I am leaning toward a brine right now but not sure if that would be the best.

    Also, is there a product that won't kill grass? And if not, how do you handle snow/slush that has been treated to avoid killing the grass and trees and all things green.

    Many, many thanks in advance for any help....I will continue reading these great thread on this forum to try and limit my stupid questions. Thanks again.
  2. Mean4x4

    Mean4x4 Senior Member
    from Livonia
    Messages: 100

    a quick answer

    Sounds like you have your hands full of decient accounts. What type of trucks do you have? Do you have a dump truck? A 3/4 or larger pickup truck? Is there bulk salt readily available there? If so, how much? If salt is available, its going to be your most effective method. You could use a 2 or 3 yard v box salt spreader. Figure 1 ton per 1-2 acres depending on temperature, weather conditions and availability. Start by answering those questions, and then I can help provide you a better answer.
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Better find a source for salt or whatever you decide to use for ice melting first.
  4. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Guess my post was a little to much for the mods...anyways, here it goes again-politley reworded. I wonder how it is that WalMart, a company with more lawyers on payroll than people in my city, and a history of being a target for slip and fall claims, plus they make you sign a 30 page contract full of legal mumo jumbo, hire a snow plowing only contractor, who doesnt have a clue about deicing, and not have an ice management plan in place. Something stinks here. How's that MJD?
  5. BrokenMRanch

    BrokenMRanch Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    In the past years that we have removed snow for WalMart and the other places they have never required ice management. It can stink all it wants, but that is how it has worked out. If you don't believe that call WalMart #1214 at 785-460-8634

    Now if anyone has any helpful information, I would greatly appreciate it. :)
  6. BrokenMRanch

    BrokenMRanch Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    We do not use trucks for snow removal for the big or small lots, we use tractors and skid steers with 14ft and 8ft blades to do the removal. I have 3 1 ton pickups that could be used for a spreader truck or to haul liquid. I have 2 trucks with boxes and hoists that could be used as well. I also have several semi's with grain hoppers that could possibly be used to haul salt from where ever to my town. Sounds like spreading salt is the most effective route. I am not sure who has bulk salt avaliable around the Colby, Ks area....but will be looking. We do not normally get ice, but get hard packed snow in the lots often.

    Any other questions I would be glad to answer. I usually get started with something that doesnt work right and have to retool to go to an effective way. Trying to bypass that this time.

  7. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I started bulk this year and after buying, truck,salter,salt bin, loader for salt, and salt spent over $20,000. Its going to take a long time to make money on bulk so there is no quick, cheap, and easy way. IMO I did this as cheaply as possible and still be able to put enough down fast enough.
  8. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Salt is the most common, and historically, easiest method. Your going to have to push hard for it if nobody is conditioned to the use of it in your neck of the woods. You seem to be on your way equipment wise, you'll have to add some spreaders. If you have space to stockpile, just free dump into a pile and tarp it for now, doesnt have to be fancy. Hard pack will require some hard scraping, not with plows, but with some serious downpressure, esp if the weather is cold. Good luck.
  9. jeepxj

    jeepxj Member
    from co
    Messages: 84

    I would look out of Denver or maybe Hays. Be ready to buy a full truck load so you will have to be able to store it...
  10. ChlorideGuy

    ChlorideGuy Member
    Messages: 77

    we have quid clcium chloride brine check us out
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    it is definately late in the season for finding salt, most was purchased before august, but yes that is the method that even with the hikes in price is still probably your best all around choice for starting out, next year you can suppliment with liquids, but i would first understand how salt works this year before hitting the liquids.

    you could hire someone with experience in the field of de-icing to help you get a jump start, or join SIMA, i think they make you have a mentor to help.

    its very cool to see how different parts of the country do things, well differently:rolleyes:

    I would suggest outfitting 2 of your 1 tons with 2 yard v box stainless salters, this way if one breaks down you still have the other, and with two you can get your salting done faster. also if a truck goes down you can just move the salter to one of your other trucks.

    use the tractors loader to load from the salt pile, cover really well, don't leave moist salt in the hopper when cold, it will harden into a solid block.:cry: