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Considering trying out the liquid thing.

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by TPS Alberta, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. TPS Alberta

    TPS Alberta Member
    Messages: 44

    Hey guys I own a very small snow operation, currently just doing snow removal with plow and skidsteer and subbing out for salting/sanding and for larger jobs/relocation jobs that I need loaders and dumps for.

    Anyways, I noticed that there is no one in this area that does the liquid thing. Everyone just throws down a **** ton of sand and some salt. Come spring time, this city is a mud whole from all the sand and what not. A lot of the lots around here dont even put down any salt or anything. The other snow removal companies come out to remove the snow for heavy snowfalls, but a lot of them do that good of a job. Also, we get a lot of small snowfalls that dont meet the usual 3-5" trigger depth, so snow starts building up slowly. Most lots around here have a good couple inches of snow packed down on them.

    So I was thinking of getting into the liquid scene. I figure that many property owners would like to have their lots cleared right to the pavement and be free of ice and snow and slippery conditions, especially gas stations who need to have the ground clean for the trucks that deliver the fuel into the underground tanks. Also, I am wondering if other contractors would be interested in hiring us as pre-treating would obviously cut down on the amount of time it would take them to clean up the lots when it snows.

    Just wondering if you guys would think it would be worth it for such a small company to try this out? Especially since no-one in the are is doing it right now. Could be good thing or a bad thing!

    I have done a lot of reading so far, but most of what I have learned is the differences in the temperatures that the different substances work at and what not...what else should I know to make an educated decision? Do you guys make much money of de-icing and anti-icing or do you mainly just supplement the snow removal aspect with it?

    Im trying to figure out if its worth it or not! What questions should I be researching to make an educated decision?
  2. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I thought Alberta was very cold and that was the reason for using salt. Also it doesn't matter what you anti-ice with if your trigure is 2"+. Once the cars and trucks pack it down coupled with the cold weather your not going to be able to scrape it off. Around you it's hard to even sell straight salt so I'm assuming the odds of selling liquid will be very low.
  3. alwayz-plowin

    alwayz-plowin Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    liquid is cheap i love it....
    Works well for me if the temp. is right

    Just upgraded my rig with a 5.5 honda

    As JD was getting to
    Once you get to a certain temp. Salt Just Doesn't activate
    From the sounds of it you get to that temp. alot

    (For instance if i sprayed when it was 10* (including windshield) Brine is worthless!)

    Or their budget sucks therefor they cant afford salt
    or a little bit of both.
  4. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    First thing is to determine what products are available to you. Then how close & convenient is the pickup depot. This will help you decide what product to buy, and whether you will need storage facilities of your own. 1500 gallon tanks are pretty cheap if you need to start small.
    Second, decide what customers to promote the product to. Think of ones that have shady or north sides and have ice issues. Take a bunch of pictures if possible to illustrate the problem you want to fix. Calculate area of the problem spots. For estimating purposes use 1 gallon to 1000 sq ft. (this is a pre-storm treatment. anti-icing application) Depending on the surface, the temps and the snow, you may need to adjust this application rate some. But it is a good place to start to figure out the amount needed per site.
    Third, analyze your costs. Product, storage if needed, and application system. Put it all together, come up with a cost for a particular customer's application. Pick a profit margin you can live with and calculate your charge. Then float that charge and the features (improvements expected) by your chosen customer. See if you can either actually save him money or demonstrate a significant improvement.
    Good luck & let us know how it goes.