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From a contractor's view...

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DRIFTER92, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. DRIFTER92

    DRIFTER92 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    I am in the process of researching some options (have been reading for a while on this topic here) for the salt spreader and liquid as well. BEFORE YOU BASH ME, hear me out.

    If you are a contractor I'm asking you in a scenario in which you have only rock salt spreaders, would having the option of hiring a sub to lay down liquid (pre-storm) be beneficial enough for you to want to pay the sub for that?

    From what i see here the rock salt pre-storm does nothing to prevent bonding to the surface, if anything seems to make it worse when they salt that day, melts, and re-freezes after temp's drop, even in the NO TRAFFIC areas. Then call the plows out after the storm, 6+ Hr's from previously salting.

    So to me personally it seems pointless for me to scrape what little bit of traction(snow) there is off the lot then leave it looking basically like it was to begin with...? Actually worse and more dangerous in my opinion.

    Once they re-salt again (if they do) today it will be the same again tonight so where is the benefit i am wondering? It's not just my lot i saw other contractors lots looking the same. Being new, and being a sub maybe the veterans can enlighten me, am i the ignorant one? No disrespect intended at all. Thanks.
  2. threeleaf

    threeleaf Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    I dont know if im understanding everything your asking but if you plan on buying a spray rig and sell that service to other contractors i tend to lean towards thats the ?
    if i didnt own a rig and product i would hire someone first to see if it actually works but if it did work i would be buying my own really fast...
    i own 2 spray units and ive done some subcontract pre treating but once the conractor saw how it worked they bought there own..
    I think you need to try a coated salt such as magic,iceban,liquid cal for pre treating. you might find that more helpful the just straight salt,
  3. DRIFTER92

    DRIFTER92 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    Well it would be for a sub job for the next season, eventually after learning the business going out on my own, but i want to provide a very good system for a one-man, one-truck operation. I just want enough to keep myself busy not looking to have any employees besides a sidewalk crew. I will have to buy the salt spreader. Since I'm a fabricator by trade any money saved on building the liquid unit would be beneficial.

    I just want to start gathering all the info i can this winter to build one before the season starts next year, since obviously being in indianapolis the salt/anti-ice program is really where it's at. I'm really looking at building a trailer unit, this way i can keep the spreader on the truck and tow the anti-ice when needed.

    I remember seeing a discussion about spray nozzles and loads of information of home built units and i can't for the life of me find the posts about it. It got very in depth between a couple people in the discussion and i meant to bookmark the page and forgot. Does anyone have a link to the discussion about this from before? Thanks for any info!
  4. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    Years ago I would lay down rock salt on dry pavement before a storm to keep it from bonding to the pavement. It worked fine?Even with many inches of snow on top of it. Not much difference than using salt brine anti-icing mode.Would I hire a sub to anti-ice? Me, no. Are there others? I have seen a lot of guys that would rather make money and not actually do the work. Question is.... can you do it cheaper than they can?
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,248

    Good question.
  6. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    IMO it would be ideal to have a sprayer and salt spreader unit on the same truck. 1) anti-icing sprayer 2) de-icing 3) pre-wet or pre-treatment at the spinner or 4) dry salt in the hopper

    I don't just mean some 12 volt pump system and a 50 gallon tank to spray at the spinner.

    I'm talking min 200 gallon w/16+ feet width pattern and a 2 yard spreader on the same truck.
  7. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    That may or may not have been me when talking sprayers and nozzles.
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    No id do it all in house. subbing is like my VERY last resort

    why doesnt pre salting work? i dont have any problems. you talking about freezing after it turns to slush...yes it can if the temps drop shaply... if there is enough snow to plow, you should be plowing it regaurdless before it freezes down. presalting does the same thing as spraying imo, Slight differences in a few things,. but the over all concept is the same. 1. Prevent the bond, and prevent "hard pack" 2. it "delays" the rate of accumulation on the property. a good example is spreading a store at 4 pm. when it starts snowing, it might not stick till later in the evening, after the store is almost closed.
  9. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Being a large user of salt in the marketplace your referring to, I don't know how you can sell this service here nor do I know of anyone that you could sub to, I know I wouldn't/couldn't use that service. IMO - unless salt prices go crazy that service isn't needed in our marketplace. There are some that use it in lieu of salt but not selling as additional service like you present and also be prepared for pushback from consumers if your selling it they'll want salt not some liquid, maybe a little experience talking.
  10. DRIFTER92

    DRIFTER92 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    Thanks for the input guys. Im still looking for that thread if anyone knows where its at...
  11. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

  12. Big Snow Balls

    Big Snow Balls Member
    Messages: 40

    I plow in North west Indiana. My costomers would never pay for pre treating. I cant see how this would advantage me. All my contracts are per pound of salt applied and a service fee. The more salt I use the more money I make. If I had a set price per salting I could see how using less salt would be to my advantage. I dont now of any one in this area pre treating. The last couple of years I have seen more guys using liquids and treeted rock salt such as beat juice. I havent found anyone carring magic salt in this area.
  13. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I get a set amount for salting and I like that way. No disagreements with the customer as to how many pounds I applied. What if I said I applied 850 pounds and the customer being all knowing about deicing says I think you only applied 500 pounds? Do you have a scale ticket? a picture of the salt in the spreader? or the wrappers from the bags? How can anything other than a scale ticket with a time be proof.? But any way my point here should be: How can I benefit from pretreating my salt or anti-icing. Simple I get paid a flat amount for melting the snow / ice , whether I use 2000 pounds of rock salt or 200 gallons of salt brine. So here is the most simple example I can give....
    2000 pounds of rock salt = $75.00 Salt brine 200 gallons my cost = $ 24.00 so I make an xtra $51.00 plus I don't have a problem of snow / ice bonding to the pavement so it plows cleaner. This simple example will not work with every type snow , but will work enough times to make extra cash. I think selling anti-icing to a customer would be very hard too. For the most part the customer doesn't care how it gets melted as long as it is melted and doesn't cost them a lot of money. All my customers like the fact they know exactly what it is going to cost them for salt when I show up. On an average sometimes they make out on the deal ,the other 90% of the time I do! :D
  14. DRIFTER92

    DRIFTER92 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    Maybe i just took it for granted this contractor had a good setup for salting the lot apparently i was wrong thinking that, which lead me onto this idea venture. Kubota 8450 thank you for the information about mixing the brine. I think this is the part they were missing, if they salted the lot at all before hand, i just assumed they had. Thanks for not flaming me and educating me on the subject guys. Much appreciated!