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Not Salting A Commercial Lot

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by snowfighterG, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    Hey guys a serious question. I recently had a conversation with someone who says that they never salt a commercial lot with alot of traffic, customers and about 8 stores in the mall. I for one could not believe my ears. The first thing I thought of is all the ice build up not to mention the possible lawsuits. Please let me know what you think about this one and if you have ever heard of anything like this. Also please share any pros & cons you have encountered with me. I think I need to convince this person they are holding a hot lightbulb without getting burnt. Even in are apartment complex we use salt on the roads and sometimes we enhance the deicers we use depending on all the factors involved.

    Thanks, Snowfighter G
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    If it's a busy strip mall,with lots of traffic coming in off main roads (with lots of city salt),you can almost get by without salting,especially in the main travel lanes.The cars will drag so much in,it will melt most of what's in the laneways.

    We have one big account like that,and I use less than half the salt I would anywhere else for the same acreage.
  3. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34


    Chris thanks there is a lot of traffic through the front of the mall but only the shoppers in the rest of the lot. It's sort of a cut through and I have noticed that the roadway is usually the only thing that is bare when conditions permit like good old sunshine.The rest of the lot seems to be packed snow and sometimes ice but where the cars do some dragging in of salt there is some spots that are bare and others chunky and frozen.

    Snowfighter G

    Old Man Winter is Knocking!
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    We have lots of properties like that they don't want to spend the $. Fact is most of the time(depending on your contract), its(ice & hard pack) propery owners responsibility not "plowing" contractor.
    You can try to advise them of the liability involved, & get them to let you salt but we have had modest sucess doing this, best we have found is to either walk away(make no mistake someone will take on property) or take on client, advise them when salting is REQUIRED & build from there. AND MOST IMPORTANT AS ALWAYS DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Especilly comunication about ice build ups. Good luck

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    We run into those as well, simply taking on additional risk to save a few bucks. We make it clear in the contract that salting is at their discretion, and have a salting waiver for them to sign. We give them the price in the contract for salting, and let them call us to authorize when they want to do it.

    It sure does make you look bad as a contractor though, when that snow gets packed on the lots during the cold stretches...
  6. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    thanks for the input so far

    Thanks for all the input so far I think that statement about not wanting to pay the extra $$ for salting comes into play here. I think it's a good idea to have a salt as we see the need for clause in the contract works well.

    Thanks,Snowfighter G
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Snowfighter, ABSOULTY NOT, do not put "salt as we feel needed", from a liability standpoint then it's all on you.
    When I see "salting (or treatment of walks) at contractors discretion, I bid it for each visit. In addition you'll price yourself out of game.
    Didn't get a $ 200,000 job because of it. Complex manager said was confident they would be very satisfied with our work, but not in budget, other contractor was significantly, but that phrase was worth $ 70,000+. The complex has had several slip & falls recently(I don't think they've played out in the courts yet), I think the current contract could/will get out of some of the liability by claiming his bid/price ($ 60,000)0 is not "responsible", & they should have questioned it, again our bod was $ 200.000, & we weren't the higest.
    Moral of story, bid ONLY what is asked for as asked for, leave additional pricing for last page as additional/optional pricing. Good luck.
  8. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Our company takes a little more hardline stance when it comes to salting and deicing operations. If the customer does not want those services, they do no want OUR services. That policy has served us well.
  9. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    Snowjob have you ever tried to talk the customer into salting?

    And Mike thanks I didn't think of that right off the bat. It could leave the contractor holding the stick. Isn't saying at our discretion sort of asking the contractor to decide and not the property owners? Do you think a shopper could blame the mall but the merchants could point at the contractor? What do you think? Thanks for your input.

    Best,Snowfighter G
  10. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    Oh yeh something else that was mentioned was that salt really damages the parking lots so it doesn't get used and they used a product called Superior Ice & Snow. I think it's just potassium chloride with cma or some other type of enhancer in it. Have you ever heard of it or have any experience using it? One guy told me that salt in the parking lot could add to the liability if not used right.

    Snowfighter G:gunsfiring:
  11. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I don't generally have to do much "talking people into" service. It is more a matter of selling them on the fact my company is the right fit for them in providing those services. So, to answer your question, "no" I don't talk people into salting. From my perspective, if they are not interested in salting the lot, I am certainly not interested in plowing it.

    My concern for potential customers keeping their expenses down is directly proportional to their concern for our company regarding covering our costs AND TURNING A PROFIT during a slow winter. My deicing capabilites saved my butt a couple of winters ago because we plowed a grand total of 2-3 times, but we deiced approximately 4-5 times. It was still a lean year, no doubt, but some of our competitors disappeared shortly thereafter while we were able to survive the tough times.
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Snowfighter, you kind of lost me on the mall/merchants thing, but I think I understand what your asking.
    Could the shopper that falls blame the mall, the mall in turn blames contractor. Thats sort of how it works, generally the "mall", or client will ask to be added as additional insured on your policy. When they get served papers, you/your nsurance will get served after. I've only been through it once. Our insurance said we wern't liable and decided not to participate, somthing like that, basicly not at all our fault. Client had 3 inch plow/shovel deal, their maintence people did treatment of walks & shoveled below 3", we hadn't been there in a week when it happened, we were there the next day however.
    As far as salt affecting asphalt, I have heard it befoe(hearsay I believe). Most likely the damage is from freeze/thaw cycles, the product their specing has a lower working temp. Hope this helped.
  13. dssxxxx

    dssxxxx Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 63

    Superior Ice & Snow: Majority rock salt w/small amount of potassium chloride and less than 1% CMA. Sodium chloride based ice melt.
  14. spiviter

    spiviter Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 74

    Get a Salt waiver signed, A good plow friend of mine just lost a law suit for someone who, fell banged his head and died in the chicago area. I make it mandatory to spread salt on all my jobs at my discretion.