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Pre Salting

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by NASConst_land, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    Pre Salting?

    Most of our contracts are set up to where we salt as we feel needed. We dont have to wait for the ok from a manager or owner or anything like that. We did not pre-salt at all last year, never had any complaints or problems, but are we providing a fair service.

    We think that if we pre salted our customers would generally be more pleased to see that they are being taken care of. But at the same time, are they going to think we are trying to suck them dry for every penny. If we are spose to get ice, we always presalt other then that never.

    We are thinking about presalting on all of our storms this year just want to know if its a good idea or not. When we ask customers they say its our call. We plow 6 or 7 retail stores, good size lots for one customer and that pre salt bill could be very high and we dont want to upset him but at the same time, we think his lots would be safer if we did. The rest of our contracts are large department stores and apartment complexs, and the salt bill can be costly.

    Is anyone else presalting without complaints on billing? and if so do your customers seem to be happy that you are salting before the storm?
  2. dssxxxx

    dssxxxx Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 63

    Almost "all" legitimate icemelt producers advocate the pratice of pre-application of thier product.

    In a short explanation.........you do not want a bond to form between the ice/snow and the pavement, balcktop, etc.

    So, to answer your question. Yes, it is recommended to pre-apply and you have already checked with your customers and if they give the OK, then you are doing them a favor in making their lots a little safer and removal for you a little easier.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    I would recommend educating your customers on the benefits of anti-icing. You could even try it on one or two and show them how it works and the end results along with the costs.

    Having said that, we started 'pre-salting' or anti-icing (makes more sense to me) many years ago, between 15 and 20, can't remember exactly. We did not educate our customers prior to doing it and never had a complaint. When we started using liquids for anti-icing a little over 5 years ago, we did explain the differences and the pros to using the liquids.
  4. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    Mark, how often do you apply the liquid anti-ice? We have never used it, but it seems the market is heading that way in our area. Around here we get alot of 1-2 inch storms that we get to plow and then salt after. It seems as if we either used a liquid, or a salt before the storm, we would eliminate the need to plow those 1-2 inch storms. Yes its less money for us, but we are going to creat some happy customers, and word travels around here when you save people money by not plowing unless you have to.

    I would think maybe this year we wouldnt make as much money but the for the next year we would have more people calling for us to take care of their property.
  5. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Presalting, is an excellent idea, but in practice not sure. Yes will me make for a nice plow, and easier clean up later.

    I know for us now adays, the majority of our calls are automatic salting, cause owners and managers know that a lawsuit is just to costly, compared to the cost of salting. But even then with out presalting those salt bills can add up, if we have alot of little storms. I myself can't see our calls allowing presalting for snow storms anytime soon. Maybe the larger ones would try some liquid icer as a base that the city is trying.

    As for complaints, even if calls we have had for years, sometimes the hmm and hah at salting. to ask to salt twice for a storm, before and after. that could be a hard sale.

    However we do at our own risk of having a customer complain, presalt when they call for freezing rain. Cause of the time frame, it helps. and we've never had a complaint about that.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    In practice it is just as excellent as it is an idea. I know this because we have been performing this service for between 15-20 years, as previously stated. It is called anti-icing and the price for salt comes out about the same-depending on billing-as if you only apply once because you don't need nearly as much for anti-icing and you won't need as much because it greatly reduces if not eliminates the hardpack.

    This is the whole idea behind anti-icing, preventing the bond of snow to pavement for easier mechanical removal. It also keeps the lots in driveable conditions longer because there will be clear pavement longer. I.e. safer conditions for your customer giving you a longer period of time to respond.

    NASConst, we generally apply before each possible event if needed. The nicest thing about liquid application is that if it doesn't snow, the water in the liquid evaporates and the solids in the material remain in the pavement until reactivated--by snow. Rain will wash it off, so that is a possibility. We don't turn parking lots white with salt residue anymore, either. It is also very helpful on 'touchups' where the entire lot doesn't need to be salted or if there is very low moisture content in the snow, they work well.

    Just a quick question for all you. How many of you have used liquids for de-icing? How many have used granular material for de-icing?
  7. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    Heres the million dollar question that probably has been asked a million times. But as far as pricing goes, for a per application rate. I understand that there are many variables and advantages or disadvantages. But how close are your salt rates to your liquid rates? Just curious.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    They come out pretty close to the same. Maybe a little higher.