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Salt sales question

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Chaser13114, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Chaser13114

    Chaser13114 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Heres a differnt kind of question. We are a snow contractor in Northern NY. We use bulk rock salt applied by dumptruck salter. We have a salt dome that holds about 400 ton of bulk product. Every snow event we use approximatly 12 ton of salt on our customers lots. We are very much into ice control and would like to bolster our icecontrol sales. Heres the question. I got a call today from a competitors client. He saw our trucks around town and wanted to know if we would salt his lot. We had bid his job but had not gotten it due to price. The contractor that did get it doesn't do Ice control. The odd part is this guy hesitated to call us because he thought we would be mad about not getting the job and we wouldn't salt his lot. This couldn't be further from the case. We are maxed out on our plowing capablity but I'd take on more salt customers. How can I market ourseleves to other clients or even contractors as an ice control only service. We also picked up this year salting for another contractor that just doesn't want to mess with the hassle after plowing. With our purchase power for bulk salt we can often buy and apply it for less than it can be bought in bags for. How do I educate other contractors of this and gain their support as a subcontractor. I would place an add in the paper but we don't do residential work and that seems to be what we get from newspaper adds. Maybe a direct mailer too commercail clients about our salt service. Where to get the addresses? Our local chamber of commerse would be an avenue. Does anyone have any other great thoughts or ideas? Thanks for the input.
  2. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I have never seen anywhere that salts as heavily as Upstate New York. They put down salt like it is free! And every pickup truck on the road just about has a wooden bed by the time it's ten years old, because the original bed rotted off from so much salt. I have seen it so thick it needed to be plowed off. And the roads are so smooth because of all the sand underneath, I always thought they could scrape them clean and get away with using a quarter of the salt they use. I guess it's what my old man called "regional theory". meaning people in one area tend to do things a certain way because they always have and they have reason to believe it works. Another thing I noticed is everybody up there always left there plow blade up all the time when parked. Was told it's because they are afraid it will freeze to the ground. Around here everyone drops their plow when parked, thinking to relieve strain on front suspension.
    Not trying to bash NY, so don't take it wrong. I love it up there, some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. But me and all my NH crew that moved up there or even visited often saw dissimilarities in winter road maintenance methods. Which is not to say that they don't know how to remove snow, I was up there during the blizzard of 93. I can still remember those big monster Oshkoshes and FWDs winging back the highway snowbanks at 9 feet high, driving along with the front wheels turned into the snowbank the whole time. Again, not trying to bash NY, I know they could teach the clowns in my town highway dept. a thing or two. These idiots have resorted to plowing my cul-de-sac with a 40 foot road grader, while the 1 tons and medium duties are on the main roads. Morons.
  3. Chaser13114

    Chaser13114 Senior Member
    Messages: 103


    I would tend to agree. Each area seems to do there own thing. We salt on average 100 times per season and plow 55 times. As a member of SIMA I have traveled around the northeast talking with many people and have heard many different methods. We do go through a lot of salt up here but knowing that Ice control is the most profitable part of my company I say thank god I live here.

    I think part of it is the amount of snow we get. We have salted every single day since Thanksgiving. I've already used over 200 ton of salt and were just a small contractor. Wev'e had, as of yesterday, 65 inches of snow fall so far this season so its off to a heck of a start.

    Another reason might be Syracuse NY is called the Salt City. At one time it supplied most of the northeasts road salt. I'm sure that contributed to how much we use it today. I guess we learn from those before us.