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Salt shortage & price increase?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Plowin in VT, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    As we all know, the salt shortage is hitting us hard. Has anyone increased the cost per application to a commercial customer, and what was their reaction? This is something that I do NOT want to do, however when I have to switch to bagged salt I will be running just about at a break even price. I have asked customers about switching to either a salt/sand mix or straight sand, and they looked at me like I was crazy.

    This is something that goes against just about everything that I believe in, but I still have a mortgage, truck payment, insurance, etc. to pay for. In a "normal" year, this wouldn't be a problem, but VT has been hit hard this year.

    Flame away!

  2. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    It is hard to do when you have a contract. We sent out a memo to our customers stating the salt shortage(all over,not just our own shortsightedness) and we are going to a 50/50 sand salt mix. If they dont like it try to find someone with salt to apply it. It actually spreads better than straight salt. It is basically called manufactured sand. Screened limestone chips. With the cold temps it really gives some traction where as salt would not work very well anyway.
  3. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    and makes one humongous mess by spring. Be prepared to contract with a parking lot sweeping company.
  4. rjfetz1

    rjfetz1 Senior Member
    from CT.
    Messages: 640

    Had no idea you had a salt shortage .. we have not had that much snow around here anyway. Does the state/town use straight salt up there now? Why do you have a shortage?
  5. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    We are basicly screwed here, it is my understanding that Cargill is the "owner or controller" of all of the salt here and is dictating to the local distribitors that they can only sell to the states and maybe the towns. I did call them and they deny this but 2 local distribitors told me the same story so who do I believe... I know a few towns here that are out and cannot get salt either. It does seems that there is some salt on the way and we may be able to get some soon, I hope without a price increase. I am conserving mine and salting near entrances of the stores and going to sand away from the buildings. It is a little more labor for me but I dont know what to do. Building owner fine with plan store manager POed.
  6. BBSnow

    BBSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    We emailed all our accounts on Friday when the salt shortage began to look long term around here, explaining the situation & how widespread it appears. We talked internally about charging a surcharge over contract price, but decided the long term bad publicity would be worse than taking the financial loss right now. We're rationing out the small supplies we have left focusing on high traffic pedestrian areas & plowing down to pavement after *every* snow (our contract obligation is 2" & up) -- solar energy is doing a pretty decent job with the rest. So far, no complaints & everyone has seemed fairly sympathetic -- local news coverage of the shortage has probably helped us here!

    BCLARK Member
    Messages: 37

    The company I work for is still looking for bulk. Got a phone number?
  8. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I am looking in Green Bay.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    no prob here...

    got to love having a mine an hour and half so our south.
  10. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I have been running bagged salt all winter and can no longer find ANY. Every single store is out and has been since the end of december for the maost part. I had a hookup at my local hardware store but even she can't get any anymore. I was even using the blue bagged water softener salt but people realised they can use it too so that is almost impossible to find now. Don't know what to do now with at least another month of winter. And yes I scrape to pavement every storm but comm accounts still want it anyway around entrances sidewalks etc. Salt is more valuable than gold and steel in southern NH lately.
  11. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    LMAO .. The guy that keeps posting that he has lots of it on every post just emailed me and told me he has it. Obviously he didn't look at my state where Im from. So I emailed him and said that it doesn't help me unless he is willing to ship it to me free of charge lol
  12. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Have you thought about using a salt/sand mix? If your tailgate spreader has a vibe it should be able to handle it.

    I don't like using it, but it's better than nothing!
  13. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    Yes I have been doing that also. But all of the bulk mix around here is so damn wet that I can only filll about a 1/3 of the hopper before it packs and I have to shovel it out:eek: That means many 5 gallon buckets in the bed and is worse thatn bags especially with my bad back, Here's a pic

    my back 1.5.JPG

    my back 2.5.JPG
  14. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Thanks everyone for your input. I ended up biting the bullet and not increasing prices, and paid the extra $ when needed, and used sand/salt mix when straight salt was not available.