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Salted Lot...

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by CMU07, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    I am having a bit of the same problem as a previous thread. I posted in that thread but wasn't getting any replies, so... A lot I plow (a restaurant) with a 2" trigger has been developing ice. I told them to salt, gave them a price but they said no... until today, they've had a couple falls. I only did main drive area, two cars wide, as requested. I'd say 1000-1200' (high end estimation) x 20' path, used 400lbs of rock salt. It slushed most of it up, but didn't get it all. This was at 4pm. Checked it with previously mentioned results at 6:30pm.

    My question is about the forementioned suggestion of heavier rate/another application. Would it be better to let it set, as the low should be around 20 tonight or go hit it heavier now (worried about refreeze)? I know the current results aren't going to please them, and I have a hard time having them associated with me.

    As you might be able to tell, this is my first year, and don't want it to be my last. Thanks for any helpful suggestions.
  2. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    If it were slushy and I didn't think it would all melt I would have pushed the slush off as much as I could, then spread more salt.
  3. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    agreed with above. if your just starting out..do what it takes to make them happy. just make notes of the situation so next time you can refer back and make adjustments. sucks to go back, but still a good learning experiance
  4. Dave Jr

    Dave Jr Junior Member
    from md
    Messages: 12

    Calcium Chloride is the lowest temperature ice melter which melts down to -25º F. The premium calcium chloride ingredient creates heat when it comes in contact with ice and snow. As a result, Calcium Chloride melts large volumes of ice and snow fast.

    Salt stops working around 22*
  5. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    That 22 degree statement has ALOT of variables.........

    I would also push off the slush as well as possible, then I'd apply again in the AM before there's any cars in the lot to be sure you can get everything, in all likelyhood you'd be dry by the next afternoon, as long as there was mo additional precip.
  6. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    We all make a few mistakes getting into this, and IMHO your first was to allow them the choice of whether or not they get salted. Sounds a bit pushy, I know--until someone slips & falls and you get served with litigation paperwork. Unless you work for cash in an unmarked truck, you can bet it is a very good possibility if a patron (not to be confused with Patron--yum) is injured from a fall that you will be involved in it at some point. To plow snow is really only half the job, and it exposes the other half (usually ice) which really carries the lion's share of the risk in snow removal. That having been said...

    I would lay heavy salt in the AM before opening, and revisit mid-day to check progress (I prefer making rounds every few hours if possible), push slush and re-apply to keep the transition going. If it's 20° overnight, you should see at least mid 20s during the day, and with any sun the salt will work quite fast. Stop by just after close to push slush and clean up, then lay a bit more salt as needed.

    Explain to your customer very simply that snow is easy to remove, and ice is not. If you do the job correctly--every time, ice has very little chance to form and cause risks or cost money. Spend a little now--or a lot later. But in the future, think of what a lawyer costs before allowing a customer to opt out of salting. Sad but true...

  7. concreteguy

    concreteguy Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    x2 w/ Westhardt. If you let the customer decide, what do you think they're going to go with, the cheaper way. You are on the hook as well if someone falls and you not them are considered the pro.Explain to them that it takes less salt to maintain than to melt the ice after it forms and there's less of a chance for a slip and fall when applied after plowing.
    Good luck with them and take control
  8. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    westhardt says it best!!
  9. Evanbrendel

    Evanbrendel Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    good info for a new guy like me.
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    What is it with you guys claiming rediculous numbers for rock salt lately. Is this guy supposed to hit the lot with CaCl for 2-3 times the price only to have the same results. In most cases standard rock salt works well below 22*. Does it take longer and require more, sure does, but it works. Obviously we havent seen the site, but 400lbs on 1/2 acre of frozen packed snow isnt going to solve the problem. Site unseen I'd guess he was a few hundred pounds light on the salt for the conditions.
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    Deco, is that you?

    The last quote gets into it as well, but who really gives a flying rats behind if calcium works to -25*??????????????????????????????

    The OP is not trying to melt snow\ice at -25*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Besides all that, I thought sodium stopped working at 28*? Or was it 20*?

    Suppose he better keep it off the concrete as well, right? After all, we all know salt will ruin concrete without even being applied to it.


    It's January, good frost in the ground, very few UV rays, you need to apply a minimum of 1,000#'s per acre. Possibly more.

    This is why I use the average of 1,000#'s per acre over the course of an entire season. There are times I will use a ton an acre in the middle of Jan and go as light as 200# per acre in March.

    As for letting the customer decide, while what Westhardt states is true, things are different in Michigan.

    #1 The economy is in the crapper and has been for many years, far longer than the rest of the country.

    #2 It is far less of a litigious area than many other parts of the country. While there are zero tolerance locations, snow happens and people realize and accept it. Not saying there aren't slip and fall suits, but it is also very difficult to win because it is a naturally occurring condition. But when you get twice as much snow as across the lake, people become more accustomed to it. You get over by Detoilet and people are less accustomed once again.

    Not saying you shouldn't educate the customer, but it is not wrong to have a customer make the decision. I don't like it, but I have several that do.

    PS This post is a good mixture of my #1, #2 AND #3 Categories coming out.
  12. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    Totally Agree. It isn't an option in my book. All commericals get at least 1 application of salt. If the customer doesn't want to pay for it then they need to sign a waiver liability. That you are in NO WAY responsible for slippery condiditions. Also my contracts state that I am only responsible for the property 24 hrs after the start of the storm. If there are slippery conditions due to windrifts, refreeze, etc. it is the customers resposibility to contact you and request the service. If they want to pay you to stop by every day and check the parking lot go for you, but not many business go for that. Only really large ones with big contracts usually will have you check the property daily.

    Being new at it this is a learning curve for you. Every year I change my contracts a little to limit my liability more and more.

    Try using treated salt it works better than regular salt. Yes it is a little more expensive but you won't need as much product and should get better results.
  13. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    To clarify, most of the properties I was involved with were flat rate big box, so it was easiest to keep a constant eye on them rather than be 100% reactive. Smaller properties were more of a "call" basis, but I would try to drive through while doing my rounds.

    Also, Mark--Illinois is the most liberal, pathetic sue-happy state out here. It happens....a lot.

  14. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Thanks guys for the suggestions. They are tight here, and there are a lot of people/customers around here that do not opt for salt. There are 10000000 plows and about 5 of these guys have salters of any kind. I'm working with this particular customer to keep them happy as they are tight with the dollar. I know the management well and have kept in contact with them about my progress. We decided to let the sun work on it today, good bad or otherwise, and I will work on the remaining tonight/tomorrow morning.
  15. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    It is good practice to get it in writing. This is what emailing is very good for.

    You have never been to CT the Insurance Capital of the world!:waving:
  16. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    This is something I never have been able to understand. I know some guys around here that o a whole slew of Taco Bells around here. Not one of them takes any salt. I couldn't touch them without salt.
  17. dchr

    dchr Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Really? I guess I need to get a new thermometer. Where did you get that info from? Let me guess--the same source that told you that salt will harm concrete right? :cry:
  18. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Its Funny i was thinking the same thing...I drove past Atleast 15 fast food places this afternoon...Only about 3 of them were salted...It just seems like such a liability...The amount of people coming and going...I had the chance to take on some Aldis stores...Once they said they make the call on the salting..I said Thanks ,But No Thanks..
  19. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    If someone didn't get it the first time then RE-Read what was just posted.
    Thanks Mark.:waving: