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Salting while it's raining

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    This is my first year salting. I must say, it's not as easy as I used to think it was. How much to put down, when to start applying, etc. Anyways, we were borderline with this storm today. First it rained, then came the freezing rain, a couple inches of snow, then we got about maybe 1/2" of sleet on top of it all. I started salting yesterday afternoon when it changed from rain to snow, only after it started laying. It was raining when I got up around 4:30 am. My question is if it was raining at 4:30 am and I start plowing, and it's now 8 am, it's in the high 30's (been raining very steady, sometimes heavy), should I go without salting or still salt. The lots were wet and clear except for the occasion low spot. I get a call at noon (four hours after the lot was plowed) and wants to know why there's no salt on the lot. I said it's in the high 30's and been raining since I got up. I thought it would just be a waste of time and money. My thought was that the heavy rains would just wash it away and making it useless. This is a brand new account and it sounds like they want me to salt no matter what after each plowing. But I still want your opinions on how you would have handled it. Your thoughts? Any help would be great. Thanks.
  2. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    DODGE........Even if the salt melts it becomes a brine that shouldn't freeze
    But alas the customer can't see the salt and figures there is none out there.

    The best way is to explain to the customer about the salt brine and how it will still keep its melting power even if there is no salt crystals for them to see.

    But better to stroke the customer and keep them happy and drop more salt to keep them off your back.........

    I had the same miserable weather here also today and must of used 100 lbs. of that cal. chloride/mag. garbage that my bank customer furnishes. Thats only deicing the walks, steps, ATM areas only too ! I applied it 5 times today. Paid by the application of course !
    The rain/sleet/snow washed it away in 1/2 hour..........

    My bar/rest./hotel walks I applied a good dose of Magic Salt and rock salt this AM and it lasted most of the day and not a drop of ice anywhere I used it. I only used 50 lbs total.........

    I tried to show the bank mgr. the melting power difference. Not to mention the $$$ savings. BUT they know more than me I guess...........geo
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005
  3. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    We use straight salt on all our accounts.We keep our v-box spreaders open just a little.Salt goes a long way,our spreaders have the blast button.That is what we use[ex. a average size home improvement center we use less than 1/2 a yard per salting] if its raining and the temp is over 32,we will wait till it stops or the temps drop back below freezing
  4. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Use your best judgement....your clients should know you are a phone call away.....If they want more give it to them and charge accordingly.
  5. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    Thats the beast of this business. Sometimes... you, being the operations manager have to go and drive your customers properties (customer service) and check things out. Make sure when you do that you are prepared to do the service while you are there. If conditions are favorable.... when in doubt...lay it out. The last thing you want is an angry customer.

    A bit of advice: When you do a salting/de-icing contract make sure you have it written so it explains >Pre-salting(prior to predicted storm) and > Normal salting/De-icing (during & post storm).
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    what is the difference?
  7. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Thanks for sharing this advice. This is defintely going in next year on the contracts. Makes total sense to have that in them.

  8. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Thanks guys.

    Great info. Thanks for the help. This being the first year salting.....The first storm I think I laid it down too heavy. I had the whitest lots in town. After the storm, it was nice for a week straight with no precip. My lots were still salty white. But it was an ice storm only and I didn't want any slips/falls.
    I'm still learning both applications and pricing. I hope I get good responses on the next question. :waving:
  9. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    DODGE....Ya should of taken pics of your wet ice free accounts. Then a few pics of "other" lots with sheets of ice and snow.........

    Next year when you bid you can show your potental customer the clean ice free QUALITY job vs. the crummy job the other guy did up the street !!!!!!!!!Chances are that you could even bid a bit higher and still get the seasonal contract !............ :) :) :) ..........geo