With A Grain Of Salt

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Sno4U, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    I've seen this company in mags advertising that they won't leave you with out bulk salt even when all the munis are hoarding up the supplies.
    Anybody deal with them?
    Do you have to buy huge quantities?
    With all the talk about bulk salt shortage I was wondering if they would be an alternative for next season?
  2. rblake

    rblake Senior Member
    from dayton
    Messages: 293

    I have us them for the past 6 years. Todd has allways filled my qouta. I tried to get a little extra, but he was out in the Dayton area. I know that he dropped the ball this year on many contractors that still had not reached there qouta.

    Quick on delivery and decent salt.
  3. fortydegnorth

    fortydegnorth Senior Member
    Messages: 219

    Ya, so much for fulfilling his contracts. He can't supply us anymore since he is now out at the Springfield terminal. We can't get salt and we are 40 tons short of using our contracted amount. That is the big draw to With A Grain Of Salt is the "guarantee", but it backfired this year since he wasn't even close to having enough to supply everyone. We have used him for the last 3 years and its been great but next year we may go through CWS (Cincinnati Wholesale Supply). We were paying around $57/ ton delivered at the beginning of the season. Nobody has salt now and snow is coming Tuesday! We may have 6 tons left, not enough to get through the route. Kettering and Beavercreek are mixing sand in with there salt now.
  4. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Drop the ball is right! DLC & Brickman was left high and dry by WGS. When Cargil does cut offs everyone is in trouble! Sand has saved my buddy and I. Most people that I know that are getting salt are seeking out state resources. Even if you can get the salt the price has been driven up so much that it is almost not even worth it!
  5. mustangmike45

    mustangmike45 Member
    Messages: 72

    what i dont understand is here in Iowa we are getting hit harder than anywhere in the country this year with snow (over 35 events so far) and we are not having a salt crisis. I am able right now to go and get as much bagged or bulk material as i need for prices that are the same as beginning of this year. Maybe you guys are just putting too much down! lol j/k
  6. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Theres a lot to be said for some conservation and more accurate efficient applications I will say that. Im running a TG and am efficient by default, and would like to fling it better sometimes but most often I see contractors way over applying product.


    I do two hotels (and more) but they are on the outskirts of a big mall with a big four lane circle road around it. When I am in the area when their salt dump is treating its like driving on a friggin gravel road.

    Theres also a lot of overtreating to get rid of that load so it doesn't turn into a rock.
  7. fortydegnorth

    fortydegnorth Senior Member
    Messages: 219

    I was told its not Ohio, Indiana or Kentucky that is using all the salt but Illinois and Michigan. All of our salt is being directed to the Northern states because they have a shortage. Basically it sounds like we got the screws put to us. Our winter in this area is not that much different than any other year so there should be plenty. I normally call Todd at With A Grain Of Salt for a load and have it within 2 days, now he has been sold out for 3weeks. I hate that we were guaranteed so much and now can't get it. I really believe he will be getting a lot of lawsuits over the guarantee, wether its right or wrong to do so.
  8. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    I have used Todd in the last 4 years and we have ran out 2 times
    now we have to use bag salt and sand
  9. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I dont know Todd or With a Grain but a;; supplyers in Michigan are cut off so its not this guys fault
  10. bike5200

    bike5200 Senior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 419

    In Louisville,,Ky. the city has not been replacing a lot of salt they have been using the past few years. The mild winters we have had for the past three years, they have not been using much salt and what they used was not replaced in full . Now that the winters are back to the average, they are short on salt, so they put a lock down on all public selling and only government gets the salt. This salt shortage is caused by the city and state governments shutting down the public selling of salt, everything goes to them. The contractors are paying for governments piss poor planing for what they will need and the government does not worry about it to much because they can do what every is necessary to get there salt. The supplier that you guys deal with are dealing with supply and demand, the price goes up. I guarantee that some suppliers that I have read about are gouging some customers, but supply and demand is driving the price.With the shortage that we have, if you where a supplier and you had a 1000 tons of salt, would you be selling it at the same price you where selling it at September of 07. Be honest with your self when you answer that. I would mark it up, what I do not know. :drinkup::drinkup:
  11. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    You are rigth but the storms in ohio are not the issue. Most of the salt in Ohio is going out of state. The salt yard on 670 was bought out weeks ago by chicago! Thousands of tons where bought! I know the company that was hired out to haul it there. All of are salt was taken! On another note local citys and townships are starting to be turned down! There is just not enough supply now! WGS should have handled the situation a little better! They lost alot of customers over this! EMI has been getting loads of salt still! I dont know how but they got a good supplier!
  12. Todd Martin

    Todd Martin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 9

    My name is Todd Martin and I'm the sales manager for With A Grain of Salt. I've finally had a chance to get on Plowsite and go through some of the claims that have come from your question a few months ago. I'll be the first to admit that there is some truth to the statements out of our Springfield salt terminal this year but there are also some flat out over exagerations and lies that you need more information on to fully understand. We only guarantee salt at 4 of our 7 salt terminals and there is a limit on how much salt we can come up with above and beyond people's projected allotment. We met or exceeded 100% of our customers allotments at all terminals we guarantee salt at with the exception of Springfield this year. In Springfield we MET or EXCEEDED the majority of our customers allotments this past winter. I'm well aware that the few that we didn't meet with hurt us but hopefully these customers will be understanding and give us a 2nd chance. We've already made some changes moving forward that will greatly reduce the possibility of this happening again as I'm sure landscapers are also making changes to reduce the risk of running low again. I would like to challenge landscapers however to see things from our side or the supplier side for a change - we hold salt every year based on what customers tell us they will need. Neither one of us can predict the winter that we will have but we are willing to take ownership of the salt and hold it with there name on it in hopes that they are honest and we have a good winter so they will hit there number. Prior to this year we have had pretty mild winters the past 2 years and we are seeing a trend where landscapers will exagerate what they think they need in order to cover there rear end on a record winter like this year. In short - the landscaper wants us to hold salt for them in case we have a record year. That works out great for them and then we are left high and dry owning a bunch of salt that we will never move unless it snows huge. Don't get me wrong - not every landscaper is guilty of this but it happens more often than people are willing to admit. We have now been around long enough at all of our locations that we have a history of what people have used so moving forward we will be using customers 3 year average for there guarantee which will be hard to argue with because these are real numbers. This evens the playing field and puts some of the risk back on the landscapers. There are many reasons some of which were out of our control in Springfield as to why our inventory came up a little short. I'm not going to bore you with the details because the simple fact is we didn't come through on our promise for some of our customers out of that terminal and we are going to have too work hard to win them back. As far as some of the other blogs about WGS on Plowsite: Rblake - is correct in his statement that we have always met and did once again this year his allotment. He is also correct that there were some in Springfield that we fell a little short on. fortydegnorth - I offered Jason a load of salt on 2/29 but he passed it up and said he had 7 tons left and was confident he could get through the rest of the winter with this 7 tons and didn't want to be sitting on a lot of salt at the end of the season. He called me back on 3/6 and asked if I still had that load of salt that I offered him on 2/29. I told him it was first come first serve I gave it to the next person who needed it. I called him on 3/20 and offered him another load of salt but he passed it up saying it was too late in the year. This is a good example of you need all of the facts before you judge what someone else says about a company. We got Jason 40 tons out of his 60 tons commitment and would have met his allotment had he not turned down a load on 2 seperate occasions. Mike S - Mike from Stutske Construction never signed a quote with us this past winter and has really exagerated his facts. DLC Equipment was shorted only 12 tons on there allotment this year and Brickman Group - all 5 Columbus branches signed on as a NON GUARANTEED customer this year which means nothing is guaranteed and if we have a big winter they will be in trouble. Brickman Group Columbus rolled the dice and it backfired on them. Once again Mike S needs to get his facts straight. We were able to get Brickman Columbus branches 500 tons out a different location in February that I'm sure helped them get by. Mike S also mentioned EMI - we supply them too and we eventually had to cut them off after they went almost 1,000 tons over there allotment. Mnconst - Matt is out of our Crawfordsville terminal and there are no guaranteed contracts out of that terminal becasue we don't own and operate that terminal with our employees. That is one of 3 terminals that we don't guarantee salt out of - so we came through on all what we promised. That is a long answer but needed to be put out there. Please don't hesitate to respond with any other questions or comments.
  13. iceyman

    iceyman PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,327

    one post in 4 years....youve been waiting for the right time huh......:jester::waving:
  14. OP

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Todd, thanks for your reply. Apparently you must actually care about what your customers think of you.
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to the above allegations.
    Most times, these days, companies get so involved with getting bigger that they no longer care about what customers (aka: people) think of them.:realmad:
    So, I applaud you for your response.
    Just now need a little more info. as asked b/f.
    Do U need to sign large contracts?
    What if I only want 30 Ton to start my 08 - 09 season?
    Can you deliver to Racine WI?
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  15. Todd Martin

    Todd Martin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 9

    I appreciate your honesty and quick response!

    As far as contract size goes there is no limit on how small or large a contract or quote has to be. I have some customers at different locations who I base there quote on 5 tons. The only catch is that if you require delivery the minimum delivered load of salt is 20 tons.

    Now for the bad news! We don't currently service WI at this time. My first 2 years with WGS we did some business in Chicago but we don't currently. The closest terminal we would have to you would be out of Peoria, IL. As you can imagine I'm sure the freight rate to Racine from Peoria would not be pretty.

    I'll let you know if anything changes on our end moving forward. Good luck moving forward.

    Todd Martin
  16. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Todd dont get all fired up all my info was direct from the sorce so if they where wrong im sorry! As far as my quote with WGS you are right I didnt sign and comit because Galloway and I got a better price from Cargil. So I dont know what that has to do with anything. The bottom line is that every one was just venting but now it is your turn to vent and buddy go ahead I bet you had a hell of a time! Vent away! I dont think you realize though how much salt was bought that was not from WGS. I didnt know that brickman had a no gaurantee. I also knew that WGS supplied EMI but when I posted they said that most of their salt was coming from else where and kept on coming in steady all the way till the end! So sorry I was wrong about brickman they said different.
  17. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    I have had cold calls from Todd in the past. I had a couple conversations with him this year. Unfortunately we were not able to get geared up to accept bulk this season. With that said, Todd has always been professional and straight forward with me. I have put out the "what if" questions, "how much" and many other questions to him. He answered them all without hesitation and returned my calls promptly when messages were left. My point is this: We had an unusually high demand for salt this year. Entire towns and some states ran out of salt. We are in a volatile market and if you are playing the numbers you lost this year. My money is going to Todd next year when I order salt. He has earned my business despite what I am reading. I have always found on the internet you have to wade thru the b.s. to get the truth. Listen to the silent majority (his satisfied customers), not the noisy minority!
  18. Todd Martin

    Todd Martin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 9

    My long winded response certainly wasn't intended to attack anyone and I apologize if it came across that way. I really value our customers and don't want the hard work that I put in to be wiped out by some statements that aren't completely truthful. I'm sure as you said that you are just passing along what you were told by those customers of WGS and I can't blame you for that. Cargill will typically have a lower price with most people in Columbus because we are bringing salt 60 more miles and I don't have to explain in to much detail why our price would be higher based on freight and fuel prices. However, we will always put you first - ahead of governmental, simply because 99% of our business is the private sector. I'm well aware of how much salt was moving from the south and east coast into OH alone. You have to remember that I was getting more calls from people outside of our customer base looking for salt than I was from our existing customer base. It was a chain reaction starting in mid January and started with IL, moved to northern IN, Detroit, Toledo, and then of course the rest of OH and even into PA and KY. In shortage years each city will pull salt from the next closest city until they are low and then it keeps spreading like wild fire. Maybe our price will be more competitive for you next year Mike and we can partner up. I hope I get the opportunity to prove too you our service and guarantee are second to none.
  19. Todd Martin

    Todd Martin Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 9

    Phil - Thanks for you input and honesty. As you already know WGS would love to partner up and have you on board with us next year. I'll be in touch this fall when it comes time to quote again but don't hesitate to call or email with any other questions.
  20. Luther

    Luther PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,332

    Hicklawns.......................you nailed it!

    I am part of the silent majority and beleive that these complainers are unable to see beyond their own salt pile (or moment), let alone the big picture.

    Todd (along with all my other suppliers) were unable to deliver once the crisis took hold. They, along with all of us were victoms of this circustance.

    I don't make a practice of recommending people unless they REALLY deserve it. Todd Martin has always been professional and great to deal with. He is a straight shooter.

    Because of our needs and my belief to never put all of your eggs in one basket, I wish he was the only one I had to deal with. It 's always a pleasure to deal with him.