Not ready or can’t make a big investment in equipment that can help you reduce your company’s salt usage? It’s OK to start small and to grow and invest as you’re able – even the most basic steps can result in big gains.
1. YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE
Examine your current operations to identify areas of weakness or opportunities for improvement in material inventory and tracking, product types, application rates, calibration processes, etc. This could take awhile to identify and correct, so be patient! A hastily implemented plan can result in failure or unrealistic and unrealized expectations.
2. BABY STEPS
They say: “Go big or go home!” But that may not be the best rallying cry when it comes to wholesale changes in your salt management program. Consider clients who might be receptive to experimentation with application rates, alternative products, etc. Once you have success on one site, expand your horizons.
3. EXPAND YOUR PRODUCT TOOLBOX
Consider treated products that can be used in colder temperatures and when dealing with longer-duration storms can generally allow you to use less. If treated salt is cost prohibitive, consider purchasing a liquid product to prewet your salt stockpile. Take it a step further by adding a system to your spreaders to prewet salt at the spinner.
4. GET YOUR FEET WET
Research anti-icing as a prestorm tool to reduce bonding of snow and ice. Do your homework and test and train before starting with liquids. Again, start small. Sidewalks are a great place to start with a smaller investment. Learn how to make your own brine or investigate the best products on the market that fit your needs.
5. GO OVER THE EDGE
Invest in plows and pushers that offer a cleaner scrape to reduce material use.
6. TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Investing in software, technology, and systems (including brine making systems and combination spreaders) that will streamline applications, tracking and documentation of material applications.
7. GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE
Achieve constant improvement by returning to the first step to evaluate each process you’ve implemented and track its success or whether changes need made. Documentation and tracking are essential for successfully evaluating your program and how your team is implementing it.
This article was featured in the Snow & Ice Management Association’s SB In Focus issue focused on transitioning from a residential to commercial snow company. Read the whole issue, sponsored by Buyers Products, here.
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