With the official start of winter only a few weeks behind us, let’s pause to take stock of what can only be described as a roller-coaster ride in the ice melter industry so far this season. The end of the previous season saw distributors and end users alike exhausting every available bag, pail, jug and grain of salt as winter weather continued to affect all parts of the country into early spring.

  • Through the winter of 2013-2014 Chicago was hit with 67.9 inches of snow, a good 41.5 inches above normal
  • The average temperature in Central Park in January 2014 was 28.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the average January mean is 32.6°F
  • 2013-2014 was the snowiest winter since the 1978-1979 season, which set the all-time record of 89.7 inches

Bulk salt piles were “down to the pavement” early and well through to end of season.

With predictions of a potential repeat in the 2014/2015 season, the industry anticipated a higher early season demand as customers looked to replenish empty shelves and storage areas in preparation for upcoming orders. Manufacturer’s forecasts were adjusted accordingly, and production ran in high gear as the preseason demand rolled in as predicted… For the first couple of weeks! In a short period of time it became clear that customer demands for preseason orders were far greater than anticipated and that the “pipeline” was much emptier than originally thought. The volume of orders in the first two months of the season was 4-5 times that of a typical year. The result has been felt at all levels in the industry – with longer lead times, SKU rationalization, and product allocations throughout the industry.

With actual winter events, now well documented throughout the Snow Belt Regions, the next challenge for the industry will ultimately depend on what Mother Nature has in store.  Typical January and February months have colder temperatures and recorded snow/ice events.  The next wave of demand will be driven by the timing of the snow events and the need to possibly replenish inventory once again in anticipation of a strong finish to this season.

Advanced Turf Solutions has continued to offer its customers a variety of Kissner-manufactured products, including; Ice Patrol, Avalanche with CMA, and Lavamelt with CMA, in addition to their own brand, “5 Below”. This diverse product offering ensures that Advanced Turf Solutions has the right solution for all of their customers’ ice melter needs.

With its own brand “5 Below”, Advanced Turf has established an economical product suitable for a wide range of applications and noted for its reliable performance, fast melting action, and quality formulation.

Where customer’s concerns are related to product performance and property preservation, Advanced Turf recommends one of their CMA blends such as Avalanche with CMA or Lavamelt with CMA. Property preservation, concerns over potential damage to concrete, and possible harmful effects to vegetation and landscaping are all factors to consider when selecting the right ice melter. Further concerns in high foot-traffic areas are the potential for tracking and residue, as well as the necessary application rates required to ensure safe passage for customers, patrons and employees.  You really do get what you pay for when it comes to de-icing! Advance Turf Solutions staff are properly trained to help coach their customers through the decision making process.

No matter what winter throws your way, Advanced Turf Solutions has the right ice melter for every situation!

This article was written by Kissner.