Whether we like it or not, winter is quickly approaching. The days are getting shorter, leaves are starting to drop, and before we know it snow will be in the forecast. With the challenges of last winter still fresh in our minds, now is the time to have your winter plan in place.

It is already clear that rock salt could be a challenge this season. The supply of bagged salt will be questionable as the season progresses, and prices are likely to rise in a fashion similar to last year. The bulk salt situation is no better, with scarce availability and much higher prices compared to years past. This was made crystal clear by the recent information in the Columbus Dispatch stating some of the challenges ODOT has faced acquiring bulk salt. With all that in mind, those who react swiftly and smartly will be in the best position to have a successful winter this season.

To start, don’t be afraid to raise your prices. If you are paying more for salt and ice melt than in the past, you have a responsibility to your business to raise your price for snow removal accordingly. While this is easier said than done, use the resources available to justify your worth. The Dispatch article makes a great case for your higher costs. SIMA has also had information available that has discussed some of the challenges that will be faced again this season.

Secondly, take advantage of salt inventory while it’s readily available, and put a comfortable amount of material in your shop. The only guarantee on availability this year will be material that is in your possession. Maybe most importantly, maintain that comfortable inventory level throughout the first half of season. Don’t wait for your preseason material to get depleted before you consider adding to your stock. This will be true for both bagged and bulk material. As you use a little, replace a little. Keep that philosophy until you are comfortable with a shrinking stock pile, and ready to clear out space for spring. Lastly, use your local ATS resources to keep you current on product information and availability. Find more information about our most popular ice melting products in our Ice Melt Guide.