Salt Rationing ??

John Allin

LawnSite Bronze Member
Erie, PA
My position as Board President of the Snow & Ice Management Association allows me to hear of certain situations and events prior to their becoming public.....

The largest supplier of salt in the USA had a mine shaft collapse. Salt production has been adversly affected by this event. Combined with the continuing ongoing snowfalls over the northern half of the USA and with the repeated ice events in the southern portion of the middle US - it is my understanding that salt rationing will begin in earnest sometime next week.

By the end of next week, it is my understanding that private contractors north of the mason-dixson line may be unable to purchase salt. Municipalities will be instructed to begin mixing anti-skid sand with their existing salt piles. Existing salt reserves in the USA will be used up by the end of January at the current pace.

It is my understanding that the USA needs 3 weeks of nice weather to alleviate this problem. This is not likely given the long range forecasts and the current position of the polar vortex that is forcing low pressure systems into the lower and mid states.

Please plan accordingly, and good luck.


LawnSite Bronze Member
morristown, nj
I don't get it,

Here we are, living on a planet that is 75% covered by salt water and we have a salt shortage? How can this be?..........

Maybe a 'add on business'. Truck tank fulls of salt water around the country to be used as de-icing treatment.......

John Allin

LawnSite Bronze Member
Erie, PA

Price increases are happening all over. As you are no doubt aware, this is a result of the old business adage... "supply and demand".

Yes, indirectly this price increase you speak of is because of what has happened. Supply is down, demand is way up - so up go the prices.

I have 150 ton in stock right now, 150 ton ordered locally for early next week. In addition to what I have ordered locally, I did locate some other salt from another supplier, and am paying 35% more to get it. It is coming from two hours away from me, and I'm glad to get it. I have 150 ton (extra) coming next week. I also had to pre-pay it in order to guarantee it. So... we Fed Ex'd payment in full today in order to guarantee delivery sometime next week. That hurts the old cash flow pocketbook.

And.... it's gonna get worse.

We bought in 50 ton of anti-skid sand today... just in case we have to mix it into the salt to strrrreeetch what we have. I also faxed all my customers this afternoon, warning them of what is going to happen. Better they know it's coming than to surprise them. This weekend we will salt only those accounts we know, for sure, are open over the weekend. And, at that, we will only do cruise lanes and aprons out of the parking lots (the "in" lanes will get salted from what the cars bring in from the street).

Time to conserve.......


LawnSite Member
Sounds like you guys with the stockpiles of Magic wont need to worry about how you're going to store whats left over in the spring!

I have a feeling Dino and NY Snowpros will have many new friends in the upcoming months!


LawnSite Senior Member
Flint, Michigan
Our suppliers here have ordered more salt but I don't think that they will get enough fast enough. They have a couple of snows worth of salt. I figure too that the prices will eventually go up. Snow plow parts and supplies have already increased dramatically. Last week I bought a cutting edge and bolts for $52. I went yesterday to get another at the same place and the cutting edge alone was $97.

My suggestion to everyone: Stock up it is going to be a long winter!!!


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Watched the 6 oclock news, at one of the DOT loading stations the guy says he has 900 tons of salt on hand, more waiting if they need it, and then the camera pans to a <i>mountain</i> of sand (weeds and brush growing out of the top) and a loader scooping buckets and mixing with the salt.

Seems theres always the excuse for a price, increase when demand seems high, look at gas in the summer they blamed it on refinery shutdowns, diesel and heating oil in the winter, blamed it on whatever...


LawnSite Silver Member
Ontario, Canada
Sifto Salt is located 20 miles from me, lineups of tractor trailers there everyday storm or not. Boats are still being loaded too. We're about 100 miles from Port Huron, maybe you Michigan guys should be running up here for salt considering the U.S. dollar vs Can$ difference.