September 15, 2015
In the past four years, I have been involved with the Snow and Ice Control for Parking Lots and Sidewalks (SICOPS) salt research project. I have been monitoring our salt numbers very closely with a new automated salt tracking system from Viaesys designed specifically for this project.

It was originally developed to collect data for the research project, but after seeing the value in seeing the true amount of salt that was applied to each location, it was an eye opening experience. For the first time in the history of Urban Meadows PMG, I was able to truly see trends in the applications by my team.

After reviewing the data collected from the past four years with the team at Viaesys, we noticed something about our application rates in response to weather conditions and the growth of our company.

Turns out at the start of the project, it was myself and my partner who did all the salt applications. There was a direct correlation to weather patterns and salt application rates. As the company grew and we continued with the research, we saw another pattern form. This was when my partner had left salting operations and went into a management position. There was less correspondence between the weather conditions and application rates.  

Now with the last season behind us, we happened to notice another anomaly.  Both of us left operations and went into management, and were replaced by operational staff. What we found was that our application rates were even less responsive to the weather conditions and became more an average application rate for each event instead of following the weather conditions. This was a red flag that we needed to step up on training and development within the company.

Being involved with the SICOPS research has allowed us not only to see the amount of salt we are putting down, but it has also allowed us to see as a growing company where we need to improve on as a company and become more profitable.

William ‘B.J.’ Jordan
Urban Meadows
Snow and Ice Control Sector Group chair