Salt a hot commodity on a cold, snowy day

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As soon as they bring it in, they’re ready to move it out.

“Just doing our best to keep people in salt,” says Toby Robinson with Robinson Salt Supply.

Robinson Salt Supply is one of the few places around the area where you can still buy salt.  But even it has had to take some major steps to keep people supplied.

“Usually when it gets to this kind of level we’re substituting people with water conditioning salt,” Robinson says. “That’s all there is to throw on the ground.”

Robinson says the water conditioning salt works better than road salt but it’s more expensive. At this point, though, plow companies, like Renfrow Builders, will take what they can get.

“(We) Called four of the major suppliers in this area and nobody’s selling anything right now,” says owner Ken Renfrow.

Even retailers are scrambling to keep salt on their shelves.

“The stores are calling us,” Robinson says. “We start getting calls from Lowe’s and Walmart.”

Toby says the below zero temperatures in the forecast will make it even harder to get salt.

“With the deep freeze the diesel fuel is turning into gel and trucks can’t move, so the products are on trucks and they can’t move,” Robinson says.

It seems the only thing running shorter than the salt supply is Robinson’s amount of sleep.

“I’m getting three hours here or two hours there,” Robinson says. “I’ve slept in the conference room under the table before.”

But catching up on sleep will have to wait until everyone’s caught up on salt.

“We started in 1979 and we’ve never turned anybody away without a bag of something to throw on the ground,” Robinson says.

The company is opening on Saturdays now to meet the demand. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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