IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – BOSS Snowplow expanded its line of products in June by purchasing assets from company Voight Smith Innovations (VSI). VSI, based about an hour south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, specializes in liquid deicing products that have become attractive in recent years to snow and ice contractors that BOSS supplies.

Rather than using salt alone like the spreaders BOSS has supplied in the past, the liquid deicing product is a brine that combines water and salt mixed at a certain salinity, or the dissolved salt content within a body of water. That brine is then sprayed down on sidewalks and roads before and after snow and ice collect on the pavement.

“If you did a cross-section of pavement, you looked at it closely, you would see that it’s porous. So as that liquid gets down into the pavement and it freezes, it makes it a very slippery surface,” said Mark Klossner, Vice President of Marketing for Boss Snowplow. “Makes it very difficult for snow and ice contractors to get a parking lot or a sidewalk clear completely. So you still have slippery spots, right? So this brine does a good job of breaking up that bond so it never happens.”

Klossner says a big part of what made VSI attractive to BOSS is the ability to be a one-stop shop for contractors by providing the in-demand brine in addition to the snowplows, spreaders, and other products they’ve manufactured for years. The brine is more environmentally friendly than salt, as well as more cost-effective, allowing a surface like a parking lot to be covered using about 1/3 the amount of salt compared to salt alone.

“As liquids melt, rain, whatever the case may be, all of that salt that was put down on the pavement, that salinity ends up down in the groundwater, lakes, things like that,” Klossner said. “And over the course of time that can build up and can have harmful effects. So brine really mitigates a lot of that problem which is a really great thing. Plus for a snow and ice contractor, it reduces the cost because the material costs are less to run your business, so it’s kind of a win-win.”

Seven employees from VSI were taken to begin working with BOSS as part of the purchase. VSI’s production will remain in Minnesota for the time being, but will begin transitioning to Iron Mountain in about a year and half, bringing additional jobs to the area.

“It just shows again Toro’s commitment to the community investing in the Iron Mountain area,” Klossner said. “As you can see as you drove up, we’ve had three expansions here in the last two years, one of which is being finished right now in terms of a new office building. So that just shows you that there’s more and more investment going on and that Toro intends to be here for a long time. So does BOSS.”

For more information on BOSS Snowplow and the company’s products, you can visit their website.