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50/50 Mix getting compressed in Sanders?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by TJohnston, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. TJohnston

    TJohnston Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Have a combination of Curtis and AirFlow sanders, both experiencing same problems. First 1/4 yard of 50/50 sand/salt mix disperses from sander fine, but then sand does not drop down to conveyor. Have to hop onto sander, poke and prod between grate with butt end of shovel to get mix to drop. Mix is not frozen, maybe compaction?!? Anybody else having this problem? Anything to treat inside of sander to enhance sand moving down to conveyor? Getting tired of taking off tarp, and climbing to bed of truck and sander.
  2. terraventure

    terraventure Member
    Messages: 52

    That is what bridging is called. It is due to too much moisture in the mix. You need fairly dry mix. Some sanders have inverted vees but I took mine out. I find if I load and use it right away the bridging is reduced but if it is allowed to set like long drive times or the mixture sits during plowing you will have issues. The only solution I would have is make sure your sand is dry and the salt is dry prior to mixing and keep it that way.
  3. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Get a vibrator.
  4. nhpatriot

    nhpatriot Senior Member
    Messages: 190

    Never had that problem before, unless it has been left a day, overnight, etc. Do you load and go, or leave it awhile? Plowing your route with the spreader empty is better for your tranny and mileage too.

    Strange that it would happen with a 50/50. I have only had it with wet 4% mix. Speaking of that, why do you run 50 50? That seems like a very expensive treatment for something that is other than straight salt. Most of my customers want straight salt, to keep their buildings floors cleaner. If they do want sand it's only because it's cheaper.

    I run over potholes or slam the brakes once in awhile if it's hanging up, but it shouldn't be hung up worse than that. Any more details of your problem?
  5. TJohnston

    TJohnston Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    We do load the trucks before the storm for extra weight (traction). So in some cases it does sit for 12 or more hours at a time. We tarp as soon as we load so I dont see moisture being a problem. Also the sand is never frozen, it just needs the wedge of a shovel to release down to the conveyor.
    We sometimes go to a company for loads of ice-ban treated sand, and I do not have the same problem with this sand.
  6. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 981

    A rubber mallet will work wonders without having to climb on the sander. Assuming your sander is steel (and not plastic), just use a rubber mallet, bang along near the bottom of the hopper, about where the bottom of the bridged sand is, and in about a minute, you're good to go again.
  7. mc1

    mc1 Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    the problem is that you are leaving the 5050 in the hopper too long i would load right before if thats not possible get a bag or 2 of ice melt and dump on top of mix after its loaded
  8. mc1

    mc1 Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    i forgot to add unless you store the mix in a heated gagare there will be moisture in it it may only be 5-10 percent but that might be enough to freeze up a bit
  9. Grisi24

    Grisi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Sounds like the load is freezing up. Anytime we have salt or sand or both in spreaders we store them inside the shop with the heat on... works well... if it has to sit outside we run the conveyor once an hour or so...

    Frozen load = NOT FUN