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bulk salt tote

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by magnatrac, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    This year we switched to using bulk salt in a tailgate spreader. We have always used bagged salt due to no local place to get loaded during an event. I can get bulk a mile from our barn but only during regular buisness hours. We have also always kept extra salt around and have never had a problem during shortages. We have a loader and pleanty of room but don't use enough salt to justify building a bin and using a v box but hate how much bagged costs. We had a couple of totes we used for water in the summer and I had the idea to put salt in them. Basically I can now use bulk like it's a pallet of salt. I always loaded and unloaded the pallets of bags so this is really no different other than shoveling into the spreader. Here is the newest tote I cut up today.


    I just cut the frame down lower on one side making it easy to reach in and shovel out. The piece of plastic I cut out is used to make a lid. I planned on just using a tarp but this works out nice.


    I cut to opening on the 4' long side the tote is 3Lx4Wx4H. It fits inbetween the wheel wells and leaves enough room in my short bed for room to stand and shovel along with buckets and other junk in front of it. I have only had to get one of these loaded so far this season but a yard fits in with plenty of room for extra.


    The totes are kept in the barn until it's time to use them. I know that bulk is a different animal but I am hoping that closed up and in the barn it stores ok. I would like to have atleast a couple of these loaded at a time but don't want to find out it turns into a brick. It easy to throw them in the dump trailer and get them loaded on a nice dry day. I have had salt in one for 2 weeks and it's still just the same as when it was loaded. We do have a pallet of bagged from last year just in the event something doesn't work out !
  2. road2damascus

    road2damascus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,821

    Good idea. May borrow it.
  3. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    Nice setup on the totes, I like the lid idea. I got some free ones with the filler caps already cut out, I was using them for water collection off the roofs to water the gardens with. I took two of mine and cut them in half. I set them up so I can back right up to them hit the switch on the salter and empty the vbox if I have left over salt, I just have to tarp them to keep them dry. I use it for sidewalk salt or like you mentioned quick runs that don't require a full load, just sucks to shovel it in lol.
  4. SServices

    SServices Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    I was going to use 5 gallon buckets, but after seeing this I'm sold.... Great idea!!!
  5. snowish10

    snowish10 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Really smart idea!!
  6. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I may try that as well. I have 3 totes laying around right now. Was it a mess to get it filled up? Wondering how well it holds up to the weather before it hardens up because all my stuff is stored outside. Oh and how much salt would it hold?
  7. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    I've only been using the totes for a few weeks now and so far so good. Our barn isn't heated and so far there hasn't been any trouble with salt freezing. Even the couple of nights it's been left in my truck the salts also been fine. When I get these filled I load them into my dump trailer. They load them with 1/2 yard bucket that is only 4' wide so most of the salt makes it into the totes. I'd rather have salt spill into the trailer than the bed of my truck. The way I cut the totes they will hold a yard and half of salt. I've had three salt events to try this out and so far so good. The only thing I changed after the first outing was to put a big tarp in the bed of my truck before loading the tote. Now it's real easy to clean out anything I spill after each run.
  8. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    Sweet I know what I'll be making later on today! Lol
  9. stotts1

    stotts1 Member
    Messages: 42

    Great idea!
  10. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    Did you ever slide on of the full totes in a pickup truck bed? Just wondering about rearward visibility. My old buyers salt spreader is hard enough to see obstacles around it because it sticks up so high. I may try to cut the whole tote down to help with visibility.
  11. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    I thought about making one that was shorter for just that reason. 30" tall would still hold a full yard but the lid would have to be cut even with the top. I am getting a couple more totes next week so I might do it. The way it is right now is no different than a v box or full pallet of bags in the bed. Either way you loose visability. My tgs 07 is so much bigger than my old spreader that I lost most of it anyways. I haven't had to plow yet but with the 3 salt runs I have done it's not too bad. I'm used to using my side mirrors most of the time.
  12. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I'll have to measure what a full skid of salt is. I usually hand load it the way I want. I just worry about visibility on a couple of my lots because of idiots and obstacles.
  13. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Good idea!
  14. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I'm going bulk! I did basically an exact copy of your design but I removed the skid from the bottom so it would sit lower for visibility. I think I hacked about 10 inches off of the top. I can see over it in my rear view mirror barely. I have about 1700 lbs in it right now.I'm sure it would hold a ton no problem.

  15. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I got a cheap tarp and bungie straps to keep the weather off of it. I'm gonna fill the spreader with a bucket. 50 lbs fills a 5 gallon bucket exactly to the top.
  16. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    Looks real good. I was going to use a tarp also but just got to thinking that I had a perfect cut lid with the piece I just cut out. With a rigid top I figure it will hold some snow up it it ends up sitting. I think I'm going to cut a short one next week I was looking at it today while I was loading up. I want to keep the base because I fork these in and out with my skid. I plan to just remove about 12" or so out of the middle and then reattach it before cutting the top open. Again looks good I hope it works out as well for you to !
  17. kc2006

    kc2006 Senior Member
    Messages: 983

    Make sure you park it indoors most of the time, bulk turns to a rock quickly if left outside even if you keep it tarped it sucks up moisture bad. I let my truck with vbox sit out for two or three days in a row last year and it was solid, and my bulk is super dry.

    I like this idea though, seems like the original poster has the perfect scenario for this. If I had a loader I'd do the same thing because I don't use a lot of salt per storm but like paying a third of what bagged goes for.
  18. cdqat1432

    cdqat1432 Member
    Messages: 60

    Magnatrac, what did you put around the edge of the tote in the original picture to take up the gap? It looks like door seal material. I like the idea.
  19. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    The material you see is trex that was ripped down for a veneer on a job I did. That was just scrap I put up on the shelf. Figured I could use it some day. The pic of the tote with salt in it now matches the other with a lid. We had an early season salt run and I just had not gotten it done yet. I have two of these made so far and plan to build one more. I bought a load of treated salt from a different supplier and their loader has a 6' bucket. Needless to say I had to shovel some salt into the tote after that load. We got hooked up though because it wouldn't even fit In the tote. I have 8 five gallon buckets sitting in the barn as well. Next time I get loaded there I want 2 totes next to eacher in the dump trailer. This will avoid having to clean out the trailer !
  20. magneto259

    magneto259 Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I had to shovel as well my supplier has a 6' bucket. I think I will make a big funnel out of osb and 2x4's to keep from making a big mess. Certainly will need a vibrator too.