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calibrating spreaders.

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by snowman55, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    how do you guys calibrate you spreaders? I have always guessed buy estimating how many acres a load covers. this year i took the time to use a similar method as we do with our fert spreaders ( placing cake pans on the ground, spreading over them , weighing the salt in the pan and doing math to figure out lb/acre) and was surprised with the out come. 4 trucks all with swensen tailgate replacement spreaders and central hydraulics.all duramax diesels. identical settings (auger at 2 spreader at 10) spread patterns varied from 75 ft to 55 ft and material per acre varied form 400- 600#. I know there will be other variables as we spread on site thru the year ( speed of truck, moisture of salt, viscosity of hydro oil)

    so the question is how do you know exactly what you are applying? we were only able to secure 1/2 of our normal salt inventory and have to make it last.

    before anyone says those rate are to low let me add the the salt in treated with 10% CaCl pellets
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    no help? 27 views and no one knows about calibration? does everyone just guess?
  3. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i just guess......i put both the spinner and the drag chain on 10 and open the gate about 4"......how do you calabrate? you would have to travel the same speed EVERY time?
  4. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    depends on the system. central hydraulics are nice because you put your truck in 1st gear and as the engin rpm goes up so does your hydraulics which power to speader. I know my method of calibration isnt perfect but it gives me a base line just looking for some other techniques to ensure correct rates.
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    We have a low medium and high rate. We don't actually calibrate but we aim for around 700 lbs /acre on medium. We know the size of our sites so it doesn't take very long to figure what were applying.
  6. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    I figured about 700# per acre too but am trying to use more like 500# by adding CaCl to the bulk. using both liquid and pellet to treat the salt to see what is more effective and have found the pellet to be pretty good and easier to deal with.. anyone else doing this and what are your results?