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Help Please, Frozen Drag Chain

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Amazingearth, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    Does anybody have any tricks that will help keep an airflo drag chain unfrozen? The state yard is putting wet sand in here and it runs fine at first, then as you work more it starts to lock up repetitively, any suggestions?
     
  2. weekendwrench

    weekendwrench Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Best trick I’ve seen was dumping a couple of gallons of windshield washer fluid over it.
     
  3. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    my biggest problem at the moment is the spinner is stuck
     
  4. bugthug

    bugthug Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 268

    Could you take a pipe wrench to the shaft to try to move it. Then start and see if it worked.
     
  5. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    If just the spinner is stuck, than it's likely not frozen sand that is your problem.
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,853

    Winner, winner.
     
  7. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    I was able to move the spinner by hand to free it up for awhile then it froze again I'm guessing and is rock solid
     
  8. bad5oh

    bad5oh Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I've never heard of a drag chain freezing up as it's used unless there is so much slop that it gets jammed underneath. I would check your spinner shaft bearings, roller chain, clutch bearing, and also have you greased the fitting on the gearbox? For some reason there are little caps put on the fittings and a lot of customers don't even know they are there.
     
  9. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I got wet sand once and withing an hour it would freeze into clump jamming my spinner. It was also -30, pain in a**!

    Most times I could spin the spinner backwards enough to get it moving and then run it wide open
     
  10. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23


    Mine has gotten to the point now where it won't move at all. Havent had a spreader for awhile.
     
  11. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    I noticed my salter laboring yesterday, I greased it with a white lithium grease, for the most part standard grease is great, but we were at -27 this morning -32 with our windchill, does something to the fluidity of your grease and stiffens it up. I'm sure it still lubricates but every little bit helps. The heater in my truck took over an hour to kick in. Brrrr!
     
  12. lfaulstick

    lfaulstick Member
    from PA
    Messages: 98

    i do alot of sanding (no salt) just sand and pea gravel and it is a pain to keep it from freezing. what i like to do when it gets really cold is lay material out in really thin layers and keep picking it up as high as skid will go and dump and flick bucket at same time and just keep doing it over and over, when it gets below zero it like freeze drying the material and you are generally good to go.

    now when that isnt an option i also have done in past is use flex hose from truck exhaust into the vbox down by the conveyor chain and then tarp the sand it really helps when you are traveling more then 25 minutes in the extreme cold. but you still get clumps you have to break up but atleast its not a total ice cube.

    and when i use just 1b gravel or pea gravel the winshield washer trick works pretty good.

    ive even sprayed my spreader box with a mist of diesel fuel out of my garden sprayer and the chain and that seemed to help.


    i wish they would make a kit to heat these vbox's i have a few ideas just need to get it in shop and experiment.
     
  13. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    I agree I wish they made something to help keep that drive chain from freezing. It's just so weird to me how it runs for a little once you reverse the drag chain to loosen it then just re freezes in the middle of operation. I mean this thing is locked up! Can't even move it with a pipe wrenxh
     
  14. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    How should I go about fixing this tomorrow??
     
  15. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    Then likely your drag chain is binding up, not freezing. It probably needs to be adjusted (as it's stretched out). Mine is doing the exact same thing right now. Every so often it will bind and all I have to do is turn the spinner (by hand) backwards a little bit and it frees it up.
     
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    I'm guessing you have a bearing or gear box problem. Start it up when empty and check every thing over. It could be a loose chain but generally those aren't the symptoms. Put your hands on things or use a temp gun and see if anything is getting hotter then it should be.
     
  17. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    So you think tightening the drag chain might do the trick?
     
  18. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    I've got a load of high quality VDOT materials on now (soaking wet sand) but I'm gonna shovel that off, try to tighten up and then run it through
     
  19. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,097

    Blow that crap out as fast as you can. Dont let it sit in the box.We used to get the wet stuff all the time Its been a little better now that they have a salt shed.We still get the wet stuff sometimes though. I never sit on it, Its always trouble.
     
  20. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    I have to take my boards off that are above my grate and just parked the truck after 34 hours of working. I will have to shovel it out