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Help thinking through ice management

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by MI Green, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    Well last winter was something else..... Seemed like the majority of the winter most nights were below -10. Neither I or my subs could deal with the ice buildup with conventional salt unless we had a warmer day. So i want to keep this from happening again. For me I haven't committed into salt yet and I need to buy something either way. Should I go liquid or dry?? My issue is that I can't store rock salt and I found if I didn't use up everything that night in my truck then I could not keep moisture out of it and it would start setting up despite having that chemical added to it. If would awesome if I could spray liquid calcium and keep the concentrate in tanks and just pump it when I need it if that is how it works. My thought is that if I went liquid then I could also do dust control in the summer. What do you all think? I really need some sound advice on this so please keep it constructive. I am for sure a noob when it comes to liquid so I don't know all the questions to ask. The big question is what is the cost of liquid over dry? I think rock salt is around 60 or 70 a ton here in bulk.
     
  2. liquidchloride

    liquidchloride Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Here are some points of interest from our experience.
    * To be very efficient we believe a contractor needs salt stocked on every site they service especially sites over 4 acres
    * Liquid well brine averages about 2.5 lbs of chloride per gallon
    * 2000 lbs (ton) by 2.5 = 800 gallons of brine--same melting power of rock salt
    * liquid well brine will start the melting of snow and ice to a lower temp than rock salt--however both chlorides end up melting about the same amount of snow and ice when the entire process is over--well brine starts faster but the chlorides dissipate faster--sodium starts slower but works longer.
    * when temperatures go below 23 degrees--we all need more of any chemical to melt snow
    * our expectations of the cost of rock salt for the up-coming season are considerably higher than what you listed--check the most recent snow magazine articles
    * the difference between melting snow with rock salt vs well brine is purely cost of each product AND logistics
    * we recommend having liquid salt supplies stocked on every site--5000 gallon capacity is recommended so you can get the cheapest price from a supplier
    * last but not least--I have a (unprofessionally produced) handbook based from our last 5 years of work (over 3,000,000 gallons spread). I can send it to you if you like.
     
  3. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    Sooooooo i just found out something interesting.... I am in the middle of an oil field area and I see 15+ semi's run by my house with salt brine I just found out. They just dump it down a well. So realistically I could have a 5000 gal tank at my house and just pay them like $300-$500 to fill it because they just want to get rid of it. They said it weighs around 9lbs a gal and some stuff is close to 11 a gal. They also use it for dust control. Their stuff is not tested but the company I called said their is a place with a mineral well that sells it for cheap that is tested.
     
  4. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    Another question i have is how does salt brine work on gravel?
     
  5. liquidchloride

    liquidchloride Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    There is a little more to the story than that. Most sodium oil "fracking" disposal salt content is significantly less than 20%--not good. You would have to spend time and money to bring it up to 23%. Sodium brine to my knowledge is not very good for roads--it dries up.

    Mineral well brines are mostly calcium and mag. They tend to come out of the ground at 24-27% chloride--that's fine. This is also the product used on most summer roads--check with Michigan Chloride and you will see their big green trucks running this all over MI for the summer.

    Also--having tanks at your yard and having to drive (even a mile) is absolutely NOT cost effective--liquid applictions are more about logistics than melting snow--there's a system to it and it can be vey profitable if done right.
     
  6. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    I won't have any lots bigger than 1/2 acre. When I was spreading rock salt I was going through at most 4 yards at night. My truck was setup to hold 5 yards. I won't have that much. I am just thinking if liquid would be easier for me to handle than salt. He was saying they has a couple of wells that weighed 10-10.5 lbs a gal and what would be around 20 percent. If you use more brine than normal would it work or not really? Also how cold than this brine handle before freezing itself? Also this isn't from fracking. Its salt water that works its way up the well somehow and they have to take away daily. My guess is that its a salt/calcium mix but id have to have it tested to know. Whatever it is, its naturally coming out of the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  7. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

  8. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

  9. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,677




    Have you priced out sprayers and tanks yet??.....Since you say your already set up for salt...What type of spreader are you using??...Maybe you could set up a prewet for that spreader that you could also spray direct,,,Just options to look at
     
  10. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    right now I am not setup for anything. I had 2 250 gal tubs in the back of the 1 ton and a simple buyers salt spreader in the hitch. I set it up cheap not knowing what the winter would bring. I then subed most my salting out and hit a dumpster with the spreader...... so I am starting over. I just got off the phone with liquidchoride and seems pretty simple to setup your own system from scratch as far as application goes
     
  11. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    One of the problems with home-made spray or drip systems is the lack of volume. You may find yourself driving at 3 mph to get the coverage needed. You can also wind up doing a lot of work to calibrate your system- again to get proper coverage. If you have over 5 acres to work with, then a commercially made system might be more effective. Check out www.highcountryis.com as a possibility. Thumbs Up