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How much salt to keep sand from freezing?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Woodland, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I've got a couple of big plastic totes filled with sand in the back of the truck for weight. They double as "traction control" when needed. After our last "ice event" I filled the totes back up with straight sand. Guess what happened when I plowed after that and needed a little to get unstuck?? Yup, frozen solid! Any ideas on just how much salt I need to mix in with my sand to keep it from freezing up?
  2. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    You need DRY sand to begin with. But usually we mix 50/50.
  3. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    If it's mixed well 10% will be fine. If it's dry sand as little as 3-5% will be OK.
  4. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    5-10% , dry sand is the key.
  5. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Problem is, the sand comes from the big pile they use for the sanders, so it isn't dry and never will be.
  6. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    Maybe if you are only filling two plastic totes, you can go into Lowes and buy some bagged sand that is dry.? It may cost you 5 times more than stockpile sand but is worth 10 times more if your stuck and your sand is frozen. Good luck.
  7. speedy

    speedy Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    We mixed Potassium Chloride with the Sand we sold the city at 3% by weight. The sand was wet, the salt was dry. (we could've gotten wet KaCL, but it would be problematic in our blending operation) After a while you can't see the salt crystals, it goesd into solution and coats the sand granuals. Never a problem with frozen lumps, only dry crust on the surface of the pile. (used an 80' conveyor to build a cone-shaped pile - that way it's nice & loose too.)
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  8. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    I would mix in CaCl instead of NaCl, buy a 50lb bucket for $17 and you probably could get away with just that.
  9. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Not exactly an answer to your question, but you'd be better off buying a couple of bags of tube sand to keep in the back of your truck. They are about $3.50 for 80#, are completely dry, and are double bagged to make sure that it's dry and not frozen when you need it!
  10. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    From my experience, You need WASHED sand. This sand is washed of fines. If you understand soil science at all, cleaning the sand of fines basically keeps it dry. Then a 4/1 sand salt mix should be fine.
  11. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    basiclaly every post so far seem's fo be kinda B/S......... :D and the reason i say that is because. even straight salt will freeze

    but 100% DRYsand will not, so it all depends on the material............sorry i did not answer youre Q'


    BM'S PLOWING Member
    from MASS.
    Messages: 36

    from what i have found is that sand or salt will freeze if it is not dry like powerjoke says. don't take any offense timmy1 but washed sand and or rewash sucks for traction because it is so fine. some loading stations here have actual road sand which is very coarse but does a number on vehicles if you get to close with a sander. i like to load my sand and then i put one of those sander vibrators on it and it works pretty good most of the time. if it gets cold enough anything will freeze.
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,924

    ......My experience is It does not matter how many times it has been washed or the size of the grains of sand or how smooth or rough it is.
    It will not freeze of it is DRY. Add moisture and it will freeze together.

    If you under stand science at all It is the LACK of water ie moisture that will keep it dry not how maney times it has been washed..

    As far as science goes everything has a freezing point..
    Sand freezes at relatively high temp.
    When was the last time you saw sand in a liquid state...;)

    Just my $0.02.....

    Ps what PJ said......:waving: