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I don't know if they had this in mind (making use of what you have)

Discussion in 'Equipment, Tools & Vehicle Pictures' started by edgeair, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Well, I don't think Hino or the service body manufacturer had this use in mind when they built this truck. I thought I would share our unique use of what we have.

    No, its not the fastest loading salt truck out there, nor is it the most purpose built. However it works for us.

    We use this truck in the summer for our construction business. VERY handy unit. The service body is very useful and is full of tools - everything from a tape measure to a 5000 watt generator and air compressor fit within its compartments. We can also carry a wide assortment of parts such as screws, nails, caulking etc etc. Until this winter we didn't have much use for her in the winter.

    The truck is a 1995 Hino FB. It only had 90,000 Kms on it when I bought it 3 years ago. We don't put tons of miles on it as most of our jobs are local, so its still under 120,000 Kms. The truck is in very good shape for its age, every time it goes in for its annual the mechanics at the truck shop stop working on their macks or whatever and come over and crawl under her and giver her a good look over. In 3 years of ownership all I've had to do is oil changes/services and a clutch master cylinder ($95 part, 1 hour labour).

    The salter is a 2 yard Salt Dog. It fit perfectly in the back of the service body with about 1/4 inch to spare on either side. I was able to still get the rachet straps to fasten as the inside of the service body has an internal shelf right at the height of the tie downs of the spreader.

    As you can see in the pictures, it also is equipped with an articulating crane. While not a heavyweight by any means, it has a surprising 40' reach. It will lift 500 lbs out at 40', but will lift over 4000 lbs in close.

    So fast forward (or rewind) to this winter. Up until this winter we have had limited use of salt for our accounts. We used a skid steer mounted salter that held about 500 lbs of salt.

    With the lack of snow and the constant freeze thaws of this winter, I decided it was high time for a proper salt unit. Now we typically will use between 500 -1000 lbs of salt per run, so not huge quantity. (I was considering a tailgate unit for a pickup, but the thought of lifting bags all the time didn't agree with me). However buying it by the 40 kg (88lb) bag was wasteful and expensive compared to bulk (cheapest I could find in our area was around $7.89 a bag, so roughly $200 per metric ton plus bag disposal).

    Bulk salt was not a possibility for us this winter as we have no where to put it. So after much research, I found a supplier of fertilizer that sells bulk salt in totes that hold roughly 1 metric ton (2200 lbs). The cost is $80 per metric ton. I am sure I could get bulk salt cheaper if I bought a truck load at a time, but this way I could buy 1,2,3 or 5 tons at a time and I could store them this way in my shop on skids (and even stack 2 or 3 on top of one skid).

    The totes have 4 loops at the top which allows you to move them by forklift. It also allows me to use my crane hook to hook on and lift it into the truck if I so choose or if the skid steer is on its snow route (which it usually is at the time I want to load).

    In the photos, I have basically emptied a tote into the salter (I wish I would have shown it full too, but oh well). The totes have a chute on the bottom, so all you do is untie the string and it drops out and starts to empty the salt. They use these for fertilizer and other bulk items.

    So anyways, not the best set up in the world for sure, but it made use of a truck that was otherwise sitting for the winter. I didn't really want to put the salter in the back of my 2011 3/4 ton as I like to use it for towing so that would be just a pain. Not to mention I don't like the risks to the new truck by putting a salter in it.



    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  2. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    More pics...

    Here are some more pics of the unit after loading. I can put the tarp on and then pull the top cover of my service body over the tarp. Presto, the tarp is sheltered from the wind, and I just have to put two straps on the rear most grommets to hold the back from coming up.

    The truck handles the weight of the loaded spreader with ease. In fact, because the thing drives like a greyhound bus with a volkswagen engine in it normally, you don't even know the weight is there. :nod:


  3. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,806

    So now you just have to dispose of the bulky sacks vs the plastic bags but you save $$ or do you give them back to your salt supplier?

    I know someone who bought Landscaper choice ice melt this season in sacks like that. Never seen him empty one. Truck looks like it would also come in handy fixing broken plow gear instead of of having crap in the back seat floor of your truck.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  4. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    from Ontario
    Messages: 3,589

    We grab them also on the 4 loops with a chain on the skid steer and open the bottom to dump them in a bin for sidewalk salting. You can look at it the next time around!
  5. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Yeah I can reuse the totes for whatever or return them. I think it's the same place you can get the landscapers choice.
  6. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Took a picture of a full tote today.

    Yeah, I plan to reuse the totes for fertilizer in the spring, and job site garbage bins that I can pick up with the crane for the smaller jobs that I don't want to park the dump trailer at.

    I discovered this week that I don't need to empty a whole tote at once if I just lower it enough that the tube on the bottom collapses, then I can retie it. I don't like keeping salt in the salter between uses so this works out well.

    Sure beats lifting 40kg bags all the time!

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  7. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Really cool set up for a truck that would otherwise be sitting idle..
  8. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Yes exactly! Except we never have breakdowns :laughing:

    But seriously, the plow truck is just a backup unit to the tractors and skid steer and they never break .....
  9. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    That would work mint also. I'm going to buy my ice melt this way next year, and that would be a good way to fill site bins.
  10. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,806

    Ok thx just give me a call!!

    Yea its just rock salt crushed into tiny pieces colored green and the odd flake of CMA or CaCl mixed in.

    Ha ha yea right. I put a bunch of tools in my tractor this season. The wing cutting edges tend to pack with snow and dont raise and fall on there own so time to time it needs a lil persuasion.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  11. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Then all you need is one of those mini sledges right? :mechanic:
  12. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,806

    That works too. Put a small pry bar in the tractor also helps to pop the hydro lines if need be. They take a bit of force.
  13. USMCMP5811

    USMCMP5811 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Nice set up. Just a friendly word of advise though, I would rethink that strap setup (original post pic # 3). Haveing that strap pressure against that thin tail gate is just asking for damage/trouble.
  14. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Good eye there.

    Yeah, not much choice there for strap routing due to it being a tight fit. The tailgate is actually not as weak as the picture would make you believe. It's about 3/16" steel that is ribbed every 6 inches or so on the underside with extra steel welded on and the outer edge has 3-90 degree bends and is welded back on itself for extra strength. There is also a piece of angle iron fastened on the rear bottom of the salter that meets with the tailgate and spreads the load evenly across the entire tailgate out to the support chains.

    I figured I was better to bring the straps around the rounded edges of the tailgate rather than try and cut the corner and avoid the tailgate and risk the straps rubbing through on the sharper edges they would meet.

    My preference would have been to not use the tailgate at all, but the salter is resting 1/4" behind the wheel wells inside the service body and cannot go forward any more. I think if I were loading it right up every time I would look at other options. However the most I will be putting in would be about a ton at a time and it seems to make little difference on the tailgate with those lighter loads.

    Yes the 2000 series is overkill for what I need right now. But I'm a believer in looking ahead and allowing for future expansion. This, and the fact I picked it up for about the same price as a tailgate unit was hard to say no to.
  15. deere615

    deere615 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    Cool, thats a different way to load salt! and it works for you so thats what matters!