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Salt Hardening In Box

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by BJSServices, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. BJSServices

    BJSServices Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Have an in bed Boss V Box Spreader (Vib and Auger system.) Last ice event we spent most of the night chipping out salt and using the tailgate spreaders.

    Bulk salt stored in bin lined and covered with plastic with no issues. Salt was left in spreader for 2.5 days - previously for up to two weeks between spreading event with no issue. Chunks coming out contained a blue hue and lined the top, sides and bottom, binding auger. The middle was relatively free

    Anyone had any experiences like this? I'm not aware of raw salt changing color based on purely condensation (no iron introduced by city water or anything). One covered bin did not solidify (storage bin) and one did (box). I hate to dare hint at foul play, but interested to see what anyone has to contribute.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Salt will pull moisture from the air and freeze.

    It's called Morton blue as in the Morton Salt Company. It is a dye used to help identify the the amount and areas of where the salt is spread when used in road de-icing.
     
  3. BJSServices

    BJSServices Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    It comes from a Cargill distributor. It is not Morton so the blue does not make sense to me without introduction of element to form chemical reaction.

    Received product from NW Indiana company. It's very fine and with brownish hint - think thundermelt.
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    All the same,a marker color.
     
  5. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160

    It's called Hygroscopic
     
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Yes dr Markus
     
  7. BJSServices

    BJSServices Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    If its a marker, its one hell of a poor one. In any case, lesson learns if there were other forces involved or not.

    Won't load until event.
     
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    It also could be an anti-caking agent to keep the stock piles from binding from weight.

    Here's the deal though with bulk salt....

    It's hauled in, in the open air. It's stacked in the open air. It's then stock piled in the open air. Then shipped to your location in the open air.

    All the time, it collects moisture, and the smaller and smaller the pile gets, the more moisture it will absorb. So ultimately, your 25 ton load is way smaller than the 1,000,000 ton pile it came from.

    So, even when it looks free flowing, and dry, it still has moisture. Temps get low enough, it freezes.

    If you are lucky enough to have your own stock pile, back up your truck to it at the end of a storm and empty out the box. Easier to deal with frozen salt with a skid steer rather than in a V-box.


    .....
     
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    The only real way to stop this from happening is to treat your salt with a Cal solution either as you load or mix it in with your stockpile.

    Some loads you get are super dry.

    Some loads you get are borderline and all it takes is a good rain, or a few high humidity days to make it go south.


    ....
     
  10. BJSServices

    BJSServices Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    You speak truth, but the baffling thing to me is that the side and bottom of the plastic vbox solidified most and locked up the vibe and auger completely and salt turned blue in only some of those areas. Not uniformly as if something were added.

    The storage bin we have is open to humidity as much as the vbox yet 1.5-2CY had enough liquid of some sort to flow clear to bottom and destroy my ability to auger and vibe out clumps. In the end, we chipped to auger and freed enough to vibrate and spin the last 1/4 bin of crap out the ass end in a spreadable blend.

    My mind could be running wild thinking foul play. Best to just keep things under lock and key and load as needed, although hitting the ground running works wonders with accounts spread out over a few cities.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  11. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Is your salt storage suspended in the air like your vbox?

    Next time dump some ww fluid in. Cheap and easy fix for freeing up a frozen vbox even if it takes 6 jugs.
     
  12. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665


    It's just a crap shoot. No foul play.

    I've had loads from my supplier that are just like you are describing, and have had loads that didn't even come close to freezing up.

    Just a luck of the draw.



    ......
     
  13. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Our salt turns blue-ish when it's wet in our box sometimes green. I fig it was like oxidation or something. Anyway washer fluid will free up frozen salt. We use a under tailgate spdr and we drop the pAn under auger after every storm this way we won't have a prob.
     
  14. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I don't remember the thread of where it posted or who posted it, but someone had posted (last year I think) on how they rigged up a poly tarp over the truck bed. If I remember correctly, they draped the tarp over the entire bed, including behind the cab and draped it to the ground...then ran a dryer hose from the exhaust to underneath the spreader. Let the truck sit idling (outside of course) for maybe an hour or so.

    They said it worked really well. I always though it sounded good, in theory anyhow.
     
  15. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Funny about the dryer hose - never used it to thaw salt -
    We have hooked up a dryer hose to the 7.3l to warm up the fuel lines on the bobcat when the primer bulb froze- actually worked great just put the hose in between the door and engine and vvvrrrrrooooom we were plowin.

    I know some Tri axles have exhaust piped into the bed to warm the box.
     
  16. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    That's another great idea. I've often said, if property managers ever had any idea what we go through sometimes to make things happen, they would just curl up in a fetal position, if they had to experience it for themselves.

    All they sometimes know is that the lot is black at 8-9:00 AM when they show up in the morning. It really takes a unique breed to be able to pull through it all sometimes.
     
  17. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Ur absolutely right on the unique breed- we pay our sidewalk guys top rate n we have a tuff time keeping and getting them. Everybody is broke and needs money but they don't show up when u call them
     
  18. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Getting back to the why the salt froze in the first place--besides the reasons already given,the auger with tray/plate assembly being metal,make that VERY cold metal also contributed to the freezing.
     
  19. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I read the title and could only think that there are better things to have get hard in a box.
     
  20. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Eight=====D