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Salt/Sand Mix and Pre-Wetting??

Discussion in 'Government Property Snow Removal' started by Highwayman1989, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Highwayman1989

    Highwayman1989 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Has anyone done any pre-wetting with a Salt/Sand Mix?

    If so whats some pros and cons?
     
  2. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Last Winter we sprayed salt brine while we sanded (sand/salt mix). I honestly didn't see much of a difference. $3,000 per truck to set them up for liquid was not worth the money at all but, the town made the company I work for set the trucks up. The pumps would plug up constantly and they just didn't work right. I'd stay away from liquid if you can.
     
  3. Highwayman1989

    Highwayman1989 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the reply Mercer.

    We have been using brine to pre-treat for 3 years now and it does a great job. I had read a few article on pre-wetting salt but nothing talking about salt/sand mix and was wanting to get first hand knowledge.
     
  4. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,535

    I would personally avoid sand at all cost, especially in your region. It does nothing and melts nothing.
    Pre-wet your salt with brine or blend and that is the way to go.
    We have had a mix in the past and used a blended liquid with it. Sand does nothing and the liquid did what is was supposed to do when used with the salt.
     
  5. Highwayman1989

    Highwayman1989 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for info SnowMatt13
     
  6. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Sand gives you traction and the darkness also attracts the sun.. When it is around 10 degrees and lower all salt and liquid does is melt a little and then it quickly refreezes, I have scene this happen many times. If you use a sand/salt mix it will give you traction and when it warms up you can apply more and it will melt the road out. Maine DOT pretty much solely uses strait salt but, when it its to cold they use sand/salt mix until it warms up and they have snow and ice control down to a science. I only use sand/salt mix and like I said I have salt brine I can spray as well (when my pump is working :dizzy:) and my roads melt out just as good as straight salt, just not as quickly.
     
  7. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,535

    I totally agree that salt/sand mixes have their place in certain regions and when temperatures (pavement) reach certain thresholds. I would personally avoid them at all costs but I know that is not everyones opinion or customer desire in some cases.
    I think the traction issue is misconceived sometimes. There was a study done (out of Michigan dot I believe) that shoed that when sand was applied to hard pack it provided traction for 13-16 vehicles before it got pushed into the snow and was useless.
    The statement that sand being darker color and using thermal heat to aid melting I do not agree with.
     
  8. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    I was curious after hearing that darker sand heat also.
     
  9. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    I know that here in Lapeer County Michigan last year they were putting down salt/sand mixtures that was also treated. Not for sure if it was treated coming out of the truck or treated in the pile and it did work good. I am also not sure of the reason why they did this maybe it was the salt shortage or the extreme cold we had.
     
  10. snowman44

    snowman44 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    The county I work for tried beet juice for the first time last spring I don't think it would work very good to treat as you go, it plugged the filters up to much, I can't get a straight answer on what It's supposed to do other than it was cheap, but I know other counties have been using it for year's. We mixed about 2000 gallons with 2500 tons of salt as we stock piled it. I am not sure but it looks like maybe the salt will be a little finer more like a powder, so as we are putting it down and spraying liquid on it, it will be more like a slurry (mud as you will) and will lose the bounce and scatter.We do use some sand and some foundry slag but not much, more so on gravel and dirt roads. IMO on roads that you get a hard pack build up on if you have a little sand mixed in,as the salt melts in, it takes the sand in with it and as the traffic works it, it helps loosen up all most like sand paper.The liquid we use is chloride and we use 15-20 gal per ton with about 600lb of salt per mile if we put in on the center line.
     
  11. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    The guys I subbed for last year said they used beet juice also but stopped it cause the customers would track it onto the stores floors and turn it red.
     
  12. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    I know all the plow training classes I went through at Maine DOT preached about bounce and scatter but, unless you are dropping the sand/salt or salt directly on the pavement or on glare ice you don't get much bounce and scatter. If there is just a little bit of snow on the road the material pretty much stays right where it lands with very minimal bounce and scatter.