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salt spreaders

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by snodog, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. snodog

    snodog Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Getting into a large lot this season. Need to buy a salt spreader. Don't know weather to use large bed mount for a pickup with an additional loader and storage facility or just a tailgate mount with bags. This will make a big difference when it comes to seasonal pricing. I plan to use straight salt treated with calcium. How can i figure approximately how much product i will need per run in the lot? Can I calculate by liniar footage or maybe by the minute driving the lanes in the lot as i would applying product? I was looking at the Fisher tailgate that holds 400# material. Just don't want to get in over my head opening hundreds of bags. Does anyone have any input that may be able to help me out?
     
  2. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    wow

    lots of questions but lets start with how much do you need to spend.Tailgate speaders can do the job and you will need plenty of storage on location and reserve supplies to cover the contract. Bulk spreaders need to be reloaded also but with heavy equipment and storage place to hold supplies. So do you have equipment to sit idle waiting for the storm or do you need to move it before the storm? All that takes time and money. Baged product can be loaded by hand. How much you place on the prop changes with each storm unless you come up with a set amount. So lets start with that.... Eric
     
  3. snodog

    snodog Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    thanks

    dont have an additional loader to sit and would have to convert part of my shop to a storage facility. Will have an enclosed trailer onsite for storage. How many minutes can i run a 400# fisher tailgate spreader with an average application until it is empty? 5-=10-15 minutes? any ideas?
     
  4. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    Ok if your spreader is full and on high 5 min max. I use snow-ex and meyers , buyers tailgate type and go thru tons of baged product but it works for me. Many guys think that baged product is less profit but if it gets the contract than it works ......
     
  5. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I dunno, I have a Boss tailgate that holds 800#. I was told I'd regret it when I was spreading 2500# / nite, last year was 4500# / nite. I can say this, it sucks big time. We salt say 30-35 times per year.

    If you are in the 1000 - 2000 per nite range, maybe a tailgate is the hot deal.

    We looked at where our business was at, our expected growth, and made the decision on the tailgate spreader. A divorce negated me from spending the money last year to do bulk salt - but with the big year we had, I'm in tears about the money I lost by not going bulk.
     
  6. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    My $.02

    First off, I have a Snow-Ex 575 Spreader that I have completely up graded.

    I did both the bulk and bagged last season.

    With the Bulk it ws way cheeper for materials. I Did however have to add a vibrator to my spreader to get the material to flow. The bulk I used had been treated with Calcium Chloride and it made the Salt wet and not want to flow. The Vibrator helped out quite a bit. It even help my unit spread a Dry sand/Salt mix.

    As for loading I just loaded the materials into the back of the truck, then shoveled it into the spreader.

    When using bagged materials I had no trouble spreading, Just dumping those damn bags in.

    This year I have bought a Snow-Ex 1850 and I am planning on getting a Snow-Ex 6000 or a 6" Sno-Way Electric Sander. (Depends on price) So I shouldn't have any trouble with what type of product I use.

    Another thing to think about.

    I have many accounts and all Have special Ice control needs. One has a brick lot that I can only use Potasium-Chloride on. (Salt and other melters damages the brick, Sand is just messy, and along with other melters tracks into thier building) Another accounts want Sand/Salt so they can see the material on the ground. Most sidewalks take melters that don't kill the plants or harm their pets. Others want straight salt.

    So in case you have to cater to what the customer wants thiers some info.

    Peterbilt
     
  7. snodog

    snodog Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    spreader

    Thanks for all the input guys. Still trying to figure about out how many liniar foot, miles on the odomiter or minutes driving a 400 # capacity spreadrer would do with an average setting. Also, should I plan to salt the whole lot each time or just the travling lanes. I am only doing one lot so there will be no different manterials or client requests, straight treated salt only..
     
  8. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    Yes tons of bags suck but we change product all the time. So the tailgate works for me also we do many hotels and backing into each stall is easy with the units I use.As for how much again each storm is not the same. Ground temp and outside air, type of snow ,ice storm all make a diff. So that changes the amount of chemical applied. A 2 inch dry storm can be done with much less than a heavy wet storm may take twice as much. A ice storm could be as much as 4 times that. So find out what the customer needs are and explain to them that conditions change and amounts change unless they set the amount and take responsibility for any slips and trips on the prop.
     
  9. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I put down 64000 pounds of 50's threw my Snow Ex 1075 last season up till Feb. It sucked .I averaged 3400 to 4400 per event. All accounts get the same here, salt on the lot, magic on the walks. I use my salt truck for my carpentry business too. Unloading skids by hand and reloading by hand sucked worse. I had the swing away mount so getting loaded was easy with the suppliers fork lift.
    In Feb I purchased a Buyers Salt Dogg, it is Awesome. I put another 30 tons threw that. The Dogg was the best purchase for winter services I have made short of the Blizzard 810.

    Now for your lot, have you measured it ? I can give you rough figures for bag product based on S.F..
    If your looking to apply 2000#s plus per event on one lot I would steer away from a tailgater. I had skids stashed all over my route, it was cost prohibitive if your time is worth anything to you. To start last season I had 7 skids stashed around the route, plus I would pick up a fresh one before every forecasted possible event, plus 4 at my house. Its really hard to work in all that labor into your pricing, and show a profit. The market "HERE" will only pay so much. Even with great service your not going to get 75% more for salt. Way to many excellent companys here to give em the old were the best forget the rest sales pitch. We charge more then the hacks, and alot of guys, but our prices are not out of line with others. Remember most outfits are pricing salt from bulk piles, its cheaper and more profitable. Your not going to get $30 a bag times 50 bags when a bulk guy can put down 1500#s charge $300 and make a very nice profit. If your only source of winter income is snow work it might be okay to waste a day stashing skids of salt. If you do other work in the winter figure out a way to run bulk.
     
  10. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Sounds like you are looking at a Fisher speedcaster 500. Which is the littlest spreader fisher makes. I personally would look at a Fisher 1000 or 2000. The cost difference isn't that much. For twice the carrying capacity. The little 500 is really for home owners. Now if you looking to maybe used bulk. I would look at a speecaster 2. Which is a two stage spreader. Or if you have the ablity to store a buyers salt dog. I would go with that. The 1500 model can hold 1.5 yard/tons of salt. But also is very easy to load up with bagged salt or calcium. Just don't put mag flake in them. They will jam up with mag. I have one and love it. You also can look at a dump insert and get the spreader attachment for them. Which is my current plan for this year. As my salt dogg is going in another truck.
     
  11. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    T Man, I feel your pain really, I'm laughing at the skids stashed all over the place too.

    The thing is, it's not only the new skids with material, but the empty skids and all those freakin bags (thanks to one multiple location customer with big dumpsters it wasn't that bad)

    One other thing bulk verses bagged, IMO, you can put down more bulk and do a better job than bagged - I guess depending on the way you price it...

    The buyers salt dogs- Are those the stainless steel ones? They make a short bed and long bed version, anyone with any idea how many # they will carry? Yards gets me confused and we bill by the ton.................
     
  12. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    if it's a large lot i guessing it must be 10 acres or so, i would not waist your time with with one of the little tail gate spreaders, get a good stainless 8-10 foot swenson and put it on one of your old trucks that you don't mind getting a little rusty. get the big boy spreader and you'll be at home in bed with your wife while your competition is out in the cold emptying 100's of bags of salt.
     
  13. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i trying to get you to buy a v box so i'll throw one at you here....... on a "big" lot, i'll could throw down that 400# in less than 2-3 minutes....... do you really want to fill that thing up every 2-3 minutes by hand
     
  14. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    Ok guys lets not try to sell him on any type of spreader just give him the facts of both kinds of equipment. So he can figure out what his pocket can afford and what his time is worth.
     
  15. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Sno do you have the size of the lot ? Be happy to help you figure out how much salt you roughly need.
     
  16. SNOWLORD

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    I have never used any bag material not sure why you would want to? My advice is to get a v-box as your business grows you will need it anyway (bigger is usually better)
     
  17. Grisi24

    Grisi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Here is a nice site that helps with all the salt calculations. At least it will give you an idea. Link
     
  18. SNOWLORD

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    You know that site you mention I tried messing around with it and for just plowing its ok for a baseline but for salting it is very much on the light side, it claims I can salt something like a SuperTarget with like 1.9 ton of salt no way
     
  19. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    The link above is very light on salt IMO. I have never used a tailgate salter for doing lots before, but have used them lots for sidewalks. If you plan on putting more then 3 t of salt on in a night, I would go with a slide in salter. I have put 2 t of bags on sidewalks in a night before and it's alot of work and keeping all the bags from blowing away is PITA. If money is tight you can still do it with a tailgate spreader and then upgrade in the years to come. You won't have to go to the gym if you use bags!!
     
  20. Grisi24

    Grisi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    calculator

    I have only used that calculator for plowing so far. As for salt I haven't tested the results. How far off are they from normal use? I live in Central NY and the snow and ice comes in large doses.

    Anyone have any brand preferences with V box or tailgate spreads? Maybe SnowEx?