1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Salt VS. Sand

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Alan, Apr 17, 2000.

  1. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    The last few years I have gone to using mostly pure salt almsot exclusively. The game paln is that we slat as soon as there is snow enough to start a brine. Then we plow after a couple inches more accululate. I'm finding that I get quicker "black" that way than if I wait and salt after a storm. The only sand I use is on the ocasional gravel drive that ices up or during a serious ice storm. I find I have way less to clean up in the spring and early salting uses less salt overall than witing until afterwards. Other people here use sand by the truckload, I'm inclined to think that is due to "we've always done it that way" mentality. I find my costs run about the same, I'm not in a position to put up my own sand supply so I'm buying from another contractor. Sand/salt mix is running $30/yd while straight salt is $60/ton. Next year I will be putting up a supply of Magic/salt. From my limited use this year it seems to go further, so the time and cost of mixing Magic will be well worth it, not to mention how well the mix flows in the spreader. If I manage to build my ultimate plow rig I will put up a pile of Magic/sand as well, even if I have to load by hand for a season. As it is now I store my salt in an old truck body and load out with an auger. I have to shovel tot he auger but it is relatively easy and doesn't take all that long to load a ton or so.
     
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Salt and majic salt are better for sure.<p>However i am driven by what the customer wants to pay for. It is very simple, pure salt and majic salt cost more than sand/salt. Also in maine a lot of times in normal winters it gets to cold for pure salt to work well. <p>I basicly use a sand/salt mix because thats what the customers wants. I am useing a pre-wet system on my v-boxes. The sand/salt is wet with mag/cloride which maxes it more effective and still does a good job.<p>So salt is better hands down. If i could run pure salt i would. Guess my age is starting to show here. <p>Geoff
     
  3. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Geoff,if you are going to the SIMA meeting in June i would like to talk to you about Magic.This product on staight salt is cheaper than sand/salt mix.1 is because a yard of Magic will go 3 to 4 times as far as sand/salt mix therefore you use less.Dont get this product confused with straight mag chloride it is different although 50% of its make up is Mag.2 since you will use less your # of trips with the sander is less and your labor is less.3 when using Magic there is no spring clean up of sand again a tremendous labor savings,the customer does not have to know this and he will still pay for the spring clean up.There really is a huge savings in labor and appearance after a storm when using Magic,please understand i am not trying to ruffle any feathers here but until you have tried it and try it for atleast 1/2 a season the results and savings are noticable.<p>----------<br>J PARKER<br>914-485-4200
     
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I know of majic's advantages. However there are property managers up here that want to see sand on the lot. Why? because they feel it provides a long term traction aid, once the salt is gone its gone, sand is there for the next storm. Your comments didn't bother me a bit, you guys are correct about the products ability.<p>However i have to deliever what the customer wants. They want sand, because of some of the colder temps we see in a normal winter. <p>When you see 2&quot; of ice on paved state routs and backroads. It happened 2 winters in a row, 4 years a go. The whole road was covered not just a little bit. MDOT and Local DPWs were trying to use pure salt and it wasn't working. The temp didn't break freezing for 3 weeks, so they went back to old dependable, MR Sand, and sanded the piss out of the roads. Then when the ice melted about febuary, you began to see black tar. This is the reason why property managers want sand, i think. I have tried to sell them on salt, but have failed.<p>Note i don't run mag cloride on all lots, just a few high priorety spots. Also i can get sand/salt mix for 12 dollars a yard, becuase i own a sand pit. I also don't do landscape maintmance, so i am not stuck cleaning up the mess of the sand.<p>Its just if i told a property manager this year i am only useing salt. He would call company B. It's just the way it is. I have had property managers say, my lot looks great, the airport wants to land their planes here. What better of a complement can ya ask for?<p>Our aggressive plowing style is where we shine.<p>I admitt it i would last an hour down in NJ,NY,CN, ect. Only like i said in a past thread, your market area makes a difference in what your provide. It's sad but true.<p>Like i said, majic salt and salt are better. Only i go by what the market depands.<p>Best of Luck to everyone here, i am not trying to start a fight.<p>Geoff
     
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Geoff,my customers are the same way,they want to see the sand,so I use a sand/salt mix,and keep a pile of straight salt for when they arent looking.LOL.I want to try the magic salt this year,especially at my trucking loading docks that ice up real bad from the constant traffic.For some reason customers like to see it,and with salt there is no real traction additives to help the slick spots or patches that melt by day and freeze at night.I think they feel better for liability to,when you can visibly see sand everywhere,they sre less worried about being sued. John D<p>----------<br>John D<br>
     
  6. firedog

    firedog Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 59

    we only use salt for our lots. we stock our own and load it via skidloader or front end loader. Now I haven't been selling it to other people but that sounds like a good idea?
     
  7. firedog

    firedog Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 59

    i forgot to say no one around here uses sand or salt/sand mix. only salt
     
  8. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Geoff, I try to stress that I'm selling ACCESS, snowplowing and salting are the tools I use to provide that. Within that framework I choose what I will use and when I will do it. So far that has worked for me. My only sand use is occasionaly on gravel drives where salt would melt into the gravel. During the ice storm we had two years ago I did sand, but under the conditions that was the only viable approach. The mix I was using then was 40% salt, so it was rich enough to bore down through and loosen the ice layer while the sand worked for immediate traction. Since I went to straight salt I am getting the earliest &quot;black&quot; after a storm of anyone around here, I like to think that people notice it.
     
  9. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    I understand the perception people have with seeing the distinct brown color of sand,well Magic salt looks just like sand its brown and people cant tell the difference.<p>----------<br>J PARKER<br>914-485-4200
     
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    The customers want sand because that is all they know, and till recently thats all we have been selling them. Now when better products come along, there will intailly be sceptisism, but when they prove worthwhile, they you have gained a loyal customer for life. As for planes landing on your lots Geoff, they FAA would never allow it because of the sand. LOL just a liitle humor, but it is a fact.<br>Dino<br>BTW we use magic salt 50% of the time(bag form) and sand salt mix the rest. East coasters seem to use the mix because the salt seems to be more costly then in the mid west. Next year will be 100% magic salt. We are still chasing sand cleanup<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  11. yortengel

    yortengel Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    I don't salt yet, But I have never seen anyone use sand in the Detroit area.