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Salter Calibration

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by WhiteOut1979, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. WhiteOut1979

    WhiteOut1979 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Just joined this site a couple of days ago..... I work for a municipality and with all of the budget constraints, we are being asked to prove our salt usage to the town council. The salt institute says we should be using no more than 400 lbs. per lane mile of salt for our roads. Anyone have any Idea if this is close... we have no Highways, just 1 main road, and we seem to not get the melt on the side roads at all, for there is no traffic. We utlize pre wetting, calcium saddle bags and salt. Any info would be great....Thanks
  2. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    I can't answer for difference in road application rate vs. parking lot rate. In parking lot a flow rate is generally between 10-15lbs a 1,000 sq foot.

    With regular rock salt ( not treated and no traffic ) it takes quite a cold temp and no sun light for it to really not work. I would suspect that if your outer edge is showing no melt then maybe your spinner is not throwing far enough outward.

    Treated salt and a heavy flow should rip the road and melt metal. Roughly speaking 5280 feet to a mile, 10 wide lane - that's 52800 sq feet at 1000 sq foot at a flow of 10-13lbs == You might be more like 528-686 lbs for that mile.

    Yours is treated so you would adjust for temp, traffic, percentage rate of calcium treatment. So, maybe 400 per lbs is not that low and it's just how far your throwing it.
  3. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,902

    When I worked at the county a couple years ago we ran 400-600 for salt and 800-1000 for sand. Do you run underbodys on your trucks? This helped us get a good scrape. Also are you center line dropping or are you trying to spread? We had better luck with the auger on a higher setting and the spinner on like 1 or 2.
  4. WhiteOut1979

    WhiteOut1979 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    We have one truck with a midship scaraper on it, though it is one of our older trucks. We run basically International Dump bodys, F-550 Mason Dumps and F-350 Pickups.
  5. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,902

    I'd try line dumping high on the auger and low on the spiner. It will take some traffic to produce the brine but after a little temp and a little traffic it should scrape right off with your front blades.
  6. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527


    Does each truck track miles driven and salt applied? It is a little bland but you can calculate that way to get lbs per mile.
    The Salt Institute has a calabration table to use to calibrate your salters. It can also be found in the SnowFighters Handbook.
    Do you have computer controlled spreaders or manual?
    With manual it's a bit tougher....what you put out at lets say setting 2 at 10 mph doubles if you are only going 5 mph.
    I work for a muni too and for quick off the top of my head calculations, we weighed a loader bucket of salt at the gravel pit scale. Then, each 5-yard gets 4 buckets which equals 8 tons. If the driver comes back with half a truck and drove 25 miles that's 325 lbs a mile. Now the factors.....was the salter running the whole time, probably not. Did the truck get exactally 8 tons put in it, probably not. But like I said you can get close.....

    Plus my argument would be what is down on paper is just a general guideline.
    What's good for me may not be good for you....
    If you spread 400lbs a mile through the course of a storm and still have snow or ice on the pavement at the end of the event, do you not salt anymore becasue that is what the book says?? Maybe you spread 200 lbs/mi during the event and 400 post storm......
    There are 66,666 different types of storm situations. Do you think that every one of them should have an application rate of 400 lbs/mi every time you apply??
    I use liquids for both pre-wetting and anti-icing and I have cut my dry material usage by35-40 percent in the last 3 years, but that has to do a lot with driver education.....how to apply, how often to apply, when to plow and re-apply.