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Salting before plowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by sharpe992, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. sharpe992

    sharpe992 Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 4

    I started a lawn and landscape maintenance business this year and of course the next progression was snow removal. Which brings me to my question. I live in a development where I don't have the snow removal contract, yet. I was watching the current contractor today and he went through the development salting first then came back through plowing then salted again. Is there a purpose for doing it that way and what is it? I have my ideas but I wanted to know for sure.
     
  2. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    the only reason I would say is to melt the ice.
     
  3. cjwoz

    cjwoz Senior Member
    from CHICAGO
    Messages: 130

    Buy yourself some time
     
  4. snobgone

    snobgone Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 122

    Its called pretreating and it does buy you some time but more importantly it creates a layer of brine that stops the snow from binding to the surface so you can plow down to pavement easier when the traffic has packed it down. Sometimes salting is not necessary after you plow if you pretreat, depending on the conditions. Pretreating is very common and with the right conditions, say a light dry snow it can melt away what you would normally have to plow. Anti-icing is always easier and more effiecient than de-icing.
     
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    It allows use of less salt. It is mulch easier to prevent ice then to melt it. Even though the contractor treated twice he probably used less material then if he had waited until afterward and tried to melt any existing ice.
     
  6. sharpe992

    sharpe992 Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 4

    This wasn't pretreating... I understand that... I thought it was to break up the packed snow. Which I believe one of you mentioned. Thanks to everyone who has replied
     
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Pretreating makes it a lot easier to scrape down to the pavement so it's bare. A lot of people in my area pretreat.
     
  8. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    That would make sense if he hadn't pretreated and he was just a lot more material then if he'd pre-treated. It works best if you spray liquids as well runs though the holes the solids create and spread out beneath it breaking the bond.
     
  9. sharpe992

    sharpe992 Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 4

    The municipality that I work at pretreats. They use brine and I understand how that works. This contractor was using salt and there was an inch or so of snow on the ground. Then after spreading the salt and less than 5 minutes time came back through then plowed. I probably should mention that it was also 18 degrees. When he finished plowing (had to make two passes because of road width), went through again putting down more salt. My initial assumtion was that he was using the salt first to break up the packed snow from vehicles that had been through before he got here. I posted thinking that there may have been a different reason.
     
  10. sharpe992

    sharpe992 Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 4

    Again, I want to thank everyone who has offered up their answers.
     
  11. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    wasting material
     
  12. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Ya that was dumb. If you put salt down wait until you see it working for a bit , then plow it off. Looks like his was just loading up his invoice. Keep watching, you may be plowing there someday.
     
  13. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    Seems like a waste of material. I can see pretreating the night before, but putting it down for 5 minutes then scraping it up makes no sense to me.
     
  14. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    The way I have always seen it done is when there is a dusting you pretreat. The salt will melt down to the bottom and it doesn't get scraped off for the most part.
     
  15. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    depending on temp & traffic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012