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Small scale salt storage (6-10 tons)

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by mags11, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. mags11

    mags11 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I've searched around on here and seen a lot of really nice set up.... if you have the property, accounts and the cash to set it up.

    What about the guys that handle the 2-5 small commercial accounts that only go through 6-10 ton of salt a year. Definitely getting the feeling that we'll be paying out the nose for bagged salt (if you go that way) and it's getting harder to find someone that will deliver 10 tons. And how do you store it..... The 1 cubic yard storage bins, small shed, storage unit (if they will even let you), gravity fed hopper trailer..... ?

    I was leaning toward a hopper wagon or two..... put it in the corner of the shed ( I got a 16 x 18 garage) and maybe an auger could move the salt up into the spreader ???

    or get a handful of the liquid storage bins ( found some for $65 per cube ) , I see loading up the salt being a huge pain in the butt with this route.

    Anyone out there have a set-up that works well with limited space (without dropping 30 grand into an out building)? Don't really have the space for a storage container on my property or on any of my accounts property, though it looks a pretty good set up.

    Any ideas out there???
     
  2. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Ok....what kind of budget do you have to work with?
     
  3. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Have worked off pallets of bagged salt for years. You're only looking at about 4 pallets of salt. Stays dry, easy to handle, easy to bill. The cost isn't an issue at those volumes.
     
  4. Mustang

    Mustang Member
    from NY
    Messages: 58

    One thing we have to done to store bulk salt with limited space is to use 25 gallon (or so) storage bins. The ones we have used can hold about 250- 300 pounds each. They are somewhat stackable and can be stored in the truck before the storms so you're not loading salt in the snow.
     
  5. mags11

    mags11 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Sorry for the delay (vacation). Here is a bit of a break down and the way I'm going this year.

    Last year:
    280 - 50 lb bags = 14,000 lbs (7 tons)
    280 - 50 lb bags @ $6 (average) per bag = $1,680

    Bagged salt averaged $240 ton
    Balk salt was $45 / ton (I didn't use any balk salt)

    This year:
    10 tons of balk salt for $145/ ton (delivered ) $1,450
    Bought the following: Hopper wagon $275
    Auger $275
    1/2" osb playwood & tarp $100
    total invested = $2,100
     
  6. mags11

    mags11 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Took the hopper bin off the axles to get me more space above the wagon before I ran into the roof line of the building it's in.

    Lined the inside with the 1/2" OSB plywood. Raised up the sides about 30" from the top (total of 4' from the top of the angled bottom panel) and then lined it with the tarp.

    15' auger got the salt up into the wagon and used my custom front bucket on my quad to scoop up the salt to feed the auger.

    everything worked as planned, so far couldn't be happier. Even if the bagged salt don't go up, i'm still ahead.

    Haven't decided if I'm going to turn the auger around and use it to load my spreader (800 lb capacity tail gate spreader) or just use buckets or something. It's an old steel auger and I cleaned it out really well to try to preserve it for future use. I don't want the wagon/auger to be a yearly purchase.

    Wagon.jpg
     
  7. Jakedaawg

    Jakedaawg Senior Member
    from N. Mi
    Messages: 134

    I had a buddy pour a small pad and masonry walls. Three walls. salt gets dumped in. I built a light roof that the loader can lift in to place. pretty simple. cant figure out how to post pics. I recently bought some long forks for the fork lift and I think I can even use that to lift the roof on and off. It only weighs a few hundred pounds.
     
  8. mags11

    mags11 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    If you have the equipment and space that's definitely a good way to go. my largest piece of equipment is a 2012 Polaris 850 with a custom bucket and my plow truck (2006 F350 SuperDuty). Plus, I live in a sub-division on a 1/2 acre lot. Just not enough room to do anything fun :gunsfiring:

    bucket.jpg
     
  9. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,901

    There's no way I'd fight with the hassle of that for no more salt then you're using.

    Bagged all the way. The cost savings isn't worth the extra stuff to deal with. Load a skid, open bags, fill spreader, make money. Tada.

    I'd POR15 the hell out of that gravity box, and the auger and flighting if I could get it apart.
     
  10. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,311

    You may want to rethink loading your TGS before you go out, it'll settle, could freeze up and will bridge leaving you with a block of salt to chip out. Also with it loaded you're adding extra stress on the spreader, they're not designed to be used that way.
    I'd suggest you build a salt box to put in the back of your pickup and load the TGS out of it when it's time to spread.

    Bagged may cost more but the handling and logistic of it is much easier than bulk for a smaller operation with limited equipment.
     
  11. absolutely

    absolutely Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    I agree with what has been stated. Tailgate spreaders and bulk salt don't usually like each other, especially when you don't empty it completely from job to job. I would stick with bags until your ready for a v-box.
     
  12. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    i run a tgs and a v box, on the tgs i load a box in the bed with bulk and shovel it in on site. I have done it this way for 3 years with no problems but as said above be careful loading it before you leave as it can freeze in the spreader. A good idea is make sure the tgs has a screen because bulk does sometimes have a rock or 2 and you will need a vibrator for the spreader. Carry a few gallon of washer fluid incase it does freezeup as the washer fluid will help loosen it up.
     
  13. mags11

    mags11 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    This set up is on site of the first property I hit. In the past I plow my first property and then load the spreader with only what I would be using for the first site. Then load up the bagged salt in the bed of the truck (only 300-500 lbs per site) and head to the 2nd property (only have the 2 properties), to keep the spreader empty as much as possible.

    So I'd have a loaded spreader for about 1.5 - 2.5 hours. You guys think I'd be better off just loading up a handful of like 5 gallon buckets to take to the 2nd place to hold off on having a loading spreader?

    Having a vibrator has been great even with the bagged stuff I have been using (with using a screen). Excellent idea with the washer fluid, will definitely add that to the parts/tool box.

    One of the reasons I wanted to go bulk this year was availability concerns. Definitely won't make any money if I can't provide full service (plow and salt). Last year I would have been hurting if I hadn't stocked up on pallets of salt. With not know what the mark up will be and availability will be......

    Hoping it all pays off. Figured I had about 20 hours on the hopper set up and loading it up. So time invested was not very high. And I still payed about $60 less per ton than last year. Granted that's only $600+- bucks saved (using last years price, and cost of set up). Thought is even if bagged salt only jumps a couple bucks a bag I'll save a good percentage and no worry of running out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  14. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    5 gal. buckets work great. You will be fine with what your doing and $600.00 is better in your pocket than theirs.