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amount of salt to use

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Groundstech, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Groundstech

    Groundstech Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I know this has been asked quite a bit on this site but I cant seem to find any good details. First, How much salt per SF do you guys use. I know there will be different usage on different occasions, but on average how much do you use.

  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    what type of salt are we talking here? Thats another variable. Most snowfalls occur when the temperature is in the range of 17-25* Ive read. So if its 22* say. And we are using rock salt, Id put down something like 700lbs/acre or .02lbs/1sqft which comes to 1lb per 50sqft. Treated rock salt Id put down like 600lbs/acre so 1lb per about 75sqft. Ice melt is 2-4oz/9sqft so thats 1lb/72sq for 2oz down to 1lb per 36sqft depending on usage.

    The lbs per sqft will obviously go up if it was only 5*out. I might be up to 850/acre on regular salt. All depends what the current weather conditions are like as well as the predicted ones.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    between 600 and 800 pounds per acre is a good starting point.
  4. Piersons LS&L

    Piersons LS&L Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 12

    how about housing developments? Ive read apprx. 500 lbs per mile...based on a 10ft roadway. Does that sound about right?
  5. Groundstech

    Groundstech Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    So if I would use 700 lbs an acre how much snow will that melt.
  6. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    ya 500 per lane mile is about right. So on a two lane road youre really putting down 1000#s per mile. I plow at a subdivision that is a little over 1 mile in length. The main entry road is wider probably 3 car lanes and that goes for about .5 miles and then the other road way is just 2 lanes and goes for .5 miles. Then theres a few little outlets that add up to about .1 miles. Entrance isnt included in those figures. We salt the entrance really heavy, because its downhill into a major roadway. The enterance is about .25 acres or so. Usual salting is between 1500-2000lbs for that site just depending on the conditions. .

    You can easily melt up to an inch of snow with 700lbs per acre if the conditions are right. When it starts to get to cold though, you need more. We use 1" triggers, some guys use 2" triggers it all just depends on the area. We see a lot of 1" snows around here, so we use that to help get our plows out a little more.

    The amount of salt you need is always based on the conditions. A few weeks ago a 1 acre site, temperatures where about 5-10*, I put down 800#s at about 10 or 11pm. At 4am we were back out on the sites and put down another 400lbs on that site. And we didnt see anymore snow. The salt melted the ice, but then it got really cold out, and we needed to salt again. Then a few days ago, it was like 28* out, same site, I put down 700lbs on it. I went to the site right next door and salted that. By the time I was done there, the other site was completely melted. Took not even 10 minutes.
  7. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    on average 17-22lbs per 1000 sq ft
  8. Groundstech

    Groundstech Junior Member
    Messages: 9

  9. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    we had an outfit offer us some parking lots as a subcontractor, and I was curious about they pricing they were offering so I called him to ask a few questions before I estimated the addresses they faxed us. For their lots they wanted salt spread at a rate of 400lbs/acre. We use about 600-1000lbs / acre depending on temperature, water ratio, and snow depth. I asked if they expected bare pavement after such a small amount of salt applied. he responded that they were expecting bare pavement, and that 400lbs should be more than enough, even at 20degrees. At that point I realized I didn't even need to do the estimates they were requesting. They needed a low-baller that has no clue what's going on. I didn't respond after that conversation. I assume they found someone.
  10. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    yes Im running bulk. You learn to just estimate the amount of salt that is used. We use a buyers 2yd electric salter. So Fully filled up, flush to the top (no heaping) is 4000# of salt. We usually over load them and get about 1/2 a bucket up on top so like 4500-5000lbs usually. After Ive salted sites for a while you begin to know how much they take and dont even need to get out and look. Sometimes yes, you need to hop out and jump up on the truck to take a peak at whats left in there.

    Plus I really dont mess around with the setting very much. Usually have the spinner on like 8 and the auger on 6 or 7. In really wide open areas Ill put it all up to 9. After a while you will get to know how much salt your using. It wasnt easy at first, but after a while its very easy.

    NW: it just goes to show you how stupid people are. Even on a day at 30* with a high water content snow fall, I doubt 400lbs would do very much. Maybe in the drive lane but parking stalls no. Thats where I usually salt the heaviest. Theres enough salt that gets tracked into the site from the roads and the constant traffic on the isles melts them fast, but the parking stalls are where im more concerned about. People getting out. Not a lot of traffic tracking the salt.
  11. Groundstech

    Groundstech Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Now on the pricing side of things. So your price for salt applied is per lb. is there any other charges that go into that. like travel time or time on site. Does your price per lb have all these expenses added in? Ive been plowing and salting for about 5 years and just went to bulk this year. I am getting anywhere from 200-240 per ton of salt applied. I guess i am just checking to make sure im still around industry standard for pricing.
  12. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    We either do price per pound (appx pound) becasue unless you have a scale on the truck you cant determine exactly how much you use, or we do application price. But yes, all expenses are factored into our cost. Weve determined how fast we can spread x amount of lbs and then just broke it down by the pound. Then we add in our markup.

    I recommend trying to get per application price. All we do is figure a heavy amount of salt. So like a 1 acre lot that would normally take 700lbs of salt we will figure on like 800-850. That covers us in heavy applications, and then we make some nice money on the usual applications. If Im getting .20/lb and the lot takes 700lbs, thats 140$ for that salting, but im getting 160 for it, so thats 20$ extra.

    Pricing in snow plowing really varies greatly by area. I know guys just a few counties over from me that are getting 75-85/hr on a straight blade pick up. Were only getting $65-70/hour if were lucky. Some guys on here only are getting $150/ton applied others are getting $300-400/ton just varies. We try to fall in the 300-400/ton range.

    As far as travel times, and stuff we have a minimum for each site of 1/4 the actual rate. So if we only have to spot salt a 800lb site, we get what ever the price per pound for 200lbs is. So if were getting .20/lb we get $40 for salting up to 200lbs. After that its by the lb until we reach 600lbs or something which we get full application price for.