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bunch of newby questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by sangerlawn, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. sangerlawn

    sangerlawn Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 20

    Hello all, new to site and looking for help. I did a search and found much useful information and then found some things that make me have more questions lol. I have about 5 months left until ice season arrives and I would like to learn as much about brine as possible by then. At that point I will decide if I am ready or not to do the work. Short and sweet, here is my situation and why I am looking into brine.

    Went into business 4 years ago doing lawn care only. 2 years ago I did part time help with a friend doing snow removal but never drove his truck. I only did sidewalks and small things but watched greatly. Last year I bought a snow plow/salt spreader and did a bunch of freebie work so I could learn. By the end of the season I started getting real accounts and charging. When we did not have snow or ice I leased my truck and myself to a company 150 miles north of where I live to get more experience. My commercial accounts have already told me they want me back. I believe I have a good grasp on snow removal and salting; now I want to learn about brine and see if it is right for me to move into.

    My questions:

    I seen someone post that you use different material in brine depending on asphalt temperature…..how do you get that temp reading? It could be 10 degrees outside with 1 foot of snow but that does not mean the ground it that temp?

    What is the difference of pre wetting verse putting it down once everything is ice covered. Are different materials used or is it simply mixed differently?

    What is your basic mixing formula and if salt is used do you just use standard salt that you apply via a spreader?

    Does salt brine work on asphalt and concrete the same or do they use different materials in mixing?

    I have seen ads for holding/mixing tanks. Does the brine have to sit before use and if so how long?

    Is brine harmful to roads, driveways, parking lots, and especially turf?

    Is there any special reason on why a $5,000 dollar dispenser is needed? I have a 10 foot boom nozzle sprayer made for tractors and several tanks and pumps, none have ever been used. Is there any real reason that I can not use them to make a dispenser for the brine?

    I read that approximately 60% less salt is needed when done in a brine form. Do you still charge the same or do you drop the price?

    How do you determine if you need to use granular salt verse some form of liquid?

    What is the common name for calcium chloride and magnesium chloride?

    How do you determine driving speed to apply chemical? I understand it will depend on what rate you are pumping but is there a formula? For example 10 foot boom, pumping 3 gallons per minute, mixed at 25% salt to water, drive xx mph.

    Do you apply some kind of dye so you know what you covered and what you didn’t?

    Can you use mix out of road tank to do entry ways near glass or will it stain glass?

    I am sorry there are so many questions but there is a lot of money to be invested in doing this. If I am going to do it I really don’t want to loose money investing just to end up in a court room. Thank you for all your help. If you ever need any lawn care advise I on lawnsite.com under the same name.
  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Contact JD Dave, he's the brine king around here, though there are a lot of guys using it.
  3. sangerlawn

    sangerlawn Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 20

    kk, thanks for your help. ill see if i can track him down lol
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Wow, nice 4th post. Basher is actually a mistaken I'm not the brine King, I do know a little but actually have used very little. I know someone who will like to answer your questions so I'll ask him too.
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I answered you questions but I thought it was in red but it's not sorry. Others will chime in with alot more detailed info but this should get your mind working.

  6. sangerlawn

    sangerlawn Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 20

    Dave, thanks for the fast reply and trust me….i don’t mind if it isn’t in red lol, at least I am getting somewhere as far as answers go. I hope you don’t mind if I keep picking your brain because the more I learn the more question I get.

    New round of questions, hope I don’t wear you out.

    *You said travel at 50 mph as long as the pumps are strong enough. Right now the biggest pump I have laying around pumps at 3.5 gallons a minute. All I plan on doing is parking lots and maybe a few elderly family members driveways to start. Will 3.5 gallons a minute be good enough and what speed will I need to drive to apply correctly?

    *What is the best way to test gallon ratio at the tip of the sprayers? Is spraying into a 5 gallon bucket to test going to be the best route?

    *On a brine truck are placards needed for chemical transportation? (this is a USA question so you may not be able to answer)

    *I found this diagram on the web talking about what chemical to use for different tempretures but I think it is pretty old. It is from the state of Iowa from when they first started using brine. Can you please tell me what the different chemicals are and if you understand the chart maybe explain it a little bit? (I never posted a pic before so there is no telling where this is going to wind up) Should all the chemicals be mixed at 23.3%?

    * As the temps drop you begin to add more salt or what ever chemical you are mixing. I am guessing the mixture becomes denser therefore you will not keep mixture at 23.3%. (I don’t know, haven’t done it yet, it just seems like common sense?) If that is the case what is the new percentage it should it become or is it simply whatever works best? At what point does the water become too thick to spray?

    *This is really a stupid question….do you feel I am stressing learning this to much as far as learning as much as possible before doing it? This sounds stupid but I see a lot of people doing that when it comes to lawn care. Most of the time the best way to learn is trial and error.

    I am sure I have more questions but worried I am going to kill you on these questions. Thanks again!!!

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  7. sangerlawn

    sangerlawn Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 20

    ??? ok, anyone know where i can get the info im looking for?
  8. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    You want to keep your salt brine at 23.3% point. Called the Eutectic point... In all temps... Any more salt percentage the effectiveness goes down and any less salt the effectiveness also goes down... Its like anti-freeze in your car... you mix it at a 50/50 ratio... Anymore and it will freeze, anyless and it will also freeze...

    The lowest effective working temp of salt brine is -10C (pavement temp)
    Below -10 the brine dilutes quickly and refreezes
    Below -10 consider using a chemical with a lower working temp.

    You need to buy a refractometer from a special instrument centre, There about $600... but you just put a drop of your brine on it and look thru it and it tells you your percentage...

    Im no expert either, but have gone thru a bunch of training on use of this crap...
  9. sangerlawn

    sangerlawn Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 20

    What would you recommend using at below -10

    Thanks for the reply. Time is getting close and I was starting to think no one was going to answer lol
  10. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Potassium Acetate or Calcium Magnesium Acetate, beet juice, sodium formate

    More less depends on what you can get your hands on...