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Cheapest/ Most efficent way to spread 5 yards of salt fast

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by bcbrouwer, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    I have an f250 ext cab short box truck with a salt dog 1500 spreader, but I am forever salting 5-6 cubic yards of salt, 3-4 loads per salting event, takes about 3-4 hours if all goes well.I would like to salt all my yards in 1-2 hours. I have a bulk salt pile, and it would be so nice to only have to do 2 loads per storm and save time. My bulk pile is about 25min from the yards I salt.

    I was thinking of getting a larger spreader for my truck but it is only 3/4 ton with 6.5' box. maybe I would be wise to invest in a used 1 ton flat bed with a large salter and then the 1.5 yard I have now can be a backup or have one of my guys run it?

    I also run tractors so I could put a spreader on the 3 pt hitch on them but I would loose my back blades for plowing, and then it would be 45 min one way for salt, so that would not work during a storm when I need prompt service. any suggestions? obviously trying to keep cost down, which is why i would buy used. I plan on staying in the business and growing, so maybe a bigger truck just for salting is an option? Just wondering what everyone thinks the most cost and time effective options are. Thanks
  2. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    Drive faster!
  3. PushnSnow

    PushnSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Buy a surplus state or municipal sander at auction. Alot of times these have plows as well. If you are growing, it never hurts to have more plows when needed. Often times you can find these trucks under $20,000 still in good condition with lots of usable life left. Pickups are pretty limited on weight capacity. 1 1/2 yards of salt is already overloading your 3/4 ton, and would still be overloading a one ton, not that I wouldn't do it. I ran a 4 yard sander on an F-550 and it handled it fairly well, but was hard on the truck just the same.
  4. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    Theres no business like snow business:laughing: if your not having any fun making $$.$$ , get out . theres guys here chompin at the bit for an event and your in NS beachn
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  5. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    not sure I understand, I didn't mean to make it sound like I dont have fun salting and I want to do it fast to get it over with, I just have a very limited window to spread the salt to keep my busineses happy during an event that comes during opening business hours. need more capacity
  6. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    appreciate the suggestion, something to think about for sure.
  7. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    I suggest looking in the southern states, I know for a fact in NC and VA there are several fertilizer/salt/sand spreader trucks going on Craigslist.

    That volume is one load in an average slide in spreader, they normally go for $1500-2500 used at a DOT auction. Add a truck to slide it in and getting it hooked up, and you should be in the $5-10k range, a lot of times you can get one with a 11' blade on it also, ready to roll.
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I agree with the above posts.

    I would look into a bigger truck with either an under tailgate spreader or V-box in it already.

    With my C3500HD, I can get 3 tons of salt off the truck in about 30 minutes on one lot. And that includes starting, stopping, and the usual jockying around BS.

    Then at least you would only need to make two trips and be faster when throwing. That should save you some time.

  9. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    Look at the International 4700 size truck from the 90's. They can be found for a good price, and even if you put a new $6-8k spreader on it you're still going to be under or around $15k into it. Then you can haul all 5 yards in one trip. And have a truck that isn't being "abused" doing so.
  10. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    This is one of the reasons I still run bag salt, main reason being that there isnt anyone within 100miles who sells it and I have not way to load it during a storm.

    But I can fit 2tons in the back of the truck and then the spreader loaded. Then the other truck I have another 2 tons. All my salt is with me in the field. Yes it sucks to stop and fill up after only 700lbs goes out. But it works and I can spread pretty fast.
  11. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Looks like your gonna need a bigger boat! It's a no brainer.....get another spreader! Make sure you do it in the next day or two so you can write if off this year! Hurry up!
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Dedicated salt truck

    International 4700
    GM 5500 or bigger
    F650 or bigger
  13. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    Thats great info, I really appreciate it! It certianlly makes more sense to get a bigger truck than even a one ton, because I know with my salt dog 1500 loaded, my F250 is feeling it, I cant imagine a 1 ton could handle much more than double, probably less than double safely. So yeah, For next year I will be looking for a "new" salt rig. I do have a backup salt driver I will sub out to when the storms get close to 7:00am for this season however, so still not stuck.
  14. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    I would figure out how much money you make salting in a season and take it from there.You may be surprised to find out the added cost may not be advantageous.I ran a International 4700 and it cost me 5 grand a year just to keep it on the road.Of course it's nice to have a "dream" setup but sometimes it costs more than it's worth.Figure the added cost divided by tons and see what you come up with.Individual decision.If your only spreading 5-6 tons per storm it might not be worth it.I've become more conservative with the way the economy is heading,scaling down and banking as much as possible for rainy days,but that's just my 2Cents
  15. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Agreed on that point.

    Even if you went with say an F-450, you would end up probably only making two trips instead of 3-4.

    That would end up cutting your time by almost half and still only paying to upkeep a 16k truck rather than something bigger.

  16. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

    There are tons of mdts that are as cheap if not cheaper than a 450/550 and will get twice the work done. It all depends on your budget, needs and wants.
  17. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That's true but a couple of counter points come to mind.

    The cost to insure and license the mdts during the year compared to a smaller one ton.

    That and something like an F-450 is built more like a regular truck, so it's easier to stick someone in a smaller truck to drive with a little more confidence over sticking a novice in a bigger truck.

    But, whatever works better for the individual situation is what's best.

  18. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Our smallest salt spreader is on an International 4900. One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is to make sure you or an employee has the correct class of driver's license to operate this size of truck.
  19. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    All of your replies have been very helpful! Many good points either way, and it will be a decision based on my particular business and requirements and projected imcome in the future as well as now. I must say I am not 100% decided, but I probably not do anything until next season, i'll finish this one out subbing some salting to another contractor and split the salting load. This will give me time to decide and not impulse buy just because i'm overwhelmed by salting. Thanks again, Happy New Year all! This site is awesome!
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Waiting till spring/summer may give you an opportunity for a great deal.

    Isuzu NPR and Mitsu Fuso have been popular choices too. Not sure if they have a 15K payload range capacity though.