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Estimated Time to Empty Speader

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by tjdonald, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. tjdonald

    tjdonald Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    We are struggling with a purchasing decision over a tailgate spreader ( Air Flow MSS ) or the larger V 8' Spreader.
    I don't have a good idea of how quickly a tailgate spreader like the MSS would normally empty out under normal working conditions like doing a parking lot.
    We are concerned that that the smaller unit may empty so often we would be spending our time reloading it, and likely having to use more expensive bag salt. However the lower cost of the tailgate may outstrip the much higher cost of the V-spreader. We also don't have a good location to store bulk salt so any left over in the V would be emptied as waste and likely negate any savings on salt price. Then there is the driving back over to the bulk supplier during the night to refill the V when needed.

    Does anyone have some approximate working time for a spreader like the MSS to empty or comments and experiences using each?

    If I have done my calculations correctly, the MSS is 1/3 cu. yd so in theory the 8' unit with 1.5 cu. yd should empty approx. 4 times longer when spreading at the same rate or do you find that operators tend to put more on when using the V’s speed controls ?

  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I bought a tailgate spreader in my first season. My second season I bought a truck with an under tailgate spreader.

    You will quickly outgrow a tailgate spreader in my experience.

    To illustrate my point: Go to traderonline.com. Do searches on V Boxes and Tailgate units. Keywords; "V Box AND Salt". You will likely find many more tailgate units for sale than V Boxes. My theory as to why is that many contractors outgrow them and they become worthless to the contractor. When there seems to be an abundance of any particular item available used, you have to ask yourself, why?

    Good luck. I hope I have helped.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I have a Fisher ProCaster with the spinner offset from the chain so I can open the gate and unload in about five minutes.:drinkup:

    Ok, now that I've got the smart aleck response out of my system, I think you're asking the wrong question. You need to figure how much material you're likely to spread per occasion. Then is the cost and other factors involved with a Vbox beneficial. Most tailgate models are supposed to be easily removed and stored. Not so the Vbox. I rigged up a hoist to get it off my flatbed and stored in my garage where it's taking up about half of the garage. I've got it stored on a frame high enough to back the flatbed under it to be able to park the truck inside.

    I think you're on track with the amount of area to be covered with each. Coverage is coverage regardless of the type of equipment used to put it down. With a Vbox You will likely need to have a place to empty unused material, though. However, you should be able to plan approximately how much you'll use so you shouldn't "waste" too much. You would likely be carrying some salt/sand in the bed of the truck if you're using a tailgate model so you could just load as much as you need at each site.

    Basically, it comes down to will the convenience of the Vbox offset the cost involved.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    And I agree with SnoJob67. I've read too many posts here where guys got tired of breaking open bags of salt that cost maybe ten times the bulk rate.
  5. tjdonald

    tjdonald Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Mick – Got a laugh on your comment “5 min to empty”, I’m thinking on the front hood of the next person that tailgates my truck! Your Fisher unit is the same as I have a quote on for the V. Looks like a nice setup with Honda engine etc. How is it to maintain over time? I have a concern that the V’s are maintenance intensive after a couple years.

    For anyone that owns an MSS tailgate, I would be interested in knowing how long when “on” it takes to empty the full hopper ( MSS doesn’t appear to have variable speed control). The tailgate make a lot of sense from a practically standpoint for us, but I don’t want to have to go out and replace it next year like SnoJob67 has alluded to. Do bulk salt places every buy back unused material?
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I got my V last year so only got to use it last winter and we all know what a dud that was. So no maintenance problems so far. But that's why I insisted on the Honda motor - it's reputation for reliabiliity. I've hooked it up and started it a couple times this summer, so I hope I don't have any surprises later. What I did use it last year was really flawless. Started right from the warm cab - never did have to get out. Unfortunately, I'd forget to close the gate and leave a little trail between jobs. I use sand mixed with salt which I buy loaded for $30 a ton so losing a few pounds didn't really matter. The other nice benefit of running a sander is that other drivers tend not to tailgate. I have been known to start it up while driving down the road just to let someone know I think they're TOO CLOSE :gunsfiring: . Now they can stay there if they want to, I'm not telling them what to do:cool:
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2002
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I had a Torwell 1.8 yard V box that I could cover 2 to 3 miles of spreading two lanes before reloading under most conditions.

    I had a lot of maintenance issues with that sander, most were related to corrosion in the control plug. In preparation for each storm I probably spent an average of 1 hour in tinkering, making sure it was ready. Then before loading, I'd switch it on just "to be sure". Then you've got 2 hours of cleaning in cold conditions after every use.

    The Town I sub has the hydraulic version of the same sander on a number of trucks, the mechanic there says they don't have anywhere near the problems with them as I had with mine. It would require central hydraulics, a major expense, though. If you're good at installations, I can give you a source for the parts you'd need at reasonable prices, the major expense in this job seems to be in the installation.
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I think that the tailgate ones are good and good for a back up or places where a bigger speader would be too much.Lets face it now one will pay what you paid for it even being a year old so why get ride of it.Most likely every one that upgrades goes into a dump or rack bodie truck wich means a bigger hopper.