Estimating salt usage

GR Salter

Junior Member
grand rapids MI
In the past I have always estimated the amount of salt used
at each site (1/2 ton, 1/4 ton etc. ). Does anybody use a
different method such as a scale set up on the truck. We tried
to do this but found that most of these systems are made for
large dumptrucks and wouldn't be as accurate for 4 or 5 ton
loads. I thought about about calibrating it with a stopwatch
but the rate that is spread varies depending on how the control
knobs are set. I use a Flink stainless tailgate spreader.



Western CT
I use v-boxes. All of which are roughly the same size. I know how much material it takes to fill it and by watching how it goes down I can roughly guage how much I use. This is not rocket science. I can give an fairly accurate estimate of material spread though.

i thinks it is pretty common practice around me to do the same......spread salt and then take a look at the box and estimate for me it is generally not an issue a majority of our salting is done as a per application price so the amount is never in would be nice to have an accurate record though for the books
I thought about this not to long ago. It would be nice to meter how much material gets spread at each location. The idea, and so far it is still just an idea, was to mount an electronic bicycle odometer to the drag chain shaft. I never change the settings on my spreader so it would be very easy to calculate how much material is dropped for each klick on the odometer. The only thing stopping me so far is the odometer requires 2 wires and I only have one left in my 7 wire connector. Not a big problem but that and only 24 hours in the day have prevented me from doing it as of yet.


Senior Member
Bryan, Ohio
Dont know the odometer in question, but naybe you only need one wire.

Ground the other wire to the truck and pick the ground back up in the cab or wherever you where going to mount?

I assume its DC voltage, so it should work.

Actually it runs off a watch battery, so I dont know if that would work in this case? I'm going to look for something that works off a 12V system but it will likely be something I stumble across one day, I'm not that concerned with making this happen anytime soon.


Ontario, Canada
I have only used sand/salt and want to give a quote for a straight salt application. So to add a question to this thread, does anyone know if I use 1 yard for a typical application of sand in a particular lot, do I use the same amount of salt for same lot or is there a ratio that would be close? Anyone ever switched over?
I use 10lbs per 1000 sq ft for a light application of straight salt upto 25lbs per 1000 sq ft for a heavy app. Pre-treating lots at around 15 #/m will most often eliminate any further apps.

GeoffD Veteran
I estimate salt apps alittle on the high side. That way if the area requires a heavy salting, I can give it a heavier one. This avoids trying to explain on the bill why it cost more sometimes then others. There I have apps where it takes a lot less salt, so it works out over the winter.


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