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freeze up in hopper

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by tilawn, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. tilawn

    tilawn Member
    Messages: 55

    I've searched and searched on PS for this but to no avail have found anything.......So with that said......what do you guys do about bulk salt freezing up in your hoppers? Seems like this year my supplier has had moisture in their shipments. So by the time I get to needing to spread after cleaning its froze up an bridged in the hoppers. I thought I have heard or read in the past a way to run your exhaust into the hopper itself but can not find it. So let me know what you do to avoid this issue and or what you do when it happens to get back to spreading quicker other then shoveling it out and restarting fron the beginning.

    Thanks in advance!!!
  2. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    A lot of guys have said windshield washer fluid works for frozen salt
  3. EJK2352

    EJK2352 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I have a friend who switched to bulk a couple of years ago. Early in the season things were great, then came some near zero temps. His hopper turned to a big old brick. He was lucky to have a friend with a heated garage to thaw it out. My advice to anyone running a hopper is to buy dry salt, keep your hopper covered, and have a heated building to park your loaded truck in.
  4. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    What kind of spreader do you have? Does it have baffles in it? I've got a Saltdogg and froze up three or more times last year. Ended up going to the car wash to power wash it out at 3:00 A.M. I learned that I didn't have my baffles opened enough. So, now I've got them almost all the way opened and haven't had nearly as much problems this year. Works much better. Also, if possible, do all of your plowing and then go back, fill up with salt and spread? Don't know how many customers you have or how big your route is to know if that's possible or not. Wiper fluid works sometimes, but R.V. antifreeze works better, and it's not poisonous like regular antifreeze is, so you don't have to worry about killing dogs etc...
    Ramairfreak98ss likes this.
  5. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    Or just don't leave salt it it.
  6. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Exactly. Only problem is many have to load up before storms because of salt availability and have nowhere to store extra after storm.I left the auger tray on my utg half full last week and when I finally went to shop to clean it out it was a big brick.That was treated salt ! Tough situation with no easy, one size fits all solutions.
  7. tilawn

    tilawn Member
    Messages: 55

    I have a Salt Dogg poly hopper. I dont load them until we are ready to leave the shop. I will have to check the baffles to see how far open they are now but thought they were already. Plowing everything first tehn going and loading salt isnt really possible for me as I need to throw some out on hills for myself to get traction plus I do mostly commercial and it needs salt down as soon as I'm done plowing. Guess I'll try to get some washer fluidfor the next storm and try that.
  8. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Shake the box once in a while, spin some out.
  9. tilawn

    tilawn Member
    Messages: 55

    Ive tried that route this last storm and did it about every 30 minutes or less and it still froze up about 3am this time.

    I'm wondering if I couldn't just add washer fluid or rv antifreeze to hopper as I load it up? If it would work the added expense is still cheaper then digging it out and breaking up the bridging etc.
  10. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    If you add R.V. antifreeze while you're filling with salt you'll lose 95% of it in route to your first stop. Just keep it on hand. Since you have a Saltdogg, do as I recommended and check your baffles. It made a HUGE difference in mine. You could even take them out completely. Last year my spreader was a complete nightmare, this year after opening baffles, minimal troubles. A world of difference.

    And on a side note, keep your electrical connectors absolutely JAMMED with dielectric grease. Don't ask me how I know.
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I wonder if you could get a cheap 110 power inverter and just run a old style work light in there. Fill the hopper up and thrown the light on top. Those things thrown some heat out and being in a contained box a 55 watt halogen bulb might be more than enough and it would take seconds to do. My new guy left salt in our v box and we had roughly 10lbs of salt, not a whole lot of salt but enough to freeze up the chain and of course I asked if he checked it before we loaded 2 tons in it and of course he said he did but guess what...2 hours later we were salting. It's a pain for sure. Im going to try pouring some of our liquid salt on a clump of that frozen salt and see if that works.
  12. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

  13. EJK2352

    EJK2352 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    That's an option for someone that has a salt barn and a loader to reload their truck. Some small guys don't have that option.
  14. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,912

    That's why they still make bags.
  15. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    Ya, right. Like I'm gong to hump 80 50lb. bags every couple of hours to refill. Not. As far as I'm concerned, bags are for tailgate spreaders.
  16. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    harley jeff, have salt dogg spreaders and havent adjusted mine since new . How open do you have yours , are they both the same ? Have had some issues with freeze ups since the salt was junk. Doesnt put much out since they are opened more?
  17. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    I now have mine both just about all the way open. Last year I left it at "the factory adjustment" according to the owner's manual and had HUGE issues with freezing in the hopper. I've posted my displeasure/hatred for this spreader in many threads last year. This year I opened the baffles all the way up according to another site member's suggestion and have had a whole lot less problems. Works much, much better now. Our salt is extremely wet since our bobcat operator is too f'ing lazy to pull the tarp back over the pile. No, it doesn't feed out too fast. That's all still under your control with the auger and spinner speed adjustments.
  18. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    K , have 3 of them and all had issues with them freezing up when the salt is just alittle wet. Tought to find dry salt all the time around here . My main complaint like everybody else is the spread pattern. Bought a new one last year and it has the new and "improved" spinner assembly . What a joke . The new one spreads more salt under and towards the drivers side bumper than the other ones . Its eating up the new deflector that goes around the spinner . Almost all the way through. Throws it alittle farther but nothing like my swenson gas . That will through it 30 ft.
  19. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    I don't have the new spinner chute, but I've heard many complaints about them. Mine will easily spread 30'. Are you saying yours won't?
  20. dodgegmc1213

    dodgegmc1213 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    we have our baffles mainly open in our saltdoggs, I run 3 auger and 5 or 6 spinner and it puts out a great amount and spreads nice. the freezing is caused from wet salt, even with our baffles wide open the salt can still freeze and be a headache.