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How much does a cubic yard of salt weigh?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Chuck Smith, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    This was a topic of discussion last night in the chat room. I have a pocket reference book, that lists various material weights.

    It lists:

    Salt Cake @ 2430# per cubic yard
    Coarse Salt@ 1350# per cubic yard
    Fine Salt @ 2025# per cubic yard

    I personally would consider table salt "fine" salt, and that which we buy in bulk for de-icing "coarse".

    I sent an e mail to The Salt Institute asking how much a cubic yard of salt weights, and here is the response I got:


    Salt weighs between 72 pounds per square foot and 80 pounds. This variation is because of moisture content and size of crystal. We use 75 pounds per square foot, which comes to 2,025 pounds per cubic yard. One ton of salt needs 25 cubic feet of storage and the angle of repose 32 - 36 degrees depending upon moisture content and crystal size. "

    Notice that I asked about a cubic yard, and they replied with a cubic foot. OK, I can do the math.... but then they say a cubic yard of salt takes up "25 cubic feet" of storage space, and the angle of repose..... wait a minute....

    IF I had a box, that was 25 cubic feet in total capacity, then why would there be ANY angle of repose?? It would not be piled, but rather "struck" (or screeded if that is how you refer to it). Like filling a measuring cup, and scraping across the top with the back of a knife....

    Additionally, a cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, no?? So where does the Salt Institute get 25 cubic feet from? They used 27 cubic feet when multiplying 75# to reach 2025# respectively....

    So I am still confused. :confused:

    Someone was saying that their V box owner's manual listed the weight of a cubic yard of salt (as less than 2025#).... anyone care to quote a v box owner's manual?

  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393


    They swapped measurements quite a bit in their reply, but they did say a TON, not a cubic yard occupies 25 cu.ft.

    We get a lot of variation in salt pellet size here. Some is all 1/4" and larger nuggets while other loads have stuff down to table salt size. I think that is the difference in "coarse" and "fine" descriptions. That granulation difference makes a noticeable variation in the weight in a given hopper load. Also a huge difference in how the stuff works on the ground. The coarse stuff works better if there is much of a pack layer, as the bigger nuggets will melt to the pavement. The finer material does wonders when you get it on top of loose snow though, as the salt particles are much more evenly distributed and more plentiful for a given weight applied.
  3. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    around here, (probably everywhere) when i get loaded up with bulk salt, it ranges from course to powder, so i dont think the 1296# is accurate. (course salt out of my loaders manual)

    my torwell manual says the loaded weight of my v-box is 5980#.
    (1.7 yard struck) so you have 5980# - 880# (empty machine weight) = 5100#
  4. Kurt B.

    Kurt B. Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Great Topic Chuck - I rarely hear anybody talk about this. When I started as a salt truck driver 16 years ago my boss told us that a yard of salt was a ton and thats how we judged useage for billing. Over the years driving my own salt trucks and going on and off scales after loading I have seen this to be a good average I still follow. Like you stated it depends on particle size and moisture content - larger particle salt that is dry tends to run about 20% lighter or 1600 lbs/yard. I just started getting somewhat finer particle (as compared to my other supplier) pinkish salt from one of my suppliers which I have never seen before. From what I have read on this site it may be Ireland salt that was mined and shipped over as someone said their salt is reddish. I also noticed a difference in its effectiveness due to particle size per Alan's post.
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I've always found it pretty close to a ton.We don't scale the stuff we load ourselves,but when we do pick up on the road,it comes out very close to a ton per yard of salt,for regular bulk road salt..
  6. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    Well I was taking part in this topic the other night.

    Western Manual; Density --lb per a cubic yard--

    Fine salt--1350#
    Coarse salt (dry) --1215#
    Coarse sand (dry) --2700#
    Coarse sand (wet)--3240#

    Now I get coarse salt and it is mainly/somewhat dry, ticket shows 29 tons per a load and level with the top of the truck. 16' bed.

    According to my calculations a 16' bed x 8' wide by 6' tall comes to over 28 yards.

    This week end we might get a chance to go out, I know my truck weighs about 5400# spreader 764#, 45# batt 150# top screen.

    6359# total, trucks GVW is 8800 lthat leves me with 2441# left for salt, but I know I am going over that and my plates are 18k.

    Got permission to use a neighbor farmers scale. We shall see.

    It really makes me courious to see how much it does weigh with 2 yrds level.

    Before I put 2 pallets of 49/50# bags tailgate spread on the back and my truck squats a whole lot less.

    So if the salt instatute holds true, at the 2160# they say, then I am carring pretty close to the same amount of weight.
  7. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    The scale says empty weight of truck is 7160# with plow, spreader, full tank of gas and me. Just a matter of time before we load up with some salt, then I will weigh in again.

    As you can see above I forgot to add the plow weight in before so I wasn't to far off.
  8. tileman

    tileman Member
    Messages: 55

    how much does salt weigh

    no one has said how much salt weighs per cubic yard or have they?

    SnowEx manual says

    fine salt - dry 2,025 per cy
    coarse salt - dry 1,431 cy
    sand/salt mix - dry 2,700 cy
    cinders 1,800 cy

    1,431# / 27cf = 53# per cf
    so what does a cy or a cf of coarse salt weigh.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'm trying to figure out where the square feet come into play. Apparently those at the Salt Institute are not math wizards.
  10. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Welcome to Plowsite!
    I'm not sure what you are trying to ask. Each manufacturer has a different opinion as to how much a cubic yard of salt weighs. You posted Trynex's opinion which is a CY of salt weighs 1,431#'s. So what is your question exactly. Several other charts were posted in this thread with the weight of a CY of salt. It seems we can say the average is 1323#'s \CY based on the charts listed in this thread. However it would seem that those charts are made using salt that is dry and just out of the mine? In our real world use situations the salt we are getting is much wetter than what they used to get those numbers, based on a few posts here reporting around a ton per yard.

    That's an easy "typo" or mistake to do when discussing this kinda stuff. I've written square when I meant cubic, and vice versa many times while posting here & at Lawnsite, et al. No confusion really, just a mistake.
  11. tileman

    tileman Member
    Messages: 55

    salt weight

    My question would be: for the purpose of loading one's truck not to be to over loaded to much would you use and average of a cy is 2000#. factoring in that most all of our salt is damp or wet.

    Also if your rig holds 1.5 cy or what ever it is rated at, do you use this 2000# per cy for your figure to bill your custmers?

    Just looking for a little help. Thanks all
  12. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    Weighed in at 10,820 full load of salt heapped about 2.5 yrds.

    Truck weight 7160#

    Full weight 10,820#

    Weight of salt 3660#

    So that tells me the salt was 1464 a cubic yard..
  13. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    tileman,dont worry about how much to bill your customers.Charge them per application,I have a normal rate,an a heavy rate for real cold conditions or heavy ice. if you sell by the lb you will make less money,or have to lie about ho much you put down.I put just enough to do the job,no more or less.
  14. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    I am trying to figure this so I know what is being applied, and what is my profit margin. Also to keep track of what went where.