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Jeeze, why didn't I think of this?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Plowin in VT, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I just got a tailgate spreader, and since I don't have a place to store bulk salt, I've been buying it in bags for $0.095/lb, which I didn't think was too bad. When talking w/a buddy the other day, he wanted to know why I didn't buy in bulk. When I told him, he asked me why I didn't put a couple of trash cans in the back of my truck and fill them.... duh!

    Price of a 20 gal. Rubbermade trash can - $12/ea
    Price of bulk salt - $0.034/lb
    Finding out that your college education isn't worth squat - Priceless

    FYI - for those of you thinking of putting bulk salt into trash cans, a 20ga can will hold just a hair over 200# of salt.


    WALKERS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    We use bulk salt with our tailgate spreader as well (WESTERN 1000) We lay a 16X12 tarps in the bed and have 2 ton dumped in. Then cover with the rest of the tarp. Works well for us. We a have full bedliners in the trucks.
  3. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Had this idea a long time ago. I had the idea of using heavy storage bins (didn't work, they crack under the cold and stress), then a large horse water trough. Here are some factors with the cans. *How do you fill the trash cans? When the load it at the yard, much will go everywhere but IN the cans. getting a pile and loading yourself? There goes your margin...nothing like handling it 2-3 times. *Scooping it out of narrow cans into the spreader is not easy (it packs, and it is like you are using a spoon with a normal shovel). Now, if you are scooping it out of the truckbed, it is different, because you are scooping laterally and can get more into a scoop (as a matter of fact, a grain shovel is best). Also, with most spreaders, they will NOT move bulk salt if it is wet, - a two stage like the Western ProFlow2 will.
  4. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    what are you going to do lift the 200# cans in and out each storm thats a lot of work and weight in the truck....also when bulk gets wet its terrible in the tailgate spreaders
  5. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    you just need to find a cheaper supplier for bagged salt. I pay $3.14 a 50# here in cleveland at JD. Yeah and the bulk salt is too fine, wont work well in your spreader. you will need to get a vibrator and have it run the whole time in order to keep the material moving,
  6. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    Another solution is to bag it yourself. We use the fiberglass type grass seed bags. Put 50 lbs in a bag and stack it on a skid. Load the skid into truck when we need it and reuse the bags. It takes 2 guys about an hour to fill and stack 3 ton of material. Alot cheaper than buying it already bagged. I run my bulk salt through the snow ex 575 and have never had a problem. You just have to make sure you don't leave salt in the spreader in between jobs.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  7. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I shovel it into a 5 gal. bucket, then dump it into the 20gal in the back of my truck. Took about 30 minutes to load 1000#. Emptying it is easy too, I use a large grain scoop to empty out about 1/2 of it, then pick up the remaining amount and dump the can into the spreader. It's not quite as fast as dumping bags, but is still pretty quick.

    I have a vibrator on my spreader, and so far I've spread a little over a ton w/out an issue.

    I go through about 1/2 ton per day, and so far I have not had to take a full trash can out of the back of my truck, as I empty them out while running my route. If by some chance I do have a full container or two left, I plan on partially emptying it into an empty can on the ground, and then taking the partially full container off of my truck.

    It's not an ideal solution, but it does work, and is less costly than buying bagged salt.


    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Sure sounds like a lot of work.

    I am sure it would work and be less costly but I stopped bustin my hump like that years ago.

    To much of a chance for injury up and down in the bed all night or risk pulling a muscle.

    We had steady ice rain for a few days and only see problems in a case like that with rain going in the buckets.

    It may work for you and you still may be young enough to take the chance of something happening getting in and out of the bed all night but for me I just don't see that as a viable solution to just using bagged.

    Good luck.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Forget the rubbermaid stuff. Look for a old freezer with a locking lid at the side of the road. Yes you will be called a garbage picker but its lockable, strong, sealed and costs nothing. Just add salt by the 1/2 yd and scoop it out with a snow shovel.

  10. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Im with REAPER...:nod:
  11. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Congratulations. You make a cute couple.

  12. nhpatriot

    nhpatriot Senior Member
    Messages: 190

    I use 30 gal. trash cans with no problem. Load them by scooping with a 5 gallon pail at the materials yard and throw a lid on them, keep them right alongside the spreader. Two men can heave one up into the spreader, and it's fast. Most of our accounts are for sand, which is why I do it this way. Just need it for the gas stations. We are paying $70.00/ton bulk this year though. Even NH Highway is paying $53.00 from what I am told.

    Don't be afraid to heave around large cans, men. We get too damn lazy sitting in our trucks. Take off the bunny slippers and have some fortitude!
  13. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    Last year a friend of mine offered me FREE bulk salt for my 600lb tailgate spreader. When a storm hit, I would grab the truck, head over to his pile and load the 600lbs into the spreader with a shovel and then fill up a few 5 gallon pails.

    I was exhausted BEFORE I even got out onto my plow route and my back was killing me after clearing the first few steps of the cond's we plow.

    Even for free it wasn't worth the physical labor to load it. I bought a pallet of 50lb bagged salt for $4 per bg ($200 for the pallet) and they loaded it into the truck with a fork lift. When it's empty I will just go and spend another $200 on a new pallet. MUCH EASIER then all that manual lifting!

    Just my opinion, but loading and storing bulk is too much trouble if you use a tailgate spreader... xysport