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liquid deicing rig

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Chaser13114, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Chaser13114

    Chaser13114 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    This yaer will be my first experience with liquid deicers. First does anyone have any advise for a newbie to this part of the bussiness.

    Second, I'm attempting to minimize my startup cost of liquid application. I already have use of a 4x4 spray truck used in the application of liquid fertilizer and pesticides on crops. it seems pretty simuliar in basic desing to what I'm seeing for liquid deicing rigs. I'd probably have to chage nozzle size and things of that nature but other wise it would seem I'd be good to go. Any of you familiar with these rigs and if there much else that would be different.

    The one significant difference is most deicers rigs seem ony to spray slightly wider than the vehicle and this unit has swing out booms that make the spray with close to 50 feet. that might be a hassle in a tight lot but otherwise I would think it would work fine.
  2. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    We run liquied de icing but think you need to figure out if your pre spraying or de icing since the material you apply is different and some of them do not mix well in the tank. Also we run a different tank than what we use for fertilizer so not sure if they mix well. Suggest you find a spraying company (Manuf) near you and go in and talk to them. We had ours custom built by the same people that make them for the Iowa DOT (mine are alot less expensive)l
  3. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    We have 2 rigs. One was a modification of an agricultural rig , and the second is a custom rig for mag chloride and Caliber. Both work well now, but the ag system took some serious playing with spray heads and pressures.
    I am rebuilding my fleet for this season, and have trucks and spray rigs for sale. Email me at zorno@sbcglobal.net if you are interested.:D
  4. rainair

    rainair Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    de-icing rigs

    I am looking for pictures of rigs, and just some cost break downs [if anyone has them] prices being charged and do u have special wording in contracts..
    I like to learn from others that have experience. :help:
  5. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Email me at zorno@sbcglobal.net I am in my 6th year and have some ideas and some opinions I would share. here is the business end of my larger truck

  6. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Here is the converted ag spray unit. Notice the folding boom.


    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    I am looking at installing a pre-wet system on a one ton and have been told i may have problems with the material freezing in the lines....the tank i planned on mounting somewhere near the cab.....a much smaller tank since the main payload will be salt in the bed....any thoughts?
  8. rainair

    rainair Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    I found another company that builds de-icing equipt.


    they also have locations all over the us. lol found them just a mile from my farm/office. [one of their div. that is, force America]

    will be chatting with them next week.

    I have a question; has any state or or local gov. done a study on the de-iceing of roads and what is the bid price per lane mile average for say "CALIBER M1000" or "NC-3000 " ?
  9. Ted Leslie

    Ted Leslie Junior Member
    from NW Ohio
    Messages: 8

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2004
  10. rainair

    rainair Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    caliber sales

    see your e mail for my reply please... and call me if your in sales
  11. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    This is the rig I just finished building, total cost so far under $200. It's only 25 gals. I've been using Magic -0 and Caliber m2000 for the last 3 seasons, mixed with salt, with great results. This year I'm also going to try Caliber M1000 in an anti-icing application, but my main de-icing program will still be M2000 prewetted salt. The rig is a surplus tank on a s/s frame I welded up a surflo 4 gal/min pump, relief valve and a boomamator nozzle, it sprays a 16' wide path at 1.7 gals/min @ 40 psi, so I don't have to worry about a boom behind the truck. If the anti-icing works out then I will go with a deicated truck mounted spray rig next season much like Scott"s. As most of my accounts are seasonal I've seen a large reduction in trips to accounts using the Magic/Caliber products, and I'm hoping for the same results with a true anti-icing program on a couple of experimental lots, hence the small size. It would make an excellent prewet rig as 25 gal would treat about 3-5 tons of salt.

    sprayer (Small).jpg
  12. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Here's another pic the 1/2" s/s rods are designed to fit in the grooves of the box liner and there are a couple of eye on either side to tie it to the mounting rings in the pickup box

  13. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    darn it didn't upload :eek: here it is! purplebou

    sprayer 002 (Small).jpg
  14. carlriv2

    carlriv2 Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 126

    Hows well does it work? I have been looking into making a rig for a small skid steer to do walks.
  15. TLC Ken

    TLC Ken Member
    Messages: 47

    long a** post about liquid de-icer

    Chase, I don't know if you are still looking for info, but I wrote this on a competing forum a while ago. I hope it helps you guys.

    This will be my fourth winter using Mag Chloride. I've got a 450 gallon setup with a 8 foot boom, with two fold down 4 footers for a total of 16'. On the K5 I drive, I built a little one the width of the back bumper, so I could keep the one ton off the steep slopes. I cut the K5 to a pickup (ugly) and built one I could still look over when looking behind me. It is only 55 gallons, I had to use an old chem barrel because all the tanks I could find to buy were too tall. Someday I'll buy a fancier welder and try out a stainless steel tank. Well, maybe not. I'm going to put another 150 gal 8 foot boom on our oldest plow, it is doing 6 lots in a town 30 miles away.

    I buy the MaCl for about 50 to 60 cents per gallon, and usually use about 2000 gallons a winter. Last year was crazy and we used about 4500. I am also a landscape sprayer the rest of the year, and the outift I buy my herbiciides and fertilizer from stores the MaCl for me at their plant. I have a gate key for their plant so I can load at 2am without hauling them out of bed. I have to buy it in 1600 gallon loads. It is heavy, at 10.8 lbs per gallon.

    I charge about $2.00 to 2.50 per gallon to put it on, with a 10 gallon minimum. I charge about 10 to 15% more per lot than it takes to plow two inches on that lot. If it takes an hour to plow a lot with 2 inches, it probably takes 10 minutes to mag it. I built my setup out of some electric pumps because I am sick of listening to a 8hp honda motor prattling along all day (while spraying lawns the rest of the year). With the pumps, one for each 4 foot section, I just flip a switch and that section squirts. It is nice in small lots with this big dually, you don't have to let it all run when you're turning around, and when you overlap, you can shut it off easily. I replace about one pump a winter, if they get a MaCl bath they're done the next day, but you can take apart the electric motor and clean it. I keep a few spares around. I like this method. The alternative is a 5 hp motor running all day, electric valves that cost twice as much as the electric motors I use now. The chem sales guy told me those $140 valves last one winter and then they're TU. the only problem is the giant tupperware box I used to hold the four motors and the wiring looks like ass right about now. I put my hand through it in two places the other day when it got cold. It is three years old now and brittle. I think I will replace it with a delta underbody box or seomthing similar. I was worried about corrosion, but in four years I have only had one bad spray everywhere leak, and it was my fault for not tightening a fitting.

    After four winters, I've also learned it only corrodes if you don't rinse it off in a day or two. All my trailer wiring, brake hoses, pump harnesses, everything, has no problems. I just spray everything off with water at the end of a de-ice day. I have never lost any under truck wiring to corrosion, or brake lines, nothing. Often I only use a garden hose, if I don't want to drag out the pressure washer. I have more rust on the bumper of the 94 half ton my crew uses to shovel and dry salt sidewalks than on all our other stuff put together. The 16 foot boom has marker lights, I figured they'd last a year then fall apart from rust, that was 4 years ago and they still are going strong. Trust me when I say, it you rinse everything off after a dousing, you shouldn't have problems.

    Our biggest lot is a Wal-Mart, and I charge about $400 for 200 gallons there. Takes me about a 45 minutes. To plow 2 inches there takes about 4 hours, with our winged westerns (just bought a blizzard 810, haven't used it yet. I'll let you know) I drive along at probably 5 to 7 mph, maybe. I use just orifices, not nozzles, that shoot straight down. My theory is it blasts through some of the ice and gets to the pavement, then melts from top and bottom. I haven't tried fan nozzles, because I like to see the lines where I've been. This rate only works on about 1/4 inch of ice or less. For you guys out east, you'd probably have to put on quite a bit more. I didn't do any of the app rates or math when I built the big setup, but it is enough to prevent about an inch from sticking if you use it before hand. We only pre-treat our treacherous slopes, because rain will rinse off enough for it not to work. In dry weather, it just sits there, waiting for the snow to fall.

    I started the MaCl because I bought a sno way dry spreader in 1997, mounted it on my old 92 half ton chevy, and was surprised I paid $1575 for a big piece of crap. It barely threw the salt past the width of the truck. I was hoping back then you could do a 50 space lot in one or two loops, but you had to crawl over pretty much every square inch to drop the salt straight down. I quit using it after about a week and just sent my hand crews out with belly grinder fertilizer spreaders we use in the summer. That way they can at least sling it out to a 30 foot swath with the bounce. maybe dry spreaders are nicer now, but I still think that is the biggest waste of money I've bought in my professional life. that, coupled with how often you had to fill the darn thing, I figured I could build a liquid setup that would be much more efficient. 450 gallons will last me about ten hours, almost enough to do 70% of our lots (for ice). it would last me from about 1 or 2am to about 9, then I'd fill and go do our restaurants and 50 or so apartment lots. We had four plows when I built it, and I could make about 80% of the 4 plow gross on a 2 inch snow day just by myself in 16 hours on an ice only day. No labor, no plows breaking down, no waking up 6 other people at 2am and hoping they didn't wreck on the way to the shop.

    Now, I get what the spreaders are for, back then I didn't. I'm still glad I made the MaCl machine. I would have bought one made, but they all had gas motor pumps, electric valves, and were too complicated to swap out parts in the cold. Mine I thought about all summer, made it in about 2 weeks of tinkering, cost about 6 to 800 bucks, most of the time was building a switch panel and a little base to hold fuses and relays. I made it modular, so I could move the whole thing to another truck in about an hour. I made the cost back in the first day using it.
    Nowadays you can buy a metering system called Raven that is all the electronics and valves, booms are easy to build. But Raven is pretty expensive. It is what all the highway rigs have in them to adjust the flow relating to the speed.

    If I build another full size one, it will be one eight foot boom, then two other 8 foot booms that fold back over the first boom. That way, on a really bad ice day, you could have all three covering the same 8 feet and could go a lot faster. Now, I only fold down the side booms in about twenty of our big lots, the other 120 or so are smaller and it is a hassle. On my current setup, the two 4 footers fold up past 90 degrees, and (you'll laugh) but sometimes I flip them to side-squirt bad spots I can't drive over, like entrances at one of the hotels we do. It is fortunate that the nozzle angle kind of all converges the 6 nozzles on the four footer into an area about the size of a pizza box. It shoots out there probably 15 or 20 feet.

    Until recently I had no taligate on the truck, and the hoses just hung out the back to the boom. But the other day I drilled four 1.5 " holes in the back of the bed and now I can close the tailgate. I will probably put a reverse camera in this truck because I'll never get to drive it, it will always be employees. :cry: I'll be stuck in the ratty old K5.

    TLC Dually 1204.jpg

    TLC 6 tailgate.jpg

    TLC 6 pump box.jpg
  16. Chaser13114

    Chaser13114 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Thanks very helpful. What more can you tell me about the Mag. Are you familur with Magic? Magic is made up primarly of Mag. What benifits are affored by magic that wouldn't be from straight mag. What temp do you find it's effective to? I'm debating weater its worth the extra money to use Magic or not.
  17. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    Do you have any instuctions on how to build one.
  18. TLC Ken

    TLC Ken Member
    Messages: 47

    I have a scan of the msds chase, it is called Ice Stop CI 2000, sold by Reilly Products in Utah. It is about 30% magnesium, and two salts, KCl and NaCl. It is too big to post here, email me and I can send it to you. If one of you savvy guys would want to host the picture, it is about 900K. It has all the stuff to contact Reilly too.

    It contains a corrosion inhibitor too. The msds talks about adding water if ice forms, the first year I did fill up the strainers with ice, but just took them out. The ice crystals are always smaller than the nozzles they come out of, so I was kind of dumb to try and strain it. :confused: The pumps can handle 100 times bigger junk, and it is just emptying out on the lots.

    I've been very happy with it. It is brutal on your hands in the cold. If you get soaked, and rinse off, you have about 3 or 4 blood cracks in your fingers at the end of the day. I try to wear gloves, but don't always. Plus, now that everything works well, I don't usually get a soaking anymore.

    Water is the best thing to rinse it with. It will bind to some soaps and won't rinse as well as straight water. It also tastes terriible. Don't ask. :drinkup:

    i've never used Magic or any other kind, and no other is easily available out here. I did quite a bit of checking for different sources about 5 years ago, and this was the only stuff I could find. I would bet that it's the same as all our muninicpailtes use here. I did find some smaller quantities, like guys that wanted to sell you 4 five gallon buckets, but that's all.

    Good luck.
  19. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    Email it to me and I'll post it for you.