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Liquids on driveways?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Patrick34, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Patrick34

    Patrick34 Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    Anyone use liquids on driveways? I am thinking of trying a liquid truck mounted sprayer for my condo driveways (i.e. backing a truck into each driveway and spraying the driveway).

    Anyone try this? I am a newbie to liquids. Can anyone comment on what depth accumulation liquids can melt off? Thanks for any comments.
  2. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I have tried 2 liquids. Cheap and cheaper. 32% Liquid calcium chloride (liquidow) and 23% salt brine. Both drives were my own. 1 concrete and 1 gravel. At -7 degrees the lcc burned off 3/4-1" of fluff snow on the concrete, and at the same rate didn't work as well on the gravel. Applied the salt brine prior to the snow event and it also burned off an inch of falling snow as it snowed. I suspect both liquids would have melted slightly more snow, but I can't say for sure? Those 2 liquids have earned a place in my tool box. Have my doubts about a lot of liquids that cost the same as salt or above? I have sprayed all my commercial accounts. I currently have a sample of Iceban that I hope to get to test in the near future and will post the results of that test.
  3. Lightningllc

    Lightningllc 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,963

    Hows liquidow working for you I want to try it how much you paying a gallon. SAlt brine are you making it?
  4. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    The liquidow has been incredible and versatile. Just got my new quote,
    2000 gal min = $0.75/gal 4,000 gal min = $0.63/gal
    I'm 90 miles outside thee city so I would guess my cost involve a little xtra trucking cost, may be cheaper closer to the city?

    Salt brine: making my own costs = $0.115 / gal
    Check my homepage pic albums (projects in the works)
  5. #1DRIVER

    #1DRIVER Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    This cost seems a bit high for brine. As far as the liquidow goes, yeah, it's a great manufactured product, costly but effective, but why spend the extra money when you have other options available just as effective?
  6. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    And your cost of making brine is.....? Obviously this will depend on how many tons of bulk salt you purchase and the price you pay per ton.

    And the other options available that are just as effective and as inexpensive are......?
  7. #1DRIVER

    #1DRIVER Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Sodium brine is not as effective as natural mineral well brine. if you take the cost and time it takes you to manufacture sodium brine and compare it to the cost of material and delivery cost for natural brine, you'll find it's worth the few extra pennies per gallon to purchase natural brine.
    Now your already invested into making your own sodium brine, so now it's more of a necessity to keep making it, as to see your investment turn a dollar over for you, but to a person that isn't making sodium yet, and is thinking about doing it, wouldn't you say the investment and time consumption would not be a quick payout?
    I talk with people everyday that have used various liquid ice melters, and for the most part, many are inclined to just seek the easier way to obtain a cost effective product and still maintain a cost effective application rate and not to mention the time saver.
    You don't have to wonder if your going to produce enough sodium brine for back to back storms and/or usage scenarios. If the temperature drops too low at night, now your applying double the materials to do the same job that one application of natural would have done.
    I don't want to sound as if I am attacking you on this topic, just that there are MANY UNINFORMED people out there that might think they could take the task of manufacturing sodium brine and make it work for them as it has for you.
  8. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I don't consider it an attack at all, just a good discussion. If you live closer to the well brine source and don't want to put much effort into then possibly yes. But having been quoted well brine for $.70+ out here in north central Illinois, which cost more than Liquidow, at that price its almost the same as bulk salt. Well more than a few pennies, when I can make salt brine for less than $.12. Even though its not going to cover the range that calcium chloride will. Isn't applying well brine from 20-30 degrees like driving a nail with a sledge hammer? It works, but is not necessary? Thats why good discussion are necessary, to inform the uniformed? A variety of liquids is best, some work better at lower temps, some work better at higher temps. My overall goal is to use the right liquid for the right job at the right temp, to maximize my profits and help any one trying to get into liquids with a less expensive approach to do so. Not everyone can put out the cash to purchase a tanker load.
    I do disagree with you on making salt brine, 10 minutes to load salt, 15 minutes of letting the tanks fill with water, and 35 minutes of letting the pump circulate is not very much effort to make 400 gallons? I would say the hardest part of making the brine is initially making the brine maker and figuring out a cheap system that works with minimal effort. Depending on how many acres you will need to spray it could take more hours or time to make brine yes.
  9. #1DRIVER

    #1DRIVER Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Okay I understand your case and point on the temperature effectiveness.

    With the sodium brine though... I deal with customers that use upwards of 4-5000 gallons a push/storm. Would it be feasible for them to obtain the equipment, materials and time needed to make their own sodium? I mean, does it work? YEAH without a doubt. But when you have customers complaining about refreeze on walkways, and lots thats when you have to reevaluate what product you want to use for optimal range.
    Driving a nail with a sledge is over powering, sure, but the effectiveness stays behind after you push the slush away, you still have wet pavement. until the moisture evaps.

    As far as this post goes... I would say maybe calcium chloride is a bit too overpowering for smaller driveways. is it worth the effort to only apply 10-15 gallons per drive? depending on length and size of course.... Keep in mind though that your customers want ALL the ice and snow gone for safety and cosmetic reasons.

    Where at in North Central Illinois are you Kubota?
  10. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    When your dealing with a situation where they are using 4-5000 gal each time, its unlikely they would be on this thread asking about making salt brine home brew? They would be looking at Dultmier or Rittenhouse for a commercial maker. Something that could make a higher quantity? When dealing with large quantity, yes it would be feasible to purchase a large brine maker (approx. $8000). At $0.40 cents a gallon for salt brine produced and sold commercially, and cost of salt under 10 cents/gallon it would pay for the equipment quickly,. especially using 4-5000 gallon per app. I have only experienced small refreeze events with much colder temps.

    A popular misconception with any kinds of liquids, is its ability to be a liquid PLOW. When using it this way, I don't think that it is the best use. Anti-icing or Post plowing for a quick burn off and quick dry off is IMO always best.

    It appears you are a supplier or similar for well brine. My customers don't want a WET pavement for a week? Honestly I don't want the pavement to have a residual effect for a week. (hope my customers dont read this) I would be losing money, as I get paid per event. Best combo I have found so far is salt brine and calcium chloride mix. When I say best, meaning cost compared to results. Don't get me wrong calcium chloride whether it be well brine or Liquidow have their uses.

    In warmer events 20+ degree surface temp and here again a lot of people think air temp, which is not the case, IMO a mix of salt brine and calcium chloride has worked great and cheap. There is nothing left to refreeze? Is this a miracle mix?
    No, its a common sense approach. Will it work with all conditions, no. Can I use it as a liquid plow? No you shouldn't.(touchy here, but it will sometimes work)

    In colder events 20 and below I would not recommend salt brine.

    Personally, I tired of being at the mercy of suppliers, and I know I will take some heat for posting my results and giving some info to help others to try this. If salt brine and calcium chloride mix is so inefficient why does the state of Iowa and Illinois use it? Because they know they can save money! Salt suppliers and liquid dealers are not in favor of this because they are not going to make as much money! This year I reduced my salt purchase by 50%. But think I cut back to far. On the other hand I have been supplying other contractors with this liquid mix made from my salt supply. NO I AM NOT GOING TO SUPPLY ANYONE WITH LIQUID BRINE! Make your own ! But I have for these other contractors for other reasons.

    I seem to get the feeling you think making salt brine is so difficult and labor intensive? I consider if I was to pay myself $20 labor for making 400 gals of salt brine for the hour that it took, that perhaps I over paid myself, after all I drank a cup of coffee, smoked 3 cigarettes,talked on the phone and sat on my rear for 45 minutes of that hour?

    Where am I located? Route 80 exit 97 then a stone throw.
  11. #1DRIVER

    #1DRIVER Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    It seems like you have definately found a system that has worked for you my friend.

    I agree that it isn't feasible for a larger corp. to manufacture brine thats why they buy it bulk.

    I will say that I have a few customers that have completely withdrawn from using salt after using Ca. Cl.
    I guess you have to watch the suppliers of the brine and what type of brine they offer.

    Oilfield brine is not good. Natural mineral well brine is very effective. If a supplier has all 4 chlorides in good concentrations, he/she can ask top dollar for what it's worth, and when people see the results, they'll pay. The problem, like you mention is logistics. Nobody wants to pay for trucking, but it's a cost that always gets passed onto the end user. ALWAYS! no ands ifs or buts about it.

    Do you have any brine wells in your neck of the woods?
  12. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I have talked to contractors who went liquid calcium chloride and nothing else. I say if it works for you why think about changing?

    Are there any wells? Not that I'm aware of. Besides that would be way to easy!

    Not worth owning my own truck for delivery but still complain when paying someone else. :dizzy:

    We may have slipped off topic a little. But yes, liquids for driveways. Many options are available. Some home brewed, some bought ready to spray, it depends how much effort your willing to put forth and how tedious you are willing to be to maximize your profits.
  13. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160


    Do you know where I could get some Liquidow to try as a prewet? Your only about a hour from me, didn't know if you have found somewhere reletivley close. My problem is I don't want alot right now. Maybe 55 gallon drum or a tote? Thanks
  14. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    Sent you a pm, seems to be a common problem. I'm working on that this month getting some tanks set up.