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Need Salt/Sand Spreader + Access to Bed

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by espyj, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    Currently have a 3/4 GMC short bed truck. I haul a snowblower in the back that I use frequently. This year, I'm starting to get requests for sanding/salting. I need to find a solution where I can continue to haul the snowblower AND sand/salt smaller parking lots. Here are my thoughts so far:

    -I see a few of the brands have a hitch mounted spreader that "swings away" for access to the bed. Some of these, including Buyer's, say not to swing them with any salt/sand in the tub. This is obviously problematic. Are there any that can handle swinging away full of material?

    -I've been considering a flatbed for my truck. If I did that, I could put the snowblower at the front of the bed and just do a standard hitch mount spreader and not worry about it swinging. Obviously, this route will end up costing me a lot more.

    Any other suggestions or thoughts?
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    none of them will swing very well full of sand

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    what if you found a hitch mount spreader that wasn't too wide and you got a hitch extention that was made up to shift if to the right allowing you to run with no tailgate
    and able to load and unload your blower on the left.

    you could get a mesh tailgate, haul your salt/sand or whatever in your bed also

    there are lots of spreaders that do salt but not many that do sand.

    the other option would be do get a carry all made that goes in the hitch and holds the blower and the spreader, but then you have to unload the blower every time you want to spread.

    I have a hitch carry all for my blower and its 100 times better then loading it in the bed.
  4. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    I would imagine that the handling of the truck would be less than ideal with 1000+ pounds shifted to one side of the truck.

    Since it was said above that none swing very well fully loaded, perhaps my strategy is to ONLY load enough into the hopper as needed. That way when I need to load/unload my blower, its empty.

    So then the question is, out of the ones that do swing away, who has experience with them? It was also mentioned that most don't handle sand well. I've read that a vibrator may help with this?
  5. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    How "small" are your small parking lots? If you can get them with a walk-behind, you could put a hitch rack on the back of the truck with the snowblower on one side and the spreader on the other. Easy to load and count the bags of salt for each account that way too. we've done this on a crewcab truck that just moves our handwork guys around and does no plowing.
  6. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    Largest parking lot is approx 20k sq ft at this point. Are any of the handheld ones decent at spreading a sand/salt mixture? Or are they better with salt, too?
  7. FLC2004

    FLC2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I bought a western swingaway 2000 a couple years back and had full access to my bed for snowblowers, ramps, push spreaders etc. The tailgate spreader was good but i never swung it out fully loaded, maybe just about 1/2 to 3/4 and never had any issues. It was decent when we had smaller lots but we ended up buying 2 new tornados for all our big lots now. It should be fine as long as your lots are small.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  8. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    I know it won't, but it still seems to be a better solution than by hand, and at half the price of a v-box.
  9. FLC2004

    FLC2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    Very true. I did the walk behind push spreader thing in the beginning for about 2 years. It really wasnt that bad and i looked at it as, im making money so whatever i gotta do i gotta do. You'll work your way up to a V-box eventually.
  10. samjr

    samjr Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    this is way out there

    Y not and try to make up something like a mount for the blower onto the plow and when get to the job put the plow down take off blower :mechanic:

    Ps i know it sounds nuts but u never know might work ;)
  11. FLC2004

    FLC2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    It sounds like a good idea and i bet you theres a way it would work :mechanic:
  12. turf&snow98

    turf&snow98 Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I know im kinda late on this one but i have the exact same problem and came up with a super simple solution for it...... I bought a 2ft piece of box steel ( receiver size ) mounted it to the left side of the bottom of my bed, i slide the salt spreader into the bed mounted receiver, (( this is with the tailgate removed all the time )) this allows me to completely access the right side of the bed from the back, it also allows me to really get a better view of the salt coming out of the spreader since its on the drivers side. Disadvantage--- the salt isn't centered when spreading and my snowblower and ramps have to be very well strapped in. The piece of box steel i purchased from a local weld shop for maybe 5 bucks ? Hope this helps.
  13. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    got a picture of this
  14. Also guys just a note......most of the tailgate spreaders are NOT designed to be driven around with product in the hopper. I was told by a dealer several years ago that this not only to avoid the material getting packed in there (which trust me it does)....also many of the poly hoppers and the mounts they are secured to are not designed to take the abuse of 300-700lbs of materials being slammed around at road speeds. Makes sense if ya look at alot of them the only thing securing the plastic hopper to the frame is small nuts n bolts and washers ...I could easily see how the hopper could be cracked by hitting a wicked bump while loaded at road speed etc. I have a sub who has the buyers wintergate and that works real well for him. IMO and experience you are just asking for more headache then its worth driving around with a TGS full anyhow due to the fact that they can be a real PITA when they jam up, not to mention if you have to unload it by hand. And most I have seen also leak quite a bit of material out when jarred around and not running. Start by loading a bag or 2 and once you do a job once you will get a feel for how much product you will need on that site n be able to load accordingly. Also makes keeping track of your lbs applied real easy.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  15. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Makes very good sense,thanks
  16. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    That is what I would do.

    I would think you could achieve this by welding an additional receiver tube to the end of the cross beam on your hitch.
  17. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

  18. turf&snow98

    turf&snow98 Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    i didn't bolt it on yet this year cuz i just put a new motor and stainless spreader plate on it but if you use this idea put something underneath the bed like a large set of washers or a matching peice of steel, the bed bottom is very thin and will bend with the weight of the salt if not properly mounted, also use grade-8 zinc bolts and make sure its level.