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Salt lock-up in v-box

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by RoundHillSnow, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. RoundHillSnow

    RoundHillSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Good day to all,

    We have recently changed from using a 5-1 mix of sand/salt, to only salt. I have experienced lock-up, but not to the scale as the other day. I had a full load (airflow V-box in Sierra 3500) of salt and after two jobs locked-up. I had to dig down to the chute opening in the spreader and found a chunk (1' by 6" around) at the opening. I had to use a large screw driver/hammer to dislodge it, which got things going again.

    I have since heard that salt will crystallize if wet. But in addition to the moisture issue, does the temp. have an effect on lock-up? I realize that I can keep it as dry as possible, but I can't control how well my source keeps it dry. Is this a problem for others, and have has anyone found any solutions. I have heard that some type of heating elements can be put on the outside of the box to keep it warmer, but if it gets to wet, am I done?

    Thanks in advance,

    David and the guys at Round Hill Landscaping, on the shoreline in Middlesex County, CT
    Two trucks and growing
    Three snow blowers (one still down)
    Lots of shovels and hot chocolate
  2. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    If you are having major problems, the easiest fix (albeit not the cheapest) is to treat the product before loading the hopper. Prevention is the key here--once the salt absorbs moisture, it's very difficult to get it dried out quickly, short of putting it in a drier (not likely). Look into having your pile treated, or just add a few (6-ish) gallons per ton/skid steer bucket and flip it over a few times. That should get you by until you can get some better product.

  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    in a pinch pour some windshield washer fluid on it
  4. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Do you have a grate or screen on top of the box?

    Temps do play a role in this. Salt doesn't freeze up much above 20*, 15*-20* it kinda depends on the time and moisture and below 15* is a crap shoot. If you find some kind of heating element let us know what it is would ya?

    If it is froze up try going to a car wash and flushing out right by the gate and anywhere else that it may bind.

    ps. You know you can make a signature in your "User CP" so that it will show up everytime with out retyping it everytime.
  5. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Aww...you're so helpful.

    Silver star for you!!

  6. RoundHillSnow

    RoundHillSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thank you.
  7. RoundHillSnow

    RoundHillSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yes, I have a grate and I have that covered with two tarps. So, not much rain/snow can get in. I'll try the washer fluid.
  8. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I try to help where I can. :)
  9. spaceman12321

    spaceman12321 Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 20

    As long as you start spreading right after you load it (within an hour or so) it shouldn't freeze up on you. Temperature DEFINATELY plays a role. If you are plowing each lot before you spread then you need to plow all your lots, then go load up and come back and salt them if its that cold and the salt has moisture.
  10. RoundHillSnow

    RoundHillSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thank you. We normally load up prior to plowing to give added weight. We are keeping our eyes out for land to have our own storage areas which will allow us to load up on our schedule For now, we have to load up on someone elses schedule.