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Salt / Sand Mixing

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Snowman7, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Snowman7

    Snowman7 Member
    from WI
    Messages: 69

    I typically like to stay away from mixing salt and sand but have a account that is requesting to mix 70% sand with 30% salt. Two things for one does it even pay to put 30% salt in with all that sand? What types of sand are you guys using?
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The salt will keep the sand from freezing/clumping and that's about all it's good for mixing. That seems a little heavy on the salt; I usually mix it about 5-10% salt.

    Did they give a reason for wanting that mix?
  3. Snowman7

    Snowman7 Member
    from WI
    Messages: 69

    Gave no reason

    They just stated that is the mix they wanted. Also requested fine sand. What type of sand do you mix?
  4. pelt35

    pelt35 Senior Member
    Messages: 131


    Any fine screened sand should work well, washed sand is expensive. You dont want any small rocks in it or you will be paying for the dent removal from all the cars that you get with it. Also if kept uncovered it is a good idea to throw some salt on the very top of your pile so if it rains it will leach in from the top and help to prevent freezing as well . 5 to 10% mix is plenty for that mixture.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    We get sand right from the quarry. The local cement co has a big pile the we can load from anytime day or night.
  6. Snowman7

    Snowman7 Member
    from WI
    Messages: 69

    So by them stating only fine sand what would you take that as? The property manager made a reference to play sand. Sand is sand to me. Am I wrong for thinking that way?
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There's course and fine, various-sized screened, washed and bank run. And that's just what I can think of at the moment.
  8. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I use mason sand that I have in stock, then I go to a reddy mix place and back under the chute when I need more.
  9. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    I would take that as mason sand, which is screend & washed. I would avoid a sand that isn't washed, as it's going to have a higher clay/dirt content & could become miserable to deal with when spreading, not to mention may require more salt to keep workable. The mason sand may cost a tad more, but is minimal when comparing to the cost of the saly.

    BTW, we usually use torpedo sand (a little courser) & somewhere between 15-20% salt.

    Good Luck.
  10. 3311

    3311 Senior Member
    Messages: 332

    Last year we ran 50-50 salt and birds eye sand.
  11. mvhauler

    mvhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    I use washed sand that has some "pea gravel" in it. About the size of the clicker on a pen, or half the size of a kernal of corn. I don't like to use fine sand as I believe it doesn't give as good traction.
  12. WingPlow

    WingPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    i'd think you'd be wasting your time using mason sand, theres not enough grit in it to make it worth while spreading
  13. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Mason sand is completely wrong for sanding.You need a very coarse grit--by me it's called concrete or highway sand from a gravel bank,from a quarry it would be stone dust or screenings.We run a 60-40 mix,not just to keep the pile from freezing but to work melting the snow/ice.
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    How does sand melt snow/ice?
  15. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    We have used Mason Sand with calcium, feeds well if it is dry. Not meant to melt ice only to put a cover on it.
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    30%, 2 to 1, however you call it, is a pretty hot mix. You get the immediate traction from the sand, but the salt will do a lot of melting. I run mine about 8 to 1. Just enough to keep it from freezing. There is SOME melting effect from the sand alone because it will absorb sunlight and get warm. I use septic sand. It's beautiful stuff. Straight out of the pit.
  17. stargazer

    stargazer Member
    Messages: 94

    Fine sand is almost useless. Coarse sand is the best. Also, the darker colored is preferable. Sand does have some melting effect as 2COR517 mentioned, collecting radiant energy. It also has a synergistic effect when combined with salt, holding the ions on the road longer, and collecting radiant energy allows the salt to bite in at lower temperatures. I mix about 10% in the covered pile, then add more to the load in low temps. I just shovel some on where I'm about to bucket it up, or if at the pit I dump it in as I load. I also throw some on the top surface of the sand pile in cold temps to stop the surface from freezing. Too much salt in warm temps will make the sand sink. Too much can also keep the road from freezing. (Dirt roads.)

    Play sand? I think that is super fine and if so, a waste of time and money.