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Salt Straight into my Truck Bed?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by hsnowremoval, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. hsnowremoval

    hsnowremoval Junior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 1

    I am considering putting salt directly into my truck bed and shoveling it into my tailgate spreader. Has anyone done this before and if so did you seal the bed door with something?
    Bags are so expensive! Any recommendations on this idea? It seems this could save me a ton of money. I already have a standard plastic bed liner. I think the only concern is the bed door area. Anyone ever try this?
    Also trying to think about the best way to cover the salt other than a tarp?
    Hope to hear from someone!
  2. chad1234

    chad1234 Junior Member
    from 48348
    Messages: 25

    Build a wooden box with a lid
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Just saw a sidewalk crew yesterday who built a box in the back and had it loaded with bulk salt. It had a lid that folded up towards the cab like a tri-fold cover. Had room for over a ton of salt in the box and space for snowblower, walk behind salt spreader and shovels. It was a perfect setup. Save a ton on material and also no bag to wrestle with.
  4. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    It'd be great till it gets wet and it will, it freezes and it will.

    If you can store your truck inside, the cost savings might be worth it but you are looking at added labor - even stored inside.
  5. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    Thats exactly how i do it with mine. i use a 12x16 tarp that lines the bed and folds over its self when loaded to cover the salt. i am going to build a box over the summer to put it in with a folding lid for next winter. i would not recommend leaving it loadedwhen temperatures are cold enough to freeze the salt but other than that its a perfect set up for a tailgate spreader.
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I know every location is different in terms of how much to charge and what clients prefer but if you pass the expense of using bags onto the client it's not expensive to you at all.

    in my neck of the woods most guys use tailgate spreaders and fill them with bags. we charge the client X amount per hour to spread and Y amount per bag.

    most guys do a 100%-300% markup on the bags.

    I'm currently paying $8 per bag and charging $18 per bag. I wouldn't call that expensive because I'm not actually paying a cent for the bags when it's all said and done.
  7. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer 2000 Club Member
    from Carver
    Messages: 2,803

    I really hope you are only talking about the material cost and not including the labor to spread it.
  8. KissMyWake

    KissMyWake Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 26

    i run an average of 60 yards a year through each of three trucks with salt in the bed. I have an a storage bin and load before going out. Also even if your salt gets wet or freezes for the most part you can break this up with a shovel and your tailgate should be able to handle chunks, if not get a vibrator. I have run rock salt so i have vibrator on all tailgates.

    As far as rust goes, pull your bed liner and spray the crap out of it with wd-40 a couple times a season..
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    the labor to spread it is as I said $35 per hour. on top of that they pay $18 for each bag I spread.
  10. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I carry loose bulk in my bed for places I can't send in a salt truck or for those times I have to respond in an instant. My bed is always loaded & ready, even if it doesn't snow for two weeks. I use a tarp to keep it from going through the gate or under the liner. I also have a roll top that works like a garage door, so it always stays dry.

    Aside from all of that, it helps me to monitor the suppliers who are adding gravel or limestone to the salt, which would otherwise go unnoticed, until you get a stone big enough to jamb the auger. It's an old trick that has resurfaced itself recently.
  11. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    He is not talking a out a replacement tailgate spreader but a tailgate spreader you have to load with bags or shovel. As Lon as your stock of salt is dry and stays covered you will be fine. I can leave salt in the salter of weeks and no freezing since it is dry when you put it in and I had heavy duty covers made for the salters that keep al moisture out of the salt.
  12. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,988

    Treated makes all the difference, last year we would leave treated in the salter and in buckets all the time and it would never freeze up no matter how cold it got- straight salt is a very different story.
  13. KissMyWake

    KissMyWake Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 26

    so am i. i run vibrators on all western 1000 tailgate spreaders.
  14. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Gotcha, my bad. I just have seen what happens when an employee try's to power through a large ***** of frozen salt a tailgate salter, bend the auger shaft!!!
  15. MR. McBEEVEE

    MR. McBEEVEE Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Salt in truck

    For what its worth, this is how we do it for tailgate spreaders. We do have the plastic bed liner by the way. We fill the bed with five gallon buckets then load the salt with a skid steer. The buckets catch 70% to 80% of the salt. Just pick up the buckets and dump in the spreader. This is a lot faster than shoveling. Obviously, when the buckets are empty there is still a little salt to shovel. We probably get 25 to 30 buckets in the truck on one layer. We dont cover anything usually. Not worth the hassle for us. The spreaders do great spreading wet salt with the help of vibrators. Also, if you dont need your truck for other jobs through the winter, we seal the exposed edges like around the tailgate with black monster tape. Keeps salt from coming in contact with the metal.