Salting narrow walks

I was wondering what type of salt spreaders you use for sidewalks. I have a Lesco, but don't know if I can use it for salting. I've seen kits for other brands to deflect the salt to keep it from spreading so wide. I don't know if there is such a thing for the Lesco spreader.

Would a drop spreader be better?

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
I used to carry a drop spreader with me, but found that a grain scoop and 5 gallon pail is just as effective, and faster. The tires get too hard and slick in the cold, and sometimes the agitator bar wouldnt turn.

BRL - Veteran
Somerset, NJ
I would stick with a broadcast spreader. I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that you can get the deflectors for the Lesco ones. Most of the products with the Lesco name are actually made by other manufacturers, and the spreaders might be too, so find out which brand it really is to help find the right deflectors. If not, buy one of the other brands' deflectors and figure out how to make them work if you're handy. I just ordered a set for my Earthway spreader and for my Spyker spreader & I would imagine all of the brands have them. Good luck.

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member

I have thought about this more than you can ever imagine.
No matter what you do, it is time consuming. Even a spreader with a shield, only holds so much, and you have to refill it. The shield doesn't do the best job on narrow (36" wide) walks. I've tried a hand truck with (2) 80# bags on it, and a coffee can. That sucked. With 2 men, it would be much easier. Then one could follow the other with a truck, or a hand truck to keep filling the spreader.

Rock salt, is too large to work in a drop spreader. Pellets may work, but they hold even less than a broadcast spreader.

I am assuming the Lesco is a commercial spreader. I know Lesco is "commercial" in name, never saw one of their spreaders. When I worked at a local school, they bought less than commercial grade spreaders for salt, and they twisted the "agitator" pin around the shaft after going 5 feet with rock salt in them. It was a cotter pin they used. I drilled out the hole in the shafts larger, and put in finishing nails instead. They held up better. In fact, they never bent or twisted. I also cut the bottom out of plastic milk crates to make a screen for each spreader, to stop large clumps from getting in them. That too helped a lot.

Just be careful, because many spreaders are designed for seed and fertilizer, and can't handle hard salt.

My problem may have been worse than yours, since we had walks to salt on a 12 acre site. Just the long walks around the edge of the property was a task in itself to salt.

I think the best would have been a drop spreader for that site, towed behind a small John Deere tractor they had. I just never got time to make it. Drew up a bunch of blueprints and sketches for it, but never made it.

I kept the sketches, cause who knows, maybe some day.....



Senior Member
I you already own a Lesco Spreader then go to your local lesco store and ask to order a gutter attachment kit, it is used to keep the fertilizer and materials from spreading out to far when you are doing the areas between the sidewalk and the street. That should do the trick, last year we used 2 lesco spreaders with the lesco melt product and had no problem,Just My two cents

n y snow pros

Senior Member
Gotta agree with the Lawnguy as we use a 5 gallon pail and grain scoop otherwise we waste so much in the beds along the sides of the walks


Senior Member
Lesco DOES make a deflector, but it only helps on the right side. The salt will still flig to the left at a normal pace. Also the new Lesco's use a 5:1 gear ratio which is an even faster impeller speed than the old ones: great for lawns, not so great for sidewalk salting.

Because we don't want to ruin our good spreaders, we use 4 cheap ($50) plastic (Ortho?) ones. They don't spread wide, hold 1 bag of salt, are really light and they do the trick for us.

Also,Agri-Fab makes a 125lb. spreader with an adjustable shield that limits spread width to 4'. $219.00 (


In all honesty, I am concerned about hauling my good spreader around. I must have a spreader for the apartment complexes I'm doing because they have a lot of sidewalks. I spent too much on my Lesco to try to alter it to suit my needs.

The disadvantages are it won't do the job properly since it casts material too far, too big for most jobs etc, etc. My Lesco rep tried to tell me the deflector would work properly for icemelt applications. Of course, that made no sense to me after I though about it, since I have used the deflector when fertilizing and it definitely spreads way too wide to try to use on a 3-4 foot wide walk.

At least only two foot of grass would have an icemelt app. I should be able to throw away 25%-33% of my material and not look back, right? Not at 8-10 bucks per bag! I'll bet he would love it if I ran Lesco Melt through it like that. I could buy any spreader on the market for the cost of what I would save in wasted material.

No offense to you guys, but it is pretty sad that the latest, greatest method we have to apply icemelt to a walk is a grain scoop and bucket. Maybe Chuck and I will collaborate since he has a design/prototype already. :)

The design of the Lesco, as is, ain't gonna cut it for ice melt. The deflector, unlike others is only on one side. Any method that raises my material costs by 25% or more is unacceptable.

I guess I just have to think more on this one to come up with a solution. I am going to pick up my spreader since I'm so curious about this one. Maybe I can make a deflector that doesn't require me to alter the spreader. I'm thinking a deflector opposite the stock deflector might tighten that pattern up to where it needs to be for my use. I'll see. There has to be a simple solution.

snow Veteran
Why don't you look into a drop spreader? I know e-poke makes one for walks, i saw it in their brochure. There would be no waste because it's not throwing anything, it's just dropping it. You can adjust the gates on them and could probably add extensions so you could fit 2-3 bags (maybe) of material in one load. Just my $.02


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