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Salting walkways

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DanG, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I've read on here that you can use as little as 200lbs of salt per acre for parking lots.

    I also understand they have alot more traffic on them to make it work at that low of an application rate.

    Here's my Question,

    For sidewalks with light foot traffic how much would you use to melt off the snow that remains after clearing them with snowblowers and shovels. (not much in the way of ice)

    These sidewalks are 3' wide and run all through the condo's.

    If you went with that application rate it just seems way to low to work.
    At 200lbs per acre would be almost 2'1/4 miles of walkways at 3' width.(13,000 + feet)

    And unless my math is way off(which it could be):) that seems like it wouldn't even touch it.

    What I've been using is 400-500lbs of straight salt per storm and I would like to know how far that would go on the walks that you do.


  2. Crazygator

    Crazygator Member
    from TN
    Messages: 51

    In addition to those questions, what have you guys found to be the best way for putting out salt/ice melt for side walks/walk ways/entrance ways? Hand crank spreaders? Push spreaders?
  3. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Dan G - I went with your thinking at the begining of the season. I used the same formula for parking lots as with walks. What I found is that it takes more material to melt the walks down. Most likely, as you stated, due to lighter traffic. I also like to have my walks wet by the time stores open where as the lots will become wet within a short period of time after open if they aren't already. Walks will not.

    I used bagged product. I've figured a 50# of Magic per 10,000 sq feet of parking lot. I have a grocery store that has 6,000 sq ft of walk area. From wide open large areas to walks 3' wide and walks/curbs that we apply. We use two 50# bags. Sometimes we apply one and at times we apply three or three and half. But generally it works out to 2 bags.

    I've found this to be generally consistent through the rest of our applications. Another site we handle that is about 21,000 sq ft (city walks in a business district) takes variously 3 to 8 bags depending on the type of storm and what's left behind. This site receives a lot of foot traffic and we get some help from the merchants with their throwing their ice melter.

    So I guess I'd stick with the 3,000 to 5,000 sq feet per 50 # bag, which would equate to 500 to 600 lbs per acre. I guess this also depends on what your expectations are and what you want your walks to look like and when. I'm more than likely over applying.

    Which brings us to applicaiton technique. We've used spreaders - but haven't found one that we like. It throws the material everywhere and not necessarily where I need it. Most of walks are 5' and narrower. I do have a spreader for our ATV (haven't hooked it up yet) to test on narrow city walks. To this point we use a 5 gallon bucket and a grain type scoop to spread the material. I nice bowling type back swing and delivery does the trick. This is more than likely why we're over applying. But we're able to move quickly and apply more product where there is a build up and less where there is less required (which you can't do with a spreader as acurately.
  4. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I use a Scotts fert spreader for salting walks. It works pretty good as long as you open the gate all the way. Just make sure what ever your spreading with it is relatively dry, it doesn't like clumps.
  5. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    We've been dealing with a bunch of around 1" snows lately. We have just salted all of the lots, but we've shoveled off the walks because of the lower traffic as described here. Doing this has resulted in our only using slightly heavier than what we use on the lots to keep them black & wet. Had we not scraped the walks, we would have needed twice as much or more than the rates used for the lots probably.

    As far as what to use: regular commercial grade fertilizer spreaders work fine. What you should definitely do is buy the deflector shields that are add on accesories you can get. Most of the online suppliers we use for plow parts are selling these, so look there. Not all brands offer them so you may have to find a brand that's similar & fabricate it to work for your brand. Search here for past threads where people posted about how they made their own also. These are flaps that get bolted onto your spreader, and can be raised\lowered as needed for the particular situation. So for that 3' wide walk, you keep the 2 side flaps down & the front flap up, and the salt spreads forward, and not all over the grass & shrubs. For wider areas you can lift one flap & have a wider spread pattern, and for the real big areas, or parking lots when the real spreader breaks down, leave all the flaps up and spread 15 ft or so wide. These things are the ticket if you're using fert spreaders and are worth the money IMO.
  6. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240


    I use earthway spreaders to do the walkways.


    I bought the salt deflectors for the 2050P model that i have and usually i do what you said leave the front up and spread the walks.
    When i'm doing the walks near the car ports i lift up the side flap on the car side so it throws under the cars.

    I also bought the handheld model with the nylon bag which works great for doing the places that you can't do with the broadcast spreader such as the steps etc..

    I'd rather put it down a little heavy to make sure it melts quickly.

    Don't feel like getting a call from the lawyer saying someone slipped etc..

    CYA (if you know what i mean):)

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2003