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Sand/Salt Ratio?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by ToyotaPower, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. ToyotaPower

    ToyotaPower Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I did a search using keywords sand/salt mixtures and did not find the answer to probably a simple answer...

    When you buy or make a sand/salt mixture to use in your spreader.

    What ratio of sand is used, and what ratio of salt is used?:confused:

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Toyota thats really is a personal preference. We try to use all salt, but have in the past used a 3-1 sand/salt ratio. I've found once you get beyond a 4-1 ratio its really useless for melting anything. Some municipalities use 60-80% salt to sand but that changed as the winter wore on. They reversed the ratio by mid February and the streets turned into beaches :rolleyes: .
  3. Mick

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

    I asked my supplier last year what ratio he mixed. His answer was that he just mixed it till it seemed right. Considering that the purpose is mainly to keep the sand from freezing, it does a real good job. Looks like about a 10% salt mix. But like JD said, the purpose is not to melt anything.
  4. ToyotaPower

    ToyotaPower Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Response For JD Power and Mick

    JD Power and Mick...

    So, your telling me that Sand/Salt mixture that we buy is really for traction purposes only not for melting ice? :confused:

    The person doing the mixing of sand/salt is just adding enough salt to the sand so that it doesn't freeze and selling it?:confused:

    My customer believe the sand/salt mixture is for traction and melting away ice...

    Is a 4 to 1 sand to salt mixture enough to melt away ice?:confused:

    Please explain more...
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    They mix it at 6 to 1 here,it doesnt melt anything. I used to mix my own at 3 sand/to 1 salt.It worked decent;still messy. Toyota power,if your lookign to melt ice/snow straight salt is the way. A mix is better for gravel lots,and for places that refreeze,or north sides of buldings where no matter what it will never melt.
  6. ToyotaPower

    ToyotaPower Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    John, Thanks for info...I need to start thinking about what to do for next season, regarding mixture ratio...
  7. Mick

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

    Re: Response For JD Power and Mick

    Right. Then you would likely want to use straight salt if you're treating finished surfaces such as parking lots. Mine are mostly gravel and hard park.
  8. ToyotaPower

    ToyotaPower Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Understanding more and more everyday...Thanks Mick:waving:
  9. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Salting prices

    After all the cleaning of sand during spring cleanup, I have decided to introduce the idea to my commercial customers of using straight salt rather than the mixture.

    Here is the problem, pricing salt compared to using the mix. About what percentage over the price of mixture should I charge customer. I have not called to get prices per ton on the salt. Also I need to know where to by straight salt in MA. I think I heard of a place in Quincy, MA, but not sure.
  10. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    If you're dealing with pavement the best "ratio" is 100% salt! The only place you need mix is on gravel lots. You can get away with as little as 400 lbs/acre if you apply at the first flakes.

    For gravel a mix that has just enough salt in it to prevent freezing will give the best results. A low ratio there will keep the grit from melting down into the pack and becoming worthless.

    As for pricing, in my area I can market salt, or mix, at three times my cost, applied. When asked about "sanding" I go into my sales pitch and to have anyone insist on mix. The concern seems to be for results and far less for what you use to get them.a

    Commercial mix here is 40% salt so it does a lot of melting, good on pavement but not on gravel. Using that ratio, for every ton applied you are putting down 800 lbs of salt and getting the job done. So why not apply 800 lbs of salt to the same area you would use a ton of mix on?

    Let's assume you can load 1 1/2 tons in a vee box. How much aread can you cover if using mix? Now multiply that by 2 1/2 and that's how much you could cover with salt. How many trips to reload will that save?

    Where I need grit I have had excellent results with rock fines with NO salt added. Only snag is that I have to pick it up at the quarry and use the whole load or risk having it freeze up in the truck. The crushed stone offers nice sharp edges so it bites into ice or snowpack better than the rounded grains of sand.
  11. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    The most common mixes:

    50 % salt 50 % sand
    40% salt 60 % sand Or 60 % salt 40% sand
    70 % salt 30 % sant. Or 70 % sand 30 % salt

    To prevent freezing 30 % salt is the least amount that can be used in a mix.

  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    The mix thats commonly sold here is 1 scoop salt, to 5 or 6 sand. Its way to weak.It freezes in the hopper if you leave it overnight and its in the 20's or colder.most yards leave it uncovered too,so its wet,and what a mess.