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sand vs. melt products .....

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Pinzgauer, Jan 26, 2008.


Sand vs. ice melt

Poll closed Feb 5, 2008.
  1. Sand

    2 vote(s)
  2. Ice Melt Products

    12 vote(s)
  3. Both

    6 vote(s)
  1. Pinzgauer

    Pinzgauer Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 134

    I don't want to start an argument here, I just have a simple (maybe not so simple) question:

    Do you prefer to spread sand or ice melt products. Specifically I'm talking about driveways after they freeze up from freezing rain or rain, etc, Seems that sand works well for a little while and the it's sanding time again (maybe that's good for business :)). Ice melt products on the other hand freeze over again. Not to mention the cost for a sand spreader vs. ice met spreaders. I could be wrong on both issues that's why I'm asking about the pros and cons for both.

    Thanks .........
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I voted Both.

    Paved drives= Ice melt only.

    Gravel drives= sand only.
  3. nick858

    nick858 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 145

    Nobody here uses ice melt products. Only sand. I was in a bigger town about 45 miles away last week though, and they were spreading salt. It was amazing how fast it melted the 1/2 inch of snow and ice. If I could convince my accounts here of that, it would sure be a lot nicer. Sand is messy, and like you said, works for immediate traction, then once it is worked in to the ice, it does nothing.
    Most people, I think, want to see what you are spreading here. The salt blends in with the ice/snow, whereas the sand is obvious. Also the price is a big factor.
  4. WingPlow

    WingPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    i would think they would see what your spreading...in bare wet pavement
  5. nick858

    nick858 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 145

    You would think so. It sure makes it a lot nicer with ice melt than sand, but the customer is always right!
  6. wahlturfcare

    wahlturfcare Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    nick, i run ice control sand it it melts pretty quick. Its the smae stuff the state, etc.. uses. I have also mixed salt into the sand before, but dont like how after salt melts, the place will refreeze.
    plus, i've found that if there is sand from before the snow scrapes up better.
  7. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    Magic salt

    I use Magic on all my accounts, comm & resi's. A bit more expensive, but I use about half of what I used to use (salt/sand mix). Much cleaner, works very fast and at lower temps, and it is very rare that I encounter refreeze due to the properties of the Magic. All in all, the higher cost for the product is countered by the fact that it takes less to do the same amount of work, so in reality the cost is still about the same. As an added note, being as though the Magic Salt is much less corrosive that rock salt, mag, etc., the equipment is much easier to clean and requires less maintenance. Just my $.02
  8. Pinzgauer

    Pinzgauer Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 134

    thanks guys ... very interesting result. Around here EVERYBODY uses sand.

    Thanks again ........
  9. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    X2,would use it all the time,not just when it gets very cold ,but my clients for the most part don't want me to use it unless I need to because of the high cost.
  10. BREAULT69

    BREAULT69 Member
    Messages: 97

    I only do commercial. On the steep lots I apply road gravel, the larger stone size doesn't blow off and doesn't track so easily into the store. It gives instant traction, we also use deicer on them but it can take time and refreezes. When it refreezes with gravel in it it's like sandpaper and vehicles get around ok. We have one lot where semi trucks have to back up a steep hill to the docks. We keep a pile of gravel on site and spread with a loader. Without the gravel that business would shut down with 1/8" of ice. One drawback is after everything melts the lots look really dirty. Nobody complains but I'm probably gonna have to get a sweeper and sell that service in the spring.
  11. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    No one uses melt out here, or very rarely. All spreaders are sand only. Town, county, state only uses sand on the roads, and companies with spreaders use sand in lots & drives and very little at that. The only places the roads get sand is on a turn, going up a hill and intersections, and only enough for traction.