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Should I cover my pallet of bagged rock salt?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by CK82, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    I have a pallet of bagged rock salt in the bed of my 3/4 ton, I currently have a tarp over it but i know this will not hold driving down the road. I am concerned about the salt getting wet from the snow and from the conditions while driving on roads. I know its bagged salt but, should I cover it or shouldnt I worry about it, if I should cover it, how do you guys keep your bagged salt from freezing up?

  2. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Yes definitely cover it. Rock salt will draw moisture out of the air and freeze solid.

    I keep mine in my garage till I need it and it stays dry.

    Good luck,
    Mark K
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Well are you going to use the whole pallet of salt during your next snow event? If not why drive around with it in the back of your truck? Leave in what you need in the truck, cover it up, and put what you dont need in your shop or garage.
  4. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    Already removed about half of the pallet of salt from the bed of my truck, and will re-load when needed. I just wasnt sure if the bagged salt needed to be covered or taken care of in any special way, since it is bagged.

  5. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266

    salt cover

    I sell rock salt and ice melt.. We get in the pallets with a large plastic sheet covering the pallets. They usually stay outside until loaded on trucks.That is what happens at the manufacturer as well.
  6. dssxxxx

    dssxxxx Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 63

    Rock salt (sodium chloride) is not hydroscopic. It will not draw moisture out of the air. If the rock salt was moist when it was bagged, then it will freeze if left outdooors. If not, it can be left outdooors all winter or in the back of your truck.
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I leave about 10 80lb bags in the back of my truck uncovered at any given time and so far so good. The only time I had any problem was when I washed the truck and some over spray got on the bags and it froze the top few bags a little. I took them out and slammed them on the ground and no problems after that.
  8. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    That being said, explain to me why during summer months with high humidity levels the salt in the salt shaker at my table will turn to a solid clump??

    Last winter I went to spread some salt. I threw in 10 bags and only used 7. When I went to unload the remaining bags later that day they were starting to get "crunchy" around the edges.

    I have a heated basement to store my bagged salt in so I am not going to chance it.

    Just my $0.02
    Mark K
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    I store two pallets in my garage, and keep 27 in my truck. I take a pallet and screw sides on it and screw a tarp to one edge. Now the salt is off the floor which is always wet with snow, the sides keep the bags from sliding all over when I bash into piles, and the tarp keeps snow off the bags and won't blow away because its screwed to the pallet. This gives me enough salt to go twice and still have a few left over if a residential customer calls for some.

    You will want to cover your salt bags, they will collect moisture outside. I would rather have frozen bags than wet, at least with frozen you can bang them on the ground, wet just sticks to the sides of the spreader and doesn't drop down--major pain in the butt.

    And put the pallet at the back of the truck, not next to the cab, you will have better traction.
  10. MD Power Plow

    MD Power Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I keep my salt in a storage building that is climate controlled. Plus I try route my jobs so that I use a full pallet per. Event or as close as possible to one.:)
  11. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Fold the tarp over the salt and then secure it with a couple of ratchet strap tie-downs from your local home improvement store.
  12. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Agree! If it isn't inside, cover it.. It's cheap insurance.

    Unless there's a way for the moisture to penetrate the bag, it's not going to draw moisture. But, it will keep external moisture from freezing and making the bag difficult to handle. Also keeps the road grime off if it's in your truck and mouse/bird droppings off it's on your lot or in your barn.
  13. spiviter

    spiviter Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 74

    I get 3 to 5 pallets at a time now. I keep them out side on the drive way till needed. I just keep a tarp on them till needed. I then throw 20 bags in the truck and head out. All my accounts are within 10 miles of my house. Or I will have another driver swing in and salt till I can reload. Never have problems with the bags unless they are left overs from the last season. Next season I am switching to Bulk salt... MUCH CHEAPER and I will bag it myself...:redbounce
  14. EJK2352

    EJK2352 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    spiviter, How do you plan on bagging it yourself??? I can save $40 per ton if I switch to bulk. I have been thinking of using 5 gallon buckets with a lid for storing and handling the bulk salt. I also was thinking about having a cover made for my dump insert and just leaving the salt in there. I don't like the idea of salt left in the insert to rot it away, and the fact that riding around with a ton in the insert will kill my fuel mileage.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2005
  15. dssxxxx

    dssxxxx Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 63

    Back in the 80's, we were a major bagger of salt in the metro NY area. We brought bulk salt in our yard and "fluffed" the pile regularly and would then bag during the summer when the pile was dry. Or we thought was dry.

    For the 10 years we did this, we always had some tonnage that was wet and would leach out of the bag (valve type bags) if kept indoors and tonnage that froze because it was wet, when stored outdoors.

    Unless you use enough salt to warrant taking in bulk, stick with the pre-bagged product. JMHO
  16. spiviter

    spiviter Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 74

    I saved all my 50# bags from this season so far, I am going to put about 40 pounds in them and reseal them with a bag sealer. Or I was looking into 100 pound empty sand bags. I will only bag what is needed for a days work. I am getting 2 snowex 8500's and a bobcat for next season. But now we use the 575's and 1075's on all of our lots.
  17. greenshoes

    greenshoes Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have about 10 solid bags of rock salt, how can I make them usable for a push spreader?

    Besides beating the salt out of them, can they be mixed w/ calcium chloride, or would that make them wet and sticky?
  18. hairygary

    hairygary Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    I have heard windshield washer will do the trick, from guys that had salt in frozen hoppers. Havent tried it myself, so i cant give a personal experience.