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SUMMER salt storage

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Mick76, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Hey all,
    I just inked a 3 year deal with a good sized company. Question is this was the first year with me cutting costs and going bulk. That said I have a 20' sea container that still has about 1/3 of salt in there. The co has agreed to let me keep the container on site over the summer. That being said, I've only used 1/2 of the salt I was planning on using this winter (very slow winter) and I was thinking of ordering the rest of it and storing it in the container over the summer. I've contracted for a certain about of salt and If I don't get it delivered, I have to pay 80% of it anyway. I just got done reading 10 pages of salt storage related topics but no one talks about the summer storage. What I'm concerned about is the salt sweating in the container and hardening up. Should I leave whats in there and get "fresh" in the late fall or should I take a chance and fill it up? If I were to fill it up, would the extra salt help "prevent" alot of the "hardening" or just speed up the hardening? Thanks for your thoughts.....
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Congrats on the contract. Way to go!

    Mick - is that straight salt? A friend of mine told me if you put just a little sand in it will never harden up.

    I can't imagine it would be a problem. They're going to start piling up salt in Portland and Searsport in July, if not sooner. Is the box water-tight? I guess the big question would be if should leave the box closed up tight or cut a couple of vents in it.
  3. maxximus98

    maxximus98 Member
    Messages: 52

    Well if you already have to pay 80% you are only risking an additional 20% so I would say go for it you may lose some to hardening but I use that for my own lot!! I just smash the chunks with a bobcat and scoop it up. I would say go for it I have about 30 ton left we will find out together!!
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    The container does have 4 small vents in it but It does sweat... moisture on the side walls and the salt is alittle hard about a foot from the walls of the container.. nothing that the skid can't take care of... I hear you about them piling it up but its outside were the salt can breath....

    I'm not really worried about "lossing" and as I can just break it up if need be... I just don't want the whole container to become a hardened salt block... If that were to happen I'd risk damaging the container trying to get the hardened salt out
  5. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Salt naturally draws moisture from the air. That being said, I would go ahead and fill the container as full as you can, and next fall before it starts snowing, you will have to take the bobcat over and empty the container on the ground, and re-load it after you break up the chunks. It will take a little time to do, but if you going to lose 80% anyhow, I think it would be worth the risk. My guess is only the outer 6 to 12 inches should draw moisture anyhow. So worst case is you might lose a couple tons on the outer edges, but thats not nearly the cost of paying for salt your not even gonna get to use anyhow.
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Maybe just seal the vents, and fill her up. Close the doors and come back in November to see what happened.

    I can't believe I'm already thinking about next season. :(
  7. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Pay the 80% for the salt, then in the fall Take delivery and pay the other 20%
  8. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I don't have a container, but I store mine in a wood frame building. The only time I have had problems was when I put the salt in the building wet. Then it did solidify over the summer. Nothing the Bobcat could take care of real easily. But I know theres a lot of guys that use the containers for salt storage. I hope they will give you some info pertaining to the steel storage container aspect.
  9. bmlitton

    bmlitton Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Don't worry about the salt hardening (unless it is wet when you put it in) during the summer months. I have a 40' container and have stored salt for 4 winters now with no problems. We finally emptied out the salt in the back this winter that had been in there for at least 3 years and it was in perfect condition. No signs of rust either, other than at the doors, and thats just surface rust. I have found the container to be a great way to store salt if you do not need permanent cover.
  10. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Great, Thanks all!
  11. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I actually seal off the vents for the summer time and open them back up in the winter.
    I think those little vents let in just enough moisture, JMO
  12. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    how do you get the salt in there.....bobcat??, conveyor??
  13. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Skid Steer
  14. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Mick, does that mean you didn't spend the big bucks for the optional convertable container? Nothing like going cheep, lol.
  15. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Would that be sweet!... If I'd have done that I wouldn't have smashed my ac plug on the roof!... oh well, cost of doing business!
  16. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We use mafia blocks, we just seal off the ussually open wall and double cover with 1 layer of pond liner and a pool cover we get from a pool demo company around the corner. They're very handy to have around................
  17. Tbrothers

    Tbrothers Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    Fill it up unless the salt is wet when you put it in there you won't draw enough moisture to make it that hard. If does make sure you break it up before it gets cold outside.Its a lot easier to do it when its warm out.
  18. WMHLC

    WMHLC Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I use a 40ft, and we store around 55ton in it over the summer. It doesn't get hard you will be fine. The only time salt gets hard is when it gets really cold, and its got a ton of water in it. Plus you have a Skid steer, so if it gets hard smash it up. I have used our 40ft for 4 years and no problems at all.
  19. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    If you don't have to take delivery of it until next fall, then don't. Let whoever you are buying it from take the storage risk. You have to pay for the salt either way.
  20. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    80% commitment? I only know of one major supplier that requires that...I will refrain from further comment.

    As far as summer storage goes--are you getting it for a better price by taking it early? (you should, if you take it early) Or did I misunderstand this, and are you taking the remainder of your quote (80% of it, anyway) from this season so you do have to pay for nothing? If neither is the case, then I'd just wait. No sense to take on the possible hassle if you don't need to.

    If you have to take it, then I'd be inclined to agree with most here--you shouldn't have any issues as long as you have a watertight container and load it with dry material. Even in the open-door (35' high doorway, mind you) domes most DOTs use here, they seldom have issues with last year's product. You should be just fine. I would recommend some airflow through the container, as it will help to evacuate any stagnant air that could become humid through natural heat/cool cycles, which would normally turn into condensation--although the salt will probably absorb it before it gets to that point. A couple of vents on each end should do the trick, and they don't need to be open all year--just every now & then to exchange the air.