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thinking of switching to vbox, thoughts on my situation

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by snowcrazy, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    hello guys, 5th year running tailgate salter. Ive gotten enough work now that I use more than a skid of salt (mostly small properties, banks, fast food, insurance agencies). I guess there is goods and bads to both especially in my situation wanted some opinions. I have several farm supply places in the area that carry bagged salt but I cannot for the life of me get any of them to stock bulk!!! Im no spring chicken any more and climbing in trucks and loading salt is getting harder every year.

    I can get bulk salt but its about 35-40 minutes away from me where the bagged is only 10 minutes away. I have a fork lift but no way to load bulk at home nor room to store it so traveling to go get it is how ill have to do it. the other thing I think about is what happens when you go get a load of salt and storm misses. it happens quite often in southern ohio. I saw a video of a fellow unloading into 5 gallon buckets and really that would be okay for missed storms I guess.

    Here is the other thing I think of. in large storms I may have salt in the v box for more than 12+ hours and ive heard nightmare stories of ppl having salt freeze up while having salt in there vbox. folks say load and go spread immediately but that's not gonna happen, I cant plow all my places off then leave for and hour and a half to go get salt.

    also visibility. Ive always said id never own a vbox because I plow a ton of banks. haven't got very many large lots so visibility has been key for me but ive gotten much more used to using my mirrors over the years.

    the cons seem to outweigh the pros when I look at it on paper but anything to help preserve my back would be great and this is my main reasoning for wanting to switch. that and not having to get out of the truck a zillion times and bringing that nasty crap back in the truck so often.

    opinions would be great fellers thank you!! by the way im thinking saltdogg 1.5yd on my 2014 gmc sierra 2500 hd.


  2. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    In your shoes, if I were trying to get away from handling bags, I would look at the super sacks of salt. Load a sack with your current forklift into a v box. Saves time and labor, but it won't save you any money.

    You're not dropping enough salt in a storm to make it worth switching to bulk. We swiched to bulk when we added our 3rd truck and each truck was spreading 1.5-2 skids per storm. We did that crap 2 storms and switched. But we had/have a way to store and a way to load it.

    I've only had salt freeze in spreaders once and that's cause it sat for over 12 hours when we loaded everything and the snow kept coming. We started pushing, temps dropped, and salt froze over that 12 hour time period. 2 gallons of windshield washer fluid in each spreader and it was good to go. We load before we start pushing and salt as we finish the lot, or sections of the lot. Only once did we have problems.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

    Did you look into the buzz box?
  4. racer47

    racer47 Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    ussmileyflag find a young man to ride and help load salt .have him do the sidewalks for extra money at your sites to make up his pay .
  5. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    I am a smaller operation and used 60 tons of salt this year. I paid 95 a ton delivered seeing I have a place to store and a bobcat to load ( we used to shovel it ).

    I have no idea what you are paying for a ton of salt...but, I know I saved enough through the switch that I was able to buy the bobcat.

    Look at what you can make and how much it costs. Speading bulk IMO is faster too. No bags to mess with.

    V boxes are nice..but there are better spreaders IMO.
  6. spencers

    spencers Senior Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 120

    I was the same way only I had the salt dogg tail gate spreader with a vibrator. I used road salt but I didn't have enough accounts to get a inbed salter. This year I switch to an inbed and last year my brother switched to an inbed. We go through 2 yards each sometimes more now. Once you buy the inbed see if your accounts want it. Also if you have a spot in your backyard for the salt but it back there.
  7. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    No I haven't?? What is it??

    also appreciate everyone else giving there thoughts. I have all summer to think about what I want to do I guess. THE MONEY SAVINGS is another huge reason I wanted to make the switch. paying right at $250 per skid of salt around here and you get get bulk for right at half that. I went through 15 tons of salt this winter and it wasn't a bad winter. went through 28 last season with all the snow. Guess I have some thinking to do. I have several others in my area that are thinking the same as I am. We have 3 different farm supply places here in town and none of them want to carry bulk salt. I thought about getting everyone together and chatting with them. Chatted with 2 of them this morning and they both agree the money savings would be tremendous on bulk EVEN IF we still used tailgate spreader and just had a bulk container to bucket into. I know that sounds like a pain but honestly I figure add a kick butt vibrator to a tailgate spreader and save 125-150 bucks per storm. it all adds up I guess.

    I remember going and looking at a truck for sale last year some guy had a fleet of dodge gas 2500 trucks with boss plows and all snowex tailgate spreaders. they all had a vibrator mounted on the side of the poly hopper . He had a large salt mountain with a huge tarp over it in the back of his shop. I asked him if he spread bulk though those little spreaders and he said yes and he had done it for year just gotta have a good thumper on the side of the hopper. Now I know this wouldn't keep me out of the weather but the money savings would add up on a normal year to bug another spreader! on a good year a new v box. LOL
  8. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

  9. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    Yes I have run tons of salt through a few different tailgates but you need a vibrator. Mine are all karrier 80lbers. Under $200 bucks including wiring and switches and whatever.
  10. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    Bwhahahah I just got done looking this thing up and saw this post!!! Good one for sure. That thing is really neat.... Bulky but neat!!
  11. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    If you do the math its not worth the cost of buying a vbox and traveling to get bulk.If you were going to grow the route maybe.If you had a place to store bulk it might be something to consider,but then you have to load,even a cheap junker ss is going to run 6-7 k.Pull out a calculator and run the #'s it doesn't workout financially.Maybe if you can network with other contractors and establish a location to store and load,someone must have a ss in your area.But if you want to play with toys knock yourself out!:drinkup:
  12. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    Def not about buying toys more about trying to figure out how to put more money in my pockets..... Heck maybe just putting vibrator on my snowex spreaders and not buying the vbox?? Last season I went through 22 tons of salt. This year not as much but on an average year I'm probably throwing about 100 bucks per storm down the drain buying bagged...... Heck I may very well already be doing the best and most efficient thing. I've got a lot of time to think between now and next winter. For what its worth, I tend to agree with you that I'd doesn't add up but it may in a few years?
  13. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    I think we all face the same issues regardless of size.I try to be as analytical as possible,no emotions or equipment envy.The bottom line is whats it going to cost,how long to get a return.100 bucks a storm isn't all that bad.I spend 13k a year on a shop so I can have 30 tons of dry salt available 24/7. To bad you weren't in my area,it would work out perfect for you! Just pull up and load you up!

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    I would upgrade to the saltdogg 3/4 yard salter, it's small enough that you could still see around it and not totally block your view.

    And if it's a real issue you can buy some cheap backup camera systems on Amazon and run one of those.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

  16. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I would consider the vbox, but you definitely will have to find a better way to load it. I would make connections with other contractors and just use their supply. No way will it be worth it to do all that, not to mention the headache it will cause you, especially with how long the salt will be in there. I have had salt freeze up in less than 3 hours and let me tell you it sucks to have to be breaking all that salt up. NOT worth it

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    We had salt freeze up about 6-7 times this season, buy 5 gallons of washer fluid and pour it on, it will unfreeze it in a few minutes.
  18. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I'll remember that, I tried one gallon once but it probably wasnt enough. I had it freeze up only once that wasnt outta stupidity, i loaded up and was salting and maybe an hour in noticed it was freezing up. it must have been because it was about 1 degree out. the other 2 times, i left the salt in too long
  19. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    we use magic salt and snow ex vbox spreaders. had salt freeze 1 time this year, first time ever. 10 minutes in the sander with a shovel and had it broken up enough where the auger and vibrator did the rest. we also never unload the salt. after the first bucket goes in the only time the sander is empty is when it run out of salt or when we take it out for spring, other than that there is always salt in it
  20. BRL1

    BRL1 Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 666

    One thing to think about is the type of bulk you can get and what it does for you. I have a boss Tgs 1100 and I run a three way chloride out of it. No sand nothing and I have very high maintenance accounts. Pretty much no tolerance I ran some bulk and spread a pretty good amount of salt sand mix and it didn't go near as good as the straight Ice melt.