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Used Pure Salt Pre Wet with Mag Clordie

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Nov 26, 2000.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Today's afternoon forcast called for snow, to freezing rain, to showers.

    Well I decided to run the trucks with pure salt, pretty expensive decision. For me to send out my spreader fleet full of pure salt, is pretty expensive.

    I figured if i used a sand/salt mix, the sand would just be iced over again in a few hours. I tried pure salt pre-wet with mag cloride, on all that were open on sunday, no need to apply another application. However i treated the places that were closed with 50/50 pre wet with mag cloride, just like the pure salt. Well I just checked the lots, and I didn't need to revisit them, which was good. At the same time, the rain isn't freezing anymore.

    So I am not sure what my results would have been If I had used 50/50 on everything. I do know the salt cut into my profits a little. Only hey at least I can say I tried something different.

    Sidewalk guys used a melting agent.

  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Geoff, if you're applying right the use of straight salt should not cut into your profits, in fact should increase them. Let's say you're running 50/50 mix. Unless you absolutely need the sand for immediate traction all you're doing with 50/50 is diluting your salt. To put down "X" amount of salt you have to apply "2X" material. What that does is double the number of trips to reload, or double the number of trucks to apply the same amount of salt. On that basis, pure salt will INCREASE your profitability on a given run. I love watching the guys who use mix here, my lots are clean consistently sooner than any of theirs, and I use surprisingly little salt to get that result.
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Most customer go with the sand and salt mix for two reasons.
    1. It is cheaper to apply
    2. They don't want to pay for lighting fast melting, just traction and some melting.

    So if I send out a 100% salt truck that has 6 yards of material on it. It takes one yard of material to cover the area, thats 1 yard of salt. However if I used a 50/50 mix, I spread 1/2 yard of salt, 1/2 yard of sand.

    We played around with the spreader today, I found that almost the same spreder setting were required for either material. With the salt, all the ice had to be melted, because salt doesn't provide traction. With the sand and salt mix, only some of the ice is melted however traction is also provided. Yet in about an hour, the rest of the ice did melt with the sand and salt mix. Just didn't melt as fast as the pure salt.

    BTW, I run most spreaders on their max with so the spreader recieves a heavy flow of material.

    I will agree pure salt melts faster, then sand/salt.

    However know that you understand what I was trying to accumplish, you can see how the pure salt cuts into the profits.

    All of my plowing is yearly contracts. So I can almost use anything I want, however they generally like to see sand on the lot. The news had said it would turn to rain, melting everything. The ones I salted, probably thought everything just melted and I didn't do anything. The ones i sanded will think i did something.

    In the end, both methods did the job, the sand was cheaper, but I wanted to try salt. Today the weather was on my side, the temps were rising, however if they weren't. Pure salt may have been a better choice. Pre wetting sand/salt with mag cloride really does make a difference compared to regular sand/salt.

    oh well, everyones happy, thats all that really matters. Maybe a storm for wed night into thursday.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 11-27-2000 at 12:53 AM]
  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    But Geoff, with straight salt you don't have to run the spreaders on max to get the same effect. THAT'S where the difference in cost is made up.
  5. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Sorry Alan, when i said max, I ment max spreading radius, with a feed gate setting that provides a heavy flow.

    I know what ya mean, with the salt, you can shut the feed gate a little, and still get good coverage on the spreading radius.

    Sorry for the mix up. I will say for freezing rain, pure salt is great.

  6. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I'm still tinkering with our undertailgate spreader to try to get the settings to come out right for best effect. This has the control in the cab, with two knobs, marked from 0 to 10. The other night, running Magic salt, I was running the auger on 2 and the spinner on 5 or 6 and getting coverage of about 15-18 feet. Almost instant results in about an inch and a half of snow, some traffic packed, some untouched.

    Today I was spreading 40% salt/60% sand mix, running the aguers on 3 and the spinner on 4 and getting coverage of about 12'. I could have dialed both up a few notches but I was in narrow drives and was covering them full width and evenly.

    I had also moved the spinner to the right on its mount so I had shifted the spread pattern to the right by quite a bit, I was covering the full width of the truck plus about two feet on each side. When I run salt I set the spinner as far left as it will go and run it slow to drop on the centerline or wind it up to cast a band to the left and behind the truck.

    I try to keep engine RPM at around 2,000 and spread in 2nd gear high range or 3rd low. I had all my settings down pat when I had this spreader and pump on the F350 (may its miserable soul rust in peace)but it's a whole new ball game with this truck.

    [Edited by Alan on 11-27-2000 at 01:36 AM]
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Sounds like the hydro system works, which is always a good thing.

    BTW the next time ya do hydro work. Find you local Parker store, their prices are much lower than Napa. Parker is also #1 in quality hydro parts. If they don't have it in stock, no one does.