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What spreader would you buy?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Snow tracker, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I am in the market for a new v box spreader. I would like your opinions given the current options. In our area salt and ice Melters are slow to catch on. We are in the country and a summer vacation area and most businesses hurt just to stay open in the winter. I have been one of the only professional companies to offer salting and have had nice response to that. There is always quite a bit of sanding around here and of course there is salt mixed in to that. We currently have about four miles of private roads to sand when it gets icy. I need a spreader to spread sand or rock salt but also want one that I can control down for calcium chloride or finer ice melter.

    I have a it will go on a F450 flat bed dump and I have skids and tractors with loaders to load.

    I am not nuts about the Monroe gas spreaders because of the chain and inability to control volume. Looking at a poly hopper with a auger and vibrator for control. What are your opinions. Thanks
  2. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 945

    i switched from downeaster stainless gas and electric, i personally just did not like them. i have a 2 yard blizzard ice chaser on the back of my f350, and after two seasons i could not be any happier. i have not had a single issue with them at all. pretty much all poly electric spreaders can adjust application rates now. there is a control for the drive chain and a control for how far you want to actually spread it. i also am a huge fan of the hard covers on the blizzard, material stays dry all the time. and i also installed the vibrator with it just incase sand got stubborn and started bridging. fisher, wester, blizzard are all the same spreaders just different colors. and boss makes a very nice poly electric unit, how ever i prefer having the hard covers.
  3. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,766

    Old school here... checking in.

    I always preferred gas spreaders with drag chains.

    Drag chains allow for an ability to spread more coarse materials. They grind up the big chunks and are very simple to work on. If you have a good running motor, there is not much that stop them.

    Never had a monroe, but my western and hi ways had a coal chute style door to contol the volume. Spinner speed was controlled by RPM's on motor.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I have herd that even with the coal shoot door closed they dump way to much fine product. Do you spread finer stuff ? What is your opinion for that application?
  5. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,766

    How thin?

    That is one of the things that is just like much equipment, what works great for one task it works so so for another. Guess it is what works best for majority of work is what I shoot for.

    I mean if you are spreading mason sand, that will most likely get threw, can't say I have every spread anything super fine threw one, but I also added a piece of rubber belting to my door to keep material in while in transit. Don't know if that would be the trick or not depending on what you are looking to spread?
  6. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I think any vbox would have trouble with calcium if it is as fine as I'm thinking.
    If your doing sand I would probably stay away from an auger. A chain will do both well, while an auger will do salt good and sand might give it trouble.
    I came from a 2yd ss gas pintle unit to a boss vbx 8000 pintle. I absolutely love it and am amazed at the control over the spread. I never realized how much material I was wasting before.
    Now when I see sand on the banking I turn the spinner down a couple notches and it is right where I want it to be, on the road.
    I spread sand salt only and haven't had any issues aside from occasional bridging, but I don't have the vibrator.
    I think the polycaster has the lid perfect, but there are a lot of extra features on the boss that come standard. I live about an hour and a half fron where the fishers are made, and I still went with boss.
    Taking the spinner off is wicked easy only weighs like 40 or 50 lbs.
  7. CMD

    CMD Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 41

    Have had (3)SS v boxes with Briggs motors since 2006.....great for salt sand , tweak the gate control and they are marginal for salt (too much product). But all three run year after year . Four years ago purchased a 2 yd fisher poly with electric drive , as said the hard covers are great , the separate feed and spin control handles salt very well . But the low torque of the electric drive and the fact poly seems to bridge or freeze product more . In my use a stainless box with hard covers ,gas drive , drag chain , separate feed and spinner controls would be perfect.......who manufacturers it I have not found ?
  8. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    I purchased a Boss vbx 8000 last year, and it's been a pretty good product, I spoke wth boss's about the auger vs the Pintle, they told me for spreading primarily salt go with the auger. If I'm throwing sand, go with the Pintle.

    It's a great unit though, nice and quiet, the controller is easy to use, lights built in on it, easy to wash out and spreads nicely.
  9. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,478

    With the truck that you've got and a flatbed you could go much bigger than what the guys above are suggesting. However, if you do want to keep it relatively small, The DD spreaders (Western, Fisher, Blizzard), and the VBX's are all good spreaders. I think I like the VBX a little better, and it comes with work/reverse lights standard.
  10. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,379

    Hydraulic driven spreaders are what I prefer, I got a Monroe spreader that's been good to me. I don't like gas because had bad luck with them. Electronic throttles are a pain not the motors there self. This is just my experience I know plenty of guys that love them. Never had a electric but have heard good things about them.
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    Allegedly, Boss is coming oot with a 4-5 yard unit. I have also been told the Boss units have been reliable.

    For me, the only electric spreaders I will ever own are the ones that I am using on sidewalk equipment. Hydraulic is the only way. I realize it's probably not cost effective for the OP, but he asked.

    If you want power, hydraulic is it. I chewed up a hickory axe handle that made it into our stockpile. The spreader had stopped for a second, thought it was a salt chunk, revved it up and it started right up. Later, when we were cleaning it oot, we found what was left.

    PS Whatever you do, stay away from Meyer\Swenson.
  12. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I know I could go bigger but I like the ability to move it to a one ton SRW. If needed. I am always looking for back up plans and I wired my current spreader into two trucks in case one was down. I am also a Boss guy but can't figure out why they have a soft top on the VBX
  13. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    I would love hydrolic but like the idea of moving from truck to truck. All great info guys. Thanks for all the responses. Do you think salt sand would flow through an auger model with dual vibrators? Sand would be stored under roof and dry. I have just heard that the auger gives you ability to go low on volume when needed and save material.
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    I had an auger model for part of a year. (See my Swenson MDV thread)

    The thing I hated aboot the auger was the inability to substantially increase or decrease volume. Sure, the auger speed can be increased or decreased, but that's it. There is no gate to open or close to control volume. I know that isn't a big deal for some, but when you're used to being able to do so, it sucks.
  15. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,379

    It would be a concern to me, My hydo spreader is set and locked and the gate where I want it. $89.00 per ton I surely don't want to over spread. Yes it does suk. I ran one at a mall with a auger rubber or similar with vib. can't remember what make buyer maybe. The only way I could get it to spread decent was wide open. I'll pass I like my spreader. I don't know what a hydro set up cost today. I bought mine for 5k on a old power wagon from a guy I know in buffalo. Maybe there to expensive today.
  16. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,478

    The company I sub for has a minimum of 50 VBX auger driven spreaders in trucks, and probably closer to 100 (as they rent them to subs as well as being in company trucks), and they never seem to have any problems.

    On a side note, where exactly are you from? We've got a house in Land O' Lakes, so when I saw your "Northeast", it made me wonder if you're close to us a tall.
  17. john r

    john r Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 256

    If your looking for reliability then go hydraulic. One of our trucks has a tail gate/auger spreader and a Comp U Spread controller. This set up has never failed us. Gas is ok but you have to be on top of maintenance and spray the engine down with some thing to prevent rust. If you can tolerate failures then go gas or electric. The electric controllers are the weak link. We have the most head aches with electric spreaders. I'm not a big fan of Swenson. Ask me why.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  18. chachi1984

    chachi1984 Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    I have a used hiway model p gas and had my ups and downs the last 4 years.
    its was an older model so the last 2 years had to put a much of money into it ,clutch,conveyor chain ect. I always had trouble with the battery going dead trying to start the engine in the cold. this year a hooked the battery up to the truck with an isolator and haven't had no trouble starting it
  19. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    I for the first time in over a dozen years made the switch from V box pintle chain dragging to an auger set up. At first i dint like it because i thought you only needed to bump the vibrator on and off once and a while. I learned quickly just leave it on,and adjust the flow " auger" as needed.
    I had my guy drive around and adjust the speed as i sat on the salter and watched spread pattern and amount put on the ground. Hands down, flat out best move i ever made. Really wish i would have done it years ago.
    The unit i have is a Saltdogg 2000 poly unit. Now after making the switch, i have watched and seen how a few different manufactures are and i will be buying a snow ex this year for next season. Larger auger, and little bit better set up.
  20. Hysert

    Hysert PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,676

    We have owned 3 tornado units. Never a issue with proper maintenance. Left material in it for weeks aswell with out problems. Only thing I don't like is cleaning the material that falls of the chain between the chain and truck bed