sand/salt ratio

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by cat320, Nov 8, 2000.

  1. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 822

    Now that the season is comming near what is the ratio of sand to salt that every one uses and that magic stuff can that be mixed with sand? And how long after an aplicatin will it last will there be enough on the ground for a storm a day or to after>so you can apply it late in the storm or after it's al over?
     
  2. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Ok, I can't tell you anything about magic.

    However I use 3 sand and salt ratios. Some ratios are used at only some properties, others are used depending on the weather conditions.

    30%salt 70% sand. Used on light powder snow dustings, and late season applications.

    40% salt 60% sand. Used most of the winter, and performs very well, when pre-wet with mag cloride.

    50% 50%. 50% salt, 50% sand, used in Ice storms, heavy ice accumulations, and when tractions and ice melting is needed at the same time. Again performs very very well with a pre wet of mag cloride.

    Right now, we have a good stock of 60/40, and smaller stocks of 70/30 and 50/50. The salt ratio can be changed at a moments notice.

    Geoff
     
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Geoff,
    Just curious.
    Why don't you use straight salt?
     
  4. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    It's a maine thing. I do use some pure salt apps, about 5% of my customer base. However snow is managed very differently in Maine compared to the rest of the country. Most Maine towns use a sand/salt mix to keep cost down. The town I am from has something like 40 miles of road to maintain, just to do the main roads (about 10 miles) with salt is around $ 1200 per app. When the DOTs and DPWs start useing pure salt all the time, so will private contractos. Up here roads sometimes have a snowcover of 4" before the plow even hits them.

    As much as I would like to, i can't not sell, pure salt to everyone, zero accumulation plan of attack. I would also like to visit a residential customer, every event, and either salt their drive or plow it. Some Mainers, don't even want a plow in their yard, unless there is more than 3" of snow.

    BTW, the town I am in has two gravel pits, there for the cost savings is very big. I am sure if they had the money to use pure salt all winter they would. However you got to do what ya can with the money ya got. Even if it means the playing the number game, the town might not mind spending XXXX.XX K a year on labor, however they watch the materials cost a lot more.

    Geoff

    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 11-09-2000 at 02:32 AM]
     
  5. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Erie's the same way about snow, although we use straight salt all the time, unless the salt supply gets low. Funny how regions have different parameters, huh ??

    I'm learning much more about that (the regionality of ice control) with the recent growth of our business.
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    We get some of the same attitude towards using salt down here, but maybe not quite as bad as Maine. The VT DOT is VERy aggressive about salting, using far more salt than sand mix. The towns vary a lot, depending on how progressive the road department is. Milton has a Bozo for a road foreman, we use a LOT of sand. Colchester, (next town south of us) uses mostly salt, and the condition of their roads shows how much better it works.

    As for the cost, that's BS, by the time you haul sand, mix it, haul more loads to cover a given area, it costs MORE than straight salt. If they knew enough to run the numbers it would be plain as day. Here they lay on enough sand mix that they are actually putting down a lot of salt. If they put down that same amount of straight salt they would get the results at less cost per lane mile.

    There is also a lot of "tradition" involved. Doing it the way it has always been done is "safe" nobody will fault you for that, whereas trying somethign new involves risk, and if it doesn't work there might be questions to answer. Personally I have no respect for those who hide behind tradition and refuse to try new methods and techniques. "Boi the Jizzus, we've allus used sand, and it it worked fer my Granddad it'll work fer me too!"
     
  7. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Yes John, that is my biggest issue with "going national" with snow removal. Way to many different methods of operations, and egos to deal with.
    We have used a 3.5-1 ratio of sand to salt, but we are now switching to all salt. 40 tons being delivered on fri. It will be magic coated next week.
    We will keep a small sand/salt pile for doing certain dirt areas where I dont want to waste salt.
    With salt the magic is coated at the rate of 8 gals per ton, and sand is 12 gals per ton. It offers great residual efffects.The best bet is an early storm app, to keep the snow from bonding to the pavement.
    Dino
    K-I-S-S
     
  8. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 822

    I always thought i wuld be safe with a 50/50 mix for my application,My customers want to see the sand go down the salt you can't see but we all know it works better.
     
  9. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Unless it is magic coated salt, when coated it is brown, and looks like sand.So you have traction untill disolved, once disolved no ice problem.
     
  10. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    If you run 50/50 all winter, I think you will be fine. Yes 100% salt is better. However if you put down 50/50, ice and snow will still melt, and you will have sand to provide extra traction. Most times this method will also require an adition scrape at the lot, then an aditional app of salt/sand. Only if you factor all this into your price, and you are making money, why does it matter.

    If your making money with the method your useing, why not go with it? I don't care if you melt snow and ice with, salt and sand, salt, magic salt, CMA (whatever that is), a flame thrower, mag cloride, calcium cloride, giant heater added to the front of your plow, whatever else someone can dream up. If you making money go with it, It doesn't matter what it is. Hey we are all different, and thats what makes this whole snow biz thing fun.

    Geoff
     

Share This Page