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Improving salt spreader material flow

  • SIMA
- Posted: March 5, 2018

Review the following tips to improve salt spreader material flow:

1. Keep the material dry. Dry material will always flow better than wet material. Hint: Consider purchasing a tarp or a lid for your spreader if it did not come with one. The investment will save you time and money. 
2. Don’t overfill. Spreader material should sit even with or lower than the hopper walls. You don’t want to lose material because of a bump or a sudden stop. 

3. Watch your capacity. Weight is also an important consideration. If you overfill your spreader, you might exceed your vehicle’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight ratio), which can place undue wear and tear on your vehicle and potentially cause mechanical issues.

4. Use alternate augers. Tailgate spreaders are generally designed to dispense #1 rock salt, which is approximately ¼ inch in diameter. Calcium chloride, a common rock salt substitute, is finer at 3/16 inch in diameter. To accommodate the difference in particle size, your spreader manufacturer may offer an auger with a different size and pitch. Consult your dealer or manufacturer for availability.

5. Add a vibrator. If you notice that material is sticking to the side wall of the hopper, consider adding a vibrator. Vibrators are usually located near the bottom of the hopper and allow the material to remain free flowing without clumping. Vibrators are available in various strengths based on the size of the spreader.

6. Perform easy end-of-season maintenance. Before you store your spreader for the off-season, wash off any remaining material, grease the bearings, and lubricate the auger. You may also want to apply a light coat of mineral oil on stainless steel spreaders, and touch up paint on carbon steel spreaders. End-of-season maintenance will help your spreader perform when it’s time to get back to work, and ensure it will last for years to come. 

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