Shopping for a hopper spreader can be stressful. There are a lot of different factors to consider before making a purchase. One of the most important decisions to make is whether you are better off with an auger or a pintle chain (aka conveyor) feed system. The feed system moves your material from the hopper down to the spinner. Picking the right type will have a tremendous impact on the future usefulness and efficiency of your new spreader.
Things to Consider
2. Material Flow / Spread Pattern
1. Type of Material – Augers are best suited to dry, free-flowing materials like bulk salt. Pintle chain conveyors are better at handling heavier materials like sand and wet materials.
Verdict: The main consideration is the type of material that’s most readily available in your area. Choose the option that best handles that material.
– Augers have a slower but smoother flow rate, leading to a more uniform spread pattern. Pintle chains are considerably faster but sacrifice consistency in the process.
: Auger for slow moving, more detail-oriented applications (parking lots and side streets), pintle chain for high-speed applications where volume is top priority (highways, city roads).
– Augers have less moving parts than pintle chains, meaning they generally require less maintenance. Pintle chains, however, are less susceptible to jamming and damage from rocks and other debris in the hopper.
: Both have pros and cons. This comes down to a preference between steady routine maintenance with a pintle chain versus less frequent but more expensive/extensive repairs with an auger. Pintle chain is the clear winner if you don’t plan to use a lid on your hopper.
Quick Tips, powered by Buyers Products, are quick, easy tips on highly specific topics in snow management. Read all Quick Tips at www.sima.org/quicktips.