Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been using a 5 gallon pail on a cart and large hand held scoop to spread salt. Needless to say it's effective but not efficient. Each 50 pound bag of salt just fills the pail. My driveway has about 200 feet of steep hill and I use about 100 pounds minimum, just on the sloping part, each time out.

I started eying spreaders online that are sold as salt spreaders, but haven't seen one that's highly rated. It's seems they all have problems with clogging and clumping. These are garden type spreaders that have been specially adapted as salt spreaders. I also question how they'd hold up to salt corrosiveness.

Does anyone have a good solution?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
I own a earth way fert spreader to do some walkway's. never had any clumping as long as the spreader stay's dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
I bought a heavy duty broadcast (rotary) type fertilizer spreader (think Sears) for this task and it works pretty well.

I had to replace my initial unit cuz it rusted out real bad in no time at all and the weight of the sno-melt was simply too much for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,239 Posts
look for broadcast spreaders that are made of high density poly and the internal components are also..... a lot of the ones made to pull behind a tractor are - but the walk behind ones you have to look a bit harder for. The farm stores around here carry both
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Salt should be spread evenly in a large field across your pavement. When salt is clumped together, it does not work as effectively as it does when spread out. So use your hand or some other instrument to break up the salt before you spread it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
On the "Melt Buddy":

I bought one several years ago and do use it. It's OK, but has a few flaws in its execution.

First off, it's a completely passive device. You pull the trigger and it relies on gravity to let your ice melt fall through the holes that get exposed. Sometimes this works pretty well, other times it does not. There is a tendency for ice melt to clump a bit, and it does not take much clumping to prevent spreading

Second, the holes are quite small, so you can't load this thing up with rock salt. It only works with small pellets, like the 'Pellets of Fire' I've been using recently.

Third, the trigger is basically a bicycle brake lever, which takes your fingers away from the hand grips. This occasionally gets irritating when you need to start/stop other controls but want to keep dropping melt. I think I'd prefer a lever that I can set and forget.

Fourth, the capacity is limited. It runs out in fairly short order, and you don't have any indication except that melt has stopped falling. During the day this means you need to glance down frequently. When it's dark it means there's no way to know unless you are wearing a head mounted light or something.

This product IS useful, but it could be more useful than it is. I imagine a high end snowblower with a PTO linkage added that could rotate a cable to make an active spreader work. I imagine a wider bucket, firmly attached at both ends to the handlebars. I imagine a lever on the dashboard where you could set the spreader function from off to full. I imagine I couldn't afford that! ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
I have a commercial grade earthway broadcast spreader that I use for my lawn. I haven't used it for salt yet, but I bought it with that Intension if necessary.

What I do use is a Scott's hand held broadcast spreader. It works well with rock salt, and excellent with calcium chloride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I own the Scotts Turf Builder Mini Broadcast Spreader. That's the $30 green plastic one you'll find at all the big box stores.

Now before someone gives me guff about using a grass seed/fertiliser spreader for salt, let me remind you that the big box stores place this item into their snow clearing section every single winter season, so some people are going to buy it for salt.

For this to work you have to set the rate setting fairly high. At lower settings (below 10) the salt just clumps at the gate and doesn't spread at all. You'll also want to mix sand into your salt to stop clumping further. The sand acts almost like a lubricant for the salt.

With the sand and the high rate setting the thing basically "works." However the plastic wheels provide zero traction on ice, and without the wheels spinning it doesn't spread. So it is only useful on already cleared surfaces to stop future ice buildup (rather than combating existing ice).

I wouldn't recommend it, but if you already own one and have problems you may be able to make it better with some of the tips above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
I'll apply salt by hand using a 1/2 gallon plastic milk container cut in half and just toss the melting product in select areas. If the scenario is more serious, I'll use the broadcast spreader. I've learned that spreader needs to be rinsed after use. The rate of corrosion is just amazing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
on those plastic wheels.. use small hex head screws and make studded tires.. so to speak.. even if u re-use on your lawn in the summertime.. it wont hamper anything.. and youll be able to salt your drive even if it becomes an ice rink... *looks outside... * yup.. im there! lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I have dedicated an old Ortho all poly broadcast spreader to salt work. No fertilizer cross reference for it. Doesn't clump and broadcasts well. Wheels slip somewhat on glare ice though.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top