After four consecutive cold winters and predictions for more snow and ice this year, being prepared is the key to managing difficult conditions.
Whatever your circumstances, your ability to spread snow and ice control products can make all the difference. Whether spreading coarse road rock salt, fine processed ice melt granules or liquid ice melt, here at KGM Ltd we can supply a range of cost effective materials and equipment that will help you or your organisation cope efficiently.
What materials should you use for the effective ice and snow control?
A sandy texture with no ice or snow melting properties – useful for creating traction in established snow and ice conditions. Very difficult to spread with any pedestrian spreader due to high moisture content and texture.
Spread-ability: Poor to Average when dry.
Grit like in appearance but it is not “grit” due to its high percentage salt content. Salt works by lowering the freezing point of surface moisture and needs a catalyst, such as friction, to dissolve into a solution to be effective. Is less effective below -5°C and has virtually no effect below -10°C. Leaves a brown residue behind.
Spread-ability: Good when dry.
White de-icing salt is of higher purity and does not contain a high percentage of insoluble impurities that create a muddy sludge associated with road salt and grit, leaving little or no residue on the ground.
Spread-ability: Very good when dry.
Industrial Vacuum Salt & Pure Dried Vacuum Salt
More heavily processed for a finer granule this is ideal for clearing artificial sports surfaces. The finer granules are less likely to damage the surface through friction. You will need to check with the manufacturer for their recommendations.
Spread-ability: Very good when dry.
Either in liquid or granular form, designed and manufactured for effective performance at a greater range of temperatures, some as low as minus 25 degrees. A wide range of advantages include free flowing, more concentrated for less volume, non corrosive, no residue and long shelf life.
What kind of spreader should you use?
There are a wide variety of spreaders available, although most are primarily designed to spread fertilisers in the garden market. Few have purposely been designed for spreading rock salt. Combine the salt’s hydroscopic (water absorbing) properties, with how we store our salt in the UK (with a high atmospheric moisture content), it is important to choose the best spreader for your site.
Used for applying material to a fixed width i.e. paths. Limited use because of the narrow spread width.
Most commonly used type of spreader with a broadcast spinner plate to throw the material a greater distance. These can be fitted with deflector plates to narrow the spread width. A wide variety available, mostly designed for fertiliser application, inherently limited by the poor flow characteristics of UK salts and spreader design. Better designed models have features to improve spread-ability.
For vehicles as small as quad bikes up to dedicated highways units. A wide variety of spreaders are available using either 12 volt or petrol driven systems. The benefits of a vehicle mounted spreader include:
– The speed of application
– Improved ability to move salt with poorer flow characteristics
– Flexible application by volume and spread width
– User comfort
Choosing the right broadcast spreader:
The main considerations for choosing your spreader are:
Earth Way’s often copied the three hole drop system was specifically designed for evenly spreading materials with good flow characteristics. This system will work well with a material that is dry, uniform in size and free flowing, namely ice-melts.
A common design is a single hole drop mechanism which are often used for spreading fertiliser and can be poor at spreading salt unless designed specifically.
A salt spreader ideally needs a designed larger aperture to enable the salt to flow more readily. The aperture should be designed to ensure the salt is distributed evenly across the 180 degree spread pattern.
Salt is highly corrosive and will quickly corrode metal components. At KGM Ltd we can service and supply spares for your machine to ensure the best possible life span and value for money from your machine.
Chassis & linkage
Solid linkages are preferable when applying salt. Machines with cable devices will suffer from corrosion in the sheath and can stretch, rendering the spreader unusable. Chassis can be either painted or stainless to provide longevity. The quality of the powder coating process will determine the life span of the machine. All exposed metals, even stainless steel, should be cleaned after use and maintained.
For further information on any of the articles or products please contact Richard Sharp on 01962 870254