Tag Archives: Walk Behind Spreader

Bagged or Bulk Salt?

Whenever our company considers servicing a new property for snow and ice management, we first determine what type of ice melt material will be required to properly service the site.  To be more precise, will the ice melt material needed be packaged in 50 pound bags or will it be in bulk form.

Generally speaking, larger paved parking lot areas will be serviced using bulk material whenever possible.  Bulk ice melt material requires suitable dry storage (short/long term, on/off-site, etc.),  dedicated wheeled bucket loader and specialized truck mounted bulk material spreader powered by either hydraulic pump, gas engine or electric motor.  There is no doubt that bulk salt requires a large investment in material handling equipment and proper storage, but once setup, bulk salt can be efficiently spread over large areas to quickly achieve the final outcome desired.

Sidewalks, driveways, small parking areas, etc. are generally serviced by spreading a suitable non-clumping bagged ice melt material using small pickup truck mounted tailgate spreaders,  walk behind rotary or drop spreaders (manually pushed or propelled by gas engine power) or even spread by hand in glove, pulled directly out of a 5 gallon bucket, to complete the targeted application required.

BULK ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Pound-for-pound, the price of delivered bulk material is less expensive than it’s bagged material equivalent.
  • Available in large semi-truck quantities (20-22 tons per delivered load).
  • Can apply over large open areas quickly and efficiently.
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Cons
  • Requires expensive equipment to move and load material.
  • Requires storage in a large dry dedicated bin or steel container to prevent material loss/run-off.
  • Prone to bulk salt material shortages (limited or non-existent local area supply) during on-going heavy winter weather seasons.
  • Price-per-ton of bulk salt increases rapidly (25% > 75%+/-) when material shortages are anticipated or finally realized.

BAGGED ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Available to purchase in very small quantities (50 pound bag).
  • Plastic bag packaging keeps material dry and clump-free.
  • Bags delivered neatly stacked on a wood pallet (49-55 bags per pallet) and wrapped in plastic.
  • Less prone to material clumping or hardening if plastic bag packaging remains sealed.
  • Even during times of bulk salt shortages, bagged ice melt material generally remains available for purchase albeit at a higher price.
  • Amount of ice melt material used can be accurately quantified on a job-by-job basis.
  • Material remains dry until bags are opened to fill spreader at time of application.
  • Can stack and store pallets of bagged material indefinitely and without loss as long as material remains dry.

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Cons
  • More expensive than bulk material equivalent.
  • Additional labor required to repeatedly lift, open and pour sealed bags into spreading equipment.
  • Need to dispose of discarded plastic bag packaging and wood shipping pallets.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to discuss snow and ice management services needed at your local Chicagoland area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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