How do you go about selecting the best truck-mounted salt and sand spreader? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. My goal in writing this article is to help you decide which salt spreader is best for your truck. We review several SaltDogg salt spreaders because they make some of the best salt spreaders specifically designed for trucks — but there are other brands to consider.
As I update this article on December 26, 2023, Elliott, one of biggest snow storms ever to strike the US and Canada, is still pummeling many areas of the US. I can’t help but wonder about how many people wish they had a truck mounted salt spreader right now. Or, how many people wish they had prepared early and invested their money in a heavy-duty snow blower, or a conventional portable generator to keep their heat on. Or, at the very least, it would be helpful even to have basic ice melt to keep their walkways and stairs free and clear of snow.
Most people don’t prepare ahead of time and they always get caught with power during a power outage. I personally feel that if you’re only going to invest in one piece of survival equipment, it should be some form of backup power. Nowadays you can buy a powerful indoor generator (battery-powered) that can keep the heat on, or your ventilator running, or CPAP, etc. I watched the news today and heard the stories on the power going out and people being stuck at home in the sub-zero temperatures and nobody can reach them because this storm is so massive. It’s tragic because some of these people will die all because they didn’t purchase a generator.
Either way, having ice and snow melt is a wise investment because winter storms are going to happen every year, and some will be worse than others, like the one that occurred over the Christmas of 2023.
SaltDogg 4.4 cu.ft. / TGSUVPROA
Best Compact Salt-Spreader for Trucks
Here are a few quotes from paying customers:
The SaltDogg TGSUVPROA is: “…easy to use and reliable.” / “…built to last and take a beating.” / “…but needs a hopper cover to prevent salt spilling and wastage.” / “…auger can get clogged with chunks of ice and snow, reducing its performance..”
- Compatible with SUV’s, ½ ton, ¾ ton, or 1 ton trucks.
- Constructed with durable, corrosion-resistant poly hopper with a 4.4 cubic foot capacity.
- Electric drive powered by 12V DC for low noise, low maintenance operation.
- Easily mounts to a 2 in. hitch.
- Uses free-flowing rock salt for optimal efficiency.
- Includes in-cab controller: Blast and Vibration controls
- In-cab variable speed auger control for precise spreading.
- 9 in. poly spinner for broadcasting salt up to 30 ft.
- Economical vertical agitator/auger for improved efficiency.
- Built with carbon steel frame and powder-coated for superior corrosion resistance.
- Made in the USA
A Few Points to Consider / TGSUVPROA
This 4.4 cu.ft. tailgate salt spreader is a good option for homeowners. It’s designed to work with rock salt so if you need a spreader for a different type of ice melt then this might not be right for you. Make sure you don’t have crushed up ice melt as too much fine salt will cause this spreader to clog up. It’s a little temperamental if you don’t use it exactly as it was meant to be used. For example, this spreader seems to have issues when customers have used products with a consistency different than rock salt, such as pellet-shaped ice melt.
This is not a commercial-grade tailgate salt spreader so do not buy it if you need to use for commercial purposes. It’s not built to the highest standards. Consider this a cheap truck-mounted salt spreader and you won’t be disappointed but if you want something with the highest build quality then this won’t satisfy you. This is a good option but not the best quality.
Best Salt Spreader for Trucks
Dispensing larger volumes of salt will mean using a salt spreader that fits onto a truck to get the job done effectively and efficiently. Before deciding on which salt spreader to buy for your truck, you’d do well to read this article. We’ll look at all the details pertaining to salt spreaders for trucks in a bid to help you make an informed decision.
This article is going to guide you through the decision-making process when selecting the best products and we’ll also review many of the top rate salt spreaders. These products vary in size and will be suitable for anyone looking for a small to heavy-duty salt spreader that mounts to a pickup truck.
Residential Truck Tailgate Salt Spreader: SaltDogg TGS06
Ideal for: ¾-Ton and 1-Ton Trucks / 10 Cu.ft.
Features / SaltDogg TGS06
How Does Truck Salt Spreader Work?
A truck tailgate-mounted salt spreader is a device that is mounted to the tailgate of a truck and is used to spread salt or other deicing materials on roads and sidewalks.
The spreader typically consists of a hopper that holds the salt or deicing material, a conveyor system with an auger that moves the material from the hopper to the spinner, and a spinner that throws the material through the chute and out onto the road or sidewalk at an adjustable rate and distance. The spreader typically has a controller that gives you control of how far the salt is thrown and how fast, which determines how quickly salt or deicing material is being released.
To use the spreader, the operator first fills the hopper with salt or deicing material. The operator can then adjust the settings on the control panel to control the speed and direction of the spinner and the amount of material that is being spread. As the truck moves down the road, the spreader throws the salt or deicing material onto the roadway, helping to melt snow and ice and improve traction for vehicles.
It’s not complicated. The key is buying the best quality spreader you can afford or you might end up wasting a lot of time making small adjustments. I hear the complaints all the time from customers. They usually wish they spent more money on a quality salt spreader for their truck.
Choosing the Best Truck Salt spreader
Because they come in a variety of sizes, you need to assess your needs first. If you’re using a truck-mounted salt spreader for a driveway that isn’t too long or wide, it doesn’t need to be that large. Contractors will obviously want something larger. The size of the salt spreader that you choose for your truck will affect how easily it can be installed. A larger salt spreader will cover a greater area faster than a smaller model because the auger on large salt spreader will be more powerful and the spinner will generally be larger.
A small salt spreader will be relatively light and easy to install. They can be mounted to any standard tow hitch and can be used with most trucks (even smaller ones) and SUVs. While you could probably mount these salt spreaders to any vehicle with a tow hitch, I wouldn’t recommend it. A snow spreader that fits onto a tow hitch places extra weight behind the rear wheels, this pushes down heavily on the rear suspension. Trucks and SUVs have stronger rear suspension because they are designed to carry more weight.
A sedan has a rear suspension that’s designed for comfort and not much weight, this means that their suspension is much softer and the rear of the vehicle will drop when the extra weight is applied. This can damage the vehicle and cause a loss of traction in front wheel drive vehicles. Even small half or three quarter ton trucks that may be based on compact cars have reinforced rear suspension to handle the extra weight at the rear of the vehicle.
VIDEO: A Closer Look at SaltDogg Salt Spreaders for Trucks
One of the big factors affecting salt spreaders for trucks is corrosion. Rock salt (and some other ice melt products) are highly corrosive. Some salt spreaders for trucks make use of stainless steel hoppers, augers, and spinners. While this is an excellent material, it’s very expensive and adds a lot of extra weight. Most salt spreaders for trucks have hoppers made from composite plastics that are both corrosion resistant and lightweight. The auger and spinner can be made from either plastic or corrosion resistant metals like stainless steel or aluminum. For most of us, plastic is fine. Provided that it is a durable, high-quality composite resin that’s going to last.
If you’re looking for a large salt spreader for your truck, you will need to decide between a gas engine and an electric motor to power the spinner and the auger. Electric is the most popular because the motor requires little to no maintenance and they are quiet. Another big advantage to using an electric snow spreader on a truck is that it can be operated remotely, from inside the cab. I would think that an electric snow spreader would be most people’s first choice unless you’re using a large commercial machine where more power is needed.
The only factor here is ensuring that your truck has an alternator that’s powerful enough to provide the necessary amperage. Most 1-ton trucks should be able to handle the electric load of a large salt spreader. Small salt spreaders that fit onto a tow hitch won’t draw much current and can often be plugged into an auxiliary (cigarette lighter) outlet in the cab of the truck.
Best Commercial Truck Salt Spreader: SaltDogg SHPE2000
Notable Features: SHPE2000
There are some maintenance factors to consider. Items like bearings, gears, and chains need to be lubricated. Some salt spreaders may use sealed bearings that don’t require greasing. These need no maintenance but have a limited lifespan. Bearings that require regular greasing, generally don’t need to be replaced as often as maintenance-free bearings. Some salt spreaders will also have a gearbox and conveyor chains that need lubricating.
Generally, machines that have several lubrication points are built to be more durable. Basically, if you want a salt spreader that’s going to require less maintenance, it’s not going to hold up to heavy-duty work and these are better suited for the occasional user. Heavy-duty machines, designed for contractors, will generally require more maintenance. Salt spreaders for trucks don’t require specialized maintenance and most of us can do this ourselves. So your maintenance costs will never be much more than the cost of some oil and grease. Some parts may need replacement over time but this will depend very much on how the salt spreader is used and how well it is maintained. They are not overly complicated machines.
Video: Unbiased Review of the SaltDogg SHPE1000
- Fits 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton truck beds up to 6 ft. in length
- 1 cu. yd. double-wall poly hopper — won’t rust or dent
- For: Bulk salt or a 50/50 sand/salt mix
- In-cab control of independent auger (with auto reverse) and spinner speeds, with vibrator control
- 14″ poly spinner can broadcast material up to 30 ft. and is removable for easy cleaning and storage
- Includes: vibrator, top screen, tarp, tie downs and remote auger bearing grease kit
Best Salt Spreader for Trucks
We’ve selected three salt spreaders that are designed to be used with a truck. All three models are manufactured by SaltDogg. The SaltDogg trademark forms part of the Buyers Products Company. This is a US company specializing in a wide variety of technical products and has been around since 1946.
The SaltDogg brand is associated with every type of salt dispensing and deicing machine from small, walk behind salt spreaders right up to heavy-duty municipal salt spreaders. This makes them one of the best brands when considering a salt spreader for a truck. They have the experience and expertise needed to provide a quality product that has been proven to work.
The three salt spreaders that we have chosen range from a small 4.4 cubic foot model that mounts to a tow hitch up to a large machine with a 2 cubic yard hopper that fits onto the load bed of your truck.
SaltDogg TGSUV1B: For Residential
4.4 Cubic Foot — Best Salt spreader for your Truck
Here are a few things that customers have liked and disliked about the TGSUV1B:
- “…easy to install and use. It makes salting a breeze and we’re very happy with it.”
- “…extremely reliable and reliable. We’ve had it for a few years and it’s still going strong.”
- “…an excellent value and worth every penny. We’ve had it for years and it’s still running like new.”
- “…A bit noisy, but it gets the job done quickly and efficiently.”
This isn’t a perfect truck salt spreader but it’s one of the top selling models and when you objectively look at how customers feel about it the most optimistic conclusion I can make is that it’s slightly better than average. I recommend spending a little more money if you want a truck spreader that’s easy to use.
This model can be hit or miss, and seems to have quality variations out of the factory. Make sure you test it thoroughly when it arrives, if you buy it.
- Easily mounts to an SUV or a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, or 1 ton truck.
- Hopper has 4.4 cubic foot capacity.
- Uses #1 free flowing rock salt.
- Simple 1-1/4 in. or 2 in. hitch-mount design.
- 12V DC-powered electric drive for quiet, low maintenance operation.
- Economical vertical agitator/auger.
- 9 in. poly spinner can broadcast up to 14 ft.
- Included on/off manual switch control.
- Carbon steel frame is powder-coated for optimum corrosion protection.
- Durable, corrosion-free poly hopper.
- Made in the USA.
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the SaltDogg TGSUV1B.
This is a small and very easy to use salt spreader that mounts to any SUV or truck from ½-ton upwards using a 1¼” or 2” hitch mount – class 3 or 4 receivers. The hitch mount folds away to give you easy access to the tailgate.
The 4.4 cubic foot hopper is molded from highly durable polyethylene and is, therefore 100% corrosion resistant. The hopper is supported by a powder coated carbon steel frame that also won’t rust. It makes use of a 9” poly spinner capable of spreading #1 free-flowing rock salt up to 14 Ft. The hopper can hold up to 331 LBS of rock salt.
It is one of the simplest salt spreaders for trucks as far installation is concerned. It uses a 12V, ⅛ HP electric motor that plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet in your truck. It has an inline switch that allows you to turn it on or off from inside the cab. This is a gravity fed system with a manual open and close lever at the hopper.
There’s a fair amount of assembly required when you first unbox the SaltDogg TGSUV1B but it has very clear, detailed instructions with an easy to follow diagrams. There is basically no maintenance required except for re-tightening some bolts occasionally. This is a light-duty salt spreader and doesn’t have any components that need greasing.
The actual unit weighs only 68-pounds. So with the hopper full, you’ll be loading just under 400-pounds to the rear of the truck. It has no built-in wiring for a vibrator but a vibrator kit is available for this model.
The SaltDogg TGSUV1B is as basic as it gets when it comes to salt spreaders for trucks. This makes it the most affordable model in the SaltDogg range of high-quality salt spreaders for trucks. It’s ideal for home users who don’t intend doing heavy-duty work and it requires basically no maintenance. You have the reassurance of a 1-year warranty from a highly respected brand.
SaltDogg TGS03: Best Truck Salt Spreader for the Money
Best tailgate salt spreader trucks for commercial applications (optional vibrator — SaltDogg 3020340: 200 lb Vibrator.
- Easily mounts to a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, or 1 ton truck.
- Hopper has 8 cubic foot capacity.
- Uses bulk salt or salt/sand mix (with optional vibrator).
- Simple 2 in. hitch-mount design.
- 12V DC-powered electric drive for quiet, low maintenance operation.
- Horizontal auger reduces material waste and provides better spread control.
- 12 in. poly spinner can broadcast up to 30 ft.
- Easy to use variable speed in-cab controls.
- Carbon steel frame is powder-coated for optimum corrosion protection.
- Corrosion-proof and durable poly hopper comes in red, yellow and black.
- Made in the USA.
✓ View or download the INSTALLATION or the Install TGS Controller for the SaltDogg TGS03.
This model is twice the size of the SaltDogg TGSUV1B, with an 8 cubic feet hopper, capable of holding up to 600-pounds of salt and sand mixture. Apart from being larger, the SaltDogg TGS03 is more sophisticated than the cheaper, smaller model. This salt spreader makes use of an auger with a stainless steel through shaft.
The hopper is made from the same polyethylene as the other trailer hitch model. The dual wall hopper has no frame but mounts to a carbon steel, powder coated steel frame that attaches to tow hitch. It’s, therefore just as durable. The SaltDogg TGS03 has a 2” hitch mount, designed for a class 4 tow hitch. It mounts easily to any SUV, ¼-ton, ½-ton or 1-ton truck. It has a 12” poly spinner, powered by a ½ HP 12V dual shaft gear motor and is capable of broadcasting the salt/sand up to 30 FT. The kit includes a remote control system that is fitted inside the cab with variable speed control.
SaltDogg 3020340 200 lb Vibrator for TGS03 Tailgate Spreader
The SaltDogg TGS03 requires quite a bit more assembly and installation procedures than the TGSUVB1. This includes an electric installation – it doesn’t simply plug into an auxiliary circuit inside the cab. The wiring harness that comes as part of your kit makes it as easy as possible and perfectly safe to install. I found the assembly and installation instructions to be very easy to follow. The instruction manual comes with detailed diagrams for every step and the instructions are well-written in readable English. This is one of the benefits of going with an American company. Some instruction manuals may be good for a laugh when you see the use of the English language but are near impossible to understand.
This model also requires a little extra maintenance, though this is too, is very simple. It has a bearing that needs to be greased. It’s recommended that you do this after every 7-10 hours of operation. It has an optional vibrator kit and this is very easy to install as the wiring for the vibrator is included in the harness that’s supplied with the salt spreader. It’s simply a matter of bolting the vibrator to the hopper and plugging it into the provided wiring.
The SaltDogg YGS03 is a larger and more versatile salt spreader than the base model and is obviously more expensive. The low profile design makes it very practical. It weighs 160-pounds and will take some extra effort to install. But, then again, this is a larger and more sophisticated machine. It comes with the same 1-year warranty.
SaltDogg SHPE2000 / Hopper Pick-up Truck Spreader
Best Tailgate Salt spreader for your truck and high-volume usage.
- Fits a 1 ton truck with a minimum 6 ft bed.
- Patented double-wall, 2 cubic yard poly hopper is available in red, yellow and black. Won’t rust or dent.
- 12V DC-powered electric drive with independent auger and spinner motors.
- Handles bulk salt or a sand/salt mix.
- In-cab control of independent auger and spinner speeds, with vibrator control.
- 14 in. poly spinner broadcasts material up to 30 ft. and can be easily removed for cleaning and storage. Includes high flow standard or extended length chute.
- Stainless steel auger, open trough and spinner shield.
- Vibrator, top screen, tarp, tie downs and remote auger bearing grease kit included.
- Forklift slots for ease of loading.
- Backed with a 2 year warranty.
- Made in the USA.
✓ View or download the Install SPREADER CONTROLLER or the INSTALLATION for the SaltDogg SHPE2000.
Now we’re going to look at one of the big dogs when it comes to salt spreaders for trucks. Although SaltDogg SHPE2000 isn’t close to being the biggest commercial salt spreader, it’s larger than the models that fit onto a tow hitch and is more suited to contractors and farmers.
The hopper measures 100” in length, the width and height both measure 47.8”. So you’ll need a ¾ or 1-ton truck with a load bed that’s at least 6 Ft long to accommodate the hopper. This is a double wall polyethylene hopper and holds 2 cubic yards of bulk salt or salt and sand mixture. The frame is made from 304 stainless steel as is the 2½” horizontal auger. It uses a 14” poly spinner with a 30 Ft spread capacity.
VIDEO | See the Spread Pattern
The auger is powered by a ½ HP, 12V, gear motor and the spinner is powered by a separate ¼” HP, 12V motor. The combined load of these motors adds up to 62.5A. It also comes fitted with a 200 LB vibrator, this will push up your load requirement on your truck’s alternator even further. Unfortunately, there are no power specs for the vibrator, though I’d think it’s safe to assume that your total load will be about 80-90A. The wiring kit that’s supplied with SaltDogg SHPE2000 has a 120A circuit breaker but this is no indication of the actual load that’s used. Circuit breakers and the cabling that’s used will always have a higher rating than the actual current used. It comes with a full remote control with all speed functions that installs inside the cab of your truck.
Naturally, installing SaltDogg SHPE2000 is quite a process and this takes around 3-hours. Fortunately, things are made easy for you. The wiring harness is fully complete, safe and quite easy to install. The hopper comes with tie-downs to make the installation easier. As with the other SaltDogg salt spreaders for trucks, the kit is fully inclusive. You get a detailed and easy to use instruction manual, which includes a step by step installation guide. As this is a heavy-duty salt spreader, it will require some maintenance. You’ll have to grease the bearing. Fortunately, you get a remote auger bearing grease kit with the machine. You also get a top screen and fitted tarp as part of your purchase.
The SaltDogg SHPE2000 is a fantastic salt spreader for contractors doing light to medium-duty residential work. It’s tough and comes with everything you need to install the machine plus a whole lot of extras. This model has a 2-year warranty.
Visit the SaltDogg site to learn more about their products.
Buying Guide: Facts / Truck Salt Spreaders
This final section is an indepth breakdown on the various aspects of salt spreaders designed for various trucks, including pick-up trucks. The point of this data is to help you make an intelligent buying decision. There are many details here to fill in the gaps of your knowledge and hopefully this section will answer whatever questions you may still have.
A residential tailgate truck salt spreader is a small, portable device that can be mounted on the back of a pickup truck or utility vehicle and used to spread salt, sand, or other de-icing materials on driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces around a home or small business. These spreaders are designed for use by homeowners or property managers who need to clear ice and snow from their own property and are not intended for use on public roads or large commercial areas.
Truck hopper salt spreaders typically consist of a hopper, a conveyor system (auger), and a spinner or spreader plate. The hopper is the container that holds the de-icing material, and the conveyor system moves the material from the hopper to the spreader plate or spinner, which is a spinning disc or wheel that throws the material out onto the surface being treated. The rate at which the material is spread can be adjusted by the user using a control panel or lever.
These spreaders are typically small and lightweight, with hoppers that can hold anywhere from 50 to 200 pounds of material. They are often powered by an electric motor or by a hydraulic system that is driven by the vehicle’s engine. Some models may also have features such as a vibrating system to help evenly distribute the material or to loosen the salt if it happens to clog the system.
Typically you get an in-cab controller that enables you to ‘vibrate’ the system as you’re driving. Some spreaders come with a quality hard cover, while cheaper models come with a tarp cover. A good cover is actually important as it protects the hopper and your ice melt from the elements.
Residential tailgate truck salt spreaders are a convenient and efficient way for homeowners and small property managers to clear ice and snow from their driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces during winter weather conditions. They can be used with a variety of de-icing materials, including rock salt, sand, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and urea. By applying these various ice melts in a controlled and even manner, you’ll be able to quickly cover a lot of ground, melting ice and snow where you need it most.
Depending on the type of ice melt you use, some products contain granules to improve traction on ice as they melt the snow and ice layer. This is helpful as it reduces the risk of slips and falls on icy surfaces. The last thing you want is to be sued because somebody slipped and broke their leg in front of your home or business because you failed to clear your public walkways.
Tips: Buying a Truck-Mounted Salt Spreader
The Internet is a Time-saver:
I remember when I first bought a truck salt spreader for my business, about 8 years ago. At the time, I wasn’t sure where to start in terms of finding the right model for my needs, so I ended up visiting a few different stores and speaking with salespeople to get recommendations. While I was eventually able to find a spreader that met my needs, the process was time-consuming and a bit frustrating, as I didn’t always feel like I was getting the best deal or the most accurate info.
Fast forward to today, and the landscape has changed significantly. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to research and compare different products and prices online, without the need for in-person interactions with salespeople. This has been a game-changer for me, as I hate the pressure of being “sold” something and I prefer to make my own informed decisions based on my own research.
As a result, I’ve found that it often makes more sense to invest in higher-quality, more expensive equipment, rather than settling for a cheaper, lower-quality option that I might regret buying later. Buying online gives you a wider selection of products to choose from and being able to compare prices quickly. It also gives you the ability to read reviews and compare prices from multiple retailers, which helps you make the best decisions, and hopefully save some money.
Overall, I’m grateful for the convenience and accessibility of the internet, which has made it easier for me to find and purchase the equipment I need for my business. While it’s always important to do your research and compare prices, I’ve found that it often pays off to invest in higher-quality equipment that will last longer and provide better value in the long run but that’s my personal philosophy. You have to stick to your own budget.
Choosing the Right Spreader for Your Needs:
When choosing a truck salt spreader, it’s important to consider the size of your truck, the type and amount of material you will be spreading, the terrain you will be working on, the build quality, and the features. For example, if you have a small pickup truck, you may want to consider a smaller, more compact spreader that can be easily mounted on the truck bed. On the other hand, if you have a larger, commercial-grade truck, you may need a larger spreader that can hold more material and cover a wider area.
Difference Between Commercial and Homeowner Spreaders:
The main difference between a commercial truck salt spreader and a homeowner salt spreader is the size, capacity, build quality, and features. Commercial spreaders are larger, have more capacity for holding material, and typically feature higher-quality construction and more advanced features, such as adjustable flow rate, variable speed control, and corrosion-resistant materials, allowing for more efficient spreading over a larger area. Homeowner spreaders are typically smaller, less expensive, and feature simpler construction and fewer features, designed for smaller areas with less material to spread.
The price range for a truck salt spreader varies greatly depending on the size and type of the spreader. Smaller homeowner spreaders can cost anywhere from $700 to $4000, while bigger commercial spreaders can cost up to $12,000 or more.
Features to Look for When Buying a Truck Salt Spreader:
There are several key features to look for when buying a truck salt spreader. These include the spreader capacity, hopper material, spread pattern, and control options. The capacity refers to the amount of material the spreader can hold, while the hopper material determines the durability and corrosion resistance of the spreader. The spread pattern refers to the way the material is dispersed, and control options include manual or electronic controls for adjusting the spread rate and pattern.
Safety, Operations, Maintenance and Upkeep:
Regular maintenance and upkeep of your truck salt spreader can help ensure it operates efficiently and effectively. Some basic maintenance tasks include cleaning the hopper and spinner, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting the belts and tires for wear. It’s also a good idea to store the spreader in a dry, covered area when not in use to protect it from the elements.
Safety Precautions When Operating a Truck Salt Spreader:
There are several safety precautions to take when operating a truck salt spreader. These include wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and safety glasses, and following all safety instructions and warnings provided by the manufacturer. It’s also important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians, and to be alert for any potential hazards on the road.
How to Properly Load a Truck Salt Spreader:
Proper loading of a truck salt spreader is important to ensure it operates efficiently and effectively. To load the spreader, first remove any debris or foreign objects from the hopper. Then, carefully pour the salt or other material into the hopper, being sure to distribute it evenly. If using a bagged material, be sure to break up any clumps or chunks before loading them into the spreader.
Best Practices for Storage and Transportation of a Truck Salt Spreader:
When storing or transporting a truck salt spreader, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Be sure to secure the spreader properly to your truck, using the appropriate straps or tie-downs. If storing the spreader, be sure to place it in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.
How to Calculate Spreader Settings:
The spread rate of a truck salt spreader can be adjusted to control the amount of material that is dispersed. To calculate the appropriate spreader settings, you will need to consider the size of the area you are treating, the type of material you are using, and the weather conditions. It’s a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional for guidance on calculating the appropriate spreader settings.
How to Minimize Salt Waste:
There are several steps you can take to minimize salt waste when using a truck salt spreader. These include properly calibrating the spreader to ensure the appropriate amount of material is dispersed, avoiding over-application of salt, and using alternative deicing materials when appropriate.
How to Increase the Efficiency of Your Truck Salt Spreader:
- Calibrate the spreader regularly: Proper calibration ensures that the correct amount of material is being dispersed, which can help reduce waste and improve efficiency.
- Choose the right material: Different materials have different characteristics and may be more or less effective in different conditions. For example, some materials may work better in cold temperatures, while others may be more effective at melting ice on roads.
- Maintain the spreader regularly: Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the hopper and spinner and lubricating moving parts, can help ensure the spreader is operating at its best.
- Use the right spread pattern: The spread pattern of the material can affect its effectiveness. For example, a narrow spread pattern may be more effective in certain conditions, while a wider spread pattern may be more appropriate in others.
Troubleshooting Common Truck Salt Spreader Issues:
If you are experiencing issues with your truck salt spreader, here are some common problems and possible solutions:
Material not spreading evenly: This could be due to clumps or chunks in the material, an improperly calibrated spreader, or a faulty spinner. To fix this issue, break up any clumps in the material, re-calibrate the spreader, and check the spinner for any damage or wear.
Material not dispersing at all: This could be caused by a clogged spinner or hopper, a faulty motor, or a damaged belt. To fix this issue, clean the spinner and hopper, check the motor for any issues, and inspect the belt for wear or damage.
Spreader not working at all: This could be due to a dead battery, a faulty motor, or a damaged control panel. To fix this issue, check the battery, test the motor, and inspect the control panel for any damage.
Why would you want a salt spreader for your truck?
Depending on how much ice you get in winter and how large an area you need to deice, you may need to dispense large amounts of rock salt or some other ice melt product. Doing this by hand or using a salt spreader that you push manually just might not be feasible.
A large walk behind salt spreader can hold up to 100-pounds of salt, you won’t easily get one any larger than this. Even then, pushing a device that holds a 100-pounds is a tough job. A truck salt spreader is used when you need to cover longer distances, including streets and long paths, either around your home, farm or business.
If you only need to spread ice melt on your residential walkways, driveway and sidewalk then a walk-behind salt spreader is all you need. If you need to disperse more than 100-pounds over long distances, then a salt spreader for your truck will be essential. Not only will you be able to broadcast more salt at a time, the whole process is going to much faster and there’s very little physical effort involved. After you mount the salt spreader to your truck and fill the hopper, all the heavy work will be done for you.
Essentially a salt spreader that’s designed for a truck has a few basic components that are common to all types and sizes of these devices. They all have a hopper which holds the salt and the auger feeds it into the chute and out through the spinner to be broadcast at a distance you set. The size of the hopper can be anything from 4 cubic feet, holding around 300-pounds of salt, increasing in size to salt spreaders that can hold over 1000-pounds.
Smaller salt spreaders for trucks can be mounted to a standard tow hitch and can be easily installed by one person. As the size increases the hopper will be designed to fit the load bed of the truck, these will obviously be bulky and heavy. Large salt spreaders that fit onto the load bed of a truck take more effort to install and are usually preferred by contractors who undertake heavier duty deicing projects. A salt spreader with a larger hopper will usually also spread the salt over a larger area.
The hopper only holds the salt or salt and sand mixture. From here the salt needs to be distributed over the ice. A flat rotating disc, known as a spinner, spreads the salt. The spinner has channels that direct the salt from the center outwards and the salt if flung from these channels as the disc rotates.
Small truck-mounted salt spreaders that fit onto a tow hitch, will usually have the hopper directly above the spinner. This means that many of these salt spreaders will use gravity to feed the salt from the hopper to the spinner. This is controlled a simple mechanical flap at the base of the hopper. It is opened manually by means of leaver and the salt begins to flow onto the spinner immediately after releasing the leaver. This has a disadvantage in that the flow of salt cannot be controlled remotely which results in some wastage.
The operator has to open the hopper flap before getting into the truck and during this time, salt is pouring onto the spreader without being dispersed. Should the driver stop the truck for any reason, he is not able to stop the flow of salt immediately. You have to get out of the truck and walk to the hopper before you can shut the salt flow off. This system is cheaper, bringing down the total price of the salt spreader. It is also very basic technology with less chance of anything going wrong.
A large hopper that fits onto the load bed of the truck cannot make use of a gravity fed system. Simply because the hopper is horizontal and the salt cannot fall onto the spinner. This means that an auger is used to move the salt onto the spinner. Even some salt spreaders that have the hopper directly above the spinner will also make use of an auger. Even though this costs more and requires more power from the truck’s alternator, there are several reasons why it’s preferable to use an auger.
One immediate benefit is a remote control, the driver is able to switch the auger on or off from inside the cab and in most cases, also control the speed of auger. This is another reason why many prefer an auger. Because the speed of the auger can be controlled, you are able to regulate the flow of salt to the spinner. This means that you are able to apply more or less salt as conditions change. These factors combine to reduce wastage. Yet another reason to consider a salt spreader that uses an auger is its ability to use a mixture of both rock salt and sand. Gravity fed salt spreaders need to use #1 free-flowing rock salt.
This brings us to providing power to drive the spinner and auger. Most of the smaller snow spreaders for trucks use a 12V DC electric motor or motors that derive their power from the truck’s alternator. As the size increases and more power is needed to drive the spinner and the auger, some salt spreaders may use a gas engine. Really large salt spreaders can even use hydraulic motors. Though most salt spreaders designed for a regular pickup truck will be either electric or gas-powered. Even very large salt spreaders for trucks can be powered by means of a 12V electric motor. With these large motors, it’s important to ensure that the alternator fitted to your truck can handle the current required – this can exceed 100A in some cases.
Another feature that will enhance the performance of the salt spreader is a vibrator which can be fitted to the machine as a standard item. Otherwise, they’re usually available as an optional extra or in the form of an aftermarket kit. The purpose of the vibrator is to agitate the salt and/or sand in the hopper, enabling it to move more freely. The salt or sand can easily become compacted in the hopper and will therefore not move as easily as it should. Moisture collecting in the hopper will also inhibit the material flow. A vibrator on the hopper overcomes these problems.
When using the salt spreader that’s fitted to your truck, you fill the hopper with the required material (usually rock salt, sand, or a mixture of the two). Gravity or an auger feeds the salt into the spinner and then the rotating spinner spreads the salt. Most electric salt spreaders for trucks will have controls inside the cab that allow you to switch them on or off and change the speed of the auger without being at the unit.