Keeping my sand from freezing - Snow Plow Forum -†Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums

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post #1 of 34 Old 11-07-2018, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping my sand from freezing

I have a sandpile dumped on the property that I'd like to keep from freezing up as much as practicable. It's going to be applied mostly on dirt road, so I'd like to add as little salt as possible to it so as not to melt the frozen road surface. I have a tri-axle load of mixed sand and granite dust. I have tractor with a bucket as well to mix with. About how much salt would you think I should use? I've got 50lb bags of Halite.
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post #2 of 34 Old 11-07-2018, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Marleywood View Post
I have a sandpile dumped on the property that I'd like to keep from freezing up as much as practicable. It's going to be applied mostly on dirt road, so I'd like to add as little salt as possible to it so as not to melt the frozen road surface. I have a tri-axle load of mixed sand and granite dust. I have tractor with a bucket as well to mix with. About how much salt would you think I should use? I've got 50lb bags of Halite.
How many Yards?
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post #3 of 34 Old 11-08-2018, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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It's a tri-axl load, so, I'd guess it's probably around 12-15 yards.
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post #4 of 34 Old 11-08-2018, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Marleywood View Post
It's a tri-axl load, so, I'd guess it's probably around 12-15 yards.
Thatís a lot of sand... you will need at least 2-3 yards of salt to mix in. Thatís a lot of 50lb bags of rock-salt to mix in. How are you storing it?
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post #5 of 34 Old 11-09-2018, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Storage is part of the issue, it needs to be outside.
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post #6 of 34 Old 11-09-2018, 05:54 AM
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Storage is part of the issue, it needs to be outside.
Did you ask this question over at plow-site.com a month or so ago?
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post #7 of 34 Old 11-09-2018, 06:11 AM
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Several smaller piles might work better since you might be able to get them to dry out easier. I would try keep them securely covered as well.
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post #8 of 34 Old 11-14-2018, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Did you ask this question over at plow-site.com a month or so ago?
Actually, that was a YEAR ago...but thanks for the memories. I'm STILL trying to deal with it.
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post #9 of 34 Old 11-14-2018, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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The municipal pile in town seems to do fine without being covered.
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post #10 of 34 Old 11-14-2018, 01:52 PM
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So, what happened didnít you have an success last year with the advice from last year? I would tarp it too keep any extra moisture out of the sand that might occur. Plus, the snow on it can melt and freeze making it more difficult to move it around. But, I think you will need at least a 3:1 ratio of sand to salt.
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post #11 of 34 Old 11-17-2018, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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So, what happened didnít you have an success last year with the advice from last year? I would tarp it too keep any extra moisture out of the sand that might occur. Plus, the snow on it can melt and freeze making it more difficult to move it around. But, I think you will need at least a 3:1 ratio of sand to salt.
Since you asked......Last year I decided to try building a PVC pipe A-Frame and cover that with a tarp and no salt. I was building the frame & was half-way done one day when it started to snow, I had to run to the hardware store as I was short of material, and by the time I got back home, it was snowing so hard that I just tarped the pile for the moment & planned to finish the frame later, weather permitting. The weather never permitted, and the pile (as you would guess) froze up solid & I was essentially not able to use much of it.

I've heard of MUCH lower ratio's of salt/sand. I'm not doubting what you are saying (at all), that's why I've been looking (and asking) around for peoples thoughts about this. Some of the %'s I've heard seem much too low, while others (such as yours) are high enough that it makes me uncomfortable to think about using that much salt on a frozen dirt road. Maybe I'm being to paranoid about the effect the salt will have on the frozen road?

Although, as I write this, I've got about 6" of early season snow on the pile again, LOL. I THINK I'll have a window to do something this year, "weather permitting"...:-)
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post #12 of 34 Old 11-17-2018, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Marleywood View Post
Since you asked......Last year I decided to try building a PVC pipe A-Frame and cover that with a tarp and no salt. I was building the frame & was half-way done one day when it started to snow, I had to run to the hardware store as I was short of material, and by the time I got back home, it was snowing so hard that I just tarped the pile for the moment & planned to finish the frame later, weather permitting. The weather never permitted, and the pile (as you would guess) froze up solid & I was essentially not able to use much of it.

I've heard of MUCH lower ratio's of salt/sand. I'm not doubting what you are saying (at all), that's why I've been looking (and asking) around for peoples thoughts about this. Some of the %'s I've heard seem much too low, while others (such as yours) are high enough that it makes me uncomfortable to think about using that much salt on a frozen dirt road. Maybe I'm being to paranoid about the effect the salt will have on the frozen road?

Although, as I write this, I've got about 6" of early season snow on the pile again, LOL. I THINK I'll have a window to do something this year, "weather permitting"...:-)
Well, anything worth doing is worth doing to extreme. Try a 6:1 ratio if you like but the key is getting it to really mix well into the sand so it is evenly distributed. I know you your primary goal is to use the salt to keep the sand from freezing by changing the freezing point of the moisture in the sand. However, the more salt in the mix the greater the probability of getting the salt in the areas you need it to stop the moisture from freezing. But remember salt does clump when moist. It seems to me you need to find away to keep it warmer than 32F... I would tent this sand pile and maybe work a couple of tube heaters on really cold nights to keep the pile Warm.
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post #13 of 34 Old 11-18-2018, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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By next winter, I plan to build something to keep the sand dry at least, a small shed or something, my challenge has been figuring out something that will do the job, yet allow me to easily dump the sand into, and to access it with my tractor. There is no way for me to keep the sand above 32 degrees where it is now, so that's out for this season. If the snow we have now doesn't all melt before the full winter snowpack arrives, it's all a moot point anyway. Thanks for all the advice.
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post #14 of 34 Old 11-18-2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Marleywood View Post
By next winter, I plan to build something to keep the sand dry at least, a small shed or something, my challenge has been figuring out something that will do the job, yet allow me to easily dump the sand into, and to access it with my tractor. There is no way for me to keep the sand above 32 degrees where it is now, so that's out for this season. If the snow we have now doesn't all melt before the full winter snowpack arrives, it's all a moot point anyway. Thanks for all the advice.


https://images.search.yahoo.com/imag...arch.yahoo.com
I think something like this would well. I would add a heavy front tarp door. Add some heat for the really cold days. You just have to make it so you can get your loader in.
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post #15 of 34 Old 11-26-2018, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Nice, thanks for the link, some good ideas to be found there. I'll share what I do next season! As it is, the sand pile is still covered in snow and we're looking at maybe 15" more coming tonight into tomorrow....
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post #16 of 34 Old 11-26-2018, 10:08 PM
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Nice, thanks for the link, some good ideas to be found there. I'll share what I do next season! As it is, the sand pile is still covered in snow and we're looking at maybe 15" more coming tonight into tomorrow....

Youíre welcome... I hope it works out. I am jealous about the 15Ē of snowó I need more play time with Walter FGBS ...
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post #17 of 34 Old 11-28-2018, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Youíre welcome... I hope it works out. I am jealous about the 15Ē of snowó I need more play time with Walter FGBS ...
Turned out to be almost 18" when all was said and done. A neighbor (400' lower on the mountain) is an observer for the NWS, he's saying we had the most in the state from this storm! Sure wish I had my Gator w/Spreader right now....(In shop, it's ready now finally, but I have to dig my trailer out of the snow & unchain the plow truck to drive down to Concord to pick it up!)

You're welcome to bring the Walter up here & play in the snow, my driveway would be a challenge for you (probably). :-)
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post #18 of 34 Old 11-28-2018, 02:58 PM
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Turned out to be almost 18" when all was said and done. A neighbor (400' lower on the mountain) is an observer for the NWS, he's saying we had the most in the state from this storm! Sure wish I had my Gator w/Spreader right now....(In shop, it's ready now finally, but I have to dig my trailer out of the snow & unchain the plow truck to drive down to Concord to pick it up!)

You're welcome to bring the Walter up here & play in the snow, my driveway would be a challenge for you (probably). :-)
So, jealous we only got 3Ē at most. The Walter trucks would take 30 hrs at 30mph max to arrive...
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 07:26 AM
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That’s a lot of sand... you will need at least 2-3 yards of salt to mix in. That’s a lot of 50lb bags of rock-salt to mix in. How are you storing it?
It's for a dirt road, dont add salt......

I bet hes storing it on the ground.....
If it is dry, covering it may work.


I see you keep the gator inside,
I'd load up the gator before the storm and keep it inside,,,

get a case of washer fluid, you know the kind that is good down to -35F.
if or when your sand clumps up or freezes you can use some to get things flowing again.
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post #20 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 07:37 AM
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It's for a dirt road, dont add salt......

I bet hes storing it on the ground.....
If it is dry, covering it may work.


I see you keep the gator inside,
I'd load up the gator before the storm and keep it inside,,,

get a case of washer fluid, you know the kind that is good down to -35F.
if or when your sand clumps up or freezes you can use some to get things flowing again.
In my area Salt on dirt roads matter little when one takes into account that we get 35-50 degree F temperature swings... Salt or not if you go from 15 to 65 degrees F and then maintain 45 degrees for a week or so... you are going to have soft drives no matter what next time snows.
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post #21 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 08:10 AM
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In my area Salt on dirt roads matter little when one takes into account that we get 35-50 degree F temperature swings... Salt or not if you go from 15 to 65 degrees F and then maintain 45 degrees for a week or so... you are going to have soft drives no matter what next time snows.
It does matter, in any area around thee world.
the sun effects the surface, salt soaks in.
Also, your not plowing when the temps is so warm, are you?.
when it cools off enough to snow the gravel freezes, it wont freeze if you applied salt.

you wont see a DPW applying salt to a dirt road.....

If you are experiencing the weather conditions you posted, then you don't need to use any salt at all.
Ice can't form on a (soft) drive.......


Your part of the problem, all you do is throw salt at every problem.
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post #22 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SnoFarmer View Post
It does matter, in any area around thee world.
the sun effects the surface, salt soaks in.
Also, your not plowing when the temps is so warm, are you?.
when it cools off enough to snow the gravel freezes, it wont freeze if you applied salt.

you wont see a DPW applying salt to a dirt road.....

If you are experiencing the weather conditions you posted, then you don't need to use any salt at all.
Ice can't form on a (soft) drive.......


Your part of the problem, all you do is throw salt at every problem.
Well, funny thing a 26k and 70+k GVW truck tend to compress the snow left on our yard into ice rapidly. Since it is gravel we tend to leave about 1-1.5 inches of snow on it. Then we put sand on it. I actually use less than 5lbs of rock salt a year usually. Just around the doors and the rest is straight sand in 60-80lb bags.

Want to try again?
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post #23 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 01:18 PM
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Whatís your point ?
Iíve driven cars and trucks up and down ski hills in the winter .
Some areas that have over 10ft of snow.

Time to adjust your tinfoil hat
we even drive on snow thatís on top of frozen water , ice covered lakes, I know crazy

So whatís yer point ?
the op isnít useing a truck like yours, And those skid shoes must leave some big ruts if itís that soft that you canít put your plow down and if itís that soft your 70,000 lb trucks going to sink or the axles and I donít care how much traction it have lol.
you wonít need to apply any sand or salt the gravel you kick up a supply .

Youíre the one thatís trying awfully hard to turn every thread you participat into
you need I have a walter 70,000 pound truck just like mine....

you tell everybody to use salt on their graveldrives but then when questioned About salt use you try and pass off that you donít use any salt, just around the doors.
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post #24 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 01:30 PM
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Whatís your point ?
Iíve driven cars and trucks up and down ski hills in the winter .
Some areas that have over 10ft of snow.

Time to adjust your tinfoil hat
we even drive on snow thatís on top of frozen water , ice covered lakes, I know crazy

So whatís yer point ?
the op isnít useing a truck like yours, And those skid shoes must leave some big ruts if itís that soft that you canít put your plow down and if itís that soft your 70,000 lb trucks going to sink or the axles and I donít care how much traction it have lol.
you wonít need to apply any sand or salt the gravel you kick up a supply .

Youíre the one thatís trying awfully hard to turn every thread you participat into
you need I have a walter 70,000 pound truck just like mine....



you tell everybody to use salt on their graveldrives but then when questioned About salt use you try and pass off that you donít use any salt, just around the doors.

The My Kenworth T800 weighs 70+ GVW registered it for 79,500lbs to be exact. My point was even if the ground is warm compressing snow will make ice.
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post #25 of 34 Old 12-13-2018, 01:36 PM
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The My Kenworth T800 weighs 70+ GVW registered it for 79,500lbs to be exact. My point was even if the ground is warm compressing snow will make ice.
You serious Clark?
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