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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is our first year with bulk salt and we have two hopper spreaders. One Smith electric and one Henderson which is hydraulic. The electric spreader has an on/off switch. The only way to regulate the amount of material applied is to adjust the gate or the speed of the vehicle. Fairly straight forward. The first five or six trips out we have definetly found ourselves at the bottom of the learning curve.

The electric spreader has few adjustments. Basically I can just close the gate on the back and be more careful about turning the spreader on/off when going back over areas. This spreader is on a 1 ton GMC dump. It's fairly manuerverable and fits into tight spaces. The spread pattern is more narrow and does a decent job. The salt does seem to accumulate a little going around corners making a trail. Either I need to close the gate more or increase the size of the spinner so that salt doesn't fall down the corner of the chute and pour onto the ground, which is what I suspect.

The Henderson hydraulic spreader is more challenging to use. I turn on the PTO which is run off of the transmission. So I have a hydraulic open/off valve and then separate auger/spinner speed controls. I also can adjust the gate for quantity of material.

What I've found is that we're definetly over applying when using this larger truck and hydraulic spreader. We've been running the spreader at the adjustments recommended by the previous owner.

My question is this (sorry for the long post), how do I balance the proportion best between the gate opening and auger speed. If the auger is slowed down and gate left where it is, will this provide the same result as slowing the auger and leaving the gate setting where it is? TWhich one do I adjust down? Or do I do both? I know ultimately this a is trial and error type experience, but if anyone can better define which controller is better for certain applications, that would be helpful.

The spinner speed is generally left wide open, but we'll turn it down a little when in confined areas since the spinner will fling salt 20' to 30' on either side of the truck.
 

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Couple of things come to mind after reading your post. First, definitely make sure the spinner is the righ size like you mentioned. Salt falling directly to the ground instead of the spinner is surely inefficient. The spinner's job is to spread the material evenly for us. So adjust the spinner speed for the distance you are trying to throw the salt.

The "previous owner" may not be as enlightrened as you as far as how much salt is really needed to properly treat?? Look at all of the contractors out there that leave lots white with salt, so that was a thought that came to mind. So the trick is fine tuning the auger & gate controls. If the spinner wasn't working at all, you'd want that flow to be the correct amount to cover the square footage, so your adjustments need to be made before the spinner gets the material. Might help to have someone (probably best to be you) stand outside of the truck & watch closely as it is going by spreading to see if the gate seems to be allowing enough, or whether the auger needs a change. I know I've made good adjustments on the fly with various spreaders just by getting out & watching what was happening from the back instead of the driver's seat. Not sure if this helped, but good luck with it.
 

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My unit has a coneyor chain rather than auger, although the control is labled auger. I set the speed on that and leave it alone for the season, then regulate the amount of material with the gate opening. My old V box didn't have any adjustment for speed, so the gate was the only regulator. I can't really say what speed I have it set to, but I think one crossbar per second may be close.

When you adjust your spinner speed, be aware your auger speed will change too. If you increase spinner speed, the auger will slow, decrease the spinner, the auger speeds up. You'll have to regulate vehicle speed to compensate without making any other changes.
 

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Do a search on the net for spreader calibration. It is a fairly easy process to complete. You need an old bathroom scale and a tarp, to complete the job. If you can't find anything on the net, I will retype the instructions that i got from MDOT.

Geoff
 

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As regards the smith we run ours at a 1" opening for staright salt. For mix we run the the handle for the gate opening level. Those settings will take care of most of what we do. I have never had an issue with material missing the spinner.
Dino
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Smith spreader is where I think the salt is missing the spinner, perhaps because the spinner is too small. I would hope though the manufacturer is sizing it correctly. I'm probably dumping too much salt, but even then, with the gate wide open I shouldn't be leaving trails of salt.

Thanks Dino for the suggestion on the Smith. Tonight when I go back out for touch ups and refreeze I'll close the gate and see how it works. Dino, how fast do you travel with your gate at 1" for regular rock salt?

As for the Henderson, I'll try closing the gate down as well. I guess I'll leave the auger control (which is actually a chain - but labeled auger) at the same speed.
 

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Well Laddie,

You're not alone in over-applying with a new bed salter. I've run tailgate types for several years, but this is my first year with an AirFlo 8' bed salter and I'm also blanketing the lots with salt. My in-cab controls consist of:

1. ON-OFF-BLAST for the auger/spinner
2. ON-OFF start button
3. FAST-SLOW-CHOKE throttle control

Thats it.

So, the spinner's either on or it's off. The electric start is self explanatory, and the throttle controls both the actual engine idle speed and by extension, the speed of the chain belt feeding the salt to the spinner, and the spinner itself. (At least I think it controls the spinner rotation speed).

So I'm gradually narrowing the opening of the gate, and slowing the engine speed to keep from burying the lots under a solid white layer of salt. I guess on the bright side - the likelihood of a slip & fall claim is reduced...unless the trip over all the excess salt!
 

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"unless the trip over all the excess salt!"

IMO This is a very legitimate concern. I am healthy, almost middle aged & slipped & almost fell because of excess salt applied to some stairs I was ascending one time. Ever since then I have always considered this when we are out applying to my locations. If I could almost fall in that situation, certainly someone who is disabled, or someone rushing, or someone in high heels could have salt roll under their feet while walking & go down.

Cutntrim,
I have had subs with similar set ups like you describe. It could sometimes be torture because they would waste salt getting from one close by lot, or section of a larger facility, because it would take too long to shut down & then restart the engine. LOL
 

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Thinking back I seem to remember an issue with irregular spread pattern. The material drops off the chain and onto a angled drop shute. It was angled to much and the material dropped on the back of the spreader. We bent it down more so that the material drops on the front of spinner. Its one area that can easily be tweaked in shipping. So check that angled piece of the shute to make sure that the material is hitting the spinner ok. We havent had any issues with the spinner being to small. Fo grins and giggles we have a 14" 6 vein clockwise thrust spinner on both of our units.
As for ground speed, it all depends on conditions. If we need a heavy spread on a hill, we will go 5 mph. If it is a flat parking area, we will run 10 mph.
Cut and trim
use the blast feature so that you have a more pulse like spread pattern
Dino
 

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Actually, I haven't put THAT much salt down to cause someone to wipe out on it. I have been overapplying though. But then I've only done one full salt run so far.

Dino - I have used BLAST but , as was the case with my tailgates, I only really use that for spot-salting. I don't want to have to bend down and manually depress the rocker switch over an entire lot. I'll get the hang of it soon enough...
 

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If you have the separate auger and spinner controls,then use the auger setting to control the feed rates.

Once you get the feed gate set right,leave it there.The auger control will allow you to control the amount of salt being dumped onto the spinner.If you shut the auger off,it should almost completly stop,and you'll get very little salt flow.

I normally have the auger set at about 3,and the spinner up at 7 or 8.If I want to lay it down a little heavier,then I just crank up the auger.

Maybe your RPM's are too high too.Try a higher gear,to slow the pump down some,and make the flow a little more controllable.Increasing the spinner speed some will also spread it out further,so it's not so heavy,and take some of the flow away from the auger to slow it down.

With the Airflo V-boxes,you need to almost shut the feedgate completely,and run the engine pretty fast.This will slow down the amount of material,yet spread it out further,so it's not so concentrated.
 

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I figured I'd start off next time with the gate barely open and the engine speed down low, then up the rpm's from there. I wish it was easier to set and duplicate adjustments. The gate opening I'll just leave in place once I get it right, but the engine speed will always vary since there is no lighted dial 1-9 that I can go from.

First I need to get it to start though, and to run off choke too - see my update in the earlier AirFlo thread.
 
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