Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snow Pre-treatment Pt. 1

This was going to be a test on a PRE-snowfall treatments, but thing didn't go as planned. Went into work Monday to find that the temp had dropped below 32 and froze most of the snow that had fell Sunday night.

Oh well. It says it is supposta works as a de-icer as well as a pre-treatment.

The test is on !

Here is what I came up with:

Heard some stories and read some info on the internet of using a brine solution sprayed down before a snowfall to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. Iowa DOT has had some good results and are currently using this now. Did some research and found out that the best solution is a 23% brine solution. This works to -6 degrees.

Rigged up this from items around the work place and came up with something I think will work. Made a collapsible boom that extends out to 16' span with 14 jets total. ( Work currently has about 5 acres of concrete that needs to be cleaned off ) Each jet dispenses .3 gpm at 40 psi. That means the rate for all 14 jets would be 4.2 gpm. In order not to overheat a 12vdc pump I sized it smaller at 3.9 gpm. Current draw on the pump is around 7 amp and since I just bought a battery for the wheeler for $60+, I decided to used a deep cell battery for the same amount. Picked up the pump thru Grainger, hose, piping, jet, battery @ Farm and Home supply.

Mixture on the solution seems to be a 1-2-3 ratio. 1 gallon of water to 2.3 pounds of salt. Since I had 55 gal barrels that were readily available at work, I used them. It worked out pretty well. I added 3 - 40 lbs bags of rock salt and fill the remainder up with water.

Mixed the solution up with a barrel mixer we had at work and I was off.

First trip was on a slight downhill slope and I quickly learned I was pulling quite a bit of weight. 1154 lbs of Brine solution alone. That explains why my 400 lb Rancher w/ my 225 lb ass was slowly being pushed down this incline.
Go figure.

Looking behind me, I could see that the brine solution was working. Travel speed is a bit slow. Objective is to cover the ground with the brine solution and evenly spread it without causing excess waste. This on the Rancher is slightly over idle in second gear. Slow to say the least. Last pic I took here is after I had made one pass and missed a spot. Looks like it worked and I only used 240 lbs of salt to do the entire lot. Normal usage for something like this is around 600 - 800 lbs per use with the traditional salt spreader. Something I am testing around with is a home version with a sprayer on the driveway. 2-3 gallons could easily cover the average drive. I have found a sprayer tank that could be mounted on my 4 wheeler for home use laying around the mess/ garage and may be playing with that after some tests with the hand held sprayer !!!

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