HOW TO USE ROAD SALT WISELY THIS WINTERSalt is a popular deicing agent because it combats snow and ice efficiently, and provides safety on the roads and sidewalks. Yet, you still need to use salt wisely to make the most of it. If salt is used improperly, especially across an entire city or region, it can pose a safety hazard and hurt your bottom line.
Depending on weather conditions, a large city in Canada like Toronto could use up to 100,000-tonnes of salt annually. That’s a significant investment in safety. At Draglam Salt, we developed the best ways to effectively use your road salt this winter season:
Bulk Salt and Temperature
At certain temperatures, some salt products stop being effective. For example, plain rock salt stops being effective at roughly 9 degrees Celsius. Instead of pouring down more salt, we recommend you switch to a different product. For example, calcium chloride flakes will be effective up to negative 25 degrees Celsius.
We understand the price of bulk salt mixtures is always a concern, which is why many local salting trucks are installing infrared temperature monitors. Being aware of the pavement’s core temperature allows you to determine whether your road salt will work. This way, you can avoid over-using more expensive salt products.
Salt Truck Upgrades
A large city like Toronto could have as many as 200 salt trucks in its fleet. You want each of these trucks to be up-to-date with the latest technology so you can make the most of your salt and your budget. Manual salt spreaders should be replaced with electronic controls, which are more precise. Make sure the controls are set properly, too.
Trucks can also be designed to spread pre-wetted salts or brine. These products work faster than their dry counterparts. Road salt needs to contact water to activate the melting process, so the pre-wetted salt can initiate the process faster – as soon as it hits the pavement.
Road Salt Audits
Knowing where you’ve applied road salt, which salt product was used and how much of it was spread is essential to making the most of your resources. Installing a GPS on your trucks can allow you to monitor where different types of salt are being applied in real time. You can then adjust the salt spread rates and locations based on the road conditions you find.
Take into consideration a Road Weather Information System unit, which can help you plan your salting strategy. These units are equipped to let you know what the air and pavement temperatures are before your trucks hit the road, this way you can begin salting roads where salt is needed most.
Bulk salt prices aren’t unreasonable, but salt will surely make up a significant portion of your road safety and transportation budget. At Draglam Salt, we are dedicated to helping you use your deicing salt wisely. Call us at our 24-hour Salt Hotline: 1-888-907-SALT or contact us to learn more. We’re happy to walk you through top bulk salt and deicing products and how to use them effectively for your business.