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Salt Spreader Maintenance Tips to Help Keep Your Traction During the Snow Season

Semi Service December 20, 2018

Communities rely on businesses like yours to help keep the roads safe and their daily drive clear. That means you need to keep your snow removal equipment in working order to avoid getting snowed in yourself! Proper salt spreader maintenance is a must for anyone working in the snow removal and de-icing field.

If you’re new to de-icing or salt spreading, or if you just aren’t sure you’re maintaining your equipment correctly, read on to learn tips to keep your spreader in ideal condition throughout the season!

Pre-Season Salt Spreader Maintenance

Though many snow plow companies have other trucks or services they perform in the warmer months, it’s still a time to be thinking about your salt spreader maintenance! Pre-season care for your spreader helps you identify issues before the first snowfall, and helps you prevent small repairs from growing into massive issues.

Inspection

A thorough inspection is always worth the time spent. The more closely you look, the more likely you are to identify issues or ensure your spreader (and vehicle) are in working order! Here are a few parts you don’t want to overlook:

  • Check lights – Checking the lights on your spreader is easy and helps keep you safer on the roads.
  • Check drive belt – Drive belts are susceptible to wear, look for cracks or other signs of distress.
  • Check electrical plugs – Corroded plugs are a common source of spreader issues due to their direct contact with salt. Make sure they’re in good condition before the season starts!

Greasing

Salt spreader maintenance requires proper lubrication all season long. But that means your pre-season maintenance is the best time to get grease along all the moving parts. You can also use this time as part of your inspection, looking at the parts most likely to experience wear and tear.

Not only will it help you spot issues, it will let you identify areas that you may have not been greasing thoroughly in the previous season!

Winter Salt Spreader Maintenance

Daily Cleaning

Salt is effective at clearing away snow – but it’s also aggressively corrosive! While most of the salt will be in the hopper, any other parts that move the salt or the salt moves through will be caked in it too. Metal hoppers are particularly vulnerable!

Cleaning salt off your spreader is a daily task. The longer salt is left to sit, the more damage it will do. In the short-term, you may not notice anything. However, especially with metal, you may start to identify rust or corrosion on key parts of your spreader.

Greasing the Spreader

Hopefully you greased the spreader as part of your pre-season maintenance. But that’s far from the last time you’ll need to do it. Like washing, greasing your spreader is something you’ll be doing throughout the season.

Failure to properly lubricate bearings and other key aspects of your spreader will guarantee they wear out sooner than they should. This cuts into your snow plow business’s long-term profits!

Engine/Hydraulic Inspection

Depending on the type of spreader you use, you also have some specific additional maintenance you can’t ignore. If you haven’t purchased a spreader yet, it’s worth looking into different types to see their benefits or drawbacks. It’s one of the many things you should know before buying any attachment for your snow plow truck.

Gas Engine Salt Spreader Maintenance

Every engine is a little different, but your owner’s manual should clarify it in detail. Regular maintenance of a gas engine includes filters, oil, spark plugs and more. Just like your vehicle, any lapse in proper maintenance will speed up the likelihood of equipment failure – the cost of which can greatly outweigh the time and money compared to a little preventative maintenance!

Hydraulic Salt Spreader Maintenance

Like gas engines, hydraulic spreaders have a maintenance schedule that you should learn and remember. Replacing the hydraulic fluid is a critical step in keeping your hydraulic spreader functional.

Belt Maintenance

Many spreaders use belts or similar systems like chains and conveyors. Wear and tear can damage the belts or chains, and over time they will need tightened.

Whatever type of system your spreader uses to get salt into the spinner, it’s not something you can overlook! If it fails to function properly, you won’t be getting salt on the roads. That’s a big problem!

Do You Need Salt Spreader Maintenance?

If you’re worried about your de-icer or salt spreader, we can help answer your questions! The snowy season is here, so let our experts help you sooner rather than later.

Contact us online or give us a call at (801) 895-4419 to get started today!

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