For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is almost upon us. And with that of course comes the ice and snow.
If you own a larger area of land it could be that you need to spread salt on the ground. One of the best ways to carry out this chore is to purchase a salt spreader.
We will soon be publishing an article reviewing 5 of the best tailgate salt spreaders currently on the market. However, while we do our research to bring you the most comprehensive guide we can, we thought we would publish a short, but helpful note on what you should look for when buying one of these useful tools.
So without further delay, let’s get to it.
1. Consider the type of material you will be spreading
With it being winter, it is most likely that you are buying a spreader to lay down salt.
However, there are different types of salts available. If you are using bulk rock salt or any other material that contains chunky bits of material, a hopper or tailgate spreader is definitely the way to go.
Whereas, if you plan to use finer spreading materials your outlay could be reduced.
Finer salts are better placed in small to mid-size capacity spreaders. Generally, the smaller the spreader the less you will have to spend.
2. What is your vehicle GWAR?
GWAR is an acronym for Gross Weight Axle Rating. This is a very important figure to know before you go out and purchase a spreader. The smaller your truck’s rating, the smaller spreader you will need to buy.
Whether using the spreader for personal or commercial purposes, safety should always be first priority. The bottom line is, you cannot exceed your truck’s GWAR when attaching a salt spreader.
3. How easy is it to attach?
On the subject of attachment, the ease of which you can take the spreader on and off your truck will be more of a priority than it will be for others.
It could be that you will need to remove and reattach the unit on a regular basis. It is no good have a unit with fussy attachments under these circumstances, especially if you will be forced to undertake the work outside in the cold snow, or at night with low light conditions.
When looking into potential salt spreaders to buy, be sure to pay attention to how the attachment system works in order to make the right purchasing decision for your needs.
4. What will it be used for? Personal or commercial application?
If you are simply using the spreader on your driveway, you can clearly opt for a small capacity unit.
If however you will be using the spreader for commercial purposes, (you may have contracts with parking lots or local landowners with large sized properties for instance) a unit that can contain as high a cubic volume of salt as possible should be your priority.
Time is money in a commercial setting, and the less often you have to refill the hopper or tailgate spreader the faster you will finish the job.
Where will you will store the spreader after use?
A salt spreader will only see action for a handful of months a year at most. This means that for the rest of the time you will need to store it some place.
You need to take this into account before you buy. It is no good paying lots of money for the largest hopper spreader on the market, only to find you have no place to put it come the spring thaw.
Paying for storage will be counter-productive and a waste of money. In certain circumstances it could be that you are actually better off hiring a unit for the duration of your needs.
Additionally, in order to ensure that spreader remains in tip top condition while not in use, you will need to store it completely clean, (residue salt will eat away at the material), covered and in a water proof area.
Thinking you can just leave the spreader outside when not in use would be a mistake.
So there you have it, our short guide on what to consider when buying a salt spreader this winter.
As we stated in the introduction, our top 5 review roundup of current bestselling spreaders will be making its way to these pages very soon, so be sure to check back for that.