OutdoorChief.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

What is the best tailgate salt spreader you can buy in 2018? That depends on whether you are after one for residential or commercial use.

Size does of course matter; you should also be concerned about build quality and overall ease of use.

SaltDogg are arguably the industry leaders, however we have pulled together 5 carefully selected salt spreaders across a range of manufacturers and storage capacities. Our aim is to give you the most comprehensive low down on what spreader to buy this winter, no matter your needs.

For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a detailed review of each of the spreaders, plus our in depth buyer’s guide, keep on reading.


Best Tailgate Salt Spreader – Top 5

SALT SPREADERNAMEDETAILSOUR RATING
TOP PICK RESIDENTIAL:
SaltDogg TGSUV1B
Tailgate Salt
Spreader
4.4 Cubic Foot Cap,
1-1/4" or 2" receiver
Hitch mount, SUV,
1/2 ton, 3/4 ton,
or 1 ton truck.
TOP PICK COMMERCIAL:
SaltDogg SHPE0750
Commercial Salt
Spreader
3/4 Cubic Yard Cap
Fits 1/2 ton, &
3/4 ton trucks
30' Spread
SnowEx SP-575X
Pro Salt Spreader
3.25 Cubic Foot Cap
2" receiver hitch
Cab-mounted
controller,
Meyer 31100
Tailgate Salt
Spreader
240lb. Cap Hopper
1/8 hp motor
2" receiver hitch
SaltDogg TGS03
Salt Spreader
8 Cubic Foot Cap
2" hitch receiver
30' Spread

Best tailgate spreader reviews

Image Credit: Autoaccessoriesgarage.com

There are different types, brands, and models of salt spreaders sold today. Still, they can be ranked based on their operational efficiency, build quality, and work performance.

Using these 3 criteria, 5 of the best salt spreaders have been identified for review, among them are the best tailgate salt spreader and the best commercial salt spreader.

1. TOP PICK RESIDENTIAL: SaltDogg TGSUV1B Tailgate Salt Spreader

Product Image Credits: SaltDogg.com (buyersproducts.com)

This is a well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 4.4cubic feet. It features a simple 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver hitch-mount design.

This allows it to fit well into standard SUVs and the 0.5-ton, 1-ton, or 2-ton trucks.

The corrosion-proof hopper can hold 331pounds of high-quality free flowing rock salt. It also has a 9-inch wide spinner that can broadcast the salt across a maximum diameter of 30feet. It also comes with a manual on-off switch control.

This U.S-made salt spreader is made by SaltDogg and its model number is TGSUV1B.

This compactly-designed model is suited for residential spreading. Its average load-free weight is 58.6pounds, and it is 22.5inches long, 21inches wide and 40.5inches tall.

It comes with an auxiliary power-plug adapter that allows one to use the battery of the car to power the electric motor that operates the spinner.

Its hitch mount can be easily folded away to allow for quick tailgate access. This hitch mount is compatible with both class 3 and class 4 receivers.

Its gravity-fed spreader features an open-close manual gate. Normally, the spinner spreads the salt across a diameter of 14feet.

This spinner is run by a 12-volt, 1.5horsepowers(HP) electric motor. The overall color scheme of this spreader is black.

This spreader is suited for a single-pass de-icing of access roads and driveways. Its rugged hopper is made from high-quality polyethylene polymer and is mounted on a powder-coated steel frame.

The orange steel frame is corrosion resistant. The 9-inch wide spinner is also made from high-quality polymer.

The interior of the hopper is ultra-smooth so as to allow the rock salt to flow freely through the flow gate and onto the spinner. The flow gate is made from stainless steel.

This model comes with the complete set of mounting hardware. It also comes with a 12-months manufacturer-supported warranty.

SaltDogg TGSUV1B Tailgate Salt Spreader
  • Can carry 331pounds of rock salt.
  • Maximum broadcast diameter is 30feet.
  • Hitch mount compatible with 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver.
  • Motor-powered spinner.
  • Uses a 12-volts 1.5HP electric motor.
  • 12-month warranty.
The Cons
  • The 4.4 cubic feet capacity is suitable for residential use only. It is too small for large areas.

Bottom-line

The SaltDogg TGSUV1B is a well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 331pounds of rock salt.

It features a simple 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver hitch-mount design which allows it to fit well into standard SUVs and the 0.5-ton, 1-ton, or 2-ton trucks.

Its high operational efficiency, superior build quality, and exceptional work performance makes it the best consumer tailgate spreader in this review.


2. TOP PICK COMMERCIAL: SaltDogg SHPE0750 Commercial Salt Spreader

Product Image Credits: SaltDogg.com (buyersproducts.com)

This is a well-built, high-performance commercial spreader with a carrying
capacity of 0.75cubic yards.

It has forklift slots which allow it to be forklifted and be fitted in utility vehicles, 1/2-ton, and 3/4-ton trucks.

Its corrosion-resistant hopper is made from patented double wall polymer. It has a 14-inch long spinner that can broadcast the salt across a maximum diameter of 30feet.

This spinner can be dismounted easily for cleaning or storage. This spreader also
features an extended length chute.

It can effectively hold and discharge high-quality free flowing rock salt. This U.S-made salt spreader is made by SaltDogg.

This compactly-designed model is suitable for facility managers and contractors who conduct low-volume to medium-volume residential spreading.

Its average load-free weight is 280pounds, and it is 63.2inches long, 28inches wide and 48inches tall. This means that the vehicle used should be able to easily carry 280pounds of a bulky equipment as well allow for salt to be loaded on the hopper.

It also comes with an auxiliary power-plug adapter that allows the spreader to use the battery of the car to power its built-in electric motor that operates its spinner.

It can carry bulk salt or sand-and-salt mixture. Its gravity-fed spreader features an open-close gate.

This spinner has a trough that feeds the salt to its 2.5-inch wide stainless steel auger. The area across which the spinner can spread the salt can be regulated from a small diameter of 5feet to the maximum diameter of 30feet.

This spinner is run by a 12-volt, 1.5horsepowers(HP) electric motor. The spinner speed and auger operation can be controlled using an in-cab closed-loop controller.

This spreader is suited for a single-pass de-icing of access roads, car parks, and driveways. Its rugged hopper is made from high-quality polyethylene polymer. The hopper interior is ultra-smooth for seamless discharge of rock salt.

Its electric motor system features gears which allow for large quantities of power to be transmitted with minimal torque loss.

This model comes with the complete set of mounting hardware that includes tie downs, top screen, fitted tarp, vibrator, and an auger-bearing grease kit

It also comes with a 24-months manufacturer-supported warranty.

Pros of the SaltDogg SHPE0750 Commercial Salt Spreader
  • Can carry 0.75cubic yards of rock salt.
  • Maximum broadcast diameter is 30feet.
  • Can be mounted on vehicles using a forklift.
  • Motor-powered spinner.
  • Uses a 12-volts 1.5HP electric motor.
  • 12-month warranty.
The Cons
  • Expensive.

Bottom-line

The SaltDogg SHPE0750 is a well-built, high-performance commercial spreader with a
carrying capacity of 0.75cubic yards.

It has forklift slots which allow it to be forklifted and be fitted in utility vehicles, 1/2-ton, and 3/4-ton trucks.

Its high operational efficiency, superior build quality, and exceptional work performance makes it the best commercial salt spreader in this review.


3. SnowEx SP-575X Pro Salt Spreader

Image Credit: Casperstruck.com

This is a well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 5.75cubic feet. It features a sealed power drive and transmission system.

This low maintenance model comes with a corrosion-resistant composite spinner. It features a simple 2-inch receiver hitch-mount design.

This allows it to be fitted into utility vehicles , 1-ton trucks and 2-ton trucks. The
corrosion-proof hopper can hold high-quality free flowing rock salt. Its spinner can broadcast the salt across a large area.

It also comes with an in-cab closed-loop controller. This salt spreader is made by SnowEx.

Just like SaltDogg TGSUV1B, the SnowEx SP-575X Pro is a compactly-designed
model is suited for residential spreading.

However its average load-free weight is 108pounds, which is much greater than that of
SaltDogg TGSUV1B.

The SnowEx SP-575X Pro is 35inches long, 20.5inches wide and 38inches tall, which makes it considerably larger than SaltDogg.

Just like the aforementioned SaltDogg TGSUV1B, the SnowEx comes with an auxiliary power-plug adapter that allows one to use the battery of the car to power the electric motor that operates the spinner.

Its hitch mount can be easily folded away to allow for quick tailgate access. Likewise, its gravity-fed spreader features an open-close manual gate. Its spinner is run by a 12-volt,
1.5horsepowers(HP) electric motor.

The SnowEx SP-575X Pro is well suited for a single-pass de-icing of access roads and driveways. It has a superb rugged hopper that is made of high-quality polymer and is mounted on a sturdy frame.

Also the interior of the hopper of SP-575X Pro is ultra-smooth so as to allow the rock salt to flow freely through the flow gate and onto the spinner.

This model comes with a complete set of mounting hardware.

Pros of the SnowEx SP-575X Pro Salt Spreader
  • Can carry 5.75cubic feet of rock salt.
  • Maximum broadcast diameter is 30feet.
  • Hitch mount compatible with 2-inch receiver.
  • Motor-powered spinner.
  • Uses a 12-volts 1.5HP electric motor.
  • Features a sealed power drive and transmission system.
The Cons
  • Very expensive.

Bottom-line

The SnowEx SP-575X Pro is a well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted
(tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 5.75cubic feet.

It comes with a sealed power drive and transmission system that conserves power and torque.

Also, this low maintenance model uses a corrosion-resistant composite spinner, and features a simple 2-inch receiver hitch-mount design that allows it to be fitted into utility vehicles , 1-ton trucks and 2-ton trucks.


4. Meyer 31100 Tailgate Salt Spreader

Image Credit: Autoaccessoriesgarage.com

This is a well-built, high-performance and compact hitch-mounted
(tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 240pounds.

It has an efficient power drive and transmission system that allows its direct-drive 1/8HP motor to transmit power through a variable-speed controller so as to precisely operate the spinner.

Its spinner can broadcast salt across a diameter of 25feet. This low maintenance model has a corrosion-resistant composite spinner.

It also features a simple 2-inch receiver hitch-mount design which allows it to be fitted into utility vehicles , 0.5ton truck, and 1-ton trucks.

The corrosion-proof hopper can hold and discharge high-quality free flowing rock salt. It also comes with an in-cab controller. This salt spreader is made by Meyer.

Image Credit: Autoaccessoriesgarage.com

Just like the SaltDogg TGSUV1B and the SnowEx reviewed above, the Meyer 31100 is a compactly-designed model suited for residential spreading.

Its average load-free weight is 101pounds, which is much greater than that of the SaltDogg but less than that of the SnowEx SP-575X Pro.

The Meyer 31100 is 28.8inches long, 24inches wide and 32.2inches tall, which makes it slightly smaller than the SaltDogg TGSUV1B.

The Meyer 31100 has a well-integrated motor guard that can be used as the
storage stand when the spreader is not in use.

The Meyer also comes with an auxiliary power-plug adapter that allows one to use the battery of the car to power the electric motor that operates the spinner.

Its hitch mount can be easily folded away to allow for quick tailgate access. Likewise, its gravity-fed spreader features an open-close manual gate.

Its spinner is run by a 12-volt, 1/8HP electric motor.

Unlike the SaltDogg TGSUV1B and the SnowEx SP-575X Pro; the 31100 is well suited for low-volume single-pass de-icing of access roads and driveways.

It has a rugged hopper that is made of high-quality polymer and is mounted on a sturdy frame.

The interior of the hopper of Meyer 31100 is ultra-smooth so as to allow the rock salt to flow freely through the flow gate and onto the spinner.

This model comes with a complete set of mounting hardware. This spreader benefits from a 12months manufacturer-guarantee warranty.

Pros of the Meyer 31100 Salt Spreader
  • Can carry 240pounds of rock salt.
  • Maximum broadcast diameter is 25feet.
  • Hitch mount compatible with 2-inch receiver.
  • Motor-powered spinner.
  • Uses a 12-volts 1/8HP electric motor.
  • Features a sealed power drive and transmission system.
  • 12-month warranty.
The Cons
  • More expensive than the SaltDogg TGSUV1B.

Bottom-line

The Meyer 31100 is a well-built hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 240pounds.

It has an efficient power drive and transmission system that allows its direct-drive 1/8HP motor to transmit power through a variable-speed controller so as to precisely operate the spinner.


5. SaltDogg TGS03 Salt Spreader

Product Image Credits: SaltDogg (buyersproducts.com)

This is a large well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt
spreader with a carrying capacity of 8cubic feet. Its operational design closely resembles that of its cousin, the SaltDogg TGSUV1B.

The SaltDogg TGS03 has a simple 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver hitch-mount design which allows it to fit well into standard SUVs and the 0.5-ton, 1-ton, or 2-ton trucks. The corrosion-proof hopper can hold 600pounds of high-quality free flowing rock salt.

However, unlike the SaltDogg TGSUV1B, the SaltDogg TGS03 comes with a vibrator, a
hozizontal auger, and a 12-inch spinner. The TGS03 can also broadcast the salt across a maximum diameter of 30feet.

This low-profile, compactly-designed and high-capacity model is well suited for commercial de-icing operations.

Its average load-free weight is 160pounds which is far more greater than that of the SaltDogg TGSUV1B. The unit is 38inches long, 38inches wide and 45inches
tall.

The TGS03 comes with an auxiliary power-plug adapter that allows one to use the battery of the car to power the electric motor that operates the spinner. Its hitch mount can be easily folded away to allow for quick tailgate access.

The hitch mount of the SaltDogg TGS03 is compatible with both class 3 and class 4 receivers. Its gravity-fed spreader features an open-close manual gate. This spinner is run by a 12-volt, 1/2HP electric motor.

It also has a variable speed controller mechanism which regulates how wide the salt is spread.

The rugged hopper of the TGS03 is made from high-quality polyethylene polymer.

The 12-inch wide spinner is also made from high-quality polymer. The interior of the hopper is ultra-smooth so as to allow the rock salt to flow freely through the flow gate and onto the spinner.

This flow gate is made from stainless steel. The spinner speed and auger operations are controlled using an in-cab closed-loop controller.

This model comes with the complete set of mounting hardware. It also comes with a 12-months manufacturer-supported warranty.

Pros of the SaltDogg TGS03 Salt Spreader
  • Can carry 600pounds of rock salt.
  • Maximum broadcast diameter is 30feet.
  • Hitch mount compatible with 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver.
  • Motor-powered spinner.
  • Uses a 12-volts 1/2HP electric motor.
  • Features variable spinner speed control.
  • 12-month warranty.
The Cons
  • Far more expensive than SaltDogg TGSUV1B.

Bottom-line

The SaltDogg TGS03 is a large well-built, high-performance hitch-mounted (tailgate) salt spreader with a carrying capacity of 8cubic feet.

Its simple 2-inch and 1.25-inch receiver hitch-mount design allows it to fit well into standard SUVs and the 0.5-ton, 1-ton, or 2-ton trucks.


Best Salt Spreader Buyer’s Guide

The physics behind the ice on the road

Icy surfaces are slippery and this poses a mortal danger to drivers and pedestrians using an ice-covered road, as well as airplanes landing on ice-covered runways.

This is because an ice layer with a low friction value covers the rough surface of the roads, walkways, and runways.

Loss of traction is a loss of friction

For any person or wheeled machine to move across any surface, there must be friction between the surface and the wheels or soles of the feet with the resultant grip between the two surfaces allowing the wheel to move or for one foot to be stationery on the surface as the other foot is raised to make the next step.

Friction also prevents an object resting on a surface from sliding off. To force this object to slide across the surface, force must be applied to overcome the frictional (force).

The ratio of the frictional force to the applied force is known as the coefficient of friction (CoF).

Generally the frictional force is the weight of the object (that is its mass multiplied by gravity) resting on the surface, and this means that with a surface with a CoF of 1. one requires to apply force that is equivalent to the weight of the object.

Why does a vehicle respond differently on ice?

Ice has a CoF of about 0.3 at 0degrees centigrade with the CoF falling to 0.02 as its temperature decreases beyond zero.

This means that a stationary car with a mass of 1000kg has a frictional force of 10,000newtons(N) and if resting on a zero-degree ice surface, one requires only 10,000 x 0.3 = 3,000N (equivalent of 300kg) to force the car to slide across the surface.

Even less force is required on icy surfaces with temperatures below zero, that is 10,000N X 0.02 = 200N (equivalent to 20kg).

This explains why heavy trucks on icy road can quickly slide and cause accidents when they are hit by small vehicles or when they are negotiating a corner.

For this reason, the ice layer covering the road must be removed. But how is ice removal done?

Best way to remove ice from the road

One of the most economical way is to add salt to the ice so as to melt it and allow it to flow off the road hence leaving behind a dry and rough road surface with a very high CoF.

What does salt actually do?

When salt is added to ice, it causes it to melt. The chemistry behind this phenomenon is quite simple. Salt added to pure ice transforms pure water into impure water with a much lower melting point (as the salt requires a lot more energy for it to freeze).

Therefore if the atmospheric temperature remains zero degrees or -15degrees centigrade and the melting point of the salted ice has been reduced to -50degrees centigrade, then the ice on the road is bound to melt and flow off as liquid water regardless of the prevailing outdoor temperature.


Using the salt spreader

The process of adding salt to ice layers needs to be done on a large scale so that a large segment of the road is de-iced within a short time. It is for this reason that specialized equipment called salt spreaders are used to de-ice roads, walkways and runways.

Salt spreaders are wheeled devices that serve to evenly disperse rock salt (also called table salt) across a surface.

How the salt spreader works

These spreaders share the same design with broadcast spreaders.

Basically, the salt spreader  consists of a hopper that is mounted directly on top of a horizontally-set spinning disk. This disk can have 3, 4 or more fins.

The salt falls through a small exit hole at the bottom of the material hopper and onto the spinning fins, where the rotating disk serves to disperse the salt across the ground surface. The hopper and disk are mounted on the axle of a 2-wheeled chassis.

Tailgate, pull behind and bed mounted configuration

Salt spreaders are designed to be mounted on motor vehicles in different ways with the main ones being pull-behind, hitch-mounted and bed-mounted.

There are also the 2-wheeled walk-behind models which are pushed around by operators, and are mainly used for de-icing sidewalks.

In these walk-behind models, the spin of the wheels drive the spinning disk, with the salt drop rate from the hopper being controlled by a flow control mechanism mounted on their spreader handles.

Hitch-mounted options

The hitch-mounted models, also called tailgate salt spreaders, have a lower mount. This lower mount is the standard 2-inch (ball) trailer hitch.

These models must be hooked to the tailgates of trucks or SUVs, with these tailgates serving as the upper mount.

The low profile design of some high quality hitch-mounted models allow them to fit in well with the vehicle system, besides making them ideal for de-icing parking lots and large driveways.

Commercial salt spreaders

There is also the under-tailgate spreader, also called the commercial spreader, that is well-suited for commercial and heavy-duty municipal applications.

This model is specially-built to be used by a contractor as it features a damp body design that allows large quantities of salt to be discharged effectively.

A remote control kept by the operator is used to control how much salt is discharged from the hopper.

Tow-behind salt spreaders

The tow-behind spreaders are suited for high volume de-icing 2-lane roads. Any vehicle that has a 2-inch trailer hitch can tow this 2-wheeled spreader.


What to look for when buying a salt spreader

A well-done de-icing with a salt spreader should be able to melt almost all the ice into salty liquid water. The liquid water is usually displaced by the flat surface of the tire into the tire threads or splashed across the road.

Efficient salt spread

The salted water in the tire threads is carried across the road surface by the moving wheels hence allowing the salt to be distributed (dispersed) across a large area within a short time.

The amount of salt spread over the ice covering the road determines how much the melting point will decrease.

Salt concentration

If the salt added results in a salt concentration (in water) of about 25percent, then the solution is called brine and can effectively act by itself to lower the melting point of pure water.

This explains why some salt spreaders are modified into liquid spreaders so that they can quickly disperse brine onto the ice surface.


Image Credits: CaspersTruck.com, Autoaccessoriesgarage.com, SaltDogg (buyers Products.com)

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Tailgate Salt Spreaders - Salt Dogg, Snow Ex, Meyer & More Reviewed
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star