As winter blankets the landscape in a serene layer of snow, it brings with it the challenges of icy surfaces that can pose serious risks to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. To combat these hazards, the age-old practice of spreading salt and sand has become a cornerstone of winter maintenance programs. In this blog post, we delve into the reasons why the application of salt and sand is crucial for ice removal and prevention, focusing on safety, mobility, and environmental considerations, and we introduce the Trackless Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader, an ideal piece of equipment for the winter months.

Salt (Sodium Chloride)

Salt, in the form of sodium chloride, is a powerful ally in the battle against ice. Its magic lies in its ability to lower the freezing point of water, facilitating the melting of ice at temperatures below the freezing point. When applied to icy surfaces, such as sidewalks, salt forms a brine solution that works diligently to melt the ice, making it more manageable for removal. Brine Sprayers are also effective attachments for deicing walkway surfaces.

a. Melting Ice: The primary role of salt is to melt existing ice on roads and walkways. Its effectiveness allows for safer and more navigable surfaces during winter weather events.

b. Prevention: Proactive application of salt before a snowstorm can act as a preventative measure. By creating a barrier, salt inhibits the formation of ice, making subsequent removal efforts more manageable.

Sand

While salt takes care of melting ice, sand steps in to provide the traction needed for safe passage. Unlike salt, sand does not melt ice; instead, it offers a gritty texture that enhances grip on slippery surfaces.

a. Traction: The primary role of sand is to improve traction on icy surfaces, reducing the likelihood of slips and falls. This makes it an indispensable partner to salt in the quest for winter safety.

b. Environmentally Friendly: Sand is a natural material, making it a more environmentally friendly option compared to certain de-icing chemicals. Its use helps strike a balance between safety and environmental responsibility.

Why Spreading Salt and Sand is Important

a. Safety: The primary reason for spreading salt and sand is to enhance safety. The combination of salt’s ice-melting properties and sand’s traction benefits significantly reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.

b. Maintaining Mobility: Keeping sidewalks and walkways clear of ice, salt, and sand ensures continued mobility during winter weather. This is crucial for both vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic.

c. Preventing Accidents: The proactive use of salt and sand helps prevent accidents, such as vehicle skidding and pedestrian slips, by addressing icy conditions before they become hazardous.

As winter’s icy grip tightens, the strategic spreading of salt and sand emerges as a frontline defence against the hazards that accompany the season. Balancing safety, mobility, and environmental considerations, these time-tested materials play a crucial role in ensuring that communities can navigate winter with confidence. While recognizing the importance of salt and sand, it’s equally essential to explore sustainable alternatives and practices to minimize the environmental impact and foster a safer, more resilient winter landscape.

The Trackless Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader

In the realm of winter maintenance equipment, the Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader by Trackless Vehicles stands out as a reliable and efficient solution. This specialized rear-mounted spreader is an excellent choice for spreading salt and sand on sidewalk surfaces, helping to enhance safety and streamline winter maintenance efforts.

Designed for Sidewalks:

The Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader is purpose-built for sidewalk applications, addressing common issues associated with broadcast-type spreaders. With a 41″ spread width, it avoids waste and turf damage, while the delivery roller ensures even distribution in a diamond pattern, optimizing material usage. This design not only extends the coverage area but also reduces the frequency of refills, saving on material, labour, and fuel costs.

Hydraulic Drive System and Adjustable Settings:

The attachment’s hydraulic drive system powers the agitator and delivery roller. The rotary dial switch offers ten settings to adjust the material dispensing rate, providing operators with the flexibility to adapt to varying conditions. The three screw-jack stands facilitate safe attachment or removal without the need for additional lifting devices. Additionally, the sealed lid protects against moisture, preventing salt or sand from infiltrating the MT’s engine compartment.

Run and Auto-Run Modes:

The Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader features a switch that allows operators to choose between run and auto-run modes. In auto-run mode, the spreader automatically halts when the tractor stops or shifts into reverse, preventing unnecessary material waste. This smart feature significantly conserves resources and avoids the need for constant manual intervention. Run mode, on the other hand, allows continuous operation for tasks that require a constant material flow.

Integration with Other Attachments:

Many users choose to complement the Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader with the Power Angle Sweeper, creating a comprehensive winter maintenance solution. With separate hydraulic systems for the sweeper and spreader, these attachments can be independently engaged or disengaged. This dual functionality allows operators to sweep snow from sidewalks while simultaneously spreading de-icing material, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Above: The Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader is a great attachment choice for the application of sand and salt on sidewalks and walkways.

In the challenging landscape of winter sidewalk maintenance, the Trackless Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader stands as a beacon of efficiency, conservation, and cost-effectiveness. Engineered with precision for sidewalks, this solution not only improves safety conditions but also optimizes material usage, reduces labour efforts, and ultimately lowers operational costs. As communities strive for effective and sustainable winter maintenance, the Trackless Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader proves to be a valuable asset, ensuring that sidewalks remain safe and accessible throughout the winter months. Trackless Vehicles has indeed set a high standard with this innovative solution, paving the way for safer and more accessible sidewalks in the harshest winter conditions. The Trackless MT7 is an invaluable asset for municipalities, parks, HOAs, and campus maintenance crews, ensuring that public spaces remain accessible and safe during winter months.

Enhance your ice control and ice removal practices with the power of Trackless Vehicles! Interested in ordering a Trackless MT and Rear Mount Sidewalk Spreader attachment for your institution? Get in touch with your local Trackless Vehicles dealer today.