Speed Wastes Salt, the Proof is in the Numbers

Organization: PublicWorksTraining.com

Created by: John Ryynanen


We all know that when rock salt is spread from a truck, it "bounces and scatters" before settling on the pavement. For decades, it was assumed that pre-wetting the salt before spreading it was the best way to minimize bounce and scatter. But pre-wetting is actually only a small part of the solution.

In the summers of 2012 and 2013, the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Operations Field Services Division organized two hands-on research studies to determine exactly how prewetting, truck speed, and equipment type affect salt bounce and scatter.

This short presentation summarizes their findings. It's a perfect conversation-starter for an entire winter maintenance crew and a great first step toward more efficient and effective winter maintenance practices.


Supplemental Materials

MDOT Winter Maintenance Application Rates for Solid Deicers (PDF)

MDOT Maintenance Advisory on Best Practices for Applying Deicing Materials (PDF)

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