Application Rates – Rock Salt

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Salting parking lots is the most profitable aspect of snow management. Getting the most melting out of your salt while having less over-salting, will increase profitability and will reduce harmful chloride emissions.  There are ways to reduce contractor created hazards that require extra salting and labor. We have compiled data from the most in depth tests by some great universities in North America.  Being Chloride Conscious can not only help your environment stay as clean as it is intended but also help your business increase profits.

The most  important aspect to reducing the amount of salt you spread is knowing and controlling your application rate. Studies show that as little as 1 pound of salt can treat 1000 sqft! ( When temps are 30F or higher and the surface has been properly plowed) and 3/4 of a pound of salt when prewetted with brine blends.

Recent studies indicate as little as 75 lbs. of rock salt will address a light icing on 1 acre of pavement. Unfortunately for contractors, many V-box, slide-in spreaders can only be calibrated down to about 300 lbs. per-acre distribution.

See our article on “Calibrating Your Spreader” to ensure you are putting down the desired amount of salt every season. Now that you know which settings and speeds put out various amounts of salt, you can efficiently determine how much salt works in different weather situations. The following chart is from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. To determine the optimal application rates review these variables:

  • Pavement Temperature (measured with an IR thermometer)
  • Snow/Ice remaining on the surface after plowing (measured in inches)
  • Anticipated future snow fall
Salt Application Rate Table

Use this table to adjust your salt application rates for various weather types.

  1. Using Deicing Application Rate Guidelines for Parking Lots and Sidewalks. Select the row with the appropriate pavement temperature, temperature trend, and weather conditions.
  2. Select the column that has the type of material you are using.
  3. Find the box where the row and columns intersect to find the application rate.
  4. Compare those values to the calibration chart for your truck.
  5. Dial the correct setting for the rate calculated.

Additional Application Adjustments:

Snow type application rate adjustments
Some adjustments to consider based on precipitation types.

Application Base Rate
Application Base Rates for 2cm/.8″ of Snow.


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By:Chloride Conscious

Links to the cited studies for this article. Snow Magazine Minnesota Pollution Control Agency University of Waterloo iTSS Lab