Should I use a Telehandler for loading Salt?
- 26 Oct, 2017
With winter rapidly approaching, we have noticed a big uptick in orders for telehandler buckets, many of which are being taken in preparation for the start of gritting season, but the question remains, should you really use a telehandler for loading salt/grit?
Overview of road gritting...
Because of our climate in the UK, the temperature rarely drops very far below freezing, but it does often drop just enough to let water freeze on the roads. The way we get around this is to spread vast quantities of rock salt on the roads whenever the weather is predicted to drop below freezing.
Rock salt has the ability to lower the freezing point of water and therefore make the roads safer.
So how do we go about putting all this rock salt to work? Most councils and local authorities use gritting trucks which have a turntable on the back which spreads the salt evenly across the roads surface.
But these trucks don't just load themselves, which is the point I am getting to! Exactly how are they loaded and / or how should they be loaded?
Using Telehandlers for loading Gritting lorries...
The telehandler (or loadall as they are sometimes known) has long been the machine of choice for loading the gritters for a number of reasons:
- They are easily available
- They are easy to drive
- They are reasonably cheap to hire / purchase
Whilst these points are all true, there are a few other points that plant hirers might care to consider.
The negatives of using a telehandler for loading salt...
- Firstly, salt is a very corrosive material, especially when combined with water. Whilst most gritting sheds are supposed to be dry water invariably gets tracked into the shed and is present in the air. This causes the salt to sweat, and can cause huge amounts of damage to the machine.
- This dampness also causes another problem. When salt gets damp it becomes very very hard - on a par with concrete! Most operators take to driving the machine harder and faster into the pile, and we have seen reports of machines having the arm bent and twisted as a result of this.
So what is the point I am trying to make?
Well firstly (this is doing me out of business now!!) you might want to consider using a machine like a wheeled loader which is better suited to this application, but these machines do come at a cost.
If this isn't an option, we would encourage you to consider an Ultra Heavy Duty telehandler bucket that Rhinox have designed that helps overcome some of the difficulties, and also saves money in the long run.
We regularly see companies going through more than one telehandler bucket each season and this eats up profits.
Why Should I Choose a Rhinox Ultra Heavy Duty Telehandler bucket?
To start with the whole bucket is manufactured from a much heavier grade of steel to maximize the strength of the bucket when ramming into a pile of salt.
Secondly we fit teeth to the front of the bucket - this increases the penetration and allows the bucket to break up the salt easier so less force is required to fill the bucket.
Thirdly we fit wear straps and heel blocks to the base of the bucket - this saves the bucket when it is scraping along the shed floor
Fourthly we use Heat Treated cutting edges (hardened to 400HB) to maximise the wear resistance of the bucket.
So if you are looking to protect your profits this winter, get in touch with the Rhinox team, and see how we can better protect your assets and help you earn more money!