Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Life doesn't stop when dangerous winter road conditions arise. Emergency vehicles respond to citizen needs, and school buses must take children to school. So when wintery weather causes traffic problems, drivers are left to rely on local road professionals to use the best technologies available to keep them safe.
More and more North American counties and municipalities are using treated salt, a high performance de-icer available from major salt manufacturing companies like North American Salt Company (NASC).
Snow and ice removal crews find that treated salt is an economical de-icing solution that increases road safety during severe winter weather and is effective even in extreme temperatures. For example, NASC's Thawrox clears ice in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, extending the window for safe road management.
Drivers also may appreciate seeing clearer roads while sharing the road with fewer snow-removal vehicles. "For road crews, a product like Thawrox that works well at extreme temperatures means fewer trips out to cover the roads - saving the municipality and its residents money.
Treated salt can reduce application rates by as much as 25 to 40 percent. By decreasing the amount of product applied, trucks need fewer trips to clear the same amount of territory. This saves taxpayer dollars by reducing product cost, fuel usage and labor costs for local snow removal professionals.
Many road crews have adopted a liquid de-icing program, which sounds counterintuitive but actually is very effective. The liquid de-icer, when sprayed on salt during the spreading process, reduces bounce and scatter from the highway as it is applied. Treated salts contain a sticky ingredient similar to molasses that comes pre-treated on the salt and keeps the salt on the road so it doesn't blow away in high winds or bounce into the ditch. Using a treated salt instead of a de-icing liquid means that companies or governments spreading salt don't need to buy liquid application or storage equipment. They can keep using their current salt spreading equipment.
The distinctive orange, and in some locations brown, coloring of treated salt makes it easier for applicators to know how much and where the product is applied. This translates to significant savings for everyone -- especially taxpayers.
Thawrox treated salt is all natural, combining two proven de-icing compounds: sodium chloride and magnesium chloride. Both are made using solar energy and evaporation. These powerful ingredients, all naturally derived, make it tough on ice and snow, yet more gentle to the environment than harsh chemical additives used in other treated salts.
Because treated salt works in colder temperatures, it reduces, and in some cases eliminates, the need for sand applications, which can be hard on vehicles and equipment. Traditional salt treatments may require road crews to apply sand to aid with traction in slippery areas during extreme low temperatures. Sand can plug drains, cause road damage, and be costly to clean up in the spring. Eliminating this process can keep the roads in better condition and keep costs down for clean up treatments.