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Sub-freezing wind chills in all 50 states before Thanksgiving.
A late Fall monster snowstorm that dumped more than six feet of snow in Buffalo, New York.
A polar vortex causing a deep freeze across the Midwest even before winter officially begins.
You don’t need a weather man to tell you that it’s already shaping up to be another long, cold, snowy and icy winter, possibly topping last winter’s extremely harsh conditions.
Coping with Winter: The Right Way and the Wrong Way
When it comes to businesses dealing with winter weather, there are two schools of thought: You can either sit back and hope for the best (the wrong way), or be proactive and prepare for the worst (the better way).
One way of preparing your operation for winter is by utilizing the equipment you already own to help combat the season’s ice and snow. For forklifts, this means equipping them with both snow plow and salt spreader attachments.
Salt Spreader Forklift Attachments
Salt spreader forklift attachments can be attached to either a forklift’s front forks or towed behind the vehicle, depending on the model you choose. Both types are used to distribute rock salt to roads, platforms and other frozen surfaces so that ice can be melted quickly and safely.
One front-mounted model — the Winter Wizard, a salt spreader manufactured by Vale Engineering — is a typical example of this type of forklift attachment. It has a 500 lb. capacity and can spread both wet and dry salts over an area of about 15 feet.
The front-mounted salt spreader forklift attachment is hydraulically driven from the forklift auxiliary circuit or by connecting it to the forklift side shift, which is the normal way to provide hydraulic power to forklift attachments. It utilizes a stainless steel auger system to feed the salt into the spreader.
Front-mounted spreader attachments can double in the springtime as seed spreaders in agricultural applications, potentially allowing owners to use the attachments in more than one season.
Towable Salt Spreaders for Forklifts
There also are towable salt spreaders that can be pulled behind a forklift. These are often used in conjunction with snow plow attachments that fit onto the vehicle’s front forks. As the plow attachment pushes snow and ice out of the way, the towable salt spreader forklift attachment lays down a layer of ice-melting salt.
Typically, towable salt spreader forklift attachments can be adjusted for height so that they can be attached to different sized vehicles.
Both the front mounted salt spreader forklift attachment and the towable version also can be used to distribute grit rather than salt, providing more traction on slippery parking lots, roads, platforms and other surfaces.
In addition to using your existing equipment to combat dangerous winter conditions, it’s also a good idea to be prepared by making sure you have plenty of snow shovels, rock salt and other ice- and snow-battling supplies on hand before harsh winter weather hits. As the people in Buffalo can tell you, sometimes heavy snowfall can hit with little or no warning, so it’s helpful to have all your tools ready to go.