Today we’re testing a new spray technology from Frost Inc. in St. Croix Falls. This morning we’re hooking the system up to our CAT 908 Compact Wheel Loader. The sprayer itself has a standard skid steer attachment which hooks right up to our machine.

The sprayer itself has adjustable jets that you can rotate and control the spray stream with. We’re filling it with a liquid pre-treat mixture called Heat Wave which is a calcium chloride blend rather than a sodium chloride blend. It’s preferably safer for the environment.

The sprayer is powered by hydraulics that connect directly to our machine connectors. Right off the bat we customized the sprayer by adding extra sprayer nozzles that broadcast the liquid more off to the side.

We’re going to use two different techniques – shoot directly down through a 1-inch snow cover and then we’re going to do a softer spray technique that broadcasts the material out over a width of about 35 feet. Let’s see which method works better.

We set out sprayer about 18 inches above the spray surface and then adjusted our spray pressure which is adjusted by an air regulator located on the sprayer itself.

Initial Results from Our Stream Spray Technique to Melt Ice

After about a half hour we were already seeing the effects of the stream spray technique. It’s about 18 degrees outside and there are clear lines down to the asphalt where the spray melted down through the 1-inch snow pack.

The tank on the sprayer started out half full and with this method we used about 15 gallons of material to perform this initial spray test. In the video you will see there is about a 4-foot gap between swaths of spray. In this section of the parking lot we also had pre-treated the asphalt.

Using the Broadcast Spray Technique for Melting Snow

For the second half of our parking lot, we’re using a broadcast method to try and melt the snow down. With this method we will increase our spray pressure to ensure all the broadcast nozzles are being utilized.

Well, after about 15-20 minutes we sprayed out the remaining 25 gallons of liquid. We were amazed at how fast the liquid was spent. In hind sight, we should’ve traveled at a higher rate of speed to cover more ground than we did.

Side note: Our building has cameras watching the parking lot 24 hours a day. Once we complete our testing, we will reveal the time lapse.

Melting the Snow Faster

By the end of day one, we plowed a section of the lot where we used the stream spray technique to see what the melt rate would be after we plowed away that snow. Next to that section we sprayed another 15 gallons over the initial stream sprayed surface to see if we could really melt the snow away faster.

Walking around the area of the parking lot where we used the broadcast method, very minimal snow melt occurred.

Day Two: How Well Did the Snow Melt Treatment Work?

It’s the second day of the snow melting treatment, our results were significantly improved. The area where we plowed snow from the lot, the snow melted completely away. The section where we sprayed an additional 15 gallons of calcium chloride. We should note the areas we sprayed are fairly low traffic areas and as we mentioned earlier, this section was also pre-treated with the spray on bare pavement.

The section of the parking lot where we used only the broadcast treatment there was little to no effect for two reasons. For one, it appears the solution was unable to continue melting the snow pack in the sparsely sprayed coverage. It never had a chance to get down to the surface and continually melt the snow. The other reason is we didn’t pre-treat this section of the parking lot.

Our take away from this is, the spray treatment works, but it works best in a pre-treatment application before the snow covers the surface. In a bigger snow storm, plowing the snow off the surface as soon as possible will allow that solution to work longer.

Our testing will continue with this sprayer and the ice melting solution. There’s always more to learn about the product and possibly improve upon. Be sure to follow KAGE online at any one of our social media profiles. Thank you for following KAGE!