Single Stage Tailgate Salt Spreader Screen

 

This is a somewhat simple cure for problems with single stage tailgate spreaders due to clumps in the de-icer being spread. Installing a screen will stop the clumps from getting down to the auger, and clogging the spreader. The screen should be installed about 3" down from the top of the spreader. This will make it easy to break up clumps, and ensure you can get to the clumps. If you were to install the screen lower in the spreader, it would be completely covered with the material being spread, and make it much harder to see clumps, and reach them to break them up. For the screen itself, I suggest using a piece of expanded wire mesh, with 1" diamond shaped holes. If I am not mistaken, the thickness of the mesh should be about #13. I cannot remember if thickness of expanded wire mesh is measured by number, or by gauge. If memory serves me correctly, it is measured by number. With that said, lets move on to some diagrams. At any rate, the mesh should be thick enough to prevent it from bending.

After cutting the angle iron brackets, and drilling the holes, you should sand, prime, and then paint them using two coats of a good epoxy paint. Do the same with the flat stock pieces after cutting and drilling them. Sand, prime, and two coats of paint. Be sure to use stainless steel hardware, to prevent rust problems if you ever need to remove the brackets. There is no need to use lock washers if you use nylon stop nuts. On the outside of the hopper, measure down about 3" from the top lip of the hopper, and mark a center line. Position the flat stock with that center line in the center of the holes drilled in the flat stock. Mark the four holes to be drilled in the hopper. Repeat this on all four sides of the hopper. Bolt the brackets to the spreader using the 3/8" stainless bolts. Bracket on the inside, and flat stock on the outside. You want the heads of the bolts on the outside of the hopper, this way, there won't be any excess threads sticking out on the sides of the spreader.

 

Next you need to measure and cut the cross braces from the flat stock. Mark and drill the holes in the flat stock, then lay them on top of the brackets, and mark the holes to be drilled in the brackets. Drill the holes in the brackets. Sand, prime, and paint the cross braces with two coats of epoxy paint. After installing the brackets, simply cut the wire mesh to fit inside the spreader, and rest on top of the brackets. I recommend that you don't bolt in the mesh, but you could. Not bolting it down will make it easier if you have to remove it.

Another bonus of having the mesh installed in the hopper is that it will prevent you from dropping things, such as the knife you use to cut open de-icer bags, into the hopper.

Additional Resources:

Tail Gate Salt Spreader Dump Door - Makes Emptying A Simple Task

 

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