If you're in the market for some new spreading equipment, you picked the right time. Some of the industry's leading brands are introducing more than a dozen new models for the 2015-16 snow season. So whether your fancy is stainless steel or polyethylene, or whether you're in need of additional capacity or maybe a little less, you're likely to find what you're looking for in one of this year's new products.
Milwaukee, WI-based Douglas Dynamics—manufacturer of the Western, Fisher, Blizzard, SnowEx and Henderson brands of snow removal equipment—is introducing new stainless steel hopper spreaders under its Western and Fisher brands.
Fisher and Western. The Fisher Steel-Caster and Western Striker are offered in a wide range of sizes from 1.5 all the way up to 6 cubic yards. Engineered to maximize control and minimize waste, these new spreaders feature a unique chute design that's much different than other Western and Fisher spreaders.
"This design was created with a blank sheet of paper," says Doug Clark, product manager for Western Products. "We challenged our engineers about spread patterns and material management. They spent a lot of time testing various concepts and realized that where material lands on a spinner, initially, determines where it is going to go as it comes off. By directing material to the truck side of the spinner at the start, we help to ensure that it tends to get flung off the spinner in a direction away from the truck."
Another unique feature on the Striker and Steel-Caster spreaders is the easy-adjust shutter deflector that allows for one-sided spreading. "By using a circular design similar to what's found on some larger municipal units, we maintain positive control over the material (salt, sand, mix, etc.) until such time as it is going in the direction we want it to go—rather than simply stopping material from going in directions we don't," Clark explains. "It's a subtle distinction that means a lot when you're trying to get the most out of your increasingly expensive material."
More efficient operation and less material waste; two good reasons to consider purchasing a given spreader. Nonetheless, Clark points out that a contractor may still opt for a different, existing spreader within the Western or Fisher lineups.
"In many ways, the spread pattern between these new hoppers and the existing ones are similar," Clark says. "There have been some refinements that improve the performance of the newer hoppers, but that is frankly secondary to construction choice. Put another way, the efficiency gains between a Fisher or Western poly hopper and a Fisher or Western stainless steel hopper are probably less important than a desire on the part of any particular end-user to have a poly construction or a stainless steel construction."
That said, Clark is confident that the new Western Striker and Fisher Steel-Caster offer unique, productivity-enhancing features that are quite compelling for a contractor seeking a stainless steel option.
Boss Snowplow. Boss is also introducing a new hopper spreader for this season. “We continue to expand our ice control lineup,” says Mark Klossner, marketing director for Boss Snowplow. “We have a couple new models coming out. One is a 3-cubic-yard hopper spreader, also known as a V-box."
Quite simply, this polyethylene Boss VBX 9000 fills a void in the marketplace for Boss. “It is slightly larger than our current 2-cubic-yard model introduced a couple of years ago,” Klossner says. “A lot of it has to do with vehicle size and weight-carrying capacity." So naturally, the new 3-yard model will be well-suited to larger trucks and contractors seeking a little more production capacity.
Buyers Products. The new SHPE3000CH Poly Electric SaltDogg Spreader from Buyers Products also features a 3-cubic-yard capacity and is designed for larger vehicles—vehicles with at least a 13,000-pound GVW, to be specific. The SHPE3000CH joins the already expansive lineup of SaltDogg hopper spreaders.
"The SHPE3000CH is an excellent option for contractors in regions where greater percentages of sand-salt mixtures are used," says Dan Doerr, director of new products for Buyers Products. "The pintle chain conveyor on this spreader is preferred because it is better suited for use with sand."
Designed for heavier-duty use, the extra yard of material this new spreader can handle extends spread times, making it ideal for applications that tend to require frequent reloading. "Also, built-in top doors help prevent material jams from wet material that freezes," Doerr adds. "Then, a unique, 12-inch adjustable chute accommodates various dump and flatbed mounting heights. The quick-detach chute hardware simplifies bulk unloading, towing access and ground storage."
Buyers Products. A new polyethylene tailgate spreader has also been added to Buyers' SaltDogg lineup. The SaltDogg TGS02 Tailgate Spreader, ideal for both residential and commercial application of ice melt and bagged salt, features a 3-cubic-foot capacity and weighs just 64 pounds—helping to render it useful for 1/2- to 1-ton trucks and SUVs.
"There are three main reasons why a contractor would want to consider purchasing this spreader," Doerr says. "First, it has a patented, variable-speed auger and spinner gear motor which provides enhanced control with industry-leading pricing. Second, the receiver-mounted, low-profile design is lightweight, easy to install, and offers excellent visibility. Third, the adjustable spinner shroud provides enhanced spread pattern control."
Doerr goes onto say that the new TGS02 Tailgate Spreader takes the premium features of the considerably larger SaltDogg TGS07 horizontal auger spreader and puts them in a smaller, more lightweight and affordable unit. "The new TGS02 also offers more control over material than a traditional vertical auger spreader," Doerr adds.
Hiniker. Another new tailgate spreader is making its way to market courtesy of Minnesota-based Hiniker. Offered in two models, this one is at the larger end of the spectrum. The SS600 and SS1000 provide 6- and 10-cubic-foot capacities, respectively. Both models are stainless steel and feature Hiniker's new "No-Dribble" bubble auger system that prevents material from dribbling and leaking through the spreader when the motor is stopped.
"The bubble auger design is hard to explain in words, but basically it elevates the material into a drop tube which then drops the material down on the spinner," says Mark Miller, marketing manager for Hiniker. "Without that elevating action, the material will not be able to flow into the tube and drop down on its own. It's a simple design, but very effective.
"A big advantage of this auger design is that many other smaller spreaders continue to dribble material unless you get out of the truck and close the device/gate around the auger or output spout," Miller continues. "With this bubble auger design, you don't."
Another advantage, Miller points out, is that the auger wraps around the outside of the drop tube. "It has a bit of a 'chewing' action, so it can handle more types of material that many small, tailgate-type spreaders can't," Miller says. "Most small spreaders can only handle dry, uniform-size bagged material. But our new SS600 and SS1000 can spread bulk salt and bulk chips, for instance."
Fisher and Western. Douglas Dynamics is further ramping up its spreader offering in 2015-16 with the introduction of three new tailgate spreaders under both its Fisher and Western brands. The Fisher Speed-Caster 900 & 525 and Western Pro-Flo 900 & 525 are 9- and 5.25-cubic-foot, polyethylene tailgate spreaders also designed to handle both bagged and bulk material, including sand.
At the heart of these spreaders is the new, enhanced dual variable-speed control that allows operators to match material delivery and spread patterns to conditions. "By incorporating a tailgate version of the new electric controls we designed for our stainless steel hopper spreaders, we’ve added several functions to our tailgate spreaders that they’ve never had before," says Doug Clark of Western Products. "For example, we have a comprehensive group of troubleshooting error codes that help diagnose any one of a number of potential problems, from feed jams to overheating components, to something as simple as empty hoppers. In addition, just as with our hopper spreaders, you can run your accessories from the control, including the standard vibrator and work lights."
Fisher and Western are also introducing new wireless tailgate spreaders for this season. According to Clark, the market is growing simply due to contractor demand for greater operational flexibility. "There is an upper limit, though, because larger units require dedicated power lines," Clark reminds. "One of the reasons the 300W works off of a trailer hookup is the relatively low amp draw on its motor. Larger units, and two-stage units that have two electric motors, have amp draws that require dedicated power wiring. So even if the control itself is wireless, the unit can’t be.
"That said, smaller, 'cleanup-type' units and homeowner-segment units are definitely trending in the direction of wireless—simply based on ease of hookup," Clark continues. "There is definitely a move towards greater flexibility, and these days, more flexibility is always a good thing."
The Fisher Quick-Caster 300W and Western Low-Pro 300W each feature a 3-cubic-foot capacity. They're designed to handle rock salt and can fit on many vehicles, including pickup trucks, SUVs, tractors and utility vehicles (UTVs).
"For a contractor, a 300W makes a great UTV spreader," Clark says. "It also can easily go on any truck in your fleet that is currently wired to legally tow a trailer. This is because the spreader is set up to draw its power from a standard seven-pin trailer connection, and since the unit has wireless controls, you literally need to do nothing more than put the unit into your two-inch receiver hitch. It's highly flexible for on-the-spot cleanup."
Boss Snowplow. Boss is also introducing a new spreader designed for UTVs, the VBX 3000 Hopper Spreader. “We already have had a lineup of snowplows for UTVs and ATVs,” says Mark Klossner of Boss Snowplow. “In a lot of cases—with municipalities, campuses and contractors doing a lot of sidewalk work—they are looking for vehicles and equipment that can run the width of the sidewalk in a single pass. And they not only want to plow it, but also spread deicing material at the same time. We want to give operators the complete snow and ice fighter package for these types of applications, and a UTV is a very efficient vehicle to do it with.”