Increasing traffic volumes and declining resources have led to a need for innovative winter maintenance strategies, techniques, equipment and materials while not sacrificing the safety of the traveling public. Any reduction of salt usage will ease fund for other maintenance operations while minimizing salt runoff on surface and ground waters and effect of road salt on roadside vegetation. In the past, conventional spreaders have been designed for sand and are generally incapable of metering the lower, more precise amount of salt desired. The use of materials in solid form demands critical timing of the application to minimize loss of the material by being blown off the road by traffic, especially by high speed and commercial vehicles. Further loss of a straight solid salt can occur during application with conventional spreaders because of the particles bouncing off the pavement. Advancements in the design of zero velocity spreaders have enabled the placement of solid chemicals on the pavement with minimum bounce. The basic principle of the zero velocity spreader is rather simple. The zero velocity spreader ejects salt particles at zero velocity relative to the roadway. With this principle, salt particles are “placed” to the intended area on the roadway and a lot less to the area outside the roadway. Based on the tests, the Zero Velocity Systems will give excellent performance with a large number of cost savings due to the accurate placement of salt particles on the roadway. However, on the slower truck speed, a modified system such as the Y system or Muncie system, can give a satisfactory result as well.

Report Number



zero velocity, salt spreader, SPR-2147

SPR Number


Performing Organization

INDOT Research Division

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version