Like many Midwestern municipalities, the city of Dublin, Ohio, faces numerous challenges when it comes to providing safer winter driving conditions. That means city officials are regularly on the lookout for more effective ways to increase safety, decrease slippery conditions and responsibly manage budgets.
William Grubaugh Jr., operations administrator for streets and utilities for Dublin, said the city spent years attempting to create homemade pre-wetted salt mixes, but came up against a variety of problems such as leaching, clumping and low performance.
“We experimented with different blends for pre-wetting salt in our trucks, such as calcium chloride, but the results never met our expectations,” he said. “Leaching was a big problem for us and we also had problems with inconsistent mixes that solidified the salt. We’d end up with one giant salt rock in the back of our trucks.”
When Grubaugh and his team came across an enhanced deicer product at an American Public Works Association show, he and other officials were intrigued at the possibility of an off-the-shelf, pre-wet product.
Called ClearLane enhanced deicer and produced by Cargill Deicing Technology, the product is a pre-mixed salt product that’s different from regular rock salt because it contains a pre-wetting agent. The enhanced deicer is made with chemical and natural additives, which help clear roads by providing a faster reaction time, longer residual effects and less leaching.
The city decided to try out the enhanced deicer product and, from the first application, they were impressed. That was several years ago, and today, Grubaugh said they are convinced they’ve found the best product on the market for providing safer winter roadways and have no thoughts of going back to homebrews.
“Unlike salt that takes significant amounts of time to work in colder temperatures, the enhanced deicer works much faster. The moment we spread it on the roadways, we
can see it melting,” Grubaugh said.
As an additional benefit, because the deicer product works quickly, Grubaugh said his department uses far less product for each application as compared to salt.
“With salt, we’d have to overapply to get results,” he said. “Using the ehnahced deicer, we’ve significantly reduced the number of tons we have to apply, and we’re getting better results. “
Better results translates to better roads for wintertime driving, which means safer conditions for motorists – the top priority for Grubaugh and his Dublin team.