U.S. Focus: When Less is More

The fluctuating cost of salt and the long-lasting effects of its shortages combined with its corrosive damage to infrastructure and clean up costs necessitates smarter solutions. Solutions that reduce the total salt needed, increase efficiencies and cause less environmental damage while keeping the roads safe. Learn more on Aebi Schmidt North America’s approach to educate the market on the benefits of smart spreaders.

Less is more? Impossible? Marcus Scherer, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Aebi Schmidt North America, has recently pointed out in an article in Roads & Bridges: «Smart salt spreading technologies, which have been effectively used since the 1970’s throughout Europe in countries with heavy snowfall, make it possible.»

Fig.1: Data has demonstrated that a 70:30 pre-wet ratio (30% brine) does a better job of melting ice, while also using 30% less salt and optimizing truck and spreader usage.

Following the article, Scherer provided in a lecture at PWX Expo a brief history of advancements made in winter road maintenance in the European market. One key topic discussed is the move to using higher quantities of pre-wetting as part of the de-icing strategy. In the U.S., if a municipality is using pre-wet it is probably an FS5, whereas many European countries are using an FS30 and exploring even higher pre-wet ratios. The higher pre-wet ratios saturate the salt helping it stick to the ground when applied and then activating it for more effective ice melting. Technological advancements in the European market were also highlighted with a focus on automated controls and tracking systems. 

Dr. Marcus Scherer presented the benefits of smart spreading technologies to the audience at PWX Expo in Seattle, Washington, which took place from 8 to 11 September 2019.

Dr. Marcus Scherer presented the benefits of smart spreading technologies to the audience at PWX Expo in Seattle, Washington, which took place from 8 to 11 September 2019.

The well attended lecture at the PWX Expo in Seattle, Washington, showed that the topic is of great interest to those responsible and that there is a great need for more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions. A recap of the lecture was published in the September edition of

APWA reporter, a magazine with an estimated readership over 100,000 public works officials at local, state, and federal levels. More and more officials share Aebi Schmidt’s approach that it’s about time to act. Reports estimate U.S. expenditure to remove snow and ice from highways only at around $2.3 billion. The U.S. spreads as much as 22 million tons of road salt each year. With smarter salt spreading technologies now available, that amount could be reduced by one-third, still create safer roads in the winter and protect the infrastructure.

Gain further insights here or get in touch with your Aebi Schmidt representative in North America.