With the great new products released by Western , including the 700 litre Striker Hopper which is ideal for UK 4x4 pick ups, it reignites the old Tailgate Spreader or Hopper Spreader debate.

So here’s our thoughts!

Firstly check your weight limits!

Payload: Despite what the Sales Person told you, most pick ups have a real world payload of about 900kg or less. This is due to the official way of calculating payloads; half a tank of fuel, no spare wheel, a fully dressed driver in winter wear who weighs 75kg, (me in 1985), and obviously not including those things we add like Load Liners and tow bars. And that‘s before you add all the things you carry around in the cab!

Tow bar Nose Weights: Most tow bars have a max weight limit, typically around 220kg for the rear bar, twin mount tow bars. If you’ve got a single mount tow bar you may be down to a 75kg nose weight, which means a tailgate spreader isn’t for you!

Payload is key, The Stainless Steel hopper spreader weighs in at 190kg, a Pro Flo 525 Tailgate Spreader, 72kg. (With a 150kg capacity, the Pro Flo 525 is as big as you would want to mount on a tow bar).

So, assuming a 900kg payload, the Hopper will hold just over 700kg of salt, the tailgate 820kg of salt. So the tailgate is the obvious choice with and extra 120kg of salt

But it’s not that easy!

Loading: if you are loading loose salt from your salt store, once it’s in the hopper, you are sat pretty in the driver seat until it’s empty. If you are using a tailgate spreader, you can put 150kg in the hopper, the other 670kg is in the bed of the pick up, and you need to get in and out and refill the hopper. Very aerobic!

If you are loading bagged salt, then reloading the Tailgate unit is easier, especially if you put a pallet in the back to raise the bags.

This set up has the advantage of providing an audit trail – one Council identified each location in terms of expected salt usage by area to be covered: The driver would load set numbers of bagged salt at each location – 2 bags for the park and ride car park, 4 for the Market square etc, so spread rates were managed.

Vehicle Use: To carry a Hopper, you will need to remove the tailgate, and once it’s in, that’s probably it for the Winter, so if there are periods of ‘no action’ the pick up is of limited use. If you have a tailgate Spreader, you can easily drop it off during the periods of no action and your still have a pick up to use and carry goods whilst you await the next run of actions.

So the advice is to check the weight limits and then have a good think on how you are going to load and use the vehicle.

But the good news is whether you decide to have the Western Hopper or the Tailgate unit, both have the same in cab controller, both will include delivery and Toolbox talks by the Western Team, and both will have the fantastic In Season Support.

If you have any questions or would like a demo, please let us the team know!


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