Sno-Way International has released a new PDE Controller. This control has all the features that you would expect in a spreader control plus many more features that I will try to describe.
This control will allow you to adjust the auger speed and the spinner speed independently using pin wheels to increase or decrease the speed of the auger or the spinner. The control has a push button to turn on or off the vibrator or vibrators, a push button to turn on or off and optional light and a push button to turn on or off an optional wetting system. All of the wiring for all the accessories is in the harness that is located on the back of the spreader and only needs to be plugged in to become functional. The receiver is mounted inside of a cover on the discharge side of the spreader so all heavy gauge wire is located on the spreader with a water tight connector. No heavy gauge wire coming into your vehicle cab, just four eighteen gauge wires with a connector that is assembled after the wire is fed through a 3/8 inch diameter hole.
Another feature of this control system is that it will maintain your auger speed and the spinner speed to control your spreader output. Suppose you have an auger speed set at half speed, and you are spreading wet heavy sand and a large pile of sand falls unto the auger. All of the systems that I know of would slow down or go into a stall mode and quit working because the auger got overloaded. This system will automatically increase the power to the auger to maintain the flow rate you want and once the load has been removed the system will automatically reduce the power to the auger and maintain your original auger setting on the control. I compare it to the cruise control system on your truck when you go up a hill your truck will automatically down shift and accelerate until you are back up to your set speed, once you go down the hill it will automatically up shift and decelerate until you are back to your speed setting. This same action will be repeated on your spinner to make sure you maintain your spreader pattern regardless of the load that is applied to the spinner.
Suppose you are still working with the low flow wet sand, this system has an auto mode setting that allows the vibrators to cycle on and off when needed. Let me explain this more clearly, a vibrator can be your best friend or your worst enemy if not used correctly, if you leave the vibrators on too long it can pack the material so tight that it can’t flow to the auger, or it can break it up so much that too much material gets to the auger and it overwhelms the auger. This system monitors the auger to make sure material is flowing through the auger, therefore when the vibrators are needed the system will turn them on, and when the auger is flowing the correct amount of the material the system will turn the vibrators off. This auto mode feature works with the wetting system, the system will maintain a pre determine flow rate, so if you decrease the auger speed the control will reduce the amount of liquid flowing to the spinner. If you increase the auger speed the system will increase the amount of liquid flowing to the spinner. All the operator has to do is drive the truck; the control will handle all the functions that are in the auto mode.
Another standard feature of this control system is the run/pause button. Suppose you are getting to the end of a parking lot and you need to turn around and go back in the other direction, but you do not want to spread material while you are turning around. All you need to do is push the run/pause button and everything will shut off, once you turned around and you’re ready to spread again just press the run/pause button and everything will turn back on exactly where you had all the settings when you pressed the run/pause button the first time. This will repeat every time you press the run/pause button and you can even change the setting in the run/pause mode and it will adjust to the new setting when you press the run/pause again.
The display screen is a well-lit LCD screen with both auger and spinner graph displayed and an animated auger and spinner display to indicate the speed of each item.
The system also has a timer that is displayed and it keeps track of the auger speed and with that information you can calculate how much material you dispense out of the spreader.
The last thing I want to touch on is that with the changes that we made to the PDE spreaders and combined with the PDE controller, we now have an auger spreader that can spread all different types of material, what we have spread so far is wet sand, dry sand, sand/salt mix, bulk salt, wet bulk salt, bag salt, pea gravel and magic salt. You can see the videos of these materials being spread on our Sno-Way YouTube page for yourself.
Written by Terry Wendorff, President, Sno-Way Intl.