Preparing Your Spreader for Winter

Sno-Way SKD10HS Skid Steer Salt spreader

When you see the leaves changing colors it is a good time to pull out your spreader and get it ready for winter use.  Preparing the spreader out now is easier and less stressful than waiting until 4 hours before the first winter storm so always check over your spreader before the snow flies!   Just as important, prepare the vehicle you use with the spreader so you are ready to battle winter.

 Sno-Way 26R Snow plow on a GMC Sierra 1500

Get your vehicle ready.

  • Clean your vehicle’s cab and bed of any items you do not need during snow and ice removal. Extra junk just sets you up for problems later.
  • Check your battery. It is common for a battery that works fine in summer to lack capacity to keep your plow and spreader running during snow events.  Your battery might only be two or three years old yet testing might show it needs replacement.  Test your battery under load so you really know if it can hack the work load.
  • Check all fluids, links, and joints and have all of your routine service work done.

Diagram of a wiring harnessVisually Inspect Wiring and hardware.

  • Check main power harness and any accessory harnesses on both the spreader and the truck. Look for frayed cables and loose connectors.  Make sure all connections are tight and clean from corrosion and be sure you don’t have any damaged wires.
  • Check to make sure the harness is properly routed and free from any pinch points. Clean and fix your harness if anything looks wrong.  Finally, make sure the connectors have plenty of di-electric grease on them.
  • Check all hardware to make sure it is clean and tight.

Sno-Way RVB Series Salt Spreader Auger Assembly Diagram

Grease the Bearings

  • Your spreader may have a steel bearing with a grease fitting or it may have a poly bearing. Hopefully you cleaned all the salt and debris out and greased the bearings before you put the spreader away in the spring.
  • Double check the bearings are free of debris and it won’t hurt to grease the bearings again.
  • Make sure that the shaft inside the bearing moves freely and is not seized to the bearing itself.

Check the Drive Linkage

  • If you have a direct drive (PDE/RVB spreader) make sure the shaft has anti-seize applied for easy removal. Ensure the hardware is tight.
  • If your spreader has a belt drive (tail gate spreader), make sure the belt tensioner moves freely and that the belt is properly tensioned.

Sno-way 9 cubic ft. salt spreader on a white GMC Sierra 1500

Test the Spreader

  • Connect the main power harness from the truck to the spreader.
  • Connect your control to the control harness inside the cab.
  • Power on the control to operate the spreader.
  • Make sure the spreader is running free and does not sound labored.
  • If your spreader is equipped with a belt and tensioner, make sure the belt is not slipping nor too tight.

Maintenance instructions can be found in your spreader’s owner’s manual available on Sno-Way’s® website at  If any parts or service is needed please contact your authorized Sno-Way® dealer. A full list of Sno-Way® dealers in your area can be found on Sno-Way’s® website at or click on the “Retailers” tab at the top of the home page at