New winter service technology in Lithuania: safer traffic and less salt

New winter service technology in Lithuania: safer traffic and less salt

Municipal maintenance companies in Lithuania have renewed their machine fleets. Along with new snow plows, they purchased modern spreaders with wet spreading technology

Spreading with wet salt instead of the usual salt, makes it possible to reduce the amount of salt thrown on the streets during winter maintenance.

The new equipment is already in use in Lithuania, especially after the increase of traffic accidents during the last few weeks, recorded by local insurance company “Lietuvos Draudimas”. When heavy snow fell all over Lithuania in the second week of 2021, the number of traffic accidents increased by 32%, compared to the last week of 2020 when there was no snow.

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4 times less salt on the streets

Tomas Samulionis, head of Sales at Alwark company, discoveres a new trend in winter service maintenance: municipal companies are now buying spreaders equipped with tanks for wet spreading, and mounting them onto their vehicle fleet.

“Spreading with wet salt allows you to throw 4 times less salt on the road, than using the usual dry salt. Wet salt is also effective much longer than regular salt – up to 3-5 days, so spreading can be done less frequently. Less salt consumption in winter maintenance also means lower costs for the contractors, and less pollution on the streets,” says Samulionis. According to him, the wet salt solution protects the road more effectively than ordinary salt at temperatures down to -5 °C, when there is no snow. In addition, it works faster because the solution immediately melts the ice or prevents it from forming, while dry salt melts more slowly.

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One third more accidents in the winter season

The winter season 2021 has already shown its teeth in Lithuania, and newly purchased equipment works almost non-stop. The data available to “Lietuvos Draudimas” insurance company shows that the number of traffic accidents increased after the winter conditions. “Although movement between municipalities is restricted, we recorded an increased number of vehicle damages at the beginning of the year, because of heavy snowfall and severe cold weather. Compared to the last week of December 2020, when the road surface was drier, there are 20% more traffic accidents. Heavy snow also causes obstacles on the roads because its weight breaks tree branches and power lines, so it is important to keep a safe speed and be careful in traffic,” comments Artūras Juodeikis, Director of the company’s claims department.

Samulionis, head of sales at Alwark, noted that due to the warm winters, the road maintenance companies postponed the purchase of snow removal equipment. However, they have renewed their fleets on time this year.

Original article and photographs are available here.

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