1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

cost to spread salt

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by turbo5560, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    while the vast majority of guys on here seem to do salt by bulk, but for the rest of us that have to do it by the bag what do you charge to spread it. We currently don't do any, but have the opportunity to do a small complex. I was told to charge .25 cents a pound but then comparing that to some of the bulk prices .25 cents way too high! So what do you charge?
  2. plow time

    plow time Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    plowtime here in zanesville ohio i spread it for 13.00 a 50 pound bag
  3. Second Look

    Second Look Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I use Potasium Chloride (Winter Storm Ice Melter) mix that they sell at TSC for $8.79 per 50# bag. I charge $20 here in western NY and have not had anyone second guess it. I dont have alot so I do it with a walk behind spreader. If I am spending almost $10 I need to make soething for my time.
  4. Enviouslawns

    Enviouslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 186

    One of my complex's i do i charge $175.00 to salt and use 600 pounds most of the time but never any more then 700. i buy it by the skid for $140.00 for 49 50 pound bags.
  5. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    It's going to depend wildly on where you live but in most of Michigan the going rate is 100 to 135 per ton applied.
  6. WI OLY

    WI OLY Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I buy mine by the pallet. Rock salt 49 50 lb bags is right around $196.00 (includes tax and pallet). That comes to .08 per pound. I triple that price and charge .24 per pound to cover my time. When you get all your signed contracts in Oct., you should buy your salt at that time and price so you don't get screwed if the price goes up. This year I used up my salt in January and my supplier was out. He got some in later at the same old price otherwise I would have lost some profit. The bottom line is that you need some area to store the salt when you buy it in Oct. Next year I will be storing a little more because I don't want to take a chance on the price going up. I heard some guys charge 4 times the price.
  7. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    How are you going to spread the bagged salt? With a broadcast spreader? I can understand that for small drives, but for a small complex why not pick up a small tailgate/hitch mounted spreader? You can run bulk salt through it at a much lower cost per pound, and have the spreader paid off in 1 season.

    I'm not trying to start anything here, just curious.
  8. WI OLY

    WI OLY Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I use a SnowEX 575 Pro tailgate spreader and it paid for itself real quick!
  9. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    There are alot of variables on both sides. Obviously, it costs alot more to do bagged salt, and it is necessary to charge more. Many people who do bulk charge the same amount spread that bagged COSTS just to purchase. However, one thing to consider,...bagged salt goes alot farther than bulk salt does. First, it is completely dry, so the amount per lb. is a bit more. Also, it is much more fine, spreads differently, and does the same thing, but with less material. However, the cost is still there. We charge around 160 per ton for bulk, and we charge around 20 - 22 per 80# bag. The labor is what is considered. But with bagged, you HAVE to charge that much, or else there isn't much sense in even doing it. Now, I know that under normal circumstances (temps in the high teens and above, and after a plowing), we spread at a rate of around 20# per thousand, so a 50# bag should cover 2500 sq. ft., and an 80# bg. should cover 4000 sq. ft.. This is about 2x the amount that the county road crews spread on roads (around 8-9#), but it is a whole different situation in a parking lot without the steady flow of traffic like on roadways. Now, for most smaller places (1/2 to 1 acre lots or so), there really isn't that much of a difference in what is charged pricewise, between bulk and bagged, because with bulk, you STILL have to have a sort of a minimum, whether it be in the form of a stop fee, or whatever. This covers the transport, delivery, and overhead of a designated truck for salting (which many times involves storage, if the truck is kept stocked). Also, as a comparison, in a lot that may take us 4 or 5 80# bags, we could use 1/2 a yard of bulk. The bagged just seems to go down more sparingly, but still with comparable results. I guess as it stands around here right now, we won't be worrying about bulk rates for awhile.
  10. Capital Land

    Capital Land Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I would use what you had now at 25-30 $ a bag applied. you have to understand you mobilization time. fuel cost and travel time to get the material then store it and bring it to the site. and usualy it isnt at 9 am its a 3 or 4 am in snow sleet or ice. After a few storms your walk behind spreader will buy you a tailgate spreader and prob after next year your tail gate spreader will buy you a V box spreader. This is how i did it and i never had an issue yet. As long as you look prof. and resposible noone should second guess it. if the customer asks why u are doing it that way, tell them you feel it is the safest way and they wont second guess it.
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    We charge 3 times what the salt costs us. We run it through a Western 1000 tailgate sander.
  12. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    WI Oly is rite in there too.
    We do the same AND on contracts where we apply salt only on a seperate trip (in other words not done w/ the plowing when your there,but, like a ice only event) then we'll charge a service fee; usually a 1/2 hr truck rate/ labor to cover our drive time for that service. With salting when your there plowing then, your there already and there's no need for the xtra fee.
  13. Grisi24

    Grisi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    I feel really bad for you guys! Those salt mounds at the Port of Oswego are still looking great... I really should buy bulk and bag it and sell it!!
  14. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    So if you had one tonne of bagged salt, what would the total be for spreading that amount if you were charging by the pound @ 25 cents?...
  15. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Well, a ton is 2000#, so @ .25 would be $500. Now, depending on what you buy, will affect the cost (your cost). A pallet is usually where you get the largest discount, and a pallet of 50# bags. has 49 bags (2450#), and a pallet of 80# bags has 29 bags ( 2320#). The cost of the 80# bags is always cheaper per lb..
  16. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    So for applying bulk salt by the tonne @ a cost of $145 for materials, I roughly should charge the same amount to spread it? So basically, whatever it costs for bulk salt, charge that price to spread it. I think everyone should start spreading it by the bag, then you get more money.
  17. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Actually, that's what everyone around HERE is doing, now. They are loading thir V boxes with bagged salt. you gotta do what you gotta do. In normal conditions, when salt is available and at regular price, this is why those spreading just bagged salt can't even compete with bulk salt spreading, because bulk can be done cheaper. There IS however a buffer zone, though.This is because bagged salt goes alot farther in melting capabilities than bulk salt...In other words, it takes quite a bit less (of bagged salt) to do the same thing as bulk.
  18. 1wezil

    1wezil Junior Member
    from TN
    Messages: 2


    how would you charge if someone ask what you would charge per hour to salt a parking lot and a road .
  19. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Personally, I wouldn't charge by the hour for spreading salt. If I am only salting my commercial lots, I can usually do them in 5-10 minutes tops. If I'm making $100 per application of salt, and it takes me 5 minutes to drop, I'd have to charge $1200/hour in order to make the same amount of money.

    You want to charge for salt by the job, or by the ton.
  20. BMLS

    BMLS Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    One of my lots I do I use 15 50 lb bags of salt which cost me $85.00 which I charge $350.00 for 15 min of work.

    Another lots I have I use 2 15 lb bags costing me $12.00 which I charge $90.00 for those 2 lots.