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How much should I charge for ice melt application on the walkways?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Matty, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Matty

    Matty Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I have just picked up my first major commercial property for winter maintenance. I need suggestions on what to charge for ice melting the walkways. Each 50lb. back of melt costs me about $13.00. On a storm we had the other day (3.6inches) the walkways required 2 bags. It took on of my guys about 20-25min to spread. What would be a descent rate per bag, and labor for application?
  2. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Depends on what you pay your guys but Id charge 35 a bag for the product so you are probably looking at 100 dollars. Roughly.
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    a. You shoudl be able to do much better on price of just salt by buying a pallet. (down in the $7/$8 range or even better). If you are doing it commercially, you should be buying by the pallet.

    Anyway, I use a 85/15 potassium chloride/potash mix, it runs me about $13 a bag (buying a pallet). I charge 50 cents a pound (double the price I paid). I don't charge for labor, that's pretty much included in it. You can put down a couple hundred lbs in 20 minutes, why bother nickel and diming people to death? You more than paid your shoveler for the whole hour.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    How about your costs--labor, materials, overhead and profit?
  5. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    Charge around $35/bag and that should make a tidy profit. If our company goes to a project and only 2 bags are needed and more time is spent on just 2 bags, we usually charge 3 bags to help with labor. If we lay 10 bags, then it's 10 bags charged.

    It usually takes a lot less time when you're laying multiple amounts of bags let's say over 5. Good money maker.

  6. 92XT

    92XT Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    sounds correct........whats the hurry?...when in doubt.....................nuke it
  7. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    Are they spreading it by hand? Go out and buy a cheap broadcast spreader and cut that time in half. As far as cost, we multiply our product cost by 4. that covers material and labor. Excellent money maker for me. Good Luck,

  8. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    Problem with the spreaders is they overshoot the sidewalk on both sides. It's hard to regulate them to just drop on the sidewalks.

    We use 5 gallon plastic pails like the Home Depot type and we'll spread as we walk down the sidewalk. We'll do a bag in mere seconds!! It's accurate and fast. Yeah, it builds muscles because you carry the bag in the bucket but we're all men...not wooses...:nod:

    The bucket is the best way...been doing sidewalks for year...


    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304

    get a spreader with deflectors. the path will be a wide as the spreader . 25 minutes to hand spread 2 bags of salt is wasting time and energy

  10. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    you could buy a drop spreader.

    If we open a bag we charge for the whole bag.

    We charge per bag = 3x cost of bag

    If you doing the walks, your most likey doing the lot, so your there, I agree spreader is the way to go.
    on major walks you should also pretreat them
  11. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I guess if being a woosie is what makes me more MONEY than bring it on. Like already mentioned, fab a deflector for the spreader to just hit the walk. Make money,not mustle.
    Only been doing this for 4yrs and figured this out my 1st year.


    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304

    work smarter not harder

  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

  14. G.M.Landscaping

    G.M.Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    How did you land this acccount, and then do the work without giving them a price first?
  15. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    Hey if it works for you good, for us we'd need 4 or 5 spreaders on each truck and since it's faster to spread by hand for us ... to each his own.

    We make muscles and make money...:D
  16. Matty

    Matty Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for all the feedback

    :salute:A big thanks to all of your replies and suggestions. I was in the correct ballpark with my pricing. It's really nice to have a website like this with it being my first year in business. It's even nicer to still have people in this industry who care enough to help.
  17. v-plower

    v-plower Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    $35/bag is reasonable.
    I do a LOT of walks so I use a broadcast spreader. For me it is WAY faster.
    Hand spread in some small areas.
    As mentioned you should pre treat. Makes life easier and more profitable.

  18. UglyTruck

    UglyTruck Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    I can burn 10 bags of melt & do 2000+ feet of walk in 20-25 min.. (just melt, not snowblow) ....

    spreading melt by hand???? From a 5 gal bucket???? WTF??? you gotta be kidding!

    cant control the spread pattern???

    Here are pics of my spreader that I fabbed a deflector on, I can adjust from a 1 foot spread pattern to a 25-30 foot spread pattern. if anyone wants to copy me, please feel free to do so. (although, if you feel the need to send me royalties, I will not turn them down..he he he )

    If you cant figure these minor problems out then I sincerley hope that you are doing no more than running a torro for someone else.

    the only complaint that I have is that I would rather stay in the truck than spread Icemelt:drinkup:

    spreader 001.jpg

    spreader 002.jpg
  19. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    like the deflectors on that :salute:

    thats using your headpayup