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

Is this a GOOD way to price??

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by JandA, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. JandA

    JandA Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I have heard many different ways to price salt application....please let me know all of your thoughts on this pricing, as I am a newbie this year...

    1 acre = 43,560 square feet.

    I have been told (by many) that we should consider 1 acre to equal 500lbs of salt (10 bags for those of us without bulk salt).

    If I charge (from what I can understand is the average) $17.00 per pag, then one acre of salt should run $170.00. That seems way too low.

    Before I send out proposals, what if I charged by the square foot at 1%....for example, if an acre equals 43,560 feet, then I would charge $435.60 (which seems more in the ballpark, or am I way off?).

    Couple of examples:

    22,000 square feet = $220.00
    76,775 sqare feet = $767.75
    19,500 square feet = $195.00

    I wouldn't leave my shop without a minimum of $100, so anything less than 10,000 square feet gets the minimum of $100.

    By the way, I charge $75 per hour for plowing in addition to the salt application....

    Your thoughts please???


    1995 Chevy 1 ton, Meyer 7.5, tailgate spreader
    1989 Ford 1 ton, Meyer 7.5, V-Box spreader
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  2. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Pricing depends upon your area, material delivery and availability.

    For instance $17 bucks a bag is nearly ideal on paper. But, you have to stay with in some limits of bulk pricing which is still cheaper. So, now your more around $10-$12 at best.

    Your plowing price is low so, some will figure your higher price on salt is ok as they will believe they will not need much salt.

    There are a number of good posts in the last few months on calculating salt need - just a little searching.
  3. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ill put it too you like this.... it all depends on the size of the property and who your bidding against

    i will not salt a lot for less than 75 bucks... that being said, that is a VERY SMALL LOT. But, a 1 acre parking lot, which is about the size of a resturant for example, the max i could charge is 160-180 or so

    and that would be using about 700 lbs on average

    i know alot of contractors that are spreadign large lots at 160 per ton, ... so a 10 acre parking lot , they might only charge 500 bucks or so
  4. JandA

    JandA Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Ok, I am starting to get an idea...Looks like if I use the 1% method, I will be too high...
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Yes the 1% method is way too high. By the way I have a "partner" with a larger snow plowing company in the area and they salt a lot that is a hair smaller than 1 acre for me for $98.
  6. JandA

    JandA Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Ok, thanks for the info. I always heard that the money is in the salt, not plowing the snow. I probably went overboard on pricing....got the $ signs in my eyes!

    I'll still play around with the numbers to see if there is a "magic" number that will work for all size lots...
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Ha I meant partnership, not partner.
  8. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    if you charge 17 per bag applied thats 170-40 for product=130 for 10-15 minutes of work that is about 500-600 per hour i think that would be conisered good money
  9. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    I CAN tell you this....If you are going on 500# to cover an acre, this is WAY n the light side. Over the years,...time and time again, our average for a normal temp and after plowing, effective rate (without going too heavy) is 20# per M (1000). This is with dry bagged salt. Now, obviously, in market values, an acre lot of approx. 44 M is going to go for less than 4 lots of 11 M. No one up here is going to spend $264 every time their 1 acre lot gets salted, let alone just over a grand for a 4 acre lot. So yeah,...there is definitely some pro-rating that has to occur.
  10. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    i do st. louis and i would say u are a little low
    i charge about same for salt but your amount is low
    mainly we get alot of saltings and a few big snows so u need to make some money off the salting
    i get most of mine with this pricing
    however u need to rethink how much salt u will be using a true acre of lot will put u over 700 here
    we get thick ice that lasts forever if u go light on salt
  11. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    its wicked here u are assuming he can go once and get it gone
    15 min is a dream
    get a good contract because you will be back in an hour when it rains then freezes again during same storm
  12. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Something to chew on for the newby.

    Lets say for instance ......you've salted in 8* degree temps , the salt is not working . The customer is on the horn crying . Whats your next move ?

    Stipulate these items and situations before diving in .

    Situation #2 There is a blizzard on the way . Calling for 18-24" with drifts . Are machines stipulated ? If so , who , what , where , when and how $$ ?

    GET 'er done wesport
  13. JandA

    JandA Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    More good info...thank you! I agree that St. Louis gets many more salt opportunities than snow and that is why I want to get the pricing right. $75 per hour for plowing is OK with me, because I think we will only plow 7-10 times a year, and that is on a good year. We see alot more sleet and freezing rain....

    As far as the 8* temps, I have calcium chloride built into my contract. I charge double for calcium, mainly because I have not found a cheap source around here. Basically supply and demand for the calcium. Natural Green, if you know of a source for either salt or calcium, I am listening!

    We don't see too many snows over 10". I can only think of 3-4 times we have had that much snow since 1982, when we had what we would call a monster that gave us 22". We had one last year that gave us around 11-12 inches....nothing like you guys see up north. If it DOES happen, though, I have subs that have the backhoes, skid steers, all the earth moving equipment if needed. Haven't built that into my contract...probably should.

    Thanks again for helping out the new guy.....I don't want to hurt the industry with my ignorance!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  14. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    where r u located i can give u a few places but this time of year prices have changed
    ice melt can be found alot of places earlier now it is just a matter of finding when next shipment comes in
  15. JandA

    JandA Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Naturalgreen...I am in the Overland area...
  16. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    overland huh
    scotts lawn care on olive
    im not big on overland thats north co. right.
    they r decent for salt and expensive for ice melt
    buchheit in st. chuck for ice melt cheaper
  17. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    so they get billed again i had a place last year were we had to go every 4 hours and clean up and salt it made for a long week since they worked from 11 pm sunday till 11 pm friday and were zero tolarence.