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Monitering weight out of a bulk spreader.

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by rjets00, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. rjets00

    rjets00 Member
    Messages: 48

    I was wandering what everyone else dose. I have thought about doing something with cattle scales, the kit witch is basically 2 load censor beams and a monitor witch would cost about 650.00 dollars, And I have heard about digital flashers but don't really know, anything about them. I m open for ideas. thanks
     
  2. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Just Bill for at least a ton, thats what most guys do around here :nono:
    They just guess, or the person doing the billing charges X amount to cover there cost, and make a profit.
    Thats how you can make money when your applying it for $95 a ton.
    How else can a guy get 6 billable tons in a 2 yard v-box pumpkin:

    Seriously though
    We charge per application, then theres no dispute about what was put down.
    Once you start selling by weight, by law you need certified scales.
    So if you were called out in court, this may come up. Food for thought.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  3. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i use to charge by weight, this will be my first per application yr ...

    however, i have in my contracts that.............." this is for an average application rate of ---2 tons--- , and that due to lower temperatures, or additional ice/snow more slat might be required , and will be billed at a rate of ------------ per ton that is applied.
     
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Estimate, you get good at it after a while.
     
  5. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Why is it anyones business how much is applied.

    I know its asked all the time. How much per ton? How much are you gonna apply.

    Irritating it is. I also charge per treatment. They want the ice controlled, heres what it costs, your last concern should be how much product is used.

    No one asks any other service business how much product they are using to accomplish the agreed upon goal.

    Except this one

    Your painter, your fertilizer guy OR the goof at the Car Wash. Hey pal...How much do you charge per gallon of water used to wash my car? uhhhhh. I dunno man. It's 4.95 6.95 if you want hot wax.

    .

    Stupid.


    And whilst I am at it....you guys rip yourselves off charging per ton. So what if it only takes 750 lbs. Thats still worth a hundred bucks.

    You should al be charging 300 a ton if you charge....Per ton.

    And really you probably are but you're doing it by BSing the client.

    Tell em the truth, charge em for bein out there with your 40, 000 in equipment at 3 am, and stop doing this charge em 130 a ton, and only apply 500 lbs bs.

    jesus.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i the past i charged per ton , but with a $100 min charge

    sure the "per application rate works most of the time" ...im trying it out this year myself

    what what about those lots, that require 2 full tons or more? on an ice strom , you might have to appliy well over 4 tons.... y shouldnt i get paid for the extra salt
     
  7. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    yeah but you complain when you get pimped once or twice a season or maybe not even, and have to over apply, but laugh all the way to the bank chargung for "Tons" when you treated three commercials with 1
    Ton.

    Its the same in the Fert Business. Round 1 and 2 and 5 and 6 are heavier less profitable app's than 3 and 4. Especially with this drought
    Im having.

    It evens out and ya'll know it.

    I hate playing games and my issue is I have to play this dumb game because thats the way people think its supposed to be. How much per ton. How much are you going to use. Shut up. Heres the price per app. Do you want it done or not.

    They are buying a SERVICE. Not a product. Thats where people screw this up. It's Ice Control or Ice Management. Not applying Salt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  8. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046


    On small places per application works, on larger places per ton works better, plain and simple. Jesus :drinkup:
     
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    :nod: completely correct, little lots... if you use 200 lbs extra, on bulk material , who cares

    but when your taking 1-2 tons extra... it adds up on those cold nights, with ice
     
  10. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I just changed my billing from per pound to per application too. The vast majority of saltings we do are right after plowing to clean up and require a light application. If we get one or two ice storms and I have to spread heavy, so be it, I am still going to come out ahead. But the most important thing is that I feel better about charging per application and not per pound and spreading less than I bill for.
     
  11. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I don't agree with this theory one bit.

    Last feb when bulk was dangerously low, did you charge far less then you ever did in the past, when applying 1/4 of what you usually did ? I bet if you put down 500#s to achieve what 1000#s used to you charged the same with no discount. Same goes for guys spreading 10 tons on one site. You still need that min. so why not get paid a fair price every time, for your time ? If it is extreme conditions, they will pay for multiple applications if needed. Ice storms are accounted for under Blizzard clause in the contracts.


    Last feb. I used tiny amounts (several times) on my largest account 6 acres of pavement. We had several Alberta clippers that produced fine powder, we plowed that site with rubber edge 10' ffc plow. There was so little left on the pavement it would have been a crime scene to apply more then 1500#s on that pavement. I got my normal rate as we had agreed to it. No complaining, why the hell does my lot look like a beach etc.


    We also had storms that were gone by 12am with 30 f and sun popping up at 7am, that allowed me to utilize way less then we normally put down. Lots were always black and wet by 7:30 am.
    I don't feel I should be paid less for doing almost the same amount of work, and I also don't like being paid a minimum.
    Lil residual snow, requires lil salt when temps are up. Get paid the same, every time. I promise you per tonners, that you will use far less way more, then the times you use alot more. You will use less product, the client is still happy, and Mother Nature will be happy too.

    When you agree to an "applied per ton rate" , you are telling the client this is the price, I will charge far less when I use less, and more when I use more. I highly doubt any clients agreed to the Contractors philosophy of " I charge what they think is fair". Which most do, when salt sky rockets, or fuel shoots up.

    How many charged far less, when rates shot way up and they used less, and there was no bulk to be had within 700 miles ?
    Go ahead fella's don't be shy get them hands up ! :redbounce
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  12. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i think your partly correct

    most of my emplyees are not told what the contracts charging rate is... i tell them - "hey guys" we are low on salt... so use less this is all you get. each account is tracked to see how much was spread regaurdsless of how the customer pays for it

    alot of times in the bid specs we get, they will tell ME , how THEY want it...per ton or per APP

    you stated you should be paid based on your time, since it takes very close to the same every time? consider this...right now , today - what cost you more... extra time for your workers? or extra salt? - SALT, so if i apply 1 extra ton, because i feel it needed it , and it was cold or icy , why shouldnt i be paid for that extra ton , after all - its a business expense dirreclty associated with that account.

    im sure there , including myself , charge a minimum. you can say all you want, I HAVE NO MIN. but when it comes down to it...there is a price for rolling out of bed at 1 AM, and i dont think 50 bucks is it. my invoices do not say min charge $### instead they say 1/2 ton /minium charge, maybe fancy wording, but it works and i dont get compalints

    i did change most of my smaller accounts over this year, to a per application, but that is for other reasons,

    larger accounts, 1 ton here, 1 ton extra there, times multiple accounts, times like a whole month , and now your out 2000
     
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i think per app is the only way to charge for salt 5 bags or 5 tons

    there are guys in this town charging 80 a ton applied i get 80 to spread 350#

    if you spread an additional application charge them for the additional application, you dont have to charge them full price if you dont want to. we had bad ice in cold waether and spread some jobs 3-4 times in one day and charged for each, no complaints
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  14. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    why does per ton work better isnt the risk/reward ratio the same for a little or big job
     
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    200# extra on a 400# application would be the same as 1 ton extra on a 2 ton applicaion

    or am i wrong
     
  16. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    2 reaosons for that

    per app, might work better on smaller lost... and yes preading 3-4 tims per day , i would charge 3 or 4 times , the amount of salt that you spread , will only vary say 20% so if you normally spread 10 bags, at 50Lbs = 500LBS, 20% - tha means so a few times, you might spread 12 bags, and you cost is $4.00 per bag, so you wsted $8.00 extra dollars your not being paid for-- thats not alot

    larger accounds take 20% of 5 tons at $100 per ton cost - now you just costed your self $100.oo dollars extra. ** note you could say well your making way more, and can afford to lose that 100. but i say either way, that $100 is alot of bread and milk on my table

    the other reason, larger lots, need spot checks, there are different condions from one side to the other, loading docks that will require more service. that list could go on..treating for blowing and drifting. if only part of the lot is treated then do you only charge part the rate? what if its just like 10% of the property , say just the concrete areas? how do you figure out , then what percentage of the application rate to charge? if you say, well they get a 1/2 normal rate, then really = thats your minium....
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    My lots are checked every morning at 5am or before, Runoff, puddles, anything slippery is salted and detailed records are kept. Some mornings no salt is applied, other mornings I may put 1/4 ton-2 ton. What happens if it snows at 6pm and just the drive lanes need done, do I charge them for 10 ton or just the 5 ton I put on. the only way I can figure out how to do my properties is to sell salt by weight.tymusic
     
  18. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363


    So how do you figure this into an "all inclusive" bid ?

    Its all about averages, spot salting cost's nothing in product. The expense is the truck and the labor. You figure in your average use in a week of spot salting, plus expenses. If you have a problem site with melting on roofs every day, and run off from downspouts that re-freeze every night no biggee, pretty easy to spot on the first site inspection.
    If you need a sliding scale then do that for per application. No less then half and no more then 1.5 X Its honest and ZERO guessing on weight.
    Like I stated in another post selling by weight in this state, by law requires a certified scale. The only way your gonna pull that off is with certified scale tickets when loaded and when you hit the scale again when your done. I would bet no one is doing that here.
     
  19. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Most of my lots are all inclusive, so it's not a big deal. Around here basically everyone sells by weight, right or wrong, that's how we do it. Roofs and downspouts aren't where I get the refreeze's, it's runoff from piles. I'm very fair with my lot check pricing because for me to stay in buisness, I need to have reasonable insurance rates and the only way I can protect myself is with daily checks.
     
  20. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well i dont think that even matters in this point. an all inclusive bid.. theres no need to worry, when ur putting it down, it really doesnt matter, they becharged the same anyway. calculating it, if sure we all have our different methods.. kinda like by using the sq footage/qty thing

    but charging per ton is a fair thing to do, your correct and you should be scaling your product , no one every does. i have on a few times, as we have a supplier locally that loads one of my trucks , and charges on the scale system

    if you willing to move your "per application price around between 50% and 150% then i think truthfully why are going back and forth on this issue... because if thats the case your charging based on the amount you put down, and i have a min that i will charge for, and that means im charging per application

    i think more or less your just talking about how you word your invoices. i think there is way more risk, going per application, with salt prices being the way they are, on a bigger ice storm , or colder winter...

    let me ask you this? what happens when its really , really cold... rock salt doesnt work anymore? it doesnt happen alot but it happens ... but when it does, do you charge for a different product? do u mix a little calcuim in with your bulk to stregthen it up? how do you charge? i just tell them that when rock becomes non effective we start using calcuim , or blending the too, and they pay extra for the calcuim.... im charging based on materials.... so if you do change your product over, how do you charge , since your per application -- or do you eat that cost too?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008