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New guy saying hi

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Precedence, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Precedence

    Precedence Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Hey all,

    I'm just starting out on my own, I have some experience in the industry, I plowed and salted for my first 4 years in my old bosses trucks then i started plowing in my own truck and subcontracting back to him for the last 3 for a total of 7 years experience.

    I have a pretty good handle on most of the regional pricing for plowing ($100-$120/hr average), and for hauling of snow ($100/hr for truck and backhoe) from talking to guys around here, however salting prices have been harder to find out. The reason for this is that in this area we get only about 7-10 plowable events per year but around 50 salting events therefore everyone makes most of there money on salt and so nobody talks about it.

    Now i know profit is a function of costs and so i'm not looking for a dollar amount i would rather know what a reasonable profit percentage is, personally i was thinking around 10-15% would be competitive. Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Depends on how you're defining "profit". Are you figuring costs to include cost of material (salt), equipment costs (truck, salter), fixed costs (insurance), variable costs (fuel) and labor? Or are you just looking for a percentage to charge over the cost of the salt?
     
  3. Precedence

    Precedence Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Yeah, i'm talking about the markup on top of ALL my costs, including insurance fuel labour equipment ect..

    I already know what my total combined costs per application of salt would be based on the average number of events per season and the total number of contracts i would like to aquire, i'm just trying to come up with a competitive profit margin to tack on top of that.
     
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Salt is hard to get this year. I would say at least 25%. JMO
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Check around for availability of salt and salting in your area. I'd say 15-20%; profit to total costs. As a short-cut, when I was sanding with a V-box, I charged double the cost to me. IE: $80 to spread a ton of sand-salt mix that cost me $40. I could keep this same pricing structure when I started mixing my own pile - more work involved and some more overhead, but more profit.
     
  6. Precedence

    Precedence Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Salt is not to bad to get around here, there is a salt mine right in the city, and at least two landscaping supply yards are open to supply bulk salt during storms at all hours of the night, you just have to set up an account with them, they are a bit more than direct from the mine but not to bad.

    Last year the mine couldn't keep up with orders of the normal road salt so people around here had to switch over to using brine salt (which is about the consistency powdered sugar and spreads like crap) the upside is they still had lots and lots of it. So even in a worst case scenario there is always some kind of salt available around here.

    Thanks for the advice guys. So it seems that between 15-25% is the usual profit margin.