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new to sanding/salting

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Detroitdan, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Sorry if this has been covered repeatedly, I went back 7 pages and couldn't find what I was looking for. I am doing about 20 driveways this year, and two smallish parking lots (hour each). I just bought a Snow-Ex tailgate sander so I can offer sanding if people want it. It's come up a couple times in the past so I thought I'd give it a shot. I plan on buying a pallet of bagged salt and storing it, and when the time comes get a load of mix dumped in the truck and shovel it into the tailgate spreader, so I can spread either one. I didn't want to go with a full size V-box because I don't want to tie up the truck bed all winter, don't have room for it, and I don't think I need that much. So my question is, how do I come up with prices? For instance, I've heard of driveways being sanded for $60-$80, which seems really high because the average driveway here is only plowing for $30-$50. I realize the material costs money but I wouldn't have thought it costs more than plowing. I was thinking around $20 plus material, or somewhere around what I plow for. I know there are complicated formulas to figure out square footage and such, I don't want to have to think that hard. I just would like some ballpark ideas to keep my prices in reason. I average $35 a driveway and make between $100-$150 an hour plowing. So, I'd like to hear what guys think is a fair price to sand without overcharging and losing cutomers, yet still making some money.
    thanks, Dan
     
  2. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Anybody? How about just a ballpark price so I have an idea? If I plow a driveway for $35, what should I charge him to sand it on an as needed basis? Couple customers have expressed interest but they both expect to pay less than they pay for plowing. I kind of hinted that it would be about the same as the plowing.
     
  3. Mick

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

    I usually figured sanding as equal in price to plowing. I've also figured twice my cost when using 1/2 yard or more. Seemed to work out the same whichever I used. However you do it, I'd suggest setting a minimum to account for the hassle and labor involved in loading for and sanding small spaces. I had a minimum of $40 for up to 1/2 yard of sand/salt mix. Then it was $80 a yard.
     
  4. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    thanks Mick. that helps.

    I spend late fall and early winter getting ready for winter.
     
  5. BobC

    BobC Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Agree with Mick's pricing. But Mike Ouch!!!, I pay 55 a ton for straight salt they must really think sand is gold in Maine. I put down straight salt, no mess, nice melt, and easier on equipment.
     
  6. Mick

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

    No, sand is $7/ton, delivered. This is from the same place I was buying sand/salt mix for $40/yard. Then my markup to spread it made it $80/yard. That was three winters ago. Then I built a shed to store my own. The problem then was the salt. The port (35 miles away) charged $65/ton. A local guy with a dump truck was going to charge me $100 to deliver, I think about seven yards. I didn't want seven yards, but the delivery charge would have been the same and I understand that. That year, I managed to find a couple of tons of salt leftover that I bought. The next year I started buying bagged Halite locally by the skid for what amounted to $150/ton. Since I only wanted one or two tons at a time, it actually worked out better for me. I could keep the end price the same and still come out ok. About $15 worth of bagged salt to a ton of sand, add in the expense involved with mixing, storing and loading my own and it works out about the same.

    Dan, sorry to hijack your thread but I wanted to addresss Bob's issue,
     
  7. BobC

    BobC Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Mike I quess I'm happy with 55 a ton considering that either port our deliveries come into is approx 70 miles either North Albany, NY or South Newark, NJ and I double the cost for application and storage headaches. Downside is 20ton minimum but last year went thru 30 with 10 as leftover.
     
  8. fordzilla1155

    fordzilla1155 Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Just remember to factor in parts of your truck that will corrode, bumper, brake lines taigate wireing ect from the salt. Also spreader motors do not last forever, the added liability of ice contol, and the extra gas for the added weight and if you back into something because of the rear vision and extra length of the spreader. Some cost are not foreseen like the corrosion of body parts and vehicle mechanicals.
     
  9. PTLandscapeCO.

    PTLandscapeCO. Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    i buy my salt for 49 bucks a ton and i charge $135.00 a ton going rate for chicagoland is between 100-150 buckls
     
  10. Dragonscapes

    Dragonscapes Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Up here the price I charge for Salting is 90-95% of the plow price so if I charge $100 for the plow I'll charge about $90-95 for the salting depending on where I get my salt it can range from $60-75/ton
     
  11. starc

    starc Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    Dragonscapes, where you buting your salt? Do you have to buy a minimum or just a yard at a time.

    Thanks
     
  12. starc

    starc Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    Just bumping in hopes of getting an answer from Dragonscapes....