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Plowing residental with salt

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by jbsplow, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Hey guys new to the site and have a couple questions about salting on residential. I Started my own plowing biz this year and have been pretty lucky so far I have very good customers all pay cash and are all retired and or vacation homes so they don't care when I show up. I can bid the plowing. but a few of my higher end accounts want salt now. I was in a rush so I bought 10 bags of salt for $60 and salted them. For example: I used two 50 pound bags on a driveway and It took me about 10 mins to spread the salt with a fertilizer/hand salter. I charged the customer $ 30 for the salt. So I paid 12$ for material and about 10 mins of work. am I not charging enough or is that sound about fair?? thanks guys
  2. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 291

    What's your overhead for everything?
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Materials x 3 Is a good place to start.
  4. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,838

    Not sure where wisco is, but you in the ball park.
  5. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    I plow the driveway for 50$ it takes me about 15 mins (lots of back dragging and all has to be pushed out), and i told her if she wants salt it will be 30$ cause its a big long drive that needs salt, and takes easly 100 pounds of salt. Id say with plow and salt i have 30-35 min job there. So im making 80 in about 25-35 mins. I think im doing ok for my first year. I started with one account in novemeber thinking i wasent going to get any calls and was getting worried, but now i grew to 10, and am getting calls every day. Im making about 80-100 dollars cash a hour from what i calculated and my route is about 45 miles roundtrip.
  6. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Wisconsin cmon man you know the beer state!
  7. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Also I told my customers anything over 6 inches i'm going to come twice, we haven't had a huge storm yet so that haven't happened this year. OR do you think it is better to say anything over 8" is a extra 20-25$. Thanks guys
  8. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,838

    over 12"
    this is pretty common tiers, usually they go up in 25%-75%, also some only go 6-10", but fer resi, keep it simple.
    $100 up to 5.99"
    $150 6"-12"
    $225 over 12"
    salt just go 3x your cost, & always round up (ie: you spread 1/2 a bag, @ $6/bag you spread $3, so times that by 3= $9 round up to $10, same if you use 3/4 bag of salt, round it up to 1 bag.
  9. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Thanks bc handy man today we got like 8 inches today, i charged my customers a extra half.. So my 50$ driveways i charged 70-75 and my 35 dollar drives i charged 15-20 extra. i think it was fair.it was alot of snow to push lol. Already out three times here in wi before xmas pretty good year so far. And for the salt thanks for the tip i appreciate it.
  10. UniqueTouch

    UniqueTouch Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    15 minutes to do a driveway??are you serious ? I do most parking lots in 15 mins, better get a lot more $$ then that my friend
  11. MattR

    MattR Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    As the OP mentioned, it is his first year. 15 minutes is not that unreasonable with a bunch of back dragging involved. Sounds to me like he is doing a decent job and not pounding the heck out of his truck to get it done in less time. As far as money is concerned, I am sure prices are a bit different in WI when compared to NJ.
  12. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Ya its a big driveway.. and when you have a lot of snow and back dragging, I have 3 more accounts less than a mile away. I do that driveway in 15 mins, then I go and do 2 more for 35 and they take me 45 mins to do all 3.
    So 50+35+35 =120 in about 40-45 mins. that's damn good and its all Cash. and when we get bigger storms I tack on 20-25 extra anything over 6 inches and it takes me a good hour or a little more then. so I get $75 $55$55. that's 185$ for maybe a hour and 10 mins at the most.. For my first year that's pretty damn good. And when your doing parking lots there usally pretty straight forward, I can plow a parking lot in 15 mins to depending on the size...
  13. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    and im taking my time making sure everything looks real neat and clean to keep the customers happy so I can continue to plow there driveways for years to come and build a good reputation. some of the accounts I have I got because the previous guys that had them did a sloppy job, or they never showed up. MY ten accounts that I have all said they were very impressed with my work for the first year so far and appreciate my services, Even got a xmas bonus from some of my customers:)
  14. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    I think its all relavent in a parking lot that takes you 15 minutes how much are you making vs how much is your insurance for commercial plowing. In a driveway if your making enough to clear $80 in 20-30 minutes its not bad considering there is almost zero liability as far as slip and falls. Id figure about $15 per bag if theres more than one bag and if its only one i figure $20. The only problem with doing driveways that use one bag is if in the event of an ice storm they want salt youll be driving around making no money.
  15. Fourbycb

    Fourbycb Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    $18.00 for 10 min of labor hand salting a driveway I believe your in the ball park
  16. jbsplow

    jbsplow Senior Member
    from -
    Messages: 124

    Ok that's what I did. I charge 20$ for just one bag spread, and if the driveway takes 2-4 bags I charge 15 per bag
  17. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    You are about right for salt.
    I charge like this
    .5 to 3 base
    3.1 to 6 base x 1.35
    6.1 to 9 last one x 1.35
    Or whatever you can charge. This is about as high as I can go here.

    Over 9 is TM + base rate
    By only charging more at 8 inches you are leaving a lot of money on the table. 2 inches is way faster than 6 and so on.
  18. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    we do $20 / 50# bag of contractors choice applied.
    Usually you double to triple the cost of the salt to cover application and such.
    I use a premium ice melter at $8 / 50# bag so I doubled and then rounded.
  19. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Just something fun guys. For those of you charging by the depth of the snow, where are you measuring the snow? Are you going to the opposite end of the driveway from the wind direction? LOL
  20. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I poke around all over and find the deepest spot, tilt the ruler (that has the first inch cut off) and add 1 inch plus round up . :p