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Rich's Thread

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    OK so I'm a big plowsite.com junky. And because of this, we have some changes going on this season. We've added a 16' Ebling plow and are in the process of making our own liquid salt brine and soon to be building a sprayer. Nobody in this area is using either pull plows or liquids, except for the State trucks of course. So my knowlege, tips and tricks are coming from this site. I've got a lot of questions regarding these particular things. My biggest project right now is the salt brine maker. It's all built, except for the skid loader dump chute. I've already made a 1,000 gallons. I've made my fair share of simple mistakes, but it's all minor. I have a few questions for cost comparison of spreading bulk salt compared to liquid salt brine. Double check my math here.

    Local bulk salt costs me almost $100 ton with tax. Last years delivered tri axle load I believe was $80/ton. Let's use $100 ton for easy math
    $100 ton / 2000lbs = .05 cents/lb my cost. Last year I billed at .30 cents/lb. spread

    Switching over to liquid (mostly) this season
    2.5lbs salt @.05cents/lb per one gallon of water = .125 cents / gallon my cost or 275 gallon tote = $34

    For my existing customers, I will keep my current salt prices and will hopefully raise my profit with lower liquid costs. With a lot of trial and error, along with the learning curve of course.

    1. But for new customers, what formula do you liquid guys use for billing?

    2. Do you use a percentage increase from your cost?

    3. Do you check your useage after each lot and charge per gallon?

    4. Or do you still charge per pound using the one gallon = 11 lbs?

    I know I have a lot more time involved compared to using just plain rock salt. Now I have the initial cost of buying totes, pvc pipe and fittings, gas mixing pump, lumber for dump box, skid loader, etc. Not to mention the labor of setting this all up and labor to mix each batch. It's not as time consuming as I make it out to be, as I can do different things at the shop, while mixing is going on. But it still needs to be figured in.

    Now a question about the new pull plow. I know from an average of years prior, our trucks with front plows only on average earn $150-$200 / hr. My daily driver previously had a 810 blizzard front plow only. Now the same truck will be running a 810 front plow with the additon of the new 16' Ebling on the back. If I'm doing my math right going from 10' plow, now adding a 16' plow, that's a 160% increase in capability. It's new capacity is the same as 3 trucks running 8 1/2 foot blades, if not better due to the scoop function. I don't have much to compare to once again because I've only ever helped out a guy once for a few hours when his stuff was breaking down and I billed him @ $75 / hr with front plow only. And he thought that was high.

    4. If formely averaging $150-$200 / hour, what do you think would be the new average per hour adding the 16' back blade?

    5. If you have paid a sub or have subbed in the past, with the addition of a larger back blade, what has been the difference in hourly rates with the ability to move much more snow?

    I know regions vary and know your costs comments are frequent responses, but this is entirely new to me and nothing to compare to locally. If you're not comfortable posting numbers, feel free to send a private message. Appreciate any feedback.
  2. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,547

    is my math wrong or are you charging 600% for salt spread? 2000 x.30 = 600.00
  3. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Bigger lots would be discounted. But other then that, yes. Have to pay for the salt, pay for salt storage container, skid loader to load, dedicated salt truck, vbox spreader and guys to run it at all hours of the night. Not to mention salt kills trucks fast. Have to pay for replacement costs, too.
  4. coleex

    coleex Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey! If he can get it & the customers are willing to pay it, that must mean somebody else is charging more. Furthermore, if they keep calling him to salt, he must be doing a good job. Only wish I could charge that around here.
    Let's face it, lowballers are always kicking us in the knees!!!
  5. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    What are you guys charging? And just as important, what are you paying for bulk salt? You might be getting it a lot cheaper.
  6. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    How much salt in total did you spread last season?
  7. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,547

    we are paying about the same..if i had to guess what an average was i'd say about 100-150 % markup..ie: double salt costs or so...good for you though !!!!
  8. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,547

    What are other guys in PA getting per ton?