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Salt Prices

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by slplow, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    After all the cleaning of sand during spring cleanup, I have decided to introduce the idea to my commercial customers of using straight salt rather than the mixture.

    Here is the problem, pricing salt compared to using the mix. About what percentage over the price of mixture should I charge customer. I have not called to get prices per ton on the salt. Also I need to know where to by straight salt in MA. I think I heard of a place in Quincy, MA, but not sure.


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  2. JD PLOWER

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I don't know if they'll deliver to framingham but Eastern Mineral in Chelsea quoted me (last year) $60 per ton delivered but it was a 32 ton minimum delivery. As far as pricing goes I wouldn't look at it in terms of cost over a mix but what does it cost you per ton and how much profit do you want/need to make. Keep in mind you'll probably be using less tonnage to do the same amount of area as a mix. Also you might want to tell your customers the benefits of straight salt to help explain the reason for the switch.
     
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Cog bid for me was 38.16 a ton delivered 20 ton min, or 38 a ton picked up.

    Geoff
     
  4. Mick

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

    I started getting some requests for straight salt last year. This is an area which uses primarily sand/salt mix. So much so that most people look at me like I have two heads if I mention using straight salt. But, like I said, last year started the trend. There is really no comparing using sand/salt or straight salt. The reasons for using each and the end result of using each is entirely different. You have to find people who are tired of the mess of sand, as your finding. Remind them that the salt is to melt the snow and ice rather then just sit on top of it. As far as pricing, last week I was quoted $47.??/ton at the depot and $50.90/ton delivered approx 60 miles. That was for 30 ton minimum. I say you can figure roughly using half the amount of salt as you used sand/salt. Then, remember there are no clean up costs.

    (Not sure what you meant by percentage of price over mixture. There won't be any mixture with straight salt)
     
  5. Mick

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

    GeoffD, where was that? My quote came from Shurtleff in Portland.
     
  6. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I don't think it will be hard to sell the straight salt. All I have to do is show them there spring clean up bill from this past spring. I understand all the pros of using salt and will make my customers aware of such pros.

    The big question is what to charge. Should I charge a 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 more of what I have been charging with the mix. I just don't want to kill myself or overcharge and lose business. Can you help.
     
  7. Mick

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

    Why not charge "per application"? Figure out how much it took to sand a place and figure in a percentage of what it cost to clean up and charge that per app.

    For instance: You typically used one ton of sand/salt on a certain lot. Now you might use 800# of salt for the same lot. It cost $100 to clean the lot. You typically sanded five times per year.

    So:

    Charge an amount equal to one ton of sand/salt + $20 per application of salt ($20 = $100/5).

    You get the same amount of money. They get better service for the same money - everybody wins.

    I just ran the numbers for my cost of salt through this and it looks like I'd come out about even. Buying in bulk, 800# of salt would cost $20.28.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  8. JD PLOWER

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    That is going to depend on a few things such as how much of a mix are you using? If your buying a ton of mix for $30 but your mix is 80% sand then your going to up charge quite a bit from the mix.
     
  9. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    The mix I bought last year was a 3to 1 mix. [ so I was told] I think it was more like 4.5 to 1 . So I bought some salt from a friend and made it 2.5 to 1 . the final price came out to $35. a ton for the mix.
    I am also charging per app.
     
  10. Mick

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

    Since the topic of this thread is salt prices, I thought I'd post here instead of starting a new thread. I am looking for salt in this area for sale, so if anyone knows a source on the coast of Maine near Belfast, please let me know. There is supposed to be some at Searsport, but can't find out who has it.

    Anyway, I called Cargill HQ in Ohio today. Found out they had quit operation in Maine a few years ago. But also found out they expect prices to be higher this year in the MA and NJ area. Don't know if everyone already has their salt, but thought I'd pass this on.
     
  11. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Mick, I got a price on tuesday for $ 50. a ton for pick up.
     
  12. Mick

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

    slplow, I think the transport cost might hurt a little;) .

    Now, if anyone here is from Maine and knows how to contact Harcros Chemical in Searsport, let me know. I found out today they have salt stored there. Their number in the phone book is an 800 # but when I call it, it asks for a customer PIN #. Doesn't give any other option. It's half the distance as the only other option, which is Portland.