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Salt Pricing

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by pyrocare, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. pyrocare

    pyrocare Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I was wondering what some of you guys charge for salting residentials. I just use an old fert. spreader set on the medium to highest setting and I buy my salt at Sam's Club by the 50# bag for $5.49 a bag.
    I was thinking about just charging like $10 an application since I know that I will use a half to a full bag at all of the places and it won't take me more than 10 mins to spread.
    Do you think that that isn't enough or too much any suggestions would be apppriciated.
    :confused: :confused:
     
  2. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I fit was me, I would charge for salting at least as much as I charge to plow. By time you get out, grab the bag, grab the spreader, open the bag, dump it into the spreader. Spread the salt, and load the spreader back into the truck, it will take at least as long as plowing the drive does. Get payed for what you do, dont give it away.
    Dino
     
  3. Comet

    Comet Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    You said that right Dino! There is a lot of tireing effort/time to do all that for someone
     
  4. I agree with you guys, when i charge for salt, i wont go below the price of what it costs to plow it.
     
  5. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    On residentials, I too think Dino is right - very labor intensive with a tailgate spreader.
     
  6. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    John
    I beleive in this case he is using a walk behind fertilizer spreader, further increasing his labor.
    Dino
     
  7. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Not to say John or Dino are wrong, but it will also depend on how close the driveways are. I bid a few housing communities this year and lost one because of the price on the salt was too high. I charged what I was charging per drive to plow. (88 drives all next to each other) The guy that got the bid charged $7.00 per drive for salt. It seems low but $615 for an hour to spread at most 2 yards about $170 cost to me. It's an easy task with a V box and a helper salting the walks. Although $1300 for an hours work would have been nice, I didn't realize how high it was untill it was too late. To do single residential accounts at this price would be giving your services away like John and Dino said. The contractor who got the bid aslo bid the drives at $125 each for the season (double drives about 100' long)
    Casey

    Oh yeah incase you're wondering I did rework my numbers and manage to win one of the bids.
     
  8. Mick

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

    I just lost a bid due to the sanding portion. It was a seasonal for plowing but "per occasion" for sanding (that's how they specified it). When I figured each on a per occasion basis for my own reasons, it came out to sanding being 2/3 of the plowing charge. That would be doubling my cost for material. The plowing portion was in line with others, but lost it on the sanding.
     
  9. pyrocare

    pyrocare Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Thanks

    Thank you guys for all of your replies. It has been a big help. It gives me something to fall back on if my customers complain about their prices - just say I'm in line with all of the others.

    Thanks again.:) :)
     
  10. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Don't forget that about half of your plowing income should go into a faux 'truck repair' fund. If you plow a driveway for $20.00 than expect half of that to go towards wear & tear, insurance, fuel, unexpected repairs, etc. When salting with a fertilizer spreader, you are eliminating that added expense. Therefore I feel it to be too high to charge another $20.00 for salt especialy when it cost less than $5.00 per bag. I would say $10.00 to $12.00 per bag you distribute. It only takes a second to pull the spreader out and another 10 seconds to fill the thing. Plus, you get to get out of the truck for a few minutes and stretch your legs. Plus, if you collect on these accounts immediately, you will already be out of the truck to pound on the door for payment.
     
  11. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    meister i think you are way off
    It will take all told at least 10 min to salt the drive from the time he places it in park to the time its in drive again.In that amount of time he could have plowed another driveway, thus the need to charge the same amount as a driveway for salting. If th customer thinks its to much money, let them do it themselves, and he can stay warm in the truck.
    Dino
     
  12. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Well, Plowking, I guess you have a point. I am certainly open to all theorys and suggestions. I agree that the actual "time" factor is a great one. All I was saying is that there is a difference in operating cost between using your truck to plow and using your fertilizer spreader to spin some salt on the ground. At my business I have put 1/2 my gross income away for bills and have had enough money left over every year to purchase at least 1 NEW truck and take my wife on a vacation. I still have enough left over to have a great nest egg for my future little plower. I have about 30 commercial accounts and all of them require salt. I purchase my salt in bags from Morton here in Chicago for a reasonable price. I then double the cost and spread accordingly. I do not disagree with your thoughts on the time it takes to spread v/s plowing another lot. You are correct in saying that.
     
  13. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I think the main point was when Dino said he can stay in the truck and stay warm. Once I have to get out in the cold the price starts going up fast. All that in and out causes what I call plowers caugh! Someone is going to pay me for all the trips to the store for cough medecine. Also when you don't have to get out of the truck, it's a real quick deal, in and out and on to the next. The Plowking is right on the money.
    Casey
     
  14. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    66construction, I admit I didn't take into consideration the 'cough' factor. I am now leaning more towards plowking's structure but am still not entirely convinced.
     
  15. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I look at it this way. Start up high, and if they go for it you win.
    Starat low, and it will take a very long time to reach the top.
    People have no idea what kind of work it takes ofr us to do our job the right way. Charge for your services, or wallow in low profits.
    Dino