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Salt spreader charges

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by mnconst, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    Do you guys charge for the use of your salt spreader, I run by the hour and charge for the truck only should I charge for the salt spreader also. Thanks
     
  2. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Do you charge extra for the Plow on your truck hourly rate ?
     
  3. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    This has to be a joke.
     
  4. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    OK Snowpower how to you charge???
    By the ton rate applied, or hourly
     
  5. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Maybe it was the way you phrased it but it sounded like you were asking if you should charge to salt. lol

    I charge per lb applied.

    Basically the same thing but I dont have sites that require more than a half ton at any given time.

    I know from experience just by looking at a site for a few minutes how much Ill use to see blacktop. Its not something I can teach. You have to learn that by spreading salt, but understand. I spend half my days spreading materials (fertilizers etc) even in summer so I have a keen feel for coverages and such.

    I also dont fudge, and my experience is and Ill get heat for saying it but most guys that charge per ton apply much less than they let on and there in lies the big profit margin.

    Im honestly a lot of contractors worst nightmare when it comes to being honest about what really goes down in this business and I discuss it with potential and current clientele with ease.

    Ive been doing this a long time and I know the deal. I just dont do business like a lot or most people do and my clientele are appreciative as hell and never cancel.


    At any rate Im rambling, but basically charge the customer for what you apply and mark it up to where you need to be to make the profit you need to or want to make.

    Wheter you charge by the lb, ton, visit, or what have you.

    It's a basic time and materials transaction.


    And understand. Just because someone else does it one way doesn't mean you have to. I charge however I feel like it. Not the way others do. I could care less how others charge frankly other than the bad taste it leaves in my mouth sometimes from what I see out there.

    For example. I never have and never will charge anyone a late fee. Late fees are ********. Who needs it or wants it. Just pay me and they all do.

    I have a 99.7% retention rate for summer and winter work. Why is that>? I do a good job and dont ***** the customers and cheat them doing things like charging them by the ton at 130 dollars knowing full well Ill only apply 750lbs.

    /end rant
     
  6. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    Snowpower I also believe honesty is the best policy.........and you appear to me to be experienced in what you do. But don't you think you may be short changing yourself a bit with your service?

    If you are good at it and have the proper equipment, this type of service is very valuable. I know the dishonesty you speak of, and it runs rampant with the part timers, wannabees and hobbyists. But do you really charge a client $32.50 to apply a quarter ton of salt on their lot at 2:00am? Even less $$ if you apply under 500lbs? You stated your largest site uses no more than a half ton, so the bill for that site is only $65.00 or less? Seems very low to properly manage, inspect and take on the responsibilities needed to provide someone with this particular service.

    Now on the other hand, where in Michigan have you been able to charge $130.00 per ton? Obviously things will change drastically from this point moving forward, but that was a pretty good rate for last year. Are you in the Detroit area?
     
  7. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Well I charge 260 a ton applied to begin with but understand thats bagged product, that costs me twice what bulk costs. I charge roughly .13 cents a pound applied. I pay....or used to pay .6 to .7 a lb for bagged.


    But yes. I sometimes dont profit as much as maybe I should or could, but thats the way I feel comfortable doing it. My average salt application is roughly 100 dollars.

    Everyone charges different.
     
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    snowpower, u seem like an honest person, you should try running bulk, at least then you could charge ur customer the same as you are now...

    and help ur pocet book payup at the same time
     
  9. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    Snowpower
    I also have been in buisness for a long time, have servel large accounts and a few small ones.
    The only thing that I was asking does any one charge extra for the use of there salt spreader.
    Snice I only get hourly rate for the truck and not really making money for appling the salt like plowing does. What I mean is that some of my accounts I can plow for upwards of 20 hours per truck for two trucks and a skid loader= good money. Putting salt down only takes about 1.5 hours or so.
     
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Are these your own accounts or are you working for someone else?
     
  11. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    Snowpower
    I now understand why you thought it was a joke
    You are chargeing 260 a ton that would = 20800 for what I do for the year
    also you can afford to buy a new spreader ever couple years at the income
    I only gross about 2500 a year for putting salt down minus fuel and time
    that is why I think that I should charge extra for the salt spreader
    cost on a new one is about 5500 or more
     
  12. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    They are mine
    I dont sub any thing out
     
  13. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    JD

    How much do you have
     
  14. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Not quite sure what your asking but I have enough. I drop around 1500 ton of salt/year. I don't do anything by the hour. You need to start charging by the amount you drop and forget about the hours it takes you to spread it. You should make 2 - 3 times your hourly rate spreading salt easy. Your giving your clients an extremely good deal and I'm sure they appreciate it.
     
  15. mnconst

    mnconst Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 44

    Thanks JD
    that is what I was wanting to hear
     
  16. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    Sounds like he got a call from menards.