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Salt vs. plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Doug406, Feb 10, 2000.

  1. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    I know this subject has been kicked around a few times, but I still have problems with this salt thing. Most of you guys are saying that you get between $160 and $300 per yard ( per ton, same thing?) And you say 80% to 110% salting price compared to plowing. <br> Now her is my question, I am either spreading my salt way to thin or am getting ALOT better price for plowing than some on this forum. For example, I have a contract for a small shopping center (about 1 and 1/4 hour plow time) maybe 1 or a little more acers big. I get $265 per push 5&quot; and under. When I salt I only put down about 800 to 1000 pounds. At my rates ($245 per ton) this works out to be about $100 for salt. I would not want to plow this place for that cheap!! What is my problem?? Also, I usually salt after all plows, partly because it is affordable to the owners. Is this normal protocal for you guys??<br>
     
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ok you kinda work like i do. I will plow a lot first then put down a sand/salt mix. Even if it's only 3/4&quot; i will plow it then sand/salt it.<p>Now i could use pure salt and not have to plow at all. Only in maine the weather changes fast, and a lot of the time it's better the plow then sand/salt. Also mainer's don't believe in pure salt, and lets not get into that subject. <p>No some of the other guys in the forum, would salt the lot with a coated salt. And melt away 2 or 3&quot; of snow.<p>Geoff
     
  3. plowking35

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

    Ok heres the deal. <p>2&quot; of snow is forcast<br>Here is your options. <br>1-Take 30 min go and spread a ton of ice melter for lets say 80% of your 1-5&quot; price.<br>Thats 205$. Your product will cost 45-55$ and 1/2 of your time and truck time. So you clear 125-145$. You do this on all your lots and are back in bed in 2-3 hrs. Sleep all night and go check the accounts in the am. Go have breakfast and enjoy your day all rested and relaxxed. Maybe even go help out a buddy or those straggler phone calls that always seem to come in and you dont have the time to get to. Customer loves you because the lot is black and wet, and no chance of slip and fall elves apprearing. No piles of snow to worry about moving if the big one comes.<br>2- Wait till it stops snowing. Call all the guys in( if you have more than one truck)plow like crazy, get no sleep and are a crab the next day. <p>Yes with the second one you will gross more money, but with truck and equipment time, man hours and the same amount of material to spread the profit will be the same. <br>Only heres the thing the customer doesnt need to know that you only applied deicer. As long as you do the work to the specs outlined you should bill accordingly. Especially if it is a contract price and not a per storm contract.<br>Also why are you charging per ton, change that to a per application and you can charge the 80-100% of what you plow for.<br>Why charge per ton, that is the same as charging per hour. You cant lose, but you dont make as much. Take the same lot, if you did it by the hour, say even 100 per hour for a pick up or one ton with plow and spreader that would only gross you 125 for plowing. But you charge oper plow, and make 2x that rate. If you figure your salting at the 80-100% of what you plow for formula you will be much more profitable.<br>Now if you melt it all, and still charge for the plow and salting, think of the profit then. Now the haze is clearing and the light shines forth on the wisdom of being a SIMA member. <br>All this that I speak of I learned at the annual symposium.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org<br>
     
  4. ADMServices

    ADMServices Member
    Messages: 43

    FYI: One yard of salt is about 2000Lbs. One ton is 2240Lbs.<br>There are many reasons why anticing/deicing services are good for both us and our clients. <p>Salting is a good money maker for us: <br>Takes a fraction of the time then plowing and seasonal salt applications are at least double that of plowing. With our contracts our salting services are billed at a per application / per usage basis. Which to us boils down to light apps. price A, heavy apps price B. This has worked well for us and our customers because on any given app. material and time can go from using one yard of salt and 5-10 min to five yards of salt and 35min.<br>Anticing/deicing services give us control of ant given property we maintaine. These services we provide are to keep our clients and their customers safe. <br>If your just plowing then you have no control over the conditions. <p>Sorry for rambling. I'm tired and i am really not sure what the weather is going to do tonight. Maybe freezing rain and snow.<p>Andy<br>www.admservices.com<br>
     
  5. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    I agree with Dino, we've always charged for salting &quot;per application&quot; and not &quot;per ton&quot;. This way we know how much we'll make each time we salt and if some lots require more or less salt than others, so be it. As long as the lot is black in the morning our customers are satisfied. We used to only plow but since incorporating salting 3 years ago it is definately more profitable than plowing. We too charge between 80%-100% of a per/plow charge for salting. All of our plow accounts are on a seasonal contracts and our salting we bill additionally at month's end. If a customer doesn't want salt, or complains about being charged for an &quot;unneccesary&quot; service in their minds, then we don't want them as a customer. <p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>
     
  6. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    Cutntrim, So, your saying that you get a seasonal contract for say $9000 for a lot and you charge extra for the salting?? Even though in the contract you might have said you charge a certian amount for plowing 2-5&quot; and all you do is salt that 2&quot;, no plowing? So you kind of double dip on the funds. I would feel comfortable with charging a seasonal rate for 2-5&quot; disregarding how it got cleared and not charge extra for the salting.<p><br>
     
  7. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    Dino, by the way, THANK YOU FOR THE SAMPLE CONTACT YOU SENT ME LAST FALL. it was so pro. I signed 3major accounts with it. Also, I think it is time I joined S.I.M.A. But to gather more info let me state this.<p> You state that on my lot which yeilds $265 for plowing that I could SALT ONLY for $205 or more like $245 for 1 ton-(profit to me of only $ 125 - my bagged salt is 4.74 per 80lbs/. bag--but only 20 minutes of my time).<br> But here is the way I figure it, I have three other guys plowing for me that love the work. I pay them $40 per truck hour for there own truck (subcontractors). So at 1 and 1/4 hours to plow this lot ( $50 charge to me, and the price of salt, 1000 lbs. costs me roughly $50 I make a total profit of $265 and I do not have but 10 minutes labor into it of my own time without pulling one over on the owner. Now I could see if it was a seasonal contract, but i may still just pay out the sub. cost, it seems to be less than the salt at my prices and yeilds more profit with no more time out of my pocket and more in my subcontractors pocket. Does this sound logical or am I still missing the boat. P.S. I look forward to meeting you at the next S.I.M.A confrence.
     
  8. plowking35

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

    Well that was just an example if we stayed at your figures. If you went to a per application pricing, you would charge 265 for salting only. And if there was a snow storm with 2&quot; and you melted it all you could charge 265 for plowing and 250 for salting, and still only work for 1/2 an hour.<br>What you need to remember is that the customer hired you for a service and results, how you attain them is up to you. You are the professional. The times this year when we have melted rather than plow, we have charged for a plowing and salting and no ?? from the customers at all. They are just happy it is black and wet. <br>Get a v box spreader and you will be able to service all your accounts with one truck. I know I like to keep my subs busy also, but the bottom line is that you are in business to make money, not to employ them.<br>The main thing again is to change toa per application charge on salt, and get away froma per ton charge.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  9. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    Doug,<p>Anything 2&quot; or above and we plow. If it's under 2&quot; it's our discretion as to whether or not to salt. If it's cold and won't melt on it's own we salt. Snowfalls over 2&quot; we'll salt only if icy conditions occur. <p>Sound fair enough to you?<p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>
     
  10. ADMServices

    ADMServices Member
    Messages: 43

    We have both seasonal, and per push contracts with our customers for snow plowing. Salting has always been billed at an additional charge. <p>When snow is melted down 2 inches with salt, rather then plowing the 2 inches, it is obvious there would be a need for more salting material then would usually be used after a regular push and application. <p>I feel that there is absolutly nothing wrong with melting down two inches of snow. As a business owner, we are faced with the choice of how we will charge for this service, and if it is acceptable. If salt is charged by the yard (or tonage) there will still be a good profit, and if there are questions from the customer you are not having to stretch your story to back up the invoice. <p>Our company strives for truth and honesty in our billing and services. We measure all sites and know all square footage and the tonage of material we will need to supply to get results. We do not claim to be perfect, but we try to be the best that we can. Our customers know that we take the utmost care in the services we provide and can count on us to get their needs met with excellent service, competitive pricing, and invoices they can understand and verify.<p>My two cents.<p>Andy<br>www.admservices.com