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Salting in Canada...:help:

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by The Grassman, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. The Grassman

    The Grassman Member
    Messages: 55

    Question on salting. I have read so many opinions on how much salt you need how many lbs a ton weights in at and that the amount of salt you use depends on what the temp is, time of day, condition of asphalt and so many other variance's. I have asked local dealers on what they think on how much i would use and i get so many answers and i have gone through every page in the Ice forum here and still don't know what to think

    :help: I am looking at getting into the Snowplowing & Salting business this year for myself. I have done plowing for 3 years but only sidewalks using a deere with a blade in front and frozen toes and hands. So i figured i would lay out the figures or details so i can get a better idea from you people here if my estimating is correct.

    The lots i am looking to bid on ( rather late to bid now, if i don't get it this year i will know allot more for next year ) are 1 acre or just under and acre. The lots face to the north so they don't get much sun in the winter, they are open lots with nothing but fields in front of them. There is a little bit of gravel area as well. Total area is 153'535 SF ( that i had access to measure) so i assumed that i would need 2048lbs of salt each application so that is about 1ton. I want to got with bulk salt because bagged is too $$ and I'm sure the owner's wont go for if it cost $150(not applied) a ton in bags and bulk is $85.(not applied) Now i know i will use more salt sometimes or less salt sometime depends on the weather, we do get cold snaps here like temps are at +5 to -4 Fahrenheit.

    So if i get this contract should i stockpile the salt at the building if i can ? I would buy 25-30 tons ( if i get a bobcat on site ) of salt assuming i would use about a ton or 2 of salt each visit. I don't know the pro's and cons except that i don't have to search for salt and i can fire up the bobcat load up salt and maybe get some more sleep. :sleeping:

    So how much does a tone way anyhow? :D

    Thanks guys & Gals..

    Dave.
     
  2. Winterworks

    Winterworks PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 97

    You are correct in a ton weighing about 2000lbs. I am not sure what other questions you are asking exactly. If you are wondering what to charge I would hope to be getting around $200 or more per ton applied. If you can get more great. Down your way many contractors price per ton applied. Unfortunately a great majority apply one ton and charge for two. This allows them to submit quotes with unrealistic price per ton applied. I have seen many quotes that do not even cover the price per ton of salt. I would shy away from this pricing if you can. Bulk is definately the way to go. You could rent a storage box from a rental co., keep it on site, and store your salt and skidsteer inside. Good luck,
    Pat
     
  3. The Grassman

    The Grassman Member
    Messages: 55

    Insulting Prices

    Pat thanks.

    I dont think i can charge $200 the only way i can do it is cheat and say i put down 2 but inly put down 1. I know its not a good way of doing bussiness but there are so many snow companys here.


    Who rents boxes where i can put salt in and a bobcat in. I think it would be a pain to to load the box with salt as well ass it would eat away at the box. How much does one of them boxes go for ? Are you refering to the 50' steel overseas shipping containers ?

    I think to keep cost down just store the bobcat and salt outside. The bobcat i imagine i would want to keep pluged in i dont see anywhre on this site where i could keep a box and have power going to it.
    Can i rent a bobcat with one of those 5 Cubic Yard snowbox's on it and from who ?

    Thanks Pat.


    Dave.
     
  4. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    "I dont think i can charge $200 "

    $200 per ton applied is a pretty fair price, if anything a little low for me. You've got to figure the cost of the equipment, your labor, fuel, insurance, and overhead into this price in order to make a profit.
     
  5. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    Around here the price per ton applied is from 105 to 125. You can't get much more than that around here. Bulk salt around here is only 48.00 a ton



    Ray
     
  6. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    So Ray, you warm up the truck, load the spreader, put away the loader, cover up the pile, drive to the site, take 15 mins to spread the salt, bring the truck back...... lets figure this out:

    Get the truck ready..................5 mins
    start loader, load the salt.........10 mins
    Put away loader.......................5 mins
    cover up salt pile......................5 mins
    drive to the site.......................10 mins
    spread salt..............................15 mins
    drive the truck back.................10 mins

    Total time.................................60 mins

    Thats $50 per hour gross profit, subtract your "salary" of $20 per hour, a little fuel, that leaves you with $27 per hour net profit. How about some fixed overhead? Time spent billing, purchasing the salt,repairs, cleaning out the spreader..... You're really making no profit....................Not trying to bash your business, just trying to enlighten some of the new guys here.
     
  7. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    I can't charge any more than that or I don't get the business. That's just the facts. I will say they we rarely go out and just salt. In this area on your final passes when plowing you throw the salt. Very rare for a salt only run.

    Ray
     
  8. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    salting

    Actually Ray, I beg to differ. I do a number of business here in Dover and get nothing less than $120 per application. Some business's take no more than 3 50# bags of solar salt. My cost ...$12.00 in material. I had quite a few runs last year that all I did was salt. It has been pretty lucrative for me as well. Yea I applied 150#'s of salt where that would be a quarter of your load. I wouldn't dare apply 2000#'s of salt for $125. I wouldn't wake up for that. I have a property that I apply 15- 50# bags. At $4 per bag thats $60. I charge them $450 each time I salt. You do the math on how that breaks down CPSS. I live about 50 miles south of JustUsDe. Am I gouging? maybe? But I knwo that when I spend time tuning up the salter, mounting it, loading the truck, keeping stock on hand, and leaving my house at 4am to do my route, I know that my time is worth something and that I'm being paid for it. Not downing anyone, just stating the way I see it. There where a couple of years that salting made me more money than plowing. Hell I paid for my salter the first time I used it.
     
  9. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I made the mistake of way under pricing my first two commercial salt jobs.I only have a tailgate spreader and use bagged salt.Being unexperienced after a season i realized i was not charging hardly enough. Now im slowly trying to bring the prices up.Its hard to just dump these accounts and get new ones because i do much landscaping work for them over the summer.I take care of multiple houses they own.Dont be afraid to charge a good amount there is no point in working for free or for gas money.
     
  10. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    Brimow,
    I know you are only fifty miles south but if you bid up here in the north with all the competition up here higher than 125 a ton applied you wont get any jobs up here. Trust me I just lost 4 bids because i was at 120 a ton and the low bid was 105. I was around 450 for plowing on one of the jobs. Another company was at 400 and the same rat Bast$$rd with the low salt price killed us both with a 320.00 bid.


    We are not only dealing with De contractors up here we are seeing many Md., and Pa. companies coming in and practically paying to plow.


    Ray
     
  11. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I feel bad for you guys then. Theres no way I would get up 4am and put down a ton of salt for $105. Thats some serious underbidding. I'm sure you know its worth more than that. Keep 'em up there! Don't let them come down here and spoil the market!:eek:
     
  12. The Grassman

    The Grassman Member
    Messages: 55

    I have learend that alot of the guys here have a cheap price and to make up for it they put down less then they say they applied. that is how they are makeing there money.
     
  13. BWinkel

    BWinkel Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    That sounds like a lousy way to make money. I had an excavator who did that to me with fill on a job. He'll never work for me again and it didn't help his reputation any. Maybe you guys should try to base your pricing on a per application basis rather than quantity of material applied.
     
  14. The Grassman

    The Grassman Member
    Messages: 55


    I cant see that happening. You apply diffrent amounts all the time. You would have to make a huge salting price. I guess if everyone would start doing that then maybe it would work.
     
  15. BWinkel

    BWinkel Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    I think the idea is to be different from your competition. As far as different quantities, you could come up with an average or charge for a single application applied twice if needed.
     
  16. The Grassman

    The Grassman Member
    Messages: 55

    I have heard not to do it that way, that i would loose for sure. I think its a good idea. I dont have any experience in plwoing and salting so i cant say. I hope to get experieance this you hopefully if i can find a good insurance ploicy thats isnt outragous.

    I would have to see what its like this year and get my salting rates quantitys down pat.