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bid assistance

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by LocalTouch, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. LocalTouch

    LocalTouch Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 26

    I am bidding on a commercial site. Plowing times I have down, but need some assistance on salting, and pricing for salt. The lot size is approximately 75,200 square feet. The sidewalks also need salt application. Total square footage of sidewalks is 4,325. The lot is wide open (no obstructions) and is nice smooth asphalt. Sidewalks are all in one long run, just concrete. I have plowed for several seasons, but never salted an area this large. I will either have a dump, or a large tailgate spreader on the pickup. I live in north east ohio if that helps any....
  2. Mick

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

    Amount of salt per application is going to depend greatly on conditions - lighter for plowed snow; heavier for ice. I'd use 3 yards as a guide for approx 80,000 sq ft coverage. Pricing - I charge twice my cost. I use sand/salt, but the principle is the same. Regarding cost - this is really a regional issue so I'd try to check with some other contractors in your area.
  3. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    A couple of things to consider...

    Plowing 75,000 sq ft open area in a 2" storm will take about 1.5 truck hours with an 8' blade? Is this about right for you? If you're charging $125 an hour, that means you should be getting about $175 to $200 per push.

    There have been multiple debates about application rates per acre. Mick is talking sand/salt which I'm not familiar with. Pure salt you'll here a low of 300 lbs per acre and probably a high of one ton (2,000 lbs) per acre. The average for bidding seems to fall in around 500 lbs per acre. Many light storms or warmer weather will mean you'll drop 200 to 400 lbs per acre. When it's colder or icier you'll drop 1,000 lbs per acre. But for bidding, pick a number that you feel comfortable with.

    I applied an 80# to 8,000 to 10,000 sq ft and found this to be just about adequate on most post plow applications, which comes in right around 400 lbs per acre. I went heavier at times and I went lighter, it all averages.

    Often salting is priced relative to plowing, some will tell you get the same price. At 1/2 ton of salt applied to 75,000 square feet at a cost of $60.00 bulk, that gives you $30.00 in materials. If you can get $150 or $175 for the salting you'll make a nice profit. I would not charge this at Mick's recommended 2 times cost, as this will only get you $60 to $70.

    If you're using bagged product you'll pay more per ton for the salt, about $110 to $120 per ton. For 10 bags of material you'll be at $40 to $50 for the app, still leaving you with $100 plus for your time/equipment. With handloading this shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes. If you've got bulk or can spread wide and open figure less time.

    If you are applying by the bag you can charge per bag applied. If you apply 8 bags at $20.00 per bag you'll be at $160.00. My recommendation would be to come up with a per application price since you'll then be charging a flat rate regardless of the amount you apply: 4, 5, 8 or 10 bags. You'll make more, it will be easier to invoice and be less confusing.