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Contract salting

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Bill Rowe, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Bill Rowe

    Bill Rowe Member
    Messages: 58

    I asked questions before about tractor salters, because my boss won't buy anymore trucks to salt with.........he went with the fertilizer spreader on the 3point hitch. They have not worked very well & the bulk of the salting has fallen on the last 2 trucks we have.

    What I am thinking about is buying a truck & salter and contracting it to him ( or other companies ) as a trucking service, no plow on the truck.....I can get enough plowing working for him.

    My question is would any of you use this kind of a service?
    It may turn into a little "niche" start-up business for me, maybe just due to my situation.
    I do realize salting & removal are the two big revenue generators in this business, so someone may want to use their own trucks rather than hire someone.

    Thanks for any input or advice.......this is an idea I'm trying to work through & see what comes of it.

  2. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I'm not sure what his problem is with trucks. How many tonnes on avg would you need to spread /night or storm?
  3. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I can only tell you what is done here. Any lots that require salt they hire a contractor that can put down salt. IMO this is one of the things a contractor can do be a step ahead of the guys that do driveways but want to do commercial. They have to make a big investment in salt. You can not buy salt in the middle of the night and have it loaded on your truck anywhere, so if you are going to apply salt here you have to buy salter, truck, storage, salt, loader to load salt, pretty big investment for a guy trying to get into commercial parking lots. I would like to think that you could just sub out salt but I think most guys with that equipment would just try and get the parking lot for themselves and cut out the guy just plowing because they can offer the complete package, allot more guys out there that plow with a pick up truck than do both salt and plowing. You could also make the same point about a wheel loader and dump truck, that takes you to a different level in the food chain altogether.
  4. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    around here everyone that plows, salts also....we have no salt suppliers so we all stock our own.......your looking at $10k for a salt truck, $10 for a pile of salt, and $10 for a cheep loader as for the bin i just rent ours for $65/month...good luck...i think you have a good idea...
  5. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Jay, Exatly, a $30,000 investment at say $175 per ton applied for salt would take 171 tons just to break even. 171 tons at a $85 a ton is $14,500 so you start up cost is $34,500which would take around 200 ton to break even no profit yet.
  6. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Thats weird in my area when it snows i could name off a couple of dozen stores that open to sell salt. Some are open 24 ours and some open at 3:00am
  7. purpleranger519

    purpleranger519 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 536

    Here most of the guys use 50/50 salt/sand and there are a few guys that do nothing but spread it. And here during a storm the dredging companies that sell the salt/sand mix are open during events so they don't need a loader. Here a guy with a V-box only can make money. We see alot of events where we don't need to plow and just treat. Usually 5 or 6 good ice events.
  8. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I thought about being one of these guys for my area but wondered how much I could sell. I would have to have a guy at the shop to do the loading and take the money but my area could use this service for sure.
  9. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i'm with you...i thought about being one of these guys too, but it doesn't sound fesiable....the most i could sell to contractors per year would be 500 ton (150 of that to myself) and maybe 25 ton of sand...i could possibly add $25/ton for markup and make $9k per season, but is it worth it??????
  10. Bill Rowe

    Bill Rowe Member
    Messages: 58

    Thanks for the replies......I was just trying to figure out if you could truck the salt & do the application for others & not have to worry about contracts,buying salt ect.

    JD--- usually about 4 -6 on a plow nite & 15--20 for freezing rain day.
    He dosn't like trucks anymore due to annual safeties, mto hassle,insurance costs, licencing, ect.

    There are at least 4 places off the top of my head I can go & buy a load of salt here in Kitchener-Waterloo.....probably more.

    I bounced my idea off him today & was shot down......part of my day today was spent with the salter salesman revamping the agitator in the 3point salters. I'll give the guy credit he is trying to get these things working......even if we are the only ones in Ontario they have sold them to.