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First Year Salting?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Young Pup, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    OK I have read some other threads here and from what I am reading besides the cost of the salt you are also charging a service call. I know this depends on the area, I am from Columbus, Ohio and just had a fellow plower call about salting a couple of his properties. My question do I go with a hourly rate for this plus salt or flat rate per property plus salt. Thank you in advance for the help.

  2. The Coach

    The Coach Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Howdy Pup!

    I'm a little reluctant to give a Buckeye any tips seeing how I could throw a rock to Ann Arbor from my house, LOL :rolleyes: but here goes..........

    I pay about $2.50 per 80# bag of salt and charge $10.00 per bag including application. I don't tell customers thats how they get billed I just figure how many square feet a bag covers then measure their lot and charge accordingly.

    If you tell them you charge $10.00 a bag and then they see it at Home Depot for $2.90, they kinda freak out. Its easier to say your lot will be $100.00 to salt than it is to say it'll be 10 bags at $10.00 each.

    Good luck!!
  3. wls

    wls Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    tryed pm'ing you, but could'nt, so I will ask here.
    I'm from central mich, where do you get your salt. I'm paying about 2.96 for a 50 lb bag. thanks
  4. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Hey The Coach,

    I even take advice from a Wolverine LOL :) :) ,

    I agree with you on the salt pricing my prices from a pallet range from 2.99/a50# pound bag to 4.25/bag for 80# bag. So I am going about 15. 00 per 50#bag.

    I should have made it a little more clearer. Sorry. If you go out just to salt only are you charging by the hour or a set service charge say like 35.00 plus say you use 150# of salt. Which is 35.00 service call charge plus 45.00 in salt which = 80.00 total. Is this the proper way? Or do you charge by the hour plus the amount of salt you use.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  5. The Coach

    The Coach Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    It's a long story, but I got a great deal on the first 4 pallets I buy this year. ( It ain't "hot" either LOL)

    After it runs out my cost will be in line with what you pay.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2004
  6. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Looks like a service charge is the better way to go plus charging for the salt as well. I was just thinking that salting takes a shorter amount of time to do then plowing. Sorry to waste your time.
  7. The Coach

    The Coach Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Not wasting anybodies time.

    All my lots get salted right after I plow em, I don't do any "Salt Only's". If I did there would sure be a minimum charge, especially if they were smaller lots. So............yeah, in that case I would charge a service charge plus the salt.

    The Coach
  8. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    i know that alot of people cant phyically put a v-box in there trucks but you make up thhe price differance in labor alone over filling a spreader bag by bag....let alone thhe savings of buying bulk, which is almost $50 cheeper a ton then buying by the bag.

    the first year i started i debated getting a tailgate but a good friend convinced me to get a v-box....even though i iwas only going to be spreading 1 ton a night....so you figure in these neck of the wood you will get at least 25 salts a season so i put an extra $1500 in my pocket that season and i never looked back. now i spread over 10 tons an event

    just something to think about for all the new guys on the site...im glade someeone convinced me to go bulk b/c its probably the reeason im still in this business today...
  9. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    We get $15. per 80# bag, and around $9.25. per 50# bag, I believe. The 50# bags are charged more per pound because they cost more per pound. They ARE much easier to handle, though. We are paying around $2. per 50# bag I believe, and $2.75 per 80# bag. These are pallet prices.
  10. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Charging for salt

    If you use bags of salt and your doing commercial, what works for me is to charge a service call than add on for the number of bags of salt that were used. It doesn't matter if your already there for a plow, the service call is still charged --remember you could be out plowing someone else at that time. Also remember even though salting takes less time, you charge as much if not more than for a plow because 1) You have to Purchase, Store, Handle, Run-Around For, ETC. 2) The reason the salt is down is so no-one gets sued... salt is insurance. Depending on the size of the lot, I charge a min of $80 for the call, then about $2.00 more than I pay for each bag. Residential is different, people won't pay for a service call so I only salt residential if I'm plowing them and they have asked for it in advance, then I tack on on additional $10 for salting for about 1/4 of a 50lb bag.
    Hope this helps
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    Young Pup

    It is not praticle to salt by the hour. It goes very quickly and if you had to tell someone $300/hr they would think you are nuts. A V box salter is best but your reduced visibility and the wear and tear on your truck is hard. If you are buying bulk salt from a location and not storing it yourself then you have to spin out any left over into your last location as it does not keep. Bag salt is expensive but you only use what you need. You are best to look at a site and figure out how much salt you are going to use, how much you want and give them a flat price. You will use less salt if the location has been plowed, less if it is warm (around freezing) and a little more if you are trying to salt out 1/2" of snow. If you want to upgrade to a V box salter from a tailgate one in a couple of years I believe the tailgate ones have good resale value.
  12. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Thank you guys for responding to this. Some great information here. Yep I must have had a brain freeze on charging by the hour for doing salt. At the most I don't see myself on any property for more than half an hour. So the service charge it is.