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High price of salt equals no salting!

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Brian Young, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I finally am getting my contracts back and wow, quite a few had nice little hand written notes: "salt only when we request it". Let this be a lesson to newer guys, NEVER GIVE THEM A BREAK ON PLOWING WHEN YOUR ALSO GOING TO SALT THEM! I gave a local chain store a little break on plowing because of the price of salt. Yeah, well, they were one of three that said no salting unless we ask, that will be the last time I do that.
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    im wondering, how much higher are you this year on salt? also i would HIGHLEY ADVISE making them sign a release of liablity, ...even if your contract states your not liable.. i would still draw up a new form that clearly states , becasue the cutsomer is making the call for salt, that they are responsible at all times for the property conditions, and you highly advise to salt after every plowing to remove possible ice, or packed snow...which might become dangours for its customers..... you might be surprised, and have a few change there mind
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Well I didnt think that much higher considering the price of it. Last year we did regular salting on these lots and of course "the lots have never looked better" Well duh! thats what regular salting does for ya. This year I think we are around a 30% increase if that. Last year these lots ranged from 35-45 to salt and this year they went up to 45-65.
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i think a 30% increase might be too much , but i would also say your very cheap to begin with possibly - i think i went up between 25- 20 % deppending on the qty needed, larger lots get a better price
  5. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I have had an increase of 30% with one of our suppliers...while another 15%; but this also brings us closer to the actual pile.
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    but a 30% increase in cost shouldnt mean a 30% increase in your rate to charge....

    i didnt lose any salting, i was told to TRY to keep the salt useage down , but they are signing for salt none the less...
  7. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    how can you say this without knowing the size of the lot
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    because i wouldnt do any salting for less than 75 , no matter how small the lot is, but thats just me.
  9. Snowguy01

    Snowguy01 Senior Member
    from Erie
    Messages: 141

    he is not cheap for the size lots he has to salt he is in the right price range for them and 30% increase was right on the money seeing as we were paying 45.00 per ton and now it is over 125 per ton 80 higher than last year. I am going to get out of salting all together if it keeps going up. Not worth my time or my worries about the little old lady who is sue happy.
  10. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    We state in our contract that we provide a secondary monitoring of conditions, and the ultimate responsibility falls on on-site personnel... then we given them several levels of service with well defined criteria to choose from. those on the top levels rarely ever call in.You have to have a minimum. 45-50 doesn't sound like enough to cover loading, travel, and materials. We have also added a trip charge to call-ins for special triups outside of our scheduled salt route to encourage them to give us a little discretion.
  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well, i think the days of 45 per ton are over, but i dont think the norm is gonna be 100 per ton

    as for the "shortage" lol, i had 2 supplies call me this week, telling me they still had salt, and price didnt go up , from when i call 6 weeks ago- funny , some shortage

    Not worth your time or worries? i got news, if you plow the property , You are now liable.... word it anyway you want in a contract, but fact is they can TRY to come after you...so i wouldnt be so quick to get out of salting. Heck in alot of cases this year , im salting for minimal profit, simpley becasue we want SAFE properties. and if they turn down salt, I would still have them sign a waiver, possibly after every event that required salt as well. Im jsut saying , the more times you state on papper, that YOU the Pro, Highly recommend applying salt, and advise the customer as such, your only covering your butt

    and i think later, or next yr prices will drop - or at least i hope
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,251

    You're right it is just you, and you have no business telling someone in another market if they are too high or too low.

    Do some research on the Erie market before recommending pricing.

    Do you even know how much snow they get?

    Don't worry, elite hasn't learned it isn't wise to tell someone in another area what they should be charging.
  13. Superior L & L

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

    My salt price went from low $40's per ton to almost $120.00 so do you think i raise my price by 30%
  14. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    elite..if you don't mind my asking what prices were you quoted? here in st.louis, they claim there is a shortage , since august the price increases that i have followed have been from 71.00 to 125.00 and now up to 150.00 per ton by dec 1 , 3 suppliers say they are just about empty , i think they are waiting for the "ship from chile`" thing to replenish supplies,
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Keep super records. Call after every plowing and ask if they want salt. Have them sign a new contract in which it's laid out whom is responsible for deciding when and how much to salt. record times of your call to suggest for application and the time they call an request application.

    While you are worried about the income loss, I would be as worried about assuming the liability for something that you don't control. you need to specify something like the owner assumes all responsibility for decisions pertaining to the application of materials. We assume no responsibility for monitoring the conditions of your property. Ice melt or similar material will be applied only on the direct instruction of XXXX. The owner understands there could be an substantial period of time between their request for material application and the actual application of the material based on equipment deployment at the time of the materials request. All applications will be billed at XXXX ,this price includes a XXXX mobilization charge and a XXXX materials application fee
  16. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    from what I understand around here, the shortage b.s. is also being handed out. This summer it was $50 per ton, now its $95 and going higher next month:confused:
    We have multiple salt mines near by and with last years crazyness, you would think they would have mined overtime to create the stock pile neccessary.
  17. Snowguy01

    Snowguy01 Senior Member
    from Erie
    Messages: 141

    In all my contracts i Have a box that the owner checks if they want salt on a on call basis or a box that states no salt on parking lot and that they assume all liability on any slips falls or crashes due to icy conditions they also sign by it and i have had some people slip and when they contacted me they got a copy of the signed portion of the contract and went back to the store owner and i have been fine with that. and the salt shortage we have a huge pile on our dock here on the lake and Morton would not sell to us unless we have bought from them for the last 5 yrs and I only bought from them for two I have got salt out of that pile for the last 10yrs but not under the Morton salt company.that is what sucks here.
  18. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    yeah your proabbly correct it isnt wise,thats why i stated he POSSIBLY might be cheap , in my opion... so lets see.... he uses bulk at 120 per ton, 200 lbs = 12 dollars., plus labor cost, travel time, fuel , mileage cost, and your telling me that he wold turn a profit at $35? after all that expense? $35 - 12 = $22 , minus labor , travel , fuel , id be impressed if he walked away with $10 in profit.... then you still have to bill it out , and wait to be paid. Areas do have something to do with it... but the cost of a truck is the same, the cost of fuel is similar, the cost of the equiptment need shoudnt varry too much , and even if his cost on salt was $30 per ton cheaper than me , that means it would cost him $3 dollars less, if he gets it at 90 per ton . i just dont think a Profit of $7 dollars is worth all the hastle

    Well , what do i know- nothing

    but consider this, i didnt go up 30% , i went up between 15 - 20 , and i lost ZERO salting customers, at least im still going to profit some on salt, NOT as much as id like ...but its still some profit - Vs having the customer turn it down.... I still have to bid against ppl that didnt raise there salt price at all -

    like basher said , the assumtion of liablity is a problem too. Either way we all have liabilty issues...but whats safer? a property with salt , or one with NONE? either way , if someone gets hurt you will be dragged to court for one reason or another - .

    how about return buiness? next year....? so your job looks like heck , because they turned down salt....true its their fault, the customers fault for not taking it, but eitherway , if your parking lots like bad, it doesnt reflect well on the quality of work that you do -

    and Superior - i dont know your market, i dont know what you charged prior... yes we all should rasie our rates, but here is just one example of things that could happen if you raise them too much -

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  19. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i got some at 100 , then went up to 126 , i have a new lead going for 99 ....

    and with in the last week had 3 others call me back - phone calls that i made to them in august...

    In Aug, i was told " sir, we arent sure if we are going to have enought salt" , "we arent taking on new cusotmers"

    now in the end of OCT, 3 so far have CALLED me..... and said " Mike, are you still looking for salt ? , we do have enough, and the price has not gone up since we quated you last in Sept. " --- 3 seperate vendors -

    man made shortage -
  20. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Makes me wonder if I should try calling the suppliers here again,..........