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How much to charge for ice melt?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by GreenAcresMike, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. GreenAcresMike

    GreenAcresMike Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    This will be my first year with snow removal and am in debate on how much to charge per bag of ice melt. I can get regular stock salt for $3.50 per bag and magnesium chloride potassium chloride for $22.25 both are 50# bags. one person suggested just doubling the price of the bag but wanted more input.
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I triple the cost of all ice melting material.
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    If Im using a push cart I triple the cost on short runs. Now if run long walks and use a atv with a spreader I double the price. So all depends on the length of the walk.
  4. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    double the material cost to cover handling, plus labor to apply
  5. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Based on your prices for product.

    Regular Stock Salt charge $10 a bag

    magnesium Choloride $50 a bag.

    If your going to be using Mag. Cho. look at buying it in bulk.
    When I used it I bought a pallet at a time and it came out to be around $15 a bag.

    If you have a place to store it buy it in bulk and loose and you can lower that cost down even more by buying 1 ton at a time.
  6. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    yes charge 2-3 times the cost.
  7. Billious

    Billious Member
    Messages: 72

    OK so this is where I show off my ignorance...

    I charge per-event with my customers, and then salt is on top of that as needed. It's a good system, and our customers around here like that configuration. As we're pretty small, we do bagged rock salt ($4.50 each, sold at $14) and I have a stock of ice-melt (magnesium chloride and calcium chloride mixed with rock salt) that I get at $8.50 and sell at $20. My customers tend to understand if/when I use the ice-melt and have to charge more - that's with a price difference of $6 a bag.

    Now if I was buying at $20 a bag and selling at $50, my customers would drop me faster than a condom at a convent. How are you guys convincing homeowners to drop that kind of dime? I get why these materials work better in low temps, but how are you actually selling homeowners on that?
  8. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    All my plowing is commercial, so I don't know how to sell that to a home owner. I do share my pricing with the owners of the commercial lots, and explain to them that I have to handle the bags 3 times before they are spread on their lot. Once off the truck from the distributer, once in my bed of my truck to go out to the lots, and then once into the spreader to be spread. I am sure I can cut one of those steps out with a V box, but total useage per truck with a spreader is around 20 to 25 bags per route. It doesn't make any sense to spend the money on a V box, then have to have 1 truck running around spreading all the salt. I would loose the difference on fuel.