Last winter I was paying $72/ton for salt and $35/ton for sand mix. I was using $200/ton for salt and $100/ton for mix as my estimating prices. I did not, and will not provide service by the ton though. If I figure 500 lbs to salt a lot that's a $50 charge. I dumped 1 1/2 tons of mix on a privater road last winter, the charge was $150 but there was no mention of the amount on the invoice. I try to estimate high and then actually apply less than I allowed for. A $50 salt app will usually get 3-400 lbs, that balances out with the occasional time that it really needs to get hammered with a heavier dose.
There was a good article in Grounds Maintenance Magazine (October 2002)
The going rate according to them is $100.00 per cubic yard.
We run small 2yard and 3.3yrd Fisher sanders and our distributer fill the 2yrd heaped up 2' to 3' over top screen for $45 which is sand and salt mix! So another words to fill our sanders over 2yards costs us $45. We then sand person drives at $50 and up depending on size and big industrial lots for much larger costs!
Last year we went through approx 80 yard of material and costed us approx $1,800 and sales were over 3k
Our salt cost $60per ton
Just as a beginning point, you should charge 2x what you pay for the material. We charge per application and on average we pay $ 30.00 per ton of salt sand, and charge out anywhere from 200.00 to 700.00 per ton applied. Now you can charge however you like, but this area is by far the most profitable area of our business. Whats more we apply at every service, whether the contract is per push or per season. Also you will have many more ice control applications during the season than plowing events, so this area will really rack up the profits. Also the time spent on these applications is minimal compared to plowing time. It takes 6-8 hrs for 5 trucks to plow all our properties, yet 2 trucks can handle ice control in under 3 hrs, and we will generally make 80-90% of our plowing gross in that same period.
Some thing to think about.
Dino hit the nail right on the head. Salting is much more profitable with less time, manpower and wear and tear on the equipment. In an average season we might plow 10 times and salt about 20+ times. Last season we plowed 3 times and salted 7. Its pretty much a no brainer.
We dont use much straight salt or liquid de-icers that I am aware of here on long island, except for the state and towns salting the main highways. Most Contractors use a Sand/salt mix (80/20) and the cost goes anywhere from $70 -$110 a yard ... another thing we use as opposed to by the "ton". I personally get between $80-$100 a yard depending on the customer. Cost for sand/salt ranges between $30-$45 a yard.
Hey Dino, how are you able and to whom are you charging $200 a yard for sand/salt? I need to get some account your way ...
Well we dont come right out and state we are charging 200.00 a yard for sand salt. But when you charge by the serice rather than by the ton, then you can hit those margins. Lets say you have a lot that you charge 50.00 per service, and it takes 500lbs of material per service, than with 4 services, you have hit those margins. The customer doesnt know how much material it costs to service the property, they are just happy that it is safe.