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How & what to charge for salting?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grnbld, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. grnbld

    grnbld Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    New to salting. In the past all I have done is residential drives and subcontracting work. Never been asked to salt with sub work. I have a bid I need to give that requires salting a parking lot and sidewalks.

    This is probably a stupid question but, is there a way to calculate the amount of salt needed per Sq Ft, with the different variables such as snow, ice & temp?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ferdinand711

    ferdinand711 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    So I don't have to worry about variables, I do cost of materials times three. but that's just me.
  3. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    you can only calculate by experience. You need to look at the lot and know how much salt to put where, where you can skimp, etc... Everything varies day to day. Temp, storm, traffic, etc....

    As for pricing, around here it's a flat rate per tonne, $80-$85. You charge by the tonne.

    You make your money by utilizing your salt. You might charge for 2 tonnes, but only use 1. And then you can split the leftover tonne on your next to sites which you are charging 1 ton each.

  4. AGLawnCare

    AGLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    750-1000 LBS per 1000 sq feet i think every where is different but we do 115 per ton for 3 + tons and 135 per ton under that. It depends on how much you can hold in your truck
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Your salt prices are good but I think you might want to adjust your spreading rate!
  6. 98Chevy2500

    98Chevy2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 158


    On my side of the River bagged is anywhere from 0.20 - 0.30 Lb, Bulk 100-300 Ton

    0.25 bagged and 145 Ton seem to be averages, although the cheaper bids tend to charge for more salt than they used.
  7. Chieftkp

    Chieftkp Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    750-1000lb of straight salt on 1000sqft? I have heard 750-1000 per acre....
  8. Polka town

    Polka town Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I was told that 100 pounds per 6,000 sq feet And this seems to be good for my area. We charge $15.00 per 100lbs(Bulk salt) plus $75.00 per hour for V-Box spreader. So.. For a 20,000 sq' lot would use around 330 lbs of salt and 1/4 hour for the truck charge, so for this size lot we would charge $68.25 for a full salt. We only charge for what we put down.
    Does this sound like a fair cost for salting?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Well if the customer pays the bill, I guess it's fair. I can't get $300/TON plus spreading.
  10. Watch out yelow

    Watch out yelow Member
    Messages: 35

    Guys that do that are who give the honest people trouble. Try charging what is needed to cover your materials and equipment etc plus a little profit and be honest to the customer... your not fooling anyone by charging less per ton but then lying on the bill saying you spread three tons but only spread one. Actually if i was the customer i would be concerned because bulk rock salt almost costs 80/ton to buy from the dealers.. how could u store it, deliver it, spread it and pay labor???
  11. JT Contracting

    JT Contracting Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I figured out how much salt my spreader puts down per min/second, then I just run a stop watch when I am putting salt down. As far as cost I charge 3 to 4 times what the material costs, depending on how difficult or easy parking lot is. just my $.02
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    The sad part is Mike is correct, for our area anway. The cheapest anybody buys salt is for $63-$64 and that's direct. Guys will also go into a place and bid $10.000 for plowing, when it's worth over twice that to get the job. Then the lot actually takes 2 ton of salt and they charge 10. These people give us a bad name and everyone thinks all snowplowers are crooks. I want to be honest but how can I sell salt for $85 spread. I'm not a greedy man, all I want is $50 plus the cost of salt.
  13. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    We charge by the pound and we charge for actual poundage applied. I have gotten many jobs this way. I also know what it takes to salt a lot. I give a ballpark idea for an average post-plow salting with my bid. I make sure the manager knows this will be higher when it is an ice only event, or possibly lower if I am spot-salting. Many managers have been burned by the guy charging less per pound and billing more. Or the lowballer bids cheap and dumps 3x the amount needed to salt the lot in order to make his money on volume. Straight forward approach usually gets me the job. If not this year, I will get it next year or the year after. Honesty is a good thing.
  14. sonicblue2003

    sonicblue2003 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    For the last two years I have been flat rating the lots that I do for for my main customer.
    I gave them the option to charge by the yard but they wanted a flat rate per property(6 places varying in size from 15000 to 140000 sq ft) To make sure I didn't cut my own throat I had to high ball the quote. needless to say I got the job and if i spread 1 yard or 3 yards I'm guaranteed the same money,and believe me its GOOD money. I used a simple calculation of
    100 lbs per 8000 sq ft since we have a warmer climate but I have used less and I have used more. I pay close to $100/yard with taxes so I collect nearly triple that and sometimes more but that is how they wanted it!
  15. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    yeah, I wish I would charge $150 a tonne for salt, but I can't

    I LOWBALLED a big account this year. They were several multi unit industrial buildings. I went 1-2 tonnes of salt per unit and some were quite large. I was going to break even on salt more or less at $80 a tonne. And for the plowing I went in at like $15,000 a month for like 20 buildings. I would have taken 3 guys with a backhoe, pickup truck and snowblower the night. And I still didn't get it.

    The first storm I found out why, no cleanups, they put down 1 tonne salt, once, when it needed 4-5 and the landlord is cheap so he's happy.

    Such is life though, atleast now I know how to bid him for next year and have one machine, no pickup truck and skimp on the salt and walkways.
  16. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    I thought it was spelled ton, what is this tonne? canada eh
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Ton = 2000lbs, Tonne = 2204lbs 1 tonne = 1000 kg.