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need advice on how to charge for salt!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by witty, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. witty

    witty Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Hi everyone, i am new to this site. i started browsing through this site and found alot of good information. since it appears that everyone here has several years of experience in the plowing business, I thought it would be a good idea to ask for some input on how to charge commercial lots for salt. here it goes.

    I recently purchased a pallet of 50# bags of Morton salt for $220.00 plus tax. at which equals $4.50 per/bag. one pallet of 50 pounders has 49 bags on it. however, i need some advice on what to charge the businesses. note: i utilize a tailgate spreader for the lots.

    I had in mind charging ($8.00 per/bag applied) plus an additional $75 for truck rental, and additional $25 for labor considering that i have to lift and dump the bagged salt in the spreader by hand and also taking in perspective of gas prices on the rise ($3.00-$3.10 p/gallon). i spoke to other people in the plowing business and they told me that my fees for truck rental and labor were average, but told me to increase the $$$$$ amount per/bag applied. for instance, $9.00 or higher per/bag applied.

    i don't want to scare customers away from these prices. alot of competition out there. if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on what to charge please reply back with a price break down, it would be greatly appreciated.

    thank u
  2. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I charge $.45/lb for magnesium cloride and $.35 for rock salt. Hopefully that helps. My mag price is a little cheap I think but when everyone else here uses just rock salt i have trouble with the price because nobody knows what it is even after you explain it and explain it again.
  3. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    i'm about $14 per 50 # bag and i'm paying about $ 4 per bag
  4. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I charge $15.00 per bag spread it usually takes me only 3 minutes to load and 5 minutes to spread and i can get close to six bags in my hopper, so i charge a little over three times what i pay it it's easier to explain to the customer that way.
  5. HTI

    HTI Member
    Messages: 38

    Charge $15/bag if less than 10 bags and charge $12-$13/bag if over
  6. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    so if I need 200lbs of salt it will cost me $ 132.00 ??
  7. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Who are you asking if you were asking me that would be $60.00 spread, 4 #50 bags, and 8 additional minutes spent if i finished up plowing.
  8. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    These guys have to be applying only a few hundred pounds a night if that. Theres no way in hell anyone would accept those prices knowing full well they can get it applied for 100 a TON.

    Im in a position right now using bagged on fairly large properties....half tonners, or 1/4 tonners where I am competeing against guys that apply for 100-110 a ton, and get product for 45 a ton. I pay 160 a ton.

    I am quite sure these guys quoting these prices here to us cause many a contractor to lose a bid because it is so outrageously overbid.
  9. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I'm not following you. This is what i get 49 bags @ $15.00 gross is 735 so minus the cost of the pallet which is $171.50 nets me $563.50 and thats for 2,450 lbs. of salt thats right around 1 1/4 ton. Just checking my cal. that means i'm getting .30 :eek: cents per pound um maybe i should up that now.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  10. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    Here's how I justify my pricing. There isn't bulk loading around here unless you have it trucked to your site from a long distance. I have to travel 85 miles one way and I can only haul 2 - 2500lbs pallets. Everyone here gets it from the same place.
  11. Turf Masters

    Turf Masters Member
    Messages: 93

    You guys are way to cheap in pricing!!

    First of all I usually don't give away pricing,but I have been at this game for 21 years now and I have long term snow contracts so I am not concerned if someone see's what I charge.When calcium or Mag cloride pellets is applied to walks I charge 25.00 per bag applied.Bulk salt in parking lots either clear lane white or green treated with mag cloride my price is $195.00 per ton plus $85.00 truck time.So if I go to one lot and drop 2 tons of material the fee would be $475.00.Bulk salt on average costs $52.00 per ton.
  12. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    So people are paying you 600 a ton to apply salt.

    I find that hard to believe unless you are applying 1 or two bags on a driveway or something.
  13. witty

    witty Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    wow, alot of good comments here. i have a question for the guys using bagged salt. i just want to clarify this up. are you guys just charging a flat rate of $12-$15 per/bag @ 50# applied or charging $12-$15 per/bag @50# applied plus traveling fee and labor???

    man, this is getting tuff. it seems like almost every person here who uses bagged salt is getting $12-$15 per bag applied. that looks good to me but also taking into perspective, alot of competition out here in NJ.

    I'm just wondering if it would be a good idea to replace my tailgate spreader for a bulk spreader.... what do u guys think???? Do you guys think this would be a better investment??? would i be making more or less in the long run??

    thanks everyone for the helpful ideas. greatly appreciate it
  14. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    You make more doing bulk. You don't bring in as much gross, because you don't have to charge nearly as much. You can charge half of what you have to charge doing bagged salt, and still come out farther ahead. One thing to consider, is that you don't have all the handling you do with bagged salt. Now,...it does take a little longer to cover the cost of a Vbox, and of course you have storage and the need for ability to install and uninstall it. Another thing to consider, is that if you don't don't have an indoor facility to store your truck with salt (even left over), then you have to use all your salt that night. A wet night or two, and you have a mess that pretty much amounts to a giant salt block. that s one of the conveniences of bagged salt. If you need just a little bit, then you always have some in the back of your truck....which brings us to another subject you have with a tailgate spreader that you don't have with a Vbox....a back of a truck to put stuff in. :waving:
  15. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Snop plower I agree
  16. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I don't just apply at one place that is what i get out of a pallet of salt, as far as the

    customer they pay 15.00 per bag , so if over the coarse of the winter if i apply 40 bags of

    salt on their property then thats what they pay. it's not that hard to sell because they are

    looking at it this way only $15.00 a bag to spread it looks cheap at the time when

    somebody else wants to sell them 1 ton for $120.00 every time they plow ,

    most of the lots that i salt don't need a large truck or 8' spreader and only require 3-6 bags

    per lot, and no i usually don't salt driveways or sidewalks and when i do on occasion i

    charge $10.00 per app. which takes less than 1/4 of a bag, so far it has worked for me.

    Guys i just went onto my Q/B and looked up one customer i salted 6 times 4 bags each time and have charged them $360.00
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  17. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

    :jester:i charge $22.00 per 50lb bag of salt applied but i only do commercial locations and i never had a complaint. when i talk a job i stress the fact of how important it is to maintain zero chance of slip/fall injuries and they go with me everytime happy holidays to all
  18. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Thats $880.00 a ton. lol

    Either you guys are full of bs.
    You dont know how to do math
    I dont know how to do math
    Or I need to move.
  19. grndskeprexps

    grndskeprexps Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    you should be charging the same as you charge for plow truck time is truck time yes easyer to salt than plow but salt costs still wear and tare on truck and you same stuff diff venue get it
  20. witty

    witty Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    does anyone charge a traveling fee and a labor fee on top of the applied salt??? or just a flat rate of applied salt????

    all my lots are within 15 miles of each other. driving back and forth lot to lot, i figure that u have to charge some truck/traveling fee or labor on top of the applied salt every time you go back to lay salt down. thats wear and tear on ur truck and also on top of that ur guzzling just as much gas as if you were plowing.: