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Not new but I have questions

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by 042500hd, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    I'm not new to the industry, but will be salting this year for the first time. I was hoping some of you guys could advise me on figuring out pricing for salt. Do you double or triple cost then add labor? Or is there another way to figure cost. I'll be using a tailgate spreader and in some instances the customer will be providing the material. My next question is how large of a lot would your recommend be plowed with a Bobcat? The reason I ask is I have an opportunity to get some large commercial lots but don't have the big equipment I'm going to buy the equipment I need but don't want t buy a loader if I can get buy with a skidsteer. Also I know big equipment makes big money (sometimes), but how much ballpark could I expect to make doing a 3 acre lot, no obstacles, minmal number of cars. Let's say I get 20 plowable events give me a ballpark. I'm going to use this to influnce my decision on whether or not I take these new lots. Thanks for the input.
  2. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    We use our bobcat on lots with many obstacles. Wide open lots with deep snow and you may run out of traction by the time you reach the other side. Nursing homes with curvy drives and chopped up parking spaces are perfect for skidloaders. I can unload, plow, and load up quicker on some smaller lots than I can drive in with a truck, drop the blade, and plow.
    Salt pricing may vary dependent upon whether you are salting the entrances and main aisles, or covering the entire lot. Also vary dependent upon the weather. Sheet of ice, or just throwing some salt after spreading? There are a lot of conditions in between a standard 2-4" snow and 2" of ice only. Another variable will be amount of traffic on the lot. If the sun is coming out and it is going to warm up to 35 by 9am we don't go as heavy. If the sun is going down at a 24hour store and it is getting colder you have to go heavier on the salt.
    Lots of variables to think about so I thought I would throw a few out for you to think about. Hope it helps. $.35 per pound is going rate in our area. Some of these guys will tell you 2-3 times per cost of material. Figure expenses, your time, expected profit, equipment replacement, insurance, taxes, and fuel to name a few. Doesn't seem like double your expenses would cover wear and tear of equipment to me. Salt is a heavy load on your vehicle. More suspension abuse, more brake jobs, more money out of pocket for materials, more chances for injury of yourself or employees. . . the list goes on. Good luck. Hope this has helped.