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Oh man... sudden realization

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by bigjeeping, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    It seems everyday I'm having those "walk into a wall realizations" since I joined plowsite and am going to be plowing for my first year this winter.

    I've actually been doing snowremoval for 2 years with snow blowers and have had 40 steady clients. I am planning on having 100 residential driveways to clear this winter and heres what HIT ME

    I'll need ATLEAST 1 - 50lb bag of salt for each drive/walk way, right?

    So that's ATLEAST 100 bags of salt for everystorm.. not to mention if I salt a house twice! at 49bags/pallet.. thats 2 pallets of salt EVERY SNOW
    WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO STORE ALL THAT? I'll need like atleast 6 pallets at all times in case of re-salting and melts/freezes. I dont even know how I'd get the pallets off my truck!

    My past 40 clients, with snowblowers, had NEVER been salted.. nobody asked for it at all. Could I offer plowing without salting? Is that an option since it's only residential?
    How does everyone else store/get their salt?

    Shoot me now :gunsfiring:
  2. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Well this is defiantly something to think about :rolleyes:
    But I highly doubt you will salt 100% of your driveways. I just don't see it happening. Maybe were you all live but around my place maybe 10% of residents salt there drive. Good luck to you.
  3. Frozen001

    Frozen001 Senior Member
    from Rome NY
    Messages: 908

    Is it me or does 50lbs per drive per storm seem high??
  4. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Yeah it probably is high. Ok - good news that I most likely wont be salting everybody's drive!
  5. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    50lbs in a push spreader should do 3 driveways! pumpkin:
  6. Tscape

    Tscape Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    Your supplier is also your warehouser. Just make sure you have good communication with him so that he knows that you are counting on him to have the materials in stock when you need it. That way you should only be buying it 1 event at a time. For 2 pallets you could store it in one of those Rubbermaid sheds.

    And 50# per drive seems high unless they are extraordinarily long drives.
  7. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I think that you will have very few customers wanting salt. Maybe the ones with steep driveways or elderly people that are unsure with their footing. I salt non of my driveways. All in town 20x50 drives.
  8. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    put a V box in your new f450 and your set
  9. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    good idea.. but a vbox for a 30ft drive? Not worth the 5,0000
  10. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I gotta be missing something.... how many times do you need to throw salt in southern florida?????????????????
  11. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Maybe I can use all the extra salt for my margaritas :drinkup:
  12. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Salting drives? We throw down pallet after pallet of salt every year, and I haven't salted the first driveway. It is hard enough to talk the commercial clients into spending the money on salt. Usually happens after they have an incident. Push spreader, and one pallet just to get started, and see where you stand after the first storm. Good luck.
  13. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Hickslawns is right. You most likely will NOT need salt as most homeowners don't want to pay for it.
  14. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    I'll tell you man, this weather is whacked out :p You never know what your going to get :D
  15. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    The Salt Skinny

    1/2 bag of salt on a driveway, keep enough salt on hand for two events and order more as needed. 99% of residential won't go for it.

    1) How much salt you use depends on temperature, snowfall amount and personal preference.

    2) Within the next 2 Weeks you need to have your salt supplier figured out and a relationship established. Ask if they deliver/how much? do they ever run out? when are they open? Last year I went with a supplier that was more expensive than some but they would deliver 2 pallets right into my garage. BTW, keep your salt covered, moisture turns it sticky, sticky plus cold temps = concrete.

    3) The reason most customers don't go for salting is because of the cost, we have to charge lots of money to cover our costs, and the salt is by far the cheapest! A customer see's Home Cheepo has it for $3.59 a bag so why are you charging me $35 for my little driveway. Lets see: To carry salt to every one of my customers I need a $30,000 truck. To efficiently spread the salt I need a (minimum) tailgate spreader at $1,500. Now that my truck has over 3000lbs of snow/salt equipment on it filling up with gas is daily procedure at $75 (or more.) And the wear and tear requires me to spend $500 a year in routine maintenance just to insure I don't have mechanical break downs. And did I mention my $10,000 insurance bill to cover my ass for when your neighbor comes over to visit on that -5 below day and slips and breaks her hip than sues me :realmad: And lastly, there is the whole issue of buying and storing the damn stuff. Ohh and wait, I forgot the whole Who's up at 3am plowing your driveway so you can go to work at a normal time thing.

    Salting is a great add-on business, but charge accordingly, and don't let'em talk ya into the $10 salt since your here thing.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2005
  16. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Rock On Man :redbounce

    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    i have never salted a drivway the hole time i have been plowing!!!!!!!!!!!!! :drinkup:
  18. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    Now that I think about it, the only house that I salted lastyear was my house, and my dads house. Other than that, no one. I dont like doing it, so I just tell my customers that "I wouldnt get it if i were you, you'll just track it into your house", and it is true too.
  19. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Around here, I have a hard enough time trying to get people to pay $40 to plow a rural residential driveway, let alone an extra $35 for a bag of salt. I tell them, then the jaw drops and they act like I'm on crack.
  20. Hmebuildr

    Hmebuildr Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    In the past I have had only 2 driveways I have salted/sanded both of these were so steep that it was required. Unless they ask for it specifically I would not even bring it up.

    Your also talking about 100 driveways unless they are all in the same area that is a lot of drives. I do around 40 all in the same area and depending on the storm it averages out to be about 6-7 hours work. It is nice to think about doing that many but if your doing it alone look at the amount of time it will take and what your going to do if your truck goes down.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2005