• PlowSite Homepage Upgrade

    Hello again PlowSite community,

    I wanted to post a quick note to let you know that the homepage of PlowSite will experience a major upgrade next week. We’re always looking for ways to improve our users’ experience on the site, and felt that this upgrade was needed and long overdue.

    With this upgrade, you’ll now see the top trending posts as soon as you visit PlowSite, and these will be updated throughout the day. You can also easily access videos and photos. As always, we encourage you to include videos and photos in your own posts to share with your fellow PlowSite users.

    Be assured that all of the forums, content and data that you’ve been accustomed to will remain intact, as will all current site features. You’ll also be able to easily access the full list of forums directly from our new homepage.

    We’re excited to bring you this change, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

    Thanks, PlowSite Team

Salt Spreading

LawnNgarden guy

Junior Member
Just was wondering what is the average charge for salting walks with an Earthway push spreader w/pneumatic tires.
Should I be charging by the pound and how much should I be charging per pound.
Should I be using salt or cal cloride ?

Lawn Lad

Senior Member
We figure out time for the crew to spread the material (our hourly rate) plus the material cost which is marked up.

Hypothetically... we figure it will take 1 man .5 hours to spread 5,000 square feet with 1 bag of de-icer. De-icer cost - $10.00, we'll charge $20.00 or $25.00 plus another $40.00 for labor - so the price to the customer would be $60.00 or $65.00.

We then take this number as a guide and price test it to the market. Does $60.00 seem reasonable. What's the expectation for clear pavement? Will our one bag be enough, or will we have to add more when temps drop? What's our scheduling look like? Will be applying this early in our route or late in our route (how long to burn down the ice?).

Another way to do it other than per application would be to do it per bag applied. The only thing I don't like by per bag is that you are telling your customer how much material you are using. I like to think that as a professional, it's up to you to determine how much to use under current conditions. Though I understand the pros to pricing per bag applied as well. But what about a property where you apply one bag, or less than one bag, versus a property where you apply 6 bags. If you charge $30.00 per bag, will you be leaving money on the table with the 1/2 bag property and/or charging too much for the property requiring 6 bags?

karl klein

Senior Member
we charge a figured rate on what we think it will take. we figure the applied cost per bag at 2.5 times our cost. so if we think it will take for bags we will charge them 100.00 wether we put 1 bag or six down

Arc Burn

PlowSite.com Addict
I have read numerous editions of that book a few years ago as one is released every year and they are full of info like that,great book,a bit pricey i believe but tons of figures in them.


Senior Member
I just bid an account that had just under 1000 square foot of walks. The sidewalk portion for deicing was bid at $30. Of course, my material cost is about 35 cents/1000 if I figure an application rate of 10#/1000 of bulk, sidewalk grade material I have about $70/ton in by the time transport and storage are accounted for. I do realize most of you will have higher material costs, but BY FAR labor will be your highest cost.

Somewhere between $20-$30 would be a good place to think about setting a "minimum charge."

There is cheaper service available (and probably more expensive, too) in my market, but I don't want to have "the most" accounts; rather "the most profitable" accounts.


PlowSite.com Addict
I charge 24 cents/pound for rocksalt, applied to the lot.

For Sidewalks, I usually set a whole dollar amount.

For instance on my Church account the other night I went out and pre treated the property. Here's how it went....

12-10-02.....640lbs Rocksalt Applied.................................$153.60

12-10-02.....Application of Calcium Cloride for concrete.........$25.00

So for $178.60 they were protected from freez-up that next morning.

I spent 7min travel time x2 (15min) and a total of 30 minutes loading/spreading the salt/calcium. So thats 45 minutes total job time.

Now for the material cost. $36 for the salt, and $6 for the Calcium. So thats Roughly $42 in material cost.

Billed out $ 178.60
Materials $ - 42.00

Divided by .75hr = $182/hr

Can you say I love WINTER!!

Now granted, thats not figuring in Fuel, truck wear and tear (like a 4" rust hole in my cab corners!!), etc, but you get the idea.

Hope this helps.

P.S. I have been told by many that I am low on my salting prices, and just as many tell my I am high. Bottom line, my customers are happy, and so is my wallet.



2000 Club Member
New spreader

I bought the new spreader. My choices were the smith all stainless elctric and a Fisher stainless with Honda power. I went with the smith for 2 major reasons.
1- I own 1 already and it has never given me a problem in over 5 yrs of service. So I trust them.
2- I can interchange the units between trucks as they are set up the same.
One nice thing is that even tho they are 5 yrs apart, there are no mojor differneces between them, so they have a good thing and it is working. I bought it from Hartford Equipment for 3600.00 + tax. Nice people, they also carry Fisher- Snowway- and Blizzard plows. I will definatly check them out for outfitting my new truck next year.