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Salting More $$$ Than Lawn and Snow Combined?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by lawnprolawns, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    I'm looking at some properties and just throwing some rough numbers into the computer.

    Adding everything up, salting is more $$ than just about everything else combined. As you can see here:


    The last column is the total, 2nd and 3rd are quantity*price. Does this look right.. is this often the case?
  2. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Hey! Someone ELSE who has discovered the numbers!
    I will give you an example... There is a guy here near US that does salt...ALOT of it. He runs around 40 some trucks a night (mostly subs), just so he has massive amounts of area to salt. He now does WELL over $20,000 a night in salt alone. Many of his places, he doesn't really hardly make any money on in plowing - and he doesn't care. That is part of his strategy. He will go in and plow these places for prices that no one else can touch. he does this just so he has these places to salt. the plowing is sort of a "loss leader".
    His mowing and maintenance work isn't exactly the "finest around", either...but he doesn't care. he makes it up in numbers. After doing just over 2 mil last year, the numbers don't lie. he has built a heck of a business in a few short years. He isn't afraid to take chances, though.
  3. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    So..just to make sure I hear you right, there's a lot of money in salt and this thinking of mine is correct?
  4. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    More money in Salting then Plowing.
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Assuming you have the ability to get enough to last the season, store it, load it, and spread it in large quantities.
  6. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    I could name a few "big companies" in the milwaukee that hardly make anything off of plowing. Most of their money is made in salting and sidewalk crews.
  7. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    I understand that it's more expensive for customers than plowing and more profitable.. I was just surprised that it ended up being more $$ than everything else combined for the rest of the year. Oh well.. works for me. :) payup
  8. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Those numbers are not exactly how they Look. Salting requires inventory, that inventory is sold at a 50% margin gross profit, not net, so you end up with half the gross sales as gross profit before expenses, if your lucky. Plowing requires no inventory just equipment and manpower. Salting requires a large investment in start up cost, I would say more than plowing. Salting is harder on trucks than just plowing, I know I will have to debate this but that's what I have seen. Salting is used less later in the season because of warmer days, at least thats the way I have to do it. I am not suggesting that salting isn't very good but just make sure you add up all the numbers. If you are debating salt or not, you should be salting if you want to do commercial parking lots.
  9. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    John Mac is right.

    You're plowing is 280 each time - fuel - maybe labor
    Your salting is 280 each time - fuel - maybe labor - cost of salt - loader cost (fuel & operator).

    Both of them have all the other stuff like ins, license, etc.

    What is your profit on plowing x 12?
    What is your profit on salting x 30?

    Salting is still good money.
  10. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Salting is very good money indeed. But I highly doubt it will ever, ever surpass any of my landscaping/lawn care numbers. If you do alot of it and have the right places, then it may be possible.
  11. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    salting is where the money is at. I make more money is about 30 days of work during the winter months then I make in four months of summer work. Once I start doing more paver installs those numbers will change, but for now I am happy.
  12. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I know people are saying that you have a product cost in your number, but you have to look at what you can generate in a event. Each salt/liquid truck will typically cover three plow routes. So the revenues are way higher than a night of plowing even after you take out salt cost.There is also way less trucks on the road and less labor on the clock.

    On another related topic, you may want to revisit some of your numbers. We have always got a few more plow/salts than you guys in Metro "D". But over the last two years i think you have averaged more than 12 plows and for sure way more than 30 salts. I know 3 years back we only plowed 6-8 times in metro "D" but salted 55-60 times.

    just my 2 cents
  13. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Burkart, every ones numbers are different depending on what your summer work is, how much you do in the summer and profit margins. My point is this, salting looked like poster was making alot of money if you he did not realize the actual costs involved. This thread was stating that salting is double the profit in a years time than all other service provided to a particular property and I doubt that is the case after you consider the expense involved to provide salt service and take into consideration that your gross profit is half of what your sales are. Take the $8400 number that was stated, gross profit on that is $4200 @ a 50% margin, if you double your salt cost. Not double $7097.50 that the other services cost. Then take out the other expense's to provide that service ie: truck, salt, storage, loader etc. and the number gets a lot smaller. The other service provided was $7097.50 gross but the provider keeps more of this money percentage wise than the salting service because it is all service, his expense's does not include inventory like salting does. Know you have to consider time involved, equipment involved etc to make a accurate comparison. After considering all this you still could make more on salting but just use all the numbers.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  14. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    To clear things up, I was not talking about profits or how much I make, just about how much the customer will pay. These are super rough numbers, just to get an idea of a few things. I know salt has a lot of expenses involved with it. Anyways... thanks for the info everyone!
  15. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    That is exactly how I took it, you gross sales. The responses and the assumption by you and others that salting is " more $$$ " , equating to more profit.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  16. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Salt salt salt>>>
  17. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I like it on my fries please.
  18. grasmancolumbus

    grasmancolumbus Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    ill take a shake with that to please:jester:
  19. Corman

    Corman Member
    Messages: 30

    I know of a guy who invoices $40,000 - $50,000 per salting episode
  20. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    I know someone that does close to $100,000!