Junior Member
ok i have skimmed the post for some thing that could tell me how to price a large plowing/salting job.Either didnt find it or didnt look long enought. but I have to salt a lot that is about 25000 sq ft. and i need some idea as to how or what to charge for priceing. we planing on getting a v-box or tall gate spereader. any help there to would be helpful.

thank you



Junior Member
Pricing salting/plowing

Tough call, Lawnboy!

You need to know your costs! There really is no rule of thumb, other than knowing your costs. I currently use bagged salt (YUCK!), next year I will have a V-spreader myself. I have seen salt go at 10 cents a pound, but you have to "guesstimate" the amount used. In otherwords, $200/ton spread!
Look at your costs of doing business first!


Junior Member
we know the price on salt 3.40 per 80lb of +5 salt just figure sq ft of the salt and add the equipment in ?????? i know what your saying but how do you figure the cost of the equipment we know what the plow truck is going for but what would a spreader run to operate? that is it dont know?



Junior Member
I think what you are asking is "how to charge"
We charge by the pound, in my area I have seen anything
from .25 per pound with and service charge of $25
to a flat rate of 45 cents per pound. I'm in central
Ohio out of the northern snow belt that might make a differance on pricing, and you have to know your overhead
like all of the above post have mentioned
hope this helps
Here is how I charge using my Western Tailgate spreader. I have one account that required salt to get the contract. Priced them out at $.30 a pound to cover salter cost. No minimum charge. If I use over 300 lbs. in a storm I knock them down to $.25. One longstanding customer uses 800+ per call but only when they call. They get the royal treatment at $.20 a pound. They also got 8 tons of ag lime for the last call. Out of the blue call ins are pretty much at that $.30 rate. Have paid for my salter twice over already. Salt costs me $3.25 a bag by the pallet loaded in my truck 10 minutes from home. this has proven to be lucrative and I think that $.25 to $.30 a lb. is about right.
Salt /Pricing

I'm a little closer to you than Chip52 is. There is way too much competition around here to charge $200.00 per ton spread. That is a sure way to lose the job. Going rates around here are between $105.00 to $165.00 per ton spread. The only way to go is to spread with a V-box using bulk material. I can spread and get paid with profit for what it costs Chip52 to fill and spread 1 ton of salt with his gate spreader using bagged salt. If you want some profit buy a V-box.
Sincerely, Northwestplower1

P.S. I charge 150.00 per ton spread. (on average) and that is how you word it on: contracts, proposals, and estimates. Email me for more info


2000 Club Member
That shows how regional snow and ice control is. We charge by the application, not by the ton. As you might guess our per rate applied is running between 4-500 a ton minimum. But that is how customers are acustomed to it around here.

BRL - Veteran
Somerset, NJ
Dino's right, try to talk with other contractors in your area to get a better idea on your market. Definitely talk to Northwest if he's close to you. I'm using bagged material & I charge my customers $20.0050# bag. When you do the math it comes to $800.00 per ton. The one thing I did change this year was to give a complete application rate, which is a better deal for my customers. But that pricing comes to around $15.00bag. The other thing I do is use bulk whenever possible to increase my profit margin. My prices I have found to be a little higher than the average in my area, which means there are still plenty of contractors getting more than me here.


Here I charge 20 cents per pound and found that I am the middle guy. I know of a couple of guys charging 14-15 cents a pound and another charging 26 cents per pound. Salt here is $53 per ton or $3.40 per 80lb bag. Only when we use more than 1200 lbs per lot do we discount the rate to 16 cents per pound. Next year we will have a rate hike on most of our accounts. Probably 22 cents.

TLS Addict
WOW! $3.25 for an 80lb bag? Thats great! I haven't seen those prices since 1995. Ever since those BAD northeast winters, it went up to $5 to $5.50 per 80lb and stayed there. I charge .20 per lb installed. From people I talk to around here, that is on the high side. My biggest lot (not all that big) takes 640lbs most storms and if there is severe iceing or its really cold they get 800lbs or more. I'm making about $10.00 per bag, if I get a good price from my supplier. For me, bagged is the way to go. My 4 lots on a real icey storm take about 2000 lbs or 25 bags. The other 5 bags I stack back in my DRY garage and save for next time. No trips back to the loading site to drop 600lbs of salt before it hardens to cement in a V-box for me. Two bolts and a pin and I lift the Buyers spreader out of the receiver and I'm back to a normal looking pickup.

Anyone else around my area paying less than $5.00 per 80lb for rocksalt? I'm in need of another load anyway, so if the price is right and it isn't as hard as a rock, its a deal.
Wow,what huge differences.Here in Ontario,Canada,the going rate is anywhere from $80.00-100.00 CDN per ton applied.Most places have a one or two ton minimum.We also have a general guideline of charging double what is applied.So if we spread three tons we bill for six.Would be nice to see $4-500 a ton like Dino said,especially in US dollars !

As far as material prices,we are paying about $65.00 CDN a ton for bulk.Bagged is anmywhere from $4.00-6.00 CDN a bag for 40KG (88LBS).


Guys, I have one question, unless you only make one stop with your load whether it be a tailgate speader or V-box how can you tell the lbs you put out? An educated guess?
I charge for a service. I.E Sand/salt lot $xx.oo dollars. I know about the material needed to cover my lots, but since I dont have a scale or flow-meter there is know way to accurately charge by the pound.
We had a supplier here that got burned selling "by the ton". A disgruntled operator owed this supplier alot of money and could not pay the bill so he sued saying the supplier cheated him by selling by the ton when he had no scale. The operator won and had to pay only part of the bill.

This supplier sells "by the bucket" now.

Be carefull how you word your bills unless you can document exactly the amount of material you use.
Hey lawnboy, thats a good question. When i bid a parking lot i will price it by the job and not by the tonnage. Like you said, how will you measure it when its coming out the back of the v-box.

I would say on the average, we get around 400 to 500 per ton. And we are not one of the highest at all. There are contractors that are cheaper in town but not by much.


Senior Member
Central NJ 08620
We only have a Fisher speedcaster 2 tailgate spreader and so far have only use bagged material thru it. When loading the spreader we only put in enough to do the site were at so that the spreader is empty and we know how much material we used on site. I know its unlikely, but I'd rather not chance salt spilling out of the back of the salter or worse freezing between jobs. If we do use bulk in the future it would be easy enough to tell buy counting how many scoops fill a bucket with 50 lbs and then counting the shovel fulls loaded into the hopper. Will give us a rough estimate as to how much we've loaded.

WYLD: Are lawyers and laws different in Canada or what???? To double up the amount of material on the bill versus what you actually put down would be considered fraud and if you sent the bill thru the mail it would be then be mail fraud. (Didnt you ever see the Tom Cruise movie The Firm???)
On top of that whenever the leaches errrrrr lawyers in the states ever have a case they have the right to suppoena everything they want. If you have a slip and fall accident, they will supponea your records on how much salt you purchased vs how much you've billed and will then see a biggggggg discrepency. Then all of a sudden, in the juries eyes, maybe everything you said about how well you plowed and how much salt you used doesnt seem to hold water anymore.

John Allin: Am I just being a little anal on this in your experience as a CNA expert on plowing??? You've seen alot more litigation as an expert than I have from my one measly claim soooo am I way of the mark on this??? However, I learned a ton of law and about leaches errrr lawyers in that case. Looking forward to your reply.

That is a good point.We have had cases where we had to prove we salted,but our detailed records were enough.they never actually wanted to verify how much salt we "actually" used.With the amount of money we get for salt applied.We would only be profiting around $20.00 CDN per ton,if we billed for exactly what we applied..That would'nt even pay the gas for the truck.We know in our head what the job should be worth,and try to get more $$ per ton,but most places are too cheap so we are forced to drop our price per ton applied,and make it back by raising the amount of material we bill for.Would be nice if we could tell them,it would require one ton at $500 ton applied.Instead,they would rather hear it costs $85.00 a ton applied,and they would need 6 tons.Stupid way to do it,but I've been at it almost 17 years,and that's always been the way it is done.The FBN's keep driving the prices down.

Winterworks Veteran
I can't believe how low those prices are in Toronto. I am getting $10.00 per 25lbs of salt applied up here (1 hour north of Toronto) I realize I am a little high but no one has complained,,,,,,yet.
salt pricing

I don't know how anyone can charge between 4&500.00 per ton of salt thats outragous, but definately would not fly around here.

Lawnboy53 my V-box can hold just over 2 ton. I think it's kind of hard to lose money on salt when when you can purchase bulk salt so cheap how can anybody lose? you don't have to be exact.

For all you guys that charge same price per applications of salt? Doesn't it take more salt to melt 1" of snow as opposed to melting a half an inch... I like to keep it open then I can change the price when needed. This way of pricing allows me to use as much as I need to bring lots down to water by morning.

More power to anyone who can get 4 to 500.00 per ton. must be a nice profit.


Senior Member
Central NJ 08620
Oppps...forgot to post my rates

I have a salt supplier about 2 minutes away with 30 day terms so unless I get a much better deal it doesnt make sense to do the traveling. I also dont have much storage area sooo Im usually only buying a pallet or two at a time usually right before a storm hits. Considered bulk but figured the rot on the truck and no storage or loader wasnt worth the difference in price.

50# of rock salt is 3.61 bag. 80s are cheaper per lb but they get a little tough to handle after 14 hours of plowing and my old tired back finds the 50s more palatable.

Bulk of 100% salt is $ 70 a ton and they do have a scale to measure it out.

We bill it out at $20.00 per 100 lbs plus an app fee of $ 35.00 day of storm, $ 50.00 day after storm contracted visits and $ 75.00 on call in basis. Been told the cost is a little low sooooooo may have to bump it up a bit next year. Also wrote in a material shortage clause to cover my butt in the event salt gets scarce.


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