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Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by SnoFro, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. SnoFro

    SnoFro Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I just received an interesting phone call from one of my long time customers. As we all are aware of, salt prices have increased dramatically this year. For me, it's a 100% increase. Obviously, that wiped out my profit margin. This customer called me to tell me he had another bid from some contractor, a big company around here, and their salt price is cheaper than what I was charging last year. Not to mention, their seasonal price is 50% of what I usually charge. Gas is almost $1.50 a gallon more this year. Come on people. Quit low balling these accounts to get the work. These assholes must be willing to work for free. Let me tell you my prices have been the same for the last five years. And I'm not going to retire anytime soon off of my snow plow accounts.
  2. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    somebodys always willing to work for freexysport
  3. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    they'll probably be calling you after the 3rd snow and beg for you back!!
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    or :drinkup::drinkup: money
  5. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Let them take it....you can get many more. ;)
  6. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,611

    did bri move to michigan? lol
  7. SnoFro

    SnoFro Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    If there are any big companies out there tell me how you can take on accounts so cheap. I figured out, using their prices, and how much time it takes me to plow and salt this account, on how much I could make per hour. You're right. Its' beer money.
  8. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Maybe you are too high? If they are a large successful company we would have to assume they know what they are doing. Money is made in volume, or possibly they are just more efficient than you? It always sucks losing accounts but its okay, you will get more ;)
  9. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    There is a large company here that does nothing but snow. Not a landscaper, contractor or concrete guy in the summer, just do snow. They bring in a barge of salt every summer for their own use, use their dump trucks to salt the properties, and then sub out the vast majority of the plowing.

    They charge just enough to pay their subs for plowing. The money for them is in the salt, their cost is just a couple bucks per ton, they charge the customers just a little below what everyone else is charging to get the business. So with low plowing rates, and low salting rates they are cornering the market and making a KILLING on salt. I can really see them taking a lot of smaller guys out this year with salt prices the way they are!

    Maybe its something similar going on with you?
  10. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    He's insured now so watch out :gunsfiring:
  11. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i dont care if they buy salt by the barge load, it still costs more than "a couple bucks a ton" you would probably be suprised how much jt costs them
  12. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    and the barge still costs.... unless they own the mine...they pay... unloading , trucking.... the list goes on.... they are paying twice what they were im sure.... do you think the mines are givving them priority over the states? nope
  13. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I do agree with you but my salt prices only went up like 6% this year. If they booked this barge far enough in advance, I'm sure they got a great deal. JMO
  14. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    teaches us all lesson doesnt it... buy a good majoity of your salt , in april/may/june, when its considered "left over" and might be cheaper?

    and your price only went up 6% because your located in the country that its getting imported from , id be willing to bet....

    and well your JD dave, .... its all in the name ....lol
  15. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I think your right but generally we pay more for everything even if it's made in Canada. I still don't beleive salt has risen that much, it's just the people that control the salt are being greedy, but I'm no expert. BTW if I mention my name they add 50%. LOL
  16. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    JD is right, salt didn't go up that much. only about 11% here trucking is what gets you at $4/mile
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194


    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    Here is what I think on the salt deal this year, there are 4 large salt dealers in the US and they have taken their cues from the oil companies, they have learned that if they all get together they can increase profits like 500% and also do things like create shortages that really dont exist its a disaster I for one am looking heavily on a liquid setup to reduce my salt usage alot not sure what else to do and I have been at this quite a few years.
  19. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Keep a watch out for those companies sending you PM's and telling you they have salt. I had one that contacted me and wanted to sell to me for $165/ton plus shipping. I can buy bagged cheaper than that. Screw them. I am stocking up and waiting for the local lowballers to fall on their faces with no salt available this year. I am playing my cards for the winter of 09/10 right now.
  20. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    There is a nationally known company that tried low balling one of my accounts. What they do is they are big enough that they do well on the East coast most seasons, and then can lowball the snow around here (where the profits aren't so high) so that they can get the lawn AND snow work for this account. I do the snow b/c I'm just down the road from the account and can be there in minutes. My conditions (storm) are the same as their's are. I'm not making a judgement call from someplace an hour away from here. I therefore, can provide better service.:nod: