questions about starting a salting biz

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by JML, Dec 23, 2000.

  1. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    I am really not to big on plowing. in my area everyone and their mother has a plow on their trucks and prices for plowing are so low, i don't know how anyone makes money. but their aren't that many people that offer salt/sand services and its starting to become very popular. I was just wondering about starting next year and was hoping i could get some advice on what to put in my trucks. I have 1 1998 and 2 2000 GMC 3500's with the 350, 4x4, and 4.10 rears. I was wondering what size spreaders i could put in them. They are also getting addtitional leaf springs installed this spring. Also how do you charge by the ton, if so what is the average (i know its different everywhere). Thanks for all of your help..

    thanks

    joe
     
  2. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    This comes down to a number of options and you may want to search previous posts. This has been hashed out pretty well in the past but a quick synopsis from my point of view. On 3/4 tons your pretty much relagated to a tailgate spreader due to the weight. For the one tons you can install v box spreaders . Advantage to a tailgate, still get to use your truck bed, use bagged salt for smaller sites, and less initial investment. Advantage to v box, load with a loader, don't have to reload as often, salt cost 1/3 of bagged price. With a tailgate spreader I'm getting from $.20 to $.30 apound spread this year until I can figure out a better way of bidding it. A friend of mine who does subdiv. gets $65 a ton spread with his V. Seems too cheap but he does OK
     
  3. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    it will probably be hard to salt and not plow you may search your area for plowers who do not salt and get work subbed from them or some otherlandscape companies i think in the end you will really need to plow to get the salt accts.
     
  4. slplow

    slplow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    You could a 1.5 yd vbox to a 1.8 as long as you are putting extra springs in but most people want you to do the plowing too.
     
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    If you are only using salt,you could run a small V-box 1-1.5 yds on a 3/4 ton,just dont heap it.Salt weighs less than sand,so its not so bad when you fill it.I have a bradford SS V-box on my 3/4 ton LD 89 GMC,it only weighs 400 lbs empty,and if you heap it.itll hold a yard.It handles salt easiy even when heaped,when I use sand,and heap it,you know its there and the E range tires start to bulge,even at 80PSI.I much preffer the 1 yarder to a tailgate,I can load out of my pile with my tractor,its cheaper,easier and much faster than loading from a pallet into the hopper,then having 40 some odd bags in the bed of your truck to dispose of.A pallet of salt is at least 150 a ton,I can buy bulk salt for 60 here,and i can get it for 50 -ish a ton if i get a delivery of 25 tons or more.Those big savings go into your pocket-its called profit,and you'll be able to make a lot more money or be more competetive with lower operating costs.
     
  6. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    I'm in agreement with the guys when they say you'll inevidentiably need to plow. But if you don't have to plow, get a machine that will handle bulk salt. Here in Pgh. bagged salt is $120/30 80 lb. bags and bulk is $39/ton. I feel if you don't use bulk salt you might find it hard to compete with the guys that plow.
     
  7. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    From what I've seen from the pricing structures we are paying for plowing in New Jersey - the numbers aren't all that low. You can make money plowing in New Jersey at the rates we're seeing and paying......
     
  8. FIREMAN

    FIREMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from n.j.
    Posts: 318

    YOU COULD PROBABLY GET DECENT WORK AS A SUB TO A PLOWING CONTRACTOR.....ONE GUY I USED TO SUB FOR PAYED 65HR. FOR A TRUCK WITH A 1 YARD OR LARGER SALTER....HE WOULD SEND THIS TRUCK AROUND TO FOLLOW OTHER SUBS WHO PLOWED AND WERE NOT EQUIPED WITH SALTERS...I GUESS THE ARRANGEMENT WORKED OUT WELL FOR HIM.HE ALMOST CRYED WHEN I TOLD HIM WE HAD OUR OWN ACCOUNTS A COUPLE YEARS AGO...OH BY THE WAY HE PAYED FOR SALT...3500 SERIES DUMP 2WD WITH A TAILGATE SALTER USING BAGGED MATERIAL...CAN CARRY 2 PALLETS AND THE SALTER NO PROBLEM...THIS WAS A GOOD WAY FOR ME TO USE A 2WD TRUCK INSTEAD OF LETTING IT SIT FOR THE WINTER....
     
  9. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    thats what i want to do, is be a sub for guys that plow.. i live in central jersey and the guys i talk to, some of them are getting as low as $30 per hour for a 1 ton truck, how can you make money.. i just want to offer salt/sand services to all of those that just plow..
     
  10. Michael Fronczak

    Michael Fronczak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    I'm thinking of adding a V box next year, found a supplier that will load bulk Magic salt. I don't have a place to store bulk material, and bobcat is on a site. If I get loaded night before will material clump up, a friend that does salting(regular salt), said material would clump, cloging spreader. Supplier said they are open durring storms & 8-5 daily, haven't delt with them but I'm leary since I haven't dealt with them before. I don't want to be in a position where I need material, and their not open. My friend said I could load at his shop, prefer not to. Bagged material not cost effective here, bid out this fall, purchasing director said his quotes started at $60/ton applied, I was at $160. I know magic will cost me $ 62+tax/ton loaded, haven't ran numbers, to figure on applied cost. Does everyone use their own piles or do you have suppliers that load? how long does 2 ton last in V box?
     

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