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Can I justify Magic?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by jaclawn, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Here is our situation. All commercial customers. All are priced per visit for plowing and salting. Ie. If I have to salt three times during a day, I get paid for each of the three salt apps. Same goes for plowing. Seasonal contracts are almost non-existant here, and only a very select few properties will even consider them.

    If Magic salt, I may only have to salt one time on a property, compared to two or three times with conventional salt. Also, if I salt the lot today, and we get another inch or so over night, I may not have to apply magic the next morning. That is, if it works as advertised, and I don't have any reason to believe that it does not.

    So, here is my question? How can I justify the cost of the magic? I MIGHT, and that is a big might be able to upsell it to my customers, charging a little more for it when compared to regular salt. It seems that if I use magic on my lots, I will possibly cut the number of times that I service an account.

    I understnd that I may not have to use as much salt if I use the magic, but can I really use that much less salt to justify the cost of the magic, and the potential loss of additional salting oppertunities?

    As I understand it, the MAgic may be great in a seasonal situation, where you get paid a fixed amount. If you can eliminate a salting trip, or eliminate the need to plow, then it is more $$$ for you.

    I just can't seem to justify it.
  2. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    Well the first thing I'll say is that not every product is the one for every contractor, as evidenced by our many arguments here about different products. I am going to try Magic this year and for most of my accounts, I charge by the bag used. I did increase the price charged for using the Magic. If you do decide to use it, you will have to upsell it to your customers. Explain the benefits and that although its going to cost the customer more per application, the amount of applications will be reduced during the season. This will result in the customer paying the same as usual, or a little less than usual during the season & receiving the other benefits of using this product. Good luck.
  3. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Another selling point is the fact that it works at lower temperatures, where plain salt would be ineffective.
    It could also be used on walks, in place of calcium chloride or other more expensive melters. It won't rust hand rail "mounts" like calcium will. I have done many accounts where the handrails are rusted off and "loose" thanks to calcium over the years.
    Also, it won't rust the bottom 6" of steel doors. Won't get tracked into warehouses and shops onto the concrete floors, and if it does get tracked in, it won't eat up the concrete like plain salt will. I could go on, but that's enough. Do a search on this forum, just use "magic" as a search term.

  4. Guest
    Messages: 0

    jaclawn, I am in the exact situation this year. We have all commerical customers and on about half of them I get paid per visit. So this is what I am going to do. I bought 20 tons of salt and had it treated with magic 0, and then bought 30 tons of sand and mixed it with straight salt. The contract customers ( I get paid one lump sum per month) , will have the Magic 0 put down so it will decrease the amount of times I have to go back and the rest of my customers that I get paid per visit I will put down my sand/salt mix like I always did in the past. After this season I will have a better feel of how the magic 0 works and then I may try to sell my per visit customers on using this product which I will charge more than the sand/salt spread. Just My Two cents
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Im in the same boat,using Magic will cut my profit,as much as i want to use it,most of my jobs are per visit,and it doesnt pay to use magic on the seasonal and go back to reload with straight salt for the others.Still up in the air about it ,since i havent been able to use it yet.
  6. Guest
    Messages: 0

    John, the way I am going to get around that problem is that right now I have two 2 1/2 yd sanders and 1 8 yd sander so I will just send out one of the small sanders with the magic 0 and the others with the sand salt mix, since I always ran all three any way there should not be any extra labor burden or extra costs.Just My two cents
  7. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Messages: 1,687

    I spoke with a person today that has a mutlimillion dollar snow removal company near me. He had the same exact reservations about magic salt, that it would cut into profits except on seasonal sales. Here is my though on that.
    You have a 2-4" snow fall predicted, you can either let it snow then go plow and sand, and charge accordingly.
    Or you can pretreat the lot, watch it all melt, and then the next day bill for a 2-4" plowing and a salting. I persoanlly have no probelm with this, I was hired to remove the snow, never said how I would do the removal. If I melt it all so be it.
    Next scenario:
    6-9" are predicted, to much to melt it all. SO I would still pretreat with the magic, and tht will prevent the bond forming between snow and asphalt, then plow it all, and a light post plowing app of more magic. What this will do is keep the lot down to bare pavement as much as possible, and leave a better all around impression for the customer. Happy customers = more $$$$$$.
    So the question really is, how can you afford not to use magic.
  8. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    That may work if, anf that is a big IF, you have your contract worded as "remove snow" "control snow"... If you have a contract like mine that states "plow parking lot, plow driveway, plow entrance" and "salt parking lot, salt driveway, salt entrance"... your suggestion would not work.

    I am not a lawyer by any means, but if I tried to bill for a snow plowing that I did not do, a few things would probally happen to me. 1. I would most likely not get paid. 2. I would most likely lose the customer. 3. I could have fraud charges brought against me for billing for services not rendered.

    I agree, IF you can get them to pay you to melt it off, great. However, be very caregul of your contract wording.
  9. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    That's why it is best to always word it as:
    "Clear all parking areas and walkways of snow and ice."
    "Clear driveway of snow" (if they're a residential who doesn't want salt)
    "Keep parking lot and walkways snow and ice free."

    All of these leave you the options you want.

  10. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    Plus... If I remember correctly, the "Magic" will go dormant while it's on the ground until it's needed again. So if this is true, it may actually save you some money.


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