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Dealing with subs

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by sectlandscaping, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    I had extremely bad luck with subs.I had a friend of a friend that was suppose to do two lots every storm and didnt show. The first snow 2" of slush he made every excuse in the book not to come to work. This set me back a lot because the properties were out of my way. Then the truck that was sent to do them had a problem with the sander. So I had to send another truck just to salt the lots.

    Is there a trick to finding a good sub or what? Maybe a contract with penalties or something I could do to make them liable?

    In a way I'm glad I found this out now and not when theres 10" on the ground. Now I have to try to find 2-3 guys with hopes one will show.
  2. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    what and when are you paying this clown
  3. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    A good contract would usually have a penalty for non performance along the lines of "the cost to (get someone else, or do it your self) complete the work if the sub doesn't show or refuses to do the work will be deducted from any monies owed to the sub, and in the event that the amount to seek performance is greater than what is owed to the sub, the sub becomes liable to the prime contractor" (my own words).
  4. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    We looked at the properties together and came to agreement of $200 first push and $60 a hour after that. I provided salt. Payments within 7 days but generally I pay in a day or so.

    It took my guy 1 1/2 hours to plow and 1 1/2 hours to shovel. I salted both in under 30 mins. If it wasnt so wet we couldve used blowers and knocked off time.

    See, I wasnt sure if that was legal. So who would enforce this? Wouldnt this be a small claims matter with a good chance of never seeing the money?

    The contract was payment terms, rates, scope of work, insurance requirements, and thats about it. I'm going to update it and see if it helps people stay true to their words.
  5. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,395

    If he doesn't show at all I'd say good luck getting any money out of the guy in the form of your penalty.

    If he shows and does a half axx job then you give him half axx pay.

    If the guy(s) start the season with you hold $500 or some amount out of the first check or two and explain to them what the problems have been in the past with other subs and that you'll pay them the $500 on 4/1 or what ever time works for you.
    This will help ensure they stick with you for the season.
    Of course if you split the sheets part way thru the season they are going to expect to collect that $500 then.
    Most "decent" subs should understand.
  6. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    This is a good idea if you could find some one to agree. We make our subs jump though a few hoops with paper work, taking pics of the lots, emails back and forth, phone calls. You can usually tell who is going to drop the ball though this process
  7. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,395

    That too.

    Ask for references.
  8. robtown

    robtown Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 16

    Inspect equipment to make sure it can handle the work you sub him.
  9. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    There is a reason that subs are subs
  10. dooleycorp

    dooleycorp Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    its tough to have to count on others when you know you can do it faster and better a good sub is worth his weight in gold good luck
  11. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I agree. I've had both bad and good subs. I don't hesitate to go on a trip out of town with the subs I have working for me now. I know even if something happens to their equipment, they will some how get the work done.
  12. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I can't speak for your laws, but I know if the person agrees to it in a contract, they are bound to the terms. This is assuming that the contract doesn't fly in the face of a law, in which case the law takes precedence. Here, you couldn't legally make an employee sign that, but a sub as a separate company/party to the contract, sure why not.

    Yes, as with any breach of contract, you may have to enforce it in court. At least then you would have some recourse.

    There has been some good comments already about training/seeing equipment etc. And yes, if he hasn't worked for you yet you would have to chase him for the money. But at least you would be further ahead than you are now.
  13. dooleycorp

    dooleycorp Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    treat them good and they do the same but somtimes they get greedy
  14. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I don't think that is legal in most states, but that is besides the point, I'm not a lawyer.
    I would not hold 500.- from his first pay check but do this; if he is projected to make 5000.- plowing for you this year, then before the season starts promise him a 10% bonus (or 500.-) bonus after the season if there is no property damage and they always showed up on time.
  15. Mdwstsnow512

    Mdwstsnow512 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    as an employee you are correct.

    as a sub, do whatever you want. its legal.

    same as a customer holding 10% until after final inspection in a building project

    i loose a fair share of guys at the paperwork stage, if they arent willing to produce INS and sign some paperwork, they arent worth having
  16. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes Senior Member
    Messages: 940

    That's not true. I own a landscape business and have my own driveways and sub for a large landscape company in town.i know the owners pretty well and they treat me good. I understand the importance of needing reliable employees so if there's a threat of snow I make sure I'm ready to complete their work. What idiot wouldn't want to show up for good work? Sometimes I notify my manager of a snowstorm before he even knows about it. I feel like if you find a good sub you have to make it worthwhile for him to keep working for you.