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Dear subcontractors!!! Things to consider

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mrplow247, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Mrplow247

    Mrplow247 Member
    Messages: 46

    DISCLAIMER ;;;;;;This thread is not me complaining about how hard i was working or how little i was getting payed

    THIS IS AN EXAMPLE TO SHOW PEOPLE WHY YOU SHOULDNT JUMP AT THE CHANCE TO WORK FOR 35/HR. I LOVE PLOWING AND HOPEFULLY THIS WINTER OR NEXT I WILL USE MY EXPERIENCE TO MAKE MONEY A DIFFERENT WAY!!!!
    THIS IS HOW YOU LEARN


    i was working for 35/hr hear in buffalo ny. I will simplify for some newbies, the lingo in some threads and numbers are confusing. Here is the simple version.

    - I would work from 1 a.m. untill lets say 6 a.m. so thats 5 paid hours!!!!!
    - 35x5 is????? you guessed it is 175 dollars.
    - on average in gas i would use 1/4 to 1/2 a tank of gas total. in my truck thats about 50-60 dollars.
    - so 175-60 im already down to 115 dollars.
    - given there is some where and tear going on but thats a dumb argument. also i do pay for insurance so there are a few more deductions.
    - so lets say in one night i was making about 100 dollars sounds great right? except we have not considered travel time, driving in the middle of the night takes about 45 minutes to an hour each way. so even though i got paid for 5 hours, i actually was working 7 hours. this is something that i never see anyone consider.
    so i was making about 100 dollars in 7 hours, but i thought i was awesome. who the hell am i fooling that is like 14/hr to get up at midnight and work till 6. then get ready for work and work all day.
    This is why subs are idiots, i was new, didnt consider all my variables. My handheld controller shorted out, and i ran over something in a lot, and had to buy a new tire. There is about 500 dollars in simple repairs. and lets face it after plowing lots all winter, i will need u joints, wheel bearings, w/e Do you see how long you have to work to actually make anything. I could have just worked a few hours overtime at work to make this kind of money.
    Also heres an idea you can plow 4 or 5 driveways for 20-25 a piece for family or friends or whoever.
    To all the BOSSES i understand that you have expenses and we appreciate having a chance to work
    To all the SUBS stop being so desperate and working for this kind of money its pointless
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  2. Andy96XLT

    Andy96XLT Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    I had a couple companies ask me if i wanted to sub for them here. They were offering $44 an hour for my truck and plow. I told them I wouldn't do it for less than $65 and they all flipped out saying I was crazy and that the only reason they were offering me 44 was because i was recommended blah blah blah and their normal subs get less than that. Its not worth it, but sometimes people don't think hard enough about it and you have to learn the hard way.
     
  3. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    yup, its a gamble. nothing goes wrong, its ok money. something goes wrong, its actually costing you to work..

    and its not just the subs, i own my own biz, and had to put injectors in my truck. how many driveways do you have to plow to make 2 grand?
     
  4. ss502gmc

    ss502gmc Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    I wouldnt even hook up the plow for less than $65/hour. I have learned my lessons over the years and even when i was a rookie with a 1/2 ton chevy and a 7 1/2ft fisher plow i was getting paid $50/hr under the table. Not too bad I thought. And back then about 11 years ago gas was still under $2.00 per gallon so I apparently i made out pretty good. I know everyone talks about different markets on pricing but everyone is paying around the same for fuel and ins varies but not that much, So honestly i cant see how anyone would sub for less than $50 per hour its just nuts. You beat your equipment, have to pay for maintenance, fuel, insurance, cutting edges, and anyone thats been plowing for a long time knows that all it takes is one stupid mistake to cause hundreds of $$$$$ in repairs and then you just lost all your profits and then some. I love to plow and always have but im not gonna do it on my dime. And i hope that these companies that are offering 35/hr to a sub get screwed over royally and lose there accounts. I subbed for a landscaper a few years back for $55/ hour, I plowed 4 storms and was owed about $3000 and still to this day I never recieved a penny as he claimed that i lost his accounts for him and he didnt get paid!!!!! And then he disappeared on me "convieniently" only to find out by his customers myself that he was a scumbag and a fraud and im not sure the rest. But i did take 2 of those accounts that same season lol. Just be careful and dont be stupid like i was!!!
     
  5. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Sounds like you should have made an in-depth analysis of your direct and indirect costs before you jumped in trying to make an easy buck. You may be the perfect example of the "leave it to the pro"s" mentality, of which I am a firm believer.
     
  6. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    I started as a sub this year. a company in town called me in a panic (i know the family) and wanted to know if id plow for them in the blizzard. so of course i jumped on it right away. I get $75/hr for the mason dump with a 9' blade and i drive 2 minuets down the road and im at my lot. its under the table and plow at your own risk. but theyre pretty flexible say if you have to leave and go do your own driveways they really dont care as long as everything is done. but i just take my time in the lots and go slow so i dont screw up my own equipment, its not like they push you at all.
    So for now its working out well and its been a damn good winter so im making good money.
     
  7. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I dont think its fair to say "This is why subs are idiots". To me it sounds like someone else was the idiot for not properly thinking thru the related costs associated with plowing. And if you did indeed do that and still went on to work for $35/hr then the blame is entirely on yourself. Look at this way. You got some experience with little to no risk to yourself and you made a little bit of money. Im sure it sucked but your that much smarter for the future. I think everyone should sub their first couple years to learn the ropes. Some do and others sub as its a second business for them as they already have a primary business. Either way everyone should be properly insured. Also people should think everything thru and bargain for the price they need to maintain a profit.
     
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    This is great until your first slip-and-fall. Then what?
     
  9. Mrplow247

    Mrplow247 Member
    Messages: 46

    all of these are great responses, the problem is this.

    there are so many people that will work for 35 or even 25 per hour that the big buisnesses that hire subs have no need to offer more. I have mentioned that if they want good help, then they need to pay accordingly. If i say that i want 50/hr or something of that nature they just laugh and say why the hell pay 50 when i can pay 25.....they would rather go through new sets of subs each year and cut costs then offer to pay someone that will show up and act responsibly.

    its so frustrating. because even though I know that 35/hr is a **** deal, i really have no choice because there are people standing in line to do it for 25.
     
  10. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Your absolutly right but thats also everyones biggest concern.
     
  11. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    You have to start some were, you have to make mistakes to learn...that is to say that you do not make the same mistake again..

    I was in the same boat a few weeks ago, got a call from a landscaping company, we were expecting a major storm that never showed up. The guy was wanting me to tag along, double team the lots to get them done faster, had about 190 lots he said. Was going to pay me 50.00hr, I did not have to leave the truck. I told him No, takes 75.00 for me and my truck, gas, insurance x2 and ware and tare costs me..

    that was that...
     
  12. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Is that a rhetorical question?
     
  13. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    So just don't do it. No point in paying someone to be allowed to plow their lot!
     
  14. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Did you see a question mark?
     
  15. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    These business will learn soon enough. Either the State will crack down on the sub laws or the business will realize they are not retaining the account base because of shoddy work. Or it could be from a damage claims perspective. You dont want to put your trust into a business like that anyways. You want someone you can trust not to screw you when there is an issue. They obviously dont care about quality work and money is the only issue. They stay in business because its quantity over quality. See it everyday.

    Is someone forcing you to work there? Is there a law that says you cant get your own accounts? If they dont pay what you want and you still want to do it there is only 1 other option. You have to get your own accounts. The only thing I see wrong with that is you have a day job and it may interfere with that at times. Plenty people do it but IMO plowing is just as important as any other profession and customer service needs to be #1 priority. That may be lacking sometimes with a day job as you cant be fully dedicated to only plowing. CS retains customers and that is money in your pocket and less advertising you need to do. Word of mouth is everything in this game. So you have a major decision facing you right about now. Do you plow with the flexible hours for $35/hr and put your trust in your setup and hope for the best OR do you try to pick up lots and make more moeny but at the risk of not being able to properly service them. OR last option is call it quits and sell off your sht.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  16. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    I wouldn't say all subs are idiots. Some people have it figured out. Some make more than others at it. Some people are worth more than others also. Part of the deal to making more money than the others at 25-35, are experience, having no complaints, etc. A good boss will pay more for someone he can trust, someone who is reliable, someone with good equipment, the list goes on.
    Find a boss you can develop a good relationship with, and your price will rise.
     
  17. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Right. Should have just assumed it was just senseless babble.
     
  18. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes Senior Member
    Messages: 943

    Whatever you say bud...i was agreeing with you, dont really see what the issue is.
     
  19. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Now this sht is funny. Better than original topic by far.

    The issue is he said everything that comes outta your mouth is "senseless babble". Discuss....... :laughing::laughing::laughing:
     
  20. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    From an owner stand point who subs out 4-5 guys.......first off don't think for one minute "we" the owner's are making money hand over fist from "poor sucker's desperate to make a few bucks". Very few people are getting rich plowing these days. There is a lot more of a risk involved in owning vs. being a sub. Second, every sub I know and have does this to supplement their existing income, where as this is our income. Many, many times I wished I was just the guy plowing with only one guy to answer to instead of the phone ringing every half hour with customer's, employee's etc. It's easy to sit in your truck and ***** about the pay or whatever but you have no idea what goes into preparing for a season. I bet there are a ton of owner's who after you put all the hours of bidding, estimating, hiring, meeting customer's etc. are making less than you at some point and dealing with all the B.S. It's not rocket science that you can make decent money doing residential's but good luck getting them all within a 3-5 mile radius so your not driving all over for nothing, collecting money can be fun (not!) plus you can have the same break down as if you were plowing a commercial lot, plowing is plowing. Commercial plowing, I think, offers you considerably more hours to make more money, experience and contacts. I'm not disagreeing with you at all, this is why I decided to become an owner vs. just a sub. believe me, if I could pay more to get the best, I would. I'm lucky this year, my guys are working out very well so far.