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Employees

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Michael F, Feb 9, 2001.

  1. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    How do you guy keep employees busy durring winter, when not plowing What I'm finding is that we plow an average of 150 hrs through the winter, I can't afford to pay somone for 40 hrs a week when might not bring in anything for income. The guys want a steady pay check, I don't blame them. This is question is coming up because we had an unpredicted storm yesterday, they were calling for 1-3", then rain(we plow at 3"), we ended up with 4-5". I started plowing at noon, two of my drivers have day jobs, the guy on call (paid a monthly rate) I called he was around 50 miles away, painting. I can't blame him for not being there, he wasn't thinking we'd be plowing, I wasn't either. The more I take on, the more stressed I get, thinking "How am I going to get all this done?" I have two trucks, and a Bobcat, and it's very frustrating when I'm the only one working, trying to do more than I should. I know salting will help create more work, I don't know how much more? The biggest thing I realize is that to become a larger contractor, I need to have a way to provide employees with a steady paycheck. I'm just trying to figure out how. Sorry this was so long. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    My guys collect unemployment during the winter. They work long hard hours in the summer and this is their time to relax and spend time with their families. When ever there is snow or any extra work we call them in and let them earn some extra.
     
  3. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Age old problem in our business.
    Sounds like you need to go to the Symposium this year and chat with lots of guys in our business face to face, to find out how to get by this one.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    John, I would love to go, but I'm getting married in two weeks, & honeymoon in Carebian. There is no way I can talk my fiance into going I already tryed. I wanted to go to Maine last year, but we bought our house. Definatly planning to go in 2002, provide funding is there.
     
  5. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We got utility work to do when we aren't plowing. However the past two weeks, we haven't done any utility stuff, just snow stuff.

    Geoff
     
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    My snow guy does carpentry so he has a day off anyways when it snows and he's with me, when we finish the next day he's back at work. Besides he makes more working for me, so its worth it for him to be here.

    What do you do besides snow? If you do home improvement contracting you could have the crew doing painting, flooring, etc and pull them from the job during snow events. Or have them build picnic tables and adirondack furniture to sell during the spring and summer.

    "There is no way I can talk my fiance into going I already tryed. I wanted to go to Maine last year, but we bought our house. Definatly planning to go in 2002, provide funding is there"

    If you dont have control now, you will definitely have issues once the ring is on the finger. Maybe your bride-to-be ought to sing "Under my Thumb" by the Rolling stones at the reception LOL. Change "girl" in the lyrics to "guy" lol, lol.
     
  7. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Right now I only employ a few guys. However I keep my guys working during the winter framing houses, remodeling etc. I'll even take a job at cost if it will keep them working. Snow is first priority! I'm planning on expanding my company like you (Hopefuly tripleing it in size this year) and plan to build spec houses next winter to keep my guys working. I know a few builders around here who don't plow and simply build a house at cost during the winter to keep guys working. It lets you find better help and keep it. You simmmply need to find work for them. Drywall is nice and warm... If you are making your money plowing you should be able to bid lower and find the work the keep your guys working in the winter.
     
  8. 4 Saisons

    4 Saisons Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    same problems for me..

    I have an average of 200 snow working hours, only to take care of residential for a 2" trigger. So I learn a lot this winter and get an eyes closer to my markets...results add on for new services and type of customers. Spreading, ( at least 15 spread per winter) and extend my working day lenght for the next years by beginning early at night for commercial, Residential and apt maindrive at morning, the rest of the apt lot are usually plow the day after.

    also this years, i ad roof shoveling to my insurance and talk about only to my customers, no pub and got a lot of call. Another 100 hrs only this winter and no investment i have the rope & belt from tree working.

    so i plan at least grow up to 500 hrs next years.

    i would like to build a house but here everybody working on it needs to have the right licence for the right job, even the guys who bring the tools.

    for my side i went to univerity at home all non-working winter time. Plan for a greenhouse in future for spring time. extend my fall job with winter protection and christmas decor.

    In few years i will get full years pay check for my employees and get more from them making them secure.
     
  9. 4 Saisons

    4 Saisons Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    About Denver, The gold spot of snow input, and the new house of my Quebec Nordiques, now Avalanche hockey team..snif sniff ( old great souvenir).

    Can't afford it to my budger this years, only put my feet on the border and i loose the half of my canadian money..

    Portland is only 5 hrs from my doors by car, but last years i didn't heard about..2002 i gonna be there!

    I also hit my wallet yesterday by buying this. [url]http://www.occasion.ca/ao/photos/2001/05/1/05SA1P25.jpg[/url]

    [Edited by 4 Saisons on 02-10-2001 at 09:07 AM]
     
  10. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We put out our feelers early and started collecting names back in July.We still add to our list everyweek.This is the first year we never had any problems getting guys and woman to work.We pay real well so most guys can't wait to plow.Also helps that it has been snowing.
     
  11. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Michael....
    The (soon to be) wife is right.
    I vote for the Carribean this year. Especially on a honeymoon.

    Symposium next year is in St. Louis.

    We've been on 9 cruise's. One to Alaska and all through the Carribean. Great way to go away.

    Enjoy it.
     
  12. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    4 Saisons

    That's rough about the lisences. Here I use a lisenced plumber and a lisenced electrician only to connect the house to the service at the street. Other then that all I need is the inspectors aproval when it's done. In New York you don't need a lisence to be a general contractor.
     
  13. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    John Allin you really are the Best!
    This year Denver(Coors Beer)
    Next year St.Louis (Budweiser)
    Maybe a cruise in the future?
    Keep up the good work. :)