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How difficult is it to find subbing work

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Carlito, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Carlito

    Carlito Member
    Messages: 39

    Howdy,
    If one has good equipment (new truck/plow/salter) how difficult is it to find subbing work from a large reputable company. Is it normally structured at an hourly rate or is there base salary that converts to hourly rate after a certain number of working hours? This is my first year on my own and was thinking it might be a better idea to sub for someone rather than trying to get my own accounts. Is this a good approach?
    Thank you much,
    Carlito
     
  2. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Let me start off by saying welcome to plowsite.
    Now depending on what equip you have will depend on whos gonna hire you. The way they do it around here is by the hr but where your at could be diff. You just need to ask around and im sure there's someone who could use you.

    Starting off as asub is the best way to do things b/c you get to learn the ropes and how the bizz work. Then once you know what your doing go off on your own and start making the big payup payup payup

    -Bill
     
  3. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    With your outlook it won't be difficult at all to get work from a larger company. Just approach them, start the conversation and ask questions. If they are interested in you the pertinent details will come out.

    The pricing structure may vary, it does with us. I would think unless you are able to handle all aspects of a particular site, property or activity you will be looking at negotiating hourly rates for plowing, salting, loader work, sidewalk labor etc. They may offer a per push, per application or seasonal agreement(s) with you......you never know. Either way be prepared to make a commitment.

    Honesty and dependability will work in your favor and can take you far.......at least it does for me. There are companies though that will churn and spit you out. Abide to your agreement and expect a two way street. The relationship should be beneficial to both you and the company, that is in essence giving you work.

    Listen to your instinct and gut when it comes to who you want to team up with. Good luck to you sir! tymusic
     
  4. Carlito

    Carlito Member
    Messages: 39

    Thanks for the warm welcome Bill. I think it goes by the hour up here in Ontario Canada but i guess it can vary from company to company. I was looking at getting one of the v plows like the fisher xtreme v. I was told that the v plow is the best route to go. Would you agree?

    Thanks again,
    C
     
  5. Carlito

    Carlito Member
    Messages: 39

    Thanks for the kind words and insight. Do you find it is difficult to find good reliable people in this line of work?
     
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Hard to beat a Vee plow. You should be able to get a few extra bucks per hour. There isn't a lot of sub work going on around here so I don't have much info for you there. I have used a couple of guys with 8 foot straight blades. Gave em 35-45 per hour. I got 40 when I was subbing a couple of years ago. I have no idea how subbing out salting would go. I presume by the ton.
     
  7. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    To a degree, yes.

    Most like to boast about their experience and how great and awesome they are. I am always optimistic with people that are new (to me) and willing to give them the opportunity. Some work out very well, some are marginal, and some just plain suck.

    Do your best to be dependable and reliable to those you are working for, and always do the right thing from the customers perspective.
     
  8. tinffx

    tinffx Member
    Messages: 68

    Its not any different with this than anything else. I find that for the most part people are relatively unreliable, and that the vast majority are not intentionally. It all depends on your expectations. If you lower what you expect from others it doesn't mean you lower your expecatations of yourself.

    Few people are dishonest, but they do exist and they will bite you in the ass
     
  9. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Be very careful if you become a sub-contractor. Make sure it's clear what your hourly rate is, when your on the clock ( paid for travel between sites or just on site plowing? ). Some will pay a higher rate if you work / available for every event. Beware of companies that want to pay you at the end of the season for the entire season. They will pay the old timers first then the new people. It could be April or May before you collect. Make up log sheets with the start and end time, location of site, snow conditions ( 3 inches of dry powder vers 9 inches of heavy wet snow, all problems with the site too ) This record helps when the contractor ask's why it took 30 minutes longer this time to plow a site. Save ALL you receipt's for money spent on the truck, fuel etc for the tax man
     
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Everybody on here gave you great advise. You can look & probably find a contractor (& a decent one) to work for by looking online. If it was me. First thing I can add is check on here for members in your area, I know Dave plows in the Toronto area, Ontario is a huge province, you may want to change your location, to a more specfic area. Try the search to see if it works by location (I'don't know if it does), to look for members in your area (potential employers). Most of the guys on here are top notch & won't screw you (from the ones I've met.) Second I would check the SIMA website for contractors in your area, third would be craigslist in your area.
    I would try to line up a couple, bidding is getting going here, so no one has set routes up yet, which is good & bad. Contractors can bid more work if they know they have the additional staff, some will make empty promises, not get the work....guess who's left out. The reason I said line up a couple.
     
  11. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    I agree. There are alot of reputable contractors looking for dedicated guys that like to work and if you have any questions feel free to ask me, if I can't answer them I'll be able to point you to someone who will. Good Luck your off to the right start. :drinkup:
     
  12. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Where in Ontario are you? The hourly rate posted is low for my area. There are a lot of guys that sub out plowing but not too many that sub salting from my experience.

    V plows are great, I have 3 of them but for wide open lots there may be something better. Depends on what type of plowing you are doing.
     
  13. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I worked for two different contractors for a few years. One we would do all the stuff that needed done immediately or by early morning. The other company had large lots that could wait till Sunday night. They also had you on site while the storm was still falling. You would keep the aisles and entrances clear of snow when the location was open. By working for 2 companies I doubled or tripled my hours. One key point to get hours and be a first go to guy is to be available as much as possible. I will keep going till the truck or I could not go anymore. If your new to plowing there is a book by the plow site owner that explains a lot of the business and technique of plowing. The gray line at the top of the page has a search function. You can search past questions. There is years of reading posted here. Really try not to go far out on the limb financially when setting up your truck or business. We still are at the mercy of Mother Nature. I have seen many years where we did not get a plow-able event until January. Three years ago we went out twice for a grand total of 12 hours the whole winter !
     
  14. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,799

    Hi Carlito, we are in Toronto and hire subs... sort of. We don't do anything by the hour. We have never tried it and don't think it would be ideal for us until we get bigger.

    We sub the property. We have 12 - 36 month contracts and sub a property for the 5 winter months. We had 4 subs (5 trucks) plowing last year and this year will be a couple more. Some worked great, others didn't like our mentality of plowing with the storm. They didn't like not getting paid extra for finishing the job if you know what I mean and often complained that we sent them out early, which we did sometimes, but that is how it goes sometimes, we are better safe then sorry kind of guys. We paid well to be at the top of their routes, but didn't realize that some of them had to long a route and couldn't get back to touch up for finish the 2 cms that came down after the initial storm. When you hire by the hour I assume you have more control in some ways, but less in others.

    By the hour in Toronto I have heard between 75-100 depending on truck and blade... I don't know if this has changed much in the last few years. Most guys have a minimum of 100 hours, so if it doesn't snow, they at least make enough to pay the bills.

    With our system you could lose out in a sense if we had a terrible winter, but over the last two winters I think they have made out ok. Our system is a safer one for us, we know that, and pay better because of it.

    We have had salting included in the contract and excluded. Included sometimes meant that they didn't put down enough salt, excluded meant that the bills we sent in were questioned alot more then when we had salted their property with our trucks and we did have to justify ourselves alot more. It was also a problem with timing. We don't have a dedicated salt truck and it sometimes took longer then I would have liked salting it with our truck after the sub had finished the plowing. We made a deal with two of the subs that they would salt a plowing event and we would salt a salting event. Some took care of everything, some did just plowing.

    Anyway, hope that is relevant to you, and give me a call if you are in the GTA. 416 737 8978
     
  15. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    This commecial brought to you by Pristine Property Maintenance. LOL Now back to your regularly scheduled program. :jester:
     
  16. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,799

    haha, sorry, nothing better to do right now then troll plowsite.
     
  17. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,799

    You mean infomercial.
     
  18. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    LOL.:drinkup:
     
  19. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Vees are good but i dont like the trip edge (fisher) I you do a vee go with the western super vee (same exact things ase fish ecxept fot the trip edge and color) The western has a full trip so if you hit something taller then the edge your not screwed!! But if your going to spend the money on a vee you might want to look at the Western Wide-Out, which IMO is the Rolls Royce of snowplows.
     
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Have you plowed with a Vee and/or Wideout? Completely different plows. Each has benefits/drawbacks. It's a matter of what type of plowing you do, and what kind of storms you get.