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How much should i charge to operate my own truck for another company?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by zippoz, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    This is my first season plowing, im operating a jeep cheroke laredo with a 6 1/2 ft western plow.

    I was supposed to be sub contracting for a local nursery's snow service but that fell through, i have found another company that is looking to hire me to work with my own truck, but i mnot sure what to charge.

    when i was on the phone with the owner of the business i quoted about $18 an hour without much thought, now im realising that that is entierly too low, but what is the right price to ask?
    any help is apreciated in this situation, also he has major contracts, about 10 hours of plowing per snowfall with multiple appt complexes and businesses. (they are his same landscaping customers from his summer operation.) and that 10 hours is asuming that he is operating atleast 3 plows.

    any sugestions?
  2. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Man,18.00 an hour? Will you come to Mn. and work for me? :redbounce
    I know it varies from state to state,but I would think somewhere between 50-75.00 per hour is reasonable. If he is in the habit of hiring subs, I would ask him what he is paying,and work from there. Also you need to know who is carrying the insurance on you. Will you have a contract with him? 18.00 per hour will surely not even cover your gas/vehicle maint.etc. I would think you could plow no less than 4 driveways in an hour on your own and make 80-100.00 :)
  3. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    WOW, okay i thought somthing was wrong with my quoting, ill have to call him back and explain my incoherence to him, im sure that expenses would probably be going well over $18 an hour now that i think about it.
    well see if he is still interested after i quote him a actually reasonable price for me on my end.
    no wonder he said "wow thats really reasonable " :dizzy:
    okay ill let you all know how it goes

  4. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Hey bud, i was going to sub for a company this year so i did a lot of "shopping around" with other companies. what i found ( now this is Chicago ) that is you have a 7 foot plow or larger you should get over 65.00 an hr. With a 6.5 plow I was quoted $57.50 to 60.00 an hr.
    other things to look for is how many hr. they can give you on a snow fall; don't sub out for 2 hr. Also Insurance will be an issue.

    any questions just ask me, I will try to help.

    PS. make sure you are going to get paid, ( No, seriously)there is a lot of problems when it come to pay day. all guy's do is say "i received a complaint about you, your not getting paid" ) good luck.
  5. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Great impressions landscaping called me the other day wanted 7 full time subs. give them a call. you can find them in the yellow pages. I know they operate in DuPage county. should not be far from you.
  6. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    wow that sounds great, i called the man im supposed to be working for and he said that he would pay for my gas but would not pay me more. i have 5 of my own contracts, 2 residential 1 gas station, one appartment and one office building (my dad's) but those can wait if i can get a sub position.

    thanks for the heads up ill sall them tomorrow :)

  7. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Another thing to consider is you will not get paid as well as the bigger trucks with 7 1/2' or 8' blades. Your truck will take longer to do the same amount of work.
  8. Billz

    Billz Member
    Messages: 34

    for $18 per hour even plus gas, you would make more money sitting at home...he sounds like he was just going to hold you to that because you had stated it. One or two times if your plow breaks and needs to be worked on, you have lost all your money, and have worked for free this year, not counting the wear and tear on your equipment.
  9. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Maybe $20/hr if he pays for gas, insurance, brakedowns, truck payment, and a drivers wage on top of that.
    You should be able to make $18 per hour with a shovel and no insurance, businss license, truck payment, fuel, or maintance.

    If I were you I'd back out of that deal in a second. Your excuse could be that you thought that ment he was going to pay you all winter weather it snowed or not. You would collect a wage just for been there. Let him say no way.

  10. ChipsEarthWorks

    ChipsEarthWorks Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 105

    I think my truck would spend more than that just starting it, That IS WAAAAAAAAAAAAY to low I would ask for more do not sell your self short and just remeber you have more than just fuel to pay for out of that amount :nono:
  11. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    You get less done with that plow than a 7.5-8' in large, open lots, yes. That MIGHT not be the case for smaller driveways where your auto is more maneuverable and it takes two passes no matter if you have a 6.5 or a 8' plow cause the drive is only ~12' anyway. Experience has a lot to do with speed and productivity as well.

    I'm a little confused. You claim you have about seven contracts but they can wait if you subcontract. Huh? What types of contracts are these, "I'll get to them when I can." Also, if you have those 7 contracts how did you price those and only figured $18/hr for subbing? Judging from that price, you may want to take a look at your prices on those as well.
  12. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    actually the contracts i have are $50 and $50 and $70 for the first 6 inches of snowfall, come a foot or more they almost doubble, not a bad deal if i may say so, the other 3 are small residential driveways. not too big of a deal
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I don't understand this. Actually, I went back to see what your question is.

    You have contracts "that can wait"? I realize you said one is your Dad's office, but doesn't he have people coming and going that need to get in?

    You said "actually the contracts i have are $50 and $50 and $70 for the first 6 inches of snowfall, come a foot or more they almost doubble, not a bad deal if i may say so, the other 3 are small residential driveways. not too big of a deal" - double the 6" amount for a 12" snowfall is normal and for some it would be triple. Residential driveways are "no big deal"?

    I'm not sure if you really want advise or do you just want to tell us about your activities?
  14. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I must be blunt...Is your business legit? Registered, insured, pay taxes, etc.? Seems those prices are way low. Hey if your pulling in a profit you like and are able to cover all your expenses than good for you. I just couldn't come close to those prices, no matter how small the office building or gas station is.
  15. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174


    If you can make it out to Northwest Indiana, I will pay you $25.00 per hour and I'll run you for 8 hours as long as you know what you are doing and have commercial auto insurance.
  16. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

  17. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    i did want advise about how much i should request while subbing out, and that has basically been answered. but to clarify will the people im subbing for insure me or do i have to insure myself?
  18. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You will need Commercial Vehicle insurance and your own General Liability insurance. Having a GL insurance is one distinction between being sub vs an employee. The person you are subbing to should require a notice of liability insurance from your agent with the provision that he get notification in case you amend (cancel) the policy. He may have a minimum requirement for insurance amounts dependent on his accounts.
  19. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    cost to operate a snow plow truck

    This has to be a joke. Look at what a truck costs to operate
    New truck with plow $32,000
    yr of insurance 1,200
    fuel per hr. @ 1.99 5.00
    2 way radio or phone 39.00 per month
    drivers wage 15.00.... you even pay your self if you drive

    You cant operate a snow plow rig for 18.00 per hour.. drivers wage alone with taxes is more than that... put your money in bank.. set home in the warmth...

    This has to be a joke
  20. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Well you do not need 32 grand for a new plow and truck as you can get one in mid to upper 20's if you shop wisely but still you do not need a new truck to plow with either but 18/hr is a joke as it would not even pay fuel, maintaince and insurance let alone to pay someone for their personal services and any repairs needed.