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Is it even worth it?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ramair2k, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. ramair2k

    ramair2k Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    Trying to plow when you have a full time job? Right now I work for Comcast, and I worl alot of hours. My father has been working for the city for 12 years now, and I know I could easily contract with them and make some extra money. The thing is that working for comcast, I have an 8-5 job, mon-fri and I am also on call 24x7 for 1 week a month. Have a full time job, how do you manage to plow to make some extra cash? Should I just forget about it, or give it a try? Would the city like it if I told them I could only plow for them on the weekends?
     
  2. Dragonscapes

    Dragonscapes Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Just from my own experience Full time Job and plowing don't mix to well, others may have had more success with doing that then I have. Decided if I was going to do one full time it was going to be plowing (contract paid no matter what happens) that way the other job is the bonus money and the other job has to be a non-commitment type job or it could interfere when I had to be out pushing snow people get ornery when their lots aren't cleared. You'd really have to weigh the pro's and con's of it to decide yourself
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
  3. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Do you like stress?

    Plowing is great if you have a seasonal occupation, Otherwise, trying to plow on the side when you work full time can be tough.If you try and do both yourself you'd always be making excuses to someone.
    You could hire someone to drive your truck when you had to work your real job(Employees).That opens another whole can of worms!!!!! Just think about getting a phone call from your driver in the middle of a storm,(say your in the middle of an install) saying your truck is leaking fluids all over the place and he doesn't want to move it ,come and fix it!!Or you have a flat or your plow hit a manhole and broke or(The list is endless)Having had four full time drivers I've heard allot of them............If you take pride in what you do it will add stress to your life.lol
    They don't call it blood money for nothing!!!
     
  4. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    On the flip side of that, I am trying to find part to full time work for the next few months to fill in the gaps because it doesn't seem to want to snow and am not being successful at that because once they find out I wont be there if it snows they figure it's not worth the hassle.
     
  5. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    if the company u work for is flexable then its good...i work for a construction comapny and 4 out of 10 guys have plow trucks...two of our biggest formans have them and were gone for a couple days to go plow....but if they arent flexable its not worth it...
     
  6. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Maybe I should be building homes, putting out fires, and installing cable lines on the side.
     
  7. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    Jack of all trades master of NON!
     
  8. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    ok here it is. I have a full time job Monday to Friday 9 to 5. I love plowing so this is how I got around my boss. I told the owner of the company, that I would plow his parking lot for free each year as long as I get time to plow the rest of my customers. This works out great because all my accounts get done, my employer is geeting his lot cleared, which by the way saves him about 3000.00 per season, I am usually at work by 10am, and I still get paid as if I was there. In the event of a late snowfall. There have been times when I haven't showen up at work at all and it hasn't been a problem.

    In order for this to work mind you, you have to work for a company that is understanding, and I must admit, as long as my fulltime job gets done, there seems tobe no problems. I have had this deal for the past 3 years, and all seems well so far.
     
  9. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    So you get paid by your employer while out doing snow removal for other people, save him 3 grand that otherwise would be going to a contractor trying to feed his kids and everything is right in the World.

    Thats Awsome!
     
  10. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    You sound upset.. If I were to give him a bill for $3000.00 each year, he would deduct the hours, in which I am not at work when I'm out plowing. Now over the entire winter season, I would be losing far more then $3000.00. For me it is a good deal.

    Now I should mention that we did tender out the property last year, because both the boss and I wanted to make sure neither one of us were getting screwed by the other. We received 4 quotes. 3 of the quote came in between $2950.00 and $3100.00. The 4th quote came in at $7850.00. I don't know what that guy was quoting on, but needles to say he wasn't going to get the job.

    Now rather then pay someone we both thought this arragement was great for all involved, so I really don't see a problem. Weather he pays me though my pay cheque or he pays another contractor, he is still paying, and a contractor is still doing the work.

    Think of it like this.... Trade and barter.
     
  11. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    think of it like this. A lot of people in the business as businessmen get a little tired of the guys with full time gigs going out and doing what we do for a living, on the side.

    No big deal. You aren't going to make the industry suffer.

    But add 20,000 of you and its a different story.

    Had a guy just today talk abiut how 4 out of ten guys on his construction crew bail out of work every time it snows to plow.

    Now the general conception is that you guys price low, because you dont have insurance, and have zero overhead as a business owner. You dont claim the money on your taxes, and you basically take work away from (and dont get ticked off) legitimate businessmen that do this to feed themselves and their kids.

    I know this business isnt rocket science....but it's lets say....discouraging to a lot of people in the game to hear all you guys talkin about doing this, then going to your real jobs.

    We have a hard enough time making a profit as it is, and here comes a bunch of guys doing it for side money.

    No offense....but do you at all see what I am talking about?

    Its like these firemen that come in here and ask how to do this work.

    Well....I have a ladder, a hose, and a bucket.

    Can they teach me how to go put out fires on the side?
     
  12. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    :( So What If Some Of Us Have A Fulltime Job The Way It's Snow Around Here You Need It...i Look At It This Way If You Can Do 2 Do It....
     
  13. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Had a guy just today talk abiut how 4 out of ten guys on his construction crew bail out of work every time it snows to plow.

    Most GC around here would be fine with that because their crew would not be working anyway and the cost of having the crew shovel and clear all the snow if they did continue operations.

    Now the general conception is that you guys price low, because you dont have insurance, and have zero overhead as a business owner. You dont claim the money on your taxes, and you basically take work away from (and dont get ticked off) legitimate businessmen that do this to feed themselves and their kids.

    I know this business isnt rocket science....but it's lets say....discouraging to a lot of people in the game to hear all you guys talkin about doing this, then going to your real jobs.

    We have a hard enough time making a profit as it is, and here comes a bunch of guys doing it for side money.

    Next question is this, if Joe Smo can get $40 for work, why would he charge $20? I know and realize that every part of this country is different. But there is such a need for plowing here, that every major operation here has had an ad in the paper for subs since the beginning of November. Money for the working folk here is very precious just to make ends meet. The person that does it on the side (with no business costs or insurance) here is in the same ballpark $ as I am and any other legit company and can get it.

    Its like these firemen that come in here and ask how to do this work.

    Well....I have a ladder, a hose, and a bucket.

    Can they teach me how to go put out fires on the side?

    I don't see any comparison with fighting a fire and knowing the nature of a fire and how to deal with it to plowing snow. Apples and Oranges.
     
  14. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159


    LLM,

    I totally see your point. To be quite honest, if it wasn't for plowing in the winter I wouldn't be able to feed my wife and kids, nor would I be able to maintain my home.

    Just so you know:
    1. This is a registered business, that I do infact pay taxes for and I do claim all monies.
    2. I have NEVER lowballed, or lowered a quote just to get the job.
    3. I carry a $ 5,000,000.00 commercial liability insurance policy all year long.
    4. Both my trucks carry $2,000,000.00 liability insurance.
    5. I currently employ 10 people... Shovelers, Subs, Drivers.

    I didn't mean to get you upset, This is a business, I have an office (not in my home), so I pay rent, hydro, and utilities along with wages....I do have overhead that I have to worry about.
     
  15. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Personally I think you have a pretty good deal worked out. He get's gets his plowing done for what it would cost him in your lost wages or productivity. Sounds like a win win situation for both you and your emplyer.
     
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    It is a tough business if you work full time, I've done it since 2002 with lawn care and plowing. I hate the few days after a good storm because I walk around like a zomby. I get used to it so its not so bad now, and I have a very supportive wife and family. I went out on my own so I don't have to go out at 11pm and sometimes plow til 4 or 5am then try to go back to bed for a couple of hours then go to work, that was the WORST! Now I go out around 1-2am and plow til 630ish then go to work. Those extra few hours of sleep are priceless! If you do decide to do it dont bite off more than you can chew. I estimated every lot taking me 1/2hr longer so I didnt take too many accounts. I was booked in Aug. and I am my own worst enemy when it comes to say, sorry we are booked. Luckily my route is very, very tight so it allowed me to take more work without being late for my day job. If you need day time coverage while your at work , that can be a challenge as well. We already are having issues with the company that we subbed out to cover us during the day, its becoming a real PITA!
     
  17. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    NO Offense? Ok so you say that people who have full time jobs (in a nutshell) really have no place snowplowing on the side because we are starving the contractors? Yeah ok............I should feel guilt for plowing and fixing vehicles when I get home from my full time day job but always ready for an alarm.Yes I put out fires on the side also.If a guy has 1 or 15 people leaving his company during snowstorms for plowing,he better look at his practice as a company weather it's pay or attitude both or whatever reason and get it fixed or hire new employees.:angry:Ever stop to think that when you full timers get $45.00 per push for a driveway that maybe just maybe people are already robbing Peter to pay Paul and there is an 8 inch snowstorm thats $90.00 and if it happens say 4 times in 1 month thats $360.00 just to plow,and that is expensive for a LOT of people around this area.I have a real hard time feeling sympathy for companies who take a sick,elderly or low income family's money when they dont have it and wouldn't plow for them when they cant come up with it.Wal Mart,Home Depot,Lowes,Target or any company,-have at it I would see your point,but
    then again a business USUALLY does not care about those people unless they can pay the price.I do not charge to plow people so instead of me being a "lowballer" I must be a scumbag in your book.Ialso repair vehicles and
    I don't charge ANYTHING but parts because all I help are are:Friends,Family, sick,elderly,low income or are in just dire need of a favor/help.It Does not matter if it's a typical Dodge neon with more miles than the space shuttle head gasket replacement,it gets done because they have a hard enough time just buying the parts I would rather know I did what I could to help.Hell I don't even have a plow truck because there was a friend who needed it for his own use much more than I did so I am now going to haul a snowblower in my pick up until I get the money to buy a plow and I will have to buy it piece by piece because of the money.But I am sure that with the nice trucks and great service who dont care about anything but that paying customer who has the means to just write a check or cash or whatever to pay you, without you paying attention to the house or two that was never got plowed out that had/has a misfortune on your way to that customer.And I am the one causing a problem/you guys are sick of us? ok whatever.......
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
  18. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    You have the income to pay ten employees, all that insurance, trucks, leased space for your offices, and need to work a full time job as well?

    Must be a darn good job you have I guess. I dunno.

    Anyhow....sorry if I came off so upset, but this is all I do, and it's not easy getting these accounts, or holding on to them when theres this much competition.

    Guy across the street from me makes 30 dollars an hour as a machinist, does snow (on the side) and has more and better work than I do. His brother in law is the city attorney, and thats where his accounts come from. He had just pulled up in his 40,000 dollar truck and we talked snow for a few minutes as I was feeding the squirrels wearing a short sleeved shirt and wearing sunglasses, and he was bragging about getting paid on contract even if it never snows again.

    Im frustrated with this whole business, but will try to use my frustration as a motivator.
     
  19. Embalmer

    Embalmer Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Thus why I like working for Dishnetwork :D. 4 day work weeks, and if it snows more than a couple inches, all work is canceled cause we are forbiddent o go onto roofs :drinkup:
     
  20. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    LLM - I suggest instead of crying you get out and hustle. It takes WORK to grow a business like this.

    And by the way - I too am a BUILDER, not a landscaper. In your eyes I'm stealin money from you and every other landscaper - and I love it...............Years ago, while framing a house in -10 weather I said forget this. I am a legitimet company, pay taxes, insurance and hire another builder, a landscaper and get this, a guy with a real job to plow with me in the winter. We're all just a bunch of lowlifes.....LOL

    And just maybe, with the construction industry being slightly slow, we just might cut some grass next year in this area. And just maybe to piss you off even more, with all the extra money from grass cutting, we'll roll it over and cut some grass in Ann Arbor............

    Get off your duff, climb down off that high chair of yours and hit the streets, you are doomed to fail unless you redirect that energy - and by the way, we have plowed over half your season already just in full plows, countin cleanups you'd be puttin your junk away for the season.....................................