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opinions needed on shovelers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bullit340, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. bullit340

    bullit340 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 83

    I am wondering how you quys might handle this shoveling situation I have-

    I need to keep some walks shoveled at this account I do, there is not enough for a guy to be shoveling the whole storm just periodically. I can not wait til the completion of the storm. There is not much plowing for him to do as its all done with loaders. I do not have other accounts that need shoveling so I cannot rotate him to others. Due to the location I really can not call him in and send him home and then call him in again etc...

    Problem is I end up paying him for a lot of unproductive hours. Basically there is a lot of down time that costs a fortune when its all totaled up. Any ideas?
  2. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    we have a few situations like this and I thought about it before I gave them a price so that I could afford stationing a person onsite. Then I'd pay that person a flat rate for a set amount of time. If they need someone from 7am-7pm, but only will need sidewalks redone 4-5 times at 1.5 hours each; pay him for 12 hours at near his normal rate, but a little below. this will allow him to take a few breaks and still keep the property up to par.
  3. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    hate to say it, but Grab that shovel and get to work :)
    Or pay him good just to show up and do that one lot...
  4. Aimfor1337

    Aimfor1337 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Hmm; that's a tough situation. My best bet would be to pay him a rate as far as the job goes then a lesser rate for downtime; (gotta compensate for them being on the job) OR; find something for him to do on a local lot while he's waiting for the walks to build up again. Might just have to bite the bullet and pay him to sit in his truck. Can't really think of a better idea than that.
  5. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    Boy did this post bring back memorys! Several years ago I was in the same situation-with no good answer! So I started a dedicated sidewalk crew, in an AWD Astro van. Solisited accts in a 3 mile radius and boom-more sidewalks than 1 crew could handle. And of course, the pick of the cream for future plowing accts.

    If your in an area that can support it-try it-you'll like it!
  6. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I think you need to just pay him and make sure your charging enough to cover it. I can't imagine he will settle for less money while waiting then go back to his rate when he starts working.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    Liquid, heavy ice melt application and plow guy with shovel.
  8. andrewlawnrangr

    andrewlawnrangr Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    maybe another contractor is in the area and could cover the walks for you.. working together isnt always a bad thing. works out nicely for me.
  9. fargosnowpro

    fargosnowpro Member
    Messages: 91

    Or give shovels to your loader operators? I'm sure you pay the operators more than the shoveler but if it only takes a guy 20 min to shovel the walks quick why not. This is assuming the walks can be shoveled at the time the loader operator is doing the account.
  10. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    Those loader operators aren't going to shovel JACK! I say do it yourself, unless you're the loader operator.
  11. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Loader operator needs to remember who the boss is..... boss needs to remember that he too must shovel up once in awhile. If one of my guys told me that he does not shovel, that guy would be in the snowbank face first and then off for the rest of the day. Nothing like a guy losing a days wages to see the bigger picture.

    If you are friendly with a competitor though, that too is a very viable option for you to consider. He might even have a similar situation that he is dealing with and a swap might make the whole route easier.

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    hire a teenager from around that area with his/her own vehicle to take care of the sidewalks. give them a flat rate per storm
  13. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I know the internet makes everyone tougher but wake up. Your not shoving anyone's face into the snow because they won't shovel. Whats next, have him over the house to do the laundry?
    I understand the I am the boss thing but I would never tell one of my electricians they need to do this or your fired, unless it's the job you hired them for.
  14. fargosnowpro

    fargosnowpro Member
    Messages: 91

    I guess that depends on how he runs his company. No one on our crew is exempt from shoveling, some do more than others but that just happens to be the luck of the draw on accounts. If they don't like the idea give em one of those "times are tough yadda yadda" speechs, they'll figure it out... without shoving their face in the snow.
  15. turboplow3

    turboplow3 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Glad I dont work for a guy like you. Around here you would be in jail asap. cant believe you would even write that as a solution.
  16. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Obviously someone can see no sense of humour in the things I write. Granted you have no idea who I am and how I deal with any situation such as this. For the record, I do not condone any type of violence in any workplace. I stand by my comments of the boss needs to shovel up once in a while and all employees need to understand that their job description is as their employer tells them. If the employee is not going to shovel, day off, go home and think about what you just said. In my experience, this works extremely well. Nothing like losing a days pay over a smart a$$ comment to your employer.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  17. flatlander42

    flatlander42 Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    I would rather pay a shoveler to shovel, than an equipment operator to shovel....but that's just me I'm sure. I think my goal would be to keep equipment moving.

    Good Luck. I'm gonna have to agree with Stihl Guy.
  18. fargosnowpro

    fargosnowpro Member
    Messages: 91

    I'm not really sure what this guys situation is but I know in our case there is no more than 15 minuets worth of shoveling at any of our accounts, skidsteers can run walks and backdrag the rest. I this case, it really wouldn't make sence for us to employ a full time shoveler when we really only had 2-3 hours of total work. Granted this is my situation, not his, although he didn't state how much shoveling was needed, I offered the suggestion in the event he had accounts similar to mine. Obviously, if he has hours of shoveling that needs to be done it wouldn't be very cost effective to pay your loader operator to be doing it, although, if all that needs to be done is a small walk at an account, whats the difference really? Assuming it isn't -40* and blowing, I personally welcome the opportunity to get out of a machine for 10 min or so and stretch a little, maybe thats just me though.
  19. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    My rider/shoveler usually didn't have much to do when I was in a truck, so they did get a lot of "free" hours. BUT, when it came time to go (do pretty much whatever I asked).....GO! Yeah, it was a bit of a negative, but I had a reliable helper that worked his butt off when required, did a great job and did whatever he was asked to do. In my words to him "you've got the easiest job in the company..."

    IMHO, worth it to spend the money, maybe a couple bucks under going rate. Like a salary, the decrease in pay is made up for by the consistency.

  20. turboplow3

    turboplow3 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I do have a good sense of humor. I was just a little shocked by what you wrote and in all honesty I didnt read it thinking the guy who said it was joking, but now I understand. Seems like you have had this problem with employees before?

    Also, IME it is much harder to get a guy to work last min during a storm than it is to deal with the guy who is bitchin at work. I can not imagine with a skidloader around that there would be much snow to shovel. Sounds like you have some lazy workers. Im not gonna lie I dont like to shovel. Who, does? But, a max of 5min of shovel per account is nothing. A few door ways and garage door clean up, I can do that and my boss knows this is my limit.

    Might need to find a new guy or maybe try a rotation. Can you leave equipment there for him to use like a large snowblower, skidsteer, lawn tractor with blower? that way when he isnt shoveling he could be stacking snow, working on the last part of the lot that needs to be cleared. Getting a head start on sidewalks.....