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pros and cons of being a sub

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by a.paul, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. a.paul

    a.paul Member
    from NH
    Messages: 30

    I posted this at the end of another thread and it seemed to have gotten ignored. I was hoping for some input. Thank you.



    So I've heard from a friend that the landscaper he does some work for (driving and plowing the last few years) is getting desperate for people to handle everything he's already committed for (amazing how few people there are who actually want to work. On a side note, it's amazing how many people there are who think everyone else owes them some kind of living...but I digress).

    He owns several F350's and several F450-550's (does commercial lots) as well as driveway work. I've known this guy since I was about 4 years old.

    I kind of see it as a good chance to get my feet wet (so to speak) without having to actually buy my own equipment.

    What are the pros and cons of working for someone else (beyond the obvious one that I haven't technically worked for anyone else since I was in college and I'm not sure I'm employee material).

    Thanks.
     
  2. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Well working for someone else you dont have any headaches to worry about, whatever they tell you to do you just got to do and get paid for it. Doing everything yourself can be stressful and you got to organize everything. You have alot more problems to worry about and stuff like that.
     
  3. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    Bad part about being a sub:
    1. If someone tells you they will keep you working (when you get snow) and they don't call you.

    2. You talk to someone else who calls you the night before and wants to know if you want to plow later that night, you say yes, then they don't call.
     
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ok

    if you work for someone.... you dont need equiptment, you don tneed insurance, money for gass, should get paid proptly with in 2-3 weeks, learn on their time, and dime. dont beat up your truck, dont really have much papperwork,



    if your a sub, they promise you work , but then might not get it... at least 30 days to get paid, buy your own fuel...and its not cheap while plowing, if you break , you pay for the repair

    i even heard a few sub contracts that if they didnt do a good job, the main contractor would finish the job prior to salting and take $150 per hour out of the subs pay.... so miss a few spots....and you would make nothing
     
  5. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    I'm a sub running my own truck. This is my second winter and I can't wait.

    Why I like it - Boss gets to deal with the paperwork and clients who don't want to pay, arn't happy, etc.

    Downsides- If I break it, I have to use my earnings to pay for my repairs. And whatever fuel I burn comes out of my pocket.
     
  6. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,263

    I think you will like subbing, all you really have to do is get in the truck and go! No need to worry about expenses with gas or breakdowns.......! On the flip side please treat this guys equipment in the way you will treat urs!
     
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    tim not every one does dounuts in there plow truck and beats the heck out of them like you :D
     
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I've been on both sides now an owner. The pro's........NO headaches of customer's calling at the worst time (during a storm) asking when your gonna get there. No headaches of billing, late payer's, having to always be going after new customer's, wondering if your guys are going to show up or not, again late payer's etc. The con's.....maybe a bit less money.
     
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,540

    what are you talking about wiles?

    Your not an employee are you?
    Your still a a contractor (o.k. maybe your not?) with all the costs and responsibility that goes with owning a business.
    It's your truck and company that is being hired by a contractor who holds the contract on the lot.
    Your a contractor and you will have a contract with the contractor who holds the contract on the lot.
    (say that 3 times fast)

    You are responsible for your own maintenance equipment insurance etc etc.
    That's why we contractors some times hire subs but it is a fine line between subcontractor and employee.

    Not that there is anything wrong with being an employee.
    ;):drinkup::waving:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  10. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    If you get hooked up with a good contractor I dont see how you could go wrong.

    I feel that I am connected very well.

    I know all the guys in the office and shop, I do side work for them in the summer, they reffer me to other commercial people for summer work, its win win. I also send them all plow requests, I dont do any work on my own.

    So the advantages as a sub??

    You dont have to keep waking up at night to check how much snow snow has fallen, you simply wait for a call. Sometimes Im told to drive around for 30 mins and report what I see but I get Paid an hour for that.

    Another, no need for having a backup truck, you junk breaks, thats it, you go and fix it and you dont have to worry about the jobs getting plowed, granted you dont want to break down but it sure is noce to have that weight off your shoulders.

    Pay, get paid every 2 weeks, you dont have to wait to get paid from your customers, only bad is you get taxed on your earnings, but oh well, its not that bad.

    You never get one call from the customer asking where you are! Nuff said

    You dont have to worry about ordering salt, weather too much or little or if you can get any at all.

    You also do not have to worry about salt storage.

    You dont have to worry about shoveling walks depending on how big the contractor you work for is.

    No lawsuits!!!!!!!!!!!

    I could go on but as a sub I sit at home, wait for my call and head out to plow. I may not profit as much as on my own BUT with all things considered above, I think im way ahead. I just have to make sure I have my ins paid and thats it. If I want more hours I ge them, But typically, Im TRYING to throw in the towel before im done depending on the storm. I am known to be very detail oriented so I typically get sent on checkup duty and make sure things are done good and fix the messups if they need to be. The key is, take care of your contractor and he will take care of you!

    Granted there are alot of crappy contractors out there that arent good. I guess thats just up to you to decifer.
     
  11. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,263

    I agree with you snofarmer, but im under the impression he is using a company truck! If i where to use a truck that belongs for the company i work for ,i get a company credit card for anything that happens. How am i responsible for insurance if im driving for a company truck or there maintenance if im just hired for snow work?


    Im a subcontractor for plowing snow and treat all the lots i do like they are my own, if i salt in the company truck i then become a employee!

    I know you have the pet peev about subcontractors and employee and you run around on the board expalining it, we thankyou for this!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  12. a.paul

    a.paul Member
    from NH
    Messages: 30

    A guy could get a real complex if he only read snofarmer's posts....:jester::redbounce :D

    Thanks guys. I do appreciate all the words of wisdom from you guys who've been there and done that. It means more to me than I can say (or would say, on a place like this ;))


    The biggest plus (and minus I see) is that I've known this guy since we were both knee high to whatever, and I have no problem telling him to get ....stuffed. (*I don't need to plow for winter income, I just miss plowing). The biggest minus I see is that it's his company.


    How do you tell someone they're effing up, or explain why you think they're effing up?

    (BTW, I plan to have a plower of 45 years experience with me the first couple of times out, which means I have a heightened ability to spot BS, LOL)
     
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,540

    save it ....quit scuking up...;)

    It's a term that a few just don't understand or want to it seams.
    contractor, sub contractor, employee.

    Read the whole thing it will only take a minute or 2.
    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html

    Even if you own your own business you could be a employee.
    It's very easy to cross the line.:nod:
     
  14. a.paul

    a.paul Member
    from NH
    Messages: 30

    Valuable link. Especially for someone who's been self-employed for a dozen years or more.


    Thanks, SnoFarmer, good reading (even if my computer does hate to go to IRS dot gov sites;)
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,540

    Any time;) There are a few misunderstandings in this relationship
    I know, I get a weird feeling to when I go to one of there sites..
     
  16. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Shouldn't this thread read Pro's and Con's of being an employee or being a Sub?

    I don't know I'm fat and stupid, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night:jester:

    Being an employee is a good idea if you haven't plowed before. Learn on his dime not yours, but be reasonable to his equipment
     
  17. a.paul

    a.paul Member
    from NH
    Messages: 30

    What's the difference, honestly? Employees know where they stand. Subs often don't, as has been my experience over the years (I've been a painting contractor, so I've dealt with plumbing, electrical, carpentry and snow subs).


    And since I'd be working as a sub more than an employee...it was relevant to me.


    Sorry. I've had a bad day. Probably I shouldn't take it out on you.
     
  18. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    The situation you explained; plowing his accounts, in his truck, makes you an EMPLOYEE. That is an EXCELLENT way to learn, if it takes you twice as long to do a lot, you get paid twice as much! After a season or two of doing that and learning how to actually plow efficiently THEN buy a truck and plow and become a sub. After a season or two of doing that, go get your own accounts.

    As far as the difference between subbing and doing your own accounts comes down to one thing...the old saying "You'll never get rich working for someone else."
     
  19. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    The situation you explained; plowing his accounts, in his truck, makes you an EMPLOYEE. That is an EXCELLENT way to learn, if it takes you twice as long to do a lot, you get paid twice as much! After a season or two of doing that and learning how to actually plow efficiently THEN buy a truck and plow and become a sub. After a season or two of doing that, go get your own accounts.

    As far as the difference between subbing and doing your own accounts comes down to one thing...the old saying "You'll never get rich working for someone else."
     
  20. a.paul

    a.paul Member
    from NH
    Messages: 30

    Don't need to get rich. I have my primary business which makes me a lot of money. I just really really like playing with snow or dirt or whatever....:D

    Thank you.