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Sidewalk guys and accounts are killing me!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I have 2 condo places each which require sidewalks shoveled. I have already gone through a handful of shovelers (just like last year). No one wants to do them and I cant understand why. Before you all list the cons I'll just say I've done it for years and did it today. I pay per place and they get all of the $$$ billed for each place. A guy even remotley moving can average over 30 BUCKS AN HOUR!!!!! But once again today no answer one the other end. I'm affraid of loosing these accounts because this is one of the first things both places complain about. My God these days you hear of plants closing, 90% of the jobs out there are paying min. wage, the other 10% you need 4 degrees to even apply, where the hell are even one decent guy! Just had to rant! Gotta love LAZY AMERICAussmileyflag:realmad:
  2. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,030

    Just a thought but is there any way you can make it easier, like using a 4 wheeler. We use small Kubota 2560's with cab and heat and a tailgate spreader on the rear. We still have handshovelling to do but they don't mind as much getting out once in a while then staying out all night. Maybe your sites all require shovelling only but just a thought.
  3. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    I am in the same state of awe here in Jersey. I offer to pau my guys $150 cash per 8 hour day to shovel sidewalks (only about a third of that 8 hours is actually soent working!) and they do it once or twice and then tell m,e it's not worth it and they ask for $300 per day. What's wrong with these people?

    I am going to have to find more Mexicans...
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Welcome to the world of LAZY.
    People want crap handed to them instrad of working. Just look at the Auto Bailout crapola.
  5. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    When i was a little younger if youd offered me $150/8hrs i would have asked if i could work 3 shifts back to back:D
  6. Hunter9

    Hunter9 Member
    Messages: 64

    x2 for sure.
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    $150 for 8 hrs sounds good if its every day....but its not everyday ..hence the problem.
  8. ezover

    ezover Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    lets see,
    depending on the temp, that can be nasty. most people dont have the clothes to work outdoors that long. 8 hours of back breaking work. opps lets not forget i would have to pay all the taxes on that. not all of us are trying to scam the system. also if i were to fall and break my leg, you paying the hospital bill?

    i would take a job working a shop floor for 12 bucks an hour before i would do that.

    if i had no other job, i would do it. heck i would do it once or twice as a 2nd job to help my income, cant see doing it more then that if i had a reg job.

    and i sure wish they would lock up employers/contractors who hire illeagls
    thats my 2 cents.
    your best bet would be to find some 16 to 25 year olds, i cant see many people over 35 doing that.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  9. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Just wait til about a year from now when the unemployment rate hits around 30-50%...they will be begging you for that wage!

    Back in the mid to late 90's I ran 3 walk crews, 2 men each. I paid 30-$35 per hr only because it was that important to me for them to be handled. I soon learned that $$ just didn't motivate some people, at least until they ran out of drinking money...then it was a whole different story.

    I now avoid contracts w/ walks like the plague, because of the hassle. If I had to do it over again, one thing that I would do is keep a revolving list of names for back up. Two or three strikes and their out (only 1 for a no show)...on to the next one. As much as I hate to say it, the Mexicans would probably be my first choice, as they don't complain and seldom have ever let me down.
  10. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Who said they were illegal?:rolleyes:
  11. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

  12. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    lol, yeah i've found that using snow blowers for anything more than an inch of fluffy stuff is the way to go. No body wants to shovel, not all day long. I have them shovel steps and corners but thats it, everything else the blowers handle. seems to help with keeping your guys longer.
  13. jjmcnace

    jjmcnace Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 64

    I have a hard time finding sidewalk guys here also. There is a fair amount of walks to do. This year I went to the expense of buying a trailer and a nice big snow blower and have an extra truck for the sidewalk guy to pull the trailer w/snowblower with. I pay him $225 everytime it snows and it takes him about 4hrs to finish. There is some hand shoveling on some stairs. We got hammered here last year and I wore out my first sidewalk guy. He had his own snowblower and truck at least.

    I asked 4 or 5 people that I trusted enough to rely on before my BROTHER offered to do it this year. The reason it's hard to find someone is because most people have to go to work after they get done. I have raised the prices on the properties that want sidewalks done on top of the parking lots. Maybe they'll quit me and find someone cheaper : )

    I cleaned snow for 4 years and also had a full time job to go to after I was done. But that's just me and I like money!
  14. Xforce 1

    Xforce 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    I have the very same problem. The condo's here at the Lake of the ozarks, Mo., all consist of stair towers. Simply go to the top and shovel down simply not shoveling a lot of snow. In most cases, we can use a backpack blower to blow them off. I run a crew of 6 guys avg. and have 2 warriors, the rest are lazy and work harder to get outa work. But I garauntee they will be the first to gripe, complain, and have a fit because they are broke! I have a guy that has 3 kids and a wife. He simply won't do nothing if he can't have a truck. Well needless to say, I don't know what he's doing now. He was one of them you knew couldn't handle a plow, biggest plow he needed was a shovel! By the way, he's only 25.:realmad:
  15. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Any of you guys ever try using back pack blowers...for 1-2" of fluff they work great on steps and irregular walks, like field stone, gravel, etc. They can save a lot of time, 2-3 times faster than a shovel.
  16. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    Who cares about the temp? Stop at a tractor supply store or some place similar and spend $100 bucks on proper clothes... illegals, at least they work and I'll bet anyone on here will attest to the fact that they are not paid any less than there legal counterpart. If I wasn't in a tractor, I'd have no problem shoveling with the guys. For that matter, I have joined them as soon as I've finished my route.
    It was great excercise and fresh air. You can have your shop floor work for $12 an hr. To stand all day in a plant, I'd reach for the nearest gas pipe, couldn't do it.
  17. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Ditto on every word of that:drinkup:
  18. ezover

    ezover Junior Member
    Messages: 6


    must be a slow day , lots of fast responses.

    as for the Mexican thing, i felt it was implied.

    i think a 18$ an hour job with no benis is great for a kid, young adult. for someone with a family i,ll still take the 12 hr steady job with ins.
    and if i had no other choice, i would do it.
    i was just trying to show the other side of the coin.

    i make more then that as it is, i do 55 to 60 hours in 4 days on one job then i work another 2 more days a week. I'm pretty sure most people would not say I'm lazy.

    and, again just trying to show the other side.

    one other thought, could be the area your trying to pull the help from. i know my brother in law keeps his shop on a certian side of town because he feels the help is more dependable over there.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  19. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    X3 on that. My guys get paid more than $12 per hour to shovel and they are "LEGAL" mexicans, they don't say a word, even when that snow turns to ice then to rain and rain and rain, and we are all soaking wet. They always ask for more. That's how you work!!!!!!!!
  20. fci

    fci Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    Years ago I used labor companies, they supply the labors and you supply the shovels. They will take care of taxes and Workman's comp. They have a 6 hour min. around $16 per hour. If you don't like their work they will send out a replacement. Try labor force, or man power.