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Sub-contractor rant/ warning-Rochester NY

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RLM, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We had a truck go down at the end of December with a frame issue, rather than rush to fix it I decided to hire 2 subs (we were already short). I found the subs through craigslist.
    One has worked flawlessly. Other than going on vacation, but he gave me notice well before, I even did his house because his daughter didn't go.
    The other, well thats the rant, he lasted oneday before I let him go (12/31). To plow a route that takes must of my guys between 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs on a 3 inch storm, more time if more snow, it took him 7.5 hours to plow with 10 inches (only plowed each sites once), every single site complained. My sidewalk crew called me laughing as he provided their entertainment of the day "doing loop-de-loops around the light poles" , I assume some kind of circles. We had to replow everything that night, piles were everywhere, a total mess. Then called about 20 times wanting to get paid, I told him I pay in 30 days or so. I finally cut him a check about 2/5 (about 35 days), for 4 hours which I thought was about what I thought was more then fair. I got a call Thrusday (2/11) that he had been at one of the properties about 2 weeks prior, telling tenants I had stiffed him & looking for money. The guys name is Paul &*^$@ (if you need the last name, PM me), he lives in N. Chili. He has no clue what he's doing.
    Its a first in 15 years. Just giving the area guys a heads up. Any ideas on how to screen new subs, I always assumed if you apply, you should have a clue ?? Always a new lesson.
     
  2. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    mike if you ever in a pinch like that give me a call, i can usually spare a pick-up from my batavia run.
     
  3. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Redman, Thanks for the offer I'll definatly keep it in mind. We're in really good shape now. The truck that had the frame issues is going in Tuesday. A friend of one of my guys is going to do it. It was in an front end accident about 5-6 years ago, & where they bent it back it rotted out (front 6-12 inches of frame rail) of course where plow is supported. Thruway wanted to get a piece from junkyard, this & that, I figured over $ 1,000. He's going to build it with new steel for around $ 400. He has a small shop with a couple lifts so he can work on it as time allows to keep cost down. The truck is a 99 so I'm trying to watch how much I dump into it (it needs an oil pan to, with the 454 its a expenssive job, move motor or axle). I may see if he can patch oil pan while its on the lift. It worked out OK as the guy who was driving it was only avaliable until 6am, what took him 4 hrs I do in 2, then start my salting.
    It seems like you have to go through 2-3 guys to find the good ones, no matter what your hiring them for (drivers, shovelers) doesn't matter. The loader operator I hired has worked out great, (aside from a few over sleeps, not bad) but he was the second guy, the first quit before the snow started (got offered more $$$). Two truck drivers I hired never showed. The guys I have are great, & crew has come together very well, & work well togther though.
     
  4. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    you don't have to tell me buddy, i went from 11 guys last year to 19 this year, so not only is that 8 new full-time guys but at least a dozen back-ups guys, i've never met nor know much about. it's been interesting. fired a couple already but found some decent back-ups that have stepped up into a full-time role. biggest thing i try and tap, as far as labor goes, is farms and retired people, those two are my biggest suppliers of labor.
     
  5. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I droped the ball earlier in the fall, I had a Hispanic guy (I assume farm worker driving lage flatbed) approch me at Penteries (@ 18 across from the Dakota), about work I was wrapping up fall cleanups,at the time was set, should of got his # said he had a crew of 7. I already order a Help Wanted sign for next year for in front of shop (in middle of Apples orchards).
     
  6. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    craiglist has been huge labor find for me. post one ad and i got like 15 repsonses, then i re-post the next week and get 15 more.
     
  7. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I've had the same results, I think I just need to get better at the hiring process. This business is tough because, you don't need the help until you need it.
     
  8. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    absolutely