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Sub Contractors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Feb 20, 2000.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Bryan got me thinking, when he said he might plow for one of his friends.<p>Does anyone here use a sub contractor(s)?<p>I just can't understand why anyone would want to work for 50 bucks or so an hour. When you could plow with the same truck and have the same equipment cost, and almost the same insurance cost.<p>What do you guys think?<p>Thats why i kinda warned bryan to keep out of sub contracting.<p>Geoff
     
  2. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Geoff, Only work i sub out is stacking with a loader.If i know a storm is coming for sure i will rent a skid loader and leave it and the trailer at my bigest job then move it around. But if a storm hits with little warning i have been using the same guy with a backhoe to stack for me. Not sure if this is what you are asking. Nick<br>ps i got my start subing it got me off to a good start<br>
     
  3. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    In listening from what large snow removal contractors have told me, with out subs they wouldnt be able to grow as large as they have.<br>Some of these subs earn up to and over 30k a season in the lake areas.<br>Most have full time jobs, and are looking for extra work with out the resposibilty of managing a contract.<br>I use 3 subs myself. One does driveways after the storm, and the extra time I give him during the snowstorm is great for him.<br>Another splits his plowing 50/50 between his contracts and mine. i have places that are further away from my main area, so he does them for me, and at times I may cover one of his accounts near me.<br>It is a good way for a new person with a plow to learn the ins and outs of plowing, and how to manage a plowing business. i told bryan in a IM session that subbing for a good contractor is a very good way to learn.<br>Also near me a person who does mostly driveways may only plow 2-3 times a season, but if he subs for a commercial contractor he will get alot more hours.<br>From a contractor stand point they are great to use, they dont beat their trucks as bad as if you have a driver in your own truck. If they break, you dont have to fix it.<br>I have a binder full of agreements with subs, how to word them, and why to use them.<br>In the long run they are much cheaper than owning all your own trucks.<br>And easier than finding drivers for 10 different trucks.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  4. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Geoff,<br>We run 4 subs. They work out pretty decent. I wish I could get more good ones.<p>My brother's co. has 22 subs. He makes a killing off them, I wish I could attract as many/as good of ones as he has.
     
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Try offering your current subs money for bringing in new subs. A few guys I know will pay 200$ per new sub. 100$ when 1/2 way through the season and the other 1/2 at the end of the season. that way they will only refer good subs. Make sure you pay them in a timely fashion, and watch the IRS they love to reclassify subs.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  6. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    My partner and I have been talking about this very subject recently. Right now we have three plow trucks, all 3/4 ton 4x4's, two with 7 1/2' snoways and one with a meyers 8' with wings. We can only plow so much with just three pickups. We're considering subbing out some work in order to secure more contracts next winter, also we don't own a bobcat or front end loader for snow removal or for moving and stacking piles of snow when they get too high. We can only push snow around, can't carry it to new locations or remove it from the lots.<p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>
     
  7. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Dave,<p>Depending on your sites, I'd have a loader. You can lease one for the winter for 6-8,000 and then mount a ProTech or Daniels.
     
  8. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    Geoff, when I said sub for one of my friends, what I meant is my town. I know quite a few dpw employees and when I get my licsense, I want to plow for them. There are a lot of small streets with cul-de-sacs in my town that the big trucks have trouble plowing. My town hired my friend, and this year they are hiring guys with pickup trucks. My friend got $110 hr for each truck. If I had a western mpv, I could probably get more because I could get more roads done than someone with a regular plow.<br>Also, I already have commercial and residential accounts lined up if the town job doesn't work out.<p>Bryan
     
  9. DaveO

    DaveO PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Ma.
    Messages: 299

    Bryan,<p>$110/hr for a pickup?? Sounds kinda high to me. My area pays $40-50 for an 8ft on a pickup. 10 wheeler with blade/sander gets $105/hr. I have seen as low as $32/hr in some smaller towns for pickups. Average subs are paid about the same as towns. Dino is right, subbing is a good way to get 'seat time' when learning. So is 'street plowing', though the two are a little different. With the right route(smooth roads), this can be easier on equipment...except edges....<p>Dave
     
  10. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Bryan i wasn't trying to be mean. I just didn't want you to get the wrong end of the deal. Plowing for 50 bucks and hour isn't that great, in my mind. Hey if you can plow for the town at 110 an hour go for it. Only plowing private roads is easy on the truck, only you go through a cutting edge a season.<p>Geoff
     
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I used to sub for 2 different guys,not regularly,but on occasion,before I had a full run of my own.I got 50 an hr+was able to do my accounts in between on his clock with his permission.My truck at the time was a 92 GMC 1500 Z71 short bed with my then new 7 1/2 Minute mount.Now I might need to look into some subs myself if I'm going to get any bigger,my 3 trucks have an almost full route and I'm not having good luck getting qualified drivers with experience/and or common sense.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
     
  12. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Getting good drivers for your own trucks is hard. Most will beat the truck to death, and the good ones buy their own truck, because they see the $$ you are making and either sub or get their own routes.<br>I must say that 110 an hour for a p/u is very high. The state of ct only pays 125 for a six wheeler with 10' plow and sander.<br>I would think that maybe your friend is blowing smoke at you Brian. I would suspect that they are paying between 50-60 at most. Also a v plow probably wont help to much with street plowing.<br>One of my subs was offered 75 an hour to plow for his town, but that was with a 9' plow and sander.But he had to buy his own fuel and edges. And they only offered him 5 hrs per storm. He gets at least 10 from me plus his own accounts.<br>Dino<br><p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  13. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    that does sound way out of line for a town to pay for a pickup with a plow and they this truck doesnot have a sander.we have travelled to rhoade island to plow snow from n.y. and were payed quite well for 2pickups and a 6 wheeler.i watch the weather channel and if abig noreaster is hitting an area which is within 200 miles and we are not getting anything,i will look at the map and call towns who are in deep *&$# andwho probably donot have the equipment to handle it quickly.some towns will pay dearly some will not,but its better than sitting around wishing you were getting the snow,and you can make good money.<p>----------<br>J PARKER<br>914-485-4200
     
  14. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    The rate my friend told me was a little high I think. He was the driver that I went with on a storm. Later I found out he's a little nutty. But, ,I already am lining up potential residential accounts ( my landscaping customers) and a few small, easy to plow commercial accounts. I could probably earn more plowing for myself than being hired by the town. <p>Bryan <p>----------<br>The Snowplow Homepage<br>http://www.snowplow.web.com
     
  15. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    When my Dad had his own contracting business years ago he used to sub out for local towns as a snowplow operator. Twenty years ago the city would pay $75 an hour for plowing streets for the copmpanys vintage GMC 10-wheelers, you didnt have to worry about fuel just go to the city yard and tank up, you didnt have to worry about liability you were covered by the citys insurance and you didnt have to answer to anyone except the supervisor on duty that night.<p>Bill<p>----------<br>&quot;...half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.&quot; R.L.<br>
     
  16. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Well all that has changed in CT. You now need at least 5 mil liability, and you buy the fuel and edges, if you plow for the state of ct. Local towns pay less, but you get way more hours and they sometimes supply th edges.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  17. bill

    bill Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I would stay away from subcontracting.<br>The one subcontractor I worked for said<br>my hours were not correct. When I asked<br>him to pay me the hours he thought it<br>should be he still never paid.<br>Took a year a 7 arrest warrants to get paid.<br>What a novel concept. Have everybody else<br>do the work - costs you nothing - don't pay<br>your subcontractors- keep all the money<br>from the customers.
     
  18. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Well you need to find good contractors to plow for as well as find good subs for yourself. We actually are a sub for one contractor, and I get payed in 10 days of invoice, better then any of my customers. Plus I use his loader and salt pile for free.<br>If there ever comes a day when the business end of snow removal gets to much for me, I will be happy to sub for another guy. No pressure just the hero worship. My subs pull my but out of the sling every storm. Just when it looks like I will never finish in time, up drive 2 of my subs and poof done, or of their own accord will back track another trucks route, and catch anything not done, or that needs to be cleaned up.<br>I love those guys.<br>And what about the sidewalk crews. My guys spent hours in the Freezing Rain on Fri night and never complained.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  19. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Dino.iy sounds like you have a lot of good guys helping you.I'm sure this is no accident,you must be a good Boss,and be straight up guy to have that kind of a crew and have them watching your back,I'm sure the pay doesn't hurt either.Do any of these guys have similar relatives that live in NY and want work? All good workers here have their own accounts and need subs too.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
     
  20. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Bryan plowing for the town might not be a bad idea if.<p>You got a 10 hours at 50 dollars an hour, per storm. 500 bucks per storm is pretty good for you age, and years plowing.<p>You will also learn to plow on a good surface. Plowing isn't as easy as it looks, it isn't to you sit in the driver's seat that you learn how much experience counts. <p>Also plowing roads would put very little wear on your truck. You couls still sneak in some resdiental accounts too. <p>I would stay away from commercial accounts for your first year plowing. After you learn how to plow, and how to plow well. Then move up to commercial, you got to learn how to work around those cars that pop up out of the blue.<p>Also your insurance cost will be very high for someone your age. It might be less if your just plowing residental, but i am not an insurance agent so i might be wrong.<p>I mean i have been plowing commercial for 10 years, and 4 years residental and before 2 or 3 that around my parents yard. I still haven't mastered plowing, you are always learning new stuff.<p>Geoff