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Subbing snowblower/shoveler

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by M&M, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I am bidding on 2 condo complexes for the same property mangement firm. There is a considerable abount of sideway cleaning to do. My question is has anyone ever subbed out just the sidewalks of a property? Basically, I want to create a new contract for just the sidewalks that I can "sell" to someone. Make sense? Also, what has been your experience if you have done this? Thanks!
     
  2. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,557

    We did this for a number of years before acquiring enough equipment to bring it back in house. We subbed out the sidewalks to a crew "foreman" who we paid on a per time basis. It was up to him to find the additional help necessary, as well as supplying the shovels, blowers, transportation, etc; we supplied the salt so that we could monitor the usage and consistency for liability reasons. Worked pretty well, but you still have to check up on them and hold them accountable just as you would an employee.
     
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Its very common in our area. The hardest part is finding good reliable guys. I've been through at least 20 different guys in the past 3 years. I've tried paying them huge money, buying them good equipment, offering bonuses etc. NOTHING helped. Last year was finally a good year as far as sidewalk guys for us, AND they're coming back this year. In PA if you sub out even a sidewalk guy he has to have his own insurance, etc. to qualify as a sub contractor. All I can say is good luck.
     
  4. JTK324

    JTK324 Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Brian we do up here in rhode island and it works great for us but we also do our own as well we found a guy on craigslist last year and he works great
     
  5. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,557

    The insurance issues is one of the reasons we brought the sidewalk crews back in house. We come out ahead, because either way we're paying for wc insurance on them, as they typically don't have their own policy. Likewise with liability, none of them want to go spend $600-1000 for a liability policy to shovel walks, so we take a hit on our insurance audit anyway. Works out better for us to provide the equipment and insurance, and lower the hourly rate they end up getting.
     
  6. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Thats smart! Yeah so you take a hit on W/C but like you said your further ahead, if you can, keep everything in house. BTW I think I actually had a guy 2 seasons ago who went and got ins. but it was only a couple hundred bucks for the season.....he showed up 3 or 4 times. If I could start all over again, thats all I would do! I would have a sweet side by side with heat and a nice enclosure, and a small JohnDeer tractor w/ enclosure, radio, heat, beverage holder;) and a 6x12 trailer and towing with a tiny Ranger,lol I would have about 20k invested in everything and probably pay it off in 2 seasons.
     
  7. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,557

    Here's the one we set up this year. It's a new 6x12 carry-on. We built shelves for tools, gas cans, etc, hung the shovels on the side wall, an older 2-stage backup blower is up on the platform because it wouldn't fit otherwise, and the push spreader and single stage go up in the front. I also recently installed (not pictured) a shore plug on the trailer hooked to 2 battery maintainer/chargers, 1 for the ATV, 1 for the deep cycle that powers the lights inside the trailer.

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  8. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Thaks for the input guys. In a perfect world, I would like someone with a good work ethic that is starting out and willing to treat these two sidewalk accounts as their own. I figure about 6 hours worth of work each event. They can make a decent paycheck. Are my expectations too high?
     
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    LOL, its tough to say. With the way jobs are lately you would think guys would be knocking down the door for a good paying job. Like every one says, its not consistent but who cares you can make up to so much on unemployment but people would rather sit on their lazy asses and have the govt. or us take care of them. WHile "these people" are going to the grocery store and coming out with 2 carts filled with junk food and cigarettes we just getting by, sorry for the rant! ussmileyflag
     
  10. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,557

    No. They're out there. It just takes patience and persistence to find them. I have several guys that are as you describe. They've been with me for quite a while, and I treat them like gold, because they're so hard to find/replace.
     
  11. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Well, I'm getting closer on signing the contract which in my opinion is the hardest part. Once I sign, I will pound the pavement looking for a guy or two. It can really be a win-win situation for everyone.
     
  12. bill powers

    bill powers Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I've done sidewalks and parking lots for ten years, and have not been able to find but one guy willing to do it again this year. I wish I could find help
     
  13. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    Sidewalk work that is good, is tough to come by! Once you find them, treat them well!