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subcontractor price per hour

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by tpolge@twcny.rr, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. tpolge@twcny.rr

    tpolge@twcny.rr Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Whats the going rate for plowing per hour. My truck,plow, gas,repairs. But his accounts
    Syracuse NY. He said he pays 40.00 a hour
  2. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    $40.00 an hour? So this guy is saying that..you need to work almost 2 hours just to pay for your first tank of gas alone? lol

    I'd tell this guy to pound sand..nothing below $65.00 an hour...and I don't care what part of the country it's in. This guy is looking for a bargain..and you should never be anyone's bargain.

    I sat home for 3 straight winters, cause of a**holes like this. I'd rather sit on my couch and watch movies, then beat my truck up for $40.00 an hour.

    I was always taught this rule of thumb..

    7Ft plow = $70.00 an hour
    8Ft plow = $80.00
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007

    Messages: 79

    is he paying you as an employee. are you having taxes taken out. or are you giving him an invoice. 55 an hour is more proper, 40 is like when gas was under 2 a gallon and insurance was 1500 instead of 2500. and speaking of insurance, if your subbing, dont forget commercial auto, and 1 mil on the G n L .... if you work for him, and theres health insurance, plan to make 30 an hour and use business expense form for vehicle for miles and taxes...
  4. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Make some phone calls to the surrounding town highway departments to get their hourly rate. You'll quickly find out if $ 40/hr is good or bad for your area.
  5. kcplowmata

    kcplowmata Senior Member
    from kc
    Messages: 174

    i am amazed by how prices vary. i would think they would be more in heavier snow states.being you guys are needed more but i have noticed some low prices.well i hope you get atleast 55 an hour and if you have experience 65 to 75 an hour.if he puts you on as an employee part or your invoice should be for labor for driving 20% and the other for equipment 80% so you dont get taxed and work comped on your truck
  6. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I had a guy call me last year. Hes a way bigger plowing contractor thats spread way to thin. I told him I needed $65 and he says no I pay $50. I laughed at him and hung up.

    Don't sell yourself short. Demand the respect that you deserve and get what you are worth.

    I pay my subs $65 per hour. They show up, Start plowing and I start paying. And I have good subs because of it.
  7. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    man would say go for it, get your feet wet and learn about the trade just incase you can't handle it or don't like it just walk away, i am only saying this because this is your first post and must be your first year if you have no accounts,

    i would think that a little money is better than none, that's what it's all about "money" and it doesent sound like the guy is negotiable.

    it amazes me that some people would rather set on their but and make NOTHING than get up and make SOMETHING and i gurantee you that you'll make money at $40 just pad your hours and go slow you'll bee fine

    i have never heard of charging "7Ft plow = $70.00 an hour 8Ft plow = $80.00" when you buy a plow the cost is vertualy the same and besides it's the truck thats more expensive peice

    i am going to be called a lowballer on this but i don't care, you need to learn what you'r worth just like everyone else had too so if you like $40 fine but if you really don't want to work wait for $80 and set around for 3 years

    i do not mean to attack anyone i just needed an example
  8. Acutabovesiny

    Acutabovesiny Member
    Messages: 54

    I could see charging more for a larger plow because it pushes more at a time but 7ft=$70 and 8Ft=$80.
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Think about it, The more snow you have the more your going to be out plowing. If you have an abundance of something generally the price is going to be lower. Areas with 10 plowable events a year is going to bring more money because its not a common thing and people are willing to pay more because it needs done less.....other areas where you are out between 30-50 times a year people are going to pay less because its done quite a few more times. I posted a thread in here this week on how bad it is around here for prices, as an owner its very frustrating to loose a bid and your only trying to bill out 40-45per hr per truck.
  10. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    That is about the going rate around here. 3-4 years ago before gas went up we were paying one sub $30 and hour. He was experienced and was using an 8' or 8.5' blade. I guarantee there are subs out there in different states that make more money hourly than I charge hourly per truck at my own accounts. Rates around here are low when compared nationally, but what can we do?

    Nothing. Just gotta suck it up and deal with it I guess.
  11. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    $55-65 an hour here.
  12. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Im the GC and my area im charging $60.00 hour. I pay my 1 sub 50 who has been with me quite some time. The others 40. How can i pay a sub 60+ when i dont get that as the contractor. Also im 1 of the most expensive in my area, some GC only charge 50. All based on location.
  13. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    It shouldn't amaze you that people actually "think" before they do something. If I won't go out on a Plumbing and Heating call for anything less than $85.00 to show up..in any weather condition that I beat my truck up in...why would I go out in dangerous snow and ice conditions to beat my truck up for $40.00? Why would I want to "Pad" my hours, and be dishonest to a man who treats me well, and pays me TOP dollar?

    Secondly..you live in MO..I live in Pa...while there might not be much of a difference with fuel costs..there is a difference with the cost of living. Here where I live..the rule of thumb as far subs goes..is what I stated.

    Thirdly..I think you need to look at yourself and the guys in your area. Instead of sticking together, you're out there cutting each others throat and working for peanuts. However, I think it's absolutely ridiculous, that some guys will go out and beat their equipment up for meal money..and knock guys who wont follow suit..to me, it sounds like sour grapes on your part.

    You also asked about "worth"..and YES..my time,equipment,wages, is worth a lot more then $40.00 an hour...because I understand the economics of business. If the guy with the accounts doesn't know how to bid a job..or is too cheap to pay for quality help..then it's time for the head guy to go out of the snowplowing business!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  14. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    I'm not being a jerk, but don't you think you're worth more then $60.00 an hour? I totally agree with you, that location is "key" for prices. However..with fuel cost out of this world..$40.00 - $50.00 for a sub with vehicle and plow..doesn't cut it IMO.

    This is the problem we have, when you have people who don't know how to bid a job..lowball the job ..which forces everyone else to drop price.

    If guys would actually stick together, and not backstab and cut each others throat...a lot more money could be made for everyone.

    Here is my situation...

    Me and buddy take care of this HUGE commercial lot for a GC..just the 2 of us do it. My buddy has a Curtis V-Plow..I have a 7.5 Western Uni-mount Straight blade. We both get paid $65.00 an hour and this year our boss is giving us the sidewalks for $45.00 an hour.
    So that means..while my truck is on site for plowing, and I have to get out and do the sidewalks..for at least 1hr(or however long it takes) I get $110.00 an hour.

    Now if it's just the sidewalks we have to clear, and no plowing..it's $45.00 an hour to clear the walks.

    Our Boss does all the salting for all his Commercial lots.

    Here the catch..this company we plow for gets Tractor Trailer deliveries...if they can't make their delivery, because we didn't clear the snow properly..our boss gets back charged. It happen to him once, and it costed him over $2,000 for re-delivery, and that's why me and my buddy got hired. Not because we are the "Kings" at snowplowing (not even close)....it because me and my buddy both own our own businesses,so we understand the importance of giving service.

    I don't have the slightest clue as to what my boss is charging(none of my business) for the lot..but it must be a heck of a lot, if he's considering(we didn't ask) moving us up to $70.00 an hour a piece.

    I have friends who are getting $75.00 - $80 an hr(as subs)...but they are Commercial lots as well.

    Now I didn't have to, but I sunk about $700 + in my truck and plow this off season to keep it in tip top shape.

    *New Ultima battery
    * 200 amp Alt.
    * New Serpentine belt
    * New headlights
    *New Night Hawk lights (Got rid of standard plow lights)
    * New pins and other emergency repair parts
    * had my plow serviced

    Next year I'm replacing the ball joints..and getting new shoes (tires) specifically for plowing only.
    I'm sure some of you guys pay a TON of money on up keep alone..more then my measly $700 ..but "up keep" has to be done every year.

    Now..how could I possibly break even if I was being paid $40.00 an hour? The numbers don't lie ..the day I start losing money on plowing..is the day I get out of it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2007
  15. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341


    OZONE did i hit a nerve

    you have several things i have aprob. with you on but mostly you are just showing your ignorance or erigance one of the two

    1. i told you to take no offense i just neded an example
    2.the guy's market is $40 per hour not $80 or whatever $100 with pro-wings LOL
    3.you are a plumber and hvac and you are telling me that you wouldn't help a little old lady get her heat back on or help with a frozen pipe because of the weather but you will go out and plow snow??????
    4.why would you pad you hours if you are making $80
    5.you are the only one i have ever heard of chargin by the foot "7ft$708ft$80" why would you not have a 11ft3in blizzard heck that is $113.00per hour
    6.why do you think your worth $110per hr i charge $120per hour for a $250,000 dozer
    7.i don't want to be friends with my comp. why would you, i am here to make money not friends. Why do you think P.S. is so popular (because nobody wants to discuss business with local comp)? :confused:
    8.you say you are a business man but you also said you set on your butt for 3 years....SMART!!!!:rolleyes:
    9.almost everyone on P.S. does comercial you really ain't that special so the tractor trailer delivery comment is'nt a big deal, your supposed to do your job(plow) regardless of if it's a special tractor trailer or not
    10.there is no shame in what you get paid as long as you work for it and your "$110." hr 'cmon are you kidding i thought you did'nt pad your hours,...but you'll charge for the truck and the shovel? do you carry a pass.:rolleyes:
    11.this boss you are talking about what does he think about you being a bum and setting on you'r butt for 3 years or is that why you now have a boss?
    12.what happened to charging by the plow length"I have a 7.5 Western Uni-mount Straight blade. We both get paid $65.00 an hour " heck you left $10 on the table...or would the market not support it:cry:
    13. i know and you know that there is a 13 but you get the point

    as i said to start with i am not attacking anybody but now i am pinpointing you a little i aint saying that i am right and you are wrong but any of the reasons above could be why you have a "boss" and you are not you'r own

    K.C. plowmata what part of kc are you in i could use some subs this year, in Clinton it's a long drive (1.5hrs) but the money is good $35hr LOL, PM me
  16. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    We charge somewhat due to plow size. My truck with a V plow measuring 10.5' will obviously get more money than a 7.5' straight blade. Our rates around here are $50-$60 and hour for a normal 7.5'-8.5' straight blade. For bigger V plows and Blizzards we usually try to charge an additional $10 an hour.

    This is why in our market we can only afford to pay around $40-$45 an hour for subs. I think we and our subs are worth more, but if I tried charging anything above these prices I would have to flip burgers in the winter to pay the bills. If you think these figures are low, you don't even want to know what the low ballers charge.
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    It's all easy to say what we'd charge but we don't know the market of everbody. If I go 3 hours north of me, I wouldn't bother getting out of bed for what they get paid. Then I hear how many hours they get, how much there houses and taxes are. They live in a cheaper world then I do. Everbody makes less, plumbers, mechanics and snowplowers, but in the end it works out. If a guys making $12/ hour at his full time job and already has a pickup to get him to work, all he has to do is find a used blade for less then $2000 and he's ready to go. Does he have proper insurance, I don't think so, but to see the smile on this guys face making $40/hour is priceless. He's probably only still making his 12 bucks after everthing is said and done but he's got his own little buisness. Isn't that the American dream, just to have a little something for ourselves. He will probably pick up some driveway's of his own for cash, so he'll probably do better then most guys with new trucks and payments making alot more. JMO

    BTW. I have heard of guys paying $10/foot of blade around here, sounds fair for this markets for subs.
  18. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Not taken as a jerk,i agree with you. Hey i want all the money i can get but look my way. For my area now i am one of the most expensive at 60.00/ hr. 98% of the other GC are at 50. So for my area now what would you do? There are actually some guys out there with commercuial lots at 40. I never heard of the rates beyond my area until i got on plow site and i cant believe it. I wish some of our merchants would look on this site and see the rates charged out there they would be more appreciative.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2007
  19. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i'll give my 2 cents....... not really knowing too much about the Thread starter other than i'm guessing that he only has one truck and also guessing he doesn't have a shop and yard to pay for, and that his truck is probably not a dedicated plow truck (probably uses it to get groceries) I would have to say that $40 per hour is damm good $$$$$$. it's ALL PROFIT!!!!! Go out work hard and you could make $1k per day.... it takes most people around here 2 weeks to earn that kind of $$$$..........
  20. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    Jay Brown..can you please explain to me how $40.00 an hr is all profit? I can be a very dense person at times, and I just don't understand.

    What I AM forgetting is..Minnesota gets more plowable events then where I live.

    What the original poster also didn't tell us was....does he do this for side cash? Does he depend on snowplowing to live during the winter months?

    I am not bashing what someone's true market is. However..I've seen post on this site that say the Minn area is anywhere for $40.00 - $75.00. for a subcontractor. That is a big difference...why?

    I honestly believe the original poster is un-sure of what the TRUE value is for his area, and that's why he asked the board.