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subing vs hiring

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jdgray385, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. jdgray385

    jdgray385 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I am new to the site, and this is my 3rd season plow and made out better my first year and lost my but on the second due to more snow then predicted. I have a friend that i hired for $30 per/hr to help me on all the contracts and he made out better then i did. Is it better to sub other plow trucks to help do contracts or would it be better to buy another truck and hire a guy to run the truck for me. After looking though the other treads there is alot of big company's with several guys working for them. I wise i knew of this site last year. I was lucky and had a customer buy a new boss plow for me and i plowed to work it off.(realy lucky) any advise would be helpfull. Thanks
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    If you're losing money the 1st thing that comes to mind is that you don't know what your costs are. A person can't bid properly until they know what that amount is.

    My suggestion is that you put a pen to paper and really figure out how much you're spending to keep your operation afloat. The "big companies" that you mention have already done this and that's why they're in the position they're in.

    Good luck
  3. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Your not bidding correctly..... If your sub is making more then you rethink your pricing sturcture....I keep 3 other subs busy all throughout the storms... I pay them each $50 per hour..... I don't have to worry about payroll, taxes, increased insurance premiums (they all have their own seperate GL policies), breakdowns.....all I do is 1099 at the end of the year...... works for me and works for them.....

  4. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    There are a lot of gaps in this situation. You pay $30.00 an hour, how much are you billing per hour? Lets say you bill out $100.00 for a truck per hour. You bid a property at 2hrs w/ 1 truck. $200.00 to start with. If the guy does the lot in 2hrs, he gets $60.00 and you get $140.00. What if he takes 3 or 3.5 hours? Now he's "making" more money than you because he's working slow, or you've under-estimated the time.

    Our subs work for 60% of each property they plow. $100.00 per push on a property pays $60.00 to the sub. Sub is responsible for insurance, breakdowns, etc., property damage, the works. Subs get paid every 2 weeks duting the season. No snow=no pay.

    We only use 3 or 4 subs and they get the brainless properties. Ones that require a truck to be there all the time during the storm, etc. That and some of the large lots.

    So, rambling on. Your guy might be very slow, your hourly rate may be too low or you've underestimated the amount of time taken.
  5. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Snow is tough to keep track of as to driver's and subs' time on and off properties. We use GPS and eyes-on to check the drivers.

    Every property is on a route, one route per driver (Some overlap), drivers must write down time-on and time-off each property. This helps with driver and sub performance ratings and also lets us know if we need more or different equipment on a property.

    Each supervisor and the mechanic have a master-list so we can cross-check some of the times along with GPS times. Keeps everything under control. Not trying to play big-brother all the time with operators, but if the company isn't making money no one will have a job.

    We've had a few situations where a driver needed a little pep-talk due to performance.

    Moral of the story. There are a lot of reasons that the $$$ doesn't look right at the end of the day.
  6. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    I am going to try subbing out some some of my jobs this year. I am planning on paying them a per push price. But I am not sure about all the details yet. It's probably going to be interesting.
  7. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    30.00 an hour?

    If he's making more than you, there is a real problem. Take the time to calculate your costs per hour of operation based on your overhead and expenses. Don't guess. Either way you are probably leaving money on the table. Too high or too low.

    If you need help calculating your costs per hour of operation, check out a CD offered by Profits Unlimited at www.profitsareus.com. It's called Know why you charge what you charge. It sells for $79.95 and is simple to use and it runs on Microsoft excel spreadsheet. You simply fill in the blanks. The nice thing about it is it's based on everything about your company, not industry standards. If they standards were right, the failure rates would not be so high. You can reach me at 800-845-0499 for any questions.

    Being a full service lawn & landscape company since 1979, all of our products are born from experience not theory.