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What do you think? Business question...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by blackDiesel, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    Hey everybody,
    I have an opportunity and wanted to bounce it off you all. I work for a company who who plows a lot of commercial accounts. They offered me the opportunity to increase my wage and sub contract through them by using my own truck/plow setup.

    Question 1: Should I start an LLC for insurance, fuel, business reasons 'or' just push snow with my truck and collect a paycheck from them? In other words is there a perk to doing it under a business name, or dangers of insurance that I need to be aware of???

    Question 2: I have a nice 2008 Chevy Duramax, would it be beneficial for me to look for a used work truck to beat on all winter or use the one I have? I don't have the extra money for another truck but it seems that for the 6000 loan for another truck may save me money in the long run if I start a business and can maybe write it off???

    Thanks for your time, I appreciate any input...
     
  2. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    Business

    Ask an accountant/tax profesional, The answers they give you will be more helpful than any of us goof-balls here.
     
  3. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    If you find anything out, let me know, I'm kind of in the same situation here.

    It's easy to keep collecting pay, but I also want to be legit about it.
     
  4. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    If they plow that much why wouldn't they just put you in a company truck. As far as your questions. If you decide to sub for them what equipment will you need? Do you have a plow already, if not there goes at least 4k (for a decent used one) and 5-6k for a new one (roughly). Commercial liability insurance which is usually under 500 bucks but you should check with your ins. agent as to what else you might need insurance wise.
    A 6k truck isn't going to get you a whole lot, maybe a 10 year old POS. that you'll most likely going to put another 2k into it.
     
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    How much money are they talking about???... it may not be worth the investment, time, hassle etc.
     
  6. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    I have my 2008 Chevy Truck that I drive everyday. I was planning on using that. I already have a boss 8'2" straight blade set up for my current truck (just haven't put it on yet). The company did have me in one of their trucks but they have so many accounts they always recruit subs, therefore throwing me an opportunity since I was a reliable guy for them.
    So I need commercial insurance? The companies blacket insurance coverage doesn't cover me while i'm on the lot plowing?
    My wage would be $65 an hour running my own truck, compared to $18 an hour working in one of their trucks. seems worth it to me...
     
  7. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    Is that an adequate amount of $$ to recover the devaluation of your '08 ?
     
  8. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    OK, So maybe I'm the goof-ball
     
  9. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    That's a good question... That's why I considered getting a different truck, but thats an extra expense as well. Good thought "plowatnight"
     
  10. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    I can't imagine its going to lower the value that much?
     
  11. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    I've been plowing snow since '86, I would NOT pay top $$ for a used plow truck, And probably wouldn't buy anyone else' setup, but thats just me, I've run lots of old crap over the years, you just really have to stay on top of it and constantly look for the things that need fixing, ie leaks wear points broken welds etc. If you want to plow in the winter and you're familiar with the "drill" , give it a whirl! Misery looves company.
     
  12. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    In PA the whole "sub contractor" issue is a real PITA. They need to be a legit company with their own insurance, business cards etc. I really doubt their insurance would cover you while plowing in your own truck. Like I said though, its usually under 500 bucks for the season and at 65/hr you'll make that back in a night or two. I'd say if you already have a plow, then go for it. I still dont understand why they just wouldn't put you in another company truck but also take expenses into consideration, fuel being a big one. A tank of diesel a night is probably around 85 bucks. But I would say your still probably going to make more than 18/hr working as a sub vs. an employee. Man!, 65/hr.....wish we could get even 45-50/hr
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  13. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    Brian_young, plowatnight, thanks for the input. I agree with what you mentioned. I've got the truck, the plow, the experience so it sounds like the only thing I need to figure out is insurance. And I was shocked to hear that in PA you have a hard time making 45-50?!? With that wage, its got to be hard to make any big money running your own truck.. And again, the reason they don't put me in one of their trucks is becuase they always need SUBS because they don't have enough trucks of their own to complete the work load, so its easier for them to find guys to drive in their own trucks then reliable SUBS. I'm really lucky to have the opportunity... and whats even better is that they pay with no hassle's!
     
  14. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    Sounds like it might be the best way to get your feet wet
     
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    costs you aren't thinking of:

    1. workman's comp. You may or may not have to have it in your state as a single proprietor, but if you get hurt on the job,regular health insurance WILL NOT PAY.

    2. commercial snow removal liability insurance. I pay more for this than I do for my regular business liability. Snow is about 15% of my gross.

    3. commercial plates for your truck (maybe, maybe not, depends on state)

    4. commercial insurance policy on your truck (liability, comp, collusion). here in Colorado, commercial insurance is about double a personal policy, may be different in your state. If you have a loan on your truck, they may not like it being used commercially. Some do, some don't. just might be an issue.

    5. Accountant, new bank account, keep good records, the LLC fee is usually minimal to get set up (under $100, but some states aren't cheap)

    6. Snow plowing is HARD on equipment and tires. It ain't free to run this stuff and you will have to put money back into the vehicle and equipment. If you're down, you have to get it fixed right away or no money for you.

    It's more risky than getting a paycheck. You might make lots, you might make nothing. If you want to start your own company in the future, it gets you a head start. Just make sure you realize it's not really $65 in your pocket. It's probably about $20 in the end.
     
  16. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    I appreciate the insight "lonecowboy", those were solid points. I have a meeting to discuss all of this with the contractor. I'm actually printing out this discussion to take with me to remember to bring up all these points. Thanks for your time, I'll keep everyone posted. If anyone else has a comment, I'm all ears!
     
  17. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    In Ohio the guy i sub for actually added me to his Policy so that saved me a little bit of money. And he keeps me so busy that i don't have time to plow for anyone else. It's only $55 per hour but he pays my gas and insurance so i think thats a great deal for me, and i never let him down, i will drive/plow until someone makes me go home or everything is complete.
     
  18. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    snow-n-go, Your situation sounds pretty close to what I'm doing. The only difference is I'll be at 65 an hour but I have to pay my own fuel. (I'd rather have your gig, 55 and they pay fuel!!!) I'll let everyone know how it pans out, I have a meeting with the boss and will see what he says...
     
  19. Green Grass

    Green Grass PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,573

    for the 400 a year it will cost you for insurance to plow I would get my own insurance just to cover your own butt.
     
  20. blackDiesel

    blackDiesel Member
    Messages: 46

    What kind of insurance? Liability???