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Big sites vs many smaller per route?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    What would you usually pick? for labor or profit reasons..

    1 large site with skid steer/2 trucks or put two trucks on two seperate routes servicing 5-10 small properties and a skid on its own property or use it as backup when the snow gets real heavy?

    We have both F350s on "FULL" routes, each truck has 6-8 properties, all small, none would ideally take more than 45 minutes during a bad storm, all are close together, within a couple miles normally. Problem lies in that only about half or less of these sites are our own, the rest we got sub contracted. I will make the call for our own properties to go out and salt/plow, another company calls us to service some of the properties we have subbed from them, but although we only deal with ONE company that subs this work to us, they may only have us do 2 of the lots, instead of all 10 say because THEY have the jobs subbed to them. There are probably 2-4 parent companies that call them at various times to give the go ahead to go out and salt or plow.

    I guess, stupidly, i thought since they gave us enough sub jobs to "fill" each of my trucks routes, that each time we get the go ahead to go out for "their" work, we would be doing all of them, no.

    Last 4 times ive salted so far, only twice did we do "half" of their properties. So out of 3 truck routes, i was able to do all of the salting with only one truck, vs sending out all 3 like i should be.

    Considering my recent post about the extreme amount of BS paperwork that needs to be filled out on site EACH service and the parent company's strict requirements, it appears that on paper, my routes are VERY profitable for salting alone or plowing every 2".

    Yet if we dont get to salt or plow half of the sites for whatever reasons, my profits and gross is cut down almost in half, not only that but i cant call in employees and drivers and then have each truck go out and do "half" the amount of work they should be doing :(

    I have an opportunity to take TWO of our trucks that have two full routes and put them and our new tractor with an 8' push box at ONE site now. The offer just came up and although the numbers dont blow me out of the water for the amount of time that will be required on this new single site, to know that i could still salt a couple of my company's smaller sites and then also take this account seems to be worth while.

    I'd hate to break a contract already late in the season now with the other company, but the changes and requirements in paperwork they have imposed, and then REMOVED a medium size site from our list only a week ago since signing in late october, well we all have to do what we have to do. I couldnt believe the one subbed site they said they "lost" somehow, this was over two weeks after we went and put up all of the snow marker stakes on the property... i went and took them all down one night i was driving back past, rubbed me the wrong way :(
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    If you have 3 trucks with plows on them and the new site is only going to take two of the trucks, why would you give up the other work you have under contract now? I would go ahead and do both. Even if you have to find another plow for the fourth truck, it's hard to turn down work, as long as you have the manpower, equipment should never hold anyone back from expanding.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    ready for this...

    I worry about my contracts first, if i pick up another contract great. if that means i have no time to sub for so and so, sorry about there luck. you may make less money working you own jobs, but at the same time so and so is not getting a cut of it.
  4. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    They are lying to you, imo. The have other subs and are favoring them with work. They have you as a back-up just in case, and they feed you a little work to keep you around.

    Maybe someday you'll be their favored sub. Personally, I would always seek to replace sub work with your own contracts. Take on the bigger one and when a big storm hits and they want you to do more, tell 'em you rightfully assumed it was all or nothing, and since they have not given you all the sites they actually agreed on, you been forced to fill in your routes.

    Was it anywhere in print that these would be on-call only and potentially not all of the sites they gave you?
  5. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    If your making less doing your own jobs than you are subbing then you need to re-evaluate your business plan, imo.
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Well the company i sub the work from, i doubt they'd pull any punches, BUT with that said, their parent company im SURE would no doubt be doing out and doing some of these sites themselves possibly or have other companies do them "instead" of calling the company that gives me the work.

    The contract was for the full management for salt and snow removal for these locations. I won't burn another company at the last minute, especially the guys i work for since i know they're pretty honest and professional as can be. I would however tell them that if we're not going to do the full route each time out, they're going to have to find another company to take the work they were assigning to me.

    They said they "think" once it snows good, these other accounts will be done once the parent company calls us, well of course, but if im only going to plow a few storms in jersey, sucking up my trucks routes for the entire winter for maybe a few major plows is the chocolate end of the stick eh?
  7. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    yeah i didnt understand that either, maybe hes got it backwards ? Sub equals a % of the total price charged... so your own work should be more than what another company would pay, unless they seriously overcharge, then you might get a lot more subbing lol.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    and too quote the first poster.

    at this point in the season it is better to pick up contracts for labor. seeing how his trucks are not being kept busy. if the contracts he has with the other person are being changed to fit there needs, he also has right to fulfill his own needs, or keep his trucks busy. I am by no means saying work for yourself for less then you subbed for. what i am saying is don't be afraid to work for someone else for the same rate you are subbing for.

    If you do a good job for someone else - you get paid
    you do a good job with your name on the door - you get paid but it may bring in more work..