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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I sub and have a couple lots of my own. The contractor I had been doing work for lost quite a bit of work which sucks because they always paid on time and the lots were perfect. I still do a Dr's office for them.

So I signed up with another contractor for some extra cash and the bulk of my income. I've showed up, answered the phone whenever, and embraced the suck.

He's into me for quite a bit of money and I'm getting a queasy feeling so I text him about when payday will be. His response *crickets.* I know exactly what this means. It means nagging which I hate.

There's another chance of snow this weekend. Is it unprofessional to demand a date and/or check before I'll even leave the driveway? I've been hosed more than I care to say thinking it was a lesson to be learned. I think he's running thin on trucks and drivers so I have leverage that way. This seems to be an outbreak of contractors who don't want to pay, but this isn't volunteer work.

"Hey we're going to head out at 2 am."
"So about that pay question you seem to be avoiding, we need to discuss that first before I burn more fuel/wear and tear on my stuff..."

Sounds good? Bulk of my work for 17 years has been subcontracting, and the last three years I've wrote off as money lost. I'm trying to prevent that by being more proactive while I still have leverage.

Or not and i quit, and hand it over to my attorney.

I'm not going in guns blazing, sending some hired goons to his shop, but da**it I want my money!!
 

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When you talked to the new guy about subbing, did you guys discuss pay?
Was it agreed upon?

I see where your coming from, but if nothing was agreed upon before hire, sounds like your just leveraging him in a bad way.
But then again as a sub myself I know where your coming from.
 

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Need more info as diesel said.

Is it unprofessional to demand a date and/or check before I'll even leave the driveway?
It's unprofessional to not pay subs as agreed upon.
 

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Company I sub for is a bit behind on their checks. First time in I think the 6 years I've worked for them. I called them yesterday (wanted to get it taken care of before the storm Friday) and they explained the situation. I don't want to talk about it on the internet, but money is coming.

They were extremely upfront with me, gave me a small amount owed, and told me when I can come up to the office to recieve the rest.

Maybe go talk to him in person. Go with your gut as you talk with him. If he seems full of crap, demand what's owed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've sent my time sheets in tonight for work performed Tuesday also with "did you get my text about when I can expect a check?"

As of right now, no response.

16 years has taught me this has red flags all over it. The only way I'll do any more plowing is to write up a very specific contract as an amendment to pay schedule. Until that is signed, the accounts will not be serviced by me. Its the only leverage I have before the end of the season and I'll sit at home before working for nothing.

Need more info as diesel said.

It's unprofessional to not pay subs as agreed upon.
I agree with you 100% Mark. It is unprofessional to not pay a sub or at least reply.

Currently sitting at more than 30 days but not 60. I wouldn't be overly nervous if there was back and forth communication but there's zilch.
 

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I've been subbing for just over 20 years, I don't think you're being unreasonable in any of your thoughts. Like you said, a little communication goes a long way. A few moments for them to explain to you what's going on financially costs them nothing........
 

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I've sent my time sheets in tonight for work performed Tuesday also with "did you get my text about when I can expect a check?"

As of right now, no response.

16 years has taught me this has red flags all over it. The only way I'll do any more plowing is to write up a very specific contract as an amendment to pay schedule. Until that is signed, the accounts will not be serviced by me. Its the only leverage I have before the end of the season and I'll sit at home before working for nothing.

I agree with you 100% Mark. It is unprofessional to not pay a sub or at least reply.

Currently sitting at more than 30 days but not 60. I wouldn't be overly nervous if there was back and forth communication but there's zilch.
Sounds like you need to part ways with this guy as soon as your paid up....I would continue to "annoy him" on when your getting paid...he may pay you quicker just to get you to leave him alone
 

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I've been subbing for just over 20 years, I don't think you're being unreasonable in any of your thoughts. Like you said, a little communication goes a long way. A few moments for them to explain to you what's going on financially costs them nothing........
I thought you were non-union???
 

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When you talked to the new guy about subbing, did you guys discuss pay?
Was it agreed upon?

I see where your coming from, but if nothing was agreed upon before hire, sounds like your just leveraging him in a bad way.
But then again as a sub myself I know where your coming from.
Do you think the prime contractor thought he was doing it for free?
I thought he could pay him whenever? Maybe just wait til the season was over?

I mean this goes both ways.
The guy knows he's got to pay for it.

Thing is if you don't got a bunch of Walmart's etc, they take a while to pay themselves.

Most companies aren't doing the work for the pay it should be done for anymore due to "tidy bowl" bidding
So there's no left over residual money
It's all hand to mouth

So no one has your money until they get paid.
Then the check has to clear
Etc etc

So if it's been over 30 days and you're in mid season (ie they're not waiting for the first check of the season to arrive)
Maybe get antsy

Also most of those contracts get paid by the month
So if you've had one of those months with five or 6 pushes in a single month ... it may take 2 months for you to get fully paid as a sub

It's a cash flow thing.

It would work exactly the same way if it was your contract and you're not a sub...
the contract doesn't care you've got 200 hours pushing this month , it pays the same rate every month.

This is one of the reasons dip holes shouldn't be chewing down the bids "just to get them"
If you can't get the contracts good, don't push snow... there's clearly enough companies to cover the need.

"But I want to do it too!"
I guess I never understood that
 

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Currently sitting at more than 30 days but not 60. I wouldn't be overly nervous if there was back and forth communication but there's zilch.
IMO
30 days is normal
45 days should be a cut off
60 days take action

Like I said above ... many contracts pay monthly
So you might not get fully caught up from a busy month until 60-90 days out.
But you should get some payment to keep the ball rolling.

The pinch usually comes when a contractor had gotten too greedy by collecting too many "monthlies" and then they actually get a bunch of snow on a short period of time.

Ideally you balance x number of monthlies, y number of per pushes and z number of per inch accounts to get a healthy balance and if a contract comes out for bid but the job doesn't fit your portfolio... let it pass.

But more and more as the nationals take over the monthly thing catches on and there's too many monthlies out there.
Because the nationals take the cream off the top and drive the prices down, there's no actual meat left on the bones for an abi e average month.
Sometimes you're lucky if you can even average out for a year.
That's why monthlies that go out to bid every single year really should be avoided.
You need 3-5 to make sure the average is in your favor.
Unfortunately as a sub, there's no way of knowing a new contractor you've hooked up with has a healthy balance of contracts.
 

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Remember that your window to lien is only 90 days...

Don’t drag it out to long if you don’t think you will get paid.

I agree texts are easy to ignore. You need to get confrontational.

Sounds like he does not have the capital to keep his good subs paid while he waits for his money... I would recommend that you get paid and loose his number. People that avoid paying you once, will always avoid paying you.
 

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Remember that your window to lien is only 90 days...

Don't drag it out to long if you don't think you will get paid.

I agree texts are easy to ignore. You need to get confrontational.

Sounds like he does not have the capital to keep his good subs paid while he waits for his money... I would recommend that you get paid and loose his number. People that avoid paying you once, will always avoid paying you.
This is true

I don't really know anyone who wouldn't pick up another sub (unless it's Sanford n son with 7 foot suburbanite plows)
It's not like you can't call another contractor and say "sub available" and get another gig quick , at least in my experience ..
 

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Do you think the prime contractor thought he was doing it for free?
I thought he could pay him whenever? Maybe just wait til the season was over?

I mean this goes both ways.
The guy knows he's got to pay for it.

Thing is if you don't got a bunch of Walmart's etc, they take a while to pay themselves.

Most companies aren't doing the work for the pay it should be done for anymore due to "tidy bowl" bidding
So there's no left over residual money
It's all hand to mouth

So no one has your money until they get paid.
Then the check has to clear
Etc etc

So if it's been over 30 days and you're in mid season (ie they're not waiting for the first check of the season to arrive)
Maybe get antsy

Also most of those contracts get paid by the month
So if you've had one of those months with five or 6 pushes in a single month ... it may take 2 months for you to get fully paid as a sub

It's a cash flow thing.

It would work exactly the same way if it was your contract and you're not a sub...
the contract doesn't care you've got 200 hours pushing this month , it pays the same rate every month.

This is one of the reasons dip holes shouldn't be chewing down the bids "just to get them"
If you can't get the contracts good, don't push snow... there's clearly enough companies to cover the need.

"But I want to do it too!"
I guess I never understood that
I see nothing in your post, that's a valid excuse for a general to not pay a sub in 30 days or less.
 

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I see nothing in your post, that's a valid excuse for a general to not pay a sub in 30 days or less.
Unless there's an agreement stating so.

I have a few customers that consistently pay 45-60..but 30 days is pretty standard. If I have a sub work on those 45-60 payout jobs, the sub still gets paid in 30.

generals need to have working capitol to handle paying bills on jobs they haven't been paid in full for yet.
 

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Remember that your window to lien is only 90 days...

Don't drag it out to long if you don't think you will get paid.

I agree texts are easy to ignore. You need to get confrontational.

Sounds like he does not have the capital to keep his good subs paid while he waits for his money... I would recommend that you get paid and loose his number. People that avoid paying you once, will always avoid paying you.
Lien might not be an option. OP, check your state's lien laws. They may not allow liens for maintenance, like they do for capital improvements.
Either way, if he doesn't respond, you may want to contact the property owners, or property managers before it's too late. If they don't owe him money, there's nothing they can do. If they owe him money, that could be used for leverage.
 

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I don't get it...I can't get plowing done without my loader subs. I don't pay them, they don't show up, I don't have happy customers for long and then no customers.

It's no different than employees. It's not the sub's fault you don't have the capital to pay them for the work they performed.

BTW, I have 3 or 4 per push accounts. Zero per inch, a handful of seasonals and the rest are seasonals without salt apps. Has nothing to do with what type of contracts one has and everything to do with managing cash flow and not overextending one's self.

Last year we were front loaded on snow...tons of labor, fuel and material before we started getting cash in from some of our seasonals. In fact, we were upside down signficantly on several. Everyone still got paid.
 
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