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Getting $65/hr subcontracting

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DesMoines2500, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. DesMoines2500

    DesMoines2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    We were able to get locked into subbing at $65/hr for this season in theDes Moines, IA. area. I think that's still low but i know we'll be getting good hours and paid on time from this company. We're just 2 guys with 2old 7.5' straight blades and were getting $60/hr last season so I'm happy with the rate, but would like to be making $75/hr. Not sure if $75 is reasonable with the equipment we're bringing to the table though, it's reliable but only 7.5' blades.

    On a scale of 1-10, how badly are we getting paid here?
  2. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,994

    If 10 was the worst. I would say you're at a 2. Only considering that you're plowing commercial lots, how big are they? If you're using old 7'5" straight blades you probably aren't moving as much snow as the guys with the extreme Vs. Update your equipment and you'll probably get paid more if you can move more snow in less time.

    YardBros Outdoors
  3. DesMoines2500

    DesMoines2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    2 is good! I do think we've topped out at $65 for the area. I hope to get about 160-180 hours in total this year.

    Yes, it'll all be large box store lots with a few strip malls thrown in. No residential except what we do on the side. Committing to subbing takes so much of the risk and work out that I'm pretty happy with $65 at the moment. Should leave us with some money to upgrade at year end.

    I was thinking about putting buyers prowings on our 7.5' Fisher but if we're getting paid hourly I just don't see the need at the moment, my partner is against it because he doesn't think they do much, but everything I've read is that it's a huge improvement on a 7.5 straight blade.

    We started the company last year and pretty much only broke even after paying ourselves and for repairs so we didn't have much in the equipment budget this off season. We trucks are paid for now and should be a lot more reliable this year with the maintenance we've done. I scan craigslist everyday looking for deals, so next season I hope to have a spreader and another, newer truck with a V blade.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

    UNCLETONY Junior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 19

    5. Congrats on getting your rate up but I do think you are still low. The age of your equipment doesn't matter as much as reliability. If you have two trucks that show up for every storm I believe you are worth more.
  5. DesMoines2500

    DesMoines2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    That's also good to hear, because "I like money". We have ~1.69 trucks that show up every storm. The 1993 F250 and Meyer e60 pump was "flakey" last year. I worked on it's issues all summer and think it'll be a beast this season though.

    I even bondo'd and painted the rust so from 10' it looks decent. And YES, I know this bondo won't last, I was just practicing.



  6. DesMoines2500

    DesMoines2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I'm bored, here's a few more



  7. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Nice job cleaning the trucks up.
    I don't think 10-12k per season is too bad.
    Unfortunately no one is making huge money doing this work. Good money? Yes.
    Keep growing and keep making more.... hopefully.
  8. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,584

    Given your equipment, you're probably about as high as you're going to get subbing for those type of properties. You can make more as a primary contractor, but not until you're more reliable.
  9. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Agreed. I say you're lucking out at that price.
  10. Ne1

    Ne1 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I would say your lucky. I wouldn't pay that for a straight blade. I'm getting guys that have new trucks with v plows for the same money.
  11. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    In Chicago, that would be 57 to 60.
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,398

    So what would an expandable plow get?
  13. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    seems like a great price for the plows you have. last year i was offered 50 per hour for a 9'2 v plow. average around here is about 60 with 8' minimum plows
  14. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    I'm glad some of you guys are getting idiots to beat up their new trucks and v blades for 50-60 an hour.

    DesMoines2500, keep at it. $65 an hour is a good rate for subbing especially if you haven't plowed much. The biggest worry is getting paid which it seems you have taken care of. It doesn't matter if you run a 1975 Chevy or a 2014 Ford. If it isn't reliable you won't make a dime. I'd gladly take a guy with older equipment that shows up every storm over a guy with flashy stuff that shows up sometimes. The buyers wings make a big difference. Takes that 7 1/2 and makes it 9'6" and yes, I use em.Good luck this year.
  15. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    That's an ignorant statement to call them idiots.
  16. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Agreed. There is no reason for saying that.
  17. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Oh ok I guess it would be better to call them lowballers or educationally disadvantaged or some nonsense like that. Everyone on here hates on guys who work for low wages. If you're running your new truck with your new v for $50, I'm sorry but you're not very smart. All of you guys piss and moan about these guys "screwing up the market rate" for your area.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  18. fairrpe86

    fairrpe86 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    That is a good rate for a sub. Here in Denver some guys make that, but they have to have their own insurance and be reliable and what not. A lot of companies don't pay that much and if you are after more than that you better go out and get your own contracts.
  19. DesMoines2500

    DesMoines2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I don't think we could even make money at $50/hr. If we ever do have to take less than $60 I'll likely just sell the trucks at this point.

    We do carry insurance of our own. $1,000,000 in contractor gen liability and then of course insurance on the trucks themselves. Cost us about $1500 for the season last year and we only did about 100 hours of total plowing because it rained almost every week in January instead of snowing here.

    $15/hr insurance
    $10/hr fuel
    $20/hr driver(which is usually us but we have a fill in guy)
    $10/hr repairs and general maintenance
    $10/hr in equipment depreciation

    Cost of doing business for us last year was right at $65/hr. and probably will be again. Insurance will be lower because we'll get closer to 160/hrs. Of course, we're taking the driver's cut much of the time but $20/hr for being on call 24/7 seems right to me too.
  20. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    2 yrs ago we stopped paying anyone hourly.. too many problems with accounting, skimming hours, sitting/eating/talking on phones/idling not plowing etc. with some guys.

    We give a per site price so say its $65 to plow a smaller site. A slow guy takes an hour, a fast guy takes 30 minutes, experience = $100+, lesser experience = $65/hr lol