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Getting hired as a sub

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by royalrooter77, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. royalrooter77

    royalrooter77 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    So from what I've read on these forums the general consensus on getting experience before starting your own company is to work as a sub.

    I checked craigslist and the two listings in my area asked for 3 and 5 years plowing experience. Not sure what kind of companies these are if their looking to hire partway though the winter. But I have zero experience.

    So my question is how do you find a good company to sub for and what is the preferred arrangements? As a sub are you under the bosses insurance policy or your own? Do you get paid at the time of the event or monthly etc. Also what is the best way to get on with a good strong local company, the CL route, talking to guys in parking lots or is there a better way?

    When I do begin plowing I really am not interested in working for some hack, but a professional company I do not have to chase for my payment, but am also not interested in working for a national company either.

    Sorry for all the questions, I've been lurking for awhile and am getting idea's for starting a small company in a couple years as my "real" job winds down. I'm located in Connecticut.
  2. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,481

    First off, do you currently have a plow and truck? If so, I would personally just finish this year out on my family and friend's driveways etc... since you stated that you currently have zero experience. Get familiar with your plow and different plowing techniques. IE: windrowing, stacking, etc. Then next year try to get on as a sub for somebody. I would just be honest with them and tell them that you have limited experience. They may take you on at a lower rate of pay than normal assuming that you will not be as fast or efficient as some of their veterans. I found my contractor through Craig's List, not sure how some of the other guys on here have done it. You could ask guys in your community that are plowing who they work for (if not self-employed) and what they have to say about their contractors. Most companies that hire you will require you to have plowing insurance on your vehicle as well as a General Liability plowing policy with a minimum of 1 million coverage. Not sure how much that would cost you where you live, but here mine costs me 750.00 a year. DON'T BE THE UNINSURED GUY plowing out there! Some companies also require you to carry workman's comp. insurance while others will let you fall under their "umbrella" for a couple of bucks less per hour on your pay. Again, this all may be different in CT vs. here in Illinois where I live.

    Also, what is your "regular job"? Are you available from 11-1 through 3-31 24/7? Many companies require this. Mine doesn't as I made it clear to them from the beginning that I will do my best to be there when they need me as much as possible, but due to having a normal 9-5 I can't always guarantee it.
  3. mrplowpa

    mrplowpa Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 19


    I just found a good company to sub for this year.... I went the craigslist route, but it took a few tries. I contacted some in the fall and waited until I heard back from someone who seemed responsible. Met with him, he showed me around the lots he needed done, and I made sure to 'interview' him to make sure he was indeed responsible.... asking him what his procedures were for keeping logs of work, how many lots he had, how often he dealt with liability issues, why he was looking for more subs etc.... He clears his lots meticulously and has separate salt trucks that come by after everything is piled up.

    After that convo I felt very good about working for him and it has worked out great this year. As a sub, I have my own liability insurance and he required me to send a certificate of that from my carrier to him to have on file. After each event I submit log sheets for his documentation, then I bill him for the hours that I worked and he cuts me a check.

    Definitely don't just jump on the first person who responds.... you are right it isn't worth working for some hack. There is a lot to snow removal.... I wanted to get involved and I think this was the perfect way.

    good luck!
  4. royalrooter77

    royalrooter77 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the quick reply guys. You both have cleared up the insurance question for me. Knowing I need similar coverage as a sub as I would a small business owner in the industry just means I'll get it sooner. If I do this I want to be legit, taxes paid, insurance, licenses etc.

    Harley I currently work a 3-11 shift, with rotating days off for a Gov't agency. My schedule is flexible and whenever the governor shuts down the state agencies I get the day off. I currently have a 3/4 ton truck for the plow. I cant go any larger due to weight restrictions on a parkway I drive on regularly.

    I'm an ultra planner and research things to death before jumping into something. The biggest thing that is really holding me back right now are my kids schedule, but as they become more independent and I work less and less I plan on doing some plowing for a change of pace and to keep me busy. Its good to know CL is an option to find a decent company to sub for.