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How do you feel about being a subcontractor?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bruce@ji, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Bruce@ji

    Bruce@ji Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    What's the pro's and cons about working as a subcontractor for a larger company. What kinds of arrangements work best? I would be using my equipment. What comes first your own accounts or the large guy's???
    Insurance, wear and tear, liability, fuel??? Any thoughts.
  2. Doc_77

    Doc_77 Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    i only do sub contract work. i get paid less but i don't have to do any thing except plow snow.
    i don't have to Chase down customers for the money they owe , i don't have to deal with people bitching about this or that.
    i don't have to worry about damaging any thing
    < Snow Systems will pay for it if i did . >
    i also get to work more hours then if i was doing driveways or small lot's on my own.
    i guess i like sub contracting better because it's just a hell of a lot easier !
  3. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    Subcontracting ?

    Subcontracting is not a bad thing if the contractor you work for is not trying to get something for nothing.

    There are some area management companies that have been less than fair to there subcontractors. Look on this site for some of the threads that talk of these people.

    There is a lot of talk of how SMG defaulted on payments to snow plow subcontractors. Look on ************.com and see what they have to say about some of these area management companies. Talk to some of the subcontractors that work for the company you want to sign on with.

    Good luck.
  4. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I think that working as a sub is an ok way to go. I work as a sub. I get an hourly rate plus fuel. Should I encounter any major problems directly related to snow plowing those are also covered. The positives are that I get paid regardless of the deadbeats that hold out. I never have to get out of my truck. Just make a call to see where I go next on the route. I don't have near the liability. And should something get damaged. I don't have to pay to fix it. The down side is that I dont think you make as much as a sub. But, you are paid for every hour you work. Things seem to be working out well this year. Assuming that the season finishes out the way it has been going I will sub for the company I work for this year again.
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have never worked as a sub, but was talking with someone a few years ago about it- my issues were he didn't want to pay enough- $12/hour plus fuel isn't even worth my time for plowing driveways and he wanted his route to come first then I could do my customers. Make sure your getting your priorities straight with him- if you have your own customers either they need to be ok with being done later or arrainge with the contractor that you'll do yours first and make sure you're being paid enough- you have to cover maintenance and wear and tear on your equipment plus your time. In his truck for $12/hour plus fuel I would have done it after my route was finished just for the hell of it.
  6. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I agree that you have to make sure you are being paid enough. There is quite a bit of overhead in running one vehicle. I don't see how guys can sub for less then $50 an hour. And I think thats cheap if you are using your own equipment.
  7. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    If the pay is good AND you get work every storm then it is very good. Remember it is the combination that makes it really beneficial. After all, he could say he pays you 100/hr but if you only get two hours per storm you will be losing. You need to make a good hourly wage (although I can argue you are not a "sub-contractor" if you are being paid hourly) and have an agreemtn on hours per storm. By having this you can find out just how much you are going to make versus how much you are going to spend.

    Me, I enjoy contracting my truck out. Working with this guy for a few years, pay is good, never complains if I need a break or stretch, I get paid and don't have to worry about the liablity issues (to a certain standpoint..I'm still insured myself), billing, phone calls, complaints, quotes, etc...
  8. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    I have been subbing for the same guy for 9 years, I get my pay 2-3 days after it finishes snowing, only time its longer is if we get back to back plowing, then he pays me at once. As long as it snows 2" I can expect 8-10 hours of plowing, which is fine for me because I have a full time job.

    pays me cash
    pays me to take breaks
    tells me to plow nice and slow so I dont break anything
    tells me he likes the attention to detail when I plow and to not worry about how long it takes, just to keep doing a good job.

    one winter we only plowed once because it only snowed once and he paid me $400 to cover any work I might have done to my truck to prepare for the winter.
    I dont have to do billing, dont get out of the truck, dont chase down people for payment, dont have to listen to complaints, dont have to worry if my truck goes down to get someone to handle my work, and more improtantly- I dont have to get dragged into court if there is a lawsuit.
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    I wish that guy was around here! I'd be willing to sub to a guy like that.
    He!! I think i'd even get rid of my residentials for that. :waving:
  10. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    he gives me $65 an hour cash, town is paying $50 I believe for subs and the airport is paying $55 if im not mistaken, but they will 1099 you for your pay and you pay taxes. Airport gives alot of hours though, anyone plow airports?
  11. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    Your kidding right? I wouldnt post stuff like that- a call to the IRS with your IP and someone could collect a reward.... Ive got to check and see how much it's up to :redbounce .
    All of us tax payers appreciate the free ride you are taking, and the guy you work for is an idiot paying out 65 an hour cash, which tells me he's getting cash, and milking his customers as much as he can appearantly. Everyone in the snow industry complains about operations such as you describe. You have insulted everyone here it seems.

    Your going to be dissappointed if you ever have to work for a real business- that 65 an hour tax free is close to 100 hour taxed.

    Sorry stuff like this is rediculous, both the content, and someone posting it.

    LINY Rob, dont take this the wrong way, in the spirit of informing and helping, what you are doing is immoral, illegal, and could get you in a heap of trouble, both from the law, and if anything should ever happen you will have zero protection from your "contractor", you and your family could be at risk.

    On topic - subbing is good for some, little headaches- no customer dealings, and no bill collection- you work, the checks come, the 1099 shows up in Jan, you are done. None of the benefits of being a prime contractor, none of the headaches.

    If this is inappropriate then mods go ahead and by all means delete it.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    I worked for Aero Snow Removal from 1996-2001 at Kennedy, then from 2001-2005 at Newark. I found out this year I was not properly insured. The money was decent, the work was easy, I got fed every few hours and usually got my tank filled up before I was done. Payment took about six weeks. Thing is NOBODY will insure you if you work there. I called them to get assistance and couldn't get an answer. Then we had the last (and only real) storm.....NO PHONE CALL TO COME IN. I think they realized I was on to them. It's a shame because I REALLY ENJOYED WORKING THERE. I made lots of friends, seemed to get a steady assignment, but I often think what would have happened if I hit a plane? I almost did once after working 23 hours and getting bleary eyed. So for now, my brand new truck may go into early semi-retirement. :sleeping:
  13. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I am a contractor, but also sub contracted for many years before be coming a contractor.

    JMO: Summed up the contractor bears almost all the responsibility and risk. Handles administrative and customer relations. May or may not do some of the actual physical work. Is entitled to greater monetary rewards because of all these things for his efforts. A contractor will reap the most financial rewards the more subs he has working for him.

    The sub-contractor does the physical part of the job according to the contractors specifications. Has less responsibility and risk, therefore does not receive the same monetary compensation as the contractor.

    There are many factors that can and will determine whether being a contractor or a sub is right for you.

    My subs make about 45-50% of what I bill. Most of the time I have 3 subs working for me, besides my own 3 trucks. On occasion, I have had as many as 7 subs working for me. I pay all my subs by check and they all receive 1099's at the end of the year. How they claim their income after that is up to them, but I keep it on the up and up on my end.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    I think many of you guys don't understand this: IF YOU OWN YOUR TRUCK AND YOU GET SUED YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER COMMERCIAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WHICH COVERS SNOW REMOVAL! No matter what you think, if the contractor says you are covered by his insurance, I hope you read the fine print. It may also say the coverage is for their benefit. That's OK if THEY get sued, but...if YOU get sued, be aware YOU are liable. That's why in NY you can't LEASE a car anymore. The NY Carriage law says whoever owns the vehicle is ultimately liable. I don't know about other states but try tangling with a lawyer in court. They know how to talk and how to wear you down. I don't have a law degree so I'm not privy to their Mumbo-Jumbo. I have too much to lose at this point in my life. I'm not interested in a partner on my house!
  15. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    im going back to that next season just turn arounds roads pkg lot good cash plus fuel
  16. GoSnow

    GoSnow Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    $200 per hour plowing driveways.I would never sub.$2000-$3000 for 10-12 hours.I'm good! :bluebounc :bluebounc payup
  17. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    it looks like he IS paying taxes. Gotta read the whole post.

  18. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Simmer down there Stevie! :nono:

    He said he's getting paid $65/hr cash. He said nothing about it being TAX FREE, UNDER THE TABLE, ETC. Cash is cash, same as a check. Your assuming way too much to blast him like that.

    Back on track:

    Subbing is great for many guys. For me, holding my own contracts has proved much more rewarding with far less work (hours). Sure, I have to send out contracts, file them, send out bills, etc.... But when you have the ability to make 4x's the hourly rate I was talking about above, the hassles of holding your own contracts seem very minor payup
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Um, you really need to A) read the whole post and B) learn what the tax laws are. Acompany or individual is legally allowed to pay an individual up to $500 per year untaxed, once the amount reaches $500.01 a 1099 must be filed by the payer or the Sub must be put on payroll to have taxes paid.

  20. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    Maybe I am assuming too much, but the way he wrote it I dont think so. Maybe you are assuming too much NOT to "blast" him ?
    He compared the $65 cash to the town and the airport work and saying that the airport and the town would 1099 you and make you pay taxes. That gives me the impression that his cash was under the table, and he doesnt report it. I took what he wrote and his comparison and made comments about them.
    If he takes cash for work and doesnt report it- he screws you and I. Our tax burden increases, I just wanted to point it out to everyone who reads this thread.

    What ever the case, my points about protection are valid and posted more for those reading this thread thinking of subbing than anything else.