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How much do/would you pay per hour

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Vaughn Schultz, Aug 21, 2005.


$ per hour

  1. $ 7-10 per hour

    2 vote(s)
  2. $ 11-14 per hour

    12 vote(s)
  3. $ 15-19 per hour

    10 vote(s)
  4. $ 20-24 per hour

    9 vote(s)
  5. 25 + per hour

    12 vote(s)
  1. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565


    How much per hour do/would you pay an employee to plow/salt with your truck. Just looking for a $ per hour.

    Thank you,
    - Eric
  2. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    I pay plow and salter guys 35-45 an hour

    Sidewalk guys 20-25 an hour
  3. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Wow, thats higher than I thought. So I am better finding subs for 60 (going rate in my area) an hour rather than running my truck for 15 bucks (providing you are paying 45 an hour)

    45 just seems really high :confused: But it is what it is :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  4. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    if you have your own trucks there than use them.....but i wouldnt go out and buy an additional truck to push snow that you will not be able to use in the summer.

    Another thing with sub is that that it is hard to find good reliable ones that are willing to really work those long hard days.

    We pay our guys very well b/c all of them our main lawn crew and with no steady income comming in in the winter for them it is hard to keep them a float.

    We might try to implement a salary next year and see if that will work.

    Try to do as much work as you can yourself to safe on labor costs....there are alot of nights where its just a salt night and it gets done snowing at say 11 pm, I will just do everything myself....my salt route takes me about 4 hours with my dump truck and side walks take about 3 hours...so i get done by 6am and everyone is happy....this year might be a differant story b/c we are taking on a lot more work

    Plowing i average about 120-200 an hour depending on truck size and driver skill

    Salting i average 200-350 an hour depending on which rig is out

    sidewalks i average about 80-100 an hour.....there not profitable at all but they have to be done.
  5. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Your talking operator / driver with your equipment?
  6. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Operator of a snow plow
  7. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 771

    what would you charge an hour running a 3/4 ton truck and a straight blade plow or a v plow?
  8. kl0an

    kl0an Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Up here, the goin rate for an operator, whether it be a plow truck or front end loader is around $20/hr. Subs with trucks usually make $50-65 an hour. If you have your own contracts, you make around $100-150 an hour, just depends on how close everything is..
  9. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I suddenly feel really cheap.

    I was planning on paying the 20 year old kid across the street $12.50/hr or so to drive my truck/plow/salter and tell him to take it easy (so as not to tear up equipment, I'd rather pay him more hours...), plus maybe a Tim Horton's allowance and if he can keep from smashing up the truck maybe a season's end bonus.

    I didn't think that was too out of line. I pay for the truck, fuel, insurance, maintenance and repairs already. All he needs to do is show up. Thankfully he has some experience plowing (small plaza with a loader tractor).

  10. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Hey at least you will know were to find him if he doesnt show up lol.
    Will he be covered under your commercial auto policy ? I think my policy is for 30 or over on mine.
  11. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I don't see why not, I'm only 27 myself....
  12. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    12.50 an hour is fine for a day time job. But do you really expect him to get up at 2am for that. The old saying works here too. You get what you pay for.
  13. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Very true, but I'd still like to see what he is capable of before I raise the rate. He drives a farm tractor for a living, so I don't think he is making any more than that (I did the same job a few years back in college for $8/hr) on a regular basis. Being a farmer, for the most part he is unemployed in the winter.

    Funny thing though, he originally offered to drive for me. I told him the hours were crappy and the pay wasn't any better right up front, yet he still seems eager to do it.

    I'll have to talk it out with him soon then, we'll settle on something. I think he has (in typical farm-boy fashion) a lot of varying skills including being able to make mechanical repairs himself.... that being the case he may well be worth a lot more to me.
  14. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Tell him you will give him 2 bonus's for the season, 1 based on performance ( it should improve) and 2 if he makes it to every "callout" . Kinda of an incentive plan if you will.
    If he gets better then his bonus will reflect that. If he makes every event then again he will be rewarded, this gives the incentive to show up when he is thinking on maybe taking a night off if you will. #2 should be predetermined by you and let him know what it is ( dont be too cheap it has to be a good carrot lol) #1 can be based on the season you had and did he improve and make you money.
  15. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Basing your decision on what your going to pay someone on what they may or may not make in regular job is'nt a good strategy in my opinion. Most farm kids i ever meet are real hard workers. But they also don't like to be taking advantage of (who does). Anyway you slice it 12.50 an hour to plow snow is an insult. Not trying to be an ass.
  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    He is a real hard worker from what I can tell--he runs that whole 130 acres more or less by himself (tractorwise).

    I certainly didn't mean that as basing it on it, more just to suggest that he knows driving doesn't pay a lot of money.

    Let me also clarify that it was only a number pulled out of my @ss that I figured was a good starting point. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to see what he can do before I crank up what he makes (one can always pay more retroactively if someone really seems worth it). Plus with bonus pay I really don't think it is out of line, nor an insult, nor taking advantage. That is a hell of a lot more money then I ever made at that age--people just didn't pay that much seven years ago.

    Let me also remind you that this is a real budget, entry level operation. I'm just getting started here and he knows that. I have nothing but older equipment. My 'newest' plow truck is my personal '82. The newest vehicle I own is my '90 S15 beater.

    I don't think that if I can't afford to spoil an employee with a new Super Duty and pay him $50/hr to get his ass out of bed that I shouldn't be in business. If he doesn't like it, he can refuse, or bargain a bit--but I am not going to bust my ass and not turn a profit! After all, who is it that is paying $4 for a gallon of fuel for the truck? People should be glad to have a job, they are really hard to come by here these days. For someone who would otherwise be unemployed all winter, I don't think its a bad deal either.

    If he doesn't want to work for me, he doesn't have to. I'm not forcing anyone. Just remember, HE CAME TO ME. He is also about the fourth person to do so. The only other person I asked what they expected told me he used to get paid $11/hr to drive someone's truck for parking lot work. I figured I would be doing them a favour in comparison.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i know $12.50 sounds low but i pay my shovelers $15.00 per hr
    and the guy in the truck doesnt get cold or wet .id bet you my shovelers would take a $2.50 per hour pay cut to drive around in a warm truck
  18. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Sorry wasn't trying to stir the pot. Nor was i at all suggesting you not make a profit (that would be dumb). Hey if thats the going rate in your area and guys are willing to work for that, then thats the going rate. Good luck, make money and have fun and be safe.
  19. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    maybe in your neck orf the woods plowing is more of an accosional thing but here w plow truck driver is lucky to work 10-15 night in a whole season....and if i want my guys to be able to put food on there familys tables then i have to pay them well for the time they work

    As to the commercial ins.....im only 24 years old and have had business auto since i was 18 so no worrys there
  20. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257


    When are you going to tell them the $12.50/hour is Canadian? LOL