How much should I pay my helper???


Junior Member
This last storm in Kansas City I hired a helper to assist me in getting all my driveways done. All he did was operate my snowblower and I drove him around in my truck to each driveway. I plowed with my tractor and he did the sidewalks.

The snowblower is a very heavy full size model and the person that assisted me is already fulltime employed. This was just extra money for him. I paid him $15 an hour and was curious if that is on the high or low side of the norm.

Thanks, Ken.


Junior Member
Seems a little steep to me. Is this under the table? He is using your equipment, he is just an employee with nothing invested in the company. If it was me, I would try to find some neighborhood kid that would snowblow all day for 6 bucks an hour and love every minute of it.

It's all about money!

1st impressions

Junior Member
My average pay for summer help is $9.00-10.00/hr. My feeling
is that you need to create an incentive for this worker to
be on call 24/7 (especially when he is getting called out at
3:00a.m.) Extra $5.00/hr seems like a small price to pay if they are dependable.

Just my 2 cents!


Senior Member
Our hourly employees receive $12/hr for snow removal, whether they're shoveling, snow-blowing, operating an atv, or spreading salt. Temporary help, also receives 12/hr. Salaried employees get screwed except at nights and weekends when we receive somewhere around 10-12 an hour on top of our reg. paycheck.


speaking as someone who got into snow removal by running somone elses snow blower, i was paid 10 an hour flat rate. I feel like your rate is definitly fair to you andd your employee, since he is most likely working because he wants extra money you have to pay him enough so he doesn't get sick of being out at all hours in inclement weather. after 50 plus hours in one storm using a blower, garden tractor with blade and leading the side walk crew, I decided it was to to pack it in and go to work for my self for 65-150 dollers an hour for my truck and v-plow instead of working fo someone else. so In short you sould like the kind of person I wished I had been working for. I pay shovelers that help me 15 an hour just to run an 18 insh scoop shovel and push a small salt spreader.


One guy I plow for starts shovelers at $18.00 in Overland Park, Ks. Your rate is not out of line.


What time you start, how long you work, temp etc.

When snow has been in Overland Park, the temp can get pretty cold as it has in the past.

If you want to plow some lots send me an email, I'll see what I can do for you?


Mark Oomkes

PlowSite Fanatic
Grand Rapids, MI
Maybe I'm lazy or soft or both, but I wouldn't get out of bed for anything less than $15/hr to do walks. Crappy weather, rotten time of the day, etc. And keeping a good employee. Not out of line for our area, especially with our unemployment rate.

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
I must be the craziest of all. I paid my helper $10 per house, and $20 per commercial account. One commercial he got $50 for. Seems steep, but in 5 years, he never missed a storm, no matter what time, or what day. No matter what the conditions were, he did his job. Keep in mind the prices in my market are high compared to many other markets. Also keep in mind, he has been a friend for 20 yrs +, and we were a "2 man show". I never had to tell him to go back over anything, and knew he would work diligently when unsupervised. I wish I still had him, but he got a job that requires him to work for a competitor during the winter months. It must be a real jab to the competition when he would be out there with one of my jackets with my logo on it! And the competition pays him straight time, hourly. Needless to say, much less for his efforts than when he worked for me.

Nothing motivates workers more than money! Think about it....



Chuck you are not as high as me.
I pay my helper $20/hr from start to finish.
He shovels steps at appts we do uses a blower for walks and at residentials he shovels in front of garages and an occassional walk to door. He gets a few breaks at a couple of commercial jobs that don't require shoveling. He never complains and is always ready to go. If I page him at 3 am and he doesn't respond I go nock at his bedroom window and he is ready in 15 min. Try and find another 18 yr old like him. There aren't many out there, got to treat them good. I also by coffee, soda and food for him and when I collect from Domino's I get a free Pizza. If your market can afford it pay your workers well it will reward you. Bill works his but off for the good pay he gets and I get paid well in return.
i pay my sidewalk crew $20.00 per man hour which might seem a little high, but they are always ready to go 24/7 and thats what I need. I know i wouldnt get up at 3 am for $10.00 per hour.

BRL - Veteran
Somerset, NJ
Ditto Chuck, Chip & Earth Works. Shoveling sucks. I pay $20.00hr and if the storm is a big, or heavy one I give them more. I make money plowing & I can't stand shoveling & I don't really have time to stop & do it anymore. So whatever money is budgeted in the contract goes to my shovelers as long as they do the job right & I don't have to do it. The incentive makes them be available whenever needed because they know the white stuff = green.


We pay high school kids $10/hour (when school is canceled or weekends) and our plow guys make $13 to $15 per hour when they are on the walks.

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
I hired a guy earlier in the season for 10, some clown offered him 12 right in front of me so I gave him a raise on the spot to 15 but he's always there when I call him and works hard, never wants to stop for a break (brings his own eats).


Senior Member
Albany NY
I pay my helpers 10/hour plus breakfast coffe soda etc. I have one guy who realy works hard I give him something extra but how much can they expect to make they only work a 30 minuite hour. The rest of the time they are siting in the truck watching the driver plow.

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