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How to approach my contractor on a account I plow for him?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by profire73, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    Here is the deal. I am a Sub for a company that does quite a bit of plowing. I only have about 4 places that I plow for him and 1/2 dozen or so of my own. One of the places he has me plowing is about a 8 mile drive out in the woods for an assisted living house. I have to go through town to get there so it takes me about 15-20 minutes depending on the day. The job itself only takes me max 10 min. and then I turn around and drive back to town. How do I tell him that it is not worth my trip so we still remain civil?

    Don't get me wrong, I like to plow for him and it is not taking up precious time but 16 miles and 30 minutes for a ten minute job.

    Oh ya, I get paid $38.00/hr to plow for him.

    Any help would be great because I finally found an honest person to help plow for.
  2. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    2 things.

    You are getting robbed at 38 an hour, and he should be paying you sub rate for travel as well.

    Id approach him and tell him good bye and thanks for the memories.
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I agree you are getting raped at $38.00 an hour, and you should be getting paid for travel time as well.
  4. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    I didn't think that $38.00 was that far off for our area but I guess that is why I am learning as I go. This will take some thinking on my part on how I approach him. Thanks for the info and maybe I will search for someone else to do some plowing for.

    There must be a bunch of subs out there getting taken advantage of because one guy was only going to pay me and others $32.00/hr.
  5. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    when you approach him...do it with your hand out and palm up.

    That being said....some works better than no work. I just cant believe the rate is 32 to 38 in Hamilton. Its 55 to 65 to start in the Detroit area.

    38 is more like the wage wede get here using his truck for a good operator.

    More like 30 but you get my point.
  6. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    Yup, I sure do. I am going to do some more looking into the rates in the area or if anyone is close please let me know what you pay your Sub's. I must say that as a sub $38.00/hr is the most I have made. Now I buddy of mine plows up in the Spring Lake area and he is getting $45.00/hr and that is about 25 miles N of me.
  7. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Hah, thats why he has you doing that job, about 3 times cheaper to pay you to do it than for him to go up there and do it LOL.... sorry its not really funny thats too cheap though, i'd be payin a sub with your equipment about $50 and i think thats the going rate down here but most guys don't use subs; however, theres a large concrete/asphalt company that has alot of the biggest accounts around here, factories, malls, etc. and they use a bunch of subs. I don't know what they pay but we're too far from you to make any difference but i'd guess they're around $50 an hour...
  8. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Hi Guys
    I don't where in Michigan you are but here in Oakland Co the going sub rate is anywhere from 50-70 hr. I get $70.00 a hr for my sub work but I have a 05 chevy with a 8.5 Boss and a set of mega scoops. I would stay home for $38.00 a hr, that truck would still be sitting in the driveway.

    Regards Mike
  9. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    So tired of the bashing.

    Include your drive time , what I mean is when you finish plowing one account don't sign off till you get to the next job and so on thats how you get your drive time as for people saying that they would stay home for that price then stay home (obviously all your equipment is paid for so you don't need the work),but if you need the work or more importantly need to pay bills take what you can get to pay your bills it'll get better just do the best job you can and don't listen to that people bashing you for what your getting.
  10. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    Thanks for all the input. I do not take everything said to heart but I do listen and learn from all of you whether it is good or bad. I think I will ask him if he will pay me drive time and see what comes of it. One thing I have always been is reliable and I know that the guy I plowed for last year used me like a cheap ***** and I let him get away with it. I started with two accounts for 2-3 hrs a night and ended up with about 7-8 for 7 hours a night while I am sure he sat at home eating popcorn on his fat a$$,

    The good thing is I have a regular job and keep myself busy 7 days a week but if I am getting the wool pulled over my eyes than that is a different story. I will try and talk with him mono e mono and see where it goes from there. Who knows, maybe I will be looking for work, LOL.
  11. Rickco

    Rickco Member
    Messages: 89

    I think that if you have a full time job and some of your own accounts that you would be better off picking up 2 or 3 more for yourself. I know it's easier said than done but if you are reliable and do good work they will come to you.
    BTW I have a sub that has a Broco with a 7.5 that we use on some of the small,tight resi. drive and I pay $50 hr
  12. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Well good luck profire 73 if you the drive time like i said you should'nt have to talk to him what you might want to talk about is more money per hour and see if he goes for that.
  13. profire73

    profire73 Member
    Messages: 46

    I have thought about picking up some more accounts but I can only plow during the moning & afternoon hours 8am - 3pm so getting accounts that you can plow on those hours are not easy to come by. Not to mention late in the season.
  14. Jpocket

    Jpocket Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    I would leave that 8'6" blade with the mega scoops home for $70.00 per hour. Around here you can get $70 for a 7'6", you could even get a way with a 7' plow for $70.00.
  15. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    We are a per-push contractor.

    Our rates fluctuate depending upon the lot / driveway etc. and the amount of snow, etc. 2-6", then 7-10", 10+".

    We pay our subs 60% of the fee that we charge the accounts. They are not asked to shovel anything but most will touch up a few spots if needed. They can choose to throw salt that we supply and are paid in the same way.

    This comes out to around $45-55.00 per hour on average but some of our better guys with more experience can make $80.00+ if they do everything right.

    This last snow-fall, 3 of our subs averaged to $120.00 an hour. Then again, with a few break downs, etc. Some of the guys were at the $45.00 mark.
  16. john boardman

    john boardman Member
    Messages: 44

    I think I'd worry about quality. "Hurry get it done and go home" and collect the same amount of money as you would by taking your time. That temptation has got to be there.
  17. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I'm movi'n to Michigan! are you kidding me, $70.00 just for subs! I'm only a few hours away and we have a tough time getting $45.00/hr then we sub that out for an average sub rate of $30-35.00/hr. IMO its companies like SYMBIOT or whatever their name is and larger companies that started a price war and everyone became so freaking greedy they started the "lowball snowball" that ruined it for us over the last 10 years. Where I live, it is sports bar central (some private owned and all other's are national chains) and every night of the week these bars are packed for hours and hours. They should be getting top dollar to keep their lots clear but this whole area is saturated with $25-$55.00 parking lots that will hold 50-200 cars plus all the stupid islands to go around. But to give you my opinion on the travel time, YES I think you should be paid travel time. At least around here, every one pretty much gets paid hourly from start to finish.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  18. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    This has been a problem in the past but over the last few years, we've really come into some great subs.

    Perfectionist subs are hard to find but easy to keep if you pay them properly. There is a minimum standard on all lots of course. With detailed push-maps and red areas that require extra care. For the most part, every sub has a history with the lots they plow. All new lots are pushed by me or my boss and we will check up on all the lots at least once a night. I spend a few extra hours running around checking lots. If there is a small problem then it's taken care of. If the problem is large or there is sloppy work then the sub has (2) choices. Fix it before the lot is needed or find another contractor and forget obout getting paid. This is all spelled out very clearly up front. Month of november has me running around with subs to all their lots and going over the push-map, obstacles and red areas (loading docks, special areas, difficult spots, etc.). No suprises. If a sub breaks down, he has 2-3 numbers he can call for help from us. Worst case, I use my flat-bed and tow the truck.

    To this day we haven't lost a sub for sloppy work, etc. Our subs love the money and the support and they produce great money for themselves and us. Never had a sub balk about re-touching a lot and it never happens twice with the same sub.

    MRUSSELL Member
    Messages: 67

    you stated that you do other places for him . if do not do this long drive will you loose the rest of them and if so is it really worth loosing the extra money. if it only takes you 30min total to do the job that why not do it? sure $38.00 is not a lot of money but it's some money, to me i don't understand what the issue is sounds to me you get paid by the hour correct?? so doing that job actually makes you money the longer you drive! i would ask for more dollars per hour than to gust stop doing all of the work. if he will not go up in money then you need to decide to still do it or be prepared to sit at home when its snowing
  20. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Exactly. I dont think this is commision type work if you ask me. Maybe a bonus plan for effeciency of some sort, but yikes.

    This isnt Tru Green work.