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How to Pay your help

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    Need to ask you guys on how you pay your help. I signed on 3 very large accounts this year, with my 2 trucks on bit off more than i could chew, i could do it but it would take some time. A friend of mine has a truck, and has 0 accounts, and would only work for me. What do you think would be a fair price in Southeast Michigan to pay this guy? Would i pay him hourly on sight, or drive time to next job sight. Looking for any help possible before the season. My friend also has little experience pushing snow.......
  2. customers_snow

    customers_snow Member
    from 48843
    Messages: 38

    What is very large to you? What size lots?
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    We pay by the hour. Once they start they get paid till they are done.
    Is he paying his own gas? If he is then I am guessing in the $50 an hour range. Little experience would make me want to pay less depending.on performance.
  4. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    I would pay by the site if you pay by the hour he mite take his time and cost you money.
  5. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    as a sub i get paid form the time i start plowing til the time i finish plowing(if were local,,, if not i get paid from when we leave the shop),,,,,, and you should take your time driving from site to site because there will be snow on the ground and your truck does no good wrapped in a tree or sitting in a ditch
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  6. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I pay by the hour,from the time they arrive on site at the 1st location until they are done with the route. Experianced will get $60 hr less experianced $50. They must have liability insurance also.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    In my truck, I'm paying drivers $25 per hour.

    In their truck, I'm paying $75 per hour.

    I figure a truck is worth $50 per hour with an 8' V blade.

    I charge $125 per hour.

    I'll have 3 of my own trucks running, and 6 lots (so far) subbed.

    I have 40 +/- bank / small strip mall / gas station accounts.
  8. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Depends on the account. If customer is billed hourly then they are paid hourly. If job is billed per plow then they receive a percentage of the invoiced amount. Usually close what they are paid, but I have a guy that has plowed for me as a sub for years and he can do very well for himself on flat rate accounts. I try to give a tight route for him, and he is always willing to chip in on other accounts to help us finish if he finishes the route before we are done. A new guy with little experience on the other hand, you might think hard before turning him loose hourly. I would think hard before turning him loose at all. Make sure you double check his work before you call it a night.
  9. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I would first ask him what his thoughts are. He could be thinking the 80-90 range, which would disqualify him IMO. What you are describing would put him in the 50-55 range to start out. Tag team with him so you can mentor, correct and monitor his speed and quality. Gage his performance and improvements then increase his hourly rate accordingly.

    As mentioned before require him to maintain at least general liability. I'm going to assume he doesn't have any. If thats the case talk to your insurance carrier....you may be able to add him under your umbrella for a small penalty.
  10. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    Thanks for all the help on this one....I will start him off at 50.00 hr.When he shows til the end...I will stay with him on this so i can see on how he works out...Again thanks
  11. carl b

    carl b PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,330

    don't forget the year end bonus
  12. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I have no idea how you people can quote this guy a price without knowing a thing about the driver or his truck.
    S & A: What year make and model of truck. Gas or Diesel. Kind, and Size of plow
    Age of driver, experience plowing, and what his experience is. Knowledge of the area. Mechanical abilities. Willingness to help others and conform to company policy.
    It must be nice to work for some of you other guys who just shoot out number of $50 per hour or more with absolutely no basis. You dont know if this guy is running an International 4900 with a 10' blade and 250 gallon calcium tank, or a ford explorer with 7' plow.
  13. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    You're right. But at the same time, 90% of the people here are running either a 1/2 ton truck or 3/4 ton, with either a 7.5 or 8' straight or V plow.

    THAT would be why you get the basic general pricing.

    Obviously if the guy is going to be driving a Dodge Dakota with 6' blade, he isn't going to get as much as a guy with a 3/4 ton with 8' v-blade.

    However, since the original poster didn't make any special comments, we're all going to "assume' a general truck setup like I started out with.
  14. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    So what do we "assume" the driver has for qualifications and experience? Do we just take the PlowSite average, or is there a better method?
  15. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    We assume that the original poster is going to take all of the answers here and figure out the price he should pay.

    None of us are going to be able to give him an exact price, since none of us know exactly what he's charging to begin with, nor know what the original poster wants for a profit margin.

    We can at least get him in the ball park, so he can then come up with somewhat of a more educated price, rather than just throw some number out there.

    I charge $125 per hour, but there are guys on here that cannot charge more than $65 - 70 per hour for a truck with an 8' V-blade. There are other guys that wouldn't get out of bed if they were only getting $125 per hour for a truck with an 8' blade.

    We would have to know ENTIRELY too much more information in order to give the original poster THE exact price to pay, and even then, we are not in the original poster's head.
  16. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    I'd give my right xxx to get $125 an hour. Around here we struggle with $65 and most subs make about $35 to $40 (their truck and gas). But our houses cost us 1/5 what you guys pay...everything is relative to what standard rates are for each area. I'm thinking S & A has got a lot of good info to make his decision! NOTE: I'm going to go cry myself to bed thinking about that $125 figure!
  17. PaulSmith

    PaulSmith Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I see you got this thread back on track.....:drinkup:

    How much do you pay me/
    would that be above the board or under the table?

    When I plowed for sno he paid $35hr, then he paid us per lot if you plowed it alone.
    Now all I do is spread some salt and drop the plow if the entrance needs to be opened up.
    We'll talk about $$$ it's going to cost more this year, you know salt and everything.

    He does like his lots to look nice and neat.:dizzy: can you say anal.

    I think most of you take him way to seriously, most do. I did, I told him to F-off one night, he just bust out laughing at me and agreed he was sooooo what....
    lol I got a raise out of it.
    He really does have a good sense of humor or I would have been fired a long time ago.

    Sno, I have to get off the kids computer I'll call ya soon....:waving:
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
    SnoFarmer likes this.
  18. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    This guy has maybe 1/2 hr experience in plowing...Drive a F-350 with a V-Blade and gas and he will only be working for me under my ins.....Yr of the truck 2000..Driver age 45..I will also be filling his truck with gas he will be only be pushing no salting
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  19. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    The two guys I have in my trucks this year have about the same experience.

    I've been proactive with producing handbooks that will be in all trucks with satellite photos of the properties, with areas highlighted on where to pile the snow.

    I've already contacted my customers to tell them that the first 1-2 storms are always a little tentative, with changes in scheduling, drivers, etc., and if there's snow where it shouldn't be, that we'll come around with the tractor and move it, no big deal.

    I'm paying each driver $25 per hour, and they have to do the walks.

    One is 18 (very mature 18) and the other is 42. Both have been working the lawn care biz with me since I broke my foot in August, and know the properties.

    Again, now it's all relative on what you're getting paid.

    Just like Grampa said, he can't imagine getting $125 per hour. If you're only getting $75 per hour to plow, no way are you going to pay a sub $70 per hour.

    If he turns out to be good, and you're one of the guys that can charge out at $150 per hour, then you might want to pay him $100 per hour.
  20. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Where in the Midwest are you?

    For what it's worth, most guys that charge by the hour, charge around $75 per hour.

    The school district went out for bid, and the company that got it is going to charge $60 per hour for a truck, skidsteer, dump truck, loader, whatever, $60 per hour per piece of equipment.

    I bid all my properties on a flat rate, and use $125 per hour as a base.