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Long time lurker, first time poster. Looking for some real answers...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by fullahead, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. fullahead

    fullahead Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 54

    Hey all, new here.

    First of all, I've always just been a bit of a arm chair/passenger seat fan of plowing snow. I kind of dork out about it...

    So anyway here's my situation. I have a new to me 03' gmc 2500hd 4x4, ext-cab/SB, 8.1l/Allison, 77k mi. Currently it has a boss push plate and wireing harness, no controller or plow. When I negotiated the purchase of the truck I got a fisher plow included (installed) out of the deal. The dealer had a MM1 8' straight blade there but I told him I was in no hurry until fall and would prefer a MM2 8'6". There may still be an oppourtunity for a steel Boss V, but I'm just getting going and really prefer the fisher mounting system for ground clearance in the off-season. ...Long story short I have a Fisher straight blade, probably.

    Main factor of this (plow) purchase was to clear my own drive, I have a truck that can handle it now so why not. Snow removal must be quite timely at my place or we get very bad icing.

    So anyway, I'm a merchant mariner. I work 3weeks on 3weeks off. I don't have any other side businesses. My very close cousin/neighbor has a one-man landscaping/snow removal business and has suggested me subbing for him and we could pick up more accts, If it can all work out. He'd cover it when I'm at sea. keep in mind I have all the time in the world when I'm home.

    So I come here, digging around trying to figure out the insurance thing and it basically seems like there's no real good way to go about this without being one of those "joe blows with a plow" that everybody craps on here. I haven't called my personal insurance group yet, but I plan to soon with some hypothetical questions. Seems like I might need to become an "employee" of his (cousin), which would be fine.

    Is there a way for someone like myself to be able to make a little money on the side with my truck? ...or am I just gonna be the guy that everybody on here hates (I'll see you in the non-commercial section then).

    Searching and stickies seem to point to "no"
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I'm not exactly following the problem. Why can't you get insurance? It's been my experience that finding the necessary insurance is easy. In fact, I believe there are sponsors of this site that are dedicated to insuring guys just like you. Good luck.
  3. fullahead

    fullahead Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 54

    Essentially, the hypothetical problem is the cost of the insurance (as well as other related expences obviously) completely washing out any financial gains I might make with a small time plowing operation, not the actual attainment of the insurance. Due to my scheduel I could only pick up as many accts as my cousin would be able to cover (on top of his own) while I'm at sea. At least, that's the scenario as of right now.

    I get a lot of "what are you worried about?" type comments from people at home who just go at it without even letting their insurance know they have a plow at all. That's too much risk for me to swallow...

    I will check out those sponsors, thanks for that.
  4. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Just having "plow" insurance on your current policy is cheap. Like $50 per month for 6 months cheap, if that. Having a blanketed policy with contractors liability, comp, etc gets pricey.........pricey for what you plan to do.....not really that pricy for those of us who rely on it for a living.

    I assume your cousin has insurance on his company right?
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    My sugestion would be to list your truck as part of your cousins co. and add it as another truck to his co he has insurance for that already and you will be working together? I mean if your going to just go out and do your own thing then i would go the way of making sure your have what you need or just do freinds and family where you would not have to worrie as if it was a stanger. but i think the first part that i said is really the way to go.
  6. fullahead

    fullahead Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 54

    That seems to be the direction that makes the most sense to me as well. Basically seems like -we- need to go to the insurance co and figure this out.
  7. maverjohn

    maverjohn Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    I have progressive insureance, I have full coverage $250.00 deductable with 1/2 mill per clam, For $330.00 for 6mon, only draw back is I'm the only one that can drive the truck when plowing or I'm not coverd.
    If you are not able to jump on to your cousin's ins, then you will need to plan on lot of plowing in your three weeks off to make a profit, lets hpoe the storm gods are on your side when you are home.

    Wellcome to plow site!!
  8. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Just alittle advice from a fellow mainer... the state is really cracking down on the whole employee / subcontractor thing. Which ever way you decide to go, make sure you cya both for liability as well as tax purposes... it can get messy quick..... I think maine.gov has a questionair if your an "employee" or a "subcontractor" to someone else... might want to start there....
    Good Luck!
  9. fullahead

    fullahead Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 54

    Wow, some great advice here guys, I appreciate the warm welcome to the forum. Thanks for the progressive ballpark. Mick, thanks for the heads up on that. I hadn't gotten to the tax part in my thought process yet. I downloaded a brochure that basically said "call all these different agencies to see if they all consider you the same thing (independent contractor or employee) if you want to avoid having to pay back taxes, workers comp etc (this part mostly applies to him, as the business owner). Which is not very cut and dry because, although I'd be pretty plainly operating as an ind contractor (I bring my own equip), not all the agencies might be in agreement.

    I sent my cousin the brochure and he said he's going to take it to his lawyer. Hopefully between them and the insurance group we can get somthing figured out.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  10. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    I would find someone you could trust to run your truck while you are at sea. I can't see how your cousin could take on more work than he can handle by himself since it will snow when you are unavailable.
  11. fullahead

    fullahead Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 54

    Well, he had let the snow removal side of it slack off when his father (my uncle, the original owner of the business) passed a few years ago. Long story short, he has plenty of room for more business in the winter time.

    He also just traded his 3/4ton in on an ext cab dually dump f350, so I get the feeling that he's going to prefer I do a few of his tighter drives when I'm around. That thing is HUGE.

    I'm finally meeting with my insurance person this week to discuss the best route to take from their perspective.