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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by LI Brian, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. LI Brian

    LI Brian Guest
    Messages: 0

    I know that this topic has been discussed before, but I would like to hear peoples opinions on subcontractors. Some people feel that they are the worst and some people feel that they wouldn't survive without them. Maybe some of you have changed your minds since the last time it was discussed. Also why do some of you subcontract opposed to doing your own work. Personally I subcontract not because I am afraid of the responsibility, But I do it as a side buisness because I am a shop teacher, and also have a contracting buisness that keeps me pretty busy.
  2. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I've touched on this subject in other posts, this will be my first season plowing "for hire" and I have decided to work as a subcontractor.

    Since I have a full-time job, and my hours can be open-ended sometimes (most of the time, I'm either doing mobile welding/fabricating or running our boom truck) as well, I felt that this would make it difficult to provide the level of service customers expect/deserve. As a sub, the days/times I am available can be scheduled and planned around.

    Plus I don't have much experience on the operating a business end of things, the sub route seemed to make more sense here as well.

    So for myself, being a subcontractor seemed to be the best approach to take at my present "entry level" into the snow biz.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I have no choice in the matter, if I didn't sub out my work I would take in about 1/3 of what I'm currently earning. It's just myself and my father so two trucks (plus rented equipment) just isn't going to get the job done.

    My offseason work doesn't require me to have 10 trucks ( painting contractor), so It would take me forever to pay off my equipment since it would only be used for snowplowing. This is when subs can, and do save the day. Also the whole employee thing gets involved with me buying equipment and hiring out drivers.

    Personaly if anybody isn't sure about the commitment they want to make that this industry requires they should first work as a subcontractor. You will get at least an idea as to whats involved with this line of work.

    The guy with the pickup who's "just looking to make a little side money" is the backbone of the industry (at least around here) and if treated fairly is the best way to grow your company. IMHO.

    Sorry for the long post :eek:
  4. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    We use subcontractors.

    We use a LOT of subcontractors.

    Can't afford the capital expenditure to use all of our own equipment.

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i also subcontract..i see it as one of the few ways to grow without the initial cost of equipment.. my trucks do all of the salting and a bit of plowing while my subs do much of the plowing
  6. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I'm a one truck operation (general contractor full time) and do just res. drives for myself. I lined up 20 of them last year and made out pretty well. I averaged almost triple of what I would have made as a sub. Although res drives can be a big PIA, they don't require as much of a commitment as commercial work. I have had a 100% resigning rate this year with the customers I chose to re-sign and it feels damn good telling the the real PIA that I don't care to provide service to them this year. I have gotten alot of referal work from my current customers so I quess I did something right last year. There is some extra work involved, billing, phone calls, customer service, ect.......but it seems to work for me. Either way I hope we all get hammered with that white stuff this year and hope everything holds together during the storm.