Sub contractors

Eager Beaver

Senior Member
Currently looking into expanding my snow plow business and hiring a few experienced sub contractors to help lighten the load. What are your current subs hourly rates using a 7 1/2 plow as a base? Of course they all must carry liability insurance and have dependable vehicles etc. Also if they are salting with say a tailgate salter how do you base that hourly rate for time and material?
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
I don't have any subs, so I can't help you on rates. However if it was me, i would do all the salting myself, or have them supply their own salt, and pay a flat fee for salting.

This way you don't have to worry about, them useing your salt on their own jobs, if they have a few they do in adition to yous. Again i don't have any subs, this is just a possible problem i see.

Geoff
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
Somebody up that way should be able to give you a number to work from.

We use a good number of subs, and in our immediate market we pay them by the hour. We start with a base rate for subs that are new and have no experience. We give them additional money per hour for having certain qualifications and/or equipment.

Examples......

$1 /hr more if they have any experience
$1 /hr more for their second year with us
$1 /hr more for an 8 ft. blade
$1 /hr more for having a cell phone (CB's are mandatory)
$1 /hr more if the phone is a Nextel
$4 /hr for having a Vee blade
$1 /hr more if driving a truck with an automatic trany
$1 /hr more they have an EIN # (it helps separate them from you in teh employee/independent subcontractor arguement
$1 /hr more if they have CGL insurance coverage in excess of a million dollars (CGL at $300,000 is mandatory)

We "hold" 15% of their money if they don't have a certificate of insurance with us that has valid auto coverage, and we "hold" 10% of their money if they don't have CGL coverage.

We make them sign a legal subcontract agreement that details out all aspects of our relationship with them, including a 2 year non compete (that is reciprocal - if they have their own accounts, we cannot quote those accounts for 2 years).

Subs demand and expect to be paid on time and in full. Ours bill us at the end of the month and get paid net 10 days. We have NEVER missed a payroll in 22 years. And our subs get paid more than any other contractors subs in the market.
 

PINEISLAND1

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Western Michigan
We are about an hour West of you. We pay $45 an hour for a 7.5 straight blade, and thats about normal here. I think I could find enough people to do it for less, probably in the $30 range, but you get what you pay for it seems.
 
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Eager Beaver

Senior Member
Thanks Tom
I appreciate your response. You are right on getting it cheaper ,but you will end up paying a lot more in the long run for all sort of different problems.
Thanks Again
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I just recieved a bid pack, and it said. No subcontractors.
HAHA yeah right. If not for subs, I would have no business.
Dino
 
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Eager Beaver

Senior Member
Dino, As the original thread stated we are in the process of expanding and there is no way possible that you can have that much equipment that is needed without looking into using sub contractors. I subed for a few years myself before I took on the headaches of expanding into my own business. At that time I never backstabbed the person I was working for by trying to take his accounts. We still have a great working relationship and help each other out if one of us is broken down etc. will see what happens
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I totally agree. It was the specs on the contract that said no subs, not me.
As most larger plowers will say, subs are the back bone of the operation, with out them I would have only 3 trucks instead of eight.
Dino
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
We just quoted a job (public bid opening on a township project) and it stated "no subs". We wrote in that if they accepted our bid, they had to allow us to use our subs. We were the only bidder. And the bid opening was at a public forum. The township supervisors tabled our bid because of the subcontractor thing. Couldn't believe it.
 
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Eager Beaver

Senior Member
John,
I can't believe that they would do such a thing. You as a owner are taking the resposibility that your subs are going to do the job as expected and if not the owner would be out there finishing it if it was not. What risk would they have "None" Maybe after they are out there with there snow shovels they may change their minds. Good Luck. Sounds like maybe they are not the type of clients you want anyway.
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
It's up to them at this point. We tried to explain it, but sometimes those who are not in our business try to think that they are. As you know, we are people that can't find real jobs which is why we are out there at that hour. The Township supervisors do have real jobs, so they must be smart - at least smarter than we are.

I could go on and on.....

But, as you said so well.... maybe we don't want their business anyway.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
So John if I have 2 v plows, all the extras you mentioned and a v box spreader, could you pay me $ 100.00 per hour?
I think I can make the trip in about 15 hrs, and at least pay for my fuel, well maybe not the fuel, but at least the munchies for the trip. I hear the shop floor is a nice place to sleep.
Dino
 
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