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Subcontractor rate in NWI

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ferdinand711, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. ferdinand711

    ferdinand711 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Does $45/ hour sounds fare for a subcontractor NOW for NWI. I heard the rate last year was around $55-65/hr, but I guess with the economy, everybody seems to be cutting on costs.

    VIPHGM Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    I don't think i would even get out of bed for that.... standard around here is at least $55 and that's being a newbie, i usually pay out $65 for my guys and If i sub contract out i want at least $75 - $90... hell unless there going to give you 20 hours each snow event i would say pass, after your cost in fuel, time, wear and tear... think of it at a business view, if you have to pay someone to drive plus your fuel and your overhead would $45 even make sense...
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Our crappy rate must be contagious. We use to get in the 40's but now I guess its around 30-35/hr. I havent subbed out in a couple years.
  4. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Who is it for? PM is all good too if you don't want to reply in an open thread.

    Going rate is $55 or so for a straight blade, on up for V's and expandable plows. $70-75 isn't unheard of for an MVP or 810. If anybody is lowballing subs, they'll soon see they get what they pay for. Everybody and their brother bought a plow last year, and 90% of them don't know what they're doing. Companies will spend more on subs by paying them less per hour than paying someone decent a decent amount.

    I'm in Griffith, but work all around the area and have either my hands or ears in a lot going on around here.

    I can say this, there are a lot of lowballers....you're right. Even last year I got beat for a large retail chain making having to pay subs nearly impossible. It was bid at $45. How can anyone compete with that?? BUT you should be able to find work for at least $55.
  5. ferdinand711

    ferdinand711 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    I am good in terms of account for the coming winter. I just happend to stumble upon a guy that does a strip mall around here. I ask him how many trucks does he have? He said two, but barely used it last winter since he's got bunch of subs that he's paying $45 /hr. "why used up my truck if you have subs", he said. I was almost gonna say, "you're mean". to him.
  6. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    LMAO "you're mean" I love it
  7. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Around here the rate is around $45/hour straight, maybe $50-55 for V or expandable. List of guys a mile long who will plow for that.
  8. timberseal

    timberseal Senior Member
    from 46385
    Messages: 247

    Last year I ran up against a few outfits in Valpo that were billing $50 an hour as the contractor bidding for the work so I'm sure the sub rates are taking a beating. These were legit companies - one of which is on plowsite so I wont name any names.
  9. clncut

    clncut PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,121

    I pay my subs 60/hr for a 7.5 straight. They have been with me for some time and are reliable so paying the 60 isnt really an issue for me.
  10. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We pay $70 7-1.5 blade, $80-$85 8.5 blade, more if you have a V plow or wings. We have a guy making close to 100 P/H, he's been with us for many years. He is only used on certain sites where we know his rate won't kill us. I guess being 20 mins from NY drives our market up, compared to other places.
  11. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    I would do driveways for $20 before i even considered working for less then $80 an hour. Even $80 is to low if you run new/good equipment.

    If you add up Gas + insurance + wear on your truck and one break down, you would be working for free at those rates. Any one that offers you less then $75 an hour, regardless of where you live, walk away. It's not even worth it, you wont make any money.

    (side note)
    Most of the people that offer drivers these low rates are scrubs / lowballers. I know I'm going to get some **** for this but it's true. Quality snow removal / plow companies can and do pay their good, reliable and experienced subs $100 or more and hour. This is mainly due to the fact they are not competing with the lowballers. They are way out of their league.
  12. motodad

    motodad Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 91

    In my town thats what the going rate is for the big guys so for you to say walk away if your a sub is just dumb, its posts like this that gets people all mixed up and ends up not getting work and then has to lowball to get some. You are dam lucky to get 35-45 an hr subbing around here. I also love it when guys say "I wont get out of bed for no less than $85.00" Well stay in bed because guys are plowing for $75.00 an hr and making money.
  13. mansf123

    mansf123 Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 817

    You also need to look at how many hours they are giving you. 85/hour sounds good but not if you will only be used for 5 or 6 hours per storm.
  14. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    I don't want to get into a big argument with you but umm paying subs less allows you to low ball not paying them more. If it costs $130 - $160 an hour to run a truck you sure as hell are not going to be charging $50 an hour to low ball an account.

    As for the $35-$45 an hour, it would take me 3 hours just to pay for my gas. Another 3 or 4 hours to pay for my insurance. One break down and it would take 5 or 6 storms to pay for repairs. I would laugh in any ones face that even attempted to offer me $35 an hour. I could make more money working part time at McDonald's for god sakes. Hell I would actually lose money working for $35 an hour.

    For any one reading this, Don't fall into these traps. When companies are charging $200 + per push for a lot that takes less then an hour to do... Do you really want them to get rich off your work and equipment while you go broke ?
  15. Big Snow Balls

    Big Snow Balls Member
    Messages: 40

    Hell if your willing to plow for $45 per hour your hired. I will leave my trucks sit and let you beat the hell out of your's. All of my accounts are in nwi. I have lost a few this year to guys willing to plow for $75 per hour or less, Heck I pay my drivers $30 per hour and side walks guys $20. If I cant make $250 to $300 per hour off my equiptment I will stay home and play with my wifes OO
  16. motodad

    motodad Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 91

    You can make $35.00 an hr working at McDonalds?????? As for falling into a trap at 35-40 an hr again in my part of the world I have about 5-8 guy calling me for work, at them prices you wouldnt make it 1 winter in my town.
  17. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    WTF are you driving that it cost's you $130-160 an hour to operate it?!!? LMFAO.

    And working 2-3 hours at $35-45 would be fuel only?? WOW

    Sounds to me like someone is either exagerating, or needs to consider updating equipment!
  18. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    In my area the pay for subs is anywhere from $45-$65 an hour. It is what the market dictates. The guys over by the Illinois line will make more per hour than my area, and I am less than 50 minutes from the state line. For me to put money in my pocket for my own accounts, I know what I need to make per hour. I do some sub work, but not for $45 an hour. You guys talking about contractors making 200 per push on an hour job, I would love to see my market at that rate, but it just won't get there. If you can get that price, more power to you. But for some of you guys to call someone a lowballer for getting $65 an hour to sub is crazy. It all depends on what your market dictates, and you can't get on someone's case because that's what their market dictates. If we all tried to hold out for $200 an hour, in my area, we wouldn't have any accounts.
  19. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    No but you would be lucky to make $5 an hour after all your operating costs.

    The average hourly rate for a truck in my area is $130 -$160. I never said that's what subs get.
    It costs me $90+ to fill up my truck and i go threw a tank of gas each storm. Some times more in larger storms so yes 2 - 3 hours just to pay for gas. Now add in $2100 a year for GL and commercial auto insurance X 15 storms = $140 each time i go out. That means i have to make $230 a night before i even start making any money. Now please remember this doesn't even take into account taxes or wear on my truck or plow. At $35 an hour It would take 6 - 7 hours before i even made a dime !

    As for upgrading my equipment, $40k + on my truck and plow is about all i wanted to spend on a plow rig, what do you drive again ?

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  20. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    I wish my insurance was only $2,100 a year!! No offense, but you're talking auto insurance, when most of us carry a mil-2 mil in contractors insurance, plus comp. Then add auto ins times however many trucks and equpt in the fleet. Onto the gas prics, well that's a reason I run all modern diesels..................I guess that's the answer to "what I drive", so if you'd like I can give you the list. You have a nice truck by the way. One I assume you didn't purchase strictly for plowing, so you can subtract a lot of that insurance and most of the price of the truck. I hate to say it but half of our trucks sit in the summer time.

    Lastly, saying "I never said that's what subs get" is just the reason to stop the argument. No one ever asked what contractors bid wherever it is you are from. It was asked what NWI subs get paid on average, and that's what we're trying to answer for him.

    Hourly pay questions always start this argument.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010