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Subs...how are you paying them and accounting for their time?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by jkski, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. jkski

    jkski Member
    Messages: 86

    Had a couple of questions for you guys regarding how you handle your subs to insure that you are profitable on each account. If you bid a per push job at $50 and figure it will take 1 hour to complete and the sub you are paying $55/hr takes 1.5 hours to complete it, you've lost money. So, here are my scenarios I'd love some input on:

    1) Are you paying your sub from the time they leave their house to their first account or only from the time their blade hits the ground on the first account?

    2) Are you paying your subs for time on the lot only or do you pay for their time from lot to lot (blade down to blade up)?

    3) If you bid a lot to take 1 hour and it takes your sub more than that to do it, are you paying them for only what you bid or for what it actually took them to do it?

    I realize a good sub is worth a lot and that some storms take longer than others, etc., so I am just looking at how you handle this on the "typical" storm that hits?

  2. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Time travel should account for at least some time in your bid. This is where you should have an idea of how long everything should take. Why would you bid a lot at 50 bucks knowing its going to take at least an hour then pay subs 55/hr to plow it:confused:. Our subs get paid from the time they start plowing the first lot until the time they're done with the last. Our employee's get paid from the time they get to the shop to the time they get back. Nothings perfect, I'm sure there's times where it takes longer, coffee stops, phone calls etc. but I don't get too worked up as long as the route is done within a reasonable time. You should know how long a route is going to take on a normal night and if there's a huge difference in time start asking questions.
  3. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    You're welcome.
  4. NickT

    NickT Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    Speaking from the sub point of view, I am paid from the time I get to my first lot until I'm done. I plow commercial and resi. After each lot is done I call to see where to go next. I do have a set route, but depending on the time and day of week the lots get plowed in a different order.
  5. jkski

    jkski Member
    Messages: 86

    Thanks guys. I am actually a sub as well and as odd as it does sound, I like to make sure that the person I am working for is making money and not losing it on the jobs I am doing for him. I am very efficient and have asked the guy I work for to provide me with how much time he has allotted for each lot so that I know if I am truly on target or not. Like many of you have said, he is not too concerned but being that I am a business person, it is in my nature to make sure everything is turning a profit and if it seems like it is not, find a way to make it so. I have worked with the same great group of guys for many years and am compensated well, just like to make sure that things are fair for them.
    Appreciate the education and input.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  6. jschmitz93

    jschmitz93 Member
    Messages: 62

    The route that I sub for is a flat rate route. So for 2 to 6" I get paid x for 6 to 12 i get paid y and over 12 I get z. So it benefits me to be efficient as possible.
  7. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    jkski...you sound like a great guy to team up with. :drinkup:
  8. jkski

    jkski Member
    Messages: 86

    My thought is simple....life is too short to screw people and if you do a good job then you will always have work. I don't believe in taking advantage of any situation, I simply want to be able to make a little extra money and I can't do that if the people I work for are not profitable, so the business mind kicks in to help them be more profitable. If the roles were reversed, it is what I would want someone to do for me.

    It's nice to see how other people handle these things...there really is no 1 correct way.

    Thanks again guys, now if we could just get a little snow!
  9. NickT

    NickT Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    Seems like a good thread I hope it keeps going
  10. V_Scapes

    V_Scapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    I also plow as a sub doing parking lots. i live about 5 mins away from where i start dropping the blade which is awsome. i have no complaints for the guys i plow for, i show up when they call me and they let me work until the lots are clean. they never push me or ask me to go faster, if i finish with one lot and want more work sometimes theyll send me to another site. its up to me to let them know how many hours i worked. so my site manager doesnt keep track of it, i send them a bill, so if i wanted to "pad" the bill alittle i could for travel time, fuel, whatever, typically i dont cause ive known these guys a long time.
  11. snoway63

    snoway63 Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    My subs are paid from the time they start till they are finished including breaks. I look at it this way treat them right and you dont have to worry about your crew if your not around to supervise and they always get the work done the way you want it done, and you can always count on them in the following yrs
  12. jkski

    jkski Member
    Messages: 86

    When I started this thread I really wasn't sure what to expect in terms of responses but from what it seems, most of you work with your sub in the same fashion, employing trust and valuing the work they do and it garners a good, reciprocating working relationship. While I am certain you have all had your fair share of subs who do not pass muster, the common theme seems to be to pay a little more for a job well done and someone you can rely on.
    It's refreshing to see.

    I started my sub career just filling in on heavy snowfalls when the crap hit the fan and it quickly morphed into a regular route. I have often told the person I work for that on the lighter snows it may not pay to bring me in as his company owned trucks could likely cover the load.....not trying to pass-up money, just being honest, but as you guys point out, it's not just one event but the entire season that counts, so I can now see why I run everytime it snows.

    Again, appreciate the education.
  13. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    i only get paid blade down to blade up. no travel time. and only 35 per hour at that. and on top of that.... he short checked me the first month. and those 2 emails he sent me explaining why,,, well. he forgot about those when he got an invoice showing an overdue amount.

    i get sent across town to do a 15 minute job. and do not have a set route.

    it kinda sucks working for this guy. but. iv made half a grand or so off of him. gets me by for another month.

    sure hope we get snow in feburary. next year hopefully my whole route will be my own, not just half. (and hiring a few subs of my own woudl be great)
  14. snoway63

    snoway63 Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    I dont understand how anybody makes any money at 35, even my sidewalk crew $ an hour i wouldnt put my plow down for that and wouldnt expect my guys to either. My guys get 80 an hour and start from the time they arrive to site till they are done, even traveling from one site to another. I look at it this way once your on my clock your on it till you go home and should be compensated for it and I also give them a 3 hr minimum. You wont keep guys if you only call them out for anything less just isnt worth it for them plus like i said you take care of your guys they will take care of you, my sidewalk crew gets 20 an hour and a five hr minimum and ive never had a problem with getting guys to work.
  15. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Basically what snoway is saying, you get what you pay for.

    The way I see it there are two types of subs... Subs that truly enjoy plowing and making money and strive every storm to be as efficient as they can for there own personal pride (which is myself)... and then there are what I like to call Slacker Subs. Subs that get paid per hour, hiding on the side of the building, or sitting at 7-11. Alot of slacker subs work sub for the Towns. By me most of the neighborhoods are plowed by "subs". All as you need to plwo for most towns is a plow and a heartbeat. They pay about $20 per hour less then plowing private but allow for alot more slacking. Some of my friends that plow for the Town call me up and try and brag about how they are getting paid to plow but are sitting on the couch with their feet up... To me I take that personal.
  16. jschmitz93

    jschmitz93 Member
    Messages: 62

    $35 an hour seems a little low. Thats what I try to get per driveway, or close to it anyway. I think that the average around here for subs is close to 50 an hour. I can deal with that. I prefer my own stuff which is around 90 per hour, $50 min for a commercial lot.
  17. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Its pretty simple...

    When your a sub...You need to take Pride in your Work and take ownership in the sites your are serviceing for the company you are subbing to...

    The company you are subbing to success hinges on Quality of work you are providing to them....

    The More Successful the company is.....The More Successful you are....:salute:
  18. snoway63

    snoway63 Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Thats exactly the idea the more success i have they will benefit
  19. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    ya. it was low. but when the economy goes down wages go down. nothign i an do about it. i woudl rather have 35 than 0
  20. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    thats the whole idea of subbing .no babysitting . in the state of pa. , a contractor cannot be controlled as an employee. they bid on the whole scope of work , do it in a timely manner and get paid for their bid and 1099 them .

    although you must qualify them .