1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Travel time

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by nosinjcted, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. nosinjcted

    nosinjcted Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 21

    I've been reading plow site for a while now, I love the information on here. I have been plowing for about 10 year's now, mostly driving for someone or operating equipment. Last year I bought a plow for my truck, unfortunatly we didn't get much snow, but I had work for a landscaper I know. I'm hooked up with the same guy this year. I do all commercial parking lots, my question is do any of you guy's get paid for the time spent traveling to different sites? I lost quite a bit of time (more then a few hours) during the last 2 storms we had in Mass. traveling around. Another guy I know want's me to work for him and will pay me for the whole time I'm out. I feel bad leaving this guy cause we have a long history together but I wanna make as much as possible and I'm just curuious what other people are getting paid for?
  2. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    Don't be a scab, stay loyal to the guy that has taken care of you for the last 10 years! :gunsfiring:
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Sorry, that's crap
    My guys get paid from the time they leave my shop til the time they get back. (unless they take a lunch or something)
    I think that's a lot more typical than only paying on time on lot
    If he's only paying for time there, you should get a percentage (1/2 or more) of what he's billing for the lot.
  4. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Tell him that his competition is offering paid drive time, but you appreciate his business and would like to propose a compromise before your are forced to make a tough business decision.

    How about a 15 minute "trip charge" per site, or something that would equal half (or better) of the amount of drive time you spend servicing his sites. Tell him you prefer to stay with him, and the properties that your are familiar with (familiarity = qaulity workmanship). You also understand that he may have them bid tight and full paid drive time may not be in the budget, and that's why you're willing to stay for partial drive pay only this year, and you can talk about next year later.

    If he balks, remind him that "Business is business" and make the change. As an equipment OWNER you pay for expenses to get the truck to his sites and you HAVE to recoop that cost.
    "Portal to Portal charges apply" is common language for "We will be billing you a trip charge or reasonable hourly rate to cover loading and transportation", and you will see this in most contracts of successful companies.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  5. options

    think Cowboy is closest to my thoughts.

    Either by the hour/mile or percentage.
    I have seen the advantages of hiring a sub for construction,yard work, painting and plowing.

    If it is byt the hour, there is not much reward to be efficient.

    If I 'sell' the job to a sub or employee (including call-backs and repairs) then, I am rewarded
    for my sale and my profit. If (they) accept the terms / the job,..then we both come out
    ahead. If there is a problem,..it is their problem.

    This also permits the sub to squeeze in their own jobs if they still get mine done on time
    and to the quality expected. They feel better about making fair $$.

    Sure, some will go off on their own. And some may attempt to undercut my quote,
    but the level of service and communication with clients keeps most of them loyal.
    And, I usually get the --others back, eventually.

  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I'm with NJ Plowman.

    Here's my opinion as well with being the owner, and having guys work for me.

    I pay from the time they get to my house until the time they drop the equipment off at my house.

    Although, I can see if from your guy's point of view too.

    There's nothing holding my guys back from doing drives on the side on my time other than honesty.

    Unlike lawn work, you can't get a REAL solid time on how long it takes to do commercial lots. You can have a good rough estimate, but if they're doing 6-7-8-9-10 / night, you could be off by 2-3-4 hours, depending on how everything goes.

    They could be done early, but then doing side jobs on your time, getting paid at both ends.

    Hence the "it takes an hour to do this job at a 2" snowfall, you're getting paid an hour's worth of work whether it takes you 45 minutes, or 1 hour 20 minutes".
  7. tman3007

    tman3007 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    I'm TOTALLY about being loyal but in this situation I would talk to the guy you've been working for and see if the two of you might be able to "renegotiate" your current deal. Seriously, you've been there for him for ten years!!! I'm pretty sure he'll see things from your side if you bring it up to him. No reason to jump ship, just make a few necessary changes that will benefit the both of you.
  8. I was thinking that the sub had his own truck and expenses so I
    would 'sell' him a share of the job--but I would set the price to him.
    What I get is my business and my effort.

    The other points I read are well taken
  9. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Not being paid the full time you are out is like only being paid when your plow is actually on the ground. If you pick up your plow to back up, you're off of the clock. You're back on the clock when the plow hits the ground.

    On the other hand a secure relationship and places to plow has a lot to say for staying with him. You could move to the other guy and have more time logged in, but be let go because he found someone else.

    Talk with him and see what he says. He will probably pay to keep you on.
  10. smoore45

    smoore45 Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    You should be getting paid driving from site to site. For example, my first job is about 45min from my house. I do not get paid to drive to the first site(thats just commuting time), but once I arrive I am on the clock and stay on the clock to the other sites. I have other guys that work for me and pick up the equipment from my house. They are on the clock once they arrive to my house and go off the clock when they come back.
  11. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Bull. The first guy should be paying travel time from the first drop of the plow until the last raise at the last job, and if its a long session a break for something to eat as well.
  12. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    owner/operator and sub

    as an employee, you should be paid by the hour and use company equipment/gas/insurance, as a sub you should be paid by the job using your own equipment and have your own insurance.

    employee: paid hourly requires LOTS of trust since no incentive to be productive, and absolutely should not pick up side jobs. A GPS is a must in my opinion to help "keep" the trust level.
    sub: paid by the job ensures timely work (not necessarily quality) and easy book keeping. and as long as it doesn't bite into your customers time frame, should allow for side jobs. depending on state law you might not need workers comp. downside is you loose more of your profit, but getting 50-60% of a job for doing nothing more than sending out a bill, not too shabby.

    if your buddy is paying you by the hour you really should be paid from the time you start the route till the time you roll into the shop, but as a sub you could double your monies.
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    When I plowed/subed for someone else, we were not paid for travel time.
    He was not going to pay you for stopping at a store or for gas, coffee or whatever.
    He wanted you to get to the next job fast. and plow

    He only paid if you were plowing but he would also buy breakfast at the end.
  14. NLS1

    NLS1 Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Talk to him, if you have been with him for ten years, then he obviously wants to keep you around.

    If you are an employee you should be getting paid the whole time, less breaks.
    If you are a sub, then usually a percentage of the work, not based on time, since it is your truck, expenses, ins., etc. Otherwise you are just an expensive employee if you are getting paid by the hour as a sub. Not much reason to be productive. The whole point to being a sub is that you are more productive, and take more pride in your work. That is why getting paid hourly as a sub sucks for both of you. Even if you wanted to be more productive, you don't have the capability to go beyond your hourly rate. That is unles you are off the clock and doing your own jobs. Just my .02
    Sub and employee are not the same thing.

    Employee=not much risk, not much reward:(
    Sub= some risk, some reward:eek:
    Owner = by far the most risk, by far the most reward:D

    Pick your poison, and talk to him before you just bale
  15. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    There might be mitigating circumstances and maybe he can't afford to pay you travel time. If he has looked out for you for 10 years (even when he was slow) that means something to me. Sometimes if he pays from the minute he calls you to the minute you pull back into the driveway you might make more than he does and maybe he can't afford that. Like I said, there might be mitigating circumstances. Talk to him and work it out, if he kept you for 10 years he probably will be more than happy to work something out.

    So again, I believe that if you just jump ship that would make you a scab! No offense, but to me you would have no loyalty if you jumped ship. :gunsfiring:

    Loyalty above all else except honor! :nod:
  16. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    My 2cents ( from a business owner ) I pay snow subs an hourly rate while "plowing" and if & only if they have to drive to multiple sites we pay them $10 per hour of travel time. Thats more than fair to cover their time & expenses...you have to remember, when the snow hits the ground...the "others" on the road restrict our ability to quickly get to the next job, it adds up quickly.

    BTW...Im not paying a sub $100 hr to drive around :realmad: