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What to do??

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by JustinD, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I have had my truck for 3 years now, plowing with every winter since, I have been plowing for a sub for the last 2, however I do have a few small accounts of my own too, I am getting frustrated with the crap the sub has been pulling, he only calls us out sometimes, or will say, "I'll call you if we can't handle it", I am definately doing something different next year, but I am having trouble deciding if I should hustle up a few more parking lots and driveways, or sign up to plow for the town?? I have never dealt with writing contracts or the legal side of the business, I know I would have to up my insurance policy if I go out on my own, thats not an issue, also if I get a few more lots I'm thinking I'm going to need a sander/salter.

    Plowing for the town is a no brainer, just go on the route they asign me, I have lived here all my life so I am pretty fimilar with most of the streets here in town, they pay ok, and I wouldn't have to worry about anything, just go out when they call and go home when they say so.

    I guess I am just afraid if I get some more of my own accounts and we get alot of snow in any one particular storm I will be on my own.

    Any input would be appreicated.

    Thanks guys.
  2. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    Just get your own accounts and ditch him. I would rather do driveways then plow for a town. I would imagine plowing for the town would cause a lot more wear and tear being that your blade will be down for miles at a time. Just something to think about.
  3. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Yeah I'm leaning more towards my own stuff, like I said just a little worried about it getting overwhelming, I could get one of my buddies to help out when I need him, but there again, I would be doing the same thing the sub i work for has been doing, I would feel like an ass if I only used him when I was in a jam......... I guess i would have to work that out up front with him, unlike the guys I plowed for.
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Welcome to owning a legit business... if you go the above route you'll see fast why your "current" boss acts the way he acts... its all about maximizing profits while minimizing costs..... subs are a cost that can be minimized

    Good luck and its good to be the boss!
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    it is intimadating for the first bit, but you well grow into the role. just take your time, and find good contracts, next thing you know you well be on here complaining like everyone else, "too much snow" , "not enough snow", "i had this customer...", "the city did .......to me, WTF?" ETC. LOL
  6. snobgone

    snobgone Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 122

    If you have a good relationship with the contractor you work with now ask him if he will back you up at the same rate he is paying you if you run inot trouble. And, you have plenty of time this summer to network with some other companies that may want to work with you too if he is not interested. However, if you are just looking to increase your production hours, the town may be the way to go, no investment, no risk either from what it sounds.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't have the rose colored glasses on to tight.Even as a sub you should have a decent about of insurance even if your a sub,If something happening while plowing your contractor will throw you under the bus. As for doing more on your own ,just add up what you were being paid and go out and sign up the same amount of work.
    As for the town work ,see fist sentence. most towns are self insured or as the case they and not liable for damages if the hit a parked car.

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  8. hairygary

    hairygary Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    Yes most towns are self insured, but dont confuse that with liability issues. If thrown snow hits a car or mailbox, causing damage, the city is not liable for damage. If the plow actually strikes the car or mailbox, the city is liable for damages.
  9. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Are you a sub of a sub, or are you working for the contractor?
  10. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Good ideas, I do have a few friends in the business, I do have a good relationship with the contractor, he would probably help me out if I was in a jam too.

    The guy I am working for is one of the many subs that the managment company hires to plow. So yes, I don't mind working for him, he is a good guy. I just want to be guaranteed work when it snows.
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Just got to hear an construction attorney speak about insurance. A GC should require all subs and their subs to carry the same amount of coverage as he. With the right indemnifications, he will be nearly untouchable.

    Being a sub of a sub, you are last in line waiting for the scraps the other two pass to you. The guy you work under probably gets the same stuff from the GC to some degree. Only way to avoid it is to be your own boss.
  12. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Everyone is in business for themselves. Your boss is looking out for his best interests. If he decides not to call ya in thats his call Hes the boss. If your tired of his treatment , then its time you strike out on your own and within a few years youll have guys frustrated with you cuz your the BOSS
  13. snowdreaming

    snowdreaming Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 45

    Town work is boring and not that many hours
  14. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Thanks guys, I have decided to step it up and pick up a few more accounts, I am working on another lot and a few resi driveways.

    Thanks again
  15. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    You may also want to look for another contractor to work for. My subs run as frequently as my trucks, somtimes more depending on accounts that require service ( I have them assigned to accounts). Depending on the timing of the storm I often have subs out while my trucks are parked, thats why I'm getting out of owning trucks for plowing. Within a couple years if all goes as planned I won't have any trucks for strictly plowing, my fleet will consist of salt trucks w/plow, cube/cargo vans for walk crews, bobcat & wheel loaders. I would rather hire subs for p/u type plow., We don't have a use in the off season for the trucks, & they end up with issues from sitting, then add in depreciation, etc.
    I say next couple years because I have 9,8 & 4 year boys that will need trucks/cars to drive so at that point (in 6-8 years or so) I will evaluate.
  16. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    This is what I do. The contractor I work for has quite a few trucks, but likes to sub out some of the plowing so his trucks do not sit all summer.
    Snowfighter, if you aren't ready to get your own driveways, look for another company to sub for. And make sure they plan on calling you when it snows. I know someone working as a sub this winter, where they told him he'd get tons of hours, but they've only called him out 2 or 3 times. So now he's stuck and the season is close to over so he can't really jump ship. Just so happens that this used to be "Allin Companies"... HMMM:dizzy:

    Anyways, my point was be a sub for someone else, it's nice to not have to deal with the customers and billing, etc. And if your truck goes down it's nice not having to panic about how everything will get done.