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Where to find operators and sidewalk guys??

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by mtnbktrek, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    The only part I hate about the winter business is finding ppl! I dread it. I was told to look for masons and roof guys for the walk crew - the 2 best guys I had were roofers. Everybody else quit early or never showed for the most part. Operators nearly impossible the natty gas wells are hogging up all these guys in my area. I tried craigslist - bunch of clowns but it got me through last year. I pay $17phr crew and will be upping the operator rate to $20 this year. We pay our guys within 2weeks. I was thinking of calling some local comp owners roofing and stone and see if any of their guys would b hungry this winter. My problem is after the first 8-10 hours everybody wAnts to go home and if I do 2 shifts the 2nd crew sometimes doesn't show bc their frigging feelings are hurt bc they weren't called sooner! What do u guys do?? Oh and we do like a loyalty increase of $.50 a year for returning employees. And I gotta run it like a union bc the guys talk and if I'm paying a highly exp operator x amount and a newer guy less he gets mad if it were easy to find guys if tellm to hit the salt but I'm stuck.
  2. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Excavating companies, paving companies have operators, and are layed off in winter. Pay better. I learned from the excavation company I work for in the summer, pay well, it's worth it. Winter he pays 24-30 an hour for operators.

    5-10Guys in payloaders, 2 skids, and a grader.
  3. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Nobody ever complained about the pay at all. Sidewalk crew pay is absolute highest around here everybody is ~11 an hr operator pay is on the low side but I can not find anybody that is interested and will b there when needed.
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    operator pay is on the low side but I can not find anybody that is interested and will b there when needed.[/QUOTE]

    Pay more and you probably will. If unemployment will pay 4-600 a week for them to sleep, why get up for much less?
  5. Maclawnco

    Maclawnco Senior Member
    from OH
    Messages: 695

    You have to pay cash (dollar bills, not checks) to your sidewalk guys at the end of their shifts. Face it, most are probably junkies or on unemployment and just trying to make ends meet. We have really good luck with a few tree services getting their guys to do our walks.
  6. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    I agree with what you said ... unfortunately Uncle Sam, NSA, Edward Snowden, etc. are reading this ussmileyflag
  7. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403


    Cash after there done. $20 an hour here
  8. Maclawnco

    Maclawnco Senior Member
    from OH
    Messages: 695

    We write it off as day labor. My accountant asked why so much cash going out to day labor, asked if we needed to send whatever form to them. Told him no, never the same guys, dont know most of their last names if I wanted to. We have a very open door for sidewalk guys if they know someone fulltime at our company. They don't drive, just ***** out their bodies for a few hours here and there.

    Edit - why can't we say w h o r e here? Are we not all adults?
  9. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Concrete guys and tree service guys have worked well for us if you're good to work for they bring friends.

    Cousins, relatives, etc. on big storms my house turns into a rooming house with friends, relatives sister boyfriend etc coming in from out of town
  10. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

  11. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    X 2. It's a pita to have to do it that way but it seems to be the only thing that gets people to show up. I also found that we can pay our walk guys less per hour as long as they get paid at the end of their shift/storm. We always paid $20 an hr for walk guys but they got paid on Fridays. Now we offer $15 an hour paid at the end of the day and it works great.
  12. Mega cab

    Mega cab Member
    Messages: 56

    Agree! CASH! but only on set day! Too hard to pay multi guys everyday. Also offer a bonus at end of the year that seems substantial which at that point can be a regular check.
  13. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    What kind of bonus? I have thought about it but not sure how or what to base it off of.
  14. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I know how you are feel Last year was First year I made each drive of a plow rig do there own walks
    I found out that work better plus I drop a lot sidewalk job that was only sidewalks I got tired trying find guys willing to work and could trust Best one I had 14 years after he left my stress went up on next year
    So last year I bought each truck a snow blower and the tractor and skid have only had a shovel one truck ran with the skid carried a extra blower for skid guy
    One my complex I store a ATV there. Seemed work well this way I think we was faster on walks Guys would blow walks into the lot. Before the lot would get cleaned before walk crew get there and they spent more time trying not to get snow on the clean lot+plow guys never had come back clean snow off in front of walks.
  15. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    We do $2/hr for every hour worked throughout the season, as long as you never miss a shift
  16. Mega cab

    Mega cab Member
    Messages: 56


    Something you think will keep guys coming in snow after snow. I usually offer $500.00 or $1000.00 per guy at end of season depending on hours they work on a shift. I try to stay away from per hour. They think about the bigger figure!!
  17. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    Day labor? what is that? my tax lawyer said no such thing exists. Pay cash? I would love to, would be a lot easier to get guys but.... what happens when they hurt their back or stick hand in snowblower or you get audited for unemployment?

    This is example of why government should not tax or track income. how much more work would get done if we could legally just "pay" people for working? shovelers and plow guys don't want a pay check because they lose government benefits if they work. Makes it a constant battle to keep staffed, not just our industry.
  18. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You might need a new tax lawyer. H&R Block acknowledges Day Laborers on their site and they even give a little advice on how to properly report them.

  19. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    From H&R block site
    It depends on the relationship between you -- the business -- and the worker. This will determine if the day laborer is your employee or self-employed. If you have control over the worker's behavior, the worker is usually your employee.

    To figure out if a worker is your employee, consider how much you control the worker in these areas:

    •The worker's behavior, like:
    •When and where the work is done
    •What tools or equipment is used
    •Who's hired to assist the worker
    •Where the worker buys supplies
    •Which worker performs specific work
    •How the work is performed (order or sequence)
    According to IRS rules, contract workers have a greater degree of control over the financial aspects of their relationship with the company owner than employees. For example, contract workers buy their own tools and often set their own rates, while employees use company tools and work for whatever wage the employer stipulates when they are hired.

    from IRS site

    “Casual labor” and “day labor” are common terms used to describe workers performing a variety of services,
    usually on a temporary or part-time basis. Many businesses hire these types of workers and mistakenly
    believe that they are not employees simply because of their limited length of service or part-time
    hours. Even though these workers may be hired for only an hour, day, or week, they are typically employees.
    Some examples of the types of workers referred to as casual laborers include:
    • Part-time help
    • Day laborers
    • Students
    • Outside laborers
    • Temporary help
    • Substitutes
    • Workers in training
    • Employees hired on a trial basis
    • Workers paid less than $600 a year

    No such class as day labor. Independant contractors and you must file 1099 unless less than $600. They are then not covered by your insurance and I am sure shovelers don't carry a liability policy, What will be your risk when they stick a hand in a blower or get hit by a car,etc.?

    My lawyer did case research and found, in audits the IRS is increasingly making it harder to classify people as contractors, And this was also stressed by auditor during unemployment audit, trust me I asked many questions to find a way around.

    Use my shovel? employee
    Ride in my truck? employee
    Be at my shop at time I direct? employee
    Be supervised while working? employee

    If I could find a guy who uses his own equipment, his own transportation, schedule and monitor weather so jobs were completed in a defined time (not when or how I tell him), and not need supervision then I could classify him as an independent contractor. However he would likely be qualified to manage an entire plow route not shovel sidewalks 15 times a year.

    If I am Wrong let me know but... I have spent $10,000's trying to understand and follow the rules, I have been visited by the MN dept of revenue (sale,use,fuel,with holding), IRS, Unemployment, OSHA ,EPA, fire marshals, Mndot, and more I likely have forgotten). I pay several attorneys to ensure when these agency's come knocking we have our ducks in a row. For the most part we have but I learn something every time (did you know that if you paint a plow occasionally you do not need to have a resperator, however if you do have a resperator in your shop you must have a training policy and have employee certified to use said resperator you did not need to supply? that one cost me $3500. Just trying to pass on some of my experience.
  20. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    To the OP from Pennsylvania. You can pay any employee cash up to $600 a year and not report it for employer withholding tax. Its general labor, alot of my guys make only $590 a year shoveling and plowing....................