cpmpact wheel loader with SnowWolf snowplow

16 Tips for Snow Contractors and the Subcontractors They Hire

Kanon Kulpa

It’s no secret that it’s a snow subcontractor’s market. Snow and ice management companies are having a difficult time finding employees who want to work for 24 – 48 hours straight, pushing snow.

Yet, snow and ice contractors are savvy. They’re not just going to hire the first subcontractor who walks through their door. Instead, they want subs who are reliable, honest and can put in a good day’s (or night’s) work.

Conversely, subcontractors looking for winter work should be contacting, networking, and signing contracts with snow and ice management companies now. Don’t wait until the snow season gets under way to get the word out that you’re looking for some snow pushing jobs.

10 Tips for Snow and Ice Removal Companies

There have been helpful articles for both snow and ice contractors as well as subcontractors balancing the act between hiring, firing, and getting the gig.

Since this is the season where you’re actively looking for a couple of good subs, you contractors get first dibs in this blog post. Here are 10 tips for finding and keeping hard-working subcontractors:

  1. Communication and clear instructions are your two keys to success: If you find the right subcontractors, include them in all of your communication and guidelines. Not only tell your subs verbally, but make sure they get a written copy too.
  1. Create SOPs in writing, so your subcontractors have something to refer to when they’re on the job: You should have standard operating procedures for your snow and ice management company. And SOPs should be written down in a booklet form or on the software you invest in.

Give your subs a copy of your SOP today. Ideally, you should sit down with your subs and go over the SOP as well as ask them if they have any questions.

  1. Subcontractors are representing you for better or for worse: Make sure you’re only hiring subs with integrity and a strong work ethic.

It’s a pain having to interview candidates as employees and subcontractors. However, your subcontractors, like your employees, will be the face of your company out in the field.

  1. Hire only reputable subs. Check out their references as well as their online reputation. The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Reviews make this task simple. An article by Mike Callahan of Callahan Lawn Care and Property Management provides helpful tips for evaluating your subcontractor’s online reviews.

You only want to hire subcontractors who you can trust to get the work done correctly and efficiently.

  1. Communicate the snow schedule and plan so everyone on your team—including your subs—are clear on expectations. Also, put all the snow schedule and plan in writing.
  1. Improve your relationship with your subcontractors because they’re a valuable asset when the snow starts swirling.

The two biggest complaints from subcontractors regarding the snow and ice removal companies they work for include late payments and unclear expectations. You’ll have a positive relationship with your subs (meaning they’ll come back each year) when you pay them on time and communicate your expectations to them.

  1. Find subcontractors who own lawn care, roofing, and other seasonal type businesses: These guys and gals know how to run a business, and they want to maintain their reputations too. Plus, these business owners aren’t your competitor since their businesses function during the growing season.
  1. Discuss your contract with your subcontractors: Business coaches recommend that you go over your contract with your subcontractors. Ask questions to make sure they understand each point and have the sub sign the contract in front of you.
  1. Make sure that your subs carry their own insurance: Protect your company by only taking on subs who have their own insurance. Do your due diligence by making sure the subs’ insurance is up-to-date and has adequate coverage. 
  1. Make sure your subcontractors give you at least two references: Calling references can be time-consuming. Yet, you need to call references now and check on your subcontractors.

It’s better to find out the truth ahead of any snowstorms when you need all of your subcontractors ready to hit the road.

Read more: 11 More Tips for Finding the Right Subcontractor

 

cpmpact wheel loader with SnowWolf snowplow

6 Tips for Subcontractors Looking to Hook Up with Snow and Ice Management Companies

Subcontracting over the winter months provides extra cash as well as the opportunity to be with other people. Plus, you’re in charge of your schedule, so you can take a weekend away to your hunting cabin if you need some rest and relaxation.

Right now, your goal is to get a gig to keep you busy. Here are six tips to help you market your snow removal services:

  1. You need to let contractors know you’re looking for snow and ice removal gigs now. Don’t wait until the first snowstorm because you won’t get that last minute job.
  1. Even though you have the upper hand in the market, you still need to be professional. Snow and ice management companies are looking for subs who are reliable, available, honest, and enthusiastic. Contractors are willing to teach you how to use their equipment.

Learn more: If you’re new to snow and ice removal management, then you need to read this blog post

  1. Bring your snow equipment, plow and insurance information with you. A contractor will be more likely to hire you if you already have the essential equipment, as well as the proper insurance coverage. 

If you have employees, who want to work over the winter and you can supply trucks with salt spreaders and plows, all the better. Snow and ice removal companies can take on more jobs when they’re fully staffed.

  1. Network with the right people. Let your local truck repair shop, commercial dealerships, and snowplow dealers know that you’re in the market to subcontract your snow and ice services. 

Snow contractors, like other field services, ask for referrals more often because they trust their friends and colleagues to recommend hard-working subs.

  1. Try cold calling snow and ice management companies. Since it’s a subcontractors’ market, you can feel confident when calling because there’s a fair chance you might be offered a job.
  1. Be flexible: You may need to be on call, or you may need to help the sidewalk shoveling crew. Be willing to take on any job that your contractor hands you.

How SnowWolf Helps You Clean More Parking Lots by 7 a.m.

If you’re a snow and ice contractor, you can easily teach your subs how to use SnowWolf snowplow equipment and accessories. Your subs will find that SnowWolf plows are efficient, and you can clear more parking lots in less time.

Be prepared this winter for the snow coming your way. Get your SnowWolf snow removal equipment and accessories today by visiting your local SnowWolf dealer.

You can also call our customer service at 1-800-905-2265 or fill out our contact form.