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  • I hate Subs

    Tonight was supposed to be light rain chance of snow. Every forecasted snow has been a dud so I wasnt sweating it. Right after my fiance drives to work with the car seat. The rain turns from rain to snow. Ill say a 1 1/2 inches in the first hour. So I'm panicking with a 8 month old and no way to bring the baby to a sitter.

    So I call the guy thats supposed to be subbing for me. He hits me with every excuse in the book. Theres a car parked in front of his plow, serpetine belt is bad and could snap any minute, hes driving right now and his truck cant handle it, doesnt remember how to get to the places I showed him. I swear I'm going to choke this guy!

    Call my buddy who is always reliable to pick up a truck but his wife took the car and he has no ride here. arghhhhh

    Luckily the snow stopped and the rain came back. Theres almost no snow on the ground now. Hopefully it stays like this or doesnt pick back up till I can leave.

  • #2
    I've heard and have come up with every excuse in the book. Right now I am fortunate my son made his own decision not to go to college and we many people on lock-down for snow..even extra plowers.

    But I have been in that situation where I actually would have to tackle most of the load...aint this the life? Hey man just keep working hard, cuz it all comes back around and you look back on this.
    08 F250 Ext Cab/04 Chevy 3500
    05 F350/04 F350 Diesel/12 Ram 4500 Dump
    4 -60 Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48
    3 -8'2" Boss V-Plows
    1- Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
    20' Enclosed trailer
    18' Skid & 16' Open Trailer
    2012 - S185 Bobcat


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    • #3
      Its looking like ill just have to salt the lots which is good news. Its pretty much just slush now. Its 38 degrees so I dont think it will freeze over. I can get out before most the business open. If I had to plow though it wouldve been a issue.

      I;m going to leave a truck at the other guys house so this doesnt happen again. He was willing to ride about 10 miles on a bike to pick the truck up. So hes not a issue but the other guy is getting buried.

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      • #4
        At least you learned about him now instead of with ten inches on the ground. You can adjust now and maybe pick up two new subs. If you need one take two I have learned to keep a backup. Glad it worked out for you.
        Liberty Landscaping LLC
        www.libertylndscpng.com
        Woodbridge, NJ

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        • #5
          So I call the guy thats supposed to be subbing for me. He hits me with every excuse in the book.
          Have you ever used some sort of agreement that gave a financial bite to not showing up? Would something like that be useful?
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          • #6
            At least you learned about him now instead of with ten inches on the ground. You can adjust now and maybe pick up two new subs. If you need one take two I have learned to keep a backup. Glad it worked out for you.
            Your right about that better to find out now then when it counts. I had 3 people call me about subbing today. I plan on taking on at least 2.
            Have you ever used some sort of agreement that gave a financial bite to not showing up? Would something like that be useful?
            I'm not sure how I could enforce it? I do like the idea though.

            So heres how my wonderful day went. My buddy shows up at 5:00 a.m. I sent him to the farthest town inland. I didnt send him with a shoveler because I listened to the weather that said a 1" of snow and 1/2" of rain. A hour later he called me saying there was almost 3" of slush on the ground and the sander stopped working.

            At this point I'm driving to the closest lots to me and there completely clear. I go pick up a guy for the walks and double up my salt. I head out on the 15 mile drive to help my guy. By this time I'm getting a call that theres slush on the ground asking me to salt where I just came from. I tell them Ill be there in a hour or two, that it was fine when I was there. Then another call from the property manager from the place my guys already at saying its slippery. I tell them I'm on my way with another sander.

            At the last property I go to raise the blade and it wont move. I check everything over, the fluid looks low. I unhook the plow and go get some hydraulic fluid. I put it in nothing! So I leave the plow and meet up with the other guy and start looking everything over. Finally we find a blown fuse for the pump switch. After fixing this I drive back to pick up my plow. In all I had a hell of a day!


            I didnt take before pictures because they were started before I arrived or I was rushing. Then I forgot to take more because everything is going wrong. The 4th picture doesnt show the lower half of the condos. All the water drains down a road and when you try to push its like a wave carrying the snow away.















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            • #7
              Going forward, you need to have a written contract with any subs you use. Without one, there is no legal recourse if they fail to perform. If you do have a contract that states, "X amount of work shall be performed by Joe Contractor for X amount of dollars under X circumstances" and they don't perform, you can take 'em to small claims court for damages. Possible damages would be loss of income due to losing clients, delayed payment, the cost involved to find a new sub to do the work, etc. If you go to court you need to PROVE damages in order to win. I once took a sub to court for failing to mow several clients' properties. I lost 2 of them because of his negligence. He did not perform $105.00 in work, but I had a written contract with the clients for the whole season. Both clients combined were worth a total of $2300.00 for the season. I proved this to the judge (with the contracts) and I was awarded $1745.00**the amount I lost for the remaining time on the contracts. Case in point: ALWAYS WORK WITH WRITTEN CONTRACTS. If a sub won't do it, he is likely not business-worthy.
              integritylawnpro.com

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              • #8
                I'm not sure how I could enforce it? I do like the idea though.
                Could a certain percentage of their final pay be held until the end of the season and if they did everything properly they would get it, if not, then penalties would be deducted?

                Or could they even forgo a bonus if they failed to perform something?
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                • #9
                  I have used subs for only 11 years now, and every year one or more I fire. To this date, I have only one sub that has last more than 3 years with me. We are actually going through something opposite of where we are trying to bring everything back in house now. We are trying to do away with all subs.
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                  • #10
                    and every year one or more I fire.
                    What is your view on why they are so difficult to deal with? Also, can you tell ahead of time when you hire them if they are going to be problematic?
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                    • #11
                      What is your view on why they are so difficult to deal with? Also, can you tell ahead of time when you hire them if they are going to be problematic?
                      I havent figured it out yet. I see it like this though if there a guy with a plow there more likely to have a bad work ethic then another business. Another business might put there customers first though.

                      I talked to 5 subs with hopes of taking on 2. I did rule out one with just a conversation. He never did lots, didnt have a sander, and was the cheapest. The one I'm leaning towards is the most expensive but sounds like the most reliable. There a excavating company that have experience with large lots. I hinted that we could potentially use them for other projects.

                      I also looked at 3 trucks but didnt like any of them. There overpriced and wont last long. It seems like a waste to me.

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                      • #12
                        I havent figured it out yet. I see it like this though if there a guy with a plow there more likely to have a bad work ethic then another business. Another business might put there customers first though.

                        I talked to 5 subs with hopes of taking on 2. I did rule out one with just a conversation. He never did lots, didnt have a sander, and was the cheapest. The one I'm leaning towards is the most expensive but sounds like the most reliable. There a excavating company that have experience with large lots. I hinted that we could potentially use them for other projects.

                        I also looked at 3 trucks but didnt like any of them. There overpriced and wont last long. It seems like a waste to me.
                        I do agree that most of my problems come from when they put their clients before mine. Another big thing is that they think I won't be looking at their work on the jobsite, so they cut corners. The worst is when they make promises of when they are going to be there, I then tell my clients the approximate time, and then they never show up.
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                        • #13
                          I do agree that most of my problems come from when they put their clients before mine.
                          With such situations, would it be possible to pay less if the job is not completed by a certain time? Or no?
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                          • #14
                            With such situations, would it be possible to pay less if the job is not completed by a certain time? Or no?
                            It may come back and back fire. They may decide that it's not worth the chance.
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                            • #15
                              It may come back and back fire. They may decide that it's not worth the chance.
                              I had a guy that was in the area and said he would clear a lot for me. From 4 a.m till 8 a.m he played games. After giving up on the guy I finally was able to make it there at 9:30 and the client was pissed. I ended up losing a contract with them and this one is close to being gone.

                              I had 6 people fill out applications. Talked to them all asking if they would be ready tonight. They all told me yes. Then when I started calling not one would pick up the phone. I was already short staffed and a truck went down. I was scrambling to find help. Finally a guy from Rhode Island showed up at 5 am. I couldve sent him to the above location but the other guy said he was 5 minutes away. Then time went by and I went up myself to find the lot was untouched.

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