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  • What would you do...

    This past week I was filling up with gas and this lawn service truck pulled up along side. Now, I was in my personal vehicle, so they had no idea I was getting started in the industry.

    We started some small talk, I made some inquires as to their equipment, schedule, rates, etc. I asked who owned the business and they told me they were a crew for "so and so". I asked how much they got paid... when they told me I was rather surprised, I'm not sure I'd trust that much equipment and my reputation to someone making that wage. Not without some type of good supervision.

    Now the kicker. They said the wage really wasn't that bad, because they "wildcatted" a yard or two daily without the bosses knowledge and split the money between them. So they were actually making $30-70 dollars a day more, in cash, than their paycheck reflected.

    So, what would you do...Call the owner and let him know?
    And
    How do you keep your crews from doing something similar?

  • #2
    I'd tell the guys to slip me a fin or I'm calling their boss. How's the pay now, boys? LOL
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      As a business owner I would want to know however personally I would stay out of it, if you live in an area where they might be able to figure out who they told and remember your face......

      As for my own company, everything vehicle or piece of machinery I own has GPS, staff are not even aware and even if they were there is no way to rig the unit to not report a location.
      Andy
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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      • #4
        Very fascinating topic.

        I think this points out the importance of the phrase trust but verify. If you can't track your vehicles by either gps or machine hours, you will run into trouble if you aren't on scene.

        This situation can be good and bad. Bad because they shouldn't be doing extra work with company equipment on company time, but it might actually help the owner without him knowing by giving the staff a chance to make extra money and therefor stick around longer.

        There are a lot of dynamics going on here that keep the organism of the business operating.

        Andy,

        What kind of gps equipment would you suggest lawn care business owners use?
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        • #5
          ... This situation can be good and bad. Bad because they shouldn't be doing extra work with company equipment on company time, but it might actually help the owner without him knowing by giving the staff a chance to make extra money and therefor stick around longer. ...
          Just think if they had an accident on one of their "extra" lawns. I imagine the business owner would still be on the hook if they tore the heat pump off the side of someone's home with a zero turn.
          Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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          • #6
            You better your azz the business owner would be on the hook! I feel that's BS, It would piss me off to no end & some people would be getting fired in a damn quick hurry. It's stealing either way you look at it, only the owner is paying them an hourly wage WHILE they are stabbing him in the back. I spent the time, money & sweat to build my business to what it is, I laid my balls & my families welfare on the line to start something from nothing.... I have put in my dues & have earned the right to my "cut" of any & all business performed by my business with MY EQUIPMENT. If it's me.... I am telling the friggen owner in person about what was said.

            I've talked about this before in a post a year or 2 ago but my father delt with this same deal with his lawn/landscape business. He got a phone call from the "phantom customer" because they guys missed a spot. My old man waited til the next week & had me come with him to catch them in the act.
            He fired them both on site, had them remove the (uniform) shirts from their backs, their hats, & told me to drive the other truck/trailer back to the shop. We left them both with about a 10 mile walk to the nearest store. (this was pre-cell phone days). I thought my father was going to literally rip their heads off. He felt so betrayed he actually threw up after we got back home. He was just sick to his stomach about what they had been doing.

            Wouldn't you want to know? Then tell the owner what's going on.

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            • #7
              Wow, musician/lawnman that gets me fired up. I'd be so angry!

              When I was working for a lawn fertilizing company there was one customer's neighbor that asked for an estimate. After I gave it to him ($55 per application) he said "the last guy did it for $30".

              I was the first guy from my company that serviced his neighbor so I found out it was a chemlawn guy that was giving him the $30 price and was pocketing it.

              He kept trying to get me to do it for $30 saying "come on, the $30 is yours. I won't tell your boss and you'll make extra money." What a jerk. First, I'd never steal from anyone let alone they guy that gave me a job for 10 years. Second, this type of jerk would be the first to turn someone in for having a chemical accident on his lawn. Third, encouraging someone to steal proves he's not a desirable customer. Fourth, he was a jerk.

              I have a feeling the guys I trained to take my place at that job are taking the $30.
              Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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              • #8
                I use Trimble
                Andy
                Halifax, Nova Scotia

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