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Lawn Care Employees Discussions Discussions on lawn care employee related issues.

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Lawn Care Employees Discussions

Discussions on lawn care employee related issues.
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  #1  
Old 04-10-2011, 09:34 PM
4 seasons maintenance 4 seasons maintenance is offline
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Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 4 seasons maintenance View Post
Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.
I believe in paying good workers good pay. If he wants to get paid when he arrives he must understand that it ain't gonna be for free. Assign him some duties to do before you arrive. I pay trip time. If I'm on the clock at work...then they are too. Take care of your crew and they will take care of you. I have a full time job as well and know what its like to have a crappy supervisor who only looks out for himself. But on the other hand...if your employee gets ****y...I would put him in his place. Not in an ******* way but a way for him to know that your calling he shots around here. If you want to get paid to wait till I get here....your in the wrong business! Pick up a broom! Haha!
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:04 PM
4 seasons maintenance 4 seasons maintenance is offline
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jrod I totally agree. Take care of those that take care of you, and I have always in the past. Once a week he was allowed to take home a truck and trailer with equipment to take care of his place. If he wanted to go do his grandparents or his wifes grandparents property he'd ask and I never told him no. If he wanted to borrow a set of trimmers to go do a side job of trimming someones shrubs or trees, it was always "sure go ahead" but with that being said. I have 5 houses in my neighborhood, he ha sto drive by my house to get to them, and back by to leave the neighborhood. I have just over a half acre, now do you think he would stop and catch my lawn while he's in the area? NO! Not without me asking, then he'd wright it down on his time sheet. "Your house" asked one day last year "hey while your trimming trees and shrubs in my neighborhood would you stop and catch mine for me. Took him just under two hours, and he wrote it down. "Trimmed your shrubs" I paid him, no questions asked, but here's the issue. Whose putting gas in the 25k dollar truck your taking home with the 12k dollar Gravely on the trailer and whose putting gas in that gravely, Stihl trimmers, or the Stihl blower your using at your house? Do you think he'd take it on his own maybe once a month to stay late some night, or come in on a Sat we're not working and wash his truck without being asked? Just a little appretiation is all I ask for. Well this year I've made some changes. If an employee wants to take a truck and trailer home with equipment to take care of their own property it will cost them.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:22 AM
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Wow! That's messed up! All I can say is speak up. Your the owner. I would definitely put a price tag on letting them use the equipment or just stop it period. Thats just totally being unappreciative,rude and taking advantage of a good thing. They are using good equipment at your cost and have the balls to charge you for maintenance on your house! Let him know the deal fast before this gets worse! This can cause you animosity, stress and everything else that comes with holding things in.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4 seasons maintenance View Post
Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.
This is a great write up thank you, All your questions I have also. I look forward to reading the responses.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:01 PM
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My helper lives right across the streeet from me. He comes over when I go out and start hooking up the trailer, he jumps right in, grabs the grease gun, checks the oil levels etc. I pay hime from 7 AM to finish, including drive time, breaks (2 15 to 20 min) Lunch (30 min). He gets the mower, trimmer etc each week when he needs to mow his yard. He also mows mine and trims, each week when he does his. He is a great small engine mechanic, and does all of mechanical work including welding on the trailer. (seems to need something repaired all the time) he gets 8 an hour (cash ) I pay the taxes, 8 hours a day. He is knowlegeable, works hard, and does great work. Hope your helper works just as good as this guy. BTW I have had 5 others some lasted a couple of days, one lasted about weeks.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:16 PM
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Just a little FYI for you on the time thing.

1. If you ask them to do something then they are on the clock, your house or not.

2. Years ago there was a law suit over this very thing about when someone was on the clock. Now this was with AT&T so they had the lawyers to defend it.

The technician would get in the truck and drive from home where he parked the truck and go to the work center or the first job for the day. He went along like this his whole career until he retired. After he retired he sued the company for back pay for the overtime from the time he got in the truck to the time he got to the first job and from the last job until he got out of it for the day.

Long story short, he won the lawsuit.

So in answer to the main question, they are on the clock from the time they get in the truck to the time they get out and this includes travel time.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:27 PM
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You also might have an issue if he was to break a window,get into an accident etc while using your truck for his side jobs .He may not have any insurance coverage when he is not on the clock,and since your the owner of the equipment it may fall into your lap .
Also,unless he is paid piece work ,he should certainly be paid for any time he is there,just make sure he has something to do .
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:52 PM
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I def. agree that the guy should be paid from the moment he arrives to the yard to the time he leaves the yard. I just think back to when I was a worker. I wanted to be paid for all my time. If I'm driving the truck from one lawn to another, I consider that work, too.

That being said, I feel like letting a worker take your truck and equipment to do his own side work for himself and family/friends is a risk. If there was an incident and your insurance provider was able to determine that the work was not for one of your clients, it's possible they could deny the claim. The way I see it, my equipment is my bread and butter. I'm not going to risk that which puts food on my table. It seems like you already treat your employees right. You pay the guy for his time and effort. You're fair. Why let the guy use commercial grade equipment on his friends/family while you take all the risk?
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:33 PM
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do you have set hours 8-5, 9-5? most jobs I have ever had there is a start time and a stop time most 8 hours if your late you start getting paid when you got there you are required a lunch on or before your 5th hour you get a 15 min break after 2 hours your drive time to and from your house to the job,shop,shack or garage doesn't count. In my shop you get paid when the truck trailer and equipment leave the shop usually truck is out by 8. Back by 4-4:30 gives you a hour to 30min to clean up grease stuff make minor repairs 5:00 you wanna stand around kick rocks and tell stories go for it that"s your time 5:30 you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Are your work days longer than 8 hours ? Do you pay overtime ? or is everything straight time ? If he is a good worker put him on salary now when he gets there and leaves it all good he gets paid the same. If his kid has a ball game let him go early but pay him for the hole day if his kids sick and needs to stay home with him pay him the day better to do that and make him happy when he really needs the time off than to lose him over min at the shop
I also agree with putting a stop to letting him use your equipment let him put the wear and tear on his own equipment.

good luck
Mac. Leonards Lawn Maint.

Last edited by Norcal; 04-11-2011 at 11:43 PM.
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