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Employee Wages

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by XJ1517, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. XJ1517

    XJ1517 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I have multiple trucks and for one of the trucks, I run two guys in it.

    They do most of my residentials. In total, they do about 30, but less than 10 require shovelling service.

    This means that between the two of them, they could be out for lets say 12 hours, the driver/operator may drive for the full 12 hours but the shoveller riding shotgun could be napping most of the time for all I know and getting paid for it.

    My reason for sending two guys is to speed up the shovelling, provide spotting assistance, talking with customers if they come out of their house and have questions/issues/whatever, or if there was a breakdown they could hopefully put their heads together to figure it out, etc....

    Lets say they go out for a 12 hour route. Right now, I'm paying them both an hourly rate, so I'm paying for 24 hours of work when in reality, one might be doing all the driving while one might work 1/4 of that whole time.

    After the huge dumping we had at the end of December, they were out for alot of hours and the wages added up way higher than I would have liked (I get it, it's part of business). I understand that I've chosen to send them both and I'm on the hook to pay them. They're good guys and I've discussed this with them. I'm just looking at cost savings wherever possible.

    I'm curious if anyone else has different ways other than an hourly rate to pay their workers.

    Any input is appreciated.

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    then some how you should of made a whole route that needs shoveling,even it meant crossing into your other routes,
  3. XJ1517

    XJ1517 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Makes sense, but most customers actually requested that we don't shovel. They said they'd like to do it themselves. My experience with shovelling is that it sometimes takes too long and the way I look at the job as the business owner vs the way one of my workers do isn't the same. Some would just half ass it.

    I'm not trying to be a bad boss and underpay my workers. Just wondering if there's flat rates or something else people use to pay their crew.
  4. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,715

    Simple. Three options...cut walks out of residential service, make the driver also do the little bit of shoveling, or raise prices on the walks that you have to shovel to cover the cost of paying someone to do nothing 75 percent of the time they're on the clock.

    Or, do as Grandview said if you have enough other walks. A dedicated walk crew would help keep everyone happy, other than the employee that's getting paid to cruise around in the passenger seat.
  5. KildonanSnowRem

    KildonanSnowRem Member
    Messages: 72

    Not sure if that was a hypothetical 12 hours, but if not, that is an issue. I run a truck that has two - three guys with shovels and blowers only and we can knock off 30 resi's in 7.5hours after an 8" storm. A plow and two shovellers should be able to knock of 30 resi's much quicker than that.

    If you saying 12 hours is actually how long it takes for them to do the route, I would look into that. If not, ignore what I said!
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 6,746

    I sub out my shoveling.
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    The right thing to do is pay your shovel-monkey for all of his time.
    Even if he could fall asleep in "your" truck while working for you.
    It is not his fault you don't have shoveling for him to do.
    You can require him to be awake and be a spotter for the operator.
    And he could shovel around mailboxes, in front of doors, etc etc.
    Take pics to document your work, etc etc
    Even if you don't get paid for this your paying your shoveler, so you might as well have him do somthing.

    So the guy is supose to ride along,
    Only getting paid for the time he is shoveling.
    So out of 12 you say, that most of the time he is not working.
    So he's going to be , what working, getting paid for 3-4 hrs out of the 12 he spent At your direction.
    You better get him to sigen a contract that spells that out.
    Or he could report you and get paid for all of his time.

    I wouldn't even take that job for cash under the table.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  8. shawn_

    shawn_ Member
    Messages: 30

    100% agree with what he said if you have a shoveler for the entire route with another driver you have to pay him the entire time he is in you're truck wether he is working or not, it is not his fault he is not working because there is no walks for him to do.
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    I think the solution is to have the driver do his own hand work(shoveling/blowing). You don't need two guys in that truck. Or, you could send the hand work guy in his own vehicle or one of yours. Or, you could have the plow driver save the 10 accounts that need hand work for last and pick the guy up before starting on them. Or, have them do the 10 hand work accounts first and drop the one guy off at the shop after they are completed. I don't like the fact that this route takes 12 hrs either...Make it into two separate routes if possible. Put a couple blowers in the hand work guy's truck and let him do some drives as well.
  10. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    If you could get your customers to agree to a flat rate charge for the shoveling, then you could pay the shovel guy a percentage of that. Sent him out before the plow guy, or send them in opposite directions, so the shoveling is done for the plow truck.

    I pay my sub a percentage. I try to have the shoveling done before he goes out with the tractor, so he can just back in and blow everything forward.

    Lots of good advice and ideas here!
  11. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,416

    He is an employe, ya got to pay him for his time. You run the show. And is 12 hours for the route after snow stops? Split up the route, one guy in a truck. The driver has to do some of the shoveling.
  12. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Don't know if this would work for your situation or not, but I have a buddy here that pays his lawn guys a commission instead of hourly. He keeps 50% of charges and gives the employee the other 50%. So if you have 30 drives at $40 each, you get $20x30=$600 and the employee also gets $600. Doesn't matter if he gets all 30 done in 5 hrs or 15 hrs, he gets the same pay. Obviously, you may want to change the percentage, maybe 60/40 or 70/30 you favor. I bet the route gets done lots quicker. I agree with most others above, I think there may be some goofing off going on. Shouldn't take anywhere near that long provided you have a tight route and not a lot of windshield time.