1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

GPS, (yes i did a search) and subs?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by elite1msmith, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    2 part question,

    a. i did a search on here, cna anyone give some good advice or info info for GPS and cell phones? i remember looking at a few last year that did the following thins but cant remember which one i liked. "stand by , text message alert" bacily if the GPS didnt move at least 50 feet in a 5 min period, it assumed that the guys were taking a break and would send a text message notifing me of such. ? also i saw one that had a lob clock in/out on it, and when they clocked in and out it would then verify there location. the owner/manager would pre-program a route....then when the guy clocked in, he had to be at the location that was programmed , not still in route

    b. with that said, anyone use or require it for a sub? had a bad sub a few years ago... lied, trying to get more on his time sheet, did dmage to vehicals, list goes on. SO i thougth you know i should make them have GPS units to verify there bill. but then that costs me more money. so choice A for the sub. A= you can drive up to meet up with me 8 hours before a storm , pic up a phone , carry it with you, then drive it back to me after you are all done (we might be in different towns)...im not paying for this travel time either. or option B= you can keep the phone all month, however you are charged XX per month. we will give you 200 mins per month to use. any good sub should have a working phone, but i have called a few and got the "jack didnt pay his bill message"....so this way i know the phone will ring.

    i know alot of subs wouldnt like the idea of me forcing them to pay me xx per month for the phone...but the other option is come pick it up and then drop it off with me...their choice, but fuel and time ...XX might be cheaper.

    what do you think?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  3. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    You could easily make it a job requirement. If he doesn't provide it he doesn't work for you.

    There's got to be a strong mutual trust between you and your sub. Once they give you reasons to start playing cat & mouse they're dead man walking at that point......replace him.
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I'd be insulted if I had to put one on my truck.
  5. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Is that a horrible thing to do?

    I can see it would be for one who has something to hide.

    If one agrees to an hourly arrangement, what's so wrong with verification?
  6. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    As far as the GPS goes....
    The county here has them on their trucks to track them and it works well, so I would say you should issue the phone if you want them to have it. There should be a set of rules that go with it, like you earlier stated. Follow them and I pay you, don't and I will find someone else.
    To a good, honest, reliable person, this should not matter.
    When I was a sub about 10 years ago, I was given a phone from the company I worked for. When snow was in the forecast, I was required to carry it 24/7. It was MY loss if I chose not to answer the phone or forgot to turn it on, etc....
  7. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Really? You got something to hide?

    Unfortunately one bad apple ruins the bunch, and everyone has to be treated equally.

    I wouldnt have a problem with it.
  8. capitalsnow

    capitalsnow Member
    Messages: 65

    The company i worked for over the last two years had them in there salt trucks and 4x4s, it seemed to be abused, guys fueling up my tractor would get messages from the boss asking why they have been stopped for 10mins, i also heard one guy was doing 115km on the highways and got in **** for it, anyways it was one thing after another, i guess like as said before after the truck hasnt moved for 10mins the gps reports it to boss, imo this system is very handy but shouldnt be used as a "big brother" device, have some trust in people.
  9. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Well, it is a "big brother device". Like Johnny stated someone finally ruined it for that bunch.

    However micro-managing the activity is counterproductive. They would be creating their own nightmare by doing so.

    You really shouldn't sweat the small stuff.
  10. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    i wouldnt worry about i, just have them call you when they are done with a lot and record the times, that what me and my boss do and it works out great and noone get the stick at pay time!
  11. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    When your running just a few trucks, you can probably get away with a phone call for clocking in and out. It becomes a problem when you experience a lot of growth and can't be everywhere to monitor your drivers. Just 5-10 mins wasted per truck, per event can add up very quickly, when your running a lot of drivers. If your running on trust, you probably won't be running long, or experience continued growth.
    When I was at my peak several years ago, I was running 15-18 trucks. I had systems w/ equipment in place to hold people accountable. Some will always find the loop holes, or your weak spots.

    GPS, wasn't an option for me then. I issued 2 way's and pagers w/ a system in how they were used. Basically, the drivers had to pay a security deposit which in some cases was paid from their first pay check, not the full value, but enough to make them want to take care of the equipment and turn it back in.

    If I ever decided to expand again, I'm quite sure that I would be using some form of GPS. I like the phone idea, as opposed to installing a unit on each truck ( I just see too many problems w/ that, if they are subs trucks). I would have to explore options w/ the carrier, as to how the bill would be itemized. But I would issue the equipment the same way I do w/ anything else, only difference is that they would be responsible for personal minutes used. I'm sure you could have some blocks installed on the equipment, for long distance, etc.

    As far as being insulted, I never thought the people closest to me would be the ones I had to watch even closer. Often times, they see things differently than you do. Good intentions, trust and entitlement can cause serious damage to a business, if you want to know how just ask me.
  12. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Drivers that take monitoring personally can work for themselves, I guess--right?

    Just don't be "Lumberg" to your people, and you'll be just fine.
  13. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Very true...
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Uhhh.... Yeah..... No...... I'm going to have to go ahead and agree with you on that one...

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/p9Dp_DMAQAg&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/p9Dp_DMAQAg&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

    I think tracking of some form or another is going to be the norm for all businesses involving vehicles. I drive school bus part time and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we have it. Some districts running brand new equipment probably already do.

    As a supervisor, I wouldn't want to get a text alert every time the truck doesn't move for five minutes. Without knowing the location, that info is useless. Guys have to fill the truck, and empty their own tanks. I don't need to know if a guy stopped by the house to take a dump. I would rather be able to log in to a website to check in occasionally, and be able to pull reports at the end of the storm. And, if you are good super and have your ear to the ground, you should know who your trouble makers are.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  15. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Exactly--information is powerful, and requires responsibility to use it effectively and not make you people feel like they exist in a fishbowl.

    Glad to know my obscure reference did not go unnoticed. :D
  16. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    I don't know you and I'm not judging you......I don't know the details. But I hope for your sake you're not a nit-picker.

    Not much gets by Mr. Palmer. :drinkup:
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  17. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I wouldn't care a bit if the guy that i sub for wanted me to carry a gps phone. As far as min go i would rather use my own phone anyway so the they could block all the outgoing calls except to him and 911.

    I'm sure there is some other system for tracking that isn't a cell phone, there will some people that will run the minuets way up.

    The guy that i do work for takes my word for all of my hours, i fill out sheets for the lots so he can bill them but i get paid from when i leave my house untill i get home and i can honestly say that if anyone has been cheated out of hours it has been me, if i stop at home or somewhere to eat i don't count that time.
  18. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well the sub doesnt work for me any longer.

    Im not so concerened abotu the text message alert and becoming a micro manager, my concern is at th end of the storm the dollars that i am ripped off

    heres just a few situations that he tried to pull, He claimed to "clock into a site" at 9:45....i got a phone call from the manager at 10:07 that asked me the ETA for a plow truck.....? sub claims he was there...which is funny becasue i was in the salt truck and arrived 10:15 becasue i was already in route. when i first pulled up i didnt see them for like 5 mins. they claim they were on the back side of the lot....right..........its a 1 acre lot - restrant

    problem number 2 - sub with 2 trucks - calls me up says he has to leave to start his own route, but the second truck is still on site. i call up driver number 2 ...claims the owner (guy in truck 1) told him to leave as well...somebody is lieing. mean while im 30 mins away. with no trucks on that site

    problem number 3. call them up at midnight, tell them we are going out at 2 am.... call them at 2, where are you guys..."we will be there shortly" well first truck gets there at 3...inother words he had not left the house...i ask wheres the other tuck..."hes in route" 3 hours later shows up ...he had to plow something else first, with out telling me.... i would have called another one of my trucks out that morning.

    now yes hes a bad apple. but im sure hes not the only one. in addition, if anyone has ever switched from a manual time clock in ...like a fill in the blank.... to an automatied time clock...you see an instant savings. Y = its not becasue your employees are trying to rip you off, its becasue 6:49 becomes 6:45 on the time card...and cloking out 3:27 becomes 3:30....multiplied by the number of guys on your crew you can see an instand savings. take that one step further....a truck making 80 per hour - every min costs you over $1.33 if he goes to 8 different sites and on average rounds 2 mins before and after = 4 mins total x 8 sites = 32 mins = 42.66 you are going to be billed for, multiply that times just 3 trucks each storm 10 storms per year = $1279.8

    while part of it is a trust issue, i look at it as getting the most for my money. in addition i could tell who was on what sites, or is lieing

    my main question, altho most of you seem to aggree that as a sub you would carry one....if i were to give you the choice, A = you pay a good portion of the monthly bill ($80+/-) or B you pay nothing but have to drive to meet with me each storm, prior to the storm, and then drop it off as soon as you are done. again the drop off point might not be in the same town as you plow. - how would that sit with you?

    also anybody with good or bad experiances with a particulare type/brand/program?
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  19. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I wouldn't pay any of the bill, I have my own phone and your the one that wants me to carry it, can't you drop the min plan on that one to make it very cheap? And i wouldn't mind picking it up and dropping it off but only of the shop is within reason. Are we talking about half hour drive time? I am at our shop a bunch during storms to get salt and things so going there isn't a huge deal but if it's an hour drive and i don't need to come there for any other reason than getting a phone i wouldn't do it.
  20. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I run GPS in all my trucks-we use it to compare time/job sheets against actual performance. We use it to go over their routes and learn from each other-IE dispatch and drivers what we can do better as a team. The dispatcher actually can monitor them and make a better call when a customer calls in to see who is best situated to help or in some cases which drivers are not progressing and send in help to their areas. I also run subs and they have no GPS-as a sub I am not allowed to dictate routes they take between jobs -IE they are not employees and they follow under different rules. I have supervisors who check to make sure they are on site and occasionally swing through to check on progress. But the minute you begin to supervise them in like one of your employees then they become your employees in the eyes of the state.
    I let all my employees know their are GPS units in their trucks and we still have had an occasional employee try to extended their shifts and go off route to try and do a side job. Its amazing the look on their face when a supervisor shows up and removes them from their truck. GPS is a tool and in this day and age it allows you increase productivity and performance which all clients are screaming for.