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Headaches of adding a truck.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by MK97, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    Looking like I will have enough work this year that if I wanted I could add another truck. Well add another plow since I already have two trucks. I'd like to expand some, but then remaining a one man band means no issues with being reliable.

    I have been going back and forth on this for the last couple weeks. Mainly because I have issues trusting someone else to actually show up every time. I've been doing some searching and the guys I have found/interviewed, I wouldn't trust to take care of a fake plant.

    I've read about contacting construction/mason companies for someone wanting snow work and may do that the coming days.

    How are you guys going about finding a driver you could actually somewhat rely on? I'd like to not have to find a replacement every storm if I run two trucks this year.
  2. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    I am very interested in this also, since I am also looking to add another driver or two for this winter
  3. mikeyd915

    mikeyd915 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    It's difficult. You need to question how if they are any good why they are still available. You should first try to contact friend or family. Also contact local plow/landscape business that have workers that may be available.
  4. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    Did the whole friends and family thing, problem is the only ones I would trust are 90 minutes away with a full time job and the other is on the other side of the world...so don't think he can make it. :lol:

    Have to call one landscape company today that I'm picking up some sub work for them, may see if he has a guy wanting to move up to a truck.
  5. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    i took a long shot last year. i had a few of my summer guys that have been snow blowing for a few years. i sat each one of them down and told them they had a chance to make $4 more per hour running bobcats and pick ups in large lots. showed them some videos, had them pre check their own equipment to make sure everything was working properly and had them spend some time playing with them in the yard and it worked out pretty awesome. you wont find better employees then the trusty ones you have that you dont think could handle more responsibility. in my case i took a shot and it worked real well.
  6. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    That would be ideal, however I have gone through a few this year. The one I have now is good, but just finished his degree so I lose him in a few weeks after blowouts.
  7. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    MK97: Your thoughts are exactly why I remain a 1 man operation. Bronclefty7 does have some good ideas if you go Large
  8. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    Welp I'm still battling the employee blues, haha.

    I've been to the point a few times of saying screw it and I'll just work myself into the ground a forget the other driver idea, but I hte the idea of not getting my customers done early than later.

    Had a couple of guys that seemed decent until I told them I needed an MVR, both pulled a Houdini on me. Got one guy who should be calling me tomorrow, he's a supervisor at an asphalt company. So hopefully I can sit him down and see what he's all about.

    I'm more than willing to take on the risk required to expand. I'm young so putting in the hours isn't an issue, but figure now is the time to get some help to add even more hours and profit to my business. I have the equipment and the work, just need a halfway decent ass for the other trucks seat.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  9. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,163

    We have our main crews and then back ups for them. But yes very hard to find reliable people to show up at 3am. We have gone through a few and one of the drivers from last season will not be back due to getting a dui during the summer. Drivers seem to be more reliable than shovelers. But gotta agree with above, look for seasonal workers looking for some extra cash over their off season.
  10. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    You're totally right, which is why I'm hoping the asphalt guy works out. They seem to make a decent wage and apparently a lot of them do shoveling as well during the winter for extra cash. So it seems to be a decent group or guys wanting to work as much as they can.

    Of course time will tell everything.
  11. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,163

    Most of our guys come from a seal coating company. Some are owners of small landscape businesses, these seem to be the most reliable. This year we are lining a couple of masons to fill some holes.

    But you never can tell. Our best shoveler is now in jail for armed robbery. Happened right after the end of the season.
  12. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    That's the big thing with people...they're a crapshoot.
  13. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    yep, and have backups familiar with the site too. Try making sure enough guys cover multiple trucks... someone always has a problem or doesn't show up or not on time etc...
  14. Roper7

    Roper7 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I talked with our local auto parts stores. Asked about recently retired guys that hang around for the lack of anything better to do. Found the perfect one. Retired from his own business last year. He is crawling out of skin looking for something to do. He even has plowing experience, understands early starts and respects equipment. He is actually really excited about the opportunity. He is not interested in getting out to operate a shovel, but, I have that taken care of. Maybe I just got lucky, but it could be a source?
  15. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    Not a bad idea, and I know the guys well at my local AutoZone. I'll talk to them next parts run.
  16. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,561

    As a guy who works for someone I'll lend the "hired help" perspective.

    1. Treat the potential hire with respect. When ya meet him / her shake his hand and talk to him like he's your equal. Don't look at it as "you need me, I don't need you". Me personally, I can pick up on that right away. Clearly, you need me as well, or we wouldn't be sitting here.

    2. Very similar to #1, don't act like you're doing me a great favor by hiring me. I don't want to hear that "I have six other guys looking to work for me". Once again, if you did, we wouldn't be sitting here.

    3. Pay. Just as you don't want to hear a property manager lowball you, we don't want to be lowballed either. If our equipment, work history, and demeanor make you think we're worth it.....pay us! Don't say "everyone around here gets x". Be the guy who pays better, and you'll attract better people.

    4. Ask for expediency, but not at the cost of quality. If you have to pay us an extra 1/2 hour or hour, but the lot looks great, so be it. Know that your client will see the quality of the work, and that's worth the extra pay.

    5. Don't micromanage. If you're hiring the right guy, let him go. Don't nitpick.

    6. Lastly, and most importantly, treat us with respect and include us on the operation. I'm not saying open the books, or let us run the show. I'm saying ask for our input, and know that we might have some very good advice, or tips. Ask us point blank, "what do you think on this property, time wise?"

    As for the post "if they're any good, why are they still available?", that can be easily flipped. "If your company is so great, why can't you fill a spot?"

    As an aside, just to show you how treating someone the right way goes to getting the right people, I'll give you myself as an example. I had a Wide Out sitting in my garage. I told Mike that I was willing to drive his truck in his resi route for another year, rather than walk on him because I respected him, the business he was building, and waiting for him to acquire some commercial lots was worth it to me in the long run.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  17. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    i use the veterans association to hire freqently and they always work out well. rembmer there are vets now that are in their 20'.s...
  18. SnowJunki

    SnowJunki Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 13

    its hard I've had success with a local landscaper friend, i try and treat him equal and fair. for the first year it was hard getting him to plow the way i wanted it done. theres always a few bumps here and there with banged up equipment but never intentional. this year im ready to hire another guy and yes feel like im in your shoes all over again. the first guy fell in place. ive been looking for a good candidate for over a year and really have no leads. its a gamble im just looking for the right cards. to what sawboy wrote some good advice.
  19. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,042

    Sawboy- All good points. Many years ago I used to do all the hiring and firing for my department back when I had a "real job" as some put it, lol. So I'm pretty good at reading people and asking the right questions, also I make sure I pay well.

    That's actually brilliant, since I prefer vets over most other candidates. That and they tend to be less sensitive to criticism. When my nephew went into the Marines, he said after working with me, the drill sergeants weren't that bad. :laughing:
  20. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 6,752

    Try talking to Justin @ WaterShed, he's got the background.