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Minimum shift

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Longae29, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    We've had several days in a row with small amounts of precipitation. Towards the end of tonights salt run, one of the drivers called and asked if there was any other jobs for him to do. No was my answer, its Friday night, between 4 of us we hit everything that will be open tomorrow. "C'mon you're killing me with these 3-4 hour shifts" was his response. For a night like tonight (4) 3-4 hour runs is all it takes. Just goes with the territory right? Looking for any ideas on what some of you guys do....minimum pay for a shift? Minimum hours? To me being out on a 6 hr salt run is not fun....This particular guy gets $22/hr.
  2. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,395

    I go to extra lengths to take care of the help.
    Especially when the hours are short.

    If you are billing full amounts I'd throw em 8 hrs just because it pays to take care
    of your good employees.
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Thats been a tough one for me too some times. I tell them (new hires) that some nights we might only be out for a couple hours and some nights will lead into days,lol. My salt route is very tight except for 1 location so its always been just me on a salt run which takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Is there any way to maybe consolidate a couple routes so guys are getting maybe 4-5 hours and have them trade off storms so everyone has equal hours so to speak. If thats not possible maybe have them come back and clean the shop or trucks up for a couple extra hours. But like someone said, if he's a good employee I would consider just about anything within reason so he stays.
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    It is the nature of the beast. unfortunately we can't control the weather, so that means we can't control the number of hours the guys get. I just lost one of my summer guys, because he wasn't getting enough hours. He was not a driver or shoveler for snow, just a summer guy, (his choice). He came in to the office and started bitching about how many hours he was getting, how much money he thinks he has made me, and how I should just pay him 300 dollars a week. I went off on him, and told him if he wasn't happy, he should pack up his belongings and look for another job.
    I fully agree we need to try and take care of guys to keep them happy, but there are limits, and I am not going to create work just so I can pay the bills for another mans household. I am in business to make money, not give it all away just to keep guys from bitching.
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,745

    Just asking. But if its just a b/s event why do you need everyone out? Couldnt just 2 do the job and get more hours? Then next run give it to the other 2 guys?
    Not sure if it'll work in your case but maybe a thought?
  6. John from OH

    John from OH Member
    Messages: 35

    We pay a 4 hour minimum. It's tough to "create" work just to give an employee hours. If one gets extra hours, they all want extra hours and it can snowball from there. That said, we do explain, multiple times during the year and more so going into winter that over the course of a year our employees work 2000 to 2100 hours and a normal 5 day a week, 8 hour per day job over 52 weeks is a 2080 hours and they to budget for slow times.
  7. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    We pay employees 4 hr min.

    Sub are what it is.

    I'm a sub and it is what it is.
  8. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    Thanks for the feedback. Obviously the nature of this business is all about variables, so few times over the season do we get the same amount of precipitation over the same period of time on the same day of the week. I think considering a 4 hour minimum is pretty fair. This guy in particular is reliable, and knows a fair number of the jobs, he is by no means a "super star''. To me, salt runs get boring after a certain period of time. If time was no object two guys could probably handle a weekend salt run, and get 8 hours a piece, but that just seems to really drag on. In last nights case, we kind of wanted to try and hit some places while they were still open (even though most of these, high traffic lots, had little to no accumulation) the other three of us (full timers, this guy is snow only) that were out were/are usually of the mindset, lets get it done as quick as possible, and get home, we work enough as it is. anyway, I'm rambling, just thoughts to mull over.
  9. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Snow work is not seasonal it is hit or miss. Every year is different as each snow storm.

    It has to be emphasized when hiring people that is the facts. They have to have set hours then this is not the business for them.

    I do not like the minimum 4 hours work. Guy rushes through his work in 3 hours so he goes home early. Though the quality of the work suffered.

    Also if you can call someone out for 2 hours and pay him 4 hour minimum then you can afford to pay him more for his regular hour rate.

    Fair thing to do is tell everyone you do not play favorites because everyone is here to make money so you are not going exclude others from work just so someone can be a hog.

    Also if you can afford to pay a minimum for hours not worked. I think a better deal is to offer a season end bonus instead. This is motivation to keep people to stick through the season.
  10. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,940

    I'm a sub and I just got called out for three hours of work and it pissed me off. I drive over an hour each way to my sites. I would have rather worked all night, or just be left off for the night and let someone else have the hours. There was no reason for them to call me in for only three hours. ****, I was in the middle of a very large parking lot (about half done) when my route supervisor called me and told me to pack it in for the night, but they will probably call me for clean-up tomorrow. Guess what, I'll "be busy" tomorrow. I'm not doing that again.
  11. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I am going to get bashed for this. But here goes!

    This is the problem with a loosely defined contract worker. If your employer, again loosely defined, calls you out a 4am and you head to your assignment at 5am, you are on the clock. And stay on the clock until your last official duty, ie, call to notify completed, stop at shop to turn in completed route sheets, ect. To be a contract worker, you would need to make the decision when to go out and what lots to do when.

    To resolve this issue, I pay time and mileage, based on a gps camera, and pay an hourly rate accordingly. It is to my advantage to hire a worker close to work, If I make an exception to this, it costs me more. I assign drivers to specific routes, if I use them on other properties, I pay more.

    These drivers have ss and taxes withheld, have workers comp, and pay into the Unemployment system.

    Someday the government is going to crack down on this. The back pay and taxes could wipe some companies out.

    Just my opinion!
  12. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Did you know that Old McDonald was a bad speller?

    C O W ----------- E I E I O.

    Did you know that many people commute into NYC from the surrounding suburbs, many of them take 1.5 hours each way, some up to 2 hours each way 5 days a week?

    When they took those jobs in the city or moved out to the burbs they knew what they were getting into.

    So why did you take a job where you had to travel farther then you want and as everyone knows in snow removal there is no guaranteed amount of snow fall so there never will be a guaranteed amount of work?

    Then complain that you do not like the amount of work that you got and will not go when called again.
  13. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    In CT there is a 4 hour minimum if you show up to to work. I've never had any complaints from my guys but we pay very well. $20/hour for shovelers and $25/ hour for drivers.
  14. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,940

    I don't have a problem with the commute if I get in enough hours to make it worth my while (ie: at least 5 or 6). And you're right, there is no guarantee on hours, but when I'm only half done with a 12 acre property and the route supervisor won't let me finish that property before sending me home I have a problem with that. Am I wrong? I'm not saying I expected 10, 12, or 15 hours, but allowing me to finish MY normal route would have given me a nice, profitable short night.
  15. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,940

    And by the way, I texted the route supervisor explaining this to him last night when I was finished and told him that if he was only going to call me in for clean-up for a couple of hours again today I couldn't make it. He responded "okay, I understand". So, he gets it as well.
  16. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Corporate world is squeezing pennies all the time. Good enough for the lot to get by then they send you home.

    Come on you know that upper management has to get their year end bonuses. Always easy to screw the people on the bottom.
  17. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    I wonder if that will impact you on the job. Let us know.
  18. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,940

    No, it didn't impact my position at all. As I stated earlier the Route supervisor had no problem with my not wanting to go in for three hours or less. It just gives other guys (company employees vs. a sub) more hours. And I've already gotten the call to be prepared to go out tonight at 1:00 A.M. or possibly sooner. So, they were fine with it.
  19. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Good. 10c