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Overtime? Or send them home early?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ok here is my question. When you guys know that a storm is going to hit, mid to late afternoon ( 2pm -5 pm ish), the day before what do you do?

    Do you still have your guys come in and do the regular work? Or do you say don't come in to like 3 Pm or something?

    For excample my regular work hours are

    Summer 7 AM to 5 Pm
    Winter 8 Am to 4 Pm

    Now if he had a storm where plowing would start around 6 or 7 pm, most guys wanted to work to 4, to get the extra overtime. The salery guys went home, early which was fine with me.

    Now i have never had an accident with any equipment, except for getting stuck. So i figure guys are resting, and pasting themselves. But the isshue of safety still comes to mind. I want guys to rest, which means either don't come to work till later in the day, or go home early ( depending on the storm). Only i don't want to appear like a jerk, by not allowing them to earn overtime.

    I know this only applies to a few people. So any responses by anyone, would be helpfull.

    Geoff
     
  2. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Overtime for me is a tough subject year round. I have no guys on salary,but a couple operators I feel obligated to allow them to work as much as they want. The one sort of rule I use for the other ones is that as long as they are doing billable work I dont care.During the winter it tougher though and i try to get them all forty hours a week,and if snow comes that is not usually a problem. Sending them home early on a snow day is not hard because for us the time when the snow stops is when we plow but If it stops snowing at 6 or 7 I don't usually start them until midnight just for the reason that traffic is so bad and we all know how bright the general population is when it comes to driving around snow plows(it at least make for good converstion at the end of a storm)so they at least get a couple hour rest.Sadly it seems I am preparing and repairing right up to the end and I never get any of that sleep,but I guess that why I take home the big money.
     
  3. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Geoff,

    I work my guys up to 30 to 40 hours straight with some breaks in between. Usually, we'll stop in there a few times and I'll buy them breakfast or dinner. We don't pay overtime, but do pay bonuses for quality of work done and how timely it was performed. We also bonus everyone at the end of both summer and winter seasons. This makes up for the guys not working everyday in the winter time and helps reduce our taxable income at the end of the year.
     
  4. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I thought it was law to pay overtime after 40 hrs, and we never have anyone work 30-40 hrs straight. Its not good for anyone, we rotate our driver every 12 hrs at most.I think it would be good for you to look into a system that allows for rest.
    We also plow from first flake,whenever that may be. If it is 6 pm we know some one will be up all night. So I will send all but 1 home early. Myself and that driver will take care of all the 0 tolerance sites, and the rest of drivers will rest. they then start at 2-3 am. Myself and the other driver are done by 5-6 am and I let him go. I then become dispatcher, but from home and not on the road. I manage the other subs that are still out. They get done by 9 am. I then have one of them come get me, and we check all sites.
    I am home by 12 noon. I sleep the afternoon, and then head out after business closes, and then touch up with one other driver and reapply grit for ice overs.
    Dino
     
  5. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    It is law to pay overtime for over forty hours, and i do. Even my sallery guys, whos job description inculdes snow removel, get an hourly addition tacked onto their check. The hourly guys want to work, a regular day, then plow all night, and get the overtime form plowing. I don't mind paying this overtime, only i don't want to say, go home at noon, and come back at 6, and look like a jerk for decreasing the amount of overtime avaible (because i want them to rest).

    I have had storms where trucks have run 24 or 26 hours, and if you figure in that some of those guys may have worked the day the storm started, that is too long.

    I posted a New Company Policy today that stated this.

    All Year Round Personel involved in snow removal.

    Work Hours For 2000 / 2001 Winter

    Normal Day 8 Am to 4 PM 30 Min Lunch

    Snow Storm Day

    If estimated Plowing Time ( the day before ) is 12:00 Pm to 6: PM Do not report to work before 12:eek:o PM

    If Estimated Plowing Time ( the Day Before ) Is 8 PM Or later, you may ( you may also stay home, if you notify your boss the day before) report to work at 8:00 AM, you will be sent home at 12:00 PM

    If Estimated Plowing Time ( The day before ) Is between 12:00 AM and 8 AM, you have the option of working a full day ( 8 Am to 4 Pm) the day before the storm. However when plowing is completed, you have the option of washing your equipment or going home. If Equipment isn't washed the day of the storm, it must be washed the day after. The Shop will be open Saturday and Sunday From 9 AM to 1 Pm the day after a storm, to was equipment. Note Anytime spent at the shop washing equipment if paid time.

    On Call Sand Truck Drivers

    Employee Numbers 1-12 and 007 Are Trained Sand Truck Drivers

    If you are called in during the season to sand, you have the option of leaving work early, that day. For excample if you start at 2 AM and finish at 8 AM, you can leave after sanding.

    Breaks during the storm. Any employee is allowed a 15 Min break every two hours. The soda machine at the shop will be open during any storm, and coffee and food will be avaible.

    Please remember that every employee recieves at least 12 hours of work during a snow storm. These day time work hours, are not an effort to reduce overtime. They are an effort to increase workplace safety. All jobs completion dates are flexible during the winter, extensions will be given to any project, that is interupted by a storm.

    This is my new policy in brief, i feel it is fair. I am wondering what the responses will be.

    Geoff

    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 09-01-2000 at 01:46 AM]
     
  6. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I glad I don't have to implement a policy like that.I guess I am much, much more informal with my drivers.Half of whom are self employed workers of every walk.I do my very best to accomodate their obligations and have people fill in or pickup their unfinished accounts when they have to go.Because I dont use contracted help the truck is always available.When we go to work it easily is a 24 to 30 hr straight.I guess thats just the way we have always done it,and never have we had alot of problems.After 6 to 9 hrs sleep we usually have another day or two of twelve hour days to finish up,and definately if it was a big snow or later in a series of storms. The good rest comes when we have 2 to 3 days of no snow.I wish I could have a rotating work force but qualified help just isnt there, so all my guys work over time and make some good money.
     
  7. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I agree with Diggerman. Good help is hard to come by here. Therefore, most of us only have a handful of good people that we can count on. Using them as subcontractors can bypass the overtime issues, but it is still important to compensate them well for their time. If our guys are working 20, 30 or 40 hours straight or close to it, then I'm working double that. I'm sure diggerman can attest to that.
     
  8. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Well, i can't roatate drivers either. Only the thing is, these guys always get 40 Hours of work in the winter. So when they plow it overtime. However i told them, the reason for this policy is i want them to rest, and they will still get 40 + hours a week when it snows. 12 Hours is the shortest time we can do everything in, most of the time its around 20, only some guys see 24.

    Geoff
     
  9. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Just by stating they are subcontractors doesnt get you around the issue. The IRS has I think a 10-12 step criteria to identfy subs as such. And if they are in your truck, they will be clasified as employees. Also the feds have guidlines for ALL COMMERCIAL DRIVERS. That means if your truck is used for making money it is commercial, that states drivers can only operate 10 hrs a day and work 12.
    What it comes down to is a safety issue, people DO NOT operate as well after 24-30hrs staright then they do during the first 12 or so.
    Its an issue that we had to deal with, and I see Geoff had to also. We just bit the bullet and came up with a plan that works, or at least we hopes that will work.
    The bottom line is that you open yourself to greater risk, and liability.
    I had a driver that moved back to my area last season, and he commented that the system was much better, and that he was a happier driver because of it.
    Its also an equipment issue, if you have to plow that long, and it isnt a long duriation event, then you need to look at the # of pieces of equipment and see if you are stretched to thin.
    Dino