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Would you pay to fix an employees truck?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ktfbgb, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    Hey guys just want to get your thoughts on this. One of my employees who is going to be the sidewalk crew foreman this year had his 4 wheel drive take a dump on him. His truck is still in pretty good shape and has been reliable just the 4x4 doesn't work. He's never missed a day of work because his "truck broke down". Anyway he had a shop look at it and I guess the fix is just around $600. That's a lot of coin for him and he can't afford it, but I can. I have been wanting to get a company truck for him as my lead guy but I just can't do it right now. That's for a different thread. What would you guys do? I can't buy him a company truck right now but want to ensure he can get around this winter. Would you guys pay to fix an employees truck in this situation? Especially if it's a benefit for your company to make sure they can get to work at 3am with a foot of snow on the ground? Would you make it pro rated like have him sign something that says he has to work for me at least 6 months after the repairs are made and each month will cut a $100 off the price so if he leaves after two months he owes me $400 which I would take out of the last paycheck?
     
  2. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,964

    It's like you are lending him money. If you want, you write up something quick that he will pay back X amount every paycheck. He pays the whole thing. I have helped employees before. But there's limits.
     
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  3. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    Ya and I don't want to set a dangerous president either. All of a sudden the brakes are bad, need new tires, etc. etc. Maybe the loan route is a better way to go.
     
  4. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,211

    If you have faith in the guy and you need him and like him for sure. It's only $600.00 and he will be more loyal. Your probably his only shot at getting the money. Let him pay you back the way you want or feel best about.

    I done this plenty of time, They can't get to work with no vehicle, I know I sure would not want to pick him up.
     
  5. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,211

    Keep one eye on his vehicle, You see tires or brakes etc. tell them I do, Make sure you don't party, fish,hunt to much. You need tires. In NY you can put lean on vehicle. Not recommended with a minimal amount. Lost some good guys over vehicles because they could not get to work. Other Contractors may be willing to pick him up.
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  6. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    Ya I do have faith in him and he has been a loyal guy. In the past I have been a real a@@ h$@& to my employees about their trucks and tools etc. telling them if they want a job then they better figure out how to get to work on time no matter what. That tactic has lost me many employees and we have a severely limited skilled worker pool here. So when I find a guy who is a great all around carpenter who works hard, never misses any work, and is willing to get up at 3 am to run a shovel crew even though he's a carpenter and not a laborer, I don't want to lose him. I don't want to set a mentality that the boss is going to keep lending money for truck repairs either. I'm sure you have all had employees ask for advances on their paycheck and I personally refuse to do it, just like I refuse to give rides to employees. Just trying to figure out how to be a firm boss without being a complete a hole which is new territory for me lol.
     
  7. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,964

    Remember if you have multiple employees, and another finds out, it may start some harsh feelings. I would do it as a loan. Then you can always give some back as a performance bonus.
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  8. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I would do it as a loan if I was in your shoes. "I'll take 50$ off each paycheck until the 600$ is paid off" or something.

    However, I also feel like he shouldn't need 4wd for at least 3 more months. If he can't save 600$ over 3 months to get it fixed, he has bigger problems
     
  9. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    True on not needing it for 3 more months. However we have a relatively high cost of living here so I understand why he would have a hard time trying to save for it. Rent up here is over a buck per square foot. A 1200 square foot townhouse costs $1600 a month which is right about what he lives in. Going wage for a journeyman carpenter is in the $18.00 per hour range which is What I pay him for normal work. All my guys get a $5 per hour bump for snow removal though. I'm not making excuses for the guy I'm just saying I understand and I was in the same boat until I decided to start my own company so I could make what I wanted to make.

    I'm am leaning on the loan route per everyone's feedback. That way guys don't get jealous, I help out the employee, and build loyalty at the same time.

    Keep it coming though, I really appreciate everyone's input.
     
  10. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,061

    Living expenses here are about the same. When I left my old company I was making $20/hr. My boss would have never fixed my truck, but he had let me use a work truck while mine was in the shop once. That's a different story though. If I needed 4x4 to make money in the winter, I'd figure out a way to get $600.

    Does he carry equipment and stuff around for you while doing sidewalks? How long has he been with you? I would be more likely to do it for my guy who's been with me for a while over some good carpenter I've had for a few months who hasn't really made me a whole lot of money. If you're good with eating the $600 maybe wait a month or 2 and see if he gets around to fixing it. If not and he uses the truck for your stuff then pay. If he just uses it to get around do the loan. I like your idea of him having to pay if he quits. Maybe just through the winter or something. Either way tell him not to talk about it, so no one gets upset.

    By the way I feel your pain with finding good help!
     
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,489

    The guy I started plowing for would help a guy out,
    but then he would work ya like a dog until he felt the debt was paid back.
     
  12. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,211

    With the living expense that your talking about for sure hes struggling. Keep it between you and him and don't hand him the money. Pay the repair on the truck at the shop. Sometime these guys as good as they are they might like to put something up there nose. Not saying he does but they can fool you.

    This is a on going problem with employees. A car repair hits them between the eyes and they don't have the money. Keep the faith he will get it back to you. These young carpenters, laborers, operators are hard to find. I'm tired of being short handed. I just picked up a Mexican, Hes church going has a wife and family and works like a mule. No drivers license but has a permit. He has to take the 5 hr course.
     
  13. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,211

    Ya 40hrs debt takes 80hrs to pay back.