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Employee Damage?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dstosh, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Dstosh

    Dstosh Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    What is your guys policy on stuff damaged by employees? Had a guy back into a powered gate (Self Storage Facility). It seems like this employee always has problems, The truck he drives, the trans is being repaired. The back up truck, he blew brake lines on. I understand that things happen, but I mean for Christ's sake.

    It seems like things happen to him all the time, but it CANT be a coincidence.

    How would you handle it? He is a pretty good employee. Always has to be motivated and checked up on and always asking for his pay early, but trust worthy and dependable.

    Whats your policy? 3 strikes your out? Docked pay? Make them pay repairs?

  2. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Truck problems it's hard to say or even to do anything about. Damage caused by his own negligence? Definately dock his pay. I would expect the same if I were in someone elses truck.
  3. plownoob

    plownoob Senior Member
    from ny
    Messages: 128

    pretty sure in ny, you can't make employees pay for damage...dock their wages, etc.
  4. Upper5percent

    Upper5percent Member
    from USofA
    Messages: 61

    Replace him before your insurance is canceled or increased because or too many claims...:(
  5. tawilson

    tawilson Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    I don't think I'd count the brake lines as a strike.
  6. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    truck damage unless he was seen seriously neglecting tranny against others saying dont do this --you have to eat
    I always get annoyed when sht breaks but it isnt their fault so do not get piussed at them for the unblameable they will get bitter and abuse it worse when your not around or worse
    if they do things wrong i try to explain how it should be done and why and that is how it will be done. \

    if he backs into something or slides off road thats part of life as well
    if it happens too much fire them.
    an employee that shows up and does good work is priceless at times but if he breaks too much then you found his price
    his damage needs to be greater than the cost of firing him and hiring and training a new employee then get rid of him.
    plus u seem fond of him
  7. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    i say the fondness thing because otherwise u would just fire him or charge him.
  8. You can't make him pay for damages. All you can do is fire him. These reasons is why we have INSURANCE...

    As for the tranny, unless someone seen him abusing the truck by shifting before he stops etc there isn't a thing you can do about that. Although we plow with these trucks they do not roll off the assembly line with a plow on the front. They are made for payload haulage etc but no where in the manual (mine anyways) does it say anything about plowing snow. For this reason, transmissions can fail from time to time.... That tranny could have been abused by someone else before him and slowly it wore out.. How often do you change the transmission fluid? And I dont mean just top it up... Do you have a transmission cooler installed? Is it a good thick heavy duty one or some cheap thin piece of junk? Point being, it might not be his fault...

    Moral of the story is... ***** Happens....
  9. 6feetdeep

    6feetdeep Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    I replaced a tranny in one of my trucks last year, and replaced brake lines in both of my trucks this year... and I was the one using them when all this happened. I am not rough on stuff, just s..T happens to all of us at the wrong times.
    Backing into stuff, well, depends on the situation. Many times it is dark, with blowing snow, or ice/ snow on the windows, fogged windows, tired drivers, putting trucks with a plow in places where a yugo shouldn't fit, etc. Many different opportunities for mistakes. If it happens a lot, can his arse.
  10. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Smashing things up....just not paying attention enough, maybe going to fast. He needs to fully understand he needs to slow down and pay attention. Murphy's law, be prepared for the worse....
    My guys get into this whole competition thing of who is the fastest......It's doesn't fly with me, I squash it or send um packing. I like a slow steady worker over that cowboy that gets things done quickly. Brake lines.....now thats just his bad luck. Transmission....hard to say. Go spy on him for a storm. Use a different vehicle and stay your distance without saying anything to anyone about what you are doing, watch his driving habits. Hitting reverse or drive too quick? Some guys just have plain bad luck, but they tend to be creatures of habit, if you can buff that diamond in a rough your golden. Now if he doesn't recognize he is accident prone, or is just arrognat.....send him down the road. Have a talk with him if you want to keep him, and explain to him against better judgment you want him to stick around. You'll know in short order if he is worth the time.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    brake lines fail- it could be rust from salt or contamited brake fluid either way it is not his fault.

    Transmission - borderline How offten was the fulid changed? when was the last rebuild? when was the bands adjusted? does it have a cooler on it? it have trans temp gauge? is he the only one to drive that truck? (All this should set on you the owner)
    if the pans got big hole in it. it is on the driver...

    Damage - first time on the owner (with a set down talking to) Just let him know, he can't be beating up and breaking stuff, when he is not sure get out and look before back up.

    Second time BYE-BYE
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Just trying to read between the lines but it sounds like this guy is always in "trouble". I don't think the gate is the first thing that was clearly his fault. Maybe it's bad luck, maybe it's him. I don't know what your accounts are like, but maybe you can put him on the business end of a shovel for a storm or two to help put things in perspective for him. It looks like you have a small operation there. Sit down and explain that you can't afford these costly mistakes. You want to keep him, but he's got to slow down a little. I presume you pay him hourly, so he doesn't have a huge incentive to hurry other than trying to show the other guys up. You definitely need to talk to him so he knows where you stand.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    when i was younger my cheap boss put a truck flatbed on a p/u. he never cut it down and it came off a big truck, so it stuck out a foot on each side, and one night i caught a metal bldg, nothin major just a ding. i figured it was my fault so being a carpenter, i fixed it on my own time. never again thats why your the boss. the guy asked me to keep plowin but his equipment was junk.
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Equipment breakage is your responsablity. Property damages is his fault.

    I gave my mowing crew a brand new just out of the box trimmer this summer. 1 hour later the engine was separated from the shaft and the shaft was bent. He had it on the mower and zero turned and hit a tree. I made him pay for it. It was less than an hour old and only $100. He was happy to do it because he knew it was his fault.

    Legal or not, I think your worker would rather pay for the repair than loose his job.
  15. Lifted4x4Astro

    Lifted4x4Astro Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    He's the employee. You, the owner, or your insurance eats it. If it happens more than 1 time a year, I would dump the employee. The truck issues are probably wear and tear. Brake lines on a 10+ year old truck in New York State should have already been replaced due to rust and corrosion especially on a plow truck!

    A good employee is one you don't have to babysit, motivate or worry about what is the next thing broken or damaged.

    See answer above. There are simply too many guys out there willing to work for a good buck and will do a great job for you.
  16. russ130

    russ130 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    Having been an employer myself I can relate to you very well. No matter how much we want someone to work out doesn't it always seem they leave anyhow? I have never blamed any of my employee's for damage to property or equipment. Reason being I know that very rarely does someone actually want to do this type of stuff on purpose as an employee. Usually they want to impress the boss or better have a loyalty to the company they work for and pride in their job. Whenever things get broken I blame myself for either not training the employee properly or not making sure the equipment is up to the task of the job at hand. Sometimes things just break and sometimes they always break on the same person. I know, that person is usually me cause if it weren't for bad luck there would be no luck at all and if it weren't for really bad luck I'd have no luck at all.
  17. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Put him on the shovel crew and in summer yard boy/gopher and make him earn it back.

    Earn it as in proving he is a worthy employee.
  18. ERCKWD

    ERCKWD Member
    Messages: 32

    No one is going to handle your equipment like you would, talk to him, let him know how much the gate cost. As for the damage to the truck, trucks break, equipment breaks it may be a coincidence but it could have easily have happened to another employee. If this trend continues start looking for a replacement.
  19. WingPlow

    WingPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    he backed into something.....

    ya know we dont work in perfect conditions out there, was it snowing ?, was it at night ??..were the windows fogged ??...what about the mirrors on the truck ??, are they big enough to see clearly out of ??...back up lights ???..stock or good aftermarket ???

    how many hours in the seat ????...fatigue plays a major role here, how often do you give your guys breaks ???

    guess thats the reason there called accidents and the reason we all pay insurance
  20. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Blah blah blah
    Good luck getting an employee to pay for damages.
    Last yr 2 guys hit half of Ottawa, after half a season with nothing but excuses I fired them. No more stupid issues.
    This yr one new driver had a few bad breaks, lots of pep talks, issues seem to have gone away.
    Speed no longer impresses me, bring the truck home alive w/o customizing anything on site or on the road. Basically have to remind younger drivers often to be careful.