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How do others track Employees? What are your opinions on this idea?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by AlaskaSnow82, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. AlaskaSnow82

    AlaskaSnow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Going into my 6th season of snowplowing, I am noticing that with the amount of new employees I have to hire that I have a small little problem arising. Keeping track of employees, people damaging equipment and not steeping up to plate, or not being able to get ahold of them when their out on the route then when time sheets come in a increase in time but they claim its due to traffic.

    I used to have cellphones or compansated a employee for their cellphone use for each truck I would have out on the road. But I started running into the problem of dropped calls, no reception or not being able to get ahold of them. To counter act this problem I started installing CB Radios into the vehicles. I did that over the summer, so i havn't got to really try it out yet to see how it will work compared to cellphones. Anyone care to comment that has tried this?

    Another thing is tracking a employee to see how weel they are following the route. Somtimes in big storms I get the feeling that some are either taking their time, taking breaks, or doing other things but yet I still have to cover their time cause I have no way of telling if they are deceiving me, unless I want to just drive around and watch everyone. Also have had a few guys pull plowing jobs in area while on my route but they pocket the money or they plow their house or friends while on my clock.

    then the other problem is, people damaging euipment and then not telling me about it. Now I know that accidents are not avoidable 100% but they are preventable. And that eventually if your in this business long enough your gonna have stuff getting hit or damaged. But the most important thing is telling he boss about it so things get fixed, especially if its on a contract. Looks a whole lot better if I can contact the company telling them we hit somthing and plan to fix it then having them come to me saying we hit somthing and then I having to investigate and try to pull the story out of a employee.

    Now it would be simple if I had only 1 employee servicing a lot year round, but there are times where there are multiple people in the trucks, or going to properties in a snow storm. I have had a few cases where damage was done to trucks and I wasn't able to find out who did it. And one thing I started doing thats helped alot is when a driver changes trucks or starts their shift that they fill out a quick vehicle report and that if they don't mark damages on truck prior to taking the truck its considered their responsible. This pretty much solved my problem with damage to my equipment, but I still would like to implement somthing to monitor it better. Cause I stil have a minor problem somtimes with damage done to properties that no one fesses up to.

    So the idea I have been toying with is equipping my plow trucks with Cameras that record. I am in the middle of installing my first system on my vehicle to see how it works. It consists of multiple cameras hidden out of sight to record different angles outside and inside the cab, with data being recorded and then able to veiw at a later time or the possibilty to watch them from my vehicle live so I can keep a eye on them. Now I know some of you guys may think its alittle extreme but there are many benefits I see from having this. The current system I am working on is running me about $3,500.00 so far. but I will be able to outfit my other vehicles for as low as $2200 per vehicle.

    Now my question is what are your thoughts on this, or what are some things I might have overlokked or is thre a better way that might help? Also I havn't decided yet if I should make it known that I have video on all vehicles or if I should keep it to myself and watch what people do with my equipment and how they conduct themselves. If I choose to keep it silent I got to make sure that there isnt some law that makes that illegal (don't think there is but you never know).
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You might want to check.

    I'd never work for someone who has so little trust in me. I think you might find yourself with more problems than you have now.
  3. AlaskaSnow82

    AlaskaSnow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Yea, I agree that it puts a negitive feeling on a employee and that is why I havn't made up my mind yet.

    I think that by informing everyone that My trucks are equipped with such technology will deter them from trying to pull anything fast but doesn't feel like I am invading by secrecy. And in the end (if the employee has bad intenations or tempted) would take away the oppertunity for them to make a bad decission.

    Where as if I currently have corrupt people working for me I would like to keep it silent to weed those out.

    Cause lets face it, I am putting my name on the line for these employees and they are representing my company, I want to know what they are doing with my contracts and equipment. Implimenting this system is to make sure the service I sell to my customers is what they are getting.'

    Also another big benefit from this is I will have video data of the lots I plow, so when a residential customer trys to say I didn't show up I'll have proof of plowing his/her driveway incase a freak snowfall comes just after I leave. I have seen this happen to lots of other companies, but just recently with mine since I started to advertise more. Seems in this line of work eventually you'll get the customer who trys to scam themselves a free snowplow.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2006
  4. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    Great idea.

    I have been thinking of the cams also. I would let it be in the open so everyone knows its there. But I would tell my drivers its for there safety and liability in case of a accident and customer complaints. I have 4 b/w infrared digital cams What type storage unit are you going to use. would love to see some pics on this.....:nod:
  5. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Geez. For as long as that post is you have a lot of problems. lol

    Got a readers digest version?
  6. mr.plow

    mr.plow Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 44

    If no one fesses up to property or vehichle damage just back pay every employee for the damage. Trust me next time you'll know exactly who did it;)
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I think that would be illegal.
  8. jax1013

    jax1013 Senior Member
    Messages: 114


    I think it would be a good idea to let each driver know that each veh.is equipped gps. Not to be able to spy on them but in order to increase productivity and efficiency. In the event you needed to dispatch them and redirect them to another location. Having the cameras should be to your knowledge only. When you need to investigate a particular situation, you can then see if your employee is truthful. A good investigator doesn't ask a question he doesn't already know the answer to. The fact the veh are equipped w/ hidden cameras(non audio) i don't think that would be illegal. Its not like you have them hidden in a bathroom or something That vehicle is just like an office. Especially registered to your company. IMO good luck, Jack
  9. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

  10. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    First of all you want Drive Cams to solve your monitoring issues. Those are legal, and record when there is an incident, 30 seconds before and after I belive.
    As for the poor employees, two words: OWNER OPERATOR
  11. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    GPS on the Nextels.
  12. kemmer

    kemmer Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 329

    The buses at my school (UMass) have them practically all over the bus, mainly because students drive the buses, im going to drive next semester i think just to get my cdl, but anyways. ya they have them on either side of the bus, in front of the bus, the back, and 3 inside. it seems like a good idea to see whos at blame if something does happen. also i would tell your guys that u have them so they are aware of them and they will work better knowing that u can always rewind the tapes if theres a problem
  13. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    I think if you need to spend $4000 per truck, plus time to check tapes, added maintence, upkeep, upgrade, etc.. you need to hire more trust worthy employees or shrink your company.

    I've worked for companies that have over 170 trucks out in a storm. There tracking system is 2 way radio and good supervisors.

    Communication is key to a strong employee chain. And when you find a weak link, you remove it.

    Personally, I wouldn't work for a company that put cameras, etc... in the truck. A company that worried about employee wrong doings couldn't possibly have the time to worry about important things.
  14. premier homes

    premier homes Member
    Messages: 68


    :gunsfiring: what the.... That is illegal, if they don't know about it. also its very weird. if you paid a little more u may get some responsible people. and if someone doesn't disclose damage on a driver inspection log than i guess they are responsible for the damage. people will start looking then!!
  15. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    Not only that, but even a half assed run company knows who is driving what truck at what time, and what lots they are in at what times.

    Even a massive office complex with 10 crews, it's not going to be hard to pull each aside and find out who broke what.

    Not only that, but if you have good crews and something is damaged. It shouldn't be that big a deal. **** happens, especially when you are trying to get things done on a dead line with little to no sleep.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but i've dinged my own truck, moved curb blocks, etc... I'm far from perfect on my best days.

    Unless you have a problem with your guys getting out of the truck and spray painting buildings, I think you need to relax. And if that's your problem with vandalism, get better guys.
  16. norrod

    norrod Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    As said by Epic. For fleet management, and communications : GPS on the Nextels.

    If this is all your equipment, you can install any kind fo monitoring equipment you want.

    Unless drivers are trading equipment in mid-route, you should know who was driving what,-when. If you have multiple dirvers on a single site during an incident, like who hit the parked car, evidence will probably be show on the truck/plow. Accident's happen, and a good employee will own up to it.

    It might pay to hire a good field manager
  17. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    So it can predict an a incident 30 seconds in advance :rolleyes: cool ;)
  18. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Thats awesome :drinkup:
  19. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    This is actually pretty slick if you have had a chance to look into it :nod:
  20. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    you my friend need to weigh out the odds, stay small and keep two good working guys that you can trust,and make good money or get big and have as many problems as you have now, but make a little more with alot more over head ??? thats why i stay small, no added stress, make enough money to pay the bills /live. ... i was headed for the big crews, until i got talking to a lco that i know, and always wonders whos not going to show up for a storm or quit in the middle of a project...or comes back to the shop with a smashed truck.... i know i can count on myself, and i have a few good workers that i can count on when needed.......