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How do you teach someone to plow???

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by SNOWPIMP, Feb 6, 2009.


    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    Ok over the years I always did one really big lot. I had 7 trucks at one time and to train drivers I would be with them the whole time. I would make a map of each section of the lot. It was like a road map it said drive in this direction with your blade angled this way, lift blade here, make a big mess here and leave it alone till you are ready to stack here. So it was pretty dummy proof plus I put radio's in each truck and I could "Remind" them with helpful comments like "No stupid don't clean that yet we do that last" or "Hey ******* WTF did I say about trying to bite to deep" or "OMFG are you ******** when the speedo says 110 and your actual ground speed is closer to 10 take your ****** foot out of it traction doesn't come from that one wheel spinning at 200mph. Now I thought these to be useful and for the most part they got it after a while (If I could keep the trucks together long enough for the "training" phase). Hell I was so good at knowing how to push the main contractor paid me an Extra $55 and hour to drive around and show the other 8 subs how to push their lots every time we pushed the lot so I must know what I'm doing when solo my production is usually triple that of any other plower.
    My problem is this year I'm not running a single truck and instead of a big lot I streets in a basically condo complex. This is a different type of push than a lot but no biggie I got it first try did it in 2 hrs I have a 4 hr minimum but since the guy who did it last year with a better set-up than I have on his fastest time was 10 hrs they decided to give me 10hrs for 2 hrs work. So if I do it myself it's handled, BUT when I was south for a few weeks (65miles out in the gulf of Mexico fixing a commercial fishing boat) I had a sub handle it. Now I showed him many times HOW to plow, Explained that him using a truck as opposed to my 9mph skid that he has speed on his side he can throw higher and faster so less stacking. Basically I figured he's owned his own truck and plowed for around 10 yrs he shouldn't need his hand held. Well when I got back I found out in a not very nice way (from my boss) that each time he plowed they got 50 e-mails complaining of his service, the roads were taken from 2.5 lanes to barely 1, the snow was stacked in the wrong places, the fire plugs couldn't be found anymore, and this is the best part his fastest time was 16 hrs with around 1.5"
    So I decided OK maybe I'm just that great at the snow shyt that no-one can come close. So next time it snowed I had him come help thinking he would learn by watching plus I gave him a walkie to advise him in real time. Well that didn't help either. Actually with his help it took us both 6 hrs to do what I could have done myself in 2. So next time it snowed I did 75% of the roads and left one for him to do except this time I rode in the passenger seat to more closely instruct him. All the while explaining to him I didn't really need him there but I wanted for him to get it down so if I needed to leave again he would be able to better handle it. I get no more money for him to be there so to have us both there he is making more than me!
    Well that didn't help because apparently he has a hearing problem or something because as I directed him I watched from 3 feet away as he did the opposite I was telling him to do. We spent 15 minutes at one point trying to clear a pile from where a car "had" been parked and he packed it in instead of angling away and around. At the back of the car he actually just packed a big wad full blade straight into the rear bumper. Instead of building speed and shooting the pile to the treelawn he decided it was faster to back into a drive and straight blade it (7 tries) off the road. This of course resulted in a bunch of brown and green in the pile. Now I also do some drives in this place and when he is closer to them he hits them and keeps the cash or checks (3 customers are actually writing them into his name) I didn't really make a big deal outa it I just figure since he picks up 300 to 400 of my money I will just take it out of his pay. the bad part it he cleans the street then makes a mess with the drives back into the streets to clean again!
    So after this tooth and nail training over about 45 days he was explaining to me he had 12 hrs on a day that he left the job for 6 hrs to go plow some of his drives and came back. At this point I explained to him how I am cutting my throat by having him there but at the same time I want him to learn so I can only afford to pay him $35 an hour (letting him keep the $300 to $400 he got per day for drives even and paying his inflated hrs) until he steps up his game.
    Well I think he's mad at me! Should I let it worry me I mean he is a friend and I wanted to teach him. the last snow event I got 36 hrs (mainly because they send me everywhere to rescue others) and when I called him (not to work but to pay him even though I don't feel he should get another dime after pocketing my cash customer money) he didn't answer the phone and still won't return my calls. I honestly think that he thinks he's teaching me a lesson LOL . That he just won't answer and see how I ever make it without his help!
    This isn't my first attempt trying to teach someone to plow that wasn't in a big lot. It seems I just can't seem to instill the proper knowledge unless it's a big lot. Anyone else have this problem?

    Anyone wanna operate a skid with a 10' angle blade as my back-up?
    Actually that's what my sub was SUPPOSED to do but decided on his own he would rather use his truck!
    So am I being a douchbag and just expect to much or have other people found that 90% of the work force have no clue when it come to something non-assemly line related like plowing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2009
  2. nhpatriot

    nhpatriot Senior Member
    Messages: 190

    I would drop him quick, friend or not. Nobody ***** with my business. Collecting your money is a massive breach of trust as well. I treat those who respect me and honor their agreements with the highest dignity and reward them well financially. I will positively destroy anyone who comes into my trust and tries to undermine me.

    Some people were never meant to plow. Assessing one's ability to plow with efficiency is critical, and as you pointed out, most were never meant to operate the equipment. Your self proclaimed mastery of the plow biz may be genuine, but I would seek to find employees who did not need me to oversee them 90% of the time. If in fact they are subs, draw up clear terms and time lines for the work, and then enforce them! In my area there are so many guys looking for work that the labor pool is huge, and I have no reason to take sh*t from anyone not doing their job.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2009
  3. nbenallo33

    nbenallo33 Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    if i was in ohio i would do it
  4. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    I assess at my yard whether the new operator has potential, its great when they already have experience with semi trucks or heavy equipment. Then on the next snowfall, even if it 1` in I call him out to play with the machine. We have 2 way radios and I basically explain the do and dont on the job site as we go through plowing the lot. If I have to chase em around the park lot or they get distracted and dont stay with the program . Sorry but this is not working out, heres the number from my competition you can "help" them.

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

  6. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Since your a plowing god, maybe you just shouldn't go away in the winter and also if your such a good plower why are you working as a sub?. I'd get rid of the guy freind or not.

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    Yeah that's basicly how I try to do them to I like the part about reffering them to your competition. I really don't have any comp that I even concern myself with. Now that you mention it of everyone I have plowed with in the past the ONLY 2 ppl I have seen that actually get the jist of plowing are both friends of mine who have 15 plus years in big trucks and equipment. I myself have 20 yrs heavy haul/ wrecker experiance. I think my next Employee will need to show me his CDL!

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    #1 because I make 6 times the money and get a suntan to go fix boats. #2 because I know I sometimes run away in the winter and wouldn't feel right claiming to be there all winter when I know I might have to leave as a sub they can send someone else if my replacement operator is a no show #3 The ppl I sub thru are friends so why turn into competitors and cut each others throat #4 I have no ambition to salt I like my trucks clean and southern looking #5 They pay me super good by giving double and somtimes triple my actual hours (works out to almost 600 an hour with the drives I picked up that pay cash while I'm on the clock and the bosses don't care 1 bit) because the other guys take 4 to 5 times longer than I do to do the same job!
  9. Mick

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

    I think you should quit supervising and plow only since you are so good at it but obviously not so good at supervising or instructing. But you'd need to make arrangements to be available for plowing all winter. Otherwise, you really need to give up the plowing to be able to meet your other obligations.
  10. TKLAWN

    TKLAWN PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,637

    Can we say EGO!

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    You could but I wouldn't care as I said I know 2 other guys that do just as good as me. I just find there are a lot of ppl that claim to have a clue that don't. My knowledge of my skill level comes from 20 yrs of experience and feedback not my own inflated view of myself. You will never see me bash someone's skills I have not seen firsthand. Just as I didn't tell my "bosses" to pad my hours they suggested it to keep me around for next year!

    I will readily admit I don't know how to bid the lots I plow or market what I know how to do to get paid the highest amount possible. Also I lack the attention span to stay in the cold all winter when I could run south and catch shark while making more money. That's why I sub. I could also brag that I work as a stuntman,can rebuild/fix any engine made,fix almost every broken semi I've ever been called out to rescue, and weld/fabricate/machine anything you could imagine, But that has nothing to do with plowing trying to find a way to teach someone to plow does. That is why I started this thread and explained in detail why my views are as they are! If I was as super as you claim I am I should have no problem teaching someone what I know but I can't. I know a couple of plowers that I can't find any advice to give them AND they as me see others as highly incompetent even though they have been plowing for years. We all have our strong and weak points I don't really care if someone isn't efficient as long as they aren't working under my name or in my equipment after I set the bar at a level I believe should be standard for the biz it makes me look bad to have someone make a poor showing.
  12. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    I have to agree with other poster. EGO is one of them #2 would be you dont know how to teach!!! #3 you work on boats So your 10 hours of pay for 2 hours or work smells like you after to working on boats!! a bit fishy!!!

    Oh and one other thing you need to be humbled some day. I use to think I was the best at running a loader. I could move piles and clean lots so fast(So I thought) Till I saw this other guy with same size machine make me look like I was milking the clock.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  13. Mick

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

    Anyone else remember the guys who went by the name of:

    "God of all Plowers"

    "9ft Piles"
  14. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    No, but I'm gonna find their posts for some entertainment. lol
  15. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I will agree with you on the douchbag part.

    Some people are born with common sense, some are born with arrogance. Hard to teach these things.

    What a pleasure and honor to be graced with SNOWPIMP!

    Please tell us more about yourself. :D
  16. JustAGuy

    JustAGuy Junior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 27

  17. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

  18. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    dave don't you need a supervisor like snowpimp to help you out? haha :drinkup:
  19. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    just for my own mind i would like to know how old you are snow pimp? i myself am 26 and as someone stated before there will come a time when you will be humbled and look back on this with a different state of mind
  20. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    How I teach a guy to plow

    "See that snow on the ground here? Put it in a pile over there and try not to break anything."

    I think that was how I was taught.:D