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learning curve

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by clark lawn, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    how long does it usually take to train a person to plow? i have a new guy that really want do work but ive had him out 4 times now and he is still lost. cant remember were anything is, first time we just rode through the route no plowing, 2 days later he rode with me while i plowed, last night let him plow some we did a few commercial places,and tonight we went out and cleaned up a few. this is all within a week. ive had to tell him about leaving trails almost every other pass. did a driveway tonight 2 cars wide about 50 feet long took him 25 minutes. im trying to be as patient as i can but at the same time ive got work to do.
  2. eshskis

    eshskis Senior Member
    from 4
    Messages: 138

    How long to train a new guy?

    3 or 4 snow events if """you""" do the following

    You "must" I have to repeat that........ You "Must" provide your "NEW" guy with detailed turn by turn directions in descriptive terms using street names to each and every account he is expected to work at starting from a home plate he is familiar with. Along with that you also need to provide him with a written statement of your work standards and expectations of what each plowed drive is to look like before he moves onto another account and he takes this with him. New plow guys also need time to obtain their own rhythm and then with that comes speed and efficiency.

    This is your business you need to manage it, therefore you need to provide this newguy with the resources to do the work to your standards. Tell him what to do to avoid windrows on cleanly plowed areas make sure he understands that. With this done then you should see a huge increase in quality and production within 2 or 3 snow events and the getting lost bull shi.... nipped in the bud from the start. Then after 3 or so snow events and their is no improvement in speed, then you can possibly feel that plowing is not the right job for the guy. as far as checking up? you must check every account regardless of who plowed because a sloppy plow job could cost accounts and spread a bad name by private word of mouth. This is part of managing your business you should want to do this and take the the time it takes to do a 3 second looksee at the quality of work your business is providing. Oh and don't forget the last thing you want is a cocky over confident plow driver ziping and speeding around town becouse that is a massive liability
  3. Mick

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

    Seriously, I'd say one winter to be effective. From the outside, plowing looks simple. Once we've been at it for awhile, we tend to forget what it took in the beginning. But like eshkis said, with a routebook, some basic directions and checking up in the beginning, your guy will shorten that learning curve many of us had. Mine was shortened by advice from here, but some lessons are only learned by making them - once.
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    You're kidding right?
    I've always trained (and been trained)

    Go out once with the new guy for an hour or so.
    You plow, explaining everything

    Then, switch places, and he plows, show him how to plow the place, which way to go, etc

    Then, let him go

    then, at the end of the storm, come back and do cleanup, with him in your truck, show him the mistakes.

    I mean, maybe a total of 1 to 3 hours of your part.

    It's always worked

    Maybe he can't go to a new place and start from a blank canvas, no directions, but he can plow his route effectively with minimal oversight from me and after a season or so, they can then do a new place.

    The first time or two they are going to be slow, that's ok, as they figure it out, within 2 to 3 times they are doing it at what I consider decent levels of speed.

    If someone didn't get it after 4 storms (like your guy), I'd find another guy and put the original guy on a shovel.
  5. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    What does he do in the summer? (or for a real job) Some people just can't drive and operate a plow at the same time. (joke) This is why I only hire women to drive my trucks. They can drive, talk on the phone, put on make-up and plow all at the same time.

    Everything mentioned above by others is what you need to do. Show him, watch him, give him a detailed book, let him go out, check up on him.

    You should also ask if he likes getting up at O' dark thirty, going out in the cold and pushing snow. He might be doing a crappy job because he doesn't like the conditions. Or it could be he doesn't like doing it for the money you are paying him. I don't know.

    In the long run its your business and you need to make sure everything is being done right.

    Good Luck
  6. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    well tonight was the sixth time he plowed with me took him 7 hours to do 8 drives i can do it in about 2.5-3. i think it time to find someone else. as for his real job he just got out of the army in sept. i figuered hed work out good, guess not.
  7. JDFireFord64

    JDFireFord64 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    the first time i ever plowed i practiced on my driveway, then a friends and proceeded to do 19 accounts in 9 hours 1 of which was a small apartment complex with a huge driveway that was 20 mins away, not trying to sound like a bad@$$, cuz i kno theres guys out there that can plow twice as fast and as good as me just trying to giv a point of reference ::salute::
  8. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    You think he may be a little nervous with you in the truck with him?
  9. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    One its the boss truck you wreck it your screwd. 2 there our some poeple who just cant plow, The staying alert dosent work for them. 3 Ur saying its 6 storms well the guy probably hasnt plowd a whole one yet. Because ur like o this taking for ever and you kick him out of the seat. I know how that goes because i am a person who beileves in if u want something done right do it your self. 4 its hard to figure out windrows as to how much u can push with out leaving a trail. positive reinforcement is the way to get better results
  10. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    he is getting better. we had a talk and i found out some stuff happened to him when he was in Iraq and it messed his head up. he said as long as he does the same thing he will get better its when things get changed up that he has a problem.
  11. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I think it took me about 4 minutes.
  12. Matt Hart

    Matt Hart Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    It does take some time to effectivly learn how to be time effecient in plowing.

    If shown where to put the snow, the way to push the snow and shown roughly how far you can go using the entire plow without leaving trails I think within 3-4 events they should have it.

    This is the first year I have really plowed more than my driveway and my first time out on my route it took me 4 hours. This was with a 2 inch snowfall.

    Same route 7" snowfall mid season this year it took me 2 hours and takes me about 45 minutes with 2 inches now.

    The hardest part I had was learning when the blade was and wasnt leaving trails and where the put the snow. I had no one to show me where to push it. Once I taught myself all those it was a breeze.