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My driver is killing me

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by slplow, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Well, we got a nice 6'' storm yesterday but my driver F'd it up bad. It started when I told him at 7am to start at 8 to open up a lot by 9 am. He didn't pick the truck up till 9am and started the lot at 9:15, meanwhile I have already done 3 other lots and had to help him. Then he said he needed to get some eats at McDonalds so I told him to hurry and to help me at another lot. 1/2 hr. later he shows up (only 3 mins. away from McDonalds). So, we get the lot done!

    I told him to start the residential driveways next because the snow was tapering off and to the list I had provided him in order. He proceeded to plow three driveways and unbenounced to me, picked his daughter and her girlfriend up from school!!!! When I called him he had only done a total of ten driveways in two hours.
    In those two hours, he should have had twenty done. They are close together and we went over the route, not to mention he has worked for me for the past 4 years.

    The list goes on!!! I know the obvious it to get rid of him, however, I cannot seem to get anyone around here to even bite. I have posted, word of mouth etc. I got rid of the accounts that I do not do landscaping for. I have three trucks to run and cannot believe how hard it is to get good drivers around here.

    Because of him, my wife was answering the phones all day with customers asking if we were going to plow them out. This has never happened to us before. Looks bad!!! I am ready to put my wife in front seat of the truck to plow.
  2. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Putting the wife in the truck

    Sounds like a super idea to me. Let her take the cell phone with her and when she complains about something do what it takes to make the problem go away ( unless it's about the long hours and needing to quit early ) and you'll have the best operator you could ask for.


    P.s. My wife says I plow so she doesn't have too!!!!
  3. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    What a pain,seems as soon as you find someone reliable that will show up,they tear the hell out of trucks or property or better yet both!I have numerous opportunities to expand but cant find anyone trustworthy enough with a brain to run the other trucks,what do ya do?
  4. GreginAlaska

    GreginAlaska Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 28

    I would do this;
    Write a letter for his file that documents he was an hour late, took too long eating when he should have been plowing and then did a personal chore on company time. Put in it that any more actions like this will result in reduction of pay or termination. Have him sign it and you both get a copy. That should send a message to him.
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    this seams to be a problem no matter who you talk to.Help or good help is hard to find .
  6. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I dont have a good answer for you. I know that I took my new employee with me for this event so he could see what I go through during a storm. How I think, and how I treat the trucks. That way if he gets in a truck he will think like me. That being said, I had another guy who has never plowed for me before, but that told me he had experience, and sent a sidewalk guy with him, and I had the cleanest and best looking walks and lots I have ever seen. They got very last bit of snow, and aside from snow in front of one dumpster, I dont have any complaints.
    If you could, have him ride along with you to see how its supposed to be done, I know he my have been with you for a while, but it sounds like he doesnt understand the import of his assignment.
    On a side note, one of my former employees(who left on good terms) wound up on the front page of the local newspaper shoveling walks at the local hospital. His new employer got the plug, but thats ok.
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    You can give what Dino suggests a try, but from what I read in your post, it doesn't seem like this guy has any sense of responsibility.

    It looks like we've got a few days of clear weather, hit your local construction companies for help, a lot of them in my area lay off for the winter and many are eager for winter work. There's no doubt in my mind that this guy should go, but I've been in your shoes with my mowing business, and have tolerated this to an extent just to get the work done.
  8. Highpoint

    Highpoint Senior Member
    Messages: 241

    Know what you mean

    First scenerio: Employee with his truck and MY brand new plow. Snowing its $$$ off and he is no where to be found. The NEXT day I finally get a hold of him. Turns out he decided to go pick up his 16 year old girlfriend and go down to the river bottoms and PLAY a little before he had to go to work. HE got SNOWED in and could not get back up the hill. Spent the night in his truck! Took the plow off his truck and fired him.

    Second scenerio: Sub contractor with his truck and My plow. (same one from above) Sent him to do some county subdivisions. Hours later he was not where he was supposed to be. I had no plow on the truck I was driving at the time so I HAD to find him. He had parked at the top of a hill in a subdivision and was SLEEPING! I stuffed him in my truck, took his and did the job. Fired him!

    I feel for you. Good luck!;)
  9. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Im glad to see that I am not the only one with employee problems. I plan on talking to him today about what he did; as soon as I find a new driver he is gone.

    He does understand the importance but has numerious eligitamate kids, all of which are on welfare including him. He does a nice job plowing, however, his priorities are shuffeling his kids around when they want and breaking up the kids fights at home, etc. Last year he had a babysitter and daughter in the truck (I, of course didn't know this) and he was talking with them while plowing a commerical property and backed into an suv!!!
    I told him, No one in the truck! It is a distraction.

    Like I said I have to find someone else.
  10. deluxeco

    deluxeco Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    You know only the names change! Snowplowing wasn't bad until I got on the fire dept. full time & you have to leave the whole deal to your help to run for 24hrs.,you're trapped at work,can't leave & every time they call you you get a run just as you answer the phone. I pass along some stories but I don't think anyone will want to read that long! :(

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    weve gone thru a few "good ones" over the years. i think now we have a pretty good group of sidewalk guys and subs with trucks. the only thing i can say is make sure you pay them good enough $$$ (under the table helps) to make them WANT to get out of that warm bed and go out in the middle of the night to shovel/plow. also make sure you pay them on time. we have a few guys/contractors around here that dont pay for months and months, IF they ever do pay. they cant keep help from one year to the next understandably.
  12. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Too bad your in Mass because id be pming you off the hook looking for a job for the next two months. My classes at the University end in a week and although i have my own accounts they are only a few and are just friends and family and want a plowing operators job for the winter/ Christmas break :(

  13. Ben

    Ben Member
    Messages: 62

    Slplow let him go. Before he gives your business a bad name. My wife has plowed for be before and she was great and easy on the truck:) hopefully your wife will plow for you until you find somebody. Good luck
  14. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    posted opinions are right let him go you are getting a bad name
  15. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415


    Your the BOSS right, so do what a BOSS does FIRE HIM & don't look back !! ;) The little help he's doing as not worth the BULL$$HIT. Bad employees are only bad as long as you let them on the payroll. :nono:
  16. pats plowing

    pats plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    How far is framingham from worcester??
  17. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    could be a 20 min ride down rt 9 or more if your on the farside
  18. Foz

    Foz Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Have to agree with the other posts, let him go now before you get to the point where he really screws up your business. When the customers get angry it is already too late!

    As far as help goes, look into a retired person. We have a retired equipment operator that drives one of our dumps. He likes the extra $$ and isn't tied to a regular job. Very reliable & easy on the equipment. Also understands that he needs to work the early am hours & get the job done.
  19. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Work Ethic

    Unfortunately this employee's poor behavior is seen far too many times in the workplace environment. If you have to worry about an employee not doing his job, you have the wrong employee.

    Being a plowman is a time honored profession. We help keep the transportation systems moving in our country. We are vital to the national economy, and there are some of you that have saved lives because of your job as a plowman.

    In our business, we are a dedicated lot of entreprenurs, and due to the time sensitive nature of the weather, we cannot afford to have such unreliable employees in our midst.

    Not withstanding the four year relationship with this person, I would replace him with another person who has the employer's and the customer's, best interest at heart. If your wife would like to plow, that is the person I would choose! However, you will find that there are excellent responsible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own and who would be glad for this type of work to feed their family.

    Replace him before he creates more problems.
  20. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    How is this guy on welfare and being paid to plow for you?