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Pay driver when plow breaks down?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PlowGood, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. PlowGood

    PlowGood Member
    Messages: 48

    We had a huge blizzard with 16 to 25 inches of snow, higher drifts. A fifteen hour plowing job minimum for all drivers.

    Had a company truck that broke down and had to limp back to the yard. Driver only had 3 hours for the storm.

    Do you pay any more than the 3 hours to the driver since he lost out on at least 15 hours of pay?
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    depends on your company

    what was yoru aggeement with that driver? keep your word, if hes a good driver, he will be worth paying the extra. make a deal with him, have him come in and clean the trucks, sweep the shop, for 5-6 hours...and give him his full pay

    i pay my guys hourly 3 hour min, they are aware some nights they get 3 hours some they get 24
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I agree with Elite. If he's a good guy, take care of him. If he's a PITA, use the situation to your advantage.
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    just find a way to make the hours up to him, it isn't your fault the truck broke down (i hope), but at the same time, a guy has to make money and support his family after all
  5. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Wasn't he able to do anything else? With a storm like that I would think you could find something for him to do?
  6. PlowGood

    PlowGood Member
    Messages: 48

    Like what? Count snowflakes?

    Nah, he swapped out a dead battery during the blizzard in 18 degrees. Second battery died too because the alternator stopped charging. Limped back with no headlights, sparse use of wipers and defroster.

    All other trucks were out in four different directions.

    BTW, alternator blew out last year too.
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I take it you don't do any shoveling or blowing. I guess I would give him some opportunity to make his 12 hrs. up. That way he's kept content, wasn't his fault the truck passed out.
  8. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    My GMC went through 3 Alternators last year. Those re manufacture ones are junk. Luckily truck never left me stranded and they broke at a good time. Actually one was a bad when I was towing camper from Florida to Ma but it was early am, and I got a part store located and swapped in 2 hours.
  9. theonlybull

    theonlybull Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    split the differnce with him. and pay him the hours. unless he's not really worth having...

    shoulda had him ride along, and spell the other drivers for an hour at a time, give them a rest, and still kept him working
  10. clark lawn

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

    you left a truck sit for 12 hours during a storm for an alternator? should have had him take it back to shop and replace it. i know i would have been at the parts store as soon as they opened in the morning. then he wouldnt have been short on hours and you would have had all your trucks running.
  11. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    thanks for this thread guys-that makes a good point. More & more I hear of alternators going out- friend of mine called me last season early am wanting to know if I had a spare alternator. I think I'm gonna save up & keep a spare in the cab with me- my luck it'll break down at 3am :p
  12. PlowGood

    PlowGood Member
    Messages: 48

    This was at 11:00PM on a Sat night, during a full blown blizzard. Parts stores not open at that time. Sunday morning blizzard still going, no stores open.
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    we always keep a spare alternator around, spare starter too, and the owner of one of the local auto wrecker is a friend, so we have a key to the yard, in a emergency we can always go get what we need off a vehicle. If he doesn't have it, i also have the cell number of the manager of one of the local parts stores, he well come in on a weekend (i make sure i have a coffee for him) and help me out if i am in a real pinch
  14. theonlybull

    theonlybull Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    like i always say. it pays to have friends in low places :drinkup:
  15. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    It wasn't the guys fault YOUR truck broke down. PAY him and have him work on something else.
  16. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    depends on if you feel the guy is worth it? i always sprinkle in extra hours for guys as sort of a bonus throughout the season but i also don't guarantee 15 hours a shot either, i usually keep it to 5 to 6 hours minimum for guys that are fussy about that sort of thing
  17. tinffx

    tinffx Member
    Messages: 68

    I would pay him. Its your truck that broke. FYI its good to know a good parts guy. I know a couple that will sleep in the store when it snows so they can get you what you need when you need it
  18. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    15 hour plowing job. 3 hours into it. truck goes down at 11 o'clock. That means trucks were out for 12 more hours. The truck should have came back to the shop, and the old alternator should have been removed and ready to go. This would have taken close to 1, by the time a tow home is set up, done, and put in shop. Autozones, Advance Autos, OReilly's and like stores open up at 7:30, 8. About 6 to 7 hours is the neutral time for the driver. If he didn't go out with another driver, he could have went home for this amount of time..but this would be alot less time to pay for than the time for the rest of the event. This is just how I would have viewed it. If I would have sent him home, I would tell him to be back in at 7, and he would be paid for part of that time. That is the incentive for him being back on time....essentially, he made double time on the first 3 hours he did for going home and getting some more rest.
  19. tattood_1

    tattood_1 Member
    Messages: 98

    I work at my local Napa and have a key. So I'm my own parts guy in the middle of the night, haha. Comes in handy.
  20. PlowGood

    PlowGood Member
    Messages: 48


    Not exactly. Prior post I said this was a blizzard on a Saturday night. Two feet of snow, no stores opened on Sunday morning.

    Plus, truck HAD been (supposedly) repaired for a bad alternator. Owner of truck wanted the repair shop to fix the bad alternator. Truck broke down twice before with same problem, during a snow storm.