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Waive Down...

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Macomb-Lawn, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. For the guys that run fleets, or have multiple trucks:

    Do you allow your plow drivers to accept "waive down" work? Do you allow them to accept cash if you do?
  2. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    If my guys have a dead spot in their plow logs, I always question it. They can accept wave downs as long as they call me and let me know first. I almost always ask to talk to the person before work is done, or I have them wait for me to show up first.
  3. Mick

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

    Just curious as to why?
  4. Does it happen often in your neck of the woods? Waive down jobs that is.

    Reason I'm asking, I had to let someone go after I caught them accepting waive down work, and pocketing the cash. Since day 1, I've always had it "no cash, no waive down stops." But, I'm also wondering if I'm losing any substantial money because of it. I always told my guys never to accept any new jobs unless they are already on the books as a customer. If someone approached, just give them a business card and tell them to call immediately for same day service. Our invoices have it written right on them not to pay drivers in cash. It's not necessarily just the possible employee theft, but also the aspect of having to carry an additional binder just incase for insurance because cash is carried on the truck, not that the amount would be worth anyone attempting to rob for, but you never know.
  5. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I never let my guys do what ever they want. If somebody approaches them, they need to notify me. I never just send them out to do a job if I don't know what it is, or who it is. I am particular of who I work for. Its more of a liability thing than anything. If they are in my trucks, they can't just got out and pick up random clients.
  6. Right, and I totally agree, especially since we only handle commercial customers. That's what scares me even more. I don't want them handling any residential. The only problem I have is keeping track of all the trucks (30 plow, 5 salt only.) It's hard to make sure they don't do any residential on the side. Especially since I have a few drivers that have no choice but to take trucks home for the night. Usually, the way I work it, is if the weather shows it's definetly snowing that evening, I'll allow foreman to take trucks home if they live more than 30 miles from the office, and have stops on the way to the office.
  7. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    You got the right idea. I rarely get wave downs, so it's not a big problem. If my guys don't fill out their plow logs, and fill them out properly, they don't get paid. Only on heavier snow storms, do the guys get to take their trucks home. I hate the thought of them doing someone's drive and hitting something, only for me to look at it and say, this drive should not have been done to start with. By the way I do mostly commercial, but I get as many wave downs as I do residential ( all of about 4, ever ).
  8. Mick

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

    I understand your point. It's just that I'd hate to work that way. Both from your perspective and the driver's.
  9. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    The guys that work for me right now, I trust. Each of them have a key to my shop and/or office. There have been others who I never totally trusted. So far my guys have always been good to me, but until they are running the business, only I can make a judgement call.
  10. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I will not plow anyone without a contract. All my guys know this and will not put their plow down for a "waive down".
  11. vis

    vis Senior Member
    from 4
    Messages: 324

    we run 6 trucks and one shovelers truck.

    all plow drivers are allowed to take their trucks home the night before, and the night after the storm. It is alot easier for them to just jump in the truck and go rather than driving all the way to the shop, deice the trucks, bullsh*t with each other and then go out.

    all the drivers have been with me a long time and all have keys to the shop.

    As for waive downs, we rarely get them but yeah, if some guy is digging out the bank left by the town, they are allowed to push it back, but i will not allow it to become a regular thing.

    This isnt really a problem around here tho, we have 2 residential trucks and the rest are commercial/condo complexes and i drive one of the residentials, so im not too worried about it.
  12. greenscapes inc

    greenscapes inc Member
    from utah
    Messages: 72

    Sorry to change the subject but I noticed one guy that runs 30 trucks! Wow thats a lot to deal with. I run five trucks and a crew that shovel. The hardest and most stressful thing for me this year is finding people to run them. Most my drivers are unemployed in the winter so that works out good but to find shovelers that are responsible has been impossible. My question is where do you guys find people to run you trucks and do hand shoveling?

    Also in my experience wave downs are not worth it, too much hassle and waisted time with invoicing and collecting.
  13. Well, first off, we don't staff directly employees always. We have two employee bases here. First we have salaried employees, which are people that have been with the company for a long time, or are a asset to the company. Then, we have "leased" employees. How that works is they are direct employees we get from recruiting firms. They are our employees, but their paycheck comes from the recruiting firm. We choose who we hire, the pay, the benefits, etc. But, they aren't a salary employee. This helps with workmans comp, taxes, unemployment, etc., taxes. For instance, let's say you were a new hire plow driver. This is how it would work out:

    1. We would send you to our recruiting firm.
    2. They would do all the backround checks, driving record check, reference check, etc.
    3. Once they did a preliminary interview, they would send us all the results for review. If we were interested, we'd schedule an interview with you.
    4. If we interview you, and then decide to hire you, we'd let the recruiter know.
    5. Once hired, the recruiting firm pays your paycheck. You get a paycheck every week from them, but you pick it up at our location. You are our employee, but your check, and benefits come from the recruiting firm.
    6. Our staff or your direct supervisor is technically "your boss." We have the power to hire you, fire you, lay you off, etc. You are our employee.

    Now, this works out great for us because since we are a "Seasonal" business, the state would nail us with taxes because of lay off, etc. So, the recruiting firm is on the hook for all of that. What we do is pay the recruiting firm your salary, plus a additional $1.00 an hour or so for "leasing you." You may be an employee for years, and still be leased. Hell, we have one guy that's been here 3 years that is leased. If we ever decide to bring you on board, then we'll put you on salary direct, which means you then are a direct employee.

    The other good part is since we have this recruiting firm, they store a database of employees that have applied in the past, even not for one of our positions. If we ever need people, we just give them a qualificaitons list, and they'll do all the legwork based on who's in their database. I could call right now, and say I need 100 people. They would prescreen everyone, and send everyone over for interviews that they believe to be a fit for the job.

    Most major corps. in Detroit do this. Especially General Motors.

    If you want more info. on the staffing firm. Let me know and I'll get you their contact info. They have locations nation wide.
  14. Here's a link to our staffing firm. I can't find the link for labor related, but the company is the same. This link is just for skilled professionals, etc.


    Regarding "salary employees" to give you an idea, we keep about 18 on salary. Most are administrative only, or foreman. These are people that "run" the day to day operations. Unless you are a "valued asset" you are usally a "leased" employee. Valued assets to us are:

    1. Administrative operations
    2. Foreman (usally guys that run crews, CDL drivers, and so on)
    3. Executive staff

    Our side walk crews are all leased, but they aren't just anyone off the street. We screen them, etc. and most have been with us for a while.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  15. greenscapes inc

    greenscapes inc Member
    from utah
    Messages: 72

    So you put at least 12 people who have never plowed before in a truck and give them a route? I have used a staffing firm before but none of them have been trained. Also the people you have on salary are they payed year around or just when it snows?
  16. No, they are all trained and people that have experiance. We set the qualifications. For instance, if you wanted to be a plow driver, we'd send you to the staffing firm and they would screen you, etc. Here is what we tell the staffing firm we look for in hiring plow drivers:

    3 seasons experiance minimum
    Driving record with no more than 2 current points, no DUI, suspended, or major violations within 3 years.
    No criminal record.
    Highschool diploma/GED

    So, if you don't fall within those guidelines, then they won't even send us your resume. They do all the pre screening on candidates. But, they really aren't like a staffing firm. More of a HR. Really all they do is prescreen everyone, and pay the paycheck. We control everything else. We tell them how much you make, what benefits, etc. All they do is recruit and screen really.

    The people that are salary, are year round. Bookkeepers, receptionists, administrative staff, foremen, etc. They are paid a salary regardless year round. Even when it doesn't snow during the winter, they still come to work. The foreman help get equipment ready for the summer, and help maintain equipment. The sales people go out and solicit new accounts, and also meet with current accounts for the upcoming seasons "game plan," and such. The bookkeeper meets with the outside accountants to go thru the books, taxes, etc. Executive staff (board of directors) works on new equipment, budgets, accounts, collections, advertising plans, website, etc.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  17. bikeluver43

    bikeluver43 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 84

    I went with Nextel GPS phones- I can log on my computer/blackberry and know exactly where my employee's are. If I see them somewhere that they shouldn't be, I "direct connect" and figure out whats going on....you can always take a drive by and find out as well. payup
  18. greenscapes inc

    greenscapes inc Member
    from utah
    Messages: 72

    There must me alot more unemployed plow drivers there then there are here. So do you do this everytime its going to snow? My problem is that I find someone that is willing to work and in between storms they find a full time job. Something with "set" hours that they can depend on.
  19. Mick

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

    I tried sending this as a Private Message to Macomb-Lawn, but you didn't have enough posts or time or something. Anyway:

    I don't mean this to be critical in any way or come off as sounding like a moderator, but I'd suggest you and Greenscapes take this discussion to a new thread and expand on it. It's a very good subject that doesn't get discussed often. It would be a good resource to refer others. Could you contact him to start a thread and maybe get a moderator to take the posts to it and expand?
  20. Our system is alot more intricate that that. You can read about our systems here: