PDA

View Full Version : Might have to lay off one of my guys


CAT powered
10-15-2008, 08:24 PM
This sucks. I might have to lay off one of my guys because I lost a contract. I had approximately 40 hours a week in D8 sized dozer work every week guaranteed and I had a guy on full time doing that. I had a dozer catch fire and it wasn't even a very large fire and now they're telling me that I'm unsafe and terminated my contract. The fire melted the insulation off some wires, but didn't even get hot enough to melt hydraulic hoses. I replaced the wires and had the machine operational after an inspection the same day.

I've seen identical dozers burn TO THE GROUND. Melted every hydraulic hose off, the fluid sprayed out and caught and almost lit the building on fire. That contractor was kept on and had his contract renewed.

Their guy backed his loader into my dozer because he didn't look when he backed up. He hit the side of the blade and spun the dozer 180 degrees around and I'm the unsafe one.

Sorry about the rant. It just irritates the hell out of me when I might have to lay off a good guy who has been married under a year because of Bull Sh*t company politics.

YellowDogSVC
10-15-2008, 08:50 PM
Sorry to hear about that. Looks like they were looking for an excuse? Maybe the company has financial difficulties and can't pay anyways?

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 08:56 PM
No. It's a massive company. They'll just bring in the next lowest bidder. It wasn't a money issue.

They also had their panties in a bunch because a radiator hose fell off before. I pulled the dozer out of the building and replaced the hose just to be safe, refilled, and threw down speedy-dry. And they called me to a "safety meeting" or some nonsense like that. My guy there always wears a hardhat and a safety green hi-vis vest when he is there whether he is in the machine or not. The machine has a strobe on the roof and a backup alarm. What else do they want me to do?

The last contractor there had a dozer burn to the ground like I said earlier. It just irritates me that I might have to lay off a good guy for no reason other than total BS.

Green Team Landscaping
10-15-2008, 09:04 PM
How is that the employees fault? It seems like it was something that couldn't have been avoided if the wires were melting inside. It seems like it was more mechanical than something that was avoidable. Unless he knew it could happen? If I were you I would say give him a break. He's a human, and humans make mistakes, and especially how he's married I would give him the break. By firing him what do you gain? Maybe it will make you feel better for the time being, but think into the future. Just make him earn your respect all over again. Firing him is a little excessive.

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 09:06 PM
I wouldn't fire him. Firing someone is terminating their employment because they've done something wrong.

I might have to lay him off. Laying someone off is when you have to terminate their employment for the time being because you haven't got enough work for them to do.

Green Team Landscaping
10-15-2008, 09:09 PM
Oh I guess I didn't realize there was a difference, and with that business I suppose there especially would be.

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 09:13 PM
Yea. I really wish I could keep him on, but I can't justify paying him 30 bucks an hour to not do anything that pays the bills. I just don't have the work for him to do. I really wish I could keep him on my crew. He's a great operator. I've had him doing odd jobs around my yard when they didn't have the demand for a dozer at the facility I was contracted with and he could blade off a load of dirt just as well as I can and he's 20 years younger.

Hopefully if I have to lay him off I can get him hooked up with a guy I know that owns a VERY large dirt company that runs 40 D8 CATs every day all day.

Dirt Digger2
10-15-2008, 09:21 PM
who was the company if you can tell

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 09:22 PM
CRRA

Connecticut Resource Recovery Association

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 09:23 PM
Sorry. Authority. Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority.

Google CRRA and you'll find their website. I had the contract to run a dozer in one of their trash to energy plants.

YellowDogSVC
10-15-2008, 10:00 PM
i don't see how equipment failures on machinery that is maintained well, is the owner's (or renter's) fault on a jobsite.
The local Toyota plant had very strict rules about spills and such while they dozed 600 acres to build their plant. I have had hydro lines blow, o-rings blow out, oil leaks, fuel spills, etc. I try and keep them to a minimum and try to quickly resolve the issue but what happens when you have a gallon or two of oil or hydro fluid contaminate the ground? Should you, on a huge site, dig up the dirt, bag it, and call the haz mat crew?

I have to help bid on dam clean up project on a local municipality's water reservoir. I'm sure there are some strict policies regarding pollution control. I do carry pollution insurance but I'd hate to be kicked off a project because a line blew on the dam while I was mulching or moving the machine.

Not much you can do about it. Things just happen but I do feel for you. With the economy slowing, it's harder than ever to take losing a job. If you did nothing wrong, maybe God closed one door to open another for you? That's what I keep trying to believe when it rains for 3 days.

ConstSvcs
10-15-2008, 10:08 PM
Sorry. Authority. Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority.

Google CRRA and you'll find their website. I had the contract to run a dozer in one of their trash to energy plants.

The Hartford plant ........linked to Northeast Utilities ?????

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 10:21 PM
Yea. Those are my dozers and trucks up there right now.

ConstSvcs
10-15-2008, 10:30 PM
Yea. Those are my dozers and trucks up there right now.

Ahhh...........interesting place. The coal field and hopper system is amazing. I built a jet engine repair facility there quite a few years ago. and had a chance to venture down into the coal hopper/ mixing area. At that time they couldn't produce enough trash to balance the mix of coal/ trash. I'm sure thats not a problem these days.

I'm sure political is the key word there..............

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 10:33 PM
Yea. I don't know a whole lot about it other than I push trash up into big old piles and try to avoid getting hit by their idiots.

My dozers are moving out of there ASAP. They want me to go I'll go.

I'm unsafe, yet when the dozer was burning their guys sat there looking at it laughing rather than trying to help put it out.

wanabe
10-15-2008, 10:53 PM
Sounds like a excuse to get you out of there. Somebody on the inside is probably going to get a friend in on this job now that you are gone. But don't look at this like it is the end. Can this guy operate anything else? Maybe you can pick up some other jobs in different areas? Things always work out in the end. It may look bad now, but in a few years you will look back and wonder why you got worked up over this.

CAT powered
10-15-2008, 11:05 PM
He's a great guy. He could run everything I can have except the trucks since he has no CDL. I've had him on big and little dozers as well as the excavator and skid and he's done well. He's competent when it comes to fixing the equipment as well. That's one real reason why I don't want to let him go. On my little dozer that you can see in my avatar the decelerator linkage was all rusted up so he and I took it out and cleaned it up and it doesn't stick in place any more. The issue is that I just don't have enough work for another guy. I'm hoping I can pick up more work in order to keep him on, but it's not looking good at the moment. I have a septic installers license so maybe I can pick up a few of those jobs, but the housing market sucks right now so there are no new houses getting septics. I used to do a lot of specialized septics where the leeching fields were uphill from everything else, but I can't seem to find any now.

Gravel Rat
10-15-2008, 11:07 PM
There is something else why they want to get rid of you but they are using this fire as a excuse. It sounds like somebody in managment has a friend that wants the contract.

I wouldn't want to loose the employee if you say he is a good Catskinner they are hard to find I know they are here.

Scag48
10-16-2008, 01:23 AM
That sucks man. Keeping a good crew is tough. I've seen both sides, it's not fun either way. Couple years ago when I was running a crew for my dad I had to let go of a couple guys toward the end of the season. Back then, it was hard for me to let them go but I had nothing for them as the season was drawing to a close. I never fully understood what that it feels like from the employee perspective until 2 weeks ago when I got laid off. Never been fired in my life and that was my first time ever getting laid off. Like I say, it's tough from both sides.

bearmtnmartin
10-16-2008, 01:59 AM
I had a gravel truck hauling spawning bed gravel to a creek. An environmentalist and a fish guy there all day every day, and the hoe had to run vegatable oil. My fuel crossover line broke and we dumped about 100 gallons of diesel beside the creek. The enviro guy happened to be off site and the fish guy got the hoe to come over and throw some gravel over the spill to hide it before he came back. Sure glad it was my driver and not me getting reamed out. But we kept hauling. LOL

YellowDogSVC
10-16-2008, 09:41 AM
I had a gravel truck hauling spawning bed gravel to a creek. An environmentalist and a fish guy there all day every day, and the hoe had to run vegatable oil. My fuel crossover line broke and we dumped about 100 gallons of diesel beside the creek. The enviro guy happened to be off site and the fish guy got the hoe to come over and throw some gravel over the spill to hide it before he came back. Sure glad it was my driver and not me getting reamed out. But we kept hauling. LOL

...that's just stupid. I could see making a big deal if you deliberately dumped oil into the river but since diesel and oil float, and fish don't, I don't think they are swimming in the polluted water. Add to it the dilution factor, the fact that water, over time, is the universal solvent, scrubbing action of the currents, gravel, and other debris in the water, and evaporation, and you have a non event. Geez. And someone is paid to stand there and watch you?
I know a guy who's paid about 2500k a week to count bats as they fly out of a cave...My gosh, I would have thunk my tax dollars would go to better armor for troops. You guys in Canada should be asking the same questions.

2004F550
10-16-2008, 01:59 PM
Yea good old Hartford CRRA, I go there once every month or so to dump our garbage dumpster, those guys were always a pain and still are it sounds. Bunch of who and know and who you Bl**.

bearmtnmartin
10-16-2008, 03:35 PM
In British Columbia, salmon have priority over every other thing. Bar none.

YellowDogSVC
10-16-2008, 05:37 PM
I think the titmouse has priority in California while the spotted owl rules Washington and down here in Texas the blind salamander and golden cheeked warblers are above the rest.

Junior M
10-16-2008, 05:52 PM
...that's just stupid. I could see making a big deal if you deliberately dumped oil into the river but since diesel and oil float, and fish don't, I don't think they are swimming in the polluted water. Add to it the dilution factor, the fact that water, over time, is the universal solvent, scrubbing action of the currents, gravel, and other debris in the water, and evaporation, and you have a non event. Geez. And someone is paid to stand there and watch you?
I know a guy who's paid about 2500k a week to count bats as they fly out of a cave...My gosh, I would have thunk my tax dollars would go to better armor for troops. You guys in Canada should be asking the same questions.
The guy I worked for this summer, was a good friend of a guy that owned an Enviromental Clean up company, and he actually started working for this guy and worked out a deal some how to do landscaping to, ok so to the point it actually is a big deal, I did a whole lot of enviro clean up this summer, and that oil/diesel/gas will end up off to the side out of the current and will soak into the ground and eventually into the ground water, this will take several months, even a year, and that oil will contaminate the ground water, or underground aquifers and if people are using a well for there water source they are bathing in and consuming that contaminated water...

Gravel Rat
10-16-2008, 06:25 PM
Any diesel fuel or oil spilled in the water is a big fine. I forgot what the cost of the fines are. I don't want to know what the fines are either just becareful not to spill oil where somebody can see it.

Even on your property used commercially or for business if the ministry of enviroment inspector comes to your property and does a inspection and sees oil they might make you pay for drilling to get soil samples. You might aswell go to the bank and get a loan for 10-20 grand you might need more.

If your land is contaminated ever speck of soil has to be excavated and hauled to a specialized site. Big expense if its bad enough it can force you out of business.

CAT powered
10-16-2008, 06:59 PM
Well I'm trying right now to have enough work for him to do. I did the math and he costs me 62,400 dollars a year. 40 hours a week times 52 weeks a year times 30 dollars an hour.

I think I'm going to try to get him trained on my screen so he can do topsoil for me and pay for himself most of the way at least. I'd say he's worth it if I can take my time and do other things like go to bid meetings and try go get new jobs all the time instead of being tied down doing something like screening topsoil. I figure if he makes a full year with me he's worth going half or more on CDL training and then he'll be even more versatile.

So far my only complaints with him are:

1: He's a smoker.
2: He likes air fresheners. My truck still smells like his air freshener crap from when he drove it over a month ago.

The reason being a smoker bugs me is because I'm not and I hate having a machine that smells like smoke. Fortunately he hasn't stunk up any machines. I think I made myself pretty clear when I told him I didn't want him smoking in the dozer. The only problem with that is he then has to stop everything and get out to have a smoke.

And for the record: CRRA sucks. Not just because they gave me a BS excuse, but because for the first 2 and a half months I didn't see a single check from them for all the work I'd done and I'd probably put out 5,000 dollars in fuel.

AJ Lawnscapes
10-16-2008, 07:17 PM
Um....if they are terminating a contract because they think that Machinery Issues are Un-safe, they are still obligated to pay you because they breached contract.

Sue man Sue!

CAT powered
10-16-2008, 07:22 PM
They are paying me for that work. It just took them forever to get me the first check. They're paying me for all my work it just takes forever to get a check from them.

AintNoFun
10-16-2008, 09:57 PM
thats what happens when you want to play with the big boys...


It just took them forever to get me the first check. They're paying me for all my work it just takes forever to get a check from them.

CAT powered
10-16-2008, 10:25 PM
I've been in this business for 30 years. I know how it works.

Usually my checks come in about 30-35 days after I send out the invoice. Not 70-80 days. The first check took about 70-80 days to get to me and then they started getting better with checks, but they started getting worse with BS.

90 days is my limit even for government/large corporation work like that before I stop service until I get my check. That probably didn't help me with this nonsense that I told them they had a week to pay me before I stopped service until the check cleared.

I have one loyal client that I've done work with for 13 years now. He owns several acres of greenhouses and gives me 100,000+ dollars per year in work every year without fail. Whether it is clearing land that he buys, tearing out and replacing old greenhouses, or building new greenhouses he always has work.

This year's project was installing some MASSIVE wood burning stoves to heat all his greenhouses.

The furnace is probably as big as 4 D8 dozers parked in a square with another 4 parked on top of them. Then he's got 2 of those. They burn 100 yards of shredded biomass down to a 55 gallon drum of ash. The fires burn so hot that anything you can put in there will burn and the fires will never go out when they are in service. The whole system is really cool.

In all it's about a 2.3 million dollar job. He estimates that it will have paid for itself in 3 to 4 years pending the price of oil.

I might be able to get him to hire out this guy to grind his wood. I just thought of that as I was typing here. Hmmm. Maybe I won't have to lay him off. That's good news.