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View Full Version : do you use uniforms for your help?


General Grounds
07-07-2002, 07:50 AM
:blob3: Just curiuos if any of you use uniforms for your guys or not. we lease pants and shorts from cintas, and have a customer of mine who owns a print shop do are t's, sweats,jackets, etc.Tony.

LawnSmith
07-07-2002, 09:43 AM
indeed, LawnSmith Turf Maintenance shirts, kaki pants(no shorts), boots(no shoes or sandles), and absolutely no hats.

Turfdude
07-07-2002, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by LawnSmith
(no shorts), boots(no shoes or sandles), and absolutely no hats.

Why no shorts, or no hat?? Some people need a straw or other hat to shield them from the sun. There are plenty of plain kakhi ballcaps and straw hats which would look professional and not be offensive.

We supply tanks, T's, sweatshirts, jackets and low profile ballcaps

It's also a good way to get a little extra advertising as well as look professional

Bob

General Grounds
07-07-2002, 08:29 PM
:blob3: i agree bob, we supply our guys w/ a khaki baseball hat and a floppy hat, as well we also give our guys fanny paks, comes in handy for the guys with the line trimmers they carry an extra spool all ready to go so they dont have to walk 2 blocks back to the truck. t

LawnSmith
07-07-2002, 10:33 PM
just personal opinion and preference when it comes to the uniform. i run my business in a very professional manner and appearance is a big issue of mine. im fairly vain when it comes to this sort of thing. i run all scag equipment,(2 TTs and 2 walk behinds) so those match and all 2 stroke stuff is shin so it matches. white truck with black trailer and black wheels. it may seem very funny but appearance is has helped me land some of my best jobs. i know this because of client feedback and its always positive(in that aspect at least, LOL).

IMHO, business men/women should not wear hats or shorts to the office. well, my office just happens to be everywhere i go and i feel these standards fare well in any environment.

Brickman
07-07-2002, 10:44 PM
For the most part I totally agree with LawnSmith. NO shorts for guys. I do not have gals working for me, but would not have a problem with gals wearing shorts. As for hats that is up to the individual. But in this country not wearing a hat isn't real smart. The sun is too direct. I do offer to pay 1/2 of the large cloth hats.

As for the original ? I started this year buying T shirts for the help. I got tired of them having NO CLUE as to what is respectable to wear on high end res properties.

yardboyltd
07-08-2002, 02:35 AM
Who offers laundry incentives?

I'm just wondering your guy's whole policy on clean uniforms and how you keep them khaki's clean...If you issue uniforms, how many, etc...

General Grounds
07-08-2002, 09:50 PM
:blob3: yardboy, i lease from cintas and they come every monday and pick up our dirty and drop of a fresh set for each guy, each guy is issued either 6 shorts, or pants or they have them mixed and matched. they also take care of any repairs the clothes may need. tony

GLS
07-08-2002, 10:30 PM
No hats???

Mowingman
07-08-2002, 10:38 PM
I buy uniform shirts from Cintas, khaki w/ my company name and logo on the pocket, and give 3 to each employee. They are required to wear them. They must wear long pants, I do not provide those. They can wear what they like for pants as long as they aren't rags. Most wear jeans. :)

Pelican
07-08-2002, 11:00 PM
I provide a week's worth of T-shirts, they're on their own for the rest, but I insist that they're neat. As for hats, I encourage them. Skin cancer runs in my family so I wear a straw cowboy hat as does one helper, another wears a baseball cap. In the weather we had last week, (high 90s and 80% humidity), going without a hat is dangerous!

HarryD
07-08-2002, 11:10 PM
i agree not wearing a hat or not allowing them to wear them is stupid :dizzy: you can buy ball caps with your logo on them whats the big deal
if i didnt wear a hat i would look 60 years old for all the time ive spent in the sun been mowing every summer since 1981

gogetter
07-08-2002, 11:27 PM
I think it's kinda silly to compare OUR work to business people in an office. Therefore I don't feel the same rules should apply. I wear shorts and would allow employees to wear them as well (No cut off jeans as they get stringy and sloppy looking). Cargo shorts would be preferred. Hats would be fine but they would have to be either company hats or just plain hats with nothing on them (no budweiser hats lol!).

Pride and professionalism are one thing, but this IS hot dirty work.

Bob Minney
07-09-2002, 12:07 AM
good thing about running our own show is we get to make our own rules.

Just today I noticed UPS and USPS wearing shorts and hat outdoors.
I think employee comfort should be considered.

WashMoBrink
07-09-2002, 10:52 AM
No Hat?? Today's forecast is 97 with 10 UV index. Almost sounds criminal to ask someone to go without.........

LawnSmith
07-09-2002, 01:18 PM
as stated above, those are my proffesional opinions and thoughts and "rules" for employees. not to sound corny but its my way or the highway.
roughly 80+% of the body heat is lost through the head. people wear hats in the winter to keep the heat in. no need to keep that heat in while its 90+ outside. i stay cooler without a hat as do my employees but, we do use sunscreen always.

i know about the company logo on hats and such. i have a company sew my logo onto sweatshirts(hooded, and non), toboggans, jackets, etc.

mowngrow
07-09-2002, 03:19 PM
you will never catch me mowing without my hat or my guys either.
mowed the other day without a hat and i am paying for it now my head got cooked. yes sunscreen works but not in your hair.
i now carry extra hats in the truck for the guys that forgot theirs

Pelican
07-09-2002, 07:18 PM
Comparing winter weather to summer heat is absurd! Yes, 80% of body heat is lost through the head WHEN the outside temperature is lower than body temp. As the ambient temperature gets closer to body temp., the rate of heat loss drops dramatically. Factor in humidity and radiant heat absorbed from the sun and you are at great risk of heat stroke.

Ventilated hats allow any heat that is released through the head to disperse and also prevent the absorbtion of the sun's radiant heat. Ask any Doctor about the repercussions of exposure to the sun's heat.

I agree with Gogetter, neat, comfortable & SAFE

LawnSmith
07-09-2002, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by LawnSmith
i stay cooler without a hat as do my employees

please re-read.

im glad a hat works for you all in your situations. but, please unless you feel like filling out an application, keep the negative comments away from me. thank you!

wayne volz
07-09-2002, 08:47 PM
:) Good to see so many professionals agreeing on something.

Uniforms are a must to project the professional image that we are all very interested in. Many buy based on perception. A professional image can and will set a professional standard for your service. Good luck to all and have a profitable year.

Wayne

Pelican
07-09-2002, 08:51 PM
I'm not looking to start a "heated" argument, just engaging in debate over a serious subject. I have edited my post to remove what may have unintentionally been perceived as a hostile word.

I'm pointing out the error in your comparison of winter knit hats to summer head gear, they are of completely different design. I've also been involved in EMS for over 22 years and have treated victims of heat stroke & exhaustion, and know just a little bit about the steps to take for prevention.

If you have considered my comments negative, my apologies, and no, I won't be applying in the near future. The commute would be hell not to mention the working conditions I'd face! In any case, I didn't mean to make you hot under the collar.

LawnSmith
07-09-2002, 08:59 PM
i know the difference in hat material. i quit wearing hats about 5 or 6 years ago and i havent been back since.

by the way, i wasnt pointing any fingers because you werent the only one to comment about the lack of hats.

the comment about the comute and conditions was funny, i laughed out loud because i was expecting a response along those lines.

thanks for the clarification.

Jon99
07-09-2002, 09:20 PM
I just wonder how you will feel if one of your employees ends up with skin cancer which could have been avoided by simply wearing a hat.. Will your company image compensate for a valued employees health???? In this day of health care awareness, people expect people that work outside to wear hats, I doubt you are gaining any business by risking a human beings health...

wayne volz
07-09-2002, 09:48 PM
jon99

I was not suggesting that someone not wear a hat. We wear uniforms and hats are provided by us if wanted by our employees. It is not mandtory. Sorry for the confusion. Good health and good employees are both hard to come by.

awm
07-09-2002, 11:48 PM
louisville kentucky . and no hat.
thats almost hard to believe.
but i believe u bud .sorry if i misspelled your city.

Turf Ranger
07-10-2002, 12:55 AM
wait, so is the thing here that some1 qont let their employies wear hats, or he will provide them if they want them... that sounds fair to me, but i can see where it might be coming from..well.... nevermind ill shut up now

brucec32
07-12-2002, 02:44 AM
1. No hats? Two words. Skin cancer. You might have some legal liability if an employee claims later that you forbid what might have been a health-saving safety device.

I bumped my head today on the sharp spark arrestor on my mower as I reached under it to get something while on the truck. I had a hat on. Without it, my forehead would have been cut pretty bad. Instead, it just hurt for a second. It's no helmet, but I do run under branches and stuff a lot on the mower and it helps avoid scratches and cuts somewhat.

Your staff are having to endure lots of bugs and stuff in their hair, and any balding ones are sunburning(ever try getting sunscreen on a balding scalp?) You also get a ton of dust and grime on your head w/o a hat.

Hats with your logo can be a good marketing tool, like the uniforms.

Name suggestion for your company. "Men without Hats lawn care" They could all do the safety dance after completing the job.


2. Requiring long pants if the job is just mowing lawns seems a little inconsiderate. Yes, it's marginally more protective, but it's much cooler with shorts on, in my opinion. Of course some types of work may require them for safety reasons. But this kind of rigid rule can make it harder to retain staff. Especially if employees see it as arbitrary and without good cause. Long pants also become a problem if you're sweating a lot.(no air flow) They tend to sag down from the weight and bind up some.
I also don't find appropriate cargo/hiking type shorts to be any less professional.

3. Office? Who are we kidding here? We're not brokering million dollar real estate deals, we're doing yard work. Should we consider having employees wear ties, like the US army did early in WWII? : )

4. Uniform rental. I know a lot of companies do this, and maybe it's dirt cheap, but it strikes me as pretty expensive, having to pay for laundry and especially delivery of uniforms. I wouldn't want a guy working for me who couldn't/wouldn't keep his clothes clean. Just pay your employees the money instead, tell em to show up groomed and wearing a clean uniform or you'll dock them the equivilent of what you were paying for one week's uniform rental....or even fire them. Geez, is the employee material out there so bad they don't wash clothes? Is there some reason for uniform rental I haven't considered?

5. Appropriate uniform. Everybody has their opinion, but I think a company T-shirt is a minimum. I would never show up with guys in street clothing. People(neighbors especially) need to be assured that the guys they see walking around back are there for work, not larceny. Professional appearance also pays off in dollars, I realize. I would also go with khaki/tan shorts of reasonable similar "outdoor" design. No cutoffs, jams, short shorts, etc. Some people like polo type shirts, but I find that they can wilt in hot weather pretty bad and look sloppier. They also cost much more. I say give each employee 5 or 6 $10 shirts and be done with it. They can buy extras if they lose, ruin, or can't clean theirs. IF they show up dirty, they just bought a new t-shirt. A great incentive to do the laundry, eh? For cool weather I've seen some nice logo henleys, button down shirts, and sweatshirts.

6. Studies have shown that fast food workers allowed to wear comfortable, cotton, attractive, reasonable clothing, and not the polyester clown suits of the past, stay longer, are happier, and work for less pay than people required to wear something uncomfortable or "uncool". That's why I think a t-shirt with a small logo and some nice hiking shorts is a good compromise. Rented uniforms often don't fit great and unfortunately sometimes have a stigma attached to them. So, I guess Polyester Khaki uniform slacks aren't cool in more than one meaning of the word.

7. Lawnsmith. Your personality type might perhaps qualify as what is commonly known as "anal retentive". Based on the example of your work and your description of your equipment, this is a great attribute for your customers to have in a lawn service provider. Unfortunately, it's sometimes a pain in the ass working for one. I should know, my father is one and I left the family construction business because of it. You haven't seen ridiculous looks until you've been ordered to follow electricians around sweeping up after every fixture they install in a home.

Being too detail oriented also may increase our costs and reduce profitability. The old guy who used to do my parents' lawn spent 20 minutes blowing THE HELL out of the driveway and patio of their home. Woke me up every Saturday morning. He did a great job, but he took about 2 hours to do the lawn I now do in less than half the time. As far as it relates to uniforms, overly detailed, stringent requirements may not sit well with otherwise great employees, subtlely raising your costs.

crawdad
07-12-2002, 08:44 AM
"Anal retentive?" I have another word for it. But really, someone asked what does everyone wear, he answered. The guy who prefers hiring Mexicans got less cr@p than this guy is getting. I couldn't work for Lawnsmith, but I'm sure that doesn't bother him. He must be paying people enough to work in the hot sun without head protection. I wonder how long employees last at that. Maybe, being in "redneck" territory, he is trying to ensure his crew doesn't look like a bunch of "good ol' boys." There are obviously people who wil pay him for this, he said he has had customers compliment him.
I couldn't work for him, but I can take a guess, and say that my facial hair and ponytail would exclude me from consideration anyways. Many others who posted on this thread also couldn't work for a company like his, too. But you know what, he couldn't work for us, either! So, no big deal, I am in business for myself because I don't want to, nor have to, work for "Bossholes," and I suspect we all, including Lawnsmith, have this in common. By the way, I am a "Bosshole" too, if I am paying you, you *will* do it my way.
So, what I am trying to say is, although I vehemently disagre with Lawnsmith, if it works for him, I love it.
Crawdad
North-East Tennessee, also "redneck" territory

LawnSmith
07-12-2002, 10:50 AM
crawdad summed it up pretty well with, "if it works for him, I love it." thats 100% correct, it works for me, employees, and customers.
bruce tells me i am anal retentive, yet he only mows fescue lawns.

for what its worth and for those that care, the starting pay for an employee is 13 and hour with benifits or 15 without. the work is hard and the days are long but, the work and the rules "weed out" people that arent serious about making turf look its best.

my rules may seem over the top for someone doing 75-80% residentials but those arent my percentages. i do high-end residentials(500k+ homes) and multimillion dollar commercial companies. think of it this way, a uniform is a must and its a must that EVERYONE be uniform.

i guess i would really catch some flack if i told you guys that all shirts must be tucked in. LOL.

Pelican
07-12-2002, 09:42 PM
I had been discussing this thread with a contractor friend of mine and he told me how an OSHA inspector had stopped in on one of his roofing jobs and forced his crew to don shirts, which they had been working without. The inspector cited the exposure to skin cancer risk as the reason and warned they would be cited in the future. I'm not sure of the validity of this, but it's something to look into and consider.

I allow my crew to wear shorts if they wish, but again, they must be neat. I have two sets of chaps on the trailer to use while dressed this way. I wear shorts virtually all summer myself, I'm in agreement that comfortable employees will be more productive ones.