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View Full Version : Realtrack GPS- Giving it a try


PlantscapeSolutions
09-26-2010, 03:11 PM
For $180 bucks and only $18 a month I went a head and purchased a tracking unit. I pondered the one you can hide under bumper one of the other posts were talking about. But I want to know what going on in real time.

I really like the idea of knowing where my crew is at any given time. Are they taking the shortest route or are they going the long way. How many minutes are spent at gas stations or other places is what I want to know.

My crew members are clocked out when they leave the last yard so I'll be able to match the time sheets to the GPS as well. I'm guessing that 80% of the guys on Lawnsite drive their own truck and don't need GPS. I'd like to hear from the guys who run crews from the office not the truck and use live GPS.

With this unit I'll know when the trucks engine is running or turned off. The unit records every time the trucks ignition is turned on or off. If the truck is stationary too long with the engine running someone's enjoying the AC too much or chatting it up on the phone.

SNAPPER MAN
09-26-2010, 03:34 PM
I'm very tempted to get one as well. Let me know how it works for you! I am kind of having trust issues with some of my guys. They are using way more diesel each week than I think they should so naturally I want to know why lol.
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
09-26-2010, 04:19 PM
I'm very tempted to get one as well. Let me know how it works for you! I am kind of having trust issues with some of my guys. They are using way more diesel each week than I think they should so naturally I want to know why lol.
Posted via Mobile Device

I'll let everyone know what I think of it and I'll send you a PM with my number if you want to talk about it. I just have one crew but I'd say if you run multiple crews it's a must have. The potential for waste is just too great.

SNAPPER MAN
09-26-2010, 04:30 PM
Ya I run one crew most of the time and they split up a couple days a week. I never work with them tho.
Posted via Mobile Device

lawnboy852
09-26-2010, 06:35 PM
Let me tell you, if I ever ran a crew that I wasnt supervising directly, there would be a gps in that truck from the get go. There are far too few good people in this world, what can i say, ive lost my trust in humanity. Especially when people are paid by the hour, wasting time is the name of the game.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-26-2010, 07:32 PM
Here's a little scam GPS would have caught. I hired back an employee who had left to work for a bigger company in town called Sunterra. He worked his way up to Foreman at Sunterra and learned to habla muy bueno Espanol. I was impressed and some of my employee's were prior Sunterra workers who knew this guy. It seemed like a good fit to hire him back from the company I had lost him to.

This guy was only in his 20's and had six kids so I knew he could use the money. When he left the first time he was a bit immature and told some stories that didn't add up. It seemed like he had grown up but I was wrong it turned out.

The first thing this guy does when I hired him is go but a used Cadillac. This guy had six rug rats to feed and buys a damn Caddy. Two weeks later there were in the hood $2000 20's mounted on the Caddy. About two weeks later he puts a $1500 crimp in the quarter panel of my 06' Ram 2500 and it cracks the light. He claimed he was moving the truck in a tight spot when the accident happened. He had jackknifed the trailer into the truck backing up which is a dumbazz mistake.

Two weeks later on payday after this guy had left the shop my crew my came back to talk to me. Apparently the guy was actually running around trying to line up side jobs when the accident happened. I know this because on payday my crew said he took them to four house that were supposed to be "new clients" My crew knew the "new"houses were out of whack on the schedule and knew what the guy was doing.

GPS would have nipped this problem in the bud early on. $18 a month is a bargain to keep tabs on your crew. GPS can help keep workers a little more honest and productive.

Texas Lawn
09-27-2010, 05:22 PM
Must have expense in my opinion. Buddy of mine had GPS and caught his guy screwing around at the grocery store Called the guy on the phone and said, "while your at the grocery store, can you pick me up a gallon of milk?" I would have love to see the look on the guys face. Im suprised he even picked up the phone. Needless to say that never happened again

White Gardens
10-05-2010, 09:39 AM
For $180 bucks and only $18 a month I went a head and purchased a tracking unit. I pondered the one you can hide under bumper one of the other posts were talking about. But I want to know what going on in real time.

I really like the idea of knowing where my crew is at any given time. Are they taking the shortest route or are they going the long way. How many minutes are spent at gas stations or other places is what I want to know.

My crew members are clocked out when they leave the last yard so I'll be able to match the time sheets to the GPS as well. I'm guessing that 80% of the guys on Lawnsite drive their own truck and don't need GPS. I'd like to hear from the guys who run crews from the office not the truck and use live GPS.

With this unit I'll know when the trucks engine is running or turned off. The unit records every time the trucks ignition is turned on or off. If the truck is stationary too long with the engine running someone's enjoying the AC too much or chatting it up on the phone.

How does that work? Isn't that ethically and lawfully wrong to make your employees have face time in your truck and not pay them for it?

Wayne 55
10-05-2010, 09:56 AM
How does that work? Isn't that ethically and lawfully wrong to make your employees have face time in your truck and not pay them for it?

:clapping::clapping::clapping:

couldnt agree more

PlantscapeSolutions
10-05-2010, 12:37 PM
How does that work? Isn't that ethically and lawfully wrong to make your employees have face time in your truck and not pay them for it?

Your thinking like a one man show. In this line of work companies clock out their crew members at the last jobsite by default. I'd be broke if I had to pay 2-3 guys to take a nap and get more OT as a result. I'd be looking at paying my guys a total of about $125 extra a week to take a nap. That's around $4000 a season.

White Gardens
10-05-2010, 12:58 PM
Your thinking like a one man show. In this line of work companies clock out their crew members at the last jobsite by default. I'd be broke if I had to pay 2-3 guys to take a nap and get more OT as a result. I'd be looking at paying my guys a total of about $125 extra a week to take a nap. That's around $4000 a season.

If they are driving your truck and equipment, then they are on the clock. Why is that solo thinking?

It would be another thing if they had their own vehicles at the job site and went strait home from there.

It's more of a workers rights issue. Locally, companies have gotten in trouble for that.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-05-2010, 01:22 PM
If they are driving your truck and equipment, then they are on the clock. Why is that solo thinking?

It would be another thing if they had their own vehicles at the job site and went strait home from there.

It's more of a workers rights issue. Locally, companies have gotten in trouble for that.

The post only says the crew members get clocked out not the Foreman.

Wayne 55
10-05-2010, 02:06 PM
Foreman, crew what is the diffrence here. They are men (and women). They dedicate there time to you. Yes you pay them but still if they are reliable help then they deserve that pay back to the yard. If they sleep under trees while the rest of the crew works well then BYE BYE. If they are humping and earning you the money you deserve to keep open then they also deserve it for themselves. You are holding them after hours in a truck sort of at bay till they get to there own personal vehicles to go home. Time is money to you as it is to a worker.

I had big crews and yes it cost me but many of these people also were dedicated to me and our company. A little gratatude went a long way.
Also think this is in a labor violation here in NY .

SNAPPER MAN
10-05-2010, 03:41 PM
I also clock my guys out after the last yard. They are not paid for windshield time driving back to the shop. That way they can stop and get stuff and don't have to rush back. We all like it better this way.
Posted via Mobile Device

White Gardens
10-05-2010, 05:36 PM
I also clock my guys out after the last yard. They are not paid for windshield time driving back to the shop. That way they can stop and get stuff and don't have to rush back. We all like it better this way.
Posted via Mobile Device

As long as everyone agrees that it's OK, then I guess it would work in individual situations.

When I used to work for another company, I got paid for the drive back to the shop. Rarely, if ever, I stopped on the way back and doinked around only because I appreciated who I worked for, and ultimately wanted to get home right away.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-06-2010, 01:11 PM
If anyone wants to see any of the install pics just send me a pm. You can also go to the Turbo Diesel Registry at TDR1.com to see the original posting. My other posting of the pictures was deleted. There was a goof ball comment posted about how someone could disable my GPS and apparently the Edit Police saw the comment. I sure the Edit Police had good intentions but it was silly to delete it.

Like I said before my employee's can't speak or read English. Thinking some other crazy person is going to come to my shop and try to break into my truck to disable a GPS is just plain silly. There was no address specific info, log on codes or any info of real value on the deleted posting.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-06-2010, 02:32 PM
I'm very tempted to get one as well. Let me know how it works for you! I am kind of having trust issues with some of my guys. They are using way more diesel each week than I think they should so naturally I want to know why lol.
Posted via Mobile Device

Well, I'm already seeing some wasteful activity on the GPS tracking on my computer today. My crew went out to a neighborhood on the west side of Austin today. They drove right by a gas station on the way to the neighborhood but did not stop.

They went to the neighborhood worked for two hours and drove out of the neighborhood back to the gas station. They spent 35 minutes round trip on the driving and stayed at the gas station for 32 minutes. They drove from the gas station back up to the neighborhood after they ate lunch I'm guessing.

This neighborhood is up in the hills down a very curvy road so it's a lot of wear and tear to be driving back and forth on my dime. When you factor in the expense of operating a truck it probably cost me at least $10 for the 32 minute trip. I can't wait to see what the time cards say today.

I'm not going to say anything today because I want to see what happens the rest of the week. Stay Tuned for the next episode.

4CORNERS
10-26-2010, 09:52 PM
Just like some of the other guys, the clock stops after the last job. It's pretty much a no brainer.

4CORNERS
10-26-2010, 09:58 PM
The GPS thing sounds like a great idea. A few years back I hired on my wife's brother-in-law( the guy's no family of mine) paying him $725 a week salary...yes 725.00....and come to find out he was screwing me...would have been nice to have the GPS then. Probably in the spring.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-29-2010, 10:44 PM
The GPS thing sounds like a great idea. A few years back I hired on my wife's brother-in-law( the guy's no family of mine) paying him $725 a week salary...yes 725.00....and come to find out he was screwing me...would have been nice to have the GPS then. Probably in the spring.

For only $18 a month with no contract you can't lose. You just have to pay $180 to get the device so you can install it. My Foreman's last day was today because his license expires on Sunday. Texas had made it harder for certain south of the border folks to renew. I voided my Foreman's two days of accrued vacation which saved me about $221.

I'm probably going to dock my crew member 1/2 or 1 full day of vacation for the extra pay they received from being dishonest. This will recoup another $100 - $200 dollars and more importantly teach workers you don't bite the hand that feeds.

Companies taking advantage of south of the border folks is a big problem. My crew members get sick pay, vacation, OT on a regular basis, holiday pay, and other perks. $8 an hour is common for experienced south of the border help. My guys are now pulling down $11 an hour. Even good workers can get a little greedy when they think the boss will never catch on.

Wayne 55
10-30-2010, 09:51 AM
A little advice of your own quote. Dont bite the hand that feeds YOU. Sounds to me as though you yourself take advantge of South of the border help. Docking pay. Taking away days off. You yourself were just as dishonest by sneaking in the GPS to find ways to get money back from your workers and you did. I hope they go to the state labor board with this and see if they can do anything for themselves. You never gave them a chance to change there ways of sneaking around for a extra couple hours a week. I don't approve of it either, but you just hammerd them and on here you are laughing at it. I hope after all this the men get wise and walk away from you. I know this post will get deleted but I hope you can see it before it does and think about what was said. This is not a personal shot at you it is just a comment on your ways of running a business.

lawnboy852
10-30-2010, 03:29 PM
I agree. Everyone deserves a warning at least. so after a week or a month to see whats going on, you sit the guys down and say alright, I know whats going on, and Big Brother is watching, if things dont get back on track there will be consequences. Dont just dock pay out of the blue without warning the guys and giving them a chance to change.

mslawn
10-31-2010, 11:01 PM
In this line of work companies clock out their crew members at the last jobsite by default.

You have got to be kidding in this statement. That $4000.00 in extra wages is just part of doing business the correct way. I pay from the time they get to the shop until the time they leave the shop. Yes it costs, but having quality employees means a little stress off of me throughout the day and if that means treating them fairly to keep them happy then I have no problems with the added expense.

HISnHERS
10-31-2010, 11:57 PM
So if I'm understanding this correctly, the employees are not paid for the time they are driving the company vehicles to and from the job first and last sites, but they are required to report to your shop to pick up and return the equipment, and not directly to the job site?

I'm kinda curious about potential insurance and workers comp issues. So what would happen in the case of an auto accident (no matter who is at fault) while the workers were off the clock and returning to your shop, in your truck, with your equipment?

Would your insurance still cover the damage if an unpaid employee was operating the vehicle?

Sounds like a lot of potential risk hanging out there.

Just curious.

DuallyVette
11-01-2010, 12:32 AM
You have got to be kidding in this statement. That $4000.00 in extra wages is just part of doing business the correct way. I pay from the time they get to the shop until the time they leave the shop. Yes it costs, but having quality employees means a little stress off of me throughout the day and if that means treating them fairly to keep them happy then I have no problems with the added expense.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, the employees are not paid for the time they are driving the company vehicles to and from the job first and last sites, but they are required to report to your shop to pick up and return the equipment, and not directly to the job site?

I'm kinda curious about potential insurance and workers comp issues. So what would happen in the case of an auto accident (no matter who is at fault) while the workers were off the clock and returning to your shop, in your truck, with your equipment?

Would your insurance still cover the damage if an unpaid employee was operating the vehicle?

Sounds like a lot of potential risk hanging out there.

Just curious.


A large LC company here spent lots of money many years ago, after the labor board paid them a visit. They only paid the driver on the trip to the 1st job of the day, and the last job of the day. You also had to arrive at work at 6:30 AM..left the shop by 7:00 AM, and they started the 1st job at the furthest location for the day.

You owe the laborers for all their time that you keep them from their personal life.

HISnHERS
11-01-2010, 09:05 AM
I also wonder if the workers simply arrive back at the shop, jump out of the truck, and walk straight to their car, or bus stop, or sidewalk, or whatever. No unloading trailers, cleaning or maintain equipment, just drop and run. Same in the morning. If they do any work prior to or after leaving the shop, isn't that another big risk for the employer if they are not paid until they arrive at the first job site?

I'm admittedly dumb, but I don't get this.....

Wayne 55
11-01-2010, 11:32 AM
There have been other threads about this very subject from the same employer. I have been trying to follow this along and in previous posts he stated he only pays foreman who drives truck from shop to jobsites and back to shop. Others don't get payed window time after last job is completed. Now it seems Foremans License is no longer valid as of today so that foreman is no longer their to my estimate all due to expired license.

jtsnipe
11-01-2010, 10:07 PM
Just like some of the other guys, the clock stops after the last job. It's pretty much a no brainer.

If the employees document the time they spend in your vehicle you will defiantly owe back pay if there is ever an issue with the labor board

HISnHERS
11-01-2010, 10:36 PM
There have been other threads about this very subject from the same employer. I have been trying to follow this along and in previous posts he stated he only pays foreman who drives truck from shop to jobsites and back to shop. Others don't get payed window time after last job is completed. Now it seems Foremans License is no longer valid as of today so that foreman is no longer their to my estimate all due to expired license.

I would think it wouldn't matter to much in the eyes of labor authorities whether the worker is driving or riding. And if this employer is the astute business owner that watches every dime and detail, shouldn't worker window time have been figured in when the cost to do business is calculated?

Seems to me that he's worried about workers robbing his time while apparently he robs their time every day.

Yeah, I bet some labor folks would want to look into practices like this.

Dnryan
11-02-2010, 12:09 AM
Just curious if any one has the "field force manager" set up at their work through verizon. It is a type of system that if you give employees company phones that they can clock in and out with the phone, be tracked as to the phones location, can be sent directions and job information and other stuff as well. Was thinking about giving it a try in the future and was curious if anybody has had experience with it.

Wayne 55
11-02-2010, 07:54 AM
Time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered compensable work time. Time spent in home-to-work travel by an employee in an employer-provided vehicle, or in activities performed by an employee that are incidental to the use of the vehicle for commuting, generally is not "hours worked" and, therefore, does not have to be paid. This provision applies only if the travel is within the normal commuting area for the employer's business and the use of the vehicle is subject to an agreement between the employer and the employee or the employee's representative.


This is from the US Labor board web site.

jtsnipe
11-02-2010, 07:20 PM
If there's a signed agreement more power to you,if not,pay the man.

Jpocket
11-08-2010, 04:23 PM
Foreman, crew what is the diffrence here. They are men (and women). They dedicate there time to you. Yes you pay them but still if they are reliable help then they deserve that pay back to the yard. If they sleep under trees while the rest of the crew works well then BYE BYE. If they are humping and earning you the money you deserve to keep open then they also deserve it for themselves. You are holding them after hours in a truck sort of at bay till they get to there own personal vehicles to go home. Time is money to you as it is to a worker.

I had big crews and yes it cost me but many of these people also were dedicated to me and our company. A little gratatude went a long way.
Also think this is in a labor violation here in NY .

Exactly. Anyone who has been an hourly employee before will understand this

flatlander42
11-08-2010, 08:18 PM
If I worked for anybody that didn't pay me for time in their trucks......I sure as hell would spend an extra hour dickin around during the day to make up the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

These would be my thoughts.....
"Screw you for not paying me for the time I am not with my family."

And yeah, I'd definitely have records of all the hours that you didn't pay and try my hardest to stick it to you after you fire me.

Long story short, I like the GPS idea BUT you need to Pay your employes for the hours they work........Warn them about the extra dinkin around. Fire them after they don't listen.

But that is just me.:waving:

fexkorn
11-12-2010, 09:28 AM
thanks for this info. It's a real help.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-14-2010, 10:35 PM
A little advice of your own quote. Dont bite the hand that feeds YOU. Sounds to me as though you yourself take advantge of South of the border help. Docking pay. Taking away days off. You yourself were just as dishonest by sneaking in the GPS to find ways to get money back from your workers and you did. I hope they go to the state labor board with this and see if they can do anything for themselves. You never gave them a chance to change there ways of sneaking around for a extra couple hours a week. I don't approve of it either, but you just hammerd them and on here you are laughing at it. I hope after all this the men get wise and walk away from you. I know this post will get deleted but I hope you can see it before it does and think about what was said. This is not a personal shot at you it is just a comment on your ways of running a business.

Your way off the mark. If you document repeated time sheet fraud and do nothing about it your sending your workers the wrong message. I have documented proof of the repeated time sheet cheating. What the hell do you think the labor complaint would be? That they got caught but should be able to keep the money for some goof ball reason. Your thinking like a worker not a person who manages workers.

How is putting GPS in my own truck dishonest? I suspect time sheet fraud and sure enough I was right. GPS is a great multi use tool. Once again your thinking like some teenage worker not a person who manages people. GPS is a very cheap tool that everyone should be using who runs crews. The GPS sets me back only 59 cents a day. Operating blind is just plain stupid I now realize after investing in GPS.

I have no idea at all where you came up with you "laughing at them" comment. I also have no idea how employee's having to pay back possibly half their ill gotten gains is "hammering" them.

My guys get $11 an hour, plus OT, plus a few paid holidays, plus a turkey day bonus, and a Christmas bonus. I even give my guys a weeks paid vacation and a little sick pay. I even fibbed a little so they could get a discounted apartment and some health benefits that they really make too much money to get. I've gone the extra mile for my guys and most of the time they have returned the favor.

Sometimes even good employee's can get out of line and need a little penalty for taking money they did not earn. You need to school your employee's when they go awry and not let them school you and get away with it.

flatlander42
11-14-2010, 11:08 PM
Well....with all this said....My statement does not really fit anymore. I'd actually be even more pissed if I had done all those extras and they were messin around.

DuallyVette
11-15-2010, 12:24 AM
My guys get $11 an hour, plus OT, plus a few paid holidays, plus a turkey day bonus, and a Christmas bonus. I even give my guys a weeks paid vacation and a little sick pay. I even fibbed a little so they could get a discounted apartment and some health benefits that they really make too much money to get. I've gone the extra mile for my guys and most of the time they have returned the favor.

Sometimes even good employee's can get out of line and need a little penalty for taking money they did not earn. You need to school your employee's when they go awry and not let them school you and get away with it.



So...you school your employees when they go awry....BUT what do you teach them by lying to the government to get them cheaper housing and medical benifits? SO ...the lesson?....Don't steal FROM me, but , stealing from the Government is ok.

Anytime someone has offered me somthing "special"...He told me a lot more about his character than he suspected.

If someone will lie for you....he'll lie to you.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-15-2010, 12:47 AM
So...you school your employees when they go awry....BUT what do you teach them by lying to the government to get them cheaper housing and medical benifits? SO ...the lesson?....Don't steal FROM me, but , stealing from the Government is ok.

Anytime someone has offered me somthing "special"...He told me a lot more about his character than he suspected.

If someone will lie for you....he'll lie to you.

These guys are paying into Social Security to support the rest of us. They will never get to see a penny of the money coming out of their check. If they get a few perks some other way from the government it's not a big deal. Who here can say they never speed, never put a dollar from a client in their pocket with out claiming it at tax time, and on and on. I don't expect my employee's to be saints but I expect them to be held to a reasonable standard.

Too many people read threads looking to try to pick them apart instead of just pondering the general discussion point of the thread.

Fresh_Cut
11-17-2010, 03:12 PM
very interesting thread

the OP seems to have made a good decision with the GPS. I like how he even knows how much it costs his company per day. I'm guessing that it's $17.99/30 days = $.59

At that price it's much more of an asset and really a no brainer.

I'm kinda on the fence about clocking a crew out after last job and not paying them for the drive back. I'm a small one man operation, but I think like a big company because that's where I want to be. I also think back to when I was paid by the hour. I think I would pay them for the window time driving back, but the GPS would play a role in my confidence that they are being responsible with the time. I would feel better about paying for the window time coming back to the shop if I knew it was the least amount of time possible and the shortest route possible.

Get back fast! So you can clock out and be on your own time, and so I can do the same. Make them understand that you have things to do as well, even if only inspecting and doing maintenance on equipment.

DuallyVette
11-17-2010, 08:35 PM
These guys are paying into Social Security to support the rest of us. They will never get to see a penny of the money coming out of their check. If they get a few perks some other way from the government it's not a big deal. Who here can say they never speed, never put a dollar from a client in their pocket with out claiming it at tax time, and on and on. I don't expect my employee's to be saints but I expect them to be held to a reasonable standard.

Too many people read threads looking to try to pick them apart instead of just pondering the general discussion point of the thread.



Don't believe for a minute that the Liberals won't insist that all those poor immigrants get their social security and medicare.....and they each have a handful of Social Security cards, and they'll wind up getting a check in each alias. An anchor baby gets them housing, to go along with the welfare and food stamps.

Wayne 55
11-18-2010, 09:34 AM
While you think I might be a teenager who doesn't understand much of anything I can tell you thats way off I am 55yrs old. I have owned a very successful landscape company for over 20 years, worked as a supervisor on many construction jobs organizing men and women (up to 30) daily along with ordering of materials etc... Many of these jobs bids were in the millions of dollars and like any business time is money. I've been doing this for over 40 yes 40 years.

I want to say to you I do not disagree with the GPS system. I think it has its place. But I see your post about Garnishing wages or time from your men and this is a illegal act on your part. Any employer can not garnish any wage from a employee for any reason unless it is court ordered. 99% of the time these court orders are for either owing back taxes or child payments. Just because your men come from south of the boarder they still have rights of protection under the USDOL. Do I speak as a employee? Nope not at all I speak as a man who has done his homework looking into laws to protect me as a owner or supervisor protecting the people I am working for.

You placed the GPS into your vehicles to watch the men without them having any knowledge of its existence. Well sure enough you caught them. Now that time is your loss not the men. Even if these men know of its existence and still goof off you can not garnish wages or take time away. You can although fire these men. I am not concerned in what you pay your men hourly that has nothing to do with this subject. Your decision towards their wages is just that yours. OT pay is another story. Again a law. Vacation time and sick days. I give you credit for that it is totally volunteer. But again if that is your agreement with your employees and you can not garnish that time. I think I said enough on this. I hope you get to see this as I feel this again might get deleted. Again it is not a personal thing going on here but a discussion about ethics and laws.