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domain311
01-09-2011, 05:49 PM
So we just got gps units installed in our trucks this past week...I am very much looking forward to using them...they will be helpful for sure in many ways. The details are awesome.

They already helped today...on the first day of use...

During the last storm we got a new driveway someone had referred us to....so I'm assuming the homeowner called my employee directly, either thinking that's what he was supposed to do or maybe he thought he could save money by going directly to the driver (I'm guessing they exchanged numbers last time)....whichever the case, my driver took advantage of it and did the driveway.

I asked him which he did today and he made no mention of this one.

I saw it on the gps. I went to the property to see that in fact was plowed. I saw the matching tread to the truck in the snow. And I'm sure I can find it in the phone records if I want to go any farther with it...

I haven't said anything to him yet...

93Chevy
01-09-2011, 06:01 PM
I don't know...maybe I'm old school and I might get a ton of heat for this...but you shouldn't need GPS to track your employees. They should know what you expect and the consequences of not delivering. I believe in "trust but verify." I don't think GPS is "verifying." It's more "watch over because you don't trust."

Maybe it's different in your operation. I don't know. I'm young and have a lot to learn. I mean no disrespect.

Sorry.

domain311
01-09-2011, 07:19 PM
I don't know...maybe I'm old school and I might get a ton of heat for this...but you shouldn't need GPS to track your employees. They should know what you expect and the consequences of not delivering. I believe in "trust but verify." I don't think GPS is "verifying." It's more "watch over because you don't trust."

Maybe it's different in your operation. I don't know. I'm young and have a lot to learn. I mean no disrespect.

Sorry.

No worries...thanks for your honesty and I appreciate your opinion.

I guess I view it a bit differently. Yes, I will use it to see what's going on with the trucks and crews. I think it is the best way to do so and near impossible for us to do otherwise. On its first day of use its already showed to me that it was a good investment. Unfortunately, some people will take advantage of a situation even though it may be the wrong thing to do. There is no way I would have known about this otherwise...and it would have went on for I don't know how long, ultimating costing the company $$$ along the way. Trust will obviously only go so far and in my opinion and its just not possible to verify everything.

It is also great for many other things such as billing time, checking on progress throughout the day to see if we can maybe add something to their schedule (without having to call and try and get them on the phone), seeing who may be closer to the next job we need to do, etc. It will definitely save money for us too.

MarcSmith
01-09-2011, 08:02 PM
domain. it looks like you have been trusting, and are now verifying. look at gps like you would as any other tool.

while we don't have GPS on vehicles at GU, our area is loading with speed/ red light cameras. My office neighbor is the fleet manager. so I get to see some of the pictures. so far none of my my employee have been caught, but I keep a tight leash on the truck keys.

Again we would never know about this stuff if not for the cameras. we were trusting but unable to verify. The biggest problem we face is other department don't have the key control/key tracking...So no way to verify who was driving. We did however find one that was doing 85 in a 35. he was suspended for a week...and had his driving privileges revoked.

Honestly...you have en employee that stole from you. He stole time, he stole life from your truck. He exposed you to liability they you did not get reimbursed for. He got paid twice, once by you, and once by the homeowner.

If it was me...He'd be an unemployment statistic. Chances are hes' done it before. but you never had the tools to check.

Honesty and integrity are very important to me. it would be a very strong message to any other employees.

domain311
01-09-2011, 08:14 PM
domain. it looks like you have been trusting, and are now verifying. look at gps like you would as any other tool.

while we don't have GPS on vehicles at GU, our area is loading with speed/ red light cameras. My office neighbor is the fleet manager. so I get to see some of the pictures. so far none of my my employee have been caught, but I keep a tight leash on the truck keys.

Again we would never know about this stuff if not for the cameras. we were trusting but unable to verify. The biggest problem we face is other department don't have the key control/key tracking...So no way to verify who was driving. We did however find one that was doing 85 in a 35. he was suspended for a week...and had his driving privileges revoked.

Honestly...you have en employee that stole from you. He stole time, he stole life from your truck. He exposed you to liability they you did not get reimbursed for. He got paid twice, once by you, and once by the homeowner.

If it was me...He'd be an unemployment statistic. Chances are hes' done it before. but you never had the tools to check.

Honesty and integrity are very important to me. it would be a very strong message to any other employees.

Right...like you said, I too believe something similar may have already happened. Honesty is extremely important to me as well...and I have to say it downright sucks that this has happened. I like him, he is a good employee otherwise and also runs the crews....but I don't think I can justify any other option than termination on this.

xclusive
01-10-2011, 12:09 AM
If you do not mind me asking what GPS tracking unit did you purchase?

seabee24
01-10-2011, 01:15 AM
Just to avoid some complications....if they don't know that they are on gps..... I'd wait until the next storm, watch him on the map. Odds are he will squeeze that one in on the same route, set up a geo fence notification for when he goes to that site....then log into the account and kill the fuel pump...that will be an interesting phone conversation for when he calls and is stuck in that drive way broken down.....
Posted via Mobile Device

Farbio
01-10-2011, 11:04 AM
I would also like to know what gps units you went with. There are a lot of different options out there and some are very expensive. I would be interested in doing this for my business if I could find something affordable.

Kiril
01-10-2011, 11:45 AM
I vote this threads title be changed to "Bring on the Police State"

domain311
01-10-2011, 12:20 PM
I went with http://vehicletrackingsolutions.com/ They only serve NY, NJ, CT and Long Island though...so depends on where you are. Lease the units with no upfront costs, they install them no charge and its $40.00 per month, per vehicle.

I originally bought from http://realtrackgps.com/ but sent the units back. The service itself was cheaper per month but overall I felt the one I went with was more detailed and a bigger company with better customer service.

domain311
01-10-2011, 12:21 PM
Just to avoid some complications....if they don't know that they are on gps..... I'd wait until the next storm, watch him on the map. Odds are he will squeeze that one in on the same route, set up a geo fence notification for when he goes to that site....then log into the account and kill the fuel pump...that will be an interesting phone conversation for when he calls and is stuck in that drive way broken down.....
Posted via Mobile Device

That's a good one...

domain311
01-10-2011, 12:22 PM
I vote this threads title be changed to "Bring on the Police State"

Sorry, not sure I totally understand that?

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 12:26 PM
I vote this threads title be changed to "Bring on the Police State"
he's not watching his employee's he just wants to know where his truck has been. Since the truck isn't talking his options are limited.

But I guess you still use push type reel mowers for your business, or do you have higher tech mowers that are faster better and more productive?

Kiril
01-10-2011, 12:37 PM
he's not watching his employee's he just wants to know where his truck has been. Since the truck isn't talking his options are limited.

If that is how you want to see it. I see it as the American public welcoming the encroaching police state with open arms. What's next .... subcutaneous GPS chips so people can be tracked at all times? How about "traffic cams" on every street corner or on every street light?

But I guess you still use push type reel mowers for your business, or do you have higher tech mowers that are faster better and more productive?

Very poor analogy. :nono: Plus I don't do mow & blow.

domain311
01-10-2011, 12:52 PM
If that is how you want to see it. I see it as the American public welcoming the encroaching police state with open arms. What's next .... subcutaneous GPS chips so people can be tracked at all times? How about "traffic cams" on every street corner or on every street light?



Very poor analogy. :nono: Plus I don't do mow & blow.

Well, honestly...given what happened, I don't see how anyone could see this as something I shouldn't be doing as a business owner. I flat out caught not only an employee, but my main foreman, stealing from me. I would have never know otherwise and this just solidifies my choice for installing these on our trucks. Like I said, it will definitely help in many other ways, but this right here...this alone, makes them worth every penny in only the first day of use.

I'm just learning to use this thing so this morning I find there is actually a satellite pic that shows the exact location of the truck in the driveway...stopped for 8 minutes, turned the ignition off, to collect "his" money I presume...crazy details these things have. Yeah, unfortunately it happens, but if you're an honest person then there is nothing to worry about. If not and something like this happens, then I cannot trust anything (remember this guy was the foreman) he tells me so therefore, he will not be a good employee with us.

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 12:53 PM
If that is how you want to see it. I see it as the American public welcoming the encroaching police state with open arms. What's next .... subcutaneous GPS chips so people can be tracked at all times? How about "traffic cams" on every street corner or on every street light?


So you are in favor of the employee stealing until he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar by the boss/owner.

So you don't like camera's in malls and stores (private property) to help combat shoplifting.

My analogy is good. the owner is using technology to be able to provide better service to his customers. That better service could be in the form of better pricing, more accurate response times, ect.

knowing that a vehicle is not where its supposed to be, doing something its no supposed to be doing is important information that would otherwise have gone unchecked. could have been costing the owner 100's of dollars annually, costs, which like shoplifting, are passed on to all the customers in the form of higher prices.

kiril I agree that technology used improperly and thus create a "video game of life" is over the top. The OP isn't spying on his employee's personal life, he's not bugging a private phone call, he's not peeking in on him though the bedroom window. The op is monitoring the whereabouts of his property(stuff he is responsible for) Stuff that if used improperly could expose the OP to thousand of dollars of liability.

Kiril
01-10-2011, 01:01 PM
Marc .... if you don't/can't see where all this is headed then I have nothing more to say to you. Be a sheep if that is what makes you comfortable.

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 01:25 PM
Kiril,

Sheep, thats the best you can do. come on. So you have never used technology to find out something about someone? Pretty amazing...Never dialed 411, never did a google search... Oh wait, you are the type that is more than happy to use technology for your own benefit, but it will be a cold day in hell before someone uses technology against you.

At what point in your life did begin to shun technology? Do you not use cell phones because you fear big brother.... do you not drive your car, use credit/debit cards... do you not write checks.. If someone wants to find you, they will (unless your bin laden)

I would imagine that you could still live "off the grid" so to speak, but it would be hard to do..

Ah what the hell, turn off the internet nothing more to see.. go back to the library...

93Chevy
01-10-2011, 02:50 PM
So you are in favor of the employee stealing until he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar by the boss/owner.


I'm of the opinion that GPS shouldn't be needed to catch employees. If the boss can't tell when an employee is hiding something or stealing then maybe they should reevaluate their techniques.

Additionally, I wouldn't be so opposed if the GPS was made known to the employees, but it sounds like in your posts that the drivers aren't aware of it. I don't think it's good business to go behind the backs of employees. You should always be in full communication with your employees so everybody knows what's going on.

Again, I mean no disrespect.

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 03:12 PM
I mean no disrespect either... but when you have multiple vehicles out on the road and especially one guy by himself it so easy for the temptation to creep in. One guy by himself, he could easily stop, spend 15 minutes drop the blade, plow the drive collect 30 bucks, and claim he was on a bathroom break, or there were lots of people at the gas pumps so it took longer to fill up. No other helpers to worry about talking...

I'm not lumping all employees as thief's, liars, and cheats. I'd give any of my guys any tools they need ect, or anytime they need, but the key is "ask first" the whole "easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission" doesn't fly with me..

Now it possible that the plow job was for a friend or family member and no money changed hands. but again. Why is it so hard for the employee to ask for a favor? "hey boss you mind if plow my mother-laws drive on my way to XYZ"

93- I have 17-20 employees depending on the time of the year. while they are not supposed to leave campus while on the clock, they do. If I sat on each campus exit and waited for them to leave, Id never get any work done. Yes you have to trust your employees. but nothing wrong with checking up on them from time to time. So yes sometimes I plant myself off campus and wait and turn back the employees that cross the DMZ.

Back when I had my biz it meant renting a car for a few days and following a crew and checking on them. How is the GPS any different... Employees act differently when the boss is around its a fact of life...


You chastise the OP for "going behind the employees back" What about the employee whos' stealing from his boss... So, is it ok to do it UNTIL you get caught.

so you would be ok with an employee coming into the shop on weekends when you are not around, taking a rig out cutting some grass, bringing the rig back and not saying one word to you about it or asking for permission. And the only way you knew about it was George, one of your buddies, saw your rig and asked you why you were cutting grass on a weekend.....what would you do to the employee... Remember YOU did not catch him.

domain311
01-10-2011, 03:38 PM
I'm of the opinion that GPS shouldn't be needed to catch employees. If the boss can't tell when an employee is hiding something or stealing then maybe they should reevaluate their techniques.

Additionally, I wouldn't be so opposed if the GPS was made known to the employees, but it sounds like in your posts that the drivers aren't aware of it. I don't think it's good business to go behind the backs of employees. You should always be in full communication with your employees so everybody knows what's going on.

Again, I mean no disrespect.

Ok...with all due respect then, I would like to know how I could have re-evaluated my techniques to prevent what happened yesterday, from happening. I can't be there all the time, its impossible. And the more trucks/employees there are, the more difficult this becomes. My point is I don't think I ever would have known what happened yesterday if I didn't have the gps. And it probably would have happened again...until maybe one day, he got caught. By then...much more money would have been lost. For the record also, the driveway was $150.00 the first time we did it...so I can bet ya that's what he charged and took for himself yesterday. That's just that aspect of it too...not the fact that I also paid him for that time, the truck and fuel use...and the liability that was already mentioned.

As far as telling the guys...that was my plan. I had planned on starting it off now to see how it works (and I will be honest, to see how my top guywas doing...he has big aspirations and I really thought he would grow a lot more with the company) and come spring when we all start up again I was going to let everyone know.

And to address the point of the favor or for a family member, etc...I feel exactly the same way. They want to ask and do something like that...no problem at all. But to do something like this...intentionally stealing in effect, is just plain wrong. I've worked really hard to get this business to where it is and where it will keep going-I will not let anyone take advantage of me like this.

93Chevy
01-10-2011, 04:31 PM
This is a good discussion. I'll bite.


I'm not lumping all employees as thief's, liars, and cheats. I'd give any of my guys any tools they need ect, or anytime they need, but the key is "ask first" the whole "easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission" doesn't fly with me..


I'd make that a known policy before they were hired. If you're caught using company resources to put money in your own pocket (without asking) then there would be disciplinary action based on the severity of the crime. I think we're on the same page here.


Now it possible that the plow job was for a friend or family member and no money changed hands. but again. Why is it so hard for the employee to ask for a favor? "hey boss you mind if plow my mother-laws drive on my way to XYZ"


I think this is along the same lines as my above paragraph. I'd like to create an atmosphere of "ask first." However, that can be a slippery slope to taking advantage of the boss, unless the boss has precedents of "yes you can hit your buddy's drive on the way to the bank but if you hit anybody else or don't tell me you're going to hit your buddy's then you're going to be looking for a new job." (Provided that fit in the guidelines of company firing policy.)


93- I have 17-20 employees depending on the time of the year. while they are not supposed to leave campus while on the clock, they do. If I sat on each campus exit and waited for them to leave, Id never get any work done. Yes you have to trust your employees. but nothing wrong with checking up on them from time to time. So yes sometimes I plant myself off campus and wait and turn back the employees that cross the DMZ.


I agree with checking up on employees. That's the point of being their boss. You can't just let them loose and expect they do everything without checking up on them because then even the best employees would take advantage of that. However I will admit that I don't really have a good argument for watching employees without them knowing you're there. As a foreman, I can understand the importance of making sure they're doing what they're supposed to. But as an employee, I don't like the boss looking from afar because he's afraid my work ethic would change as soon as I see his truck. I'm young; I still have a lot to learn about the best way to be a boss.


Back when I had my biz it meant renting a car for a few days and following a crew and checking on them. How is the GPS any different... Employees act differently when the boss is around its a fact of life...


I agree that employees act differently. I act differently when the boss is around myself. Doesn't mean that I'm slacking off, but if he's watching I'll spend another few minutes edging every bed with the trimmer or getting a few more leaves out of beds or making sure there's no snow from around the curbs at the front entrances of buildings. Stuff he'd not notice if he wasn't watching me do it. And you'd say that stuff should be done anyway...and yes...but my employer isn't very strict about details like that and I can't change the world myself.

Anyways...I guess I can't really give a good answer as to why GPS is "bad." I just think that if it's implemented incorrectly, it makes the employees think that they're not trusted. If the employees think that way, you're going to have more problems. Fear does no good in the workplace.


You chastise the OP for "going behind the employees back" What about the employee whos' stealing from his boss... So, is it ok to do it UNTIL you get caught..

There's everything wrong with stealing from the boss. 9 times out of 10 that's grounds for dismissal or strict disciplinary action. I don't know...maybe I'm overconfident but I've been a pretty good judge of character in the past. Working with different guys I can usually tell who's trouble and who just needs a little help. But I guess it's different when you're the boss and not a foreman. Guys are more open with the foreman. If you have a bad foreman, then you're going to have problems.

I don't know if I really said anything substantial there...Maybe I'm overconfident in the employee-boss relationship where the boss can read his employees like a book.


so you would be ok with an employee coming into the shop on weekends when you are not around, taking a rig out cutting some grass, bringing the rig back and not saying one word to you about it or asking for permission. And the only way you knew about it was George, one of your buddies, saw your rig and asked you why you were cutting grass on a weekend.....what would you do to the employee... Remember YOU did not catch him.

If that was the case, then the employee and I would have a little chat and that would probably be grounds for dismissal.

And you'll respond with "how is GPS any different? You're not telling your guys about the GPS just like you didn't tell them about George. And you said that you'd fire them if George caught them, so why wouldn't you use GPS?"

And I would respond with this weak argument: The employee takes the risks of being "caught" on the road using my trucks. That's a known risk. Heck, I might even catch them if I'm running errands or whatever. If the GPS unit is not made known to the employee, the employee is taking unknown risks. Sure, what they're doing is wrong, but where's the line? Cops can't tap a phone without a warrant. They can't pull you over unless they see you. I think having GPS in a truck without telling your employees creates mistrust. Heck, even if you don't tell them, they're gonna figure it out and pass the word whenever they're fired based of GPS readouts.

Thanks.

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 05:52 PM
all goodpoints 93...I agree that the foreman employee relationship is very different from the employee/boss relationship. Ive been a subordinate in union and non union shops, and I ve been a foreman in both union and non union shops, and I've been a boss on both shops...

and while I do enjoy being friendly with my employees, I walk a very fine line in that I have to be very careful about how I treat my employee's They all need to be treated equally. Yes I have my favorites... but all my guys know that I will not hesitate to discipline any of them. Rules must be followed..

The employee who plowed the drive, knew there was a risk he could get caught. With any transgression there is a risk. In this case he thought the risk was low. If the risk was high that he was going to get caught, then he would not have made the transgression. But there-in lies the rub...if hes a good employee he shouldn't be worried about being caught because he would not be doing anything wrong to be worried about... tough circle...


Its a catch-22 employee gets mad because you are following up on him...but is he mad because he feels that you don't trust him? or is he mad that he may get caught doing something wrong because you are following him?

punt66
01-10-2011, 06:25 PM
i agree 100% with Kiril and 93 CHEVY on this matter. I see it as an invasion if their not told about the technology. It may even be illegal to fire someone in that way. Not sure about that though.

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 06:51 PM
so is it an invasion if I follow behind an employee in a car and track their movements while they are working. I never told them I would do this.

Is it an invasion if I call an employee on a company supplied cell phone to find out where they are..? I never specifically told them that I would call them and ask them questions about what they are doing

Is it an invasion if I call Onstar to find the location of my truck that my employee is driving? Again I did not tell them I would ever do this. I did not tell them I have onstar activitated, but the buttons are on the mirror.

Is it an invasion if I use a speed camera or a red light photo camera ticket to discipline en employee..I never told them specifically that I would do this.

Is it an invasion if I hire a "secret shopper" to test my employee's....

My equipment, my rules...

domain311
01-10-2011, 07:00 PM
so is it an invasion if I follow behind an employee in a car and track their movements while they are working. I never told them I would do this.

Is it an invasion if I call an employee on a company supplied cell phone to find out where they are..? I never specifically told them that I would call them and ask them questions about what they are doing

Is it an invasion if I call Onstar to find the location of my truck that my employee is driving? Again I did not tell them I would ever do this. I did not tell them I have onstar activitated, but the buttons are on the mirror.

Is it an invasion if I use a speed camera or a red light photo camera ticket to discipline en employee..I never told them specifically that I would do this.

Is it an invasion if I hire a "secret shopper" to test my employee's....

My equipment, my rules...

Whoa.....secret shopper....that's a good one!

The cop that pulls you over for speeding is most often hiding....their rules I guess. The only people who won't like this are the speeders.

You play, you pay....
Posted via Mobile Device

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 08:38 PM
learned the secret shopper from my time at disney

punt66
01-10-2011, 08:40 PM
you guys can justify it anyway you like. If the employee knows about it then i dont have a problem with it. If he doesnt then Kiril is spot on. 1 step closer to a police state. Humans are not perfect. Not even the best ones. Dont epect them to be. This move will certainly be a loss of respect from your employees. Trying to setup your employees? That is really stupid. Bad management. Teach, explain, lay out the rules and if you want to track the vehicles with gps then let them know. Wouldnt you rather avoid this incident and the loss of one of your best instead of setting him up and losing your best. Does that sound like good management?

MarcSmith
01-10-2011, 09:05 PM
set-up...thats a stretch.

no employer wants to find out that one of his employees is stealing from him. I don't envy the position Domain is in. no matter how you find out, its not an easy situation. I don't believe that domain desired to set anyone up. What are the chances that on the day he installs the GPS units he'd find transgressions. Call it dumb luck... but you cannot ignore the ramifications of finding out an employee is stealing from you. Using GPS is no different than following, secret shoppers, using cell phone or any other methods. GPS just happens to be the new affordable tech...

Punt, I don't know your background, how many employee's you've had or managed, how many trucks you've had, running at once. When its your money and your as s on the line, you use all tools at your disposal to get the work done..

domain311
01-10-2011, 09:11 PM
you guys can justify it anyway you like. If the employee knows about it then i dont have a problem with it. If he doesnt then Kiril is spot on. 1 step closer to a police state. Humans are not perfect. Not even the best ones. Dont epect them to be. This move will certainly be a loss of respect from your employees. Trying to setup your employees? That is really stupid. Bad management. Teach, explain, lay out the rules and if you want to track the vehicles with gps then let them know. Wouldnt you rather avoid this incident and the loss of one of your best instead of setting him up and losing your best. Does that sound like good management?

Trying to set up employees? No, that is ridiculous. There is right and wrong. He chose the wrong and nobody else made him do it. By adding gps to the trucks would I ever feel in any way that I was "setting up" my employees.

Yes, nobody is perfect...but there are also honest people out there. He is not one of them. I know what its like to be human. To take a break. Chat with your worker buddy. But I also know I would never have done this when I was working as an employee...quite the contrary with my last job before running my own business, I actually used to try to impress my boss with getting things done very well and quicker than expected.

You can teach, explain and lay down the rules till your blue in the face. I've done it. In some cases, it doesn't matter. It's not as easy as you say, believe me.

He was obviously not my "best" if he his pulling crap like this. Did it now, probably done it before and would probably do it again....far from being the "best". Saying he was set up is just ridiculous like I said...and my bad management was where? What should I have done different to avoid this? To avoid losing my "best?" Talk to him some more and maybe say pretty please don't do that?

Now I apologize if I'm coming across wrong here, but I gotta say...you are telling me this was really stupid, bad management, loss of respect, setting them up, etc...and I noticed in your sig it says "solo operation", I'm assuming this means you have no employees, hence no actual experience with this topic?

punt66
01-10-2011, 10:15 PM
set-up...thats a stretch.

no employer wants to find out that one of his employees is stealing from him. I don't envy the position Domain is in. no matter how you find out, its not an easy situation. I don't believe that domain desired to set anyone up. What are the chances that on the day he installs the GPS units he'd find transgressions. Call it dumb luck... but you cannot ignore the ramifications of finding out an employee is stealing from you. Using GPS is no different than following, secret shoppers, using cell phone or any other methods. GPS just happens to be the new affordable tech...

Punt, I don't know your background, how many employee's you've had or managed, how many trucks you've had, running at once. When its your money and your as s on the line, you use all tools at your disposal to get the work done..

11 employees, 3 crews doing excavation. 3 shovels, 2 backhoes, 3 skidsteers, 1 dozer, 1 10 ton tag, 1 15 ton tag, 1 20 ton tag, 2 triaxle dump trucks, 2 single axle dump trucks, 3 tool trucks each pulling a skid steer, and 2 pickups. That is what i use to have on the road daily. I respected my employees and they respected me. If i installed gps on the truck and didnt tell them and was in domain's situation right now i would not terminate. I would have a meeting, tell my guys i now have gps, not single anyone out and explain the repercussions if it happens again. Its all about management guys.

GreenI.A.
01-10-2011, 10:16 PM
My father owns a large national company, about that has about 800 trucks on the road. His business partner happens to drive by an employees house on his way to pick his sick kid up and notices his guy is at home with the company truck but figured he was on lunch and his delivery route happened to include the town he lived in. Two hours later he drives by and his guy was still there. There had been other occurances of a customer happening to tell them that they saw a company truck parked at the strip club at 11 am. They figured if this was happening with guys who work out of the corporate office then what was going on at the other locations. They had GPS installed over a couple weekends with out the drivers knowing it, and recoeded all of there driving. After a month they told the guys that GPS had been installed that prior weekend, so they now knew about it but didn't know they were already recorded. They also had a feature installed that shuts off the engine after 5 minutes in park.

They are now seeing fuel savings of 10% savings. Once again they have about 800 company vehicles across the company, they spend on average 400k a month on fuel, there busier months are over $500k in fuel so thats huge savings. They also use the tracking software for training and to streamline routes for newer drivers who aren't used to differnet areas. The big thing they agreed on was that they wouldn't let guys know they were secretly watching them for the first month, or punish them for anything they did during that time, it was strictly to get info for compariso reasons

punt66
01-10-2011, 10:20 PM
My father owns a large national company, about that has about 800 trucks on the road. His business partner happens to drive by an employees house on his way to pick his sick kid up and notices his guy is at home with the company truck but figured he was on lunch and his delivery route happened to include the town he lived in. Two hours later he drives by and his guy was still there. There had been other occurances of a customer happening to tell them that they saw a company truck parked at the strip club at 11 am. They figured if this was happening with guys who work out of the corporate office then what was going on at the other locations. They had GPS installed over a couple weekends with out the drivers knowing it, and recoeded all of there driving. After a month they told the guys that GPS had been installed that prior weekend, so they now knew about it but didn't know they were already recorded. They also had a feature installed that shuts off the engine after 5 minutes in park.

They are now seeing fuel savings of 10% savings. Once again they have about 800 company vehicles across the company, they spend on average 400k a month on fuel, there busier months are over $500k in fuel so thats huge savings. They also use the tracking software for training and to streamline routes for newer drivers who aren't used to differnet areas. The big thing they agreed on was that they wouldn't let guys know they were secretly watching them for the first month, or punish them for anything they did during that time, it was strictly to get info for compariso reasons

That is what management is about.

GreenI.A.
01-10-2011, 11:06 PM
That is what management is about.

they basically did exactly what exactly what you said you would do. they just watched the guys for a month first so they could get the data for comparison. Know the guys acting with policy because they know someone could be watching at any point. It has actually saved them in other ways to. This winter someone claimed they were forced off the road by one of the trucks and gave a truck number. The GPS showed the truck drove by 20 minutes after the person called AAA while they were waiting for the tow truck. They simply saw a commercial truck and decided it would be easier to claim the truck was driving down the center of the road and they swerved of the road resulting in them hitting a tree. Turns out the driver was playing with there cell phone and went off the road.

seabee24
01-11-2011, 01:09 AM
I'll chime in

To anyone that says gps is privacy invasion, I say bs. My truck, my equiptment, my right to know, plus while your on the clock.....your mine to.

Now I see only one solid reason to not tell them about the gps.....as posted above, if your going to use it to create a company plan and want to see the guys natural behavior patterns. However if your going to punish them, there is no reason to hid it from them, after all as a boss should you really be "serving them up for failure". . I think gps is a great tool, almost a must have, but you should let those operators know, other than data collecting reasons please tell me why you should not? Because I can't think of any
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domain311
01-11-2011, 09:12 AM
Been thinking about it some more...and I do agree with telling everyone and will be what we are going to do...I had planned to originally, but didn't have an exact time line in mind...was thinking roughly a couple of weeks, give or take. I think the plan with that other company monitoring for a month, but not telling them nor punishing for anything, is a pretty good idea. Matter fact, wish I had that idea before going into this. In all honesty though, I didn't expect what happened, to happen...so I really didn't even think about it before hand. I thought maybe some longer breaks or stops somewhere...excess idling maybe, longer routes than necessary...nothing that major. But, literally inside of 40 minutes of its first use, the damage was already done.

So here I am with this dilemma... If everything was perfect up till this point and he had worked for several years, I would instead most likely consider having a talk about it and it may never happen again. But this isn't the case here. I hired him as a manager when we were already into the season of 2010. Although he had some more to learn, he had a good amount of experience and knew what he was doing for the most part...was relatively young, but with what I saw, could potentially be a very good long term employee. However, without going into too many details, he screwed up a few times the past couple of months and was definitely on thin ice. I gave him a few chances because I really did think he would do well long term and I do like him...he basically just needs to grow up a bit still and get his life in better order. So I had the conversation with him about a week or so ago that its up to him to do the right thing going forward, this is a good opportunity so don't screw up again because I will not tolerate any more. I actually took all the employees out for dinner on Saturday night, the very night before this happened and had the same conversation with him again...because he always was asking me about long term employment and the what if's...

So here I am...in my mind, left with no other choice but the obvious...

93Chevy
01-11-2011, 11:08 AM
So here I am with this dilemma... If everything was perfect up till this point and he had worked for several years, I would instead most likely consider having a talk about it and it may never happen again. But this isn't the case here. I hired him as a manager when we were already into the season of 2010. Although he had some more to learn, he had a good amount of experience and knew what he was doing for the most part...was relatively young, but with what I saw, could potentially be a very good long term employee. However, without going into too many details, he screwed up a few times the past couple of months and was definitely on thin ice. I gave him a few chances because I really did think he would do well long term and I do like him...he basically just needs to grow up a bit still and get his life in better order. So I had the conversation with him about a week or so ago that its up to him to do the right thing going forward, this is a good opportunity so don't screw up again because I will not tolerate any more. I actually took all the employees out for dinner on Saturday night, the very night before this happened and had the same conversation with him again...because he always was asking me about long term employment and the what if's...

So are you looking at the GPS to manage your employees? You're saying that you saw the signs that he wasn't on the right track?

A few months back, when he was on thin ice: Would any other employee have gotten fired for what he did? You don't have to say what he did to get in trouble, but if you're treating him differently than other employees, that can be a problem. If any other employee would have just received disciplinary action like this guy, then never mind.

But if he was/has been on thin ice and he's not seeing you take any real action except maybe "talk to him" or cut back some hours or whatever...then he'll probably think he can get away with whatever and won't take you seriously.

I'm sorry, but I don't see GPS solving the problem of dealing with irresponsible employees. Unless you implement the GPS, tell your guys, and change your management procedures to show your guys that you won't let behavior like that slip again, and stay consistent, then you'll probably still have problems.

But I might be wrong.

punt66
01-11-2011, 11:25 AM
So are you looking at the GPS to manage your employees? You're saying that you saw the signs that he wasn't on the right track?

A few months back, when he was on thin ice: Would any other employee have gotten fired for what he did? You don't have to say what he did to get in trouble, but if you're treating him differently than other employees, that can be a problem. If any other employee would have just received disciplinary action like this guy, then never mind.

But if he was/has been on thin ice and he's not seeing you take any real action except maybe "talk to him" or cut back some hours or whatever...then he'll probably think he can get away with whatever and won't take you seriously.

I'm sorry, but I don't see GPS solving the problem of dealing with irresponsible employees. Unless you implement the GPS, tell your guys, and change your management procedures to show your guys that you won't let behavior like that slip again, and stay consistent, then you'll probably still have problems.

But I might be wrong.

Your not wrong. Your exactly right. You have a good head on your shoulders and view things well from a management standpoint. If i was in domain's shoes right now i would forget what he saw. Tell all the employees how things will change (if your not happy with the way they are) with the use of gps and what expectations you have for everybody moving forward. Making examples out of people is not the way to do things.

MarcSmith
01-11-2011, 11:51 AM
Punt, I see where you are coming from and I do agree with your method, but its going to be hard to "forget" about an employee who's stealing from you...

I'd still terminate... and let everyone know that the trucks are being watched...

SimonCX
01-11-2011, 12:35 PM
I'll chime in

To anyone that says gps is privacy invasion, I say bs. My truck, my equiptment, my right to know, plus while your on the clock.....your mine to.
]

When my employee wants to put out money for his own truck, plow and insurance he can do whatever he wants. Until that happens he is using my equip under my name so I'm liable and will do anything to try to stop it. If he does a driveway on the side and hit's and breaks something who do you think will get sued? If any of my employee's think its an invasion of privacy and doesn't like it or agree with it they can find another job. In today's world of everyone so sue happy over the smallest thing you have to cover your own tail and if that means installing gps to track your trucks then thats what has to be done. Why do you think almost all bigger corp's have camera's and id scanners in there building to track where everyone is and who is somewhere there not suppose to be.

punt66
01-11-2011, 01:05 PM
Punt, I see where you are coming from and I do agree with your method, but its going to be hard to "forget" about an employee who's stealing from you...

I'd still terminate... and let everyone know that the trucks are being watched...

That is a very minor theft. I had an employee (also a crew foreman) steal 5 gallons of diesel every week. He took his tool truck home everyday (cab over company vehicle) and would fill a 5 gallon diesel can full and empty it into his tank in his house for heating fuel. His laborer ratted him out and said he has been doing it for at least a year. That is stealing. I dont think the theft of 15 minutes worth of labor time is worth making a big deal about.

punt66
01-11-2011, 01:08 PM
When my employee wants to put out money for his own truck, plow and insurance he can do whatever he wants. Until that happens he is using my equip under my name so I'm liable and will do anything to try to stop it. If he does a driveway on the side and hit's and breaks something who do you think will get sued? If any of my employee's think its an invasion of privacy and doesn't like it or agree with it they can find another job. In today's world of everyone so sue happy over the smallest thing you have to cover your own tail and if that means installing gps to track your trucks then thats what has to be done. Why do you think almost all bigger corp's have camera's and id scanners in there building to track where everyone is and who is somewhere there not suppose to be.

and what is wrong with having your employees know the gps is there? Dont you think knowing it is there is more of a deterent and liability limiter then them not knowing its there??

MarcSmith
01-11-2011, 01:22 PM
That is a very minor theft. I had an employee (also a crew foreman) steal 5 gallons of diesel every week. He took his tool truck home everyday (cab over company vehicle) and would fill a 5 gallon diesel can full and empty it into his tank in his house for heating fuel. His laborer ratted him out and said he has been doing it for at least a year. That is stealing. I dont think the theft of 15 minutes worth of labor time is worth making a big deal about. the problem though is not knowing how long it had been going on... and it would chew on my brain. Id never look at the employee the same.

yeah it 15 minutes but what if the 15 minutes turned into a broken garage door or a dented car...

the jobs/risk we take on is our decision, not the employee's. And if we take the risk, we at least get paid for it... bad decision making by the employee.

SimonCX
01-11-2011, 02:09 PM
and what is wrong with having your employees know the gps is there? Dont you think knowing it is there is more of a deterent and liability limiter then them not knowing its there??

I didn't say that they don't know it's there, everyone is told it's there and what will happen if they are caught doing jobs on the side with the company equip or trucks, plain and simple everyone knows the rules and what happens if you break them. GPS is just a tool that will help limit or deter most people from doing something there not suppose to but will it work 100% of the time, no but even if it works 8 out of 10 times it's worth it.

SimonCX
01-11-2011, 02:19 PM
yeah it 15 minutes but what if the 15 minutes turned into a broken garage door or a dented car...

the jobs/risk we take on is our decision, not the employee's. And if we take the risk, we at least get paid for it... bad decision making by the employee.

Couldn't agree more, what looks like a couple minutes here and there might not look like a big deal until something gets broken or someone gets hurt, then it your head on the chopping block not the employees. Stealing is stealing I don't care if it 5 gallons of gas a week or doing jobs on the side with my equipment, fired on the spot if caught.

punt66
01-11-2011, 02:37 PM
I didn't say that they don't know it's there, everyone is told it's there and what will happen if they are caught doing jobs on the side with the company equip or trucks, plain and simple everyone knows the rules and what happens if you break them. GPS is just a tool that will help limit or deter most people from doing something there not suppose to but will it work 100% of the time, no but even if it works 8 out of 10 times it's worth it.

well then that is good use of the gps. But doing it secretly comes with no gain.

Hoots
01-11-2011, 04:12 PM
I like the idea of keeping up with where and when the crew is. I see the use of the GPS to provide evidence that our crew was actually at their work site. Sometimes the services are not noticed by the common person because they do not see the details completed (primarily in the winter).

I've had several customers get a credit because they will claim that our crew was not there. All I can do is ask the crew if they were there. Obviously the answer is "yes". I have no proof either way without GPS.

GPS is a good tool if used properly. In a business vehicle I feel you should be able to track your employees location/productivity. After all it is MY property that they are using.

My experience in a golf course setting was catching guys taking extended water breaks and yes, even sleeping in the shade. I was the GPS unit to physically observe the crews wherabouts AT ALL TIMES. When dealing with our industry you are spread out over a city, not a 100 acre golf course.

UPS and FedEx keep tabs on their employees and I see no problem with keeping tabs on mine.

GreenI.A.
01-11-2011, 04:44 PM
As far as disciplining employee if hey don't know about the GPS that may be tricky. And I would check into state state laws. For example I know here in MA you can not use hidden cameras is the work place, camaras either need to be visible or if hidden, all employees must be shown there location and the area they cover. Also there must be signage easily visabled letting anyone who enters know they are being recorded. I wouldn't be surprised if there arent laws or cases saying emplyees must be made aware of GPS tracking before it can be used against them

cranbourne
01-12-2011, 06:57 AM
In Australia Gps is not that good in my opinion. Every time I have been in a car with one or used one it sends you in directions no where near were you want to go. Not much different to the wife giving you directions while she is holding the map upside down.

rokko17
01-12-2011, 09:09 PM
First I agree letting employees know that the GPS units are in the truck. As the saying goes, "Security cameras are not for the criminals. They are to keep the honest people honest."

15 minutes is not a lot? Do the math. An $10/hr employee costs around $20.00 an hour when you factor in pay, taxes, insurance etc... Goofing off/taking a longer lunch or whatever for 15 minutes a day equals $5 per employee. Let's say I have 10 employees, that is $50 per day. For grins, I work a 4 day week. That $200 per week. But I have rye properties and we are working every week. $200 at 52 weeks is $10,400 that I am losing. That could be new equipment, bonuses or a sweet family vacation I need after working 10+ hours a day.

I had an employee asked by a neighbor of a customer to do some landscape work. He gave her a price and passed off the work as coming from my company. He did it on the weekend so he was off the clock. She called needing some extra work. Two problems. First there was money we could have made from the project and he should have referred her to our office. But the worst was the job looked horrible. I went by to see what was going on and was furious that people thought this was our standard of design and workmanship. That ticked me off more than anything.

shooterm
01-13-2011, 11:45 AM
Stupid you see the municipals pulling these off the trucks because there not cost effective. Lawn care company still thinks there worth it though so he can be "tech savy".

GreenI.A.
01-13-2011, 12:59 PM
Stupid you see the municipals pulling these off the trucks because there not cost effective. Lawn care company still thinks there worth it though so he can be "tech savy".

don't be afraid of technology, you seem a little "tech savy" your self using the internet and all

not sure of your area but up here we are seeing manicipalities using simular technology more and more. For example contracted trucks plowing for the state are caring GPS units so that the state can be sure they are doing there route and not sneaking off to do there companies "privet" contracts. At $40 a month (or even less) per truck they are one of the cheepest investments you can make to keep your employees honest and on track.

shooterm
01-13-2011, 03:59 PM
Then dont ever ***** when someone "lowballs" you. There isnt enough money in this business to justify half the stuff you guys talk about on the intranets.

GreenI.A.
01-13-2011, 04:50 PM
Don't complain about low ballers? What has that got to do with what we are talking about. If you use your back button and read thru the thread you will quikly see that many of us are justifying the cost of these systems because they SAVE you money in the long run, ie less employee theft, more productivity, more efficient routing. These can save many companies more money than they cost, chich lowers your operating cost!!! Say that truck crew mows 40 lawns a week (i know this is a low #) and you mow the lawn once a week, that 160 mows per month for the crew and you pay $40 a month for the GPS, = $00.25 per mow, this is even cheaper if they mow more than 8 lawns a day! Low balling for me isn't the guy who comes out for $5 less, a low baller is the guy who is doing the work at a price that is below your cost because he isn't paying taxes, insurance etc

shooterm
01-13-2011, 07:37 PM
Everything saves you money haven't you figured that out yet? I bet if I buy everything I read about in the industry magazines I'll mow lawns 20% faster.

GreenI.A.
01-13-2011, 07:57 PM
Everything saves you money haven't you figured that out yet? I bet if I buy everything I read about in the industry magazines I'll mow lawns 20% faster.

you push a mower part time after work and on the weekends so i'm guessing you don't have a crew out on the road using your fuel or wasting time you are paying for, so you don't have anything to worry about.

godflesh
01-13-2011, 08:25 PM
If I am an employee driving a company vehicle pulling a company trailer loaded with company equipment I fully absolutely expect to have eyes on me from time to time making sure I am doing right by the guy. An employer doesn't give you trust, you have to earn it and that is a long slow process. Maybe I'm too old fashioned.

GreenI.A.
01-13-2011, 08:31 PM
If I am an employee driving a company vehicle pulling a company trailer loaded with company equipment I fully absolutely expect to have eyes on me from time to time making sure I am doing right by the guy. An employer doesn't give you trust, you have to earn it and that is a long slow process. Maybe I'm too old fashioned.

:clapping::clapping::clapping:

exactly the point some of us owners are trying to make.

punt66
01-14-2011, 07:01 AM
:clapping::clapping::clapping:

exactly the point some of us owners are trying to make.

as long as the employee knows about it then nobody on this thread is in disagreement.

zimmatic
01-15-2011, 04:12 PM
I just installed a Trackingkey in my foremans plow truck on the 7th of January. It was a huge eye opener. Since it has been snowing alot here in Minnesota I have let him keep the truck at home. I gave specific instuctions that it is to be used only when it snows and only for work. He has been driving it all over. Last tuesday it snowed and he was supposed to be plowing out a commercial lot, I stoped by to check it out. He wasnt there I called him to find out where he was. Told me that a water pipe had broken and he was just getting it fixed. IT WAS A LIE. He was at his girlfreinds house. This week I am going to tell him that I have installed a gps unit.
We all speak of trust etc. People lie, cheat, steal etc. Everyone on here has done that once or twice or many times in their life, and that is fine, but when your on my dime, and insurance, and represent my company there is no place for that.
My accountant also informed me due to the new health care law any personal miles driven with company vehicals by employee's is taxable and considered a "perk" of the job. So you could in theory fire an employee for personal driving and then tax him for those personal miles driven.
All employee's must/should be informed of gps units, especially if you have to fire them someday down the road.

seabee24
01-18-2011, 03:54 PM
Everything saves you money haven't you figured that out yet? I bet if I buy everything I read about in the industry magazines I'll mow lawns 20% faster.

Well i guess it depends on what mower you are currently using, but I bet I could figure a way to get 20% more production out of you.

You know I often read about this gizmo or that neat thing to have...I often think why in the heck spend the money on that. But gps is one that is totally worth having. If you don't have emplyees than maybe not so much of a benefit, but my service I think costs 20 per month per unit. Here are a list of he problems that it has help fix...you tell me if any of these exceed the 20 per month that I pay

Non-payment, due to customer thinking we were never there
Not billed, because the guys forgot to fill out the route sheet correctly for snow removal
Locked keys in the truck- remote unlock
Guys taking longer than normal breaks
Side jobs, or other stops
Decreasing travel distance, decreasing wear and tear
Limiting liability- do you know your like 8 times more likely to be in a serious accident making a left turn than a right turn. - we try to re route to eliminate dangiurus intersections
Excesive truck idle time- burns fuel, and why are they sitting in the truck that long anyway
Guys sitting in a parking lot, not plowing snow, just faking it milking the clock.
Speeding- goes back to limiting liability, also saves gas and brakes and tires
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twcw5804
01-18-2011, 08:29 PM
I'm not sure how I would handle this, being as you have had issues with him I would probably terminate him. WHAT IF this guys was doing this every 3rd or 4th driveway, that would add up fast. I know for sure if he stays with the company past today he is being called into the office tomorrow and being put back down to a regular associate and someone more trust worthy is getting promoted.

If it snows again soon is there anyway to change his route and see if the homeowner calls wanting to know why his driveway didn't get plowed?

With as big as your company is this sounds like the best $40 a person could spend and its already payed off in lost revenue.

domain311
01-19-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm not sure how I would handle this, being as you have had issues with him I would probably terminate him. WHAT IF this guys was doing this every 3rd or 4th driveway, that would add up fast. I know for sure if he stays with the company past today he is being called into the office tomorrow and being put back down to a regular associate and someone more trust worthy is getting promoted.

If it snows again soon is there anyway to change his route and see if the homeowner calls wanting to know why his driveway didn't get plowed?

With as big as your company is this sounds like the best $40 a person could spend and its already payed off in lost revenue.

He did it again. Saturday was his last day.

I plan on telling everyone about the gps before we start up in about 6 weeks...but with this guy I already had some previous/recent issues and I really had no choice but to terminate.

djlunchbox
01-22-2011, 12:22 AM
:hammerhead:bastid

cdqat1432
01-22-2011, 07:07 PM
Hey, you guys who are so worried about people's rights; would it be ok for the boss to steal from the employees? You could justify it, too. I mean, the boss was having money problems, so he let the health insurance go or maybe the child support was deducted but never got paid (it has happened). Here is another one; the employee gets paid cash all year and then gets a 1099. All I am saying is that fairness should be on both sides of the aisle.

lawntennis
01-22-2011, 10:36 PM
AS far as to tell or not to tell. Not telling them makes no sense to me. You only get on "bust" out of not telling them. As soon as you confront one guy they will tell everyone else and you end of being the bastard boss that is spying on them. I purchased the fleetmatics program recently and told everyone. We do pesticide apps and leave invoices on the door. Sometimes they blow away and they claim we were never there. This system can show our truck was parked in front of their house for twenty minutes or so. I am selling them on the fact we can prove we were there. But I am letting them know I can see where they are. I may never no what they were doing but that doesn't matter.

Working Man
01-28-2011, 10:58 PM
Hey, you guys who are so worried about people's rights; would it be ok for the boss to steal from the employees? You could justify it, too. I mean, the boss was having money problems, so he let the health insurance go or maybe the child support was deducted but never got paid (it has happened). Here is another one; the employee gets paid cash all year and then gets a 1099. All I am saying is that fairness should be on both sides of the aisle.

RIGHT ON!
I just read the whole post. I can't believe all this talk about not telling the employees. I'm interested in getting GPS even more so now. I wouldn't want to tell the guys right away. I want to know what kind of damage is being done out there first. Maybe there is 5 or 6 driveways in route that we could sign up. Maybe that guy that seems trustworthy isn't as great as we thought. How much money has really been lost. Maybe you could turn it around and get some of those customers contracts. And what if your workers are doing better than you though, you could reward them. IE: "I put in GPS 2 weeks ago and checked them out of curiosity and realized that I don't give you enough credit for all of the work that you do. Here is a bonus, keep up the good work." And these guys should be trustworthy without having to tell them they're being watched. I don't change my employees time sheets when they're not looking so I don't have to pay them for that hour that the truck broke down and they were fixing it, therefore, I don't expect them to plow an extra driveway when I'm not looking because they want extra money at my expense. There is plenty of people out there that are honest looking for a job. One of my dads favorite sayings that I heard all growing up is you have to have honesty and integrity in all of your affairs, and I repeat that on a constant basis. I would rather find out that my guys are stealing from me and get new people then tell them right off the bat because I'm honest and fair with them. If they're doing accounts to make extra money and I'm paying them to do them, and it's pushing back the contracts that I have, and conflicting with them getting done in a timely manner, what else are they going to do that I can't track with GPS?