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merrimacmill
02-22-2012, 06:13 PM
I've had an in house mechanic for quite sometime now, but for one reason or another I am looking at restructuring how things are done to improve consistency, and am considering the hire of a part time mechanic to come in weekly for 10 hours on Friday (since my crews work (4) 10 hour days), or split the time up after hours over several days and repair anything that had been broken over the week. In addition to that guarantee per week, we would give hours on an as needed basis.

My question to you guys is, how much do you pay your hourly in house mechanic(s), and how do you determine the worth of that employee and they're pay scale? Have you had any issues finding someone (above and beyond the "normal" issues of finding good employees), that is willing to accept a part time, "extra income" type of position?

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 07:41 PM
I've had an in house mechanic for quite sometime now, but for one reason or another I am looking at restructuring how things are done to improve consistency, and am considering the hire of a part time mechanic to come in weekly for 10 hours on Friday (since my crews work (4) 10 hour days), or split the time up after hours over several days and repair anything that had been broken over the week. In addition to that guarantee per week, we would give hours on an as needed basis.

My question to you guys is, how much do you pay your hourly in house mechanic(s), and how do you determine the worth of that employee and they're pay scale? Have you had any issues finding someone (above and beyond the "normal" issues of finding good employees), that is willing to accept a part time, "extra income" type of position?

I would say a part time mechanic would be at least $20 an hour if hes any good. Maybe could get a better deal if he works Saturdays or Sundays after his main gig.

piston slapper
02-22-2012, 07:54 PM
You're gonna have to give up something.....
I doubt that you'll find a mechanic to give your business his full attention
On a part time , rollercoaster schedule. Finding. A good mechanic is a tough call, as you have to be one to know one when you see them.
Find out what the local shops are paying and go from there.
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merrimacmill
02-22-2012, 08:24 PM
You're gonna have to give up something.....
I doubt that you'll find a mechanic to give your business his full attention
On a part time , rollercoaster schedule. Finding. A good mechanic is a tough call, as you have to be one to know one when you see them.
Find out what the local shops are paying and go from there.
Posted via Mobile Device

Unfortunately, I'm aware this isn't the easiest bill to fit. Luckily I don't have an immediate need, but something I'm looking into for the future as I restructure my company. By that I mean that I've been in business for 5 years now and have experienced a lot of "uncontrolled growth", and have lacked in developing air tight systems for my company to run off. My "systems" used to all be in my head, and were relayed to my employees by me verbally telling them. As we all know, after a certain point this stops working so well. At the level I've reached, this is no longer adequate. I've spent the whole winter developing written systems for my company, comprised of hundreds of documents, that cover every aspect of operations, HR, contract management, formalized estimating systems, etc to bring my company to the point of a McDonalds like "machine" that runs from written procedures. Through this process, I've learned a lot about streamlining my operations better, and with that comes the idea of approaching equipment maintenance in a different fashion.

piston slapper
02-22-2012, 08:46 PM
If you are outsourcing you major repairs....all you need is somebody with a toolbox and 2 eyes looking in the same direction.
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StihlMechanic
02-23-2012, 08:07 PM
I used to do this, but the companies I worked for on the side would bring the equipment to me, at my shop, I NEVER work mobil. I did this while working for various dealerships and I could also get the parts needed so I wasn't dealing with the LCO getting the wrong part, ECT. Of coarse I charged a labor rate, not an hourly wage. It worked out well for both them and I. They still call every year to see if I am still at it.

Landrus2
02-23-2012, 08:26 PM
I would say a part time mechanic would be at least $20 an hour if hes any good. Maybe could get a better deal if he works Saturdays or Sundays after his main gig.

It's going to be hard to find a good mechanic for $20 an hour :weightlifter

Restrorob
02-23-2012, 09:27 PM
It's going to be hard to find a good mechanic for $20 an hour

It's going to be hard to find a good one period.....


all you need is somebody with a toolbox and 2 eyes looking in the same direction.



http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/images/smilies/rofl2.gif

Evidently there's contacts that make cross eyed people look straight eyed, I haven't found one smart enough to even train in 20 yrs and quit advertising atleast 15 yrs ago. I'd rather be a one man show and KNOW my customers are taken care of than to have to worry about a job coming back, I just don't have time to baby sit hacks.....

piston slapper
02-24-2012, 09:24 AM
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/images/smilies/rofl2.gif

Evidently there's contacts that make cross eyed people look straight eyed, I haven't found one smart enough to even train in 20 yrs and quit advertising atleast 15 yrs ago. I'd rather be a one man show and KNOW my customers are taken care of than to have to worry about a job coming back, I just don't have time to baby sit hacks.....[/QUOTE]

Ditto....RestroRob.....
I think its time to start asking applicants about their geneology....
The best hound dog I ever had was born that way....I didnt have to teach him a thing.
Dale Earnhardt's dad was the iceman of the 50's and 60's...he didnt make mistakes.
When Dale was asked what he'd be if he wasnt a race car driver....he said he would have been a race car driver.
My grandfather built the first model T that went over 120 mph....He butted 4 transmissions together,,,,too bad about the steering and brakes....
My father is a master tech in 3 different fields.....

There may be something to it.....Ask about their family history.....

dutch1
02-24-2012, 11:51 AM
Rob, you and Slapper have pretty much covered the story.

I worked in, around or near a decent sized dealership from 97 to 09. During those 12 years, two different owners attempted to hire on no less than 24 techs(by my best guess) who had either been through small engine schools, classes or who had some experience in small engine shops. As I recall, two were gone in less than a week and the longest lasting was probably 4- 6 months. To most, it was not a job, it was the pay check at the end of the week. I don't think you could have combined the work ethic of those 24+ guys into one guy that I could have felt comfortable turning loose in a shop. The number of people who possess a work ethic and take pride in their ability to do a job thoroughly are getting fewer and farther between.

On the other hand, I guess I'm old school--I started learning those lessons as a farm boy at the age of 9 or 10.

piston slapper
02-24-2012, 02:45 PM
I guess my advice is to pay your mechanic as much as you can afford....
There's not too many good mechanics in the pipeline , and the big dealerships are the only ones with deep pockets. As shop labor rates head for the $100/hr mark, and mowers getting tougher to diagnose and repair......It doesnt look to good for the landscapers.

GreenI.A.
02-24-2012, 05:53 PM
I have an inhouse mechanic, but am far from having enough work to keep him busy with maintenance and repairs. He has tons of experience on all types of equipment and has a CDL, so he is often in the skid or if we need to rent a large excavator or dozer, he runs it. He's paid good, very comparable to what he could get working elsewhere. Is worth it, I could pay less for just an equipment operator but would be paying much more for outsorced repairs. As far as pay, in our area I think $20 is low, even for part time, if he is a real good mechanic that can repair just about all of your equipment. A good mechanic should be making much more than that for full time.

unkownfl
02-24-2012, 09:40 PM
This has to be a very tuff business if you can't work on you're own equipment. Most of this stuff is super easy. I'd compare it to working on cars from the 60's-80's. Yes you might need a few extra tools for the hydros but that's about it.

GreenI.A.
02-25-2012, 01:40 AM
This has to be a very tuff business if you can't work on you're own equipment. Most of this stuff is super easy. I'd compare it to working on cars from the 60's-80's. Yes you might need a few extra tools for the hydros but that's about it.

Depends on what he is working on. The Transmision in my 04 3500 is pulled right now and my mechanic is rebuilding it. Last wednesday night the rearend went on my 07 lariet, he pulled it out thursday morning, got the parts, and had it repaired and reinstalled and redy for me before I locked up thursday (the next day). It all depends how you are using the mechanic, he isn't just replaceing filters and sharpenning blades, and occasionally having to actually get his hands into a mower engine. Some large guys do have a mechanic for maintaining mowers, some owners do the math and realize that it is cost efficient to have someone do that easy stuff they could do themselves so that they can concentrate on more important tasks. Just think how much I saved in the last 1 1/2 weeks by employing a good mechanic, the time he is working on my trucks, I am paying him less than half of what a dealer or shop would charge per hour, and parts are easly 25-50% cheaper without the shop's markup. Plus less down time, how many people can loose there rear end at 10pm and have the truck all set ready to go my 4 pm the next day. Like I said above, I don't need mine as a mechanic full time yet, but he is experienced in other aspects of the industry, so it is like having a part time mechanic, parttime equip operator, and parttime driver, but I only have to deal with one personality and pay for one guys benis instead of 3 parttimers

unkownfl
02-25-2012, 02:07 PM
Depends on what he is working on. The Transmision in my 04 3500 is pulled right now and my mechanic is rebuilding it. Last wednesday night the rearend went on my 07 lariet, he pulled it out thursday morning, got the parts, and had it repaired and reinstalled and redy for me before I locked up thursday (the next day). It all depends how you are using the mechanic, he isn't just replaceing filters and sharpenning blades, and occasionally having to actually get his hands into a mower engine. Some large guys do have a mechanic for maintaining mowers, some owners do the math and realize that it is cost efficient to have someone do that easy stuff they could do themselves so that they can concentrate on more important tasks. Just think how much I saved in the last 1 1/2 weeks by employing a good mechanic, the time he is working on my trucks, I am paying him less than half of what a dealer or shop would charge per hour, and parts are easly 25-50% cheaper without the shop's markup. Plus less down time, how many people can loose there rear end at 10pm and have the truck all set ready to go my 4 pm the next day. Like I said above, I don't need mine as a mechanic full time yet, but he is experienced in other aspects of the industry, so it is like having a part time mechanic, parttime equip operator, and parttime driver, but I only have to deal with one personality and pay for one guys benis instead of 3 parttimers

I was more referring to starting in the business. Not running multiple crews.

piston slapper
02-25-2012, 07:57 PM
GeeenIndustry.....you are fortunate and you know it....You are the exception...
You found an efficient "Jack of all trades" ,a rarity in todays world....
As a rule...."Jack's" never make any real money because they fail to focus their talents on a specific talent. While I could probably repair anything that has wheels and gears....You don't get the respect or the money until you focus all your abilities into one area of expertice.....Treat this guy well and grow your company.
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GreenI.A.
02-26-2012, 02:37 AM
I was more referring to starting in the business. Not running multiple crews.

Sorry, since the original poster and myself were talking about existing businesses, i assumed you were too.

GeeenIndustry.....you are fortunate and you know it....You are the exception...
You found an efficient "Jack of all trades" ,a rarity in todays world....
As a rule...."Jack's" never make any real money because they fail to focus their talents on a specific talent. While I could probably repair anything that has wheels and gears....You don't get the respect or the money until you focus all your abilities into one area of expertice.....Treat this guy well and grow your company.
Posted via Mobile Device

I wouldn't call my guy a jack of all trades, he is a well trained mechanic, who is good with running equipment, he was a mechanic at a large equipment rental company, so he gained experience running the machines as well. He wouldn't know what to do on an install if he had to lay stone or dig a hole. What is good is that he got sick of doing 40-60 hrs a wk in a shop all year, and enjoys getting out and running a bobcat or Mini for a few days for a change of scenery. He could define toy get more at another company as a full time mechanic, but he doesn't want that

RickyDL77
02-28-2012, 08:55 AM
On the other hand, you have these decent sized lawn companies who don't want to spend much more for an "in house mechanic". I have been with this company for over 5 years, granted i had no previous "real" work experience in small engines..Started off at $9 an hour..now I make an "outstanding" $11 hr with pretty much no way of getting any more. It's not like i am part time, incapable, slow, my work ethic seems to be in order, I have missed less days in 5 years than most miss in 1. I still buy all tools needed. No-one ever has to tell me how to do things, and still i always except the input.

With over 900 pieces of ragged out equipment, i have managed to keep them going with minimum funds, minimum overtime, and a backwoods shop... all this with only a part time helper, and until now, help was only an extra pair of hands with no experience. During the in season, i average 10-25 machines fixed per day solo..saving the really bad problems for a Saturday or the off season.

My grandfather was an engineer in the Army and Coast Guard for 20+ years. I picked up early how to turn a wrench and fix whatever is needed. They also tend to have me half ass everything to pinch dollars here and there and everywhere...they are the Boss so pleading my case with them is useless most of the time. At 11hr, it would not be so bad if all i did was fix things...but I was, till recently a 1 man show. Fixed all the equipment solo, sell new equipment via the sister company, deal with customers, dealers, ordering, inventory, some accounting, fighting to keep our suppliers happy....All i get is a pat on the back and a "good job"...not to mention extra work.

My point might be this, you don't not have to start someone "part-time" at $20 an hour if you treat him/her fairly, say $12-$15hr or by the job... then see how well he/she treats you and go from there. worse thing could happen is finding someone else and reverting back to however you got things fixed in the past, or just doing it yourself.


Sorry if i went overboard and ran away with your thread...i needed to vent a little.:mad: :wall:

piston slapper
02-28-2012, 01:38 PM
Ricky......You put a whole new twist on "multi tasking".....It is hard to imagine that with that much equipment,they only have 1 mechanic.......Sounds like that "S" on your chest is getting a full treatment of kryptonite every day. I've pretty much been a 1 man show for most of my working career and am familiar with those who get every ounce out of everything and everyone,, You have the experience , now all you have to do is pad your resume with certifications......that combination is what finally got me out of the general working class, and got my phone ringing with decent paying job offers.

I'll give you 1 piece of advice....never leave a job without having accepted another one.
This economy is tough to guess...Hang in there...

SLAPPER