View Full Version : Dock his pay?

08-28-2000, 05:05 PM
Just had an employee back one truck into another - caused $4k in damage. In situations like this, has anyone docked the employees paycheck? (by the way, it happened simply because he wasn't paying attention-the damaged truck was parked)

08-28-2000, 05:08 PM
I don't think docking his pay is fair. Accidents happen and that's why we carry insurance. Bet he pays more attention next time he backs up the truck.

08-28-2000, 09:46 PM
Unless the damage was intentional and you can prove it docking his pay really isn't right. Like scraper said thats what we carry insurance for. I don't think it would hurt to show him what its going to cost to fix it and have a discussion about the fact that he needs to take the time to make sure this does not happen the future. I just had a guy get out of a tandem dump to talk to one of my operators and he turned around to see my brand new $130,000 mack rolling down the street in to a parked car. I didnt even go I just told him to leave our name and get back to work.If the guy is a good employee you don't have to say much and if he had to call it in over the radio you don't have to say anything he will be plenty sorry.

08-28-2000, 10:45 PM
Never made a mistake Stone? I have made plenty. If this employee is mistake prone I would consider losing him. If he is worthy get him back in the saddle and give him a reprimand. I have had plenty of dents in truck due to employees but also I have put a few dents in myself.

08-29-2000, 10:40 AM
Earthworks is right and I believe docking an employees pay is illegal. Thats also why your taking home a couple thousand a week and he's taking home $500. don't let the little stuff get to you.

08-29-2000, 07:44 PM
I won't dock his pay, but was still pretty mad when I started the thread above needed time to cool off - here's the not-so-funny addition...This morning we're driving to a new job site, and stop to collect a check from another customer. He starts our only other big truck (the one he used to smash the aforementioned one), and it catches on fire.

Wasn't his fault, and it looks like it was a power steering fluid leak that caused it - told him I was going to start calling him 'Crash', but now I think I'll call him 'Crash and Burn'.

08-29-2000, 09:08 PM

I know that you have already made up your mind, but I would still like to tell my story. When I was working as a carpenter's apprentice, the builder told me to sweep out the trailer attached to his pickup. I went to step up on the back and quickly found out that the trailer wasn't coupled to the ball. Put a huge scrape and dent in his tailgate. I offered to pay for it, and he gave me some sound advice. He said that old "If I ahd a nickel for every time a truck got damaged on the job, I'd be a rich man." Sounds corny, but when I thought about it, its kinda true. He then told me that he once had a framing crew throw the air hoses and extention cords in to the back of his pickup when they were cleaning up. Only problem is that they were on the roof of a 3 story building and they didn't have good aim.

When I hiried some help, one of the guys accidentaly put a huge scratch in the side of my new trailer (in his first 10 min on the job). I let it go, and he became my most productive worker. The story above influenced my decision to not reprimand him.


08-29-2000, 09:30 PM
I think everyone is right with the fact that there's not much you can do about it. Hopefully he's learned his lesson and it won't happen again. It sure stinks to hear that one of your nice trucks got smashed up, but I don't think there's a company in the world that doesn't have the same problem.

For instance, we just are getting rid of our last college part time helper this week, and have tallied up the total 'destruction list'.

Here it is:

Toro groundmasters:

1 broken rear axle (kid didn't realize that the rear wheels were hitting things when he swung around during high speed kamikaze turns.

1 piece of aluminum siding: Damaged from the kid slaming the rear wheels of the mower into a hanger wall.

1 gear box: famous quote: "I smelled something funny, but thought it was normal!"

1 enclosed mower cab: when speeding around the airfield at speeds seldom seen at Indy, the cab on the mower broke every weld and just about fell off do to the HARD abuse.

Mower blades: Lost count of how many of those........

string trimmer:

1 string head: famous quote: 'you can't just drag the head on the road all day while edging the curbs?"

1 stihl fs74: yet another quote: 'I didn't realize the air filter had fallen off'


chains- I heard a rumor our chain sharpner man is going to retire after the summer he just had.....

chain bars - yet another one, "I kept getting the bar stuck in the tree everytime it was about to fall"

350 mason dump:

paint scratches - lost track

dents - still finding new ones as the days go on.

best dent situation. Decided to park the truck directly behind a gate while they got some cold 'sodies' because it gets hot outside when you actually have to work. When gate opened, slammed into the side of the cab. then kept hitting it because it was still trying to open.

kawasaki mule: time can only tell what else, but it now rides with a slight 45 degree tilt to the right. Hardly noticeable.........still waiting on parts.

Airfield lights taken out while mowing:

1,2,3,4,5,........got me how many. Planes will just have to come in during the daylight hours.

Environmental issues: famous roundup quote: "I thought you said 16 ounces per gallon, not 16 ounces per 4 gallon back pack sprayer!'

I always was wondering why nothing grows in those spots.......

And others:

Lord only knows what kind of damage we will soon uncover over the next few months.

I'm just glad I work there and its not my stuff. The thought of having other people use my tools/equip is the reason I try to stay solo on my own side jobs.


08-30-2000, 09:41 AM
I work for a Fire Department just a little North of you and we used to have backing problems until we implimented a Standard Operating Procedure for backing vehicles.

Its always a two person job when anything bigger than a car is backed. The accident rate has dropped to ZERO for backing. If you don't have two people you don't back up. Time off can be given if we violate this.

On the Power steering fire. Murphys law. We had a Fire engine burn up while operating a fire scene from a hydraulic leak a few years ago. That looks bad. Thank God I was not on duty.

08-30-2000, 06:40 PM
Hey Steveair,
Its good that you can tell that story with a smile because it sure made me laugh. Reminded me of the time we had a new guy use over 200' of trimmer string in one day. He came to work in sandals, so we loaned him some workboots---last we ever saw of him. That was a cheap lesson to learn in comparison to yours.

08-30-2000, 10:07 PM
Part of our solution to the equipment damage problem has been to implement an incentative program as follows. We withhold $5.00 per weekly paycheck for equipment damage. If the employee stays clean, or careful, he/she gets that money back at the end of the season; usually around Xmas. This year we have also had each employee sign on to the fact that they may be held financially liable for equipment damage. In the cases where everyone in the crew denies any knowledge of the damage incident, wes imply ***ess the entire crew's account. (I'm certain that sort of thing never happens to any of you guys.)

08-30-2000, 10:50 PM
seems like you can say that accidents do indeed happen. It just kind of sucks when your 14 year old brother slams your truck into a tree while backing up. Boy was he lucky it only ended up costing him 220 buck+ he had to help me put on the new bed. I havent found a bumper yet. And I know am an owner of an "AirNet" I got 2 good doors, a new fender and an excuse to paint my truck... its almost done!

As far as that UH< I DONT KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED.... I know what you mean. Our list of damaged things includes but certainly not limited to...
lesco backpack sprayer... could you break that part that they dont make any other time... dont ask me why but we still cant fix the sprayer.

pressure washer, the coupling that the water supply hose goes on... anyone own an 11mm allen wrench, not even sears has one and its there pressure washer(by the way i broke it but it was an accident)
ryder truck lost traction on a driveway and slammed into a station wagon. I wish i was there to see it... i just dont understand how it happened when the brazillians explain it.

pickup truck steering wheel. make sure you teach people from out of the country how to drive an automatic. And dont try puting a vehicle in park while going about 10, you will break the steering wheel(basically it seemed like I was flying a plane all summer)
altinator went on a dump truck,no ones fault i know but it caused 4 hours of inconvienence at the end of the day. I was supposed to leave at 4 didnt get home till dark.
I think thats it for broken stuff but if i think of any more i might let u know.

09-02-2000, 01:35 AM
Wow, I thought I was the only one with no-common-sense-help! If all my helpers ran their own businesses, they would all be bankrupt in a month.

09-02-2000, 11:13 AM
OH ya,

To add another laugh to the story:

During the monday of his last week of work before he left for college, the one summer help, the 'smart' one who was the best of the bunch, decided to break his hand.

He was getting out of a truck and some how slammed his hand in the door.

Go figure!

He broke like 3 bones in his hand, and we just sent him on his way a week early.

Still am trying to figure out how one slams their OWN hand, not someone else's, in a truck door.

Like I said, with help like this, we are just waiting to see what other damages pop up during the next few months.

One thing about anykind of sesonal laborer, at least from my own experiences, is that its more like babysitting than being a 'boss'. You leave them alone to do even the simplest of tasks, and they will amaze you by even screwing that up. I had 4 'monkees' this year, and oh boy, what a headache.

Couldn't even sweep a floor without supervision. I had to show them what broom to use, how to sweeep, and then, after thinking that they had the job under control, come back and find them sitting around while piles of dirt were all sitting around the shop. They claimed they could find a dust pan...... meanwhile a the one was leaning on a flat shovel to hold his lazy but up.................a complete headache....

[Edited by steveair on 09-02-2000 at 02:24 PM]

09-03-2000, 10:55 PM
This topic could be in a catagory by it self. We'll call it "Employee Nightmare Stories". I have about a phone book's worth of things that have gone wrong, but shouldn't have! I'll leave you with this one; We're cutting a 500'long area of grass. The guy working with me decides to drive the mower on the street to start cutting the far end. Thus driving by the entire length of lawn that has to be cut. Go figure!

09-07-2000, 01:57 AM
Hello, this is my first post here, but as I read this I just couldn't resist adding mine to the list. I bought a guy out this spring to add his clients to my existing ones. His son (19 yrs old) has been working for him for about 9 years and is very good at it most of the time, except his attention span and common sense are sometimes lacking.

1. lost countless locks because he takes them off to get the trimmer off the trailer and can't seem to EVER put them back on. Even when he has to remove them from the holder to put the trimmer back on.

2. Broke countless rubber straps. He's pulling a belt drive mower off the trailer one day. We always put a strap on the front(just in case). He's pulling and the strap in pulling back the other way. Can't seem to figure out whats going on, he gives 1 big pull and breaks the strap. Comment was "uuuhhhh, sorry. Didn't realize it was on there".

3. Everyday we go thru "don't blow grass in flowerbeds while cutting", and everyday we spend extra time blowing out flowerbeds.

4. Best on I have this year, comes around the corner of a house without the mower, walks up and says he screwed up. It seems that while swatting at a wasp he ran the mower over a tree (3 inches) and broke it off at the ground. By the way, after all that he got stung!


09-07-2000, 11:10 PM
Eric, I must have hired his twin brother!!

09-08-2000, 12:27 AM
OH NO!!!!

They've mutated.

John Allin
09-23-2000, 08:14 PM
And they are taking over the country.....