Where are the decent employees?
The number one problem with this industry has got to be labor. Since it's seasonal (snowplowing excepted) your always having to replace workers annually. Plus unless you're in business for yourself, or in a really big company, if you're a young guy you're not gonna work in this field for long.
We find it ridiculously difficult to find and retain good employees. The biggest problem is finding guys who've got what it takes to do the job. Young guys (in general) seem not to understand that work is called "work" for a reason. My dad works these pansies under the table everyday and he's 55.
I can't even count high enough to list the number of "1 day wonders" we've had over the years. They show up for work, move slower than molasses uphill in january, are all thumbs, can't understand how to follow simple directions, and bail on us before the day's done. Or if they somehow last the day, they either don't come back or we can them. Then there are the dozens and dozens of guys who call about the job, I call them back and say come in Monday at 7:30. Then they don't show up, no call, nothin'.
What the hell's the matter with these wusses? The only crew I can count on is me, my dad, and my partner. That's it. We use the best pieces of equipment we can for the job, but you still need bodies to operate 'em.
Is it like this for the rest of you guys?
BTW we pay $11/hr for guys who know what they're doing, which isn't bad money for young guys in these parts. So it 'aint the cash, it's the lack of intestinal fortitude.