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Old 03-26-2015, 08:45 AM
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aaron_f aaron_f is online now
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Stolen or lost equipment, which is it and what do I do?

Last Tuesday morning my maintenance crew lead asked me if I knew where the other BR600 was. They take two blowers with them but when he opened up the trailer that morning there was only one blower. He remembers the last account they did, he and another guy were using the blowers. The other guy swears he put it in the trailer. The next morning I drove out to the account to see if the blower was there, it wasn't.

What do you think happened? I can think of two scenarios. First, the blower was left at the job site and picked up by a passerby. Second, the blower was stolen by one of the crew members. I tend to think the blower was stolen but I can't prove anything so I'm letting the whole thing go. I don't want to be more cynical than I already am.

The same thing happened with a Honda Hrc216 a few years ago. Both times the crew leaders were above suspicion and no one had a clue where the missing mower/blower could be.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:54 AM
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NIXRAY NIXRAY is online now
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Why is your foreman. Not assuring everything is loaded AND secured to the truck/trailer. Is he not expected to perform such a task? Naturally you hold each employee accountable. However, the role of a foreman is to enforce and assure your policy's and expectations are up to you the company standards.
So, in my eyes. It's 100% inexcusable that the foreman doesn't know where some equipment is. It is his job to know.
Also. Is it a locked trailer? IF so control who has keys.
If NOT. Why??
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:09 AM
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aaron_f aaron_f is online now
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I agree that the foreman is responsible and so does he. He told me so and said that he owes me a blower. I don't want his money and wouldn't take it. He works hard and is loyal.

Do you think the crew lead should check the trailer after each account? That's doable but seems tedious and overbearing.

The trailer is locked, or is supposed to be locked, every night. The keys are hung in the shop and crew leads have shop keys. What do you recommend for the keys?
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:22 AM
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NIXRAY NIXRAY is online now
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Yes, as it may seem anoying. The foreman should walk around the trailer. Checking for all tools/equipment. And that everything is properly secured. As if...IF something were to fall off. It's the drivers/foreman responsibility.

As for as the keys. That would depend on the accessibility.
Can any of your guys, get ahold of them?

That's awesome you have a foreman accepting responsibility.

Also. Plaster Craigslist, and all...ALL repair shops in your area. Hell, I'd even notify shops within a 50 mile radius. As well as notify your state police. Try to make it a point to have the reporting officer there while your guys are. That alone should show. That your serious.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:33 AM
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I'll start having them check, it's a good practice.

The keys hang next to the door and are accessible to all. A locking key cabinet may be the way to go.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:09 PM
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Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is online now
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It's stolen and there are 2 possibilities.

1 someone went into your trailer unseen and snagged it before the last guy was off the lawn. This would be what has to have happened if it was stolen since if happened latter say at the shop they both would be gone not just one.

2 your employee stashed it on the lawn and came back and stole it after work.

Iv had both of these happen to me I lost a 3 month old br 600 off my trailer last year while I was in the back yard. Since I no longer have employees I can safely rule that out.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:29 PM
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aaron_f aaron_f is online now
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Unfortunately everything that's been stolen from me has been by employees.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:37 PM
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grassmonkey0311 grassmonkey0311 is offline
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Write him up so it's documented. You can do it as a last warning, probably more effective.

This way, hopefully common sense will tell him his job isn't worth the cost of the blower or other equipment. He'll take more accountability and possibly rat out the guy that does it next time.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:48 PM
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aaron_f aaron_f is online now
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Here's where I'm at so far:

Key control, lock 'em up.

Communicate to the lead that he is responsible to make sure that everything is on the truck before leaving an account.

Write ups for the crew to hold them accountable.

Inexpensive camera/recorder security system for the shop if feasible. I'll check Costco next time I'm there.


I'm open to more suggestions or ideas on who dunnit. Like everyone else here I HATE having things stolen from me, especially when it's potentially by someone I know.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:07 PM
SJLandscapeCT SJLandscapeCT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_f View Post
Here's where I'm at so far:

Key control, lock 'em up.

Communicate to the lead that he is responsible to make sure that everything is on the truck before leaving an account.

Write ups for the crew to hold them accountable.

Inexpensive camera/recorder security system for the shop if feasible. I'll check Costco next time I'm there.


I'm open to more suggestions or ideas on who dunnit. Like everyone else here I HATE having things stolen from me, especially when it's potentially by someone I know.


Long time lurker here, but I wanted to weigh in.

Please don't take this the wrong way, as you clearly have a more successful business than I do having employees, while I'm a solo-op. However, my full time job is in management and leadership and I just wanted to pitch in.

I understand that the blower is an expensive piece of equipment and represents and investment on your part.

That being said, I would not do any kind of "write-up" with your guys. I'll explain why (and don't get me wrong, corrective action certainly has its place).

Good help is so hard to find these days. You say that your crew leader is a good worker and he is loyal. Do not throw that away. Do you trust him? If you do, then take care not to overreact. You lost a $600 blower. If this guy leaves, how much is it going to cost you? Can you replace him? How long will you spend trying to find another guy to fill his shoes, who knows your business as well as he does? All questions you need to answer for yourself as we don't have any of these answers.

I am huge on employee loyalty. Along with talent, it is a company's most valuable asset where the labor force is concerned. Loyal employees work harder, they work faster, and they will go the extra mile for you. I do not think twice about sticking my neck out for an employee that I know is loyal to me. When they see that, what do you think that does for them?

By placing this individual on a final warning, a write-up, etc, and making him fear for his job, you are throwing his loyalty out the window. I guarantee he is going to think "I work really hard for this guy, I bust my ass all day every day, and this is what I get in return when one bad thing happens." I guarantee it.

Yes, as the crew leader, he is responsible for everyone under him. He is responsible for the gear. But if this is his first slip-up, and he is as loyal as you say, I would let it go. Is he going to remember to check the rig after every single lawn, every single day? Probably not. Have you ever lost something that belongs to you in a foolish way? I know I have.

I would take him aside 1 on 1. Invite him over after work one day if you guys are comfortable like that, and talk to him. Explain to him that you value him, his work, and his loyalty, but you absolutely cannot have your equipment disappearing. Reiterate to him his responsibility as crew leader. Thank him for the work that he does. He will get the message. This will be much more effective, in my opinion, than some piece of paper saying that his job is in jeopardy.

As far as the rest of your crew is concerned, explain to him that as their leader it is his job to police them. He does not need to be a "rat" per se. Who the hell wants to work in that kind of environment? I would throw a $600 blower in the trash every time over having a bunch of guys working for me who are disloyal and out to get each other. But remind him that they are his responsibility. He will get the message.

I would go through with the rest of the measures you described. I guarantee you the crew leader will be more vigilant in the future, he will see your chat with him as a vote of confidence and that everything will get checked onto the trailer in the future, and he will take a more personal stake in your equipment.

I would do this as a one-time deal. If something like this occurs again with the same crew, then I would go scorched earth. You can show benevolence without being taken advantage of.
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