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Hiring a Full Time Mechanic

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Anyone here got a big enough operation to have hired a Full Time Mechanic? I figure one day it will just be cheaper for me to hire one than keep sending my trucks and machines to repair shops. I am not there yet. It's still cheaper to send stuff out. But I can see down the road where it would be cost effective to have a full time truck and small equipment mechanic.

    Any experiences with this? Good or bad? If someone has one, what kind of hourly wage is appropriate? This helps me determine how soon I could afford one.
  2. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    Actually... one of our guys is our mechanic too. He works in the field doing construction, but also repairs all our trucks, and equipment etc.... he can do basically everything with a little assistance from another mechanic at our yard. havent had to pay a mechanic fee in 2 years...
  3. Well Jim

    I offered a few lawn mower machanics a similar position.

    Machanic for me, and I would tell all the commercial cutters to get their mowers serviced by us.

    They would have worked on my mowers priority over the others, if any break downs.

    Then after discussing it we came up with having them come in for a late shift, some thing like 1:30 to 10:00. Then I could offer some thing no one else does, service after 5 PM.

    Then we got to wages, oh boy $17 an hour plus all bennies.

    Well as it turns out I have 2 machanics if I should ever need them in the future when I can pay those wages.

    As of now the mowing guys still do the maintenance.

    I do get alot of calls after the mower shops close for parts I have on hand
  4. yorkpaddy

    yorkpaddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    i'm way small now, but i dream of being able to hire my own mechanic. it would be great, i'd have my mowers in tip top shape and my trucks. Its also a great benefit to offer your employees, give thema discount on the mechanic's time for their vehicles
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Hmm. I hadn't though of that! Good point. For that matter, you could also have your mechanic work on friends, neighbors vehicles for less-than-traditional shop rates if times were slow and you needed to give him some more hours.
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I don't know about that.. you'ld have to think about insurance and liability issues??

    They would probably need to be a certified mechanic which would command higher wages too.
  7. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I do all the mechanic work myself (because I like it). Hiring a full-time mechanic can get really expensive - my best advice is to try to hire someone to work (landscaping) that also is a good shade-tree mechanic. I've had a few of these guys - they work out great. You get the best of both worlds. Good luck.

    Ps give them a little extra/bonus for working on the equipment - nothing huge - but enough to let them know you appreciate it. Don't make it big enough to be an incentive for them to break stuff - just so they can fix it!
  8. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    I've been thinking about this way down the road, too, so I'm glad you brought it up. I was thinking that a full-time mechanic, working a later shift than the mowing crews, could perform all the equipment maintenance for the crews at the end of the day, too. This way, the crews could have more production hours every day, thus earning extra $$$ to help offset the cost of the mechanic.

    On that note:

    Jim, how do you currently handle the day-to-day equipment maintenance with your crews? Do you plan a little shorter day for your crews to handle that when they get in?

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