1. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Just have a few quesions to ask everyone.

    1. When you rout trucks with jobs, do you have one truck do all the jobs in one area? Or do you send a bigger or smaller truck over to the location, if the bigger or smaller truck is better for the job?

    Me: I will send a truck out of it's way. Like if i have a good sized lot, and a pick up is the only thing in the area, then i will send a F 350 or bigger over to the lot. However is there is a drive near by a bunch of lots, i don't have a problem sending a dump body to most drives.

    2. As we all know some drives get done quicker than others. So do you provide your drivers with a Master list, that gives the location of where every truck has to be. And do you allow your drivers to change the order of their route for reasons, like more cars in one lot than others.

    Me: Every driver has a list of his locations and directions to get there, on a plastic coated sheet. This way they can check them off as their done, so that not one account is forgotten.

    I have also found that generally this is the order of who gets done first.

    Loader and Equipment operators ( to you have to start haulling snow or pushing it back.
    Residential trucks
    Lot Trucks F 350-F550
    Road Trucks also doing lots
    shovelers.

    The equipment operators are the first to go back to the shop. The other trucks jump around to help the others finish up. Some drivers even help the shovel crew.

    Geoff

    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 09-11-2000 at 12:55 AM]
     
  2. Aspen Snow

    Aspen Snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    Geoff,

    We have our driver do an area. We try to size the work to the trucks, but that does not always happen. Our work areas are geographical to the work load. We try to keep our route balanced between trucks. The driver have route sheet for the area. If a driver completes their area they have to check in with the dispatcher to either be released for that storm or moved to another area.
     
  3. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    i wil generally send one truck to do a certain area/route if a particular route end up being small or a driver gets done soon he will start at the end of another route and work backwards so to speak although amny drivers have directions to all locations they dont change their routes unless its my call i am not so big yet, so i can micro manage 6 or 7 trucks myself most on different routes
     
  4. iowastorm

    iowastorm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 370

    Geoff,

    This is an issue that we are currently experiencing since we took on about 20 new commercial contracts. Our current thinking is to have 2 to 3 trucks per team (1 ton and 3/4 ton trucks), depending upon the property sizes and locations. The CDL plow trucks will go out and make the initial pushes and then the teams will follow up to finsh each property. Each team will have a specific job list or route in a certain part of the city. We hope this will alleviate overlapping of crews and reduce extra drive time.
    Since we use 2 way radios the drivers can reports their job progress with our dispatcher. If one driver or a team finishes early, they can go where necessary to help the other teams finish their jobs. Is this about how you guys handle things?
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Thw whole routing thing is weighing heavily on me right now. For the first time we'll have truck with varying capabilities on the road.

    As of now it looks like we'll field 2 pickups with 8' straight blades, one pickup with a 9' Vee(first year with a Vee) and tailgate hopper spreader, along with the 5500 with a 10' straight blade and undertailgate spreader. The small hopper will get loaded out of our own bin with Magic salt. The 5500 will probably be getting loaded at the salt distributor with up to 5 ton loads of untreated salt. I'm hoping to incorporate a pre-wet system of some sort so I can get Magic on that salt too.

    Right now it looks like the 5500 will do the private streets and will see some duty in the industrail areas. Plan is to hit the early salt run with that truck so that we can get the anti-ice application down quick. I'd like to run a team of one straight blade and the 5500 together, do the heavy push with the big truck and the taller/wider blade and let the pickup plow clean the corners and loading docks.

    That would leave one straight blade and the Vee for residential and commercial pushes. Only snag in that is that we'll have to decide where to best use the Vee. A lot of our lots are long and narrow, with snow having to go off the end, perfect conditions for a vee plow. But they are scattered over the length of the route. Not a perfect condition at all.

    Some places (not many) would work fine with the 5500 by itself, other than the slow reverse. Pushes in excess of 100 yards, virtually straight and just keep rolling it off to the side. The private streets will be easy meat for the 10' blade, two passes in each direction as opposed to three, in the past, with pickup plows.

    I really hope that our first storm is a small one so that we don't have to do the residentials. Then we could debug our commercial route without being in a full panic.

    Communications will probably be cell phone. We have two now and I think I will get two more and load them with prepaid minutes. Pricey by the minute, but cheaper than a montly contract. Short range communication is by Motorola "talkabout" radios. They work great when we have two trucks working the same neighborhood.



    [Edited by Alan on 09-11-2000 at 04:02 AM]
     
  6. diggerman

    diggerman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 702

    Good question,I used to spend hours going over which truck I thought would be best for each job.But after a couple of years I was seeing that the amount of time it took to move a truck from one side of town to another just to do a lot that I thought would be easier for that truck to do the truck that was there could have done it and been gone. Now it may not have been easy but it was still saving me money and time. Now that is based on pickups, Larger trucks and loaders have places they just can not get so they have places the can not go. The other thing that I have done is when assigning routes I have them split up in to apt and commercial routes. Knowing that the commercial has to get done by seven to eight I send each truck to their initial route, then as a secondary route I assign the same route to another truck in the area, when he is done with the first route they are to start backwards on the second so if one route is not as difficult or one driver is faster they help out and check over each others work and the business get done on time.When they are finished doing those they have an assigned apt route to work on,there are always a couple trucks that the only task they have is to open up apt drives so some of that is done immediately to coincide with business plowing.Now some of the ability to do this is based on how far apart your accounts are if they are a long ways apart its not practical to have multiple trucks checking each others work nor moving a special truck in to do a certain job,if they are close the ability to have a 10ft plow windrow the snow away from the buildings on big accounts before the pushers arrive is practical. So depending on your situation there is no right or wrong answer it has to be tailored to your specific situation.
     
  7. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Iowastorm

    My only ishue with useing the team plan, is depending on the size of the lot one of the trucks may sit doing nothing. The last thing you want is 3 trucks in a small area, it may equal dents and damage to one of your trucks. I think a team of two may work better, even if it was two pick ups.

    Geoff
     
  8. iowastorm

    iowastorm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 370

    I agree with you, however, I didn't completely explain the thinking on that . . . the properties where we'd assign a 3 truck team would be strip mall or office complexes with large parking lots, multiple entrances and service/loading areas. Also, it would only be when we are pushing in the overnight hours; not during the day when parking areas are full and there is alot of pedestrian traffic. Hope this explains it better.
     
  9. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Oh i agree if you got big enough lots, and you can have 3 trucks in them, and keep them apart. Its the way to go. It would just suck if ya had to have a scratch and dent sale in April, from to many turcks in one lot.

    Geoff
     
  10. diggerman

    diggerman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 702

    If I had to have a s&d sale come spring I would be turning over my whole fleet every year. We have so many tiny tiny apt lots that tip hard one way with cars on both side and garages and curbs,you would never be able to even park two trucks in these lots. We will be buying some more tandem axle dump trucks this year for most of these smaller lots and am hoping to pick up some residential lots as well.
     

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