check list when crews leaving in the morning?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawnboy, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. lawnboy

    lawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Ok, this is my issue. I am having a lot of problems with lost equipment, and lack of responsiblity on the employees. It becomes the blame game. We currently have about 30 employees all of which come in and out of the shop throughout the day to get things they need. What I want to do is create a check list in the morning to know what is being taken on their trucks, and throughout the day they would have to check in and out things with the secretary or me. The problem i have is that all the crews return back to the shop at different times, and I nor the secretary are at the shop at those times to check back in the equiment. Also, things can get taken off the trailers after crews leave, and it once again becomes the blame game. Any ideas, or things that you guys do.
  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Do your guys have the same crews most of the time? I'm sure you have "crew leaders or foremen". Assign your senior guys to tools of value. Like a mowing crew would have the same mowers, trimmers, blowers, maybe edger, things like that. Valuable items. Construction crew leaders would be responsible for items like stone saws, lazer levels, etc. Hand tools you would give an alloted number to crew leaders and designate and area in your shop for their tools. Have a meeting with crew leaders half an hour before the work day once a week or once a month and explain to these guys that you are having problems with missing tools and how it sucks to have to spend hundreds of dollars a year replacing them. Make these guy responsible. Thats why they get paid a more and have more responsibility. I'm small time compared to you but even I know how much it stinks to have to reach into my pockets to pay for or replace tools.
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I know its expensive but each crew needs their own equipment even if it is not used regularly.

    I worked at a large company and each crew had its own big locker/small shed with a lock so equipment that was not used all the time was kept in the shed. Actually all the equipment was loaded each day in and out of the sheds, what a waste of time that was. I prefer enclosed trailers myself. If they must check things in and out do it in the morning and lock the specialty stuff up at night in the lockers.

    I know enclosed trailers are not cheap but neither is land and labor. My guys show up at 6:30 and most days they are on the road at 6:35 at the latest.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

  5. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    with 30 employees, you should be able to hire one more and have an equipment foreman, that would sign out all equipment as well as clean and maintain all equipment. just be in the gargage all day to keep control of things going in and out. you must have a lot of equipment, come with your own ID system for each piece. from trucks to hand tools.
  6. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 844

    number each piece, that way you can check them out in the morning and if something isn't there at night, you know what crew it was with.
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Having an equipment librarian to check equipment in and out just does not make financial sense. That person is going to cost you minimum 30-K a year to manage equipment that probably does not have 30-K worth of value. Equipment is easier to buy then labor and poses less liability. The only way that works is if you have a superintendent do it along with all their other responsibilities and that gets old real fast. No one wants to be the first one in and the last one to leave.
  8. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    30 workers with 30k in equipment.
  9. lawnboy

    lawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    AZ hit it on the nail, it doesnt make financial sense to pay someone to stay at night to work check in equipment. Enclosed trailers are fine, but there is a reason I have a 12000sq/ft building that i can pull all the equipment into. Every crew does have their own equipment, but the problem is when they return it is easy for someone to grab a piece off of their trailer and walk off with it.

    What I am considering is cameras in the shop, with interenet viewing power. So i can watch from home and tape. Even then thought someone will find a way around it. It sucks how a couple of people can ruin a good thing for everyone else.
  10. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Lawnboy, I'm a smaller operation but have had the same problems with tools being lost or stolen. I understand you have the building, but the enclosed trailer did help, as I can have a specific place for each tool, pruner, hand saw, etc. I can look inside the trailer and see if something is missing in a few seconds. I also started color coding the tools, so my maintenance crew gets yellow tools, and the landscape install/detail crew gets blue tools. Easier to know if something has been pulled from one trailer to another.
    I wish I had more advice to give you as even for me, with five employees, it is still an uphill battle.

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