Foreman Vs. Driver

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Gene $immons, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    For those of you that run crews.

    Is your Driver always the Foreman? What if your best worker does not have a drivers license? Are any of you in this same situation?

    The problem is that some of my best employees, the ones who know all of your properties, and the guys that have been with me the longest don't have a license, due to whatever reason.

    Now, If I hire a guy to be the driver, does he necessarily need to be in charge of the crew, or make the most money?

  2. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    I am right there with you. He was the supervisor for the mowing crews. However he had some mishaps, I couldnt leave him in his position due to the fact he couldnt drive. I cant put him in charge if he cant drive.. It stinks but driving is a part of his job. It really come down to a respect issue. He can lead the crew but he cant be a supervisor.
  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Maybe I'm missing something here, But when did a drivers license determine whether a supervisor or foreman can perform his (her) job ? Is there a bylaw or something stating a super or foreman must drive the truck ? Why would there be any extra money involved with driving the truck, It's much easier than driving a mower around obstacles ? IMO I would let one of the other workers drive with no extra pay and let the super or foreman continue to perform the satisfactory job they have done for you in the past.
    I've been a shop foreman for 2 companies for over 20yrs. and was never told I had to do all the driving on service calls and I don't if I don't feel like it.
    Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to open a can of worms here just curious if this is standard practice in the landscaping biz.
  4. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    I can see the other guys, mainly the one driving, feeling a bit of contempt towards him. But I still say put the right man in charge of the job whether he can drive or not. The point is, when do we make our money? At the job or on the way there? Drive time is down time essentially it doesnt matter who's in charge to me.
  5. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I guess my issue is this:

    My crew leader (who has no license, but the most experience) makes the most money.

    My driver, feels that he is worthy of just as much money because he "gets the truck there"

    I can't afford two leaders on the same crew.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i have the same problem.
    employees not having a liscense is a real problem here..

    what i do is this:
    a driver will make a dollar or two more per hour than someone else just for having a clean liscense.
    i subtract that ammount from my foremans pay..

    ie.. if i normally pay a foreman $15.00 per hour, i will only pay him $13-$14 per hour if he has no liscense...
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    For us, who ever is driving the truck is in can't be a foreman without a drivers license.
  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    I haven't run into this particular problem, but I think I would lean towards rodfather on this. At the very least, the driver is responsible for all the equipment that is being transported. If something falls off, if the trailer (god forbid) disconnects, if something shifts and gets damaged, it is the responsibility of the driver. That actually might be worth a little extra in the paycheck.

    I don't know if this response helps at all, lol.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    This is the way I do it too. On many levels it works.

    I can't see giving responsibility to someone who is not responsible enough to keep their driver's license.

    The crew leader (with no license) is someone who is likely to be late for work often and lots of other things that will lead to strife and them being a poor example.

    I realize good workers are difficult to find. But general policies regarding DUI, Loss of license and the like are important. Then you need to follow thru on them. No license, then the $15/hr job just became a $11/hr job. More than likely they will quit, but hey you didn't lose the license for them and you probably just lost a liability waiting to happen as well.
  10. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Ideally, I would like the driver to be in charge.

    But as it turns out, it seems that slow working fat white boys are the only ones who have a license. My Hispanic workers despise working for someone who they don't respect, or think is lazy. You could also call some of them prejudiced. But those are the guys who usually bring me all of my new workers, and those are the guys who do all of the training. I guess I need a Mexican driver.

    I have often compared having a drivers license to having a college degree in this business. LOL

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