GPS Tracking- What Are Your Guys Really Doing?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    Since my "GPS Installed" posting was deleted I though I'd start another because several people wanted to see what I would be able to catch going on. Guys order the damn thing now and you won't regret it. If you look at my other GPS older original posting you can see what happened the other day. Yesterdays GPS detective work caught my guys costing me around $57 I'm guessing. I haven't told my guys anything yet because I want to see if a pattern emerges. If I say something now I'll likely get the that was the only time speech.

    Once I document this happening two weeks in a row it's going to be time to have a chat. As I write this my guys are at lunch at the same gas station they were at yesterday and they went a few minutes out of the way to get there. I'll be really interested to see what gets written on the time sheets today. Yesterday the sheets were off by 37 minutes plus they drove my truck for 30 minutes round trip to get to the gas station. My figure for this error is $57.

    My Foreman and crew members all get a weeks paid vacation which is very generous for this line of work. Plus my crew members get $11 an hour plus OT. My Foreman gets $13 an hour plus a company phone. I've had my crew member gross over $675 in a week and a Foreman gross close to a $900 before many times. What I'm going to do is tell my guys to say goodbye to possibly two days of paid vacation. I'm guessing this padding of the lunch hour may have cost me a grand this season.
  2. Wayne 55

    Wayne 55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I hope you have new crews lined up for the week you break this to the guys. Sorry to say to you with no disrespect. Personaly the crews I had I took the time to have a coffee truck stop off so they had a coffee break in morning the men would call her and tell her where they were daily and then once in a while I treated them to lunch say a couple sheet Pizzas and a bucket of Chicken wings. On the good days even had some beers in a cooler waiting. Small price to pay when they put out and everything I wanted done that day was complete and timely. The guys that worked for me they didnt take advantage of me at all. Even if they had an appointment during the day and needed time away that was fine they all made it up to me ten fold. I also when not on the jobs made sure I dropped in once a while to see how things were going. Sure I had a few who tried to get away with crap but after a talking to they were pulling their weight like the rest. Yeah I have fired a few but tell you what the reputation of the company also got around that we were top notch towards the men. And I had the same seasoned men year in and year out. It wont take long to get a bad rap out there and the new guys coming in looking for work will be total slugs.

    Just my $.02 on this matter.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    gotta keep em honest....I would document for a couple weeks and then bring each person in separately and see who fesses up...

    this way they know they are being monitored. I doubt I'd fire anyone over this, but once you sit em down... if it continues to happen....time to trim the fat...

    No reason to stop at a gas station for lunch. bring lunch with ya...
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    very important and good point.......

    word will get around that his company "babysits" his crews with gps and people won't want to work for him. the old camera in the work bathroom agruement.

    i wouldn't want to work for someone i know is tracking my every move. even though i'm a very honest person and don't screw around at work.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,374

    If that is the worst thing you find not so bad. I would simply let them know you have the tracking device on the truck and let them see how it
    works. They will get the point.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah that's really a minor offense, honestly.

    I mean, I do it :p
    Take the truck for the long way around.
    Sure do.

    And I'm the owner LOL
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    First off I want to say that there is always going to be good arguments either way for tracking your crew. Everyone could go on and on looking at both sides of the coin, and still there would be no real answer.

    I have to agree though, when working for a good company, we would plan our route accordingly to be efficient with our stops and breaks, Even if that meant not taking breaks at the same time every day.

    On the other hand, mowing sucks (or any set weekly service), and it's real easy to fall into the monotony of it and deviate from a good schedule. Grounds Hogs Day every day. Same route, same faces, same vehicles sitting in the same spots. Psychologically it's hard to overcome regardless how badly you need the job.

    I think it's one of the hardest things as an LCO (from observance) is being able to motivate your employees everyday.
  8. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    Nowadays GPS is being used by lots, and lots of companies that run multiple crews. When you start doing work in the million dollar a year range you have to be an idiot to just trust everyone to be good honest boys and girls. GPS is an incredible tool that lets you improve your efficiency. It's not just a spy tool. Why hire a person to check up on your crews when you can do it yourself practically for free. Who the hell has time to run around checking up on your crews. And once your crew see you they cover up any signs of misdeeds.

    Running a business blind just doesn't make sense. If employee's know about GPS it will help them resist the urge to constantly cheat a little bit. I have the best workers I've ever had but even they apparently can't resist the urge to cheat a little when they think nobody is monitoring them. Once you cheat a little and get away with it it's awfully easy to cheat more and more. If the cheating I've seen in one week is multiplied by our 35 week season then I'm out over two grand.

    If you can't work for a company that uses GPS then you probably can work most large companies that usually have the best pay and benefits for management type positions.
  9. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    Very well put. If your guys are born north of the Rio Grande it can be a monumental effort to motivate them. My guys are all south of the river and they value their jobs with me way more than any gringo would. My guys all worked for much larger companies before that all took advantage of them and paid them crap. The last thing in the world my guys want to do is go back to another $300 a week job with no vacation, sick pay, paid holidays, and bonus's.
  10. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    I have one really good employee who has called me a bunch of times to tell me the Foreman is talking on the phone and not always pulling his weight. My plan is to talk to him first and see if I can trick him into fessing up as to how many times this stuff has happened. If I'm able to verify a ball park figure of how much I've been bilked than it's a lot easier to know how much to justifiably try to recover. Letting your employee's get away with stealing possibly thousands of dollars sets a bad precedent.

    My guys are still some of the best workers you could ask for so there no way I'm going to let anyone go over this.

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