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Operating with Four guys?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by scraper69, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    I have a three man crew right now including myself. One of which can drive commercial vehicles other that me. I was looking to expand my landscape and lawn divisions, since we currently run 3 days -lawn and 3 days land. Just about changed my mind last week until I got a call from a guy i know whom worked for a competitor for over 10 yrs as a lawn crew forman (a large firm) he quit them and is lookin for work. Reason for leaving- company is getting too big and shitting on their old(Long term guys). Not advancing enough and asking for too much of their employees. Anyway, we talked for a couple hours and i found out, that he has a susp. drivers lic. till late fall. Eventhough he is still a hell of a worker! and knows the lawn biz inside and out. I just cant decide now if i want to continue on with my plan of expansion now! He is a higher pay scale employee$13-15 with no lic? but next year , he could be a serious asset to my company- by running the lawn division. so figure it out it would be 4 men (right now only 1 3yd dump) and a p/u i use only to plow with ..3days on lawns and 3 days (if busy), on landscape installs. I have all the needed lawn equip and trailer, and all the lands. equip and trailers. One truck though ??? I guess if it were gonna work i would need another truck(and if i were to get another, i would assume the best route would be a 6yd dump. since our install jobs are always limited or slower with the 3yd anyhow.
    Give any opinion and views on this topic. thanks
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    tough call.
    could his liscense be why he had problems at the other place.
    aslo why is it suspended? drinking problems, speeding, etc????
  3. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    in michigan- one beer and your considered drunk!
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Is it necessary to use the 1-ton for mowing? Why not use the pickup for that, at least for the time being. Send the suspended license guy out with one guy to mow five days a week with the pickup and trailer. You take the 1-ton and keep your construction jobs moving 5 days a week. You'll be in two places at once and that is the biggest thing you can do to expand your business. And that is much easier to do without a new payment for an F650.

    The guy without a license is very limited in where he can work. Pay him what he is worth to you, and realize that he is not at the other place because part of his value to them was his ability to drive. He is not worth the same money as he was (he may be calling it getting **** on, but it would be foolish for that company to pay him the same when he can not provide the same service to them). Would you rent a machine for top dollar if it had a flat tire?

    Tell him that you are giving him an opportunity while he does not have many and that he has the opportunity to show you that he can be the man you need to lead the mowing production if he can produce.

    Remember, you got to get your company to be at two places at once in order to grow.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    He quit them, he should have been fired. He's a foreman yet can't drive. What good is he? Also, next year, when he finally gets his license back, your insurance provider (if you have any) isn't going to want him listed as a driver, so he's still no use to anyone. You should know that. It's UNBELIEVABLE how many people can't keep a drivers license. It's pathetic actually. There are NO excuses, plain and simple. I don't care how many beers make you over the limit. It's called responsibility. Something society doesn't want to take upon themselves anymore.

    Anyways, you should continue with YOUR plan now and not wait for someone else to decide the fate of your company. Find the help that can benefit you now, not a year from now.
  6. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 402

    I would pay him less since that he is inable to dirve. Tell him that once he proves to you that he is a responsible worker and gets his license back, increase his pay.

    We have had a couple guys that had no license and it is hard. You basically have to work everything around them.

    How would your employees now take it if you brought him in and he is already is a foreman and giving orders to your other employees?
  7. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    First thing you need to do is find out when and what his exact violation was and then call your insurance company. you would be amazed at how much having an employee with a bad driving record can raise your vehicle insurance

    On another point this is one of the worst employee problems in our industry. You get these guys that dont have alot of book smarts that really cant do much else then physicall labor. They work there buts off for years for landscape companies and all the sudden they are fifty. Now the back breaking work they have been doing for years is catching up with them. So now they are slow going and arent really worth the pay your giving them. Problem is they gave you ten great years so how can you decrease there pay or let them go. They made you money for years. So now they are foremans that are slow working that are taking your younger employees out and just arent pushing them like you need them too. Company I used to work at had this problem, and alot of guys that have owned companies for more then ten years have it too. Especially the smaller companies that cant just make every senior member a foreman. Guy I worked for had three guys like this that did nothing but really cost him money. Great guys that used to work their buts off but time just caught up with them. So what happens to these guys. Alot of sad stories. One of his guys finally ruined his knee one day bending down to cut some sod. After surgery he was able to walk fine in about nine seven months. So now he has a guy that bless his heart can add 10 and 10 to get twenty that can barely push a wheelbarrow. But I dont know anyone that would have the heart to fire the guy. I worry about this everyday because I have a guy that started when he got out of high school and has been with me for three years. Hardest worker I have but sending him to any form of an educational class would be a huge waste of money. Just doesnt have enough upstairs. I know without a doubt if things stay steady he will be with me for an easy twenty years. He is just one of those guys. So Ill keep increasing his wage and one day I will wake up and he wont be worth minimum wage. What do we do with these guys?
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    It's tough, and it's probably easy to say until it happens, but business is business.

    It's either me or them. I know who my vote will be for.
  9. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    Thanks guys. ALGA -- the pick up i have (as mentioned) is kindof a beater.
    Its ok for snow, but is basically always having probs.. breakdowns, I agree this would be ideal. Eventhough it would be a hand job to unload vs the 3yd that just dumps out the grass. I guess for now, i can hold on any purchase (new truck) and see what kind of work comes my way, and worst case scenario - i would try to put the p/u to use, and leave two guys with it., and take the 3yd dump to complete landscape projects. My fear is that i get not enough work to keep these 3 guys + me working. then all i have is lots of labor standing around?? But hey, i dont have to promise anyone the world. right, i mean if the work aint there, well its a short week? they may not like it. but what else can i do? Realistically i figure that next year for sure, i will be able to swing the payment on a 6yd F650 or simiar truck, since a couple loans will expire. But now is my chance to take off, (I think)
    I appreciate all the advice. Keep it coming!!!!!

    ( P>S> the guy left that company before he got his lic . suspended- i know this forsure. DUI.. and he left cause of the company went real "corporate" and everything is changing with in company. I hear alot of people left them over the last year of so)
  10. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Messages: 477

    You'll be in two places at once and that is the biggest thing you can do to expand your business. And that is much easier to do without a new payment for an F650.

    Remember, you got to get your company to be at two places at once in order to grow.[/QUOTE]

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT! and is what ive been trying to accomplish-- guess i just dont have the BallZ in this messed up economy

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