pay by the hour, or the unit

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yergus, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    I spoke with a lawn care owner last year and he said that he does not pay hourly, rather he pays by the unit.
    example: it takes 45 minutes to do a certain job and get to the next job so he pays .75 hours for that job. (and this is the owner doing the job solo)
    he assigns each crew with 8 hours of work, and if they are done in 7 (and done right) they still get 8 hours pay.
    he says he doesn't feel that he should have to pay for the employee each time he wants to stop and pick up sodas, piss breaks, talk to friends he meets while in the field, so he pays by the unit. at first his men threatened to quit, now they ask for 10 hours of scheduling, which they finish in 8 1/2 hours, and done with quality workmanship.
    do any of you use this system, and is it working for you.
    i may try it next season. i spoke to my workers and they all like the idea
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I think if quality, morale, and prodution are at acceptable levels or above, who cares how you pay. Sounds good, always wanted to eliminate drive time pay.

    If any of the 3 afore mentioned items suffer, better take another look.
  3. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    the way he does it, he pay well, and demands quality work. he gets it too.
    i have workers that are loyal, and hard working, and i think i will try it just to see how it works out
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I havent heard of people that dont pay for windshield time. If a route is scheduled to take 8 hrs and they finish it in 7.5 than I see nothing wrong with the employees making a full days wages when sites are maintained properly.

    I would think that if he were having problemns with his crew that he would put out schedule sheets that would TELL the crew how long each site takes to mow.trim.blow and then they would be hard fetched to bs as to why this site took an extra 15 minutes and that site an extra 20.

    I should think it is lawful to not pay employees for windshield time. They are not sub-contracting the services according to what you stated. Then it would be piece-mail so to speak for method of payment.

  5. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    in the first statement, i said it took 45 minutes to complete the job and to get to the next job, so that includes windshield time, of course sometimes they will run into more traffic, and sometimes less, but it is a thought
  6. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    I would think that employees would rush to get everything done and may skip things like trimming, blowing, striping, etc...
    So you would need to set up a quality plan. Something like if a customer calls to complain, thay would not get paid for that unit or time it sould have taken. Of cource there will always be the little old lady who always has a problem, so you wouldnt take it away then.
    Also I would be worried about them abusing your equipment to finish fast, such as beating on the truck, and possibly speeding. Not good for an image or your pocketbook.

    I do think that it is a good way to up production and get people working harder, but you have to trust them.

    If it were me I would add some clauses like the above. Possibly paying the crew leader this way, so he gets on everyeones case, altho this may make everyone hate him. Or paying other employees a low hourly rate with bonuses per job or day for finishing quick.

    Now you would also have to take into account, bad weather, as everyone may decide to call in on a rainy fri/sat day or day after it rains knowing that it will take longer, just to put it off till its dry and thay can work quicker.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It sounds like a great way to see your work, your quality, and your equipment (like these guys are going to care about proper warm up or being careful over curbs) go right down the tubes in a hurry. Then, they all jump in the truck and drive like hell to the next job, or back to the shop. (No liability there! :rolleyes: ) No thanks!
  8. There was an artical in PRO mag about this a couple of months ago. I think it was something about "flyin' solo". But the way it is done is by commision. The employees are paid by the compleation of quality completed jobs. If they fall under a certain level then 1: the job wasn't bidded correctly or 2: the employee is not being productive enough. As it goes this way is to elimanate the hourly pay and make the employees more productive and quality conscience.
  9. casey

    casey Guest
    Messages: 0

    Our snow crews are paid by the route.
    Weekly maint. stays hourly because there are too many time variables.
  10. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I had posted something along these lines before. Search for the subject "hourly vs. salary"

    I delivered furniture for alot of years and we were paid hourly. Most of the slobs milked the clock like crazy! I wanted to get done and go home so I hustled all day, sometimes even skipping lunch. And no, my quality of work wasn't less, in fact it was usually better then the "milkmen".
    Of course being paid hourly, my partner and I made less then the other guys, but I have a life outside of work, so I dealt with it.

    I had always thought paying a set amount for the day would be a good idea IF, I repeat IF, you have the right kind of workers. The kind that take pride in thier jobs. This way they can decide what they make an hour to a degree.

    Say ya pay them $100 for the day. Say route should take 8 hours.
    If they get it done in 8 they make $12.50/hr.
    If it takes them 7 hours, they make $14.28/hr.
    If it takes them 9, they make $11.11/hr.

    If they have to go back to redo something because customer called and complained about poor trimming, clippings on lawn, driveway not blown off, they have to stop on thier way back, or hit it first thing the next morning before doing that days run.

    Of course I realize it all sounds good on paper and may not work out perfectly, but I feel the right employee(s) could make it work and work well.

    (geez, my posts are getting way too long. sorry, I'll work on that)

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