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Trailer backing + employees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tthomass, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    So I'm debating doing mowing for a couple days during the week or full time. Got the truck and trailer (7x16 enclosed) and have a new installation truck so thats why I'm considering........why should it sit, no money sitting still.

    My concern:

    Trailer is wider than the truck for one thing so confidence in someone able to drive it and keep in on the road vs shoulder/curbs etc makes me a little nervous but that comes with experience I guess.

    BUT backing for example.........if I have an employee handbook they've signed saying they should have someone backing them up and they don't and hit something.........can I hold them responsible for damages? Just as example.

    What I'm trying to figure out is how to try to make sure my stuff doesn't get beat up due to someones lack of common since is what it boils down to. I refuse to have a dented and beat up truck etc going down the road and looking for alternatives to prevent the situation vs it happening, firing them and searching for someone else.
  2. TWUllc

    TWUllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 406

    7x16 isnt bad...

    My 8.5' would get me a little nervous...then again it all depends on the driver and the trust for that driver's experience with a wider trailer.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    just have the driver show you that he is capable of doing the task. Go for a ride with him and have him show you his backing up prowess in a large mostly emply parking lot.

    The mall around 2pm on a Tuesday.

    As far as your equipment, you can't (legally) do punitive things for damage. But you can institute a bonus system for stuff not getting damaged then deducting damage amounts from the bonus.

    search for some ideas on that. I don't feel like typing out my whole system again.
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    backing up a trailer is basic if theyre going to be a driver for our company they need to know how to do it whether theyre going to drive a trailer everyday or not its a great tool to have
  5. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    If your that worried about someone esle doing it, do it yourself. No ther way to get around that. I had an employee used to drive around a 5th wheel camper, has backed my dump into my stone wall (at least not a customers) and bent the tail pipe. Just last week he didn't latch the swing doors on the bed and took out a mirror and dented the door on a H3 Hummer, but with the 8.5 wide enclosed trailer he's never hit anything!
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    As mentioned already, just teach them in a parking lot. say "look if you want more hours with me I'm going into mowing (I know I'm crazy for just even thinking about it) but you'll have to be able to drive this billboard around without recking it." If he passes your test good to go. If not, have an unpaid training day where you let him practice until he gets it.
  7. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    you could look into insurance for your equipment and trailer. I have general liability, commercial auto with each driver listed and also insurance on the trailer, mowers, trimmers, blowers etc. It costs me about $120 a year for insurance on 2 zero turns, 2 walk behinds, and all the trimmers and blowers. If a mower gets stolen or catches on fire I only have the $250 deductible to pay.
  8. stumpslawncare

    stumpslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    I agree, pick a Saturday Morning and go down to the local high school parking lot and set up some orange cones and have a drivers training class, maybe something you could do once a year. Never hurts to set up some orange cones and do an obstacle course for your employees running the lawn equipment either. Better than them taking out the flower bed at your customers lawn. Good training for your new employees that have never ran zero turn machinery.
  9. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    Seems like a very good idea and no one gets hurt and no property damage this way good luck with it
  10. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    i'll third this motion

    get a cdl study book, and
    set up the cone corse in the road test section
    no pass - no hire?

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