Truck Damaged by employee

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jsr2741, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Being a small company I usually cut grass before or after work. I only have one part time employee and he does a satisfactory job.

    The other day I'd just got home from work and was changing clothes. My part- timer was outside getting things ready. Now usually he does not hook the trailer to the truck but I guess he thought he was saving some time by hooking up and getting things ready to load. Well he didn't get the hitch locked down completely and when he put the first mower on, the front end of the trailer came up, rolled forward and put two nice gashes in the tail gate of my one year old truck.

    Now if this had been an older truck, and not the daily driver it wouldn't of been a big deal but I dang near cried (not literally). He offered to pay for it but my question is since he was on the clock and he was trying to get stuff ready and he's never damaged anything in the past, should I make him pay for it all or work out a deal where maybe he pays half or two thirds.

    My deductible is $500, one estimate is slightly lower than that, the second about $75 more and the third $125 more.

    Just thought I'd throw this out to see what you guys think.

  2. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    Write it off. At least he was making an effort. :rolleyes:

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    In the past I had a driver skip off a fire hydrant with a brand new GMC 3/4 plow truck, ripping a gash down the entire side of the cab.

    Well, the driver was a good employee, the hydrant was hidden under a snow bank and she used to hustle a lot of extra work for the firm so it all weighed out and I let the issue go without a big deal.

    I've adopted the attitude that if no one is hurt or killed, it isn't such a big deal. Cars and trucks can be repaired.

    Heck, I dropped a kayak on the roof of my new Sierra while loading it on, leaving a little divit...but thats life.
  4. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I'd say don't get it fixed and don't blame the employee.

    He was trying to do good.

    To reprimand now would stop his wanting to do good. He'll never go forward and want to do anything without asking again. I doubt you want to constantly tell this guy day in and day out forever what to do. Plus if you make it an issue, it's awkward forever.

    I doubt he meant to do it on purpose. He probably feels just as crappy about it as you are mad.

    I put a dent in the back of my truck the same way. My mower wasn't secured down 100% and rolled to the back of the trailer. While driving, I went over a dip in the road and the whole trailer popped off the ball! I saw it in the rear view mirror, thank goodness for safety chains. My first reaction was to hit the brakes, which caused the trailer coupler to pierce into my tailgate as well. It's a 2002 Dodge ram that I bought new in December. This happened in July, so it was only 7 or 8 months old for me as well.

    I bet your estimate is somewhere around $500. Forget about even getting it fixed for now. It's a work truck, and although not great, you can always get it fixed for the same exact price if you ever go to sell the truck. But for now, ask the repairshop if by not fixing it, will it cause any further rust or problems? If not, forget it cause you know it'll happen again 6 days after you get it back from being fixed. <G>

  5. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make him pay for it and I was pretty proud of myself for not losing control and giving him the what for.

    But I think I'll get it fixed anyway. I unfortunately am one of those guys who trades every couple years and that new Dodge CTD is callin my name. Probably clean the damage up, put some touch up paint on it to protect it this winter and fix it next summer, then trade for a new one.

    Thanks for the imput fella's, I appreciate it.

  6. mowngrow

    mowngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    my dad always says if you use something enough eventually it will break. get it fixed, and write it off. things happen
  7. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    It's a work truck, doesn't matter how old or how new. If it was on the driver side were I would have to look at it every day it would be fixed. But the tailgate I would leave it alone. Just wax your truck and rub the dent whenever your help is looking. A little guilt goes a long way.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    My helper ran a w/b into the back right quarter panel of my F-250 AFTER I had specifically told her to "come around this side of the truck, not the curbside" she was running the Hydro w/b for like the second or third time and I was wondering if she had it down yet, especially from a stop on pavement. Well, while putting the equipment away from that job I saw the dent/scratches. I about went off, but I did not see her do it, so I shut my mouth. I could tell that she felt horrible by the way she was really quiet the rest of the day/week. I never said a word to her about it. She never mentioned it either, which I was disappointed about, but I could tell she felt really bad. I ended up fixing it when I got t-boned in an intersection.

    I've got a few small scratches now and I'm not so paranoid about the first scratch anymore. I still get pretty anal about my truck, it stays clean and waxed.

    I'd let it go, he didn't mean to do it and he will hopefully have learned a lesson. If you make a big deal about it he probably wont ever show initiative again. I'd say something to him, I mean don't just let it go, but dont make him feel stupid. You know.......

  9. Blessed 1

    Blessed 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I have the same gash in my tail gate......on both of my trucks.......that "I" did ...the same way.:rolleyes: Give him a break. Good help is dang near impossible to find!
  10. Del9175

    Del9175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    I bought a new ford in '94. Not even a week later the same thing happened. I never did get it fixed, but the nice thing is I can barely see it. Its pretty well mixed in with all the other scratches and dings. I never even considered making any one pay for it.

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