Discussion:
Road techs that take their service vans home, how far is too far?

Our road techs take their vans home every night. Non of them live farther out than about a 20 mile radius from our shop. Occasionally we have a tech apply that lives twice that far away.
Any opinions on how their pay should be structured to accommodate the additional cost of that vehicle being driven twice the amount of what we already have built in to our service rates and pay rates?
  • Posted 18 Oct 2013 22:35
  • Discussion started by colleen_b
  • Florida, United States
Showing items 16 - 30 of 33 results.
rather than compare it to the automotive world apples why not compare it to something more similar to field service like air conditioning or electricians? Oranges. this reminds me of the old joke about the difference between the doctor in the mechanic being that the doctor washes his hands after he goes to the bathroom the mechanic washes his hands before he goes to the bathroom.
Maybe the answer is a nurse to drive the mechanic?
  • Posted 30 Oct 2013 00:14
  • Modified 30 Oct 2013 00:15 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Let's look at the inverse:
Does the tech get paid for their mistakes (rework) when the company does not?
Does the tech drive out of the way to get lunch using the company's truck and fuel?
Does the tech ever use the truck and fuel for personal use?
Does the tech never take longer to complete a job than it was quoted for?
Does the tech never misdiagnose and cost either the customer or employer undue expenses?
Take a look at flat rate in the automotive world. You don't get paid for rework, you get no van, you get no fuel, you stand around without getting paid when it is slow. So, what is fair?
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 21:46
  • Reply by duodeluxe
  • United States
duodeluxe
NO NO NO...the customer is NOT being billed for travel time!
The contracts we have are fixed maintenance, we have to do the PM's on time, no travel time or extra charges. Big contracts are all going that way.
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 12:20
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
I think BB forks nails it the difference being if the company is being paid for the time.
I think there are lots of folks that would be willing, if no other reason than a chance to "1-up" whom ever they see as their "competition".
I know plenty of folks that regularly work through lunch or break times to make a deadline or better serve a customer. The differing factor being who decides.
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 02:22
  • Modified 29 Oct 2013 02:23 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
Raytech- no disrespect- I get your point of having no costs getting to & from work. My issue is that your company billed travel time for your services, therefore accepting monies for services you provided yet not paying you for your service.

I would be hard pressed to find anyone in my local area to accept such conditions.
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 01:34
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
"How many companies pay their employees to get to work?"
There is these new things called "the internet" and "phones", which, in very many differing instances, permit/required a re-defining of the concept of "office" and or "home office".
How many people, that provide the bulk of what produces their income, [?do what they provide an accounting of the time required to complete, and are provided an income for that time?] that are now able to be considered 'work from home', would be expected to give back to their employer, the amount of time required to commute, particularly if there is some advantage to the employer in not having them commute.

?Can we say it is a negotiable point, but not one 'the company' has any right to expect or demand? And that 'the company' should not be penalized for acknowledging and appreciating as the employee 'going the -extra- mile'.
AND I would say it is considerably different if what you do is use a company supplied vehicle to commute to the same office everyday. In that case it would be getting paid to drive to work, rather than 'being compensated for time the company is paid for, during the travel to the first remote job-site'.
  • Posted 28 Oct 2013 03:52
  • Modified 28 Oct 2013 05:50 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
How many companies pay their employees to get to work? Who else pays gas and supplies the vehicle to travel? Most of my friends work out of town. They car pool, take a bus, whatever it takes to get to work....traveling 60 miles one way. They would give their right arm to have a free vehicle with absolutely no costs!!
If you get paid for your time driving to work, you have a major advantage over most anybody else!
  • Posted 28 Oct 2013 02:42
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
I have to agree with BB forks, no one should consider themselves as correct if the take something from someone with no intention of compensation to the original owner, and with the intention (or does) to sell that thing to someone else.
If it was a lamp, a lawn mower, a birdhouse, or other tangible object, there would be no question that it was theft to take, with demand and without compensation, from someone to sell to someone else.
I don't see (and am pretty sure a company attorney will agree if they are asked their 'honest legal opinion') how that changes when it is something intangible, like someone's time. I think almost any attorney in the USA will agree that is a form of (and the definition of) theft. I am also aware that one of the most common reason most attorneys get their license suspended to practice law or get fined by the bar association, is actually from "double billing" where they have billed more than 1 customer for the same thing, their time. (you also can not legally sell the same exact object [time or lawnmower] to more than 1 party, and expect to be paid by both parties for that 1 exact same object).
All that said, as an individual, and owner of that object (your time or your lamp), you may freely dispose of that object as you see fit, so, if in your desire to be a better representative of the company to the customer you give the drive time to the customer, that is YOU* (not the company expecting or demanding) giving away your time (not the _company_ -selling- your time and demanding you give it away to the company), just the same as if you studied the standards at itsdf dot org on your own time at night to better understand forklift design, as compared with the company expecting/demanding you take an online training course, where the company should expect to have to compensate you for your time.
* that said, since your time driving to the customer is something the company could/should have sold, you will be undercutting (and in fiduciary conflict with) your company if you give away your billable labor time.
  • Posted 27 Oct 2013 23:55
  • Modified 28 Oct 2013 00:01 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
Raytech- you're the last of a dying breed (and I mean that in a good way!) If the company is billing travel time for you to travel to a job, but not paying you because it's your first job, I don't think that's being fair to you. The same being true at the end of the day- I feel you deserve to be paid.

I don't think the company could get away with that setup here in the US. I don't think any tech here would agree to it either. Kudos to you being a loyal employee & working with your employer to a common goal- customer satisfaction.

As far as the rates today- you're right- they can't last long.
  • Posted 27 Oct 2013 02:43
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
It all depends on the efficiency of the Tech. They should be at the customer at 8 am, and work 8 hrs. travel time to and form home should be on their own. If their work can be scheduled the day before, they can be there at 8... this is where good management comes in. It would only be unfair if you paid your tech to travel to work. If they are not paid to travel, then the furthest guy is at a disadvantage. Other techs should have nothing to whine about.
I lived 60 miles from the customer I serviced. But since I traveled on my own time and billed more 100 percent of my hours, the company allowed me travel that far in a company van. I had it serviced on my own time, with no downtime hours.
Some tech`s never billed all their hours and had many UN- APPLIED downtime hours that cost the company. they eventually lost their jobs. It really depends on the person. You may find a really great employee, who happens to live further out because of family and cannot afford to move closer. Wost case have the guy come to the shop for 8. The people who help you the most deserve more.
As far as the Taxman, as long as their is no personal use, Techs are exempt since they dont go to the same place each day. They should carry a log.
If You have no GPS in the vans, Iphones have built in GPS that allows you and all tech`s to see each other. Cheap effective option, as even the techs can get parts or help from each because they can see who is close by. You know where everyone is at any given moment.
Times are tough now, 30 years ago i did road calls charging mileage at $1.10 a mile, service call $50, then billed out actual work. Now were getting.7 of an hour to PM a lift truck 60 miles away, with no travel time or fuel charge. cant last long!
  • Posted 27 Oct 2013 01:44
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
I would hesitate to place emphasis on where a tech lives in the hiring/wages realm. If the applicant is qualified for the position & the position pays x, then that should be the rate offered.

What if 1 area of your territory was more profitable than another because of circumstances out of your tech's control- would that tech be paid accordingly?

You state that this question is to make it fair to all tech's- I applaud you for attempting to do so, but if fairness is the goal, are in shop tech's rates/percs different from one another based on their home address?

I think the real question is how to make it profitable to have a road tech cover an area when he has to travel a greater distance than most to get to that territory. I don't believe the answer to that question should ride on the back of the tech. Perhaps a reshuffle of territories to better cover your area with all your tech's.
  • Posted 19 Oct 2013 11:19
  • Modified 20 Oct 2013 01:23 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
if what you are intending to do was be fair to all underline all then everyone must come to the shop on their own transportation and leave from the shop in company vehicles in return company vehicles to the shop each night otherwise is not fair to whomever lives closest. if the goal is to set policies and procedures for a long term company that may grow, then you must put it in writing so that Everyone understands what to expect.
Do you pay every road tech the same hourly rate or is there room to negiotate salary? One of the things I demand from my employer in "pre-employment negotiation is absolute confidence about how much I earn with relation to my coworkers. Do you have a situation where other employees are aware of how much each other earns?
  • Posted 19 Oct 2013 05:45
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
if what you are intending to do was be fair to -all- then everyone must come to the shop on their own transportation and leave from the shop in company vehicles and return company vehicles to the shop each night otherwise is not fair to whomever lives closest. You then run into being responsible for personal property in the vans overnight, as I am sure you recognize.
If the goal is to set policies and procedures for a long term company that may grow, then you must put it in writing so that Everyone understands what to expect.
It seems to me that this should be more of an indivual wage-benifit negioation than a general "1 rule fits all" kind of thing.
Do you pay every road tech the same hourly rate or is there room to negiotate salary? One of the things I demand from my employer in "pre-employment negotiation" is absolute confidence about how much I earn with relation to my coworkers. Do you have a situation where other employees are aware of how much each other earns?
I think I would also point out that as others have noted above, the truth is that it is as much or more a benefit to the company (more than any other enity including the tech) to have the tech start first thing inroute to a customer as it is for the tech,as such it is a mistake in the long run to lock yourself into thinking it is a benefit for the tech.
  • Posted 19 Oct 2013 04:46
  • Modified 19 Oct 2013 05:06 by poster
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
In our case edward t this would not apply to our facility. Everyone checks in and out at our main location to do paperwork, turn in time and pick up parts. We do not have an electronic system used for paperwork. We also do not have any techs that are sent out on long distance calls.

The tech in question would have to drive an extra half an hour or so than any other in order to get into a territory where he could work. And if you view the technician's service van as an added benefit to them as well as the company, then this one is being compensated more than the others are.

We just want to be fair to all.
  • Posted 19 Oct 2013 02:58
  • Reply by colleen_b
  • Florida, United States
this is one of those points, in the USA, that has been clarified in the last 10 years,and it has been litigated recently. If your Techs fax their paper in and/or provide time reporting/work online and leave from the house to their first customer's location, while I ain't no lawyer, they are deemed by the IRS to have a home office and they are to be paid as working when they leave the home office. The relative location of the service facility they are dispatched from has no effect on how they are paid, and should not be considered in the calculation. in the United States the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and/or your State Department of Labor, can confirm and direct you on this.
As a "bottom line" to the question of how far is too far, I would ask how far may you expect them to travel to a customer? Do you have or hire techs and that reside outside of what may be called your company's 'geographic area of responsibility'?
Does your company have a written policy about how far is considered acceptable for travel and return in 1day, before the company will pay for overnight accomadations and meals?
  • Posted 19 Oct 2013 02:24
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"

Having trouble using the Discussion Forums? Contact us for help.

Forkliftaction.com accepts no responsibility for forum content and requires forum participants to adhere to the rules. Click here for more information.

Lorette, France French equipment maker Haulotte has recorded a satisfying sales rise in the first half of 2021. In its statement to the market, the company notes...
Kiel, Germany Konecranes has won an order from the thyssenkrupp Marine Systems shipyard to supply 14 process cranes for a shipbuilding hall now being built in Kiel...

Upcoming Events

Tue, Sep 28, 2021 - Wed, Oct 6, 2021 - Online, United Kingdom
June 22-25, 2022 - Bangkok, Thailand

Next Editorial Features

1. FORKLIFT INNOVATIONS – Nov 2021
2. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT – Feb/Mar 2022
Surrey, United Kingdom Hyster is the latest to offer integrated lithium-ion battery power in its counterbalance truck range, with the launch of the J2.5-3.0XNL. Engineered around a fully...
Dallas, TX, United States Darr Equipment Co, one of the largest Caterpillar forklift dealerships in the United States, has launched an advanced materials handling solutions division, 54 Intralogistics. The...

Upcoming Events

Tue, Sep 28, 2021 - Wed, Oct 6, 2021 - Online, United Kingdom
June 22-25, 2022 - Bangkok, Thailand

Next Editorial Features

1. FORKLIFT INNOVATIONS – Nov 2021
2. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT – Feb/Mar 2022
Kansas City, MO, United States Packline Materials Handling and Ultrasource LLC have released new roll handling equipment with height extension, designed for lifting rolls of film or foil to an...
Northampton, United Kingdom Doosan has launched a new, range of electric reach trucks. The BR14JW 9-Series combines faster operating speeds with advanced ergonomics and greater driver comfort. As...

Upcoming Events

Tue, Sep 28, 2021 - Wed, Oct 6, 2021 - Online, United Kingdom
June 22-25, 2022 - Bangkok, Thailand

Next Editorial Features

1. FORKLIFT INNOVATIONS – Nov 2021
2. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT – Feb/Mar 2022