News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME
DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
working for nothing
  • daryl_j
  • manchester, United Kingdom
Good day thought it was time to get you all talking again,
Here`s the companys cunning plan, the field engineer is no longer working as soon as he heads out to his first job ,The company want him to give them the first half hour because they say that would be like traveling to work.
Now all of a sudden your working for nothing for the first half hour of the day.
In england this falls into the bracket of the minimum wage because due to that legislation no one is allowed to work for [url removed] designed to do away with slavery.
Also two other problems arise if I am not working is my van insured as we have been told it is only insured for work use!!
If i am not getting paid I am not working.
Also 2 if I am now commuting in the van to the first job/first half hour will I have to then pay tax on the van that I am now useing for commuting?
And finally if I am not to be paid for the first half hour is the customer also getting this time for free????
Let me know what you think, is this company penny pinching at the expense of the engineer ,Is it legitimate to force people to work for nothing. Is it the same overseas or do you have better legislation to protect workers from being used.
  • Posted 4 Dec 2010 06:29 AM
Total replies: 44. Showing items 1 - 20 of 44 results.
Well, sounds like a lot of problems for everone, maybe sleep in an extra 1/2 hour.
  • Posted 4 Dec 2010 08:33 AM
Sounds like penny pinching to me. With my last employer, I’ve had plenty of techs approach me on the travel issue. I always was fair and said if the job starts at 8:00 [url removed] be at the job site at 8:00 [url removed] However, while you are driving to the jobsite and have to drive past the (shop, base, branch, office) by 8:00 [url removed] you will be paid travel to your destination. As for the insurance of the van, it will always have insurance whether in service or not it would be in the company’s best interest.
  • Posted 4 Dec 2010 11:57 AM
  • PPPA
  • United Kingdom
Penny pinching. Sounds like your company is joining in on the cost saving jamboree popular in these hard times.
Always a good opportunity for employers to use "Be thankful you have a job" as a big stick to ensure their employees toe the line
  • Posted 9 Dec 2010 11:31 PM
Last week I was called into a very big company main office to talk to the owner/president of the company.
I was asked to try and see if our company could save them Parts and Labor cost in these hard [url removed] said sure NO [url removed] [url removed] ask my landlord, Insurance agent, Phone company, Hydro, Gas stations, ect... to give me a break on my billls and I would do the same for him.
He smiled and said I never thought of it that way.
  • Posted 9 Dec 2010 11:49 PM
  • • Modified 9 Dec 2010 11:52 PM by poster
  • linesman
  • Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Pass me that hankie quick. You poor old service guys. Life is so unfair to you.
I too, do not start getting paid until I am at my job. Strange that.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 02:00 AM
I have a solution to the "free first 1/2 hour". All engineers should drop their service vans off at the shop every day at the end of the day, get in their personal vehicle and drive it home. The next day they wake up and drive their personal vehicle to the shop and get in their service van and start their time then. Problem is solved, no more issue about taxes, insurance, working for free, etc.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 02:10 AM
  • Snapman
  • Liecester, United Kingdom
Thats ok if you live near the shop but what if its a 3 hour drive each way. Can I now charge them 2 1/2 hours overtime each way to get to work. I think not.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 02:32 AM
  • • Modified 10 Dec 2010 02:33 AM by poster
I assume the company pays for your vechicle, insurance, and fuel to drive to and from your home, that is a lot of $$ everyday. For employees that work in the office/at the shop they do not have that expense paid for and I know of many that live quite a distance from their workplace. If you do not like "not charging" your employer for the first 1/2 hour that you are driving their vehicle, using their fuel, and assuming risk under their insurance; then you can try my idea of parking at the shop and driving to and from work everyday. Or another idea would be to move closer to work, I work in an office and I drive well over 1 hour everyday to and from work at my expense, this is a choice I have made to live where I live and I do not complain or charge my employer for my drive time.

Another possible idea would be that you prorate the cost of the vehicle, insurance, and fuel that are used during the first 1/2 hour and reimburse your employer for that amount everyday.

Companies that provide employees with vehicles and allow them to drive it to and from work incur a lot of expense to do so. If you want to make it black and white and get rid of this gray area, then engineers can drive their personal vehicle to and from the shop, or a designated worksite everyday and eliminate this gray area.

My ideas are not THE solution, just possible solutions to the dilema that has been posted. I believe that if any employee is that unhappy at their current workplace over time billed to their employer then they should find an employer that makes them happy. Ultimately that is what we all want, to work happy, and play happy.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 02:46 AM
Nice,,,, Cowboys,I like it, you covered it [url removed] work with a lot of this type, If it's one thing it's another. I drive 70 miles one way, and with a lot of my friends out of work and losing thier houses,cars and everythig eles, I'm happy to have a job.
140 miles round trip,not that bad.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 05:14 AM
  • Snapman
  • Liecester, United Kingdom
Cowboys keep your pants on sunshine :)
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 06:04 AM
  • daryl_j
  • manchester, United Kingdom
We are getting a little off track,I for a very long time worked as an engineer in a workshop i traveled to work in my own car and at my own expense and I started at eight and finished at five with all the correct breaks. Not a problem my [url removed] now I am a field engineer my first job is not at the depot, in fact I try to go as little as possible because that wastes money,I am available to set off to any of our customers sites straight away thus enabling my employer to promise the customer a good response time. If I had to go to the shop first where I would start at eight I would then hit all the rush hour traffic and would not get to the first job for quite a while. So as you see the benefits are all in the employers favor even if you don`t take into account that the employer is still charging the customer for my time. And yes it may seem like I have a van for use to and from my work but I have got to put up with it on my drive when I get home because we are not allowed private use unless we pay a hefty tax bill.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 06:24 AM
  • • Modified 10 Dec 2010 06:27 AM by poster
My possible solution would be to start earlier, drive your personal vehicle to the depot at 6 or 7 in the morning and take off in the company vehicle, then you could start your time when you leave your depot (6:30-7ish) and then you would be able to avoid traffic. That way you wouldnt feel that you are "working for nothing", breaking UK employment laws, having to report company vehicle use for personal use, etc. You also would not have to have the company vehicle in your drive taking up your space (I do not know UK tax laws, but personal storage of a company asset may be something you need to report).

I believe under this scenario, all potential problems are solved. Please inform me if they are not, and if you bring up the issue with your employer about the "working for nothing/breaking of UK employment law" I am sure that they would be willing to agree to this arrangement to ensure full compliance.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 07:02 AM
*** it up or turn in your van and drive to the shop everyday.
the benefit you get for the Van and to work from Home is not a real good argument.
I used to do 1 hour for free for the privilege of not having to drive to the shop everyday and load up.
get real!

Lift Trucks all the same, just painted different colors.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2010 04:09 PM
  • Budman
  • Alabama, United States
I think a lot of you Dealer guys have drank the coolaid. Daryl has a legit complaint. I was a Field Service Tech. for 9 years. In my company, you start out working in the shop. You have to be @ 75% of top pay and have been with the company for a certain amount of time before you're even considered for Field Service. Once you are Field Service, you can be called out anytime at any hour for a repair. The customers billing begins, when I was dispatched, whether it be from the shop, my house or another job. Luckly I work for a good company and that issue never came up. As Daryl said, the company is being paid. Part of a company being a good service company, is taking care of their employees. Not taking advantage of them. When the employee is being taken care of, they'll care more and take better care of the customer. It's a win, win for everyone.
  • Posted 11 Dec 2010 07:13 AM
I do not see how the dealer would charge the customer being serviced for the first 30 minutes of drive time if that time is not being recorded on a time card. The time charged to the customer would start when the technician starts his time.

I agree that the employing company should not take advantage of their employees, and I do not see how not charging for a portion of their drive time is taking advantage of the employee. To me it is more than fair since the employee receives plenty of benefits related to not having to use a personal vehicle to get to and from work. Using the compnay vehicle saves the employee miles (if not a full car payment) on their personal vehicle, they will save on insurance (if you dont drive your personal vehicle as much it will save on insurance), the fuel costs (especially with fuel costs as high as they are), etc. If the employee does not agree with the employers requests, then they should do what I have suggested in previous posts and all potential issues will be resolved. Correct?
  • Posted 11 Dec 2010 08:20 AM
  • Budman
  • Alabama, United States
Most of our Field Servicemen have their first job set up already with parts loaded on his van the day before for the job. Most times it's closer to leave straight from his house to the job, hence actually saving the customer time and money. Our Techs that live far away from our shop do leave the service vehicle at the shop and drive their on POV to work. My company is a little different from many other companies due to we are a full line dearship (Heavy Equip, power generation, over the road trucks, marine & lift trucks). This allows us to have over 29 facilities, where our competitors might have 2-3 facilities in the same area. With this said, our customers are not being taken advantage of. I agree with some of what you said, but as I said before, being a field service tech in my company is earned and has it's benefits.
  • Posted 11 Dec 2010 08:37 AM
I've got 7 years in this trade. Before this, I Fixed automobiles for 20 years. I drove 2 hours a day in my own car, paying gas and upkeep. I payed out thousands of dollars in tools, work wear and safety equipment. I was paid flat
rate, working 40 hrs but getting only 30.

This forklift trade is a huge step up. In this trade,
most pay nothing for gas or maintenance, insurance or taxes! Tools, uniforms,work boots, safety equipment and decent benefits are standard for most.

Sometimes, I work extra on my own time to get things done for the customer. Since they treat me like a human being, I dont mind giving back to my employer. When I remember how bad it is in other trades, It's quite easi to be in the forklift trade.
  • Posted 13 Dec 2010 02:44 PM
  • BenH
  • California, United States
Welcome to the new way of doing things given the economy around the world. In my 16 years of being a road tech. I have no problem of giving up half hour of my morning for commuting. It is better than driving to the shop in my own truck to pick up the van. All around it is a time saver and easier.
  • Posted 25 Dec 2010 06:49 AM
My company also started this. I pulled all non required tools off my van and set it at the shop. Then I proceed to bill them every time I needed a special tool that I left at home. No more crud over the first and last half hour of the day that they billed the customer for anyway.
  • Posted 31 Dec 2010 10:47 AM
  • • Modified 31 Dec 2010 10:48 AM by poster
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Proshadetree, your management probably thinks that is better anyway, since you bill more time on the same job, and carry less weight in the van, and so use less fuel per mile (their math doesn't figure the added miles, just yet), not to mention you won't get the same customers to become "your" customers [as opposed to the customer being the -company's- "locked in" customer]

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 1 Jan 2011 02:04 AM
Total replies: 44. Showing items 1 - 20 of 44 results.

Having trouble using the Discussion Forums? Contact us for help! accepts no responsibility for forum content and requires forum participants to adhere to the rules. Click here for more information.


Forkliftaction Media Pty Ltd
PO Box 1439
Milton QLD 4064
About Forkliftaction
The Forkliftaction Team
Privacy Policy
Site Map
Business Directory
Discussion Forums
Industry News
Events Calendar
Jobs & Resumes
Photo Galleries
Blog articles
Our Bloggers

Industry Brands
Company Index
Regions & Countries

Advertise on Forkliftaction
Editorial Features / Calendar
Featured Businesses
Past News Editions
Industry Associations
Storing your login information automatically.

When you select the 'Remember me' option, your login information will be stored on your computer in the form of a cookie. When you visit again, the stored login information will be retrieved automatically and you will not have to submit your login parameters (email address and password) each time you want to visit our members-only pages.

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Cookies do not damage your system.