If you have employees you will inevitably experience times when there are no calls. And regardless of how your drivers are compensated, commission plus hourly, or hourly only, you’ll need their help with other items besides running calls. In order for your operation to run smoothly trucks need maintained, and repaired. The shop will need to be organized and stocked. The trash needs taken out and the floors need swept. You can’t and shouldn’t do it all yourself, especially if you have paid employees hanging around.
This may seem like a no-brainer especially if you haven’t had difficulties in this area. But rest assured, as you continue in this business, you will run across some knuckle-head who will claim that he was hired to drive a tow truck, and that when there are no calls to run, he has no plans to do anything else.
When this happens you have a couple of options. You could fly off the handle and send him packing. Or…after you’ve let your blood settle you could take him into your office and explain exactly how his compensation works. Explain to your soon-to-be-former-employee (if he doesn’t get his head right) that although, yes, he was hired to drive a tow truck, he is still being paid while there are no calls to run. And that if he would prefer, you could adjust his compensation to reflect only the hours that he’s actually on a call.
But you don’t want to go there. You want to take the proactive approach and keep a good relationship with all your guys- and gals if you have them. So what I suggest is that you create your own version of the sign below. Post it in full view of all who work there, maybe by the time clock. And after you’ve done that have a meeting to let them hash out whatever complaints they may have about this new policy.
Explain that cleaning and maintaining trucks is in their best interest. When they take pride in the condition of the truck they’re driving and it looks and drives great customers will notice- which will bring them more calls and possibly more tips. Talk about how the condition of the shop is noticed when customers come by to retrieve belongings from their vehicles. And that, even though you’ve got a bunch of wrecked cars in your yard, a well kept shop and work area is appreciated and remembered.
And most of all instill in them the understanding that when everyone’s helping and doing their part- the work isn’t as overwhelming. “Many hands makes for light work.”
You are required to help out between tow-calls. Below is a list of things that must be done when you are on the clock before you can sit and wait for the next call.
- Inspect Truck
- Clean Truck
- Sweep Floor
- Clean Break-room
- Dump Trash
- Clean and Organize Work Bench Area
- Clean and Organize Shop Desk Area
- Assist with Truck Repairs when necessary
- Other items that need attention
This should not be considered an all-inclusive list, rather a place to start for ensuring that our trucks and our work place stay clean and organized without placing an undue burden on any single employee.