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  1. #40
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    Ok I think I see where we are having a difference of terms and it is my fault
    I am talking about paying by flat rate hours not billable per say

    Flat rate hour means (to me at least) you did a job a certain task if you will, that’s what you get paid for doesn’t matter to you where it comes from but it matters that you get it

    If you are fixing a mistake made by an installer or another tech then you still get paid for that task, it may have to be billed to the company but again who cares where it comes from as long as it ends up in your check

    now as far as your own call backs well as far as I see it you should either get paid top dollar once or there should be some held back (which is what most places do btw) on every job incase you have to go back

    so I guess I am the one off track on this thread and I apologize because I wouldn’t want to work for a company that only paid me on the hours they could bill out to a customer I can see issues with that also but what I am talking about I think can work very well with adults on both sides that again don’t want to stick it to each other

  2. #41
    Originally posted by dhvac
    Bruce
    No I wouldn’t pay them to stand around the shop because why should they be at the sop if there is no work? I am sure that time off could be better used by doing whatever they like to do rather then standing at work with thumb inserted

    And why should you get paid overtime on salary when you put in more the 40 hrs but not take a cut when you don’t do 40?
    It would be hard to get any good use out of that time when you couldn't plan for it. Like when you go into work expecting a full day and then get sent home early.

    Why should you get paid overtime for over 40 hours? Because it is the law. As far as taking a pay cut if you don't get 40 hours. That is your job as a boss to make sure that you have enough work lined up to keep your guys busy. If you don't that is not their fault and if you treat them like this you probably would not be able to keep them working for you anyway.

  3. #42
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    Dave, maybe I am taking this wrong but befor I entered this trade I worked at an automitive repair shop. I loved the concept of jobs that paid a certain ammount of hours. Everyone who busts ass wins. Most of us would usually work 40-45 hours and log 50-60 pay hours. I agree in this field it should work as well.
    i belong to peta ... people eating tasty animals. all my opinions are just mine.

  4. #43
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    One last thing then I have to hit the sack because I have to get up in 4 hrs to go hunting with my kid
    Why is it that performance based pay seems to be rejected so much in this field when it is actually prevalent in other fields?
    And yes boys and girls I have examples


    Real estate agents ………….no pay unless house sales
    Car and mobile home sales people………….. No pay unless they sell
    Fed-x delivery get paid by the package delivered
    Insurance agents………………. Only paid for what the sell
    Roofers……………….paid by the square
    Siders…………..again paid by the square
    Venders of food products…………………paid by volume of product stocked
    Auto mechanics………………..paid by the task
    Satellite dish installers……………….paid by the install
    Beauticians …………………….. Paid by the hair cut
    Block layers…………………paid by the block laid
    Window installers…………………..paid by the window
    Cement finishers……………paid by the yard
    Stereo installers……………. Paid by the piece
    Lawyers…………………………paid by the case
    Doctors………………………..paid on piece work
    I can even think of factory workers that get paid less by the hour if they don’t meet their quota
    Truck drivers…………………paid by the mile



    Heck I could guess at another 50 jobs but these ones I know for sure because I know people who do them
    Of the people I know in these jobs most have been there for years because being paid on performance allows them to make more if they work harder and they like the money so they do put in more effort
    But mention it to hvac guys and they want to shoot it down is it that so many have truly been mistreated by lousy companies or is it they don’t want to perform? Again not being a smart ass but I really would like to know

  5. #44
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    one to talk!

    Originally posted by dhvac
    Ok DHVAC
    First I will give you that the difference is that we go to the job but if you get paid to show up at the job then what makes a difference you are being paid for it?
    (answer)....
    the law requires u pay port to port, whether u like it or not! and Most companies dont do this!, but companies dont want to pay what is required.
    due to not wanting to pay, the tech, but charges the customer? how is that a B/s scenario?, it very real!, just because , it doesnt agree with you?

    Now with this being said if you drive from one far side of my service area to the other extreme the most you could drive is about 50 minutes

    (answer),,, and sometimes up to an hour, depending on traffic, and construction, and not zoning, if u can help it or poor scheduling!

    As far as work year round I agree but if you make $800 a week for 40 hrs why would you be upset at making $800 in 30?

    (answer) ,,, so u want to hold onto the money, in hand and then just miracously just give it away, when its convienant?
    or use a bs scenario to justify holding the money, that bills dont wait for? do your bill collectors , say hold my money then when its convienent , pay me?
    If were going to get any where, u need to be realistic!
    sure wouldnt u just want to be fair up front ,cut through all the chase and be honest to yourself,and ur employees?
    simply by just paying them a salary of 40 hrs, and they give u back up to 50 hr work week, that includes off hour calls? then when its slow, it all evens out, and nobody has to complain right? and just think u dont have to find ways of finding , , lets just say , stupid work? or getting ur panties in a bunch?

    To pay you what you are worth is what I am suggesting to give you actual top dollar for the time you work not figure in down time so I can hold some back to pay you during slow times
    (answer),,, what is top dollar for a j-man tech that means four yrs and up? lets say ten and up? 20-30? have u paid anyone 30 hr? so why should the tech have to finance ur company or budget ur money that u cant make payroll staedily to pay a forty hour work week year round? anyone can present a scenario like that all day long, so its better to meet somone half-way instead of trying to make all kinds of reasons, as to how ur giving up all this money, and are doing somone a favor? it sounds like ur outsmarting urslef, or outdoing urself, or trying to not be honet and fair about things from the start?, rather than simply providing a consistent honest and fair payroll!
    why should they have to budget, your poor planning or slow times of your company or mismangement! sure its hard to run a company or business, and its just as equally hard to pay one's bills on promises, that , it might/maybe pick up ?

    If you make the same money in a year but cant budget it then why is that someone else’s fault? Or even responsibility for that matter

    (answer) lets keep things in perspective , u own the business, u pay the tech or employee, dont whine a song and dance, to not pay him one week, and then the next present your reason or case, when you knew ahead of time you didnt do anything to help the situation, its your responsibility, you own the company,
    not the employees to make payroll, and have the work!
    you sound like youre trying to convince yourself different by trying to reason with all the difficulties of not being able to manage your business, or grow your company?

    Lets push the same scenario to the extreme let say you get a job offer that they want to pay you for a year up front on estimated hours (I know it would never happen) but lets say they give you a check on Jan 1st for 40k and you have to work for the year before you get another check would you turn that down also (don’t read into it by adding b/s scenarios)
    (answer),,, oh ok?

    As far as loyalty I don’t see how much more loyal I could get besides paying you 1.5 times the amount you could get anywhere else (remember I was not talking about paying you your average wage)
    (answer),,,
    okay lets say u want to pay only 40 hours for working 30, you going to do that? at 30 per hour? nope, of course your not, you were thinking of how you could pay 30 for a 40 hr work week worked,,, but thats not extreme, when u think about it, it all evens out when u decide to share the profits, and keep a good tech aboard,and find out hes loyal!
    not only because he can now trust you but he can pay his bills!
    and he doesnt have to do side jobs, and he can turn ur customers down to do them! or moon light, or jump ship!
    he can put food on the table, pay his bills, and not lose his azz for divorce for lack of support!

    Now as far as the problems you pointed out


    What problems with billable hours it is flat rate that’s the price that’s the hours no problems that I see, I don’t bill customers by the hour I bill them by the job they don’t know how many hours same as I don’t know how much McDonalds pays for my burger or to have it made

    (answer),,,unless your employee isnt buying lunch ,then u know how much that hamburger cost you ?
    if its flat rate its the same as billable, its just another way of putting and setting a bare minimum of alotted repair time, that a tech can make and can charge,and it benefits the employer, more.
    o f course know the cost of living and what the market can bare, and allow, and what the tech should be able to live on, too! or
    unless he allows drive time,and allows a fair time , for not having the stock, or part, and traffic, and if theres more than one problem or he runs into more problems, then u cant promise how much its going to be, just a ball park range, unless theres something further or unforeseen, issues, thats on the contractors, billing/contracting allowances in each state! Why would the contractor/employer try to keep this from the tech or act like hes unaware of this? not a big deal, the tech's know and so does the Employer!

    Office staff well I guess they could screw that up but also they could screw up any paycheck at any time and it is something that could be easily fixed
    (answer),,, thats not what were talking about here!lets stay on the issue and subject of paying a fair wage for a fair day's work!

    Sales force
    Since when do salesman sell service calls? For resi anyway?

    (answer),,,u lost me, on this one, but if a guy has his foot in the door, wouldnt it be easier to , help the sale, rather than not care about making recommendations, or giving the customer some options to choose from to upgrade his old or worn outdated equipment, so that its safe and efficient?
    or should they just get in and get out!?!since ur paying them, and that sums it all up?

    Other peoples call backs well I think if you have a decent company you should do your own call backs so that you can learn and not have the same callback again (if you need help there should be help available)
    (answer),,, true story!

    Your own call backs
    Well honestly to be fair how many do you have?
    (answer),,, not as many as the boss,! or as many as a higher paid tech!
    If you have a lot then you shouldn’t be getting top wages if you have a few it shouldn’t be a problem to cover them (answer),,,
    true story! that's two gives, already thats fair , so far!
    i still havent heard you say u'd pay a salary year round, based on whats affordable, whats affordable? to you what can u afford to pay a tech year round , even when its slow? do the math! so it doesnt hurt to keep him aboard or fire him later for a different reason other than u cant or dont want to pay!
    Installation errors should be billed to the company as the same hours that the customer would pay ,

    (answer),,, so charge the installer as much as the customer pays, when it didnt cost u the same? lol,,, good mentality, lets talk fair here,,, not in all circumstances,,,

    not!, it needs to be handled the same way they make the error, they need to go back and get it right, but if its something just to appease the customer, casue it doesnt look like a new plenum and they didnt pay for the upgrade, then , its up to the contractor , to go back out and do it unless he charges and doesnt want the installer to eat the cost! thats a big problem, pretty soon its one little thing and soon the employer gets spoiled, like buying his parts for him at the supply house when his business platinum card is declined and hes yelling at you on the radio, and to just get to the next job, and then hes saying to wait to get the part, then screams , everybodys there a fkin idiot and they all got their heads up their azz', and they all are listening, then he ask u to buy it for him, and then questions u why u cant budget ur money, that he cant pay on time or make, or wont, becasue he wants to pay u for 40 when u only work 30 hrs , so he wants to hold onto it for u and have u finance his company by buying his parts and putting gaas in his van, and even if u use it he wants to charge for that too and make deductions, on top of that and everything else!?!

    Now I don’t have all the answers but this could work if both the company and the employee can be adults and not try to screw each other
    how can u have all the answers , if ur not being fair or wont consider, what u can afford,and go from there, in the first place, unless u done that and u know what works better for u?
    I am sure thats not the case? right?

    [Edited by isitfixedyet on 12-09-2006 at 05:32 AM]

  6. #45
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    Billable hours means the tech is always making sure he's not getting screwed.
    This job has enough stress without fighting with the boss everyday over hours.

    DHVAC, this may work in your shop but not in the vast majority of companies. Because it is probably too tempting to cheat the tech when they give up the right to being paid according to the laws and wages standards (being paid for the time that the employee is to report for work until he is dismissed for the day).
    Basically I think if most bosses were given enough rope they would hang us.
    Most people want a check every week with overtime if they work a lot of hours. Not some set rate even if they hit 70 hours.
    "Lets see 70 hours but I had alot of travel that week and ate up a lot of gas and had to restock my van several times and I still don't have all the parts I ordered. Also I have to return some things that they sent wrong. I still need to fax all this stuff on my time. And I need to discuss all these problems with the boss on my time. Oh yeah he's set up some meetings about some of the problems we are having next week but no pay for that. Damn."


    Basically you are looking for subcontractors. Maybe you should just come out and say it.
    That way the techs will know up front and can either look for another job or hang up their own shingle and work for you on an as needed basis, when they choose to.

    The billable hours has so many holes in it that you would need a lawyer to keep all the rules straight.

  7. #46
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    as long as its convienant

    Originally posted by dhvac
    One last thing then I have to hit the sack because I have to get up in 4 hrs to go hunting with my kid
    Why is it that performance based pay seems to be rejected so much in this field when it is actually prevalent in other fields?
    And yes boys and girls I have examples


    Real estate agents ………….no pay unless house sales
    Car and mobile home sales people………….. No pay unless they sell
    Fed-x delivery get paid by the package delivered
    Insurance agents………………. Only paid for what the sell
    Roofers……………….paid by the square
    Siders…………..again paid by the square
    Venders of food products…………………paid by volume of product stocked
    Auto mechanics………………..paid by the task
    Satellite dish installers……………….paid by the install
    Beauticians …………………….. Paid by the hair cut
    Block layers…………………paid by the block laid
    Window installers…………………..paid by the window
    Cement finishers……………paid by the yard
    Stereo installers……………. Paid by the piece
    Lawyers…………………………paid by the case
    Doctors………………………..paid on piece work
    I can even think of factory workers that get paid less by the hour if they don’t meet their quota
    Truck drivers…………………paid by the mile



    Heck I could guess at another 50 jobs but these ones I know for sure because I know people who do them
    Of the people I know in these jobs most have been there for years because being paid on performance allows them to make more if they work harder and they like the money so they do put in more effort
    But mention it to hvac guys and they want to shoot it down is it that so many have truly been mistreated by lousy companies or is it they don’t want to perform? Again not being a smart ass but I really would like to know
    of course not, u wouldnt do that, wheres the hours , when u dont have them, how can u offer something u cant give, a performanced based pay, if u dont have , lets just say stupid work, right? or cant guarantee a forty hr work week? wheres the performance of the company in that?

  8. #47
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    I thought i said something like this in the beginning,,?

    Originally posted by oil lp man
    Billable hours means the tech is always making sure he's not getting screwed.
    This job has enough stress without fighting with the boss everyday over hours.

    DHVAC, this may work in your shop but not in the vast majority of companies. Because it is probably too tempting to cheat the tech when they give up the right to being paid according to the laws and wages standards (being paid for the time that the employee is to report for work until he is dismissed for the day).
    Basically I think if most bosses were given enough rope they would hang us.
    Most people want a check every week with overtime if they work a lot of hours. Not some set rate even if they hit 70 hours.
    "Lets see 70 hours but I had alot of travel that week and ate up a lot of gas and had to restock my van several times and I still don't have all the parts I ordered. Also I have to return some things that they sent wrong. I still need to fax all this stuff on my time. And I need to discuss all these problems with the boss on my time. Oh yeah he's set up some meetings about some of the problems we are having next week but no pay for that. Damn."


    Basically you are looking for subcontractors. Maybe you should just come out and say it.
    That way the techs will know up front and can either look for another job or hang up their own shingle and work for you on an as needed basis, when they choose to.

    The billable hours has so many holes in it that you would need a lawyer to keep all the rules straight.
    Either way, this should be put in a plaque, and hung on every company's door that doesnt want to grow, or pay its tech's! well put well written well said!
    end of subject!

  9. #48
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    Is it fixed yet
    If you are going to quote me at least have the decency to do it accurately
    Also it you use the begin and end quote signs in every paragraph you wont have to retype what I said therefore not misquoting me as bad

    Now since this is such an issue let me see what you think about this since stability seems to be an issue and one of the main one I am seeing
    (I am dismissing the theories of simply cheating an employee because I don’t and won’t do that intentionally and if or when it happens it would be taken care of)

    So if I pay what I can afford year round so that you can get at least 32 hrs (32 hrs is full time) every week of the year except when you are on vacation and get a realistic number like 15 per hour for a good tech (again in my area 15 is a real good job and 20 is great)

    Now when you get an 8 hour job done in 6 then you are done and you get 6 hrs of pay or move on to the next job for 2 hrs to get your 8

    Now when its slow I am not paying anyone to stand around so that means $15 an hour to sweep the floor, wash the truck, do an oil change, or hell just change light bulbs,
    Also means if I need flyers handed out and I have to pay you anyway well looks like you are handing out flyers

    Would this be acceptable? Or are you going to tell me its not your job to change oil, wash truck, hand out flyers?

  10. #49
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    Originally posted by dhvac
    One last thing then I have to hit the sack because I have to get up in 4 hrs to go hunting with my kid
    Why is it that performance based pay seems to be rejected so much in this field when it is actually prevalent in other fields?
    And yes boys and girls I have examples


    Real estate agents ………….no pay unless house sales
    Car and mobile home sales people………….. No pay unless they sell
    Fed-x delivery get paid by the package delivered
    Insurance agents………………. Only paid for what the sell
    Roofers……………….paid by the square
    Siders…………..again paid by the square
    Venders of food products…………………paid by volume of product stocked
    Auto mechanics………………..paid by the task
    Satellite dish installers……………….paid by the install
    Beauticians …………………….. Paid by the hair cut
    Block layers…………………paid by the block laid
    Window installers…………………..paid by the window
    Cement finishers……………paid by the yard
    Stereo installers……………. Paid by the piece
    Lawyers…………………………paid by the case
    Doctors………………………..paid on piece work
    I can even think of factory workers that get paid less by the hour if they don’t meet their quota
    Truck drivers…………………paid by the mile



    Heck I could guess at another 50 jobs but these ones I know for sure because I know people who do them
    Of the people I know in these jobs most have been there for years because being paid on performance allows them to make more if they work harder and they like the money so they do put in more effort
    But mention it to hvac guys and they want to shoot it down is it that so many have truly been mistreated by lousy companies or is it they don’t want to perform? Again not being a smart ass but I really would like to know
    Auto mechanics are paid based on a book rate established by others. Not really the same as "piecework", but you don't make anything unless you have a job scheduled. I have seen the tables and there isn't a table for "rust free southern cars" and "cars where salt is used in winter".

    Roofers and drywallers don't get paid by the hour because the boss makes more money if the work is paid by the square or the sheet. A guy shingling a simple roof with gable ends is gonna get more done than the other guy stuck with the valleys. Same thing for drywalling a simple box room compared to something with curves or a tray ceiling.

    What you don't know is the typical piece paid residential drywaller is only good for about 7 years before his shoulders are trashed. That's ok, because there is more cheap labor south of the border.

    Ever read the instructions on how siding is *supposed* to be installed? None of it is installed that way because it takes too long. Go read a set of instructions and then go look at the seam layout on a house.

    Sometimes it would be nice if postal workers got paid by the piece so the line would move faster.

    Some of the other positions listed fall under traditional commissioned sales where you won't make any money unless you sell something.

    It isn't a stretch to say that incentive based pay sometimes results in poor workmanship. Is that window installer going to take the time to do the job right, or is he going to take just enough time to "git 'er done"?

    Construction superindendents are also set up on performance based pay. That's why all the trades are in the same spot at the same time. Gotta beat the deadline to make the bonus. Who cares about "quality".

    I bet that HVAC installers/techs paid commission can have some pretty strong temptations to sell equipment instead of fixing it to make more money.

    Residential HVAC here is mostly "hourly", but there is a fixed number of hours per tract or "semi-custom" house, so it compares well to "piecework". The boss bids it at XXX hours, tells the foreman there is XX hours, who then tells the guy running his a$$ off that he has X hours to get the job done.

    I made some of my best money as an apprentice washing company trucks, sweeping and taking out the trash. Sure beat being sent home without pay.
    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too little.
    When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you may lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

    John Ruskin


  11. #50
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    Originally posted by jpb2
    Dave, maybe I am taking this wrong but befor I entered this trade I worked at an automitive repair shop. I loved the concept of jobs that paid a certain ammount of hours. Everyone who busts ass wins. Most of us would usually work 40-45 hours and log 50-60 pay hours. I agree in this field it should work as well.
    So you worked at a auto repair shop where all the work came to you, right? That would work in that case, but not for a service tech that has to drive from service call to service call. Windsheild time eats up alot of the day if you have a large service area.I worked for a refrigeration contractor that had a statewide coverage area. We were billable hours. You better believe That I got paid for gasing that vehicle up and picking up parts/stocking my van. It got added to the service invoice somehow. If I got to drive 100 miles to service one of your customers, you better be paying me to do it. Bottom line is that flat rate can work for a small coverage area, but not when guys got to drive 1 hour or more.

  12. #51
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    Apr 2002
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    Originally posted by jpb2
    Dave, maybe I am taking this wrong but befor I entered this trade I worked at an automitive repair shop. I loved the concept of jobs that paid a certain ammount of hours. Everyone who busts ass wins. Most of us would usually work 40-45 hours and log 50-60 pay hours. I agree in this field it should work as well.
    The cream will rise to the top, the sour stuff at the bottom will just curdle. Maybe it can become stinky cheese that goes good with whine
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  13. #52
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    thats right Carsnack

    U cant keep a good man down, either u pay good, and keep a good helper or employee, or u just pay lousy, take advantage of him and continue to insult everyones intelligence,
    and say u got a forty hour work week, when u dont, and know it or cant contol it!, yet you guarantee it, and , only have in mind a partime on call, sub contrator in mind!
    but wont be honest, in the hiring stages , because nobody will want to work like that or under those conditions
    so employers will , lie just as well as the techs that dont know much, just to get a job or just to get an employee!
    so what have we learned here?
    dont answer that, pls
    the cream rises to the top and rest is u know,
    it goes both ways thats companies, and employees, so lets not be so eager to maintain a self rightous self justified
    better than thou attitude,,
    its a lose lose situation, with no comprimise, for companies, and techs that cant get past this or wont on eitherside!

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