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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Originally posted by gruvn
    This sounds lke another union vs non union thread, in most unions you will be required to have about 300.00 dollars worth of hand tools, a basic set of simple tools, everything else will be bought by the company. I think non union requirements vary from place to place, but few of them buy everything as the union shops do.

    And even though I am technically required to maintain a set of handtools (300.00 worth), The company I work for prefers that we just don't put any personal tools on our truck so that when there is a discrepancy ( truck stolen ) they know everything on the truck is theirs. So yes I think it is ridculous for an HVAC serviceman or installer to supply his own tools. Why don't you just buy the material for the job while your at it? Isn't it the same thing ? Isn't the customer paying the company for their ability their equipment their material and their insurance? Why should you pay for it the customer is paying for that stuff, Just another example of another union benefit that gets swept under the rug by the anti union party.
    As a union sheet metal guy, I can tell you from personal experience that the company supplies less and less. In fact, the company I am working for now (that charges the highest rates in town) won't supply squat.

    If my tool breaks on their job, I am the one that is SOL.

    For a drill, they gave me a corded one- the first job I was sent to didn't have power. So, if you play their game, your hours on the job suck and you get fired, or you buy a drill that they are required to provide. The proverbial rock and a hard place.

    Some shops even require the use of your truck, even though that is expressley forbidden in the contract. Things suddenly "get slow" for those that use a car in some shops, or refuse to carry the ladders, chainsaw and ductwork to the job (another item that is forbidden per contract- transport of employer tools and materials)

    The "tool list" in my contract will set me back over $1k by the time it is all over, if you buy American made tools.

    Personal experience is the employee that complains is soon looking for a job.

    I feel like a subcontractor- without my piece of the pie.

    [Edited by neophytes serendipity on 09-29-2005 at 07:07 PM]
    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


  2. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579

    As far as I am concerned anyone who considers himself a professional HVAC technician and who takes his or here career seriously owns his own tools. At least all the hand tools, manifold gage sets and a few cordless power tools.

    But, not a recovery machine, vacuum pump or other larger pieces of equipment. There is a difference between tools and equipment.

    Every serious technician should have a nice library of HVAC books! And, read them!

  3. #29
    Company buys the books, its in the contract.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    you are all tool junkies the lot of you (me included) just tool junkies ha!

    but seriously folks I'm getting the feeling as time goes by we are subsidising the employer more and more by providing more and more tools.
    Norm brings up a good point where do we draw the line between what is considered to be tools and what is considered to be equipment?

    Are we all going to end up like the sheet metal guy supplying all our own tools and truck and no compensation for this from the employer thus for all intensive purpouses a subcontractor with no real profit potentional?

    I know some employers expect the employee to suppy everything including vac pump reclaim unit nitro gauges etc BUT they do pay tool allowance and also replace broken tools as well and thats really ok by me but I have trouble when I'm on the hook for 15K of tools and no compensation
    www.vetopropac.com - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

    Arguing with some people is like wrestling a pig - eventually you realise the pig actually enjoys it

    Gonads serve a useful purpose but are no substitute for brains

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
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    3,317
    An automotive mechanic provides his own tools, but the pay is based on "beating" an established book time. In other words, you book 60 hours for the week, work 40 and get paid for 60. Therefore, there is some incentive to buy your own tools, especially the cheater ones that save time.

    Just like HVAC techs and sheet metal guys, the dealership/employer supplies the specialized stuff and equipment like alignment racks. Some auto techs will still buy some specialized tools that should be provided because it saves them time by having the tool in their box instead of trying to find it in the dealer tool crib, and time is money.

    I simply get paid by the hour, no bonus for me. There is no incentive to buy specialized tools, out of my own pocket, that save time. That saved time is going into the employers pocket, not mine. In reality, I am cheating myself out of wages if I get done too quickly. If the job is bid with using sticks and stones for tools, then that is how it should be done.

    The problem occurs when hero guy shows up with a tool truck, providing the employer with a substantial investment that they do not pay for, but reap substantial benefits from. Hero guy makes my time on a job look bad, time that was ok recently.

    And we all know that Hero Guy is a side jobbin mofo, cuz there is no way all that stuff is paid for with regular wages.

    If I am required to supply my own drill, then the company should fix/replace it in like kind if it gets broken on their job making the owner money. Mind you, per contract, a drill (corded or cordless) is an employer provided tool in my area. More shops in my area will tell me that I am SOL when it breaks, but it was OK for the owners to reap the benefits of reduced time on the job by not dragging a cord around.

    If, as a HVAC tech, I am required to supply a set or two of gauges or specific specialized hand tools to get the job done, then the company should repair/replace them when they wear out/get damaged on their jobs making the owner money. My experience is I am the one buying new stuff.

    Again, there is no increase in my wages to offset these expenditures. Yes, it is a tax writeoff, but it is still money out of my pocket, resulting in a net decrease in earnings.

    Unfortunately, good tools are expensive and many employees treat the bosses tools like crap.

    I believe in having pride in my work and in my tools, but I am against subsidizing my employer for no extra benefits. If I have to provide the tools and the truck, then why am I working for you?

    Makes me want to become an owner and pull the same crap.

    [Edited by neophytes serendipity on 09-30-2005 at 07:17 AM]
    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


  6. #32
    Originally posted by neophytes serendipity
    An automotive mechanic provides his own tools, but the pay is based on "beating" an established book time. In other words, you book 60 hours for the week, work 40 and get paid for 60. Therefore, there is some incentive to buy your own tools, especially the cheater ones that save time.


    [Edited by neophytes serendipity on 09-30-2005 at 07:17 AM]
    So my vehicle is being worked on by a mechanic that is in a hurry ?

    Is this really how they do it ?

    Are theestimated times sufficeint enough that the mechanic can beat them easily , or is he just slamming stuff in it ?


    Is he even doing half the work that he writes down ?


    I will ask the dealer next time I go how the mechanics get paid, and if this is true, I will go elsewhere.

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Option #1
    Company provides everything, truck, gasoline, big tools, hand tools, tool pouch, uniforms, and french fries.

    Option #2
    Company requires techs use their own truck and ALL tools & pays an allowance for everything, $3/hr. extra for truck & tools, etc...

    Mixing the options is not an option.

    I would prefer option #2 as a business owner. And yes techs should be paid hourly from port to port and any slack time in between. If a business owner can't afford that then they need to be charging the customer more $$$.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  8. #34
    This is so way out of wack,


    Just go tell your owner that you ain't buying no freaking tools, and you are taking yours off your truck. Be a man dammit, this is horse crap already. How do any of you have the nerve to sit here and defend these owners , how the hell can you possibly think that you are better off if you buy your own freakin tools GEEZ O MAN,If ya all did it they would buy them.

  9. #35
    Steve how much would you then throw in if you didn't want to pay medical ? How much is that worth an hour, will you give me 2 more dollars on top of the three ?

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    gruvn when you were a tech working for the other guy did you supply any of your own tools?
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Originally posted by gruvn
    Steve how much would you then throw in if you didn't want to pay medical ? How much is that worth an hour, will you give me 2 more dollars on top of the three ?
    Yes, if I don't give you any benefits then I will compensate you for them by raising your hourly rate.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  12. #38
    Originally posted by Steve Wiggins
    gruvn when you were a tech working for the other guy did you supply any of your own tools?
    What other guy, I am a tech.

    Yes ther ewas a time in my career that I was naive enough to believe that I should buy and maintain my own tools, then I saw the light. And realized that it is assnign to provide you rown tools, as an employee. Now if I was subbing work from someone then Iwould expect to have my own tools, the way it was told to me was a coworker said hey the bi%^&es in the office don't have to buy typewriters do they ?

    I said I never looked at it like that , but you're right,,,those bi&$hes don't

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    So you used to work for the other guy but don't anymore. Now you are a tech and you work for yourself? Do you currently buy tools for your employees?
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

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