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Thread: Benefits, After-hours/weekends, vacation, etc - looking for feedback from techs/pros

  1. #21
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    Let me ask another question-

    For any of you who have a set schedule- how does that work? I assume you don't just pack up and go home, mid-service call? Does the office only take X number of calls per tech, per day? Do they reschedule calls that you couldn't get to (say, if you had a call that turned into a problem and took much longer than planned)? How does that work?

  2. #22
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    I have worked at different places with different systems.

    Some places the dispatch controlled everything. You would be given service calls that were scheduled. You had to try and avoid getting stuck their for any repairs if something was scheduled afterwards unless you called the office and they could send another tech to your other calls or you did not have any other calls afterwards. When you were done your call you called in for more work. If there were no calls there was usually a maintenance you could go do.

    Other places gave us way more control over our schedule, usually more commercially focused companies. We would be assigned PM contracts that were set up by the office. The would try and keep us at the same buildings so you got to know the equipment. Dispatchers would call with service calls to see when and if you could take them. These places did not want to pay any tech OT unless the customer was paying.

    When I worked at a company that did both residential and commercial work, we did not work overtime usually unless on call or we had to deal with a refrigeration emergency and the customer authorized overtime. We were never scheduled for after hours residential calls and we were not open weekends. Honestly I think you would be surprised how many residential customers will usually wait for an appointment if they like your company. There was no calling the techs to run residential calls at 5pm. Those were for the on call tech. Guys were pretty good about helping the on call tech if he got totally buried, but that was extremely rare.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostandjustfine View Post
    Let me ask another question-

    For any of you who have a set schedule- how does that work? I assume you don't just pack up and go home, mid-service call? Does the office only take X number of calls per tech, per day? Do they reschedule calls that you couldn't get to (say, if you had a call that turned into a problem and took much longer than planned)? How does that work?
    I don't have that "Unicorn" schedule, I work till all hours and every day most days. I do know that companies around here are going to that mindset. Take an HVAC installation, us old mindset guys think, "Well, looks like I'll be working O.T. today" the new mindset is, "If you cant get it done by say, 5:30 or 6:00 come back the next day, yes, it leaves the customer sweating, yes it moves everything else out another day, but honestly, the season hasn't even started yet, and I'm already behind. I can say this, I'm not as young as I once was, so if its running, or part of the job is going, enough, and my feet are hurting, knees etc. I will go and come back, but I still put in more hours than the nest company will, or if I need to get equipment, such as a walk in cooler or freezer up and running, I will put in the work. Basically, what I have seen from bigger companies is, if their tech cant get it done by 5:00, they will send them home and go back the next day and pick up where they left off and it was designed to cut out O.T. and most of this is driven by things like workers comp, fines and fees by taking say part of quarter 1 and part of quarter 2 or 2 and 3 etc. when they know your working over time, then quadrupling that and saying you are under insured and then fine or fee you, given an odd or even year, and if you have 50 to 60 techs, that can be your bonus lost for that year when you add up the $1100 to $2000 per guy. Then word gets out about "Joe Q Tech" where he works will send him home if he cant get it done by 5 and he doesn't work overtime except when he is on call and he is doing ok on the less hours worked, so it drives that mentality, couple that in with this whole different generation, guys want to make $20+ per hour and work 20 hours because they only need $400 a week to live on, and you have the perfect recipe for what is going on today with this "I dont want to work OT" mentality. Those same companies service techs will stop around 5:00 or 6:00 also and pick up the next day as well, they have to take mandatory lunch breaks and like I said, this trend was driven here by workers comp about 12 to 13 years ago and now its a normal thing, and the biggest reason I went back out on my own, I took a job April 4th 2009 with a local big company, by the middle of October, he sent me home because I had made $54,000 for the year and his workers comp was only $56,000/ yr for all techs which would cover a $16/ hr tech with OT up to about 16 hours a week, problem was, I was making $20/ hr and answering his phone call any time he needed me and worked around 60 hours min a week, needless to say, it made for a bad Christmas that year, so after about 3 years of working for other guys, I went back out on my own in July of 2010 and havent looked back.
    "Orange Man RAD!"

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  6. #24
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    Where I work, we are on overtime after 8 hours in a day. We are not scheduled for overtime unless we agree to it, unless we’re on call. We do residential, commercial, industrial, and refrigeration. I work on a lot of larger, critical equipment so I can’t just pack up and leave after 8 hours. I regularly work between 45-55 hours a week. If we get a residential (or any) service call that we might not be able to get to during normal business hours, the office informs them we might not be able to get there today unless they want overtime.

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  8. #25
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    Around here most companies advertise no overtime billed to customer, just means the average ticket will be higher. I do know of 1 company that the service fee is $125 for residential, commercial is $150. They are one of the biggest local companies. Not the norm, average service fee is probably around $85 for this area.
    You have to understand that the normal household now needs after hours service, both adults work, and cant afford the time off for the service man to fix the AC, so by not "charging" the overtime fee and having techs work when the homeowner can be home and not lose his hours, you can pick up those customers.
    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things in him that strengthen me.
    Apostle Paul inspired by GOD.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artietech View Post
    Around here most companies advertise no overtime billed to customer, just means the average ticket will be higher. I do know of 1 company that the service fee is $125 for residential, commercial is $150. They are one of the biggest local companies. Not the norm, average service fee is probably around $85 for this area.
    You have to understand that the normal household now needs after hours service, both adults work, and cant afford the time off for the service man to fix the AC, so by not "charging" the overtime fee and having techs work when the homeowner can be home and not lose his hours, you can pick up those customers.
    Yeah personally I have no problem going out as late as 8 or 9:00 if that is what is required and not charging overtime now if somebody wants me to work for 16 hours straight on one job I don't see any reason they should be unwilling to pay overtime. If I worked for a company that offered an after-hour shift I would take that shift every time. I work for a company where I'm the main tech so I work until the jobs are all done and start whenever the jobs come in.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Man View Post
    What youre doing all sounds pretty good except not having an end to normal business hours. Im on overtime after 8 hours in a day. We are not forced to work overtime unless were on call, but obviously overtime often cant be avoided. It sounds like youre residential so I dont see why your on call guy would get so many calls that he cant work days too.
    I'm in agreement here. Do you have an Employee handbook so everybody knows policies & benefits ?
    If the quantity of work is there have you ever considered being open 6 days a week & 8 to 8 normal hrs splitting work days & shifts with a premium for working the later shift. You would need a few more service techs & possibly one additional 2 man install crew.
    Another way is 4day work week 10 hrs a day. In some states you can't do this with OT rules but here in Tx you can make OT after 40 hrs or after 8.
    Techs want time off, great pay, training, well maintained vehicles,& know they have a value to the company

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  14. #28
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    Im about to be 47 so I figure Im about halfway through life ( maybe more its not the age but the mileage). I would rather have another hour to do what I want rather than a extra $$$
    Honeywell you can buy better but you cant pay more

    I told my wife when i die to sell my fishing stuff for what its worth not what i told her i paid for it

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  16. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazzycajun View Post
    I’m about to be 47 so I figure I’m about halfway through life ( maybe more it’s not the age but the mileage). I would rather have another hour to do what I want rather than a extra $$$
    I have found the extra $ isnt missed as much as I thought it would be. I just turned 52, at 47 I thought I might be able to do this another 30 years, now I really don't think I will be able to, 5 years has made that much of a difference, especially the last 2
    "Orange Man RAD!"

  17. #30
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    Looks like you have good benefits really. The only thing I will say, is that the older I get the more I value time off. You can't expect a 9-5 service tech and make money obviously. But one idea I've seen work in the past, is hiring weekend only guys to give techs their weekends. Bust their butts all week long, and let them have their weekends. Having weekend plans ruined by work is a big deal to people. We work to live, not live to work. Or at least most of us do.

  18. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowellSixO View Post
    We work to live, not live to work. Or at least most of us do.
    What a strange concept. Sometimes a Saturday service call is the best part of my day.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

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  20. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by R600a View Post
    What a strange concept. Sometimes a Saturday service call is the best part of my day.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk
    Lol. You must be young still. I'm only 38, but after 16 years of HVAC, I don't feel a day under 50.

  21. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowellSixO View Post
    Lol. You must be young still. I'm only 38, but after 16 years of HVAC, I don't feel a day under 50.
    I sure am but I also love the work so it feels more like a hobby then work. Personally compared to other work I've done before getting into heating and air I think this is a lot easier on my body but then again I don't do a lot of installs and service is generally the physically easy side.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

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