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Per Diem

 
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:57 PM   #41
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Re: Per Diem


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I have a friend that travels 3 hrs to work one way 5 days per week and she isn't paid mileage or per diem. We used to pay for hotel but they decided they wanted money so they could stay in cheap one and keep rest. That is their decision. And no, in this area, we couldn't raise the prices and get contracts. $15 an hr is a very good wage for this area. We don't get paid for travel. They can ride with us but choose not to. So, we pulled all of our tools from their possession because they are very hard on them with all the side jobs they do (nail guns and air compressors are very expensive, not to mention generators), took the business phone back and gave them a higher travel per diem. We can't afford extra money for per diem and then replace our stuff as they wear them out doing side jobs. Our company truck, which is our personal vehicle has almost 300k on it, with 140k being put on in the last 20 mos, which is as long as we have had the old truck. So if we don't make money to keep our tools and vehicles runnings, then we don't stay in business. We have tried to branch out and been robbed blind twice by employees who were earning more than double what other contractors around here pay. We can't afford to buy anything else to replace what has been stolen. it is all we can do to keep the stuff running, so I eliminated some of the wear and tear by taking the tools back. Leaving our nail guns in the back of your truck in the rain so you can do side jobs inside and rusting them out....not happening anymore. I just want to eat and have a roof over my head. Not rolling in anything but debt here.
Right, the law doesn't cover from your home to your work site. However it does cover traveling outside your normal work area, typically over 60 miles.

As for your equipment issues, that's just part of running a business. It's called overhead. You need to learn how to charge in order to pay for all of those items as well as pay your employees what they deserve.

If you are hiring guys that steal and abuse your equipment shame on you. I can't tell you how to develop better judgement. I can however tell you that by law you have to pay everyone in the vehicle. If you can't afford to, then shut the doors and apply at WalMart.
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You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #42
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Re: Per Diem


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You think we are cheap, come and find another contractor in this area that pays as much as us and allows the liberties we do.
Liberties like treat your equipment like crap or steal it?

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Originally Posted by terilynne3 View Post
I guess I could be a cold hearted ass like most of you though and fire him, knowing he won't get hired anywhere else (because we have already done that once and felt horrid and took him back when he asked because he can't work a regular job anymore).
It's not cold hearted to take care of your family. If that means you have to let someone go...then do it.
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You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #43
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Re: Per Diem


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We are scaled back. We can barely keep enough work to keep us going. Right now we are ok, but there have been several months in a row without work. I have retyped this several times and keep erasing it because I do not feel I should have to defend myself. You think we are cheap, come and find another contractor in this area that pays as much as us and allows the liberties we do. I know you can't because we always have people wanting us to hire them but we are loyal to our employees even though one is a almost completely disabled and can't work but 6 hrs a day at the most. I guess I could be a cold hearted ass like most of you though and fire him, knowing he won't get hired anywhere else (because we have already done that once and felt horrid and took him back when he asked because he can't work a regular job anymore). He more than earns his money in my eyes and I think, considering his serious infirmities that he is barking up the wrong tree trying to blackmail us into paying him more. We fired him again for it and he came back begging because he knows and of course, I took him back. Because I am a cheap ass, I guess. Maybe a $1.00 pay raise every six months is too much too.
I didn't mean to imply that you're cheap. I am truly sorry to have offended you. I was just trying to give my perspective as a former employee regarding how I expected my employer to pay me for jobs that require travel. I was also trying to provide some alternative solutions to keep costs down.

I admire your desire to keep your employees rather than find a way to cut costs by hiring local workers for your out of town jobs. If I had employees, I would rather send them out of town than hire workers I hardly knew too, but only if I could afford it. The key is being able to afford it.

Keeping an "almost completely disabled" employee on your payroll is admirable, but not very advisable. Firing an employee because he's incapable of working an entire day, or because he's trying to blackmail you into paying him more money is hardly indicative of being a cold hearted ass, it's a smart business decision. Especially if you can hardly sell enough work to stay afloat.

It sounds like emotions play a large role in how you operate your business, which probably makes staying in business much harder.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:24 PM   #44
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Re: Per Diem


I'm headed out of town tomorrow for three days. I do repair work for my brother-in-law who does hotel remodel work. Good money. I charge my top rate plus mileage plus $200 a day. Room is included in the job. If I have guys work on these jobs I charge the same rate for them as I do for myself.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:46 AM   #45
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Re: Per Diem


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So does that mean most of your installers live roughly 60-100 miles from your shop/office/HQ?
At least 40 miles from shop/ office 90% of our work is another 30+ miles from there
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:59 AM   #46
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Re: Per Diem


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do you pay more hourly because they do drive?

We are a union shop so they are getting $42.70/HR on the check plus bennies. Most replace their trucks every 4-6 years. and on average more work about 1900 Hrs/ year

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Old 11-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #47
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Re: Per Diem


Considering the part of the country you're in, and median income, $15/hr is reasonable/good pay for a worker of average skills without tools (other than a nail bag). You mention they don't want to ride with y'all, instead wanting to drive their personal vehicles. If that's the case, then I see no reason to pay them mileage, however they should still get their hourly rate while they ride. 60 miles one-way is not a long enough ride to put them up in a motel or pay a meal allowance either. I have a good client who is 80 miles one-way and I rarely stay overnight. Generally if the trip is over 75 miles o/w, I'll stay.
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It sounds like emotions play a large role in how you operate your business, which probably makes staying in business much harder.
Exactly. You sound like a good person who is trying too hard to make everyone happy, but the reality is your business MUST COME FIRST. And by 'Your Business', I mean you and your husband personally. You're not running a soup kitchen, you're running a FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS. Look at your expenses closely. Wherever you're losing money, cut the fat. It's not being cold-hearted, it's a BUSINESS. I'd fire my own mother if she was taking advantage of me (or even if she worked for me ). I've been doing this construction thing for over 30 years and have heard every sob story known to man. My wife says I just don't give a fvck about peoples problems and can be cold-hearted. You get lazy and start taking advantage of me, or especially steal from me, I'll fire you so fast the ink won't be dry on your last check. When the cash-flow stays positive, even in lean times, I think I'm doing the right thing by providing for MY family. If your workers think it's sooooo damn easy, let THEM buy the tools, scrounge for jobs, and stay up late stressing. Suddenly that $15 an hour job looks pretty good. My $.02.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:08 PM   #48
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Re: Per Diem


I guess emotions play rolls because we have been trying so hard for so long to get back into the education system, but just aren't part of the "buddy" system almost required to be in it. I feel like as long as he works hard when he can, then he deserves to rest when his sugar gets low or take the day off when his back hurts just too much. What I have a problem with is him claiming to be sick and then finding out they worked another job that they would get paid for that day. I am almost out of emotion though because I am tired of struggling. I really did not mean for that whole emotional rant to be on your response. I was more irritated at another response that said he would work for the cheap assholes. Why don't people understand that around here, 15$ an hr is very good pay, that jobs are hard to come by as well as work around here. It is either fast food, factory or side jobs like ours. And the factor only starts out at 10$ an hr.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #49
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Re: Per Diem


We had our kids working for us until recently and you have no idea how much I wanted to fire the lot of them! Won't listen, lazy workers...now they are in the real world and realizing that working for step-mom/dad or mom/stepdad wasn't near as hard as it is now, lol. At my age, if I can work without taking drink breaks every 5 or stopping every 10, then so can you! But, alas, the "age of working" is declining because of the entitled at 8.50/hr with 50 hr weeks and still doesn't make as much as he did with us. But he is learning life lessons, which are much needed.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:15 PM   #50
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Re: Per Diem


We have talked about upping out of town pay, but have to wait until these contracts are completed and include the increase in the new ones. With material prices increasing everyday, we are losing money. Aggravating.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:21 PM   #51
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Re: Per Diem


We are in the south. No union here! lol. When I worked at Shaw Industries for 8 yrs in maintenance, I mentioned the need of a union and was hushed because they fire you for talking that way.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #52
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Re: Per Diem


We pay $135/day if the employe is going to cover their own accommodations or $45/day if we are going to cover the accommodations.

This is in the Oil & Gas industry with the per diem (or lodging plus per diem) are billed back to our customers.

I have quite a few guys working for me that go 180+ days a year on per diem. Some years we have had a few of our crews go 300+ days on per diem.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:11 PM   #53
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Re: Per Diem


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We pay $135/day if the employe is going to cover their own accommodations or $45/day if we are going to cover the accommodations.


We did that for a while until our installers caused lots of damage to s motel room and we were on the hook for it. Found it beneficial to just pay them for it and let them pay for anything they damage. They can sleep in their truck and pocket the extra cash if they want

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Old 11-04-2014, 01:16 PM   #54
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Re: Per Diem


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We did that for a while until our installers caused lots of damage to s motel room and we were on the hook for it. Found it beneficial to just pay them for it and let them pay for anything they damage. They can sleep in their truck and pocket the extra cash if they want

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It is in our policy, and in our direct bill agreements with the hotels we stay at, that we are only financially responsible for the room and lodging tax. Any further expenses (movies, damage, phone calls, etc) are the responsibility of the employee that is staying in the room that incurred the charges.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #55
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Re: Per Diem


wish we made the money that the gas and oil fields do. Most times we might clear a grand for a job, which pays employees and a bill or two. We try and keep the motto, make a million off a million customers rather than a million off one. My family owns wells in LA County, CA and I know the expenses for that en devour. Much more than we can afford. I am excited when we can put food on the table and have our bills paid on time.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:12 PM   #56
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Re: Per Diem


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... Most times we might clear a grand for a job, which pays employees and a bill or two....excited when we can put food on the table and have our bills paid on time....
You have something SERIOUSLY wrong. When you clear a grand from a job that is after ALL expenses. Payroll, bills & overhead already paid. Putting food on the table & paying bills should not be out of the norm...

To be brutally honest the way you have previously described how you and your husband are working yourselves to death, your inability to make a profit on jobs, the hours and miles your husband is putting in to estimate work.....

You both need to get out of the construction business and regain your sanity & health. This business is not for everyone and in spite of your good intentions all you are doing is digging a deeper hole.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:07 PM   #57
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Re: Per Diem


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wish we made the money that the gas and oil fields do. Most times we might clear a grand for a job, which pays employees and a bill or two. We try and keep the motto, make a million off a million customers rather than a million off one. My family owns wells in LA County, CA and I know the expenses for that en devour. Much more than we can afford. I am excited when we can put food on the table and have our bills paid on time.
Griz is right.

Making a million off a million people is the business model of a panhandler.

What's going to happen when you and your husband get older? Or if he gets injured and can't work at all? It's time to start looking for a new plan. It sounds like the two of you would do better as employees than employers.

You're treading water and the water is getting colder. Have you discussed an exit strategy?

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