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As svronthmve mentioned, if you have rules re company vehicles in place and your employees are blatantly ignoring them, then you have a bigger problem. If this is their attitude re the company truck, what about jobsite safety rules, etc.? You mention not wanting to fire too many guys, but sometimes no employee is better than a bad employee.

Re the strip club scenario, there are additional concerns when the driver has been drinking. While most jurisdictions still legislate that A/B (PIP) has to be paid for injured people, the insurance company can deny the rest of the claim. That is likely why the Montana company went bankrupt; because they were, in essence, without insurance for that accident and had to pay everything over the minimal PIP limits on their own.

It can be argued that the business owner should not be penalized because his worker drove drunk. After all, how can he control that? The courts will often look at the “work environment”. If you can show that you had rules in place and were trying to enforce them, even if that one employee slipped through the cracks and did end up driving drunk; then the business will likely be absolved of any negligence. But if you did nothing to manage the risk, or even encouraged the boys to go out for a few after work, then you’ve got a problem.

Workingintx: In your specific situation, you acknowledge that you know some of your employees won’t follow your company vehicle rules, but you continue to hand them your car keys. My opinion is that you would be hard-pressed to avoid liability if they caused a serious accident.

Another "con" for business-owners is the Deep Pockets Theory:
The deep pockets theory relates to tort law. In tort law, employers will often be held vicariously liable for the actions of a negligent employee. This is consistent with the fundamental principle of tort law, which is to compensate victims of negligence. Since employers usually have more money to pay for negligence, they would be in a better position to pay the victims.
In the end, as the owner of the vehicle, it is your responsibility as to who you hand the car keys to. If you can’t reasonably trust your employee to follow your rules re use of company vehicles, then you need to weigh the liability risk against the convenience of having them drive. It’s your business decision.
 

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When I was a service/tech manager for a firm, we had techs and installers take their vehicles home. Because these guys were on 24 hour and over night emergency service, it was necessary to take the trucks home.

We had GPS on the trucks, but these guys were fairly smart and figured out how to disable the GPS on a temporary basis.

On one hand, if someone wants to stop by a store to pick up stuff on the way home, that is ok, as long as the store is on the way home and not 50 miles out of town going the other way. We still had problems: a lot of MIA's during the day, even though we had company issued radios. We had guys doing their own work with our vans, and, some guys dealing drugs out of their vans too. All these guys got fired.

If I was going to do it, I would have a signed agreement about the limits of what you can use the company vans/truck for and the consequences for violating the rules. If you disabled the GPS, you would get fired immediately. If our dispatchers called and you didn't answer within a certain period of time, you would be disciplined up to and including termination.

I would still give allowances for bridge tolls, parking and weekly washing, but you would still have to sign off on the dollar amounts each week.

As far as the firm where I worked (for a couple of years), it was known as a bottom feeder. I would tell the guys: "this is Hell, you have f---ed up your life and career so much that you have now ended up here. This is your last stop before long term unemployment, so don't f--- up here in Hell". I kinda miss those motivational speeches :jester:
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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We had guys doing their own work with our vans, and, some guys dealing drugs out of their vans too.

I was thinking about this today. I am going to add a clause that says, "At no time will an employee be permitted to use a company vehicle for business ventures unrelated to Ted's company.." or something to that effect. That would be grounds for immediate termination because if they do a side job, screw it up, or for whatever reason make the customer unhappy, they are going to call the number on the van and hold me liable.
 

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If I let someone have a company truck they can use it for whatever they want as long as it is legal and within a 50 mile radius of their house.

If you have to worry what they are using it for then the issue isnt your "policy" its you hired a retard and then gave him a truck too.
 

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If I let someone have a company truck they can use it for whatever they want as long as it is legal and within a 50 mile radius of their house.

If you have to worry what they are using it for then the issue isnt your "policy" its you hired a retard and then gave him a truck too.
Well said.

one of my guys last week drove his company truck 3-1/2 hours down to Cincinatti to some sort of woodworking convention. My truck,my gas, my wear and tear,HIS personal interest.

He didn't even bother to ask because He knows I would have said yes. I am happy for him to have had the use of that truck and to pursue his interests
Stephen
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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one of my guys last week drove his company truck 3-1/2 hours down to Cincinatti to some sort of woodworking convention. My truck,my gas, my wear and tear,HIS personal interest.
Not completely his interest but your investment in his career development. I'm sure that he learned some things that will prove to be useful in your company.
 

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Not completely his interest but your investment in his career development. I'm sure that he learned some things that will prove to be useful in your company.
I agree.
while we work primarily with slate and tile roofs I am happy to further their personal interests. For that reason they are welcome to selectively delve into my personal stock of walnut, cherry,quarter sawn white oak etc.

In the long run it makes them more detailed,methodical,conscientious craftsmen.

stephen
 

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So the main reason I bring this up is we have installed GPS in our trucks and have discovered that some of our guys are using the trucks for personal errands all the time.
... stuff deleted
What GPS system are you using?

WSJ had an article on this very topic this week. (no subscription required)

We've had great employees take liberties with our vehicles that we don't appreciate.
 

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My boss lets us use the vans for personal stuff, its advertising for him he says. I will put gas in it from my own pocket if using it for a long distance.

He lets us use them to do sidejobs in the vans and also and the shop has parts and material we are welcome to use so long as we ask him and it isnt for a specific job. I dont do sidework unless helping my mum and dad counts.

The least I can do in return is wash and organise my van on my own time. Out of 20 vans on the road, theres 5 of us that are actually grateful and look after the vehicles.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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BTW, how concerned are you about the extra mileage, maintenance, and maybe a fender-bender off hours?
Not much. The vehicle is leased so the more he drives, the more I get for what I am paying. (of course he won't know that he's actually helping me) Also, I figure that if he can bring in 5K to $8K a month, I am not going to have an issue with him driving the van into the ground. He knows that he's putting his own employment at risk by driving the van in the off hours.

Even if he asks me if he can go pick up a sofa over the weekend for his house, I'll tell him "Yes...but at your own risk."
 

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I am about to issue a vehicle to an employee and my policy will state that there is no personal use without explicit written permission from me.

Granted I know that he will stop to get coffee, pick up some groceries on the way home, etc. so I trust him to use good judgement. I will require him to keep the truck washed (on his own time and expense), to get the oil changed regularly, and to make me aware of any other maintenance/repair issues.

You might want to check labor laws.

You may be requiring the employee to do enough, that he has to be paid to drive home.

The policy will be stated strictly but I won't tell him that it's enforced loosely so that way he knows in the back of his mind that any non-business related trip puts his job on the line if something happens. I figure that if the guy bends the rules a little bit, he will be extra careful and use more discretion when deciding where to go and how far.

If he jumps in the truck to go get a burger after hours, that's not a big concern of mine. But if I tell him that it's OK to do that, he very well might take that 400-mile trip out of town.
If you have an employee that thinks a 400 mile trip is ok because you said its ok to hop in it and go to mickey Ds. He abusing you in other ways also.
 

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I currently don't have more then one work vehicle (my own) and its my employees choice meet me at my house at the time I set or drive your vehicle to the job..

That said I did have a company vehicle before starting my own company and i was told I could use it when ever I needed it when ever i liked and any cleaning could be done on the clock, but because of that freedom I only used if when I needed to, and even then I called the boss and asked him if it was ok..,

That's what I would expect from my guys.. And if I don't get that same respect for my equipment then I should not be giving that luxury to them.. Like said above its a two way street.. Treat it like the privilege of using your dads truck when you were a kid.. (I'm a farm boy and would get what was coming if I abused that privilege) maybe a lot of those city boys wouldn't get that but then again they wouldn't be working for me!!
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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You might want to check labor laws.
I'm not worried about it. Only a fool would blow the whistle on his small-business employer and hold him technically to the letter of the law in exchange for a company vehicle.

Or in other words, back when my employee was walking to work, taking the bus, or driving that beat up wreck of his that's on it's last leg he had no problems with working for me.

Now let's suppose that I give him a new truck, a gas card, and the privilege of taking it home every night, do you think that he is going to call the labor department on me and cause my company to get shut down?

Technically the labor laws in most states say that if you are in the truck, you are on the clock. But the code of contractor standards say that you are on the clock when you get on the first site.
 

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Maybe with an investment in GPS technology you could log trips and time of travel, which would reduce it somewhat. There's got to be a way to red flag a moving vehicle after hours, too.
About three years ago, we bought a couple of used GPS units for our vans. They were only about $40 a piece. We couldn't monitor them in real-time, but we could plug them into the computer the next day and see a google map readout of exactly where that van went.

We don't use them anymore, but I can get the brand name if anybody is interested.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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We couldn't monitor them in real-time, but we could plug them into the computer the next day and see a google map readout of exactly where that van went.
I can see that playing out as one of those Chris Hansen setups where you're busted before you even know what's going on.

You'll say to the boss, "Oh.. I just went to 7-11 a few times to get coffee." and then he pulls out the log and shows you how many times you've been to the beach, the strip club, the county jail, the foot doctor, your mother in law's, and at Chuck-E-Cheese...at 9:30 in the morning. :blink:
 

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7

Technically the labor laws in most states say that if you are in the truck, you are on the clock.

Actually, no they don't. There are guides that must be met for getting paid to driving to the jobsite, and to drive home.

If an installer with a company vehicle leaves his house and picks up his helper, while the driver may be entitled to being paid for the drive to the jobsite, the helper is not.



But the code of contractor standards say that you are on the clock when you get on the first site.
That varies by the contractor.
 
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