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Finding qualified help

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by AECCorp., Apr 3, 2016.

  1. AECCorp.

    AECCorp. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Is any one else having a hard time finding CDL Drivers or Experienced equipment operators? This year the pool of talent seems to be getting smaller, with many old timers retiring, there do not seem to be many young guys or girls getting into the industry.

    Is this an industry wide problem or is it just in New England?

    If you have experienced this what have you done to encourage new comers to the industry?

    Sorry if this thread already exists but I did not see it.
     
  2. wrc

    wrc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Topeka
    I think it is near impossible to find quality help, when they do come along I find they want what I consider excessive wages and banker hours. I have never been able to find an operator with a cdl. I can find cdl drivers and some operators but not one guy for both jobs. Where I really struggle is to find general laborers, with that said I specialize in sewer rehab so it's not a clean job. I look foward to seeing how wide spread the labor issue is.
     
  3. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    6,684
    Location:
    Elsewhen
    CDL's require drug tests. That is all.
     
  4. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,187
    Occupation:
    Retired Cons't. Supt./Hospitals
    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    CDL's also require small necks to pass the health physical. Seems they have decided that people with large necks have more heart attacks. Took a friend over a year to get his license back fter breaking his neck a few years ago. They did not believe his doctor and he had to pay $500 dollars to use the DOT's pet doctor. And then a lot of us have retired.
     
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  5. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,546
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    I can recall a few years back when regional manager came to our local plant and among other things told all the employees that if they didn't like the way he ran his area of the company there were ten guys outside the gate for every one of us that would be glad to take our jobs. Funny thing was in the next few years every time there was a job opening they would get maybe a handful of applications and once they weeded out the list by drug tests and then took some for a tour of the operations some would just say no thanks and then there was the one guy who made a point of showing off to the boss the nice new truck he bought with the money he got from the workers-comp settlement he got from his last employer.

    This was in a stone quarry so it was not a white shirt job but much better that a sewer rehab job I'm sure!

    I'm not and never have been a business owner but I would guess that it comes down to the old law of supply and demand. If the supply of qualified workers is lower than the demand you have to decide if it is better to pay more for experience or eat the cost of hiring low or no experience workers and do the training. Always had a problem figuring out how a person gets to be "experienced" if someone does not give them the first chance to learn. I have to assume that your competitors in the area are or will be having the same problem finding good workers. Also it would seem that by paying a little more you might be able to get and keep better workers who might be more efficient there by off setting the cost per hour not to mention the savings on equipment repairs you might have to deal with due to abuse from poor operators.

    I was extremely lucky back in 1970 as the boss starting up the shop for the company wanted to hire people he could train in his way of doing things. After 44 years I was still there the only surviving mechanic after corporate changes over the years. One other of the mechanics from what was our shop is now the head mechanic at a sister quarry about 1/2 hour from here, he was fresh out of trade school when he was given the chance to prove himself.
     
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  6. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    My pet theory for dealer service mechanics was soundly rejected at both the Deere and CAT dealers I worked for. Makes sense to me you hire an apprentice or trainee and you team them with a tech that's approaching retirement. The young one has lots of energy and spunk, the old guys have wisdom, experience, common sense, tricks you learn in thirty or forty turning wrenches. The seasoned tech will mostly keep the youngsters from screwing things up and they will also be better at their job, teaching is learning, passing on knowledge is empowering, and hell, that kid ain't gonna show me up! Ah well, the accountants wouldn't buy it.
     
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  7. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    3,480
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . .

    Slightly O/T but it's bloody marvellous be the head sherang of an outfit and never have to ask an employee to do a job you couldn't do yourself.

    Cheers.
     
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  8. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Not very likely to run into that sort of outfit these days is it? We let the managers and accountants take over, and we're none the better for it.
     
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  9. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
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    5,546
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    They did do something of that nature where I worked. After just weeks short of 45 years doing my job they gave me a guy to work with to show him the ropes. Well it was only about two weeks before I did retire and they would not promise the guy he would even end up with the position after I was gone! But no problem picking up on 45 years of experience in two weeks!:rolleyes:
     
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  10. Trashman

    Trashman Well-Known Member

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    Jun 9, 2008
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    189
    Occupation:
    Assistant City Manager
    Location:
    Mason, Texas
    EXACTLY!!:thumbsup We posted a sign outside our HR department "If you have taken drugs in the last 30 days, do not waste our time by applying here." You would be surprised how many people see the sign and walk away.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  11. Desertwheeler

    Desertwheeler Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    382
    Occupation:
    Miner
    Location:
    Ca
    I haven't looked for a job in a while maybe it's the changing economy but I hard a hard time finding anyone hiring operators probably because there were so many out of work in SoCal. I went and got my class A the last time I was laid off to make sure I wouldn't have the problem again.
     
  12. cth008

    cth008 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Occupation:
    Full-time student and part-time construction inter
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    I worked 3 months this summer (I am going to college) and we had a fuel truck, a 10 speed Mack, and a water truck, a 6 speed International, on the job site. The project superintendent, the foreman, and a couple of the operators always complained that the other laborer and I did not know how to drive either of the vehicles. They would have to stop what they were doing to run the trucks when they were needed. The other laborer and I are able to drive a "normal" standard in a pickup. None of the guys offered to show us how to drive the 10 speed or operate the water truck. I watched youtube videos on driving a 10 speed and asked about learning to drive it on the job site, but the answer was always no. How can I get a CDL without learning how to drive a semi? How can I learn if no one shows me or gives me the opportunity to try and figure it out? Am I supposed to take the initiative and get my learners permit and then take a CDL driving class? How am I supposed to take time off to learn when we are working 60 hours a week pushing to get a project done?
     
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  13. catwelder

    catwelder Well-Known Member

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    230
    Occupation:
    welder
    Location:
    north carolina
    that's how it goes when you want to learn no one wants to teach you they think you should be able to do it all on your time not theirs
     
  14. Rentalmechanic

    Rentalmechanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Memphis,tn
    We do have a mentor training , its called start helping the older mechanics. One I became good friends with one who knows his stuff been in the industry 30 plus years. Wouldn't hesitate to stop something Im working on to help him in a heart beat, also give them a legacy to leave behind. Has it changed the way I did things after I met him most certainly. This industry as far as mechanics you have to prove yourself to the older mechanics you want to do it right the first time, no matter how much labor or hard work is involved. Sometimes it the older ones throwing the younger ones under your the bus, take your lumps and learn from it . Is there true master mechanics that can fix everything and knows it all, havent met one yet. In every industry dirt or paving etc you find the masters of that particular trade, I have found they have seen the repetitive breakdowns on the same model equipment and can tell you what the problem is in theyre sleep!

    Work safe RM
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  15. f311fr1

    f311fr1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Middle TN
    I just hired a CDL driver for our tri axle dump with the understanding that he needed to spend seat time in our CTLs and excavaors when not driving to become multi skilled. He thought it was a great idea when the other option was the ditch when not driving.
     
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  16. Bls repair

    Bls repair Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    477
    Occupation:
    Equipment operator,mechanic
    Location:
    S E Pa
    Most people will go where the money is ,if you offer enough money they will leave where they are and come to you . If you offer the same or less no reason to leave.
     
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  17. typ4

    typ4 Well-Known Member

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    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Occupation:
    Equipment mechanic for a small company.
    Location:
    oregon
    I lived in Lakeside for a couple years in "82-3. I never saw a populace that would take their money and buy drugs and let kids go hungry like the south coast. And since I play in the dunes and go to town when there it doest look any different 35 yrs later
     
  18. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    6,684
    Location:
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    I moved from Coos Bay to Portland in summer 79, lots of visits home and finally moved back in November 2011 after losing everything in the crash of 08. You are correct, and it's getting worse. Weather's wet but generally not too cold or hot and lots of programs and handouts, plenty of places to hide and camp, it is a drug and homeless haven. Police Chief of North Bend put out a message to the citizens that they're underfunded and understaffed and the drug driven crime is running wild, they haven't got a hope of stemming the tide. Especially since there's no jail beds for the ones they do pick up for the tenth time while awaiting trial. Oh, have you heard the latest, we have a heroin epidemic now, the police and other first responders are starting to carry Narcan because the overdoses are so frequent. Still beats hell out of the insanity in Portland, where they give you prison time for trying to save your own ass from an angry and violent mob.
     
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  19. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Messages:
    129
    Occupation:
    Farmer
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    Not a lot different in Michigan. They don't want to work, won't show up, steal you blind, tear equipment up to get a several hour break, disappear from the job,,,,, the list goes on. When you have a real problem the cops are just as bad if not a little worse.
     
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  20. ol'stonebreaker

    ol'stonebreaker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Idaho
    As long as the high schools keep convincing the kids they all should go to college the trades will have a shortage of workers. Some kids have the drive and initiative for college and some don't. With the parents and schools influence the kids have little to no initiative for hard, dirty work. I wish the young operators today had to run some of the eqp't we did. They'd appreciate what they have today. Us youngsters back then didn't appreciate what we had compared to what the old guys at that time had to run when they were young.
    One question I've had lately is about all the GPS on earthmoving eqp't. If the GPS on the machine quits or worse yet some of the satellites go down, will the operators still be able to cut a slope or maintain grade?

    I was hyper all through school(they didn't have acronyms for it back then) and so I struggled to get a HS diploma. On graduation my Dad offered to help me thru college, I was honest and told him I thought it would be a waste of my time and his money. Since Vietnam was going strong I joined the USAF and did 4 years. Got out, joined the IUOE and worked mainly on crushers for 32 yrs. Retired at 55 and have enjoyed all the 15 retirement years. Yes, there were tough jobs along the way, but you just tell yourself it can't last forever and they didn't.
    Mike
     
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