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Thread: USIC Idle Time

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default USIC Idle Time

    I'm surprised no one else has brought this up but has anyone come up with a way to get around the new 60 min per day limit they have placed on our vehicle idling time? Maybe this isn't a big deal up North but this is going to be brutal come July and August here in Texas.
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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    I'm surprised no one else has brought this up but has anyone come up with a way to get around the new 60 min per day limit they have placed on our vehicle idling time? Maybe this isn't a big deal up North but this is going to be brutal come July and August here in Texas.
    Just roll up the windows and fry the computer a few times.
    I did not have an idle time monitor but I tired to cut back idling the engine in summer once. The computer screen faded out once it got too hot so it was leave the engine and AC running or the computer would not work. The screen fading was the first symptom, next the computer would shut down or go haywire if it over heated.

    I made a second set of keys so that I could leave the truck locked up while idling. This way the computer did not walk away and nobody would drive the truck away, at least no easily.

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    Senior Member FiosKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    idk how you guys deal with all the BS, same with utiliquest its insane... let the workers do there thing... if my company ever starts doing this crap i know its time to leave this industry
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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by FiosKing View Post
    idk how you guys deal with all the BS, same with utiliquest its insane... let the workers do there thing... if my company ever starts doing this crap i know its time to leave this industry
    Too many suits without industry experaice running things. I have observed, and many more have written about it, that a lot of these people despise their locators.

    This is an industry where one employee, the locator, has absolute control of the results. The locator position requires a person with a good work ethics, good abilities and well developed skills. Employees do as they are trained to do. But equally important is that employees perform as they are treated. Treat them without respect and they will perform at that low level. It's just an involuntary emotional reaction that too many people do not recognize or understand.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    i'm sure this is going to get some good answers....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    One of the days this week we had over 17 hours of idle time between 10 locators in our group. It seems the ones that have over 60 minutes per day get flagged from what I'm seeing...

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    I'm curious how the idle time thing is going to work in the winter. When it is 0 degrees out we always leave our trucks run. The paint won't work and the computer pretty much freeze if the truck is off. And I will freeze. We do get 90 degree days in the summer and in the past we've always been told to keep the air on in our trucks or we fry to many computers. I guess this summer we will see if all the fried computers will cost more or less than the cost of the idle time fuel.

    I had to get a jump 4 times this week. I have a new battery in my truck but with the computer plugged in,the beacon on, and the flasher on the battery doesn't last. If I'm on a job over an hour my battery is dead. Then I have to call a different locator to come give me a jump.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    I'm curious how the idle time thing is going to work in the winter. When it is 0 degrees out we always leave our trucks run. The paint won't work and the computer pretty much freeze if the truck is off. And I will freeze. We do get 90 degree days in the summer and in the past we've always been told to keep the air on in our trucks or we fry to many computers. I guess this summer we will see if all the fried computers will cost more or less than the cost of the idle time fuel.

    I had to get a jump 4 times this week. I have a new battery in my truck but with the computer plugged in,the beacon on, and the flasher on the battery doesn't last. If I'm on a job over an hour my battery is dead. Then I have to call a different locator to come give me a jump.
    That's really the issue there. I've tried to do my job with the truck turned off (back in my STS days) and I've had to call for help to jump start the truck.

    The Boise Police are trying a new system in their cruisers. It is a solar charging system that allows them to turn their cars off while the charging system keeps all the electronics running without draining the battery.
    Cost: About $1,200 to $1,500 per vehicle. The system can recoup its costs in about three to six months, company officials estimate.
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2009/1...arger-may.html

    http://www.treasurevalleysolar.com/fleetelite.php
    Last edited by TheCableVine; April 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 PM.
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Roll the window up and let the computer fry and turn beacon and flashers on and the next time your batery dies do not call a nearby locator. Call the fleet service and have them send out a truck to jump you. The cost will be like $50-75 and when they complain tell you didn't want to take another locator away from doing his job and being productive. i need to get a new bttery, mine dies after only a 30 minute locate. Before the gps ting i had my supervisor pull up to me and question me why my truck was running. I said monday and wednesday, the days i had to jump my truck in my driveway. I was trying to limp it into the weekend and take it to a sear and get a new battery. After his comment i left the field early enough to drive 40 minutes to a place to get it replaced stayed on the clock until it was done.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    I am sure some locators raised all the issues of battery life of the truck and the computer as well as frying the computers.
    And I am betting most or all of them were regarded at best as not knowing what they were talking about and at worst as lying.

    It used to be we just did what we had to so that the work got done right, the company made money and we saved our bosses butts.

    Now with GPS tracking, monitoring idle time, GPS paint sticks coming and 'smart trucks' that will record every action (you made a turn but the report says you did not use your turn signal) we cannot save our bosses from themselves.

    If your bosses read this now they would be enraged. They have given orders and things are going wrong, you guys must be doing something wrong. With all the surveillance on you guys if you continue to save the bosses butt he will fire you. So you just obey every rule to the letter. Turn the trucks off and leave the flashing lights on, computer running and call the fleet manager when the battery goes dead. I would rather get the work done but hey, if you guys do they will fire you. I HATE being unproductive sitting around waiting for a tow or jump start. I HATE going into the shop because the computer died. But the alternative is to get fired.

    The hardest part about this is that you guys really care about doing your job right and getting enough productivity. The hard part for you is obeying the orders that run the company in the ground. I salute your spirit. The hard part for you guys is that to do all the things they tell you will make you feel like one of those bums you dislike. The danger is not getting through the period of these troubles, the danger is coming out the other side with a bad attitude about the work. Taht the good attitude you have now will be lost. Between a rock and a hard place.

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    Senior Member Paint'n & Flag'n's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    I'm surprised no one else has brought this up but has anyone come up with a way to get around the new 60 min per day limit they have placed on our vehicle idling time? Maybe this isn't a big deal up North but this is going to be brutal come July and August here in Texas.
    have not heard of this limited idel time requirement. You must have a GPS on your truck and with it comes this idle time bs!?

    My truck doesnt get turned off till Im back at the house or unless I go to a store like wally world or something. Then I shut it off lock the doors and place cones out any other time its running with either A/C or heat.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint'n & Flag'n View Post
    have not heard of this limited idel time requirement. You must have a GPS on your truck and with it comes this idle time bs!?

    My truck doesnt get turned off till Im back at the house or unless I go to a store like wally world or something. Then I shut it off lock the doors and place cones out any other time its running with either A/C or heat.
    Some of these live tracking GPS units have some extra features like being wired into the truck's circuits. This way they can tell when you stop the truck if you have left the engine running or turned it off.

    I shut the truck off when I can, like being out for a short locate or a long locate when temperatures and battery permit. But on a long locate in very hot or very cold weather and all the flashers on I have to leave it running with the doors locked and the spare key in my pocket.

    I have never seen a study as to if it is better to turn the truck off and save both gas and wear on the engine or stating up 20 or 30 times a day putting wear on the starter and battery. But I turn it off when I can so I do not have to see it with a smashed open window driving away or overheating. Hey, more than one guy has left the engine running and the truck unlocked only to return to an empty parking space.

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    This is ALMOST the DUMBEST god-damn thing I have EVER heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These stupid procedures are WHY this industry needs a REAL VOICE.

    The truck HAS TO FU**ING STAY RUNNING, that is for the management types reading but not ever saying anything, You RETARDS are going to create more problems, cost more money and manage to depleat your locator work force by causing HEAT AND COLD injuries!!!!!

    Batteries in the vehicles shitting out from being jumped CONSTANTLY
    Computers being cooked or frozen
    Wiring problems developing from a trashed alternator
    Heat Exhaustion
    Possible Frost Bite

    Who exactly is the brain trust that thinks about this dumb shit??????????????????????????????????????????????
    How much do they get paid??????????????????????????????

    Why are they not FIRED for being so god-damn DUMB??????????????????????????

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    This is ALMOST the DUMBEST god-damn thing I have EVER heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These stupid procedures are WHY this industry needs a REAL VOICE.

    The truck HAS TO FU**ING STAY RUNNING, that is for the management types reading but not ever saying anything, You RETARDS are going to create more problems, cost more money and manage to depleat your locator work force by causing HEAT AND COLD injuries!!!!!

    Batteries in the vehicles shitting out from being jumped CONSTANTLY
    Computers being cooked or frozen
    Wiring problems developing from a trashed alternator
    Heat Exhaustion
    Possible Frost Bite

    Who exactly is the brain trust that thinks about this dumb shit??????????????????????????????????????????????
    How much do they get paid??????????????????????????????

    Why are they not FIRED for being so god-damn DUMB??????????????????????????
    "Why are they not FIRED for being so god-damn DUMB??????????????????????????"

    Huuuhh , because they are the ones who decide who gets fired.

    I have been watching the help wanted adds from one firm that presents itself as a"leader" in this industry. They are replacing up to 40% of their locator force yearly with trainees. If I have over estimated that then maybe 30%. They get a greater and greater percentage of noobies and their damages keep going up. One manager from another firm reports being swamped with applications to hire on from that other firms locators.

    While this is going on these new technologies have reduced productivity by 25% to 50% depending on the skill of the locator. The better locators have the greatest reduction in productivity. They are also being pressured to break the rules by mangers who know the GPS tracking and other surveillance technology will get the locator eventually fired. This is in an effort to boost number in the short term to get their bosses off their backs. But the surveillance technology, GPS trackers - key loggers on the lap top - cameras recording audio and visual and written orders, make it impossible for them to pressure any locator who stands up to them by just obeying the written rules.

    Anyway higher overhead due to damages, higher payroll costs due to covering low productivity by increasing the number of locators, higher fleet and equipment costs due to outfitting the increased number of employees, higher overhead due to paying for all the surveillance equipment, higher overhead due to paying monthly fees to the service companies for the surveillance equipment, higher overhead for the maintenance costs of all the extra equipment adds up to lost profits. So one day you come to work and the doors are locked and nobody answers the phone.

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    Senior Member 6feetunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Idle Time

    As far as I know the only way to not get flagged for idle time is to have less than 10 minutes of idle time per ticket and it will not count against you. Obviously that's impossible to do. Your best bet is to keep a log book of your entire day and/or put in the notes on every ticket your reasons for having the truck running. It sucks because at USIC the locator is the bad guy, and you constantly have to cover your butt on everything. It's almost like half of everyday is spent trying to keep track of all the issues that you might get asked about the next morning by management because they think you're stealing. It used to be a good place to work but here recently it has taken a nasty turn for the worse, it's knid of ironic when you think about it. The only person making any money for the company is the most hated, the only reason any of them have their cushy corporate positions is because guys like us bust tail everyday. Proffesional hit it on the head when he said the guys making all the decisions don't actually have any knowledge of the field.
    Life's a garden, dig it! - Joe Dirt

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