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  • Tool allowance

    This is a question for the guys out there that are getting a tool allowance from their employer. I started a company a few years ago and now have a second service man on the road. The work requires some specialized tools which we supply. I am wondering how much of a tool allowance to give out for the purchase of regular hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets etc. When I worked for someone else doing this work they supplied a van full of all the tools I needed and I could purchase whatever else I lost or needed. This seemed a little uncontrolled at the time although I never abused it. Now that I have have my own company I would like to set up things so its fair but so there are some limits and controls.

  • #2
    Depends a lot on what you expect.

    The size of the tool allowance depends a lot on what your expectations are of your workers tools and the conditions he is working under. If he is going into good shops he will not have to worry about theft, but if he is going into one of the bad shops he won't be able to keep track of his tools and won't stay with you long because of the cost of buying thieves tools. Most hand tools have a service life - from a few months to a few years. I klnow I used to replace my phillips screw drivers real regular - a good one doesn't slip near as often as a worn one.

    You do derive some benefit from your employees having good tools. But don't go overboard - I used to travel with a cheap Sears roller cabinet that I could load and unload from my van. I could store all the needed tools there. On occasion I bought a tool I needed while on the road. Another tech filled the back of a pickup with tools and always needed more.

    What do you figure should be normal wear & tear on tools and look at setting a tool allowance to about 90% of that. That way they will take care of their stuff, and not just think the boss will replace it.

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    • #3
      Tool Allowance

      Since we all know that quality tools can do excellent work in the right hands. You could consider a two or three tier bonus program based gross billing and call-backs to reward your technicians. To some, the extra cash in ones paycheck is more beer money. Just a thought. Jim

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