LawnSiteTravel time — depending on a company’s location — can make or break costs on a job.

And when you have multiple employees traveling to and from a jobsite, like one contractor mentioned on LawnSite.com, learning how to compensate them for their time can be challenging, especially if the circumstances are unique and if the travel time becomes extreme.

Here, LawnSite users provide insight on paying for employee’s travel time:

Question:

Emar: I park my truck at home and leave for my jobsite, which, with traffic in the morning is about 45 minutes to get there and 20 minutes to get back, on average. When I take on an employee for the day, they come to my house and we go from there. Should I pay for their travel time to the jobsite?

I have no control over traffic and I don’t see a reason why I should be paying for it. If they went to any other workplace, they would have to fight traffic anyway.

I want to be fair and treat my employees right. They get paid for travel time between houses or jobsites.

Answers:

knox gsl: As much as it sucks, you still have to pay them. The way to get around it is to have employees meet you on-site or near it, then ride in.

lawns4life: Short answer: pay them.

walkerway: Let’s just face it, not every hour you put in is billable, and neither are your employees’ hours, so you need to charge enough when you’re actually working to make up for travel time, etc.

PROCUT1: The law states they have to be paid. I pay a dozen guys to sit in an hour and a half of Nashville traffic twice a day, every day. It’s why they’re on overtime by Thursday. I hate it. My solution is to find another shop on the other side of the traffic. But, in the meantime, they have to be paid.

toasted: If you’re billing using man-hours, then this overhead is recovered already but that’s another conversation. If you are paying cash, then it’s a direct cost and they should be paid as long as they’re in the truck. That or look forward to high turnover.

Charity P: Your problem is not calculating travel time in your price for the customer. Make sure you know all of your overhead, travel time and other costs, so you can estimate the right amount of dollars per man-hour that you need to make. Every individual hour each employee works, including yourself: two guys at a four-hour job that took one hour to travel to equals two guys times five hours equals 10 man-hours.

If you don’t start putting these travel time costs and overhead costs into your bids, it will come back to bite you.

humble1: It is illegal not to pay the guy at the time he is told to be somewhere at a certain time. If he reports you to the Department of Labor, not only can they go through all of your past employees, but they can also make you pay them and him for that 45 minutes each day. Plus, there could be additional penalties.

Join the rest of this conversation about travel time on LawnSite.com.