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  • your companies tool policy?

    i am a union plumber/pipefitter from colorado but due to the lack of work my local let me sign an agreement allowing me to work for a non union company until i reach the top of the "out of work" list. i get to keep my union benefits and my book while working for the non union shop. this isn't a common practice so i find myself very fortunate to be able to keep working as unemployment wasn't cutting it. not to mention i was bored out of my mind. anyway i'll get to the point. each union hall has its own requirements as to what tools each journeyman/apprentice is required to have. some halls require you to have only a tape measure while others require only hand tools. my hall had a list of basic hand tools and the most expensive things on the list were two torch tips and an 18" pipe wrench. it is the responsibilty of the employer to supply any tools over 18" and we are strictly forbidden to bring any type of personal power tools.
    When i got the job with the non union shop (which is the largest one in the city) i was given a list of required tools and was surprised as to the contents on the list. All hand tools of course were your responsibility, but then you had to have all your own power tools. 18V drill, sawzall, flashlight, etc.. your own b tank with tips, reg, and hose. the list went on and on. 24 and 36'' pipe wrenches and your own wirsbo expander kit. Easily over $1000 worth of tools. i was then told that i had one month to get whatever i didn't have. Never having worked for a non union shop before i was amazed. then a week after starting my drill magically disappears and my level breaks in two. i then found out that there is no kind of tool replacement policy. working with the union if anything on the required tool list was damaged or broken it was the employers responsibility to replace it with the same tool of equal or greater value. maybe all non union shops are like this, i'm just curious. anyway let me know what you guys think, maybe it's just one of those things i'll have to get used to. i'm not complaining by any means, each to his own, i'm just finding it hard to find the incentive to spend my money on tools that are trade specific when if something happens to them it's up to me to replace them when they were damaged helping someone else make money. let me know what you think.

  • #2
    Re: your companies tool policy?

    I am nonunion, but I do know the two big plumbing union halls 130 and 501 require the plumber to have a pencil, a pair of chanellocks, and a tape measure, and a level. This may not be 100% true but its what I been told over the years.
    Last edited by SewerRatz; 05-03-2010, 10:02 PM. Reason: added level to the list
    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: your companies tool policy?

      I worked for both union/non union shops back on Long Island. We were required to have hand tools only....tape measure, channel locks, crescent wrench, torpedo level, screwdrivers, small(18" and smaller I believe) pipe wrenches. That sort of stuff. I never heard of b-tank tips being required. As for the breakage thing.....we just replaced our own..WE did break them.

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      • #4
        Re: your companies tool policy?

        that probably is true, i know that locals 208 and 3 out of denver are like that. i've heard several stories of guys making out like bandits at the end of jobs because the company just gives the tools away. apparently they used to put all new tools into the bids for upcoming jobs. not sure if this is still the case but my old foreman had an entire toolbox filled with nothing but Pasco water pump pliers. which are $30 a pair.

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        • #5
          Re: your companies tool policy?

          We're non-union. You buy your own hand tools. if you want battery tools, you buy them, but realistically, some basic hand tools and a few pipe wrenches are all you Have to have. the rest you can just use the power tools provided by the company.

          I have a lot of specialty tools of my own, and they are my responsibility if they break or go missing.
          No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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          • #6
            Re: your companies tool policy?

            I am a union Plumber and only required to provide:

            Channellock pliers
            tape measure
            torpedo level

            Thats all.

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            • #7
              Re: your companies tool policy?

              When I had my shop (non union), I provided every tool for every one of my trucks. All my guys had to bring to work was their lunch. To keep every one's tools on the proper truck every set of tools (worth thousands of dollars) was color coded. Yes things disappeared but the guy who ''lost" the least amount of tools was the unfortunate plumber whose tools had been painted PINK. So if you don't want your tools to walk away go for that color.

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              • #8
                Re: your companies tool policy?

                Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                I am nonunion, but I do know the two big plumbing union halls 130 and 501 require the plumber to have a pencil, a pair of chanellocks, and a tape measure, and a level. This may not be 100% true but its what I been told over the years.
                pencil is optional sorry had to say that being im LU 130 but I also may be on my way being I have been layed off for a while and I might not wait any longer but ya you have to supply all your own tools and watch them like a halk dont let any one touch them or them in most non union shops that I have seen but I haven t seen to many lu 130 chanys, tape, torpedo leval,thats all
                Last edited by post plumber; 05-03-2010, 10:51 PM.
                SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

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                • #9
                  Re: your companies tool policy?

                  Originally posted by post plumber View Post
                  pencil is optional sorry had to say that being im LU 130 but I also may be on my way being I have been layed off for a while and I might not wait any longer but ya you have to supply all your own tools and watch them like a halk dont let any one touch them or them in most non union shops that I have seen but I haven t seen to many lu 130 chanys, tape, torpedo leval,thats all
                  lol Well its just what I been told. Busten my chops at this time of night.... Just wait buddy.
                  Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                  A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                  Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                  Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: your companies tool policy?

                    well what i figured was that i really didn't need my own drill or sawzall. i figured i could just use the companies. well when i get to the job i find that there are no company power tools. no drills, no sawzalls, no skill saws. the only power tools i have seen are two portabands, and three bosch hammer drills that have seen better days and don't even get me started on the drill bits. there are literally no b tanks owned by the company on the job to my knowledge. i don't own a b tank so i ended up just bringing in my little mapp torch. ever tried to solder some 3 inch with a mapp gas torch. it takes awhile. i conceeded with the drill and sawzall and brought in my own but like i said, a week later and i don't have a drill. gets to be a real pain in the *** when you go to work on a project at the house on the weekend only to realize your drill is an hour away at the job. o yea and heres the real kicker. i figured for sure that perishables would be a company responsibility. nope, i got into a little verbal spat with a co worker after i used my solder i found in the job box. apparently it was HIS solder. no company pipe dope, solder, teflon, fitting brushes, flux, nothing. and that mapp tank i brought in. it's empty now. I WILL be buying a new one. i'm sorry i'm rambling now and i'm sure your all tired of hearing it. other than the tools and stuff i have no complaints, they are a pretty good shop and seem to treat their guys good. it's good to see what it's like on the other side of the fence but i'm still just waiting for the phone to ring, i do miss that extra thousand dollars a month in subsistence.

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                    • #11
                      Re: your companies tool policy?

                      Originally posted by hiler_411 View Post
                      well what i figured was that i really didn't need my own drill or sawzall. i figured i could just use the companies. well when i get to the job i find that there are no company power tools. no drills, no sawzalls, no skill saws. the only power tools i have seen are two portabands, and three bosch hammer drills that have seen better days and don't even get me started on the drill bits. there are literally no b tanks owned by the company on the job to my knowledge. i don't own a b tank so i ended up just bringing in my little mapp torch. ever tried to solder some 3 inch with a mapp gas torch. it takes awhile. i conceeded with the drill and sawzall and brought in my own but like i said, a week later and i don't have a drill. gets to be a real pain in the *** when you go to work on a project at the house on the weekend only to realize your drill is an hour away at the job. o yea and heres the real kicker. i figured for sure that perishables would be a company responsibility. nope, i got into a little verbal spat with a co worker after i used my solder i found in the job box. apparently it was HIS solder. no company pipe dope, solder, teflon, fitting brushes, flux, nothing. and that mapp tank i brought in. it's empty now. I WILL be buying a new one. i'm sorry i'm rambling now and i'm sure your all tired of hearing it. other than the tools and stuff i have no complaints, they are a pretty good shop and seem to treat their guys good. it's good to see what it's like on the other side of the fence but i'm still just waiting for the phone to ring, i do miss that extra thousand dollars a month in subsistence.
                      Well I have worked on both sides I first started out non union in service biught all my tools exept for big rodders even had to supply my own van and when I got union job I never took any thing for granted cause I just remembered I could be paying for every thing they even supplyed the van in union for service for me boy I miss that What I miss more is I just boght my own pistol rodder and main sewer rodder [K-45 pistal rodd][K-60 main] rodders hope to keep making my own money. Good and Keep your head up!
                      SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

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                      • #12
                        Re: your companies tool policy?

                        i'm non-union

                        I'm expected to have all my own tools including consumables, but the consumables get replaced if they were used on the job.

                        I end up loosing a little, because I own my own small company too, I end replacing some things on my dime that were partially used on both jobs.

                        When I stated doing burner service, it cost me about $1200 to get the stuff I needed.... then I got $10/hr to learn how to use them on service calls.

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                        • #13
                          Re: your companies tool policy?

                          Here local 44 requires a pencil only. Everything else is provided. I would almost rather bring my own hand tools. We never have any tools on the job. That sounds like a lot to require a joerneyman to bring. You would almost need a van to stock it all. That company is doing something right if it can pull it off i guess. In perspective a auto mechanic will need 25k+ in tools to make the same money as us with 800.00 worth.

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                          • #14
                            Re: your companies tool policy?

                            Originally posted by Birddoggiest View Post
                            Here local 44 requires a pencil only. Everything else is provided. I would almost rather bring my own hand tools. We never have any tools on the job. That sounds like a lot to require a joerneyman to bring. You would almost need a van to stock it all. That company is doing something right if it can pull it off i guess. In perspective a auto mechanic will need 25k+ in tools to make the same money as us with 800.00 worth.
                            I know a few mech. and a snapon tool box can cost 25k on its ownforget the tools inside thats more
                            SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

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                            • #15
                              Re: your companies tool policy?

                              I required my guys to have normal hand tools and I supplied all power tools and larger pipe wrenches.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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