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Posted: 7/21/2021 1:06:26 PM EDT
Usually for me, the “top end” is where I’ll be more likely to judge. If they’re “Apex Pros” with a recently detailed Platinum F150, which is decked out in a pristine vehicle wrap, that’s never touched a dirt road of a job site, I’ll be skeptical. It seems like those are driven around by some prissy soy boy, whose hardest work this month has been operating a fork and knife to eat avocado toast. To me, that just screams the fancy guy gives you an estimate and then the hired help is brought in from a Home Depot parking lot, while you pay out the ass.

On the “low end” I’m less judgmental, unless it looks like they’re in a <$2k shitbox with recent body damage from drunk driving.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:09:40 PM EDT
Instinctive distrust of workers that are dressed in clean uniforms and have shiny new trucks and tools that appear brand new
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:14:09 PM EDT
I currently drive/bid out of a 2012 Raptor but my guys are all driving 19/20/21 trucks that are nice.  You take 2 companies show up to bid your job.  The first has nice trucks and well dressed techs and the other is driving a beater dressed barely above shorts and flip flops.  Given the same price on the quote which one would you use?  

You can almost bet your ass contractor A has his shit together in other areas such as safety, quality of work standards, and training.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:14:46 PM EDT
Or…..the guys with nice stuff and clean appearances are savvy businessmen with a solid reputation that keeps the work flowing in….at least enough to justify such spending.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:15:51 PM EDT
Magnetic signs on the truck, a Tell that they aren't serious
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:18:40 PM EDT
When I operated my business we had matching work trucks that were all waxed weekly. Bobcats were cleaned and any damage/ paint/ stickers coming off was fixed promptly.

Everyone always complimented me on having super nice trucks and equipment.

Just how I ran my business. When it was time to sell something I never had it listed for more than a day.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:20:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kells81:
I currently drive/bid out of a 2012 Raptor but my guys are all driving 19/20/21 trucks that are nice.  You take 2 companies show up to bid your job.  The first has nice trucks and well dressed techs and the other is driving a beater dressed barely above shorts and flip flops.  Given the same price on the quote which one would you use?  

You can almost bet your ass contractor A has his shit together in other areas such as safety, quality of work standards, and training.
View Quote


I’d choose A.  

A recent thread here has taught me that the guy in flip flops and shorts (guy B) is definitely guy A’s boss.  That’s just GD though.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:22:26 PM EDT
You're describing a general contractor not a hands on tradesman .

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:23:36 PM EDT
If the price are the same, I'll go with Guy A.  Most of the time the guy in the nice truck is far more expensive since you're paying for the work and the truck payment.  If someone shows up and their vehicle is leaking oil all over the place and is just a real piece of shit, I'm probably not hiring him.  There's a fair chance I'll be getting a call the morning of the job with him saying his truck won't start and he has to go to Auto Zone for a new starter or something.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:24:36 PM EDT
My in-laws just had a new bathroom built in their house by one guy. It came out beautiful and honestly pretty impressive.

He drives an old Camry wagon that's beat to shit.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:26:03 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kells81:
I currently drive/bid out of a 2012 Raptor but my guys are all driving 19/20/21 trucks that are nice.  You take 2 companies show up to bid your job.  The first has nice trucks and well dressed techs and the other is driving a beater dressed barely above shorts and flip flops.  Given the same price on the quote which one would you use?  

You can almost bet your ass contractor A has his shit together in other areas such as safety, quality of work standards, and training.
View Quote


There is being presentable and then there is going overboard.

Will I be shaking a manicured hand softer and cleaner than an angel’s bottom?

Is dressed nice: immaculate and polished loafers, pressed khakis, and an embroidered pima cotton polo? Or is it something presentable that they can do work in?

Does the truck haul more than Panera bread and Matcha soy lattes?

Is the only tool in the truck in the driver?

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:26:45 PM EDT
We have a ton of clients who take the Mercedes badges off their Sprinter vans. Can’t be judged for “driving a Mercedes” even if it’s just a white work van.

Most of the non-profits with vans pull the badges, the USPS Metris vans have an eagle on the front instead of the star.

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:26:47 PM EDT
If you aren't doing the job yourself you are getting ripped off. If it makes you feel better to be financially raped by a slob driving a jalopy over a clean cut dude driving a nice truck more power to you.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:28:20 PM EDT
I judge contractors if their truck leaves oil stains all over my fucking driveway.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:29:04 PM EDT
I don’t judge on the vehicles at all.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:32:01 PM EDT
About a year ago I was shopping for a surveyor.  Contacted about 4 initially, the most being around $7k and the cheapest being 4K. Ended up getting a recommendation from a friend and called this guy whom my friend knew his whole life. He told me $2200 Iirc and got it done In 2 weeks. Guy drives an old late 90’s dodge truck and is just a great all around person, definitely not a keeping up with the joneses type of fella... although he does live in a very nice house and does very well for himself.  We have become good friends.

I know of one of the other surveyors ($7k) quote.. dude lives in a mc mansion and wife drives a bmw suv, motor home, travel trailer, sxs’s, new diesel bro dozers.. and so on.

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:33:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:35:20 PM EDT
I drive a Tradesman.  Don't judge me.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:40:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2021 1:47:56 PM EDT by kells81]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sturmgeist:


There is being presentable and then there is going overboard.

Will I be shaking a manicured hand softer and cleaner than an angel’s bottom?

Is dressed nice: immaculate and polished loafers, pressed khakis, and an embroidered pima cotton polo? Or is it something presentable that they can do work in?

Does the truck haul more than Panera bread and Matcha soy lattes?

Is the only tool in the truck in the driver?

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sturmgeist:
Originally Posted By kells81:
I currently drive/bid out of a 2012 Raptor but my guys are all driving 19/20/21 trucks that are nice.  You take 2 companies show up to bid your job.  The first has nice trucks and well dressed techs and the other is driving a beater dressed barely above shorts and flip flops.  Given the same price on the quote which one would you use?  

You can almost bet your ass contractor A has his shit together in other areas such as safety, quality of work standards, and training.


There is being presentable and then there is going overboard.

Will I be shaking a manicured hand softer and cleaner than an angel’s bottom?

Is dressed nice: immaculate and polished loafers, pressed khakis, and an embroidered pima cotton polo? Or is it something presentable that they can do work in?

Does the truck haul more than Panera bread and Matcha soy lattes?

Is the only tool in the truck in the driver?




No pussies allowed here...    





ETA: Also it doesn't cost that much to put a truck in the fleet.   I made around 150k/truck last year using trucks that cost 28-32k new and keeping payments in the $600 range after a down payment  and keeping them nice enough that we don't take a beating on the backside.   When I started I paid cash for my trucks then realized how stupid that was instead of using almost free money and keeping cash on hand to be able to do larger projects.  

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:43:23 PM EDT
PEOPLE judge by fancy trucks/uniforms OR they want the dirt cheapest bid. Not everyone is an expert at negotiating tradesmen like here on Arfcom. Also half the time it's the wife getting bids and/or the last say and women feel safer/more comfortable with a 'corporate' tradesman. That or they DGAF about anything but price. It's the honest guy in the middle that gets screwed out of jobs.

I mow lawns on the side. I have a magnetic sticker.... I'm cheaper than the big boys AND I spend way more time/care on my customer's property. I fix downspouts, I'm insured, I have commercial equipment, show up on time, etc.... but I've come to realize my niche. Some people want to hire the HS kid for $10 and some want the flashy trucks and crews of people who tear up their yard and move on to the next, but have a flashy customer portal and a guy in Dodge 3500 with a polo giving them the quote.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:44:23 PM EDT
I go by word of mouth from people I trust. I usually don't care what they are driving...

If they are driving:

1990 Ford F-150 with paint splashed down the side and a lot of body damage - I would assume they are sloppy with their work and the low bidder
2015 Ford F-150 that is well kept, but clearly a work truck - I would assume they care about their work and offer a fair price
2021 Ford F-350, high trim level. I would assume that they are the high bidder for jobs, but still do good work
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:45:17 PM EDT
I don't trust contractors that drive cars
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:47:19 PM EDT
I don't judge people by what they drive, in terms of make or model. But on condition, yes.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:51:37 PM EDT
Presentation is a part of confidence in a company. Dress and vehicle do help.

I had a contractor show up in a 90s F150 the other day. It was beat to hell and leaked oil in my driveway. His work was cheap but sloppy, just like his vehicle. I laughed because of that connection.

I'm not saying you have to drive a 2022 Limited 250, but a fairly clean and newer vehicle adds to your business appeal.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:51:48 PM EDT
Meh, the truck is just a lease anyway. I ask them what kind of boat they have to estimate how much I may be overcharged.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:54:55 PM EDT
My father worked on cranes and other lifting equipment for a living. A point of pride for him was being allowed cloth seats in his work vehicle. It's a dirty job and vinyl seats are basically mandatory because not wrecking cloth seats takes a considerable degree of conscientiousness and detail focus. He was trusted to take care of his vehicles and he did. This did not go unnoticed by his customers (or by competitors, he got head hunted regularly).
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 1:57:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sturmgeist:
Is the only tool in the truck in the driver?
View Quote

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:05:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2021 2:06:47 PM EDT by airgunner]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MattR:
I had a contractor show up in a 90s F150 the other day. It was beat to hell and leaked oil in my driveway. His work was cheap but sloppy, just like his vehicle. I laughed because of that connection.
View Quote

That has been my experience. The neater/cleaner their tools and equipment are, the more likely they are IMO to do quality work. I'm not talking brand spanking new but clean, organized and obviously cared for. If they don't care enough to take care of the equipment they rely on to make a living, why should I think they will be any more respectful of my property?

Granted, that's just one indicator and no guarantee. A magnetic business sign on the side is another. I'm sure there are some guys driving around old POS's with their rusty tools thrown haphazardly in the back who do great work but I wouldn't know because I would never hire a guy like that unless he came with a lot of recommendations from people I know and have seen his work in person.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:09:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2021 2:18:53 PM EDT by Obo2]
our neighbors hired someone to trim their tree, he showed up in a smart car.
He trimmed all the branches off the tree all the way down to the trunk.
I said I'm surprised they wanted to cut down that nice tree, was it sick or something.
He said no just overgrown it will grow back...

he left the pile of branches in the middle of a shared driveway/cul-de-sac to go get a trailer from uhaul towed behind his smart car to remove the debris.

I have the same kind of tree planted at the same time. was able to clean it up just fine with a polesaw and load the debris in a garbage can. My tree looks nice, theirs looks like hammered dog shit and is a fucking eyesore. After 7 months it's got a pile of suckers around the base that the renter stomped on and a couple spindly suckers at the top... I'm amazed it didn't totally die but it will look like shit till it is removed.

So yeah show up in a fucking smart car and I will judge you. I half expect the owner of a larger construction business to have a pretty nice truck though it should be a little dirty.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:12:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scott-S6:
My father worked on cranes and other lifting equipment for a living. A point of pride for him was being allowed cloth seats in his work vehicle. It's a dirty job and vinyl seats are basically mandatory because not wrecking cloth seats takes a considerable degree of conscientiousness and detail focus. He was trusted to take care of his vehicles and he did. This did not go unnoticed by his customers (or by competitors, he got head hunted regularly).
View Quote

I was absolutely thrilled when my first work van was upgraded to one with cloth seats and ac over the old vinyl and no ac van. It was like a luxury vehicle. The next on even had power windows, door locks, and a key fob! The current one doesn't have a key fob, but at least I don't have to go around and manually lock all the doors at night or when working in some areas.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:14:05 PM EDT
Age/type of truck/vehicle doesn’t matter. But cleanliness does. My dad (mason/home builder) always kept his trucks, tools, and job sites clean and orderly.  People seems to appreciate and notice it.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:14:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By airgunner:

That has been my experience. The neater/cleaner their tools and equipment are, the more likely they are IMO to do quality work. I'm not talking brand spanking new but clean, organized and obviously cared for. If they don't care enough to take care of the equipment they rely on to make a living, why should I think they will be any more respectful of my property?


View Quote



As a "tradesman" myself, this is spot on.  Some of our guys are meticulous on how they care for their trucks, their tools, and their personal appearance.  Others, not so much.  The guys who are detail-oriented in the other facets of being a good employee are just as detail-oriented in their work.  

It's almost self-explanatory.

The guys who tend to be more sloppy, who don't keep their trucks clean and organized, view their work product the same way.  They both will actually get the work done, but I can predict who will be faster, cleaner, and leave a better-looking project behind.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:17:01 PM EDT
I’ve done this thread before

Too shitty/dirty of a vehicle and it shows lack of care for their belongings and I wouldn’t hire them

However too nice and I’d think they’re charging too much and ripping me off and wouldn’t hire them.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:18:00 PM EDT
Am contractor (specialty trade, not a GC).

Drive nice, well kept, not marked, non traditional work truck. Has received many complements from clients over the years.
I also am often one of the few allowed to park in the driveway.
My tools are well used but well cared for and organized.

I wear jeans or shorts, clean non logoed t shirts and Vans to work (boots in houses in the rough in stages).
Am there to work, not look like I just got done playing 18 holes.



Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:18:31 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Stutzmech:
Instinctive distrust of workers that are dressed in clean uniforms and have shiny new trucks and tools that appear brand new
View Quote


This.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:20:43 PM EDT
If you have a Salt Life sticker I will not hire you.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:22:58 PM EDT
No but if I see them yank out Ryobi tools I have to laugh.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:31:57 PM EDT
I'm a GC and I tell exactly what I'm getting when they pull up on site.

You can usually tell what kind of worker you have based on their tool condition and how they organize their box/bag.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:34:26 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ranging-by-zipcode:
You're describing a general contractor not a hands on tradesman .
View Quote
This, although they can be both.  A couple of years ago I had my driveway replaced. I called for four estimates.  These were from crews that had worked in the neighborhood and I had been able to inspect their work.  I know what the "work" trucks looked like, and three out of the four showed up in new or nearly new F-150s for the estimate.  I guess they thought it made them look more successful, or maybe they just like having a nice truck.  Ended up going with the guy who showed up in the beater.  Nice work.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:35:00 PM EDT
Not really. I have seen some of the worst looking people do some of the most detailed work you have ever seen yet they don't seem to have the sense to come in out of the rain. It's puzzling. Other people who are neat and clean with nice vehicles have plowed through work and left it looking like shit. One of the people who I have admired most from a business standpoint used to drive one of the worst looking vehicles on the yard. Over the years he just fucking worked his business and his wife backed him up with the bookkeeping. It wasn't until his 60's and 70's that they actually started taking a step back and spending some money on themselves. From what I hear, he is worth about 4-5 billion yet at 80 he still drives up here in a older used car wearing a t shirt and faded shorts. He owns cars, boats and motorhomes worth millions yet still goes about shit like a normal old guy. Proof that hard work does pay off. It keeps me going...
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:35:48 PM EDT
I'd rather have the guy in the shiny truck instead of the guy in clapped out minivan or sedan.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:39:25 PM EDT
I could see it both ways.

If someone beats the hell out of their own stuff, they probably aren't going to care about mine.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:40:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Elsinore13:
Not really. I have seen some of the worst looking people do some of the most detailed work you have ever seen yet they don't seem to have the sense to come in out of the rain. It's puzzling. Other people who are neat and clean with nice vehicles have plowed through work and left it looking like shit. One of the people who I have admired most from a business standpoint used to drive one of the worst looking vehicles on the yard. Over the years he just fucking worked his business and his wife backed him up with the bookkeeping. It wasn't until his 60's and 70's that they actually started taking a step back and spending some money on themselves. From what I hear, he is worth about 4-5 billion yet at 80 he still drives up here in a older used car wearing a t shirt and faded shorts. He owns cars, boats and motorhomes worth millions yet still goes about shit like a normal old guy. Proof that hard work does pay off. It keeps me going...
View Quote

I got a kick out of my boss looking for work shirts in a downtown Nordstrom. He had a hard time finding a salesman to help him because he was wearing work jeans and sandals, looked badly out of place. He cleared $3m the year before. Just needed some collared shirts.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:43:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By chupacabras:
I don’t judge on the vehicles at all.
View Quote


/thread
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:45:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2021 2:47:37 PM EDT by Nathaniel_Hawkins]
I own commercial properties.

Roofers = However, there is one out there in Houston that drives immaculate trucks (all red F150s decked out), clean uniforms, professional appearances.  When you sign the dotted line, that's when they fuck you and go to Home Depot and get the cheapest Hondurans and El Salvadorans in the parking lot to go work on my roof (I actually saw the fuckers in action).  Those workers were the dumbest, drunkest.

Foundation people = The ones that were driving brodozers could not even measure the sq footage of the houses properly.

AC = I never fucking trust the big companies that are "professional".  Many have tried to pull a fast one over me.

My landscaping guy started driving $80,000 SUVs to job sites.  All of a sudden, he started finding "problems" with everything considering he mention be bought the SUV to look successful, but financed it at 84 months.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 2:58:56 PM EDT
I'm a retired framing carpenter, I always drove older trucks that looked like they had a rough life.  My work cloths and boots had "character".  I showed up to work not make a fashion statement and I was damn good at my trade.
Now,,,,, f_ck all that, I'm retired and I'll have a beer!
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 3:01:33 PM EDT
For a mobile boat detailer, I look at the inside of the vehicle. If it's messy and needs a wash, it means they are busy working.

If it's spit shine clean, the guy has plenty of spare time.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 3:04:31 PM EDT
When in doubt, look at their boots.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 3:25:19 PM EDT
Rural area so I've chosen before I ever contact them.

Wouldn't matter if they came up the drive on a fucking pogo stick.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 3:26:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2021 3:27:11 PM EDT by Redarts]
I don't really judge anyone based on what they drive unless its obviously unsafe or squatted / lifted and pointing headlights right into my eyeballs. The first I just assume they're broke, the second I assume they're faggots.

Bumper stickers are another story.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 3:33:39 PM EDT
Either way, I just think *He showed up.*
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