Author Topic: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!  (Read 858 times)

vtsigtauMustache

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Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« on: February 22, 2019, 08:40:33 AM »
Hey all,

I am currently a senior in college and moving into the construction industry upon graduation. I will be working with a general contractor in Richmond, VA in June after graduation. I want to keep up my current no car commute that I have at college once I enter the workforce, but in construction it is a very difficult thing to design for a couple reasons. As with most companies I could work for, I will be working on the jobsite. Even though Richmond is the central point for all of their projects, I could potentially work on projects in a 60-75 mile radius from the office. Obviously, this is difficult to do by bike everyday. On top of this, I have no way of knowing which project I will start on until at most one month before my start date. I could be on any given project for a couple months to a couple years depending on its size.

I am trying to come up with ideas to cut out my commuting costs and driving costs. Any suggestions are welcome. The following are some ideas and options I have starting with the worst or most unlikely options and going towards the most likely. Please let me know what yíall think or give any suggestions for how I may be able to design this/do some of these ideas.

1.   Commute to work by car Ė I would be subsidized if it was >50 miles from the office
     a.   Please no
2.   Live with parents to start and commute by car
     a.   Please no
3.   Live with roommates (other Project Engineers on the same project hopefully) and carpool
     a.   Would be OK but not ideal and not probable since we canít guarantee we are on the same project all the time
4.   Long term Airbnb close to each jobsite and bike to the jobsite
     a.   A decent option that could work but could be a hassle moving around and difficult since the length of a project isnít
                always concrete
     b.   Along the same lines, a tiny house could be a good idea the problem is finding a place to park it
5.   Build an electric bike to cut any commute I have by half or more.
6.   Some combination of the ideas above

Thanks everyone! All input is welcome.

onlykelsey

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 08:47:54 AM »
That's a tough problem to solve.  Could you leave a simple car at the office, then bike in and commute to job sites with the car, then bike home?

GuitarStv

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 08:53:43 AM »
Live with parents and commute by car until you make some friends at work.  Then move close to where your friends live, ditch your car, and carpool with them (always paying for gas or something).

terran

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 08:54:23 AM »
Will you need to travel between jobsites, or be expected to be able to run out for materials or bring materials in the morning? I'm guessing that's not how it works if this is commercial and/or a large outfit as it sounds like it is, but residential definitely has needs for someone to "run out" for things

50 miles by e bike doesn't sound sustainable. Even if you break the usual 20mph street legal limit, they can can go what, 30mph max?

I like the AirBNB idea. When we moved to where we are now we stayed in an AirBNB for a month while looking for an apartment and probably paid $100-200 more than a similar place would have cost on a long term lease, so it doesn't have to be a huge amount more expensive than renting somewhere long term, and you could save a lot on commuting costs.

What about getting an RV? Would you generally be able to find a campground within biking distance of the jobsite? Or would the company even let you park your RV at the jobsite?

If you want to go more hardcore, get a van and car camp. It would be more work what with having to stay stealth and find toilets and showers, you can use, but you would always be able to find somewhere near enough for a short commute, or again, maybe just park at the jobsite and be the last to leave and first to get there in the morning -- think how dedicated they'd think you are.

galliver

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 09:07:34 AM »
This isn't what you asked, but I'm not sure there is a way to do this efficiently (such that it won't affect perception of your professionalism, in partucular).

Set up a bike commute to the office and anywhere else you go (groceries, entertainment). Use a small, older car with good gas mileage to get to the job sites.

Remember, MMM was a software engineer, going to the same office every day. But there are jobs like yours, and certain kinds of sales, and others, that require getting from point A to B quickly on demand.

I feel you, I do. I had a bike commute to grad school and wished I could keep it. But the street layout near my office makes me fear for my life, so I take the bus.

FallenTimber

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2019, 07:01:19 AM »
I know you donít want a car, but itís going to be tough to work construction without one. Carpooling with co-workers would be the only other option that could potentially save you money. Plenty of my Mexican co-workers did that when I worked road construction.

If I were the foreman, Iím afraid I would never hire an employee that didnít have 100% reliable transportation, every day of the week, without question. Iíd need all contractors to have the ability to bring tools to the job site, bring their own hard hat, vest, tool belt,  grab materials on the way to work  if needed, run over and check on another job site, the ability to run into town, lumber yard, hardware store, etc as needed.

These may not all apply to your specific job, but the #1 demand out of a construction employee is reliability, and I would never trust someone without their own transportation.

The solution isnít all that bad though. Pick up a used car for a few grand and never worry again. In my opinion, the stress of having to find transportation every day would far outweigh the stress of owning a car.

Khaetra

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2019, 10:23:26 AM »
I know you donít want a car, but itís going to be tough to work construction without one. Carpooling with co-workers would be the only other option that could potentially save you money. Plenty of my Mexican co-workers did that when I worked road construction.

If I were the foreman, Iím afraid I would never hire an employee that didnít have 100% reliable transportation, every day of the week, without question. Iíd need all contractors to have the ability to bring tools to the job site, bring their own hard hat, vest, tool belt,  grab materials on the way to work  if needed, run over and check on another job site, the ability to run into town, lumber yard, hardware store, etc as needed.

These may not all apply to your specific job, but the #1 demand out of a construction employee is reliability, and I would never trust someone without their own transportation.

The solution isnít all that bad though. Pick up a used car for a few grand and never worry again. In my opinion, the stress of having to find transportation every day would far outweigh the stress of owning a car.

I agree with this.  There are just some jobs that require you to have a car, so I would start looking for one now while you have the luxury of time and can be picky on the price.

secondchance

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 08:00:06 AM »
Buy a car. It's a business expense. Your work will be hard enough.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2019, 10:31:30 AM »
For now you need a vehicle, its expected.

If you are worth a sh$t, show up to work and do work, they will want to keep you. And part of that will be some cost-sharing on the commute. Best case? they give you a company vehicle. Realistic ask? any miles beyond your home to home office they let you expense.  The longer you are there, likely the better deal you can get.

There are a thousand other ways to get an employer to share costs. keep your eyes and ears open on how others handle this, and what is easy to bill through in your industry/area to the owner/customer.  For example I own a non mustachian truck for work because when I became a consultant, I found out no one in my area would pay mileage, but every procurement department out there will pay truck time without batting an eye.

ixtap

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 12:05:21 PM »
How long are the jobs?

You could get a trailer or tiny house to move close to each site. You might have to rent a vehicle to move it the first couple of times, but you will soon have buddies with big trucks.

robartsd

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 12:14:50 PM »
You could try stealth camping in a converted box truck or cargo van - basically convert a conventional vehicle into a RV/tiny house. Usually this means moving the vehicle daily but it doesn't have to be far. Scout out a few potential places to park near he site overnight and rotate among them. Don't go to your overnight spots until you're ready to go to bed, and depart it as soon as you get up.

FIRE@50

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 12:19:41 PM »
They require you to drive for work but don't give you a company vehicle? Am I the only one surprised by that?

ixtap

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 12:23:50 PM »
They require you to drive for work but don't give you a company vehicle? Am I the only one surprised by that?

They didn't say they are required to drive for work; they require you to get to work, the location of which changes frequently.

Papa bear

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Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 12:25:51 PM »
They require you to drive for work but don't give you a company vehicle? Am I the only one surprised by that?
No. Outside of construction, sales jobs for sure will require travel to client sites, expensed mileage, but you need a car.  I’m sure there are countless others. 

Even as an accountant, I had to drive to client sites, some out of state.

Oh some more: home health, hospice, home care.


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Sibley

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Re: Construction Commuting Problem - Suggestions Welcome!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 12:31:05 PM »
OP, with what you want to do, you need a vehicle. Can't get around it. Maybe short term, once in a while you can not drive, but in general, you need a reliable vehicle.

So, the next best thing is to optimize the vehicle you choose to reduce costs and to optimize your lifestyle as best you can to minimize how much you're driving without negatively impacting your job.