Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Benefits of four day work week considered


February 15, 2018

Could working four 10 hour work days save money compared to five 8 hour days?

At the Kimball County Commissioners meeting last Tuesday, Feb. 6, County Highway Superintendent Dave Hottell, along with the Commissioners, discussed if that change, from five days at 8 hours to four days at 10 hours, still fits the needs of Kimball County.

Hottell has done the math, and according to a worksheet he had calculated and printed, shows a savings using the 4-10’s period for a portion of the year.

Grader fuel usage was the first item on the list and according to the worksheet, to road one grader ten miles out and back equals the usage of nine gallons of fuel, times the cost of fuel per gallon 2.399, equals $21.59 spending in fuel.

Tire wear on the grader is figured at $3 per hour. Employee hourly wage including road time, warm up and cool down of the machines is equal to $17.06 average hourly wage times the amount of time it takes on average 1.5 hours equals $25.59.

According to Hottell once you take $21.59 (fuel) plus $3 (tire wear) plus $25.59 (employee wage) is equal to $50.18 extra for an eight hour day.

Therefore, if eight graders work five days a week, for example a 30 week period multiplied by $50.18 it comes out to an additional $12,024 if worked as five eight hour days over the existing four ten hour days schedule change.

Blading roads was next up on the list, figuring one operator can average approximately 14 miles in a 10 hour day, versus nine miles in an eight hour day. Taking the 14 miles a day for a 10 hour day multiplying that by eight graders, that comes out to 112 miles per day, then multiply that by four days a week which gives you 448 miles per week in a four day work week.

If you take the same equation working five eight hour days at nine miles per day times eight graders that comes out to only 72 miles a day, once multiplied by five days a week it equals 360 miles per week.

448 miles per week times the time period of 30 weeks this comes to 13,440 miles per year for the 4-10s schedule, if you take the 360 miles per week and multiply that by the 30 weeks that only comes out to 10,800 miles per year.

Truck fuel was considered on the worksheet as well, with it stating that the trucks that Kimball County runs average about four miles per gallon. The trip to the pit that is used most often is approximately 16 miles round trip to the pit and back to the shop.

Let’s add in some more math, 16 miles times two trucks is equal to 32 miles. 32 miles divided by the number of miles per gallon 4 is equal to eight gallons a day.

According to Hottell, 4-10 hour days equals four trips times eight gallons is equal to 32 gallons per week. At 5-8 hour days equals five trips multiplied by eight gallons is equal to 40 gallons a week.

This is eight more gallons a week times four weeks in a month comes out to 32 more gallons a month.

Hottell’s calculations also included using this same equation for six, seven and nine months.

Nine months times 32 gallons is equal to 288 gallons times $2.399 per gallon is equal to $690 more per year.

Seven months times 32 gallons comes to 244 gallons times $2.399 equals $537, and at six months times 32 gallons equals 192 gallons times 2.399 finishes out at $449 more per year.

According to Hottell on the worksheet not counting any of the hauling trips just the one extra trip to the pit is costing the county extra money.

These calculations are based on normal weather conditions and the extra cost is based on what the county is paying for fuel as of the new contract.

Now when it comes to hauling gravel, during a 10 hour day about eight loads can be hauled. Eight loads times two trucks is equal to 16 loads a day.

During an eight hour day only 6 loads can be hauled by each truck equaling out to 12 loads per day.

Figuring the 10 hour days 16 loads a day times four days a week, comes out to 64 loads a week, as compared to working eight hour days running 12 loads a day times five days a week equals 60 loads per week.

According to Hottell the county is able to haul four more loads per week working 10 hours a day, and that is equal to 16 loads a month, equaling approximately another half mile per month graveled.

Figuring this equation to nine months of 10 hour days times .5 miles comes out to an additional 4.5 miles per year graveled.

Using seven months of 10 hour days it would equal 3.5 more miles graveled, at six months 3 more miles graveled.

These calculations have been based on a 30 mile round trip per load and normal weather conditions.

According to Hottell in the winter months the county will lose most of their time to gravel the roads due to weather and cold which can then create either muddy roads or frozen gravel. When the roads are frozen the gravel will not embed into the road and can be lost due to maintenance or plowing of snow,

Also working the 4-10s in the panhandle is Box Butte, Dawes, Garden, Morrill, Scottsbluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties.

These counties also switch back to five eight hour days during the winter time.

The board agreed with Hottell that they do see the county saving money, and were pleased with the examples and the explanation of these figures. However, they were concerned about the people of Kimball County and how they are responding to the roads department only working four days during the summer.

The idea of a staggered schedule was discussed having a crew work Monday-Thursday, another work Tuesday-Friday, so at all times during the week there would be a crew on for the road department. Dates for the 4-10s schedule were not decided yet, however, there was talk about March 1-Oct. 1, or thoughts of starting the schedule on the first day of Day Light Savings, and commencing for that year on the last day before the time change for the main purpose of more daylight to work.

With all of the ideas and discussion about this schedule this item will be decided upon at the next Commissioners meeting next Tuesday February, 20.

After the discussion of the Road Department Sheila Newell, Kimball County Zoning Administrator, along with employees of Paul Reed Construction, met with the Board to for a public hearing for conditional use per permit for Paul Reed Construction & Supply, Inc., Parcel ID #530162940. Request for mining using excavation techniques and concrete batch plant located in that part lying south of Highway 30 Section 2-Township 14 North-Range 58 West, Kimball County.

For the construction period of two years, 2018/19 for the construction of the bridge on Interstate 80 traffic will not be able to use County Rd 13 south of Bushnell, travelers and locals will need to use the Bushnell Road, Rd 17. During the time period of May 1-Nov. 1 with the exception of two weeks in the month of July for wheat harvest. According Jeff Marks of Paul Reed the roads used during the construction will restored to as good of condition at the start of the project or better.

There will be more to come on the County Road Department’s hours as well as the bridge construction in the near future.


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