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Old 05-23-2015, 06:56 AM   #15
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Yes, more details are needed. Actually, I've been having people that are interested just call me and we talk for 20 minutes or so about the job then I send them to the recruiter. I want people to know EXACTLY what the job entails. I do feel it's still the best way to answer questions and describe the job but you're right Carl, I need to post more details. Here's what I tell people in our phone conversations.


Southern Cross Corp is a company based in Georgia, just outside Atlanta. We've been in business since the late 40s. We contract to gas utility companies all over the country to do DOT mandated gas line inspections. Every gas line in the county has to be walked over and surveyed for leaks every 5 years. Some utilities do it themselves and some contract it out. We are the contractor. As a traveling technician you are a full-time employee, NOT an independent contractor. We take out taxes and Social Security and offer a 401K, health insurance and paid time off. The company provides all of the equipment you need including gas survey equipment, work shirts, and cell phone (for calling in leaks to the gas company and communication to the home office. We do have to purchase our own boots however. They don't have to be steel toe but do have to be above the ankle. I've found that hiking boots work far better than work boots as we walk 6-8 miles per day. More about the walking in a minute.


Project length/hours. Each project can last from a few weeks in a small town to 6 months in a large city. Currently I'm in Provo, UT on a 6 month project. I worked a project last year in Bessimer City, NC that lasted 3 weeks. Sometimes you're the only person from the company on that project. Sometimes there may be 10 or more. In that case there will be a lead tech to manage everyone. I'm currently the lead tech in Provo. We have 19 techs here in the greater Salt Lake Valley right now. I have 4 with me in Provo. We work the hours of the gas company since they have to respond to the leaks we find. Monday through Friday 7 am to 3:30 pm is usually the norm with a half hour for lunch. We don't work part-time hours since the projects are time sensitive and have to be done by certain dates so no, no part-time work. However, a lot of our guys take the winter off since we slow down in the winter. I work all year by choice. The travelers get sent south in the winter and north in spring. When you're sent from one project to the next it's okay to take some time to visit the Grand Canyon, etc. We do earn time off like any normal job so we use that or just take a few unpaid days to see the sights.


RV parks are always close to where we're working and I've never had a problem finding a place to stay. I always book a monthly rate which is usually 300-500 per month. I stayed on a farm in Watertown, Tennessee for 200 per month. The company pays you 200 per week per diem, 800 per month. If you find rent below that you still keep the full 800. It's our responsibility to find RV parks - I prefer it that way.


We do hire couples and I actually have a couple working for me here in Provo. They are both employees and each get separate paychecks plus each get the 200 per week RV per diem, 400 per week collectively. Couples always work the same project and always work together. It's preferred they each have separate transportation so that during the work day they can each work separate neighborhoods but not absolutely required. The couple that work for me have 1 car so I give them maps that are next to each other.


Compensation. The company web site needs to be updated. Here's the current info. You're not going to get rich doing this job but it beats any other work camping job I've seen. We get paid every week on Friday. Salary is $10.50 per hour. This is taxed just like it would be on a "normal" job. Per diem of $200.00 per week. This is an expense reimbursement and not taxed. Mileage reimbursement for the use of your vehicle during the work day is .57 cents per mile from the time you leave your RV to the time you get home. This is not taxed. Relocation allowance, when you're sent from one project to another, is 82.5 cents per mile when towing or driving your RV. This is also not taxed. This is where the job really shines. Most work camping jobs don't pay you to travel. We do. There is also a $500.00 sign on bonus.


Requirements. No specific educational requirements. On the job training - usually about 2 weeks - is provided. You have to pass a drug screen and as a gas industry worker you have to submit to random drug screens, DOT requirement. We do a criminal background looking for felonies and such. We do a driving record check looking for DUI's and revocations. I don't think a few speeding tickets are going to be a deal breaker. You have to be a fill-time RVer. We don't do hotel assignments. We go where the work is. However if you want to go to somewhere specific, and we have a project there, then the project manager will send you there. At the end of the day though if he needs someone in South Carolina for example he will ask that you go there. It works best for someone who just wants to travel for travel's sake. I have not been disappointed yet with any place I've been.


It's not a strenuous job but we do walk a lot. Usually in neighborhoods but also in downtown areas and rural areas. Anywhere there is a gas line. Typically we walk 6-10 miles per day. At you own pace, taking breaks when you need to. Safety is paramount. If there's a dog in a yard we don't go in that yard. If there's a dangerous neighborhood we work in teams. I've never felt threatened though. We wear reflective vests and utility company garb so blend in quite well. For our female techs we make sure to work in pairs in questionable neighborhoods. 95 % of the time though you'll just be in typical neighborhoods or farmland. Important... if you have had a knee replacement or hip replacement I would recommend you not do this. It will take it's toll on you. If you're out of shape it's the best thing you could do for yourself.


Sorry about the long post. That's why I was just talking to people over the phone but this should about do it. We are hiring so if this is up your alley, or you know someone who doesn't read the forums but may be interested let them know. The best way to apply is to call me at 404-759-5759 and we can talk. I'll give you the names of the recruiter and project manager, send you a link to the application then put in a good word. I'm NOT a human resources person, just a tech getting the word out. Like I said, I want everyone to have all the information they need to make the right decision for them. Do your research. Google Southern Cross Corp and check out the company. Check out my blog and the post I made about the job. It's up higher in the thread but here too.

Airstream Tales and Trails: Walkin' The Line



I hope this answers some questions but feel free to call. That's my company phone and it may go to voice mail but I'll all back as soon as I can. My e-mail is here on the forum and also on the blog.



Kevin
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:22 PM   #16
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now you talking.. thanks a million for the informative post.. While i am not in the fulltime RV position yet, I know the others that are intrested and available are wanting more info and this post is gold. It gives enough info to let me know If i was able we would be giving this a swing. Plus you wont have to repeat all this 10 more times..

Have a good and and thanks again.

ps how long have you been working with these guys now!! you still do any dog green screen stuff??


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[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Tahoma]Yes, more details are needed. Actually, I've been having people that are interested just call me and we talk for 20 minutes or so about the job then I send them to the recruiter. I want people to know EXACTLY what the job entails. I do feel it's still the best way to answer questions and describe the job but you're right Carl, I need to post more details. Here's what I tell people in our phone conversations.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #17
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pss to above.. since the company is based in GA are you taxed at the georgia rate for state tax, and what if you are legal resident of say florida that has no state tax.

What state do you domicile in ,I guess florida?
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #18
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Carl that's a great question. Many companies, like the one I work for, are now taxing based on the state where work is performed. Mine does it by looking at expense reports and where items like car rental or hotel dates are recorded. So it seems to depend on the company you work for. Maybe Kevin can answer...
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:30 AM   #19
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Yes, I can answer that :-) I started with Southern Cross in June 2013, so almost 2 years. Since we started traveling in earnest I stopped doing the green screen pet photography. It got to the point where it took up too much of my weekend time. Plus I was spending a lot of time figuring out different state permit issues and sales tax issues. It was fun though.

Speaking of taxes. Southern Cross outsources their payroll to a company called Oasis. I am still a resident of Florida so don't pay state income taxes. No, they do not determine it from expense reports and Gary, I'd check on that. I'm certainly not a tax guy but do know that's how my company does it and haven't had any issues with audits or anything. A lot of our people have done the South Dakota residency thing as well. I'm sure there are plenty of threads available on that topic on this and other RV forums.
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:01 PM   #20
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again thanks for your replies.. It helps us guys figure out this opportunity.

So Im talking with the wife, giving her an overview of your blog as i had gone back to the First Post in 2008 to try and get a feel for the whole story thus far. have not made it all the way through, hitting the highlights trying to figure out the date you finally went full time, but i am sure its in there somewhere.

Your story is a lot like ours, I am going on 57 and wife is 52, one daughter a Jr at NC State, other daughter Jr in HS, and not going to have a large bucket of money to retire on. Bought the truck last summer a 2003 ford f-250 Super Duty 7.3L diesel 168K, fiberglass camper shell and it mostly sits. Looking to buy a airstream next year is timeframe.

She ask me if your wife/girlfriend? etc, Margo,was doing this job as well. I told her it appears she was working at a KOA.. ( i find blogs hard to read as the newest if at top and you have to read from bottom to top and you have to go backwards was well and it gets interesting for me.)

She ask why i though she was not doing the same job hence my inquiry..

Another question, and we have been following the amazon deal as well, was the whole reason for going on the road was to see and do stuff, not work a full time job year around.

I guess i am asking if in the example of the gig in Provo, you are there for 6 months. After that job finishes you get another assignment to another place.
Do you know if say after the 6 months job, you decided to take a month off to explore more of that or another area and after the month wanted to go to say the AZ area, if you requested that right soon after starting the "provo" deal, does the company have the ability and know that far in advance of upcoming needs to work with you on these type of request?

Another question that came up was like when the "guys" that take the winter off, how is the company in working with them in that regard. Say we wanted to take 3ish months off during the year and expressed that fact are they going to say "see you around but not around here" or they going to work with you?

The training you mentions is that done at teh home office and do you have to be mobile at that time? plus the 500 dollar bonus is that to the new hire or to the person finding the new hire..

again thanks a million for the info and your time to provide it.. another reason AS'ers ROCK..

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours there in Provo..
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:10 PM   #21
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I used to see a retired husband and wife who team up to do inspections of cellular antenna locations across the county. Their work amounts to reviewing the locations of the towers, verifying that the proper exposure warning signs are posted and then they take some radiation readings around the tower and transmitter equipment to verify that radiation standards are being met. They have a motorhome and enjoy the work. I would see the guy every couple of years when he would inspect the AT&T antenna's that were mounted on our building and inside. Only downside of the job is that the access to some antenna's are out on roof's which in our case required him to climb up a 25' ladder to the roof top hatch. His wife stayed down below and handled the paper work. I used to go up with him just to understand what he was looking at and to see the readings for myself. My building maintenance folks used to have some trepidations about the warning signs so I knew exactly where you could walk and where you couldn't.

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Old 05-24-2015, 02:30 PM   #22
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If I wanted to go full time and work some this would be the job for me. I have 35 years of pin pointing gas leaks digging them up and fixing them here in Ohio.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:19 PM   #23
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Kevin I hear you on the taxes. I work for a large software company with lots of consulting resources that travel to work at a customer site. Never came up until last year. Rumor is that one of the west coast states did an audit. It was not pretty. And most states, while they may not ever catch it, want their pound of flesh from folks that work in the state.

Interesting side note is just last week there was a Supreme Court decision on just this type of topic where Maryland was involved in multi-state income tax credits and lost. Maryland prepares for $200 million hit from Supreme Court tax case - The Washington Post

And thanks for your contribution to the forum. Great information.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:13 PM   #24
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bet it was the bankrupt state called calliefornia. Cant get enough money for the poor citizen so lets ambush the out of state works that come here.. Dam shame how they try to screw over everyone else.

I did not read the article.

OK just read the article.. looks like the practice of states trying to take your money from out of state employment are limited or reduced at least.

wonder how callieforina will react to this.

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Kevin I hear you on the taxes. I work for a large software company with lots of consulting resources that travel to work at a customer site. Never came up until last year. Rumor is that one of the west coast states did an audit. It was not pretty. And most states, while they may not ever catch it, want their pound of flesh from folks that work in the state.

Interesting side note is just last week there was a Supreme Court decision on just this type of topic where Maryland was involved in multi-state income tax credits and lost. Maryland prepares for $200 million hit from Supreme Court tax case - The Washington Post

And thanks for your contribution to the forum. Great information.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:17 PM   #25
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you worked for the gas company there in OH? sounds like the deal for you if you wanted to do it.

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If I wanted to go full time and work some this would be the job for me. I have 35 years of pin pointing gas leaks digging them up and fixing them here in Ohio.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:54 PM   #26
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Let's see. I'll answer and comment in the order of posts below my last one.

We went full-time in June 2013.

Margo does work at the KOA now. She's a retired dental hygienist and is working now for extra $ and something to do. The survey thing isn't her cup of tea. She likes outside recreation but not working outside full time and that's a point I want to make. This job isn't for everyone. If you don't truly like being outside in good weather and crappy then you won't like the job. I think it's really important to like what you do and I tell people to really think about it before jumping in. Heaven for me is walking a country road in the morning with the cows and it's those times I feel lucky to have found the job.

Future projects may be known 6 months ahead but not necessarily staffing so unfortunately you can't really expect them to give you a lot of lead time on your next job. Typically you'll know a few weeks in advance from one to the next. To be fair though, I will mention that I've gotten a phone call on a few occasions asking if I could leave for a new assignment almost immediately. When that happens it's due to an emergency somewhere and the company reimburses you for any unusual expenses like prepaid RV park rent, etc. The more travelers we hire the less likely that will happen.

The techs that take the winter off actually leave the job and then are re-hired. I guess from an HR standpoint they have to do it that way. Every one that wants to come back is hired back.

Training is done at the closest ongoing project to where you are when they hire you. I was hired from Florida and chose to go to HQ in Georgia for my training because I wanted to meet everyone and see the building etc. We have projects all over so it probably isn't a very great distance for anyone to travel. You do have to be mobile at that time. The $500.00 bonus is paid to you 4 weeks after you're hired - after 2 weeks training then after the first 2 weeks you are working. That bonus is meant to pay you back for getting yourself to your training assignment and it IS taxable income. They used to pay it up front but got ripped off a few times so changed it.

As for income taxes. I trust they they're doing the right thing. I guess just like with any other employer you would work for. It was important to me to check this out really good when I got started which is the main reason I actually went to the main office and met everyone. I didn't look for any diplomas on the walls but I trust the HR people I talked to are skilled. They outsource the payroll portion to a company called Oasis. Never miss a check and never had any problems with filing my taxes. Interestingly, we don't do any work in California. From what I've heard it's a union state and the labor costs are too high so our company doesn't look for contracts there. There may be more to it than that but I'm not privy to that info - at least until I take over and run the place myself :-)
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:00 PM   #27
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Oh yeah, Car.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We've had a lot of fun with it over the years and both write posts. Mine always start with "Hey folks" and her's usually end with "In-Joy as a salutation.

Message me your e-mail address and I'll put you in my G-mail list for future posts.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:42 PM   #28
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thanks guys..

i did sign up on website already. I understand about this not being margo "cup o tea". when talking with my wife she feels the same way a bit, but time will tell on that. I work out doors myself.. i own a chimney service business and carpet cleaning (have tech for that) so we are on ladders and roofs a bit. Now when it get hot its hard to be slogging around in the heat but it not all bad.

In reading the blog it looked like you are going to the same locations a couple of time, Nashville, and Salt Lake city Provo area and the out of the blue deal like Virginia Beach..

When you are the lead tech do that come with a bit more money or just a fancy title?? also in your two ish years have there been pay raises.. for all stuff, the pre diem and traveling rates? also do you find the .82 rate when moving covering cost like fuel etc.. ( what is MPG with Hank towing vs non towing.) and does everyone get the nice door placard i see from the flood pictures.. man i bet that was hairy..

sorry for so many questions.. I am trying to formulate a plan to get us on the road in 3ish vs 6ish years from now.

carl





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Oh yeah, Car.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We've had a lot of fun with it over the years and both write posts. Mine always start with "Hey folks" and her's usually end with "In-Joy as a salutation.

Message me your e-mail address and I'll put you in my G-mail list for future posts.
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