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Ron got me to thinking. How many people have left tools on a jobsite and had the HO or another sub return them to you?

I have found tools on a job that other trades have left. I know most will be on the next one, so I usually put them in my truck until I see them again. Tools are expensive, and I have seen other subs pick things up with no intent on returning them. The only thing I did not return was a 6 foot werner step ladder. It belonged to sparky. They were from out of state, so they said to keep it.
 

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I don't mess with anyones tools because when you take away a mans tools you take away his ability to make a living.I had a customer in Tampa made me so mad.Not sure what I was doing for him but I had left my craftsman 2' plumbers level and called him within 30 min of leaving the job to say I would be returning for my level and he wouldn't budge,he kept insisting I didn't leave it.I used it on his [last job of the day], and never seen it since,you tell me?He Lied like a rug!
If I don't carry in my whole tool bag I will use a tote to keep the tools together,and when I'm working in grassy areas I try to set tools and parts on a piece of card-board.They just cost too much to replace.
 

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People used to return any lost tools, even a can of pipe dope. They'd leave them on my porch or call me and tell me I left something. I've lost plenty over the years, from entire tool boxes to pipe wrenches to crowbars.

These days, no one calls. I work very hard to never lose anything but sometimes it's unavoidable. A tool can easily roll under a counter kick space or be left in a dark apartment closet. Too bad there isn't a reasonable system to count every tool you have when you leave the job. Someday, maybe there will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I usually pick them up because I know most of them. They dont so much know each other though. Tools are too expensive these days to replace
 

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a heat guy left his hole hog out side a job once and took off i layed a piece of ply wood over it and the next day it was gone hopefully it was him who took it......

i dont lose tools very often they get stolen from me.....most expensive thing i lost was a screw driver....almost lost 2 pairs of channel locks the other day in a hot attic in the blown in insulation
 

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I left a toilet auger at a customers house after clearing his toilet (he had two daughters and a wife) when i figured out it was his house i left it at, i called and said i would come and get it. He said he didn't have it, but isaw it leaning up against the wall of his locked garage. the backed up toilet problem had happened more than once.
 

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Having a tool that didn't belong to me in my tool box would be an invitation to some very bad Karma. On the other hand, I've never been big on labeling tools. Best tool protection I've ever heard of: Paint them all pink.
 

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I left a toilet auger at a customers house after clearing his toilet (he had two daughters and a wife) when i figured out it was his house i left it at, i called and said i would come and get it. He said he didn't have it, but isaw it leaning up against the wall of his locked garage. the backed up toilet problem had happened more than once.
Thats really messed up, especially if you can see the darn thing. Did you end up fighting to get it back?

I can't believe people can be so dishonest. This world we are living in makes me sick!!!!!!
 

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: Paint them all pink.
:laughing: You could be on to something

I keep a pretty good wrap on my tools when Im working solo. But when we have a big job going on and alot of techs running around everywhere stuff tends to get misplaced. But all our tool are bar-coded for each service truck.....
 

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Tools

Funny you mention this topic. Friday I was working solo My employee was off work that day. (his band had a gig in ST Louis) I carried my cordless kit from the basement and set it in the garage. Went back to basement to make sure I had everything. Walked back up and right pass my bag and took off for home to get my youngest kid and hang out! Got about half way home and the framers called me and asked if I forgot something. I was like :censored::censored::furious: So I turned my truck around and went back and got it. I was late to getting to my son. . Today I took the framing crew some Gaterade to drink to show my thanks for calling me! I hope they like Orange Flavor!!
 

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Just this week - Plumber 1 left his meter key at customers house. Luckily plumber 2 lives just down the street and will pick it up for him.

Customer calls, Plumber 2 just left our home and he left the wet/dry vac. He was only a mile down the road.
 

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Just this week - Plumber 1 left his meter key at customers house. Luckily plumber 2 lives just down the street and will pick it up for him.

Customer calls, Plumber 2 just left our home and he left the wet/dry vac. He was only a mile down the road.
It does happen, it's human nature to forget as one gets older.
 

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Most of them time when something goes missing it can be found by going through the other trucks in the shop as people like to borrow without asking. I've forgotten a couple small hand tools on jobs, probably under a hundred bucks worth in all my years of plumbing/carpentry. I've had another fifty bucks or so worth walk out of my tool bag.
When I find something I usually leave it alone or if it's in a weird spot I put it nearby in a more obvious spot. I find plenty of screwdrivers, pliers, drill bits, etc that have been dropped into strange places that I do that with. I can think of three tools I've kept. The power company left a fiberglass extension poll they use for holding power lines up from the ground with outside my house. I called to let them know I had it. Five years later no one has shown up for it so I guess it's mine now. I found a buried Estwing hammer. I gave that to someone at the shop who actually cleaned it up and uses it. I found another Estwing hammer in the ceiling of an office building that had been there for some time.
 

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I often worry when I'm on the job and need something from the shop. Should I leave my tools behind? Will it be enough to just close and latch the box? Do they have kids? Most of the time, I'll pack up and take my stuff with me. It's probably time for a break anyway.
 

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I am the worst! I leave stuff all over town. It got so bad that I actually had to develop a set of procedures for doing work. When I finish using a tool it goes back into my bag or into the bin I use to carry parts and uncommonly used tools in even if I know I will need it again in 10 seconds. If I am using my meter key to turn off the water I will leave it on the ground next to the meter. If I am using my meter key to turn on the water it goes back on the truck in it's place. Period. I use to leave my flashlight somewhere about once a week. After setting up these rules for myself I have gotten much better. Last week I only had to go back to get my meter key once and from another location a can of pipe dope (which I probably would have just left but the ho kept calling to let me know I had left it).
 

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I used to carry a rigging bag (like the CRC one available today) that had a spot for almost everything. I got into the habit of picking up tools and putting them in their place as I finished, but before starting to clean up. This way, during clean up, I would go over every area I had worked in and find any strays and since every tool had a 'home' I could see what hand tools were missing quickly. Only the bigger ones that went in the big center pocket could stray unnoticed.

When working under a house I would count my tools before the crawl and count before coming out. That way I knew if I was missing anything. Only problem is, that only works when you're young enough to remember something for more than two minutes. Now I would have to write a note to myself and then remember to read it before I started to crawl out.
 

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I would rather lose a tool and know I left it someplace and then pay to replace it rather than get to a job and waste time looking for it or having to chase a replacement. There is nothing that says "hack" faster than having to run after a simple tool you should never be without.
 
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