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Why do ranch hands move so often?

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theHiredMansWife

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This question was posed in another thread, and I really don't know.
I think it has something to do with the boss being your landlord being your nearest neighbor.

anyone else have some thoughts?


For the actual hands,
What was your worst job? The one you couldn't wait to leave?
 

Cowpuncher

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My ranch manager has been where he is for 16 years. My other hand, his son-in-law, has been there for 5 years.

It must be that I pay too much or that I only spend one day a week on the ranch or that I live 120 miles away.
 

Steve

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why do ranch hands move so often?

My step dad didn't like being told what to do, when it went against what he believed was right.....


or when the boss changed the terms of the pay......or stuck him in a tractor to long......

sometimes it was when he just decided there was a greener pasture....

he has been at the last job for 20 plus years....

He always seemed to work hard, even had his own place for quite a while,

More then likely good hands are as hard to come by as good bosses......
 

Jinglebob

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Different boss

Wanted to ride a new string of horse or see what was over the horizon

See how other people do the same jobs

Better pay or better deal

Management changed and wanted to do things different

Wanted a day off

Wife and or cowboy couldn't get along with one of the wives, whether boss's or one of the other fellers

All I've ever done is daywork as I always had this ranch to take care of, but I've got to ride and help work cattle in 4 different states, and a lot of ranches in this country. It's neat to see how everyone goes about doing the same jobs and how much different and/or the same it is from place to place. Best part is realizing that ranch folks are ranch folks, wherever you go.

Worst job was probably putting up with some sorry wannabe's who wouldn't listen when someone who knew better gave them good advice. Them kind of people are dangerous! :x
 
A

Anonymous

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Heck, lets be honest with ourselves here...

Why on earth would a young, red-blooded feller wanna spend the better part of the summer months, stuck to the seat of a noisy, stinkin', vibratin' tractor bumpin' along the hayfields, or trudgin' through the fields in waist-high irrigation boots, when he could be ridin' fenceline up in the high-country ? ? ?

The bigger outfits knew how to do it...you hire a guy for what you need, (maintenance, farming or cowboying) and NEVER settle on someone who you even SUSPECT might wanna twist-off when brandin' season or fall-gather is coming up.

Don't waste your time or patience...deep down inside, you all KNOW better, don't you ?
 
A

Anonymous

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Many of those cowboys of old all had an "itch"--seemed like they could only stay at one place so long before the itch had them moving again...Might work for the same place 5 times in 15 years but just never seemed to want to get grown to any one place......
 

Soapweed

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The man that has night calved for us the past three years worked here full time from 1988 until 1992. At that time, I asked him if he had ever considered trying to run a few of his own cows on the various ranches on which he had worked. He said, "Nope, I don't want any rocks tied to my a$$." He wanted the freedom to just pack up and leave at a moment's notice. When he came to work for me back then, he was upfront with me and said he might stay a year, maybe a month, maybe a week, or just a day or two. I said, "Let's just give it a try. For every day you are here, we have one more day's work done than we did the day before." I was proud when he stayed for four years and three months, because that was his record for the longest time he had ever worked for one outfit.

When my dad was young, he worked for a rancher from the old school. They worked hard from daylight 'til dark every day, with darn little time off at noon. Every evening as they left the barn to go to the house for supper, the old rancher would say, "Well, we didn't get much done today but we'll give'er hell tomorrow."
 

hometowngurl

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Let's see, the last job, the boss was sick and dying. His wife was being a "BITCH" and she was family. :roll: :!: :roll: :lol: . The one before that one,(8 1/2 yrs before), told you one thing and then got nasty to your face, a male bitch. The one before him was nice but he didn't like to be out guessed , first. And hubby wanted to try his hand at managing a ranch ,which we got at the 8 1/2 yr. job. and better pay.................
that goes without sayin' :lol: :p :roll: :!:
 

snuffy

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First time writin'... long time readin'.

I once took a job on a Brangus place down in Mississippi. I had never seen a cotton picker before. The first time I seen it they made me drive it. I was so bad that I was ahorseback from then on.
 

righter

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Whoa, HMW, you are reading my mind, or what??
Mostly, we seem to have found all the real jerks in this biz, and they all had one thing in common -- they would tell any lie they had to so we would come to work for them, then figure that we were trapped with no money to go elsewhere, so they could do as they pleased.
One guy was going to force the other half to either buy his horses or ride them for him at no pay. Guess how that worked out :lol:
One guy actually got p'd off and GRABBED THE BRIDLE -- he was lucky to have got out of that alive, Other Half has a temper. One outfit forgot to mention that the whole summer was spent tractoring when OH was hired as a cowboy. Cowboys DON'T FARM. And they don't use four-wheelers on cows. (Would you hire a thorasic surgeon to deliver a baby? No. And you wouldn't want him to operate using a hammer, either.)
Other no-nos -- house falling in, paycheck bounces, don't know squat about a job but want to tell you how to do it.
Last but not least, we are still looking for a place where THEY HOLD UP THE COWS. Is that a thing of the past or what?
One place was really good, though. All horseback, held up the herd, rode out what they wanted or made them mind up, roof turned water in the rain. The same outfit hired tractor drivers and fence builders and construction help, didn't expect cowboys to do it. But the pay was rock bottom. So the next place looked better. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
And we really like it here, so much so that OH threw away the boxes.
Of course, the weather has been warm the last few days, and I see that gleam in his eyes ...
 

smalltime

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Familiaritey breeds contempt!I worked 7 years on a ranch and we used horses for all the cattle working.All the sorting was done out in the open.I was the flunky so I had the pleasure of evey job on the ranch.When the boss said ride I rode. When he said fix fence I fixed fence.When he said do anything even if I thought it was wrong I did it because as awise old friend always says '' It all pays the same''.I never wanted to be justa cowboy.For me all those boring hours on atractor make it possible to own cattle so I have a reason to do cowboy work.
 

theHiredMansWife

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we seem to have found all the real jerks in this biz

Been there, done that, have the t-shirt and boxes (milk boxes and IBP just can't be beat!) in my basement to prove it. :wink:
We had a job that lasted six weeks. Like you said, cowboys don't farm. My husband is a fairly competant jack of all trades. He'll mechanic, irriagate, hay, do a little plumbing, electrical and carpetry work if needs be, but he will not farm. Farm is a four letter "F" word, ya know. :wink:

One job lasted six weeks. At the interview the boss promised no farming, because that was the lesser half's only stipulation; he just has no desire to farm. Haying is as close as he's willing to get.
He spent the first three weeks on a tractor, farming, came home one day and said, "Start lookin' " :x

We had a job where they wouldn't give him his final paycheck. Month's wages. We sued. We won. There do seem to be quite a few jerks looking for help. Then again, there's probably a reason they go through so many people.

So the next place looked better.

*chuckle*

It always does, doesn't it? :lol:

or that I only spend one day a week on the ranch or that I live 120 miles away.

We've worked for this current employer a total of about 5 years now. The fellow that runs their cattle ranch in SD has been with them for about 6. His wife and I have come to the conclusion that, at least for our families, the difference seems to be absentee ownership.
Life seems to be a lot easier when the boss is a few thousand miles away, in our case, and flies in once every couple months for the afternoon. "Cows look good. See ya"
In both cases, we're allowed to run the place like we want. Not as much riding as a straight cowboying job, but the independance makes it all worth it it seems...
 

Denny

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smalltime said:
Familiaritey breeds contempt!I worked 7 years on a ranch and we used horses for all the cattle working.All the sorting was done out in the open.I was the flunky so I had the pleasure of evey job on the ranch.When the boss said ride I rode. When he said fix fence I fixed fence.When he said do anything even if I thought it was wrong I did it because as awise old friend always says '' It all pays the same''.I never wanted to be justa cowboy.For me all those boring hours on atractor make it possible to own cattle so I have a reason to do cowboy work.

I don't mind rideing the tractor heat in the winter AC in the summer, Radio loader that can lift more than my back.Its all in a days work I would bet there a darn few full time rideing jobs.Thing's change some for the worse most for the better.My forefather's used to cut wood with an ax and a bucksaw I don't.
 
A

Anonymous

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Employers furnishing references...ya just GOTTA LOVE IT !!!!

I just formally turned down a MUCH NEEDED job offer based on the simple fact that whenever I call this rancher, he's ALWAYS thinking about "Letting this or that particular person go..."

How the heck can I commit to an employer who'se always in that situation ? ? ?

When will I be the one who he's thinking of 'letting go' whenever someone 'better' comes along ? ? ?

Some of you ranchers out there play the very same games we hired hands do...so I just gotta repeat the age old saying: "He who lives in glass houses should not throw stones..."

SICK of it...sometimes I actually give thought to working for McDonalds (the 'polar-opposite' side of the beef industry) anymore...at least they might pay medical should I happen to slip on a puddle of french-fry oil an' fracture my tailbone...
 

righter

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Let's see, what would the questions for an employer be?
A few suggestions ...
Why did your last help leave?
List the names and addresses of three former employees.
Do you have children? Have they worked for you in the past? Why are they not working for you now?
Would you live in the accommodations you offer your help? :lol:
 

Faster horses

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Good questions; and why shouldn't they be asked before a man moves his family, lock, stock and barrel to a new ranch?

Truly, I have thought about this a lot. I did not just think up today my comment that employees should furnish references as well. We have friends nearby that are excellent workers and they wouldn't work on a ranch again if their life depended on it and they love ranching. The last job clinched it. Bad, bad, bad...

It has saddened me because they are both very capable, love animals, have a family and just were treated so badly this last time that they do something else now. In deals like that, EVERYONE LOSES. :cry:
 

Haytrucker

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In 1986 I commencd to ranch in the Sandhill's. Fifth ranch job; right behind a feedlot session. To this day I can find a help wanted ad for the outfit, (Nicky will confirm this).
In my experience before then and since, there are two kinds of ranchers; those who are hiring, and those who are managers.
If that sound's blunt; I guess you got my point.
 

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