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Wells
02-02-2006, 03:17 PM
Anyone ever tried running a split crew shift? What I mean by that is you have one crew that does all residential homes during the daytime hours, say 7am-4pm and then a second part-time crew that works on the commercial properties from 5pm-9pm.

The advantage to this setup would be that you could save on the cost of additional equipment and trucks. The disadvantages would be the equipment is going to wear out sooner and if something goes wrong with either the equipment or truck you could have two crews on downtime.

I was thinking that down the road I might consider trying it but wanted to pick the brains of those that have forged the path before me.

TURF DOCTOR
02-02-2006, 03:27 PM
Hom many accounts per week are you cutting.

lsylvain
02-02-2006, 03:54 PM
Sounds like a plan to me, but for that matter, instead of working 2 crews each day, how about running 2 crews on an "on 3 off 4, on 4 of 3 schedual" Basically the same thing.

rodfather
02-02-2006, 03:55 PM
The only advantage I see Brett is mowing the commerical props when they are closed at those hours. The other thing too is you might have some trouble finding people just to work 3 or 4 hours a day at that time as well...unless it's some that has a full time job and either needs some extra money and/or likes the exercise.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
02-02-2006, 04:03 PM
A buddy of mine was talking about something similar last year. He never got it to work though.

Wells
02-02-2006, 04:46 PM
How many accounts per week are you cutting.
Not sure how that makes any difference. The concept would work the same for a large or small company. The only difference would be instead of having two crews sharing a truck and equipment you have 10 crews sharing trucks and equipment.

This year I plan on adding my first crew and depending on how things progress my second crew may just be part-time workers servicing commercial properties in the evenings and sharing the truck and equipment with the first crew. If the concept ends up working out I may just continue adding split shifts as business grows.

dsmrolla06
02-02-2006, 05:51 PM
What about a 7-2 and a 2-9 crew? 7 hour shifts arent too bad, wouldnt you only have to give only a half hour break then? I like the idea tho, it would alow you to have more accounts that way, as well as not having crew members getting worn out because of the shorter work day.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
02-02-2006, 06:08 PM
Yeah it does sound like a great concept i theory. The reason that dsmrolla06 mentioned is the exact reason my buddy was going to try it. If you don't beat the heck out of your labor they may stick around longer. Less turnover = less training = better productivity = better profit = :)

rodfather
02-02-2006, 06:19 PM
I think there would be some problems with scheduling...here's an example.

We run 2, 3-man crews just for maintenance. Now these guys are all pretty close, talk with one another in the morning even before showing up for work. If the weather in the early morning is not so great (showers or t-storms), many times they will discuss among themselves and start later if things are forecasted to clear up after a few hours. So if there is say a 2 hour rain delay in the morning, they will almost always try to make it up in the afternoon most of the time or start earlier the next day to catch up.

If they decide to work late, now the "2nd shift" under this scenario is SOL...correct?

PMLAWN
02-02-2006, 06:32 PM
Maintenance issues would come to mind. When do you fix things

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
02-02-2006, 06:36 PM
Yeah, there is definitely pro's and con's to both sides of the coin. As Rod and PMLawn pointed out it may not work as easily as it sounds on paper.

rodfather
02-02-2006, 06:37 PM
Maintenance issues would come to mind. When do you fix things

I thought of that as well...your window of opportunity is shortened especially since if you need something in the way of parts or repair "after hours", that might prove to be a problem.

Wells
02-02-2006, 08:23 PM
I thought of that as well...your window of opportunity is shortened especially since if you need something in the way of parts or repair "after hours", that might prove to be a problem.

I see what you guys are saying and those are some excellent points. Let me re-think this a bit..........The purchase of some backup equipment for the possible breakdowns and general maintenance might need to be made but you would be money ahead by not having to purchase additional trucks, trailers and your insuring less number of vehicles.

In the case of rain the schedule may have to shift slightly and Saturday may need to be used as a makeup day but those are the same issues one faces running one crew. Also if you are currently paying your crew to work more then 8 hours in a day you are probably also paying them overtime which this would virtually eliminate.

In theory you could increase your profits substantially without drastically increasing your overhead.

Advantages:
- elimination of overtime
- elimination of extra trucks and trailers
- lower vehicle insurance due to less vehicle purchases
- employees are worked less / less chance of burnout, corner cutting, etc


Disadvantages:
- equipment wears out faster
- spare equipment needs be to available for breakdowns and maintenance
- mileage goes up per vehicle / more maintenance
- Rainy days become more of an issue

jkkalbers
02-02-2006, 08:38 PM
What about sunlight? Come End of September its dark by 6:30 then once daylight savings kicks in, its dark by 5:30. Wouldn't matter too much around here because we're into clean-ups by then. But people that mow through November might run into problems. I do like the idea of split shifts though.

LawnTamer
02-02-2006, 08:39 PM
Brett, long time no see.
I haven't tried that exact idea, but I've done something similar. I've run a truck 65-70 hrs per week using two crews and alternating days, no one goes over 40 hrs and if crew a gets rained out then both crews show up the next day to help catch up. That is running 2 man crew most days, 4 on catch up days. The only problem is when you get a couple of real wet or snowy days in a row, there's just not enough daylight to catch up fast when 12 hr days is the norm.

lawnman_scott
02-02-2006, 10:18 PM
I think you would run into problems all the time, unless you can plan a day that good to never be behind on work for a number of reasons. If that happens you have guys hanging around waiting to start.