View Full Version : 12 Hour Work Days???

02-04-2006, 05:43 PM
The idea of this post is to maximize your equipment and profits....

I was figuring instead of running 8hrs x 5days/wkly with 1 crew (who you'll probably end up having to pay overtime to) why not maximize it to run 2 crews on the same equipment three 12's?

i.e. a Mon - Wend crew, then a Thur - Sat crew.

This would eliminate any overtime paid, and fully maximize the investment on your equipment. (ur only making money if its running)

I was also considering as an incentive for your employees you pay 40 for 36 hrs/wk... in other words, they get paid for 40/hrs only if they work the full 36. If a no-show/or late to work... then they only make their hourly wage.
This will be considered a bonus.

Some states make you pay time & 1/2 anytime over 8hrs of work is performed that day. (but not many)

This is situation assumes that you have the lawns to fill this time ,you dont have to pay time & 1/2 for a 12hr work day, and youre running 1 set of equipment. This is also a 2 man crew.

Pros and Cons please... What do you think???

02-04-2006, 05:47 PM
My customers wouldn't be happy with me if I showed up in their yards at 7pm every week. This pretains to residentials... I don't see it being a problem on commercials. Also don't you think the employees would start slowing down after about 8 hours or work per day? I for one woulnd't want to work 12 hour days. I guess this could be good for them if they wanted to get another job to work on their days off though. So both pro's and cons..

02-04-2006, 06:02 PM
I work 12-15 hour days all summer, gotta make hay while the sun shines.

Anyways, my point was, you might want to check into labor laws. Some places pay overtime for anything over 8 hours, period, regardless if you work over 40 or not.

If you're NOT required to do that, then sure, go for it.

If you ARE required, then you might STILL want to do it. Seems like you usually lose an hour at the beginning and end of each day anyways. While everyone's already at work, keep them working.

02-04-2006, 06:04 PM
Do u have employees and if u do, on average, how many hrs do they work daily???

And days worked weekly???

I know of some w/ employees where they average 10hrs daily.

02-04-2006, 06:05 PM
Mentioned in intial post... this will be assuming you dont have to pay overtime.

02-04-2006, 06:07 PM
The good people want to work a full week. If weather sets you back, one crew is always getting shorted on hours. Around here, If its not a full time job, you get the bottom of the barrel

02-04-2006, 06:18 PM
Throughout the course of the season.. both should average out to the same amount of time off due to weather.....

You could also come up w/ some rules as to u get $10 bonus for every 12/hrs u work during the week (u can be creative with this and come up w/ something that is an incentive) or an extra hr's pay for each 10 with 4hrs exta for the 36
10hrs = 1hr's pay bonus
20hrs = 2 " " "
30 = 3 " " "
36 = 4

Also this scenario is with 1 crew working (2 employees)... not u on the lawn..
during downtime due to rain u can bring in an employee thats not scheduled to work once it clears up to work with u to catch up with the other lawns and get everything back on schedule.

02-04-2006, 06:20 PM
The good ones will get 40hrs pay...
and those who dont care that they only worked 2 days will be happy also.

02-04-2006, 06:32 PM
Pertaining to the "customers not satisfied with showing up at 7p.m everytime." post..

u could change ur route around from going from A to B one week to going from B to A the next week..

also, like on some of my routes.. I can make some minor tweeks (that are not confusing) to adjust certain streets I get at a different time that day than last wk and still be on the same route and schedule without any addition to time.. Mind u, Im in the subarbs of around a city... Rural areas, this would be harder to do.

02-04-2006, 06:38 PM
A bad idea thinking you can work crews 12 hours, better to work harder during a 8 hour shift. And overtime eats at profits quickly.

02-04-2006, 08:01 PM
My crews would much rather work 3 twelves than 5 eight hr days, think about having 4 days off each week. I try and do something like this whenever I can. Only problem is if equipment breaks. If your truck can handle 4 people then you can make up faster if you get behind, even a third person helps. I think it's a great idea. We stack our Thursdays really heavy and have several residential accounts where we show up after 7:30pm every week, if there's light, and have never had a complaint.

02-04-2006, 08:08 PM
My crews would much rather work 3 twelves than 5 eight hr days, think about having 4 days off each week. I try and do something like this whenever I can. Only problem is if equipment breaks. If your truck can handle 4 people then you can make up faster if you get behind, even a third person helps. I think it's a great idea. We stack our Thursdays really heavy and have several residential accounts where we show up after 7:30pm every week, if there's light, and have never had a complaint.

What condition is your crew in after the 1st 8hrs??????

02-04-2006, 08:43 PM
Try to schedule the bigger properties for the end of the 12 hour shift. Riding more than walking to finish up helps.

02-04-2006, 08:57 PM
you are forgetting one thing...this is mowing grass dealing outside with the weather...not inside production/assembly work.

02-04-2006, 09:16 PM
Quick ? What Is A Good # For A Maintenance Crew As Of Now We Have About 60 Clients Hope This Spring To Pick Up Atleast 20 More. Can A 2 Man Crew Do This Much And Let 2 Other Guys Focus On Landscaping Or Let All 4 Work Together And Fit Maintenance And Landscaping In The Same Week. Hope My ? Makes Sense. Thanks

02-04-2006, 09:49 PM
Why not four 10-hour days? I don't know of many companies that work an 8 hour day around here, I see LCOs out from 6am til 9pm in the summer.

Problem with the plan is...12 hours is brutal during the summer months, and you will have to find TWICE as many dependable employees.

I take it you are hoping to add some significant business, if you want to go from a 40-hour week for one crew to 72 hours total?

chuck bow
02-04-2006, 10:09 PM
I have read some posts about weather set backs but tell us how that would work if you get 2 ,3 or even 4 straight days of no work because of rain one crew is really going to get screwed on hrs unless you pay them for rain days at full rate to many varibles for this to work in my honest opinion

02-04-2006, 10:30 PM
No way to the idea of having two crews. One is bad enough. We work mostly 12- 14 hour days. Sometimes if all goes well, friday by 3 - 4 were done (guys are done I should say) there is always 2-3 of us that work all day saturday. But being boss man I am runnen from 4 a.m. until 8 ish at nite. If weather plays a role - we will run in the rain for a short time. But if it rains from early -mid afternoon - no work, guys come in and we mow until dark. Then we stack the H out of the next day. You guys should no - ya gotta run when you can. Most of our guys will put in easy 60 hours a week ( 12 - 15 guys) I am probably running easy 80 -90 depending what is up for the week as in work load.

I give the guys the option to work Hoilday's in the summer. Every year, every single guy I have will work at least until 3 p.m. Holidays in the summer to me is a time to keep working but during the winter - it is slower - we taek x-mas, x-giving & a few day off during new years.

I have great people, a great wife and great life. I choose this and therefore this is how I run the business. Is it wise to hire another guy or two to take work off my shoulders - not really. I am owner, I am worker, it is a way of life. I enjoy it and I hope I can share that enjoyment with others.

The notion to have 3 crews 3 days of the week and then 3 crews the rest of the week sounds like a headache! To many people running in and out and I think it would be hard to track equipment - espically if your doing fert/squirt jobs, landscape jobs, mowing, etc.

02-05-2006, 09:09 PM
Interesting idea, but there is "work" and then there is "productive work" and my impression is that a 12 hour day is going to result in employees (or owners) pacing themselves so that they can finish. I can be a whirling dervish for 8 hours, but I can't keep that pace up over 12. At least not for long. It's also not great for employee retention if you have them out there getting heat exhaustion 11 hours into a 12 hour day in 96 degree temps.

You also will be annoying a lot of people starting up mowers at 8am (7:30 show up time for employees) and not turning them off till after 7pm (when people are arriving home) on a regular basis. Might be a problem

You'll also have more lawns to mow when dew is still heavy if you start earlier, and you'll have more days when afternoon showers rain you out if you work later.

My experience is, if you schedule 4 full days of work, it will take 5 days to get it done some weeks due to weather, and if you schedule 3, it will take 4.

It may not matter where you live, but you are going to run smack full into two rush hours working 12 hour days. You will be burning a lot of that extra 4 hours a day sitting in traffic if you are in a major metro or busy suburban area.

An 8.5 hour day (on the road/in the field) set up to miss both rush hours (leave shop at 8:30, finish up with jobs closest to the shop and arrive back by 5pm) is the most efficient if traffic is a problem. You may have 1/4 hour or more on each end for meetings and maintenance making it a 9 hour day, minus whatever lunch you arrange. 4 such 9 hour days and you have your 36 hour week. Day 5 would be weather makeup and leave hours for extra work w/o having to pay overtime.

Longer days means an extra rest break too most likely. Combine all the little efficiency losses and it may not be the best way to go.

The key to working shorter hours is making sure the work is done faster. I see a lot of 12 hour days out there that are not very productive ones. Lots of talking, standing around, rest breaks, long lunches, sauntering over a yard instead of walking briskly while edging/trimming/blowing. There's varying speeds. I would favor paying more for those willing to work harder and giving them a shorter work week. Getting it implemented is the hard part. But with 12 hour days I would doubt you're going to get super fast work all of those hours.

I do like the idea of paying for 40 hours even if 36 are worked only if one shows up for all the hours. A good incentive to show up every day on time.

02-05-2006, 09:18 PM
Why not hire strippers to drive around with your crews with 30 pieces of clothes on...every lawn they finish, a piece of clothes comes off....they will be so motivated to finish the route, they will be done (and the stripper naked) by lunch...which you provide for free.....

chuck bow
02-05-2006, 09:49 PM
I for one work 12 hr days BUT i start dragging after about 9 hrs in the heat but i do start mowing res at 8 am , alot of com start at 6 am . There is no reason why we cant start mowing res at 8 am during the week , i bet plumbers and electricians start at 8 am to if the client has a project they want fixed.

02-05-2006, 10:34 PM
I can see the point of less hour equals (hopefully) more productive work. Then does it come down to time of job, amount of guys & equipment on each job to be real effeicient? I know one crew who brings in all 10 guys - residential to commercial work. He say most small res. are done unloaded, mow, blow, trim and load within 15 minutes. His 13 acres commerical account (his biggest) with everyone there - 1.5 hour max. He told me he keeps employee's motivated instead of mowing the 13 acres with 2-3 people and being on one job most of the day.

NOw do you get bigger equipment, newer equipment that is faster, more fuel efficient, etc? Then are you more productive?

I try to have the right people on the properties that they like. Sure everyone wants to run the new truck, the new mowers, etc but in my operation I have found that some guys are great with the bigger equipment (better handling, watch gauges, check machines b/f & after, etc.) than others guys. But these guys couldn't mow a straight line with a 21, 44, or 52 Z like the other guys. Some see work, do it, extra trimming, oh - maybe we better blow the curb off better than others. Some would rather cherry pick in the back corner and when they need to LOOK busy they are.

So to relate to a 12 hour day 5 days a week or an 8 hour day 6 days a week, yeck - if I could get everything done I would have my hours at 9-3. Perfect time, get stuff done, in and out but that never seems to be the case.

02-05-2006, 10:57 PM
Do you guys really hire seasonal employees, want them to work 8 hours a day with no overtime, or better yet 3-12 hour days, lose hours when it rains, and expect them to be happy? About what? Starving to death. It amazes me that people will complain about employees and try to jump through so many hoops to avoid some overtime. Seems odd for guys that are grossing what $80-150 per man hour? We work 60-65 hours a week in the summer and about 30-40 in the winter with 40 hours gauranteed pay. I just dont get the nickel and dime mentality when good employees are so hard to come by.

02-06-2006, 02:43 AM
interesting idea. My guys know they arent making any money till thursday afternoon when the overtime kicks in. I think most guys want the overtime, and the guys who dont arent usually worth a crap after 5 hours, start them on 12 hr days and you wont have a crew by the end of the week. It's good "thinking outside the box" idea, and could work if you can find the right employees. It's hard enough just finding employees.

heather lawn sp
02-06-2006, 04:19 AM
Am I just a task master or what? Last year's crew cruised at 60 hours a week and topped at 80. Last May they were out cutting in 35* F weather and snow falling. I kept waiting for the phone call to come asking for permission to come home, it never came all day. 2 young WOMEN. One a tri-athelete the other my daughter. Neither wanted to admit to giving in for the day.

02-06-2006, 05:26 AM
I personally work 4 days week, with a 3 day weekend and I love it. I have so much energy again come Monday from the long weekend.

I say go for it.