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View Full Version : How many 1/4 acre yards can be done in a day?


CrappyMower
04-24-2007, 08:56 PM
The area I'd best like to target has exclusively 1/4 acre yards. They have what I would consider to be avg. obstacles. Approx 1600-2000 square foot homes. Lets just say average.

How many yards can one, three (3) man crew (well-equipped) be reasonably expected to do in one 8-10 hour day? And for the sake of argument let's assume you have 100 customers on the same street, 50 each side, so there will minimal loading/unloading of the trailer. They all want mow, trim, edge and they all have front sidewalks. It is expected to do a quality job, not necessarily the best cut ever.

By well equipped assume a 48" ZTR, 48 WB (poss. 2), 32" WB to fit through the rear gates, and a 21" push with quality edgers, trimmers, blowers etc.

This is a hypothetical question. I'm trying to see what price I could do (X)amount of yards for if they were situated like this and we could cut (Y) amount of yards per day.

Feel free to brag about your yard mowing conquests here. I'm not looking to low-ball.

Thanks to all, I'm WAY new at this and trying to do a business plan. Need data for optimal conditions. I unfortunately know well the data for the flip-side.

CrappyMower

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-24-2007, 09:07 PM
100 yards side by side w/ a 3 man crew could/should be done in one day.

SSS 18734
04-24-2007, 09:35 PM
100 yards side by side w/ a 3 man crew could/should be done in one day.

yeah right. If each one takes 10 minutes, it would take them 17 hours working straight.

To get them all done in 10 hours, the lawns could not exceed 6 minutes a piece. I doubt that's going to work out, especially considering you will need a break or two.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-24-2007, 09:46 PM
Its all about being productive. No travel time all side by side. Not to mention 3 people. Maybe myself and my worker are more productive and more efficent then you. I guess if every yard has a fenced in backyard then it might take longer but most condo's and other hoa contracts say if there backyard is fenced in then the owner is responsible for it. This is a broad question w/ alot of variables, but 100 is possible w/ the right crew.

Cut n Edge Lawncare
04-24-2007, 10:09 PM
thats because on the fourth yard i hit a rebar stake and shattered a blade. Then the damn dealer was closed for a family emergency:cry: so i say four

tjsquickcuts
04-24-2007, 10:28 PM
My 2 three man crews do about 25 to 30 homes per day each, with no rush, with a hour lunch and are still back in the barn by 6pm at the latest, leaving out @ 7:30am. One thing you have to always remember is Quailty Control. I think we could do more, but I try not to over do it. Most of my accounts are in the same neighborhood, or within a few minutes of each other.

lawnboy150
04-24-2007, 10:31 PM
EASILY and I mean EASILY....40 of those can be done in one day...with the equipment & 3 man experienced crew.

thefed
04-24-2007, 10:56 PM
me and 1 guy do a particular 90x150 lot with 2k sq foot home - mow,touch up the edge,trim, blow in 14-15 minutes

Rizzo
04-24-2007, 11:23 PM
I do 10 in one day solo and 3 are 1/2 acre, 25 mile route ,with lunch and didn't start until after 9am and done by 5pm. And then I call it a week and head to my full time job...lol

You should be able to kill that door to door with 3 man crew.

Larson Lawn Care
04-25-2007, 12:02 AM
I cut about 12 lawns a day solo. no lawn is the same size, some have a lot of trimming, some have a lot of mowing, some have both. My days are 8-9 hours long, with a lunch. I know what needs to be done to each property, so everything is routine...in and out.

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 12:44 AM
Its all about being productive. No travel time all side by side. Not to mention 3 people. Maybe myself and my worker are more productive and more efficent then you. I guess if every yard has a fenced in backyard then it might take longer but most condo's and other hoa contracts say if there backyard is fenced in then the owner is responsible for it. This is a broad question w/ alot of variables, but 100 is possible w/ the right crew.

Laughable at best.

100 1/4 acre subdivision homes, ALL doable in 10 hours?

Add the 3-man crew into it, that's 33 properties per man, in a 10-hour day that's 18 minutes per property, per man. With zero break time. Consider one hour total break time(15 min morning, half hour lunch, and 15 min afternoon) and that time drops to 16 minutes per property per man. Then subtract 20-30 minutes per day for piss breaks and stopping to refuel(being conservative with that estimate), now you're down to 15 minutes per property. This doesn't include things like walking between properties, grabbing different equipment off the trailer, walking up and down the street to get to the tow rig, etc etc.

HOOLIE
04-25-2007, 12:58 AM
There's too much competition to even get 100 customers basically in one huge stop...so many people have LCO's one would have to really throw out some low prices to line that many customers up.

Grits
04-25-2007, 01:00 AM
Sometimes I wonder if people know lot sizes. 1/4 acre is a decent size lot. I have heard people on here claim they can service a 1/4 acre lot in 15 minutes, solo. There is no way. 100 in a day...can't be done, I don't care how efficient you think you are.

CrappyMower
04-25-2007, 01:08 AM
Not can 100 be done. Under ideal circumstances how many can you (experienced 3 man crew) mow in 1 day. And at a pace that you could do everyday without people dying, quitting etc. Well 5 /6 days a week not "everyday".

Thanks again for the input.

CrappyMower (hope to soon graduate to Un-Crappy)

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 01:17 AM
I have a property that is 10,050 square feet(turf area), one birdbath but otherwise no obstacles, a fence at the back of the property, and I edge the sidewalk each week.

It's a corner lot so twice the normal sidewalk but it only takes me a few minutes.

Mow, Trim, Blow, Edge, working at a moderately brisk pace that "won't kill me", I'd estimate 25-30 minutes.

lsylvain
04-25-2007, 08:53 AM
One day if ater the first 3-4 times you figure out the most productive way to accoplish this. But it could be done in one long day.

100 homes / 3 workers = 33 homes each worker.

600min / 33 homes = 18 Minutes per home.

or

10 hours * 3 guys = 30 man hours

30 hours / 100 homes = 18 Minutes per home.

No drive time no loading and loading working a 12 hour day with 2 hours worth of breaks it could be done. If it were me I would first start by all three guys mowing first thing in the moring. The 21" guy would run around the 100 homes first and get all the spots that only the 21" can go, the other guy grabs the 32" and does everything that only the 32" can do, (depending it may be more efective to hit these areas with the 21" it all depends.) I start with the 48" ZTR. When the 21" guy gets done he grabs the 48" w/b and we all mow until every home is mowed. Then depending on how much trimming and edging One would grab trimmer, one edger and the 3rd would blow or if there is a lot maybe one guy would quit mowing before the rest and start on something else.

you get the idea. treat it like a big 25 acre commerical job. and slam it out.

EngineeredLawns
04-25-2007, 09:14 AM
You all did not read the question. He was asking if he had 100 yards, how many could he do a day so he could figure out the number of days. From what others have said, it appears that 40 yards for an 8 hour day from what others have said.

the ace
04-25-2007, 09:15 AM
The question shouldn't be ....how many 1/4....it should be ....how many 1/4 acre yards can be cut WITH CARE in one day. Suddenly the numbers drop drastically when the word care is added to the equation. I know we're all in this for the money but people are paying for quality service, give them that and charge accordingly. Anyway, I would think 8 per man per day @ $40.00 each.

Duekster
04-25-2007, 09:48 AM
I say it is 3 days work at best.

43560/4 = 10890 - 2500 SF house = 8390 sf X 100 = 839000 / 30,000 per hour = 28 hours.

I assume the trim and blow takes about as long as the mow but you have 3 guys.

thefed
04-25-2007, 10:39 AM
My final answer is: 40

topsites
04-25-2007, 10:47 AM
You do as you wish, but I've done the production route (quantity over quality) for an entire year and I handled 55 customers by myself... The next year I decided to put quality ahead, and had only 45 customers and guess what?
The quantity year I grossed ~32k and I was very BUSY
The quality year I grossed just over 37k and I felt noticeably more relaxed

It all depends, and I think for starting out it may not be a bad idea to go the quantity route first, especially since all the customers coming your way aren't that concerned about quality anyhow (no I am sorry they're not, all most of a new business' customers want is the cheapest price - I know lol) so but in time I would consider a move up in the quality dep't, is my advice.

My final answer is: 40

Yup, assuming they're all side by side and across the street from each other, park the truck one time and maybe move it every hour or so, and I guess it'd have to be a row of condos so the lots are identical, too.

One should count experience, too. 1-2 y.o. Lco's think they're doing good, but get on down the road 3-4 years into it, and really every year passes by I look back at earlier years and shake my head at my foolishness :laugh:
But it's all good, it's definitely a fun job.

MarcSmith
04-25-2007, 11:00 AM
Me and one person could do 20-30 10-15K square lots in a day.

I had one stretch of homes 8 side by side, no truck move, no drive time. the two of us could bang em it in 45-60 minutes. thats included edging drive and side walks, using 52" lazer Z Not a pace a could keep up all day. but I d say you could knock out 40 with a three man crew in 8 hours and do quality work. Remember if the boss is not on the truck quality and speed slow...

1/4 acre lot is a tick over 10K sqft...with probably 5-6k of actual turf. 2k for the house and 2k for the paved areas.

keep in mind the string trimmer/edger or blower person, will be pretty beat by the end of day. make sure you rotate your guys...

Wells
04-25-2007, 11:06 AM
It's really going to depend on the size of equipment those (3) crew members are using and the amount of obstacles within each yard.

40 properties per 8 hour day is 5 per hour which is doable if the properties are close enough together and the guys are using large equipment with few obstacles but there still moving at a quick pace to get them done.

40 properties per 10 hour day is 4 properties per hour which is more reasonable but will still depend on how close together the properties are located.

lsylvain
04-25-2007, 04:09 PM
I still say. 100 homes side by side .25 acres each is 25 total acres. Each guy only need to cover .83 acres per hour to finish in a day which is only about .4 acres per hour of actual grass. Now if you are saying mow for 10 minutes stop, load on the trailer, grab a trimmer, etc etc etc. no where near that, but the question was if there were 50 homes down one side of the street and 50 down the other side how long would it take 3 guys to finish. And the answer is 1 day.

Quality is not an issue, get a clue you are mowing grass. You can mow half of a yard with your so called high quality techniques and my 2 YO neighbor could mow the other half with the same machine and you could not tell the difference. The quality is 40% the machine, 40% the turf, 15% your blades, 4% the weather and 1% the operator. I think many people use "quality" as and excuse for being slow. Yes is you are mowing at a faster speed than your machine will allow your quality will be effected, but I think it is safe to say the most people do not run 80 miles an hour while they are mowing.

Look at it this way. Lets just pretend that these are vacant lots 100x100 each. 50 on one side means you have 2 lots that are 100x5000. For you to mow this you would need to make 27 Passes with a 48" mower. (100/4 plus 2 to account for overlap.) So your total distance is 5000 x 27 or 25.5 miles of mowing on each side. So running at 5 MPH you can have both sides mowed in 10 hours. So that is one guys job for the day.

Now the edging is going to be 10,000 feet of front sidewalk plus say another 25' of walkway to the front door. So that is 25000 feet of edjing, or 5 miles. So at 2.5 MPH edging that is 2 hours worth of edjing.

Now the trimming we will assume that there is about 1000 feet of trimming per house that comes to about 19 miles of trimming. at 3 MPH that is another 6 hours.

You are going to have to stop the trimmer 6 times for gas and the edger 3 times. for a total of 5 minutes each time 1 hour lost for refuling. The mower will make it on one tank.

This leaves you will 11 man hours to blow and to account for any error. It can be done.

I used to mow a 9 acre appartment complex by myself in 10 hours and it was very hilly with all kinds of junk to mow around and could only use a 36" on most of it because it was too steep. so 9 times 3 is 27 acres.

It can be done.

FiveOJoe
04-25-2007, 05:19 PM
3/4+1/12*3^(1/2)*((47*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)+2*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+1094)/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3))^(1/2)+1/12*I*((-282*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)*((47*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)+2*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+1094)/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3))^(1/2)+6*((47*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)+2*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+1094)/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3))^(1/2)*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+3282*((47*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)+2*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+1094)/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3))^(1/2)+54*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)*3^(1/2))/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)/((47*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3)+2*(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(2/3)+1094)/(12808+9*4661^(1/2))^(1/3))^(1/2))^(1/2)
= uhhhh, no.

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 05:24 PM
Quality is not an issue, get a clue you are mowing grass.

I do have a clue, and quality is an issue. Maybe not for you, but for me.

You can mow half of a yard with your so called high quality techniques and my 2 YO neighbor could mow the other half with the same machine and you could not tell the difference.

BS.

The quality is 40% the machine, 40% the turf, 15% your blades, 4% the weather and 1% the operator.

More BS.

Look at it this way. Lets just pretend that these are vacant lots 100x100 each. 50 on one side means you have 2 lots that are 100x5000. For you to mow this you would need to make 27 Passes with a 48" mower. (100/4 plus 2 to account for overlap.) So your total distance is 5000 x 27 or 25.5 miles of mowing on each side. So running at 5 MPH you can have both sides mowed in 10 hours. So that is one guys job for the day.

Yeah, and you're going to be able to mow at 5 mph straight through. NOT. EVEN. REALISTIC. How about accounting for obstacles, turning around, etc etc... Might as well add 50% onto that for time, at the least. These are not vacant lots(duh), and your figures are useless when you put a house, beds, fences, trees etc in the way.


Now the trimming we will assume that there is about 1000 feet of trimming per house that comes to about 19 miles of trimming. at 3 MPH that is another 6 hours.

You are going to have to stop the trimmer 6 times for gas and the edger 3 times. for a total of 5 minutes each time 1 hour lost for refuling. The mower will make it on one tank.

This leaves you will 11 man hours to blow and to account for any error. It can be done.

I used to mow a 9 acre appartment complex by myself in 10 hours and it was very hilly with all kinds of junk to mow around and could only use a 36" on most of it because it was too steep. so 9 times 3 is 27 acres.

It can be done.

You're trying to tell me that this can be done(minus blowing) in 6.3 hours by 3 guys? Put the pipe down. It can't even be done in 10. Your numbers look nice, but don't add up in the real world.

Mokenwee
04-25-2007, 05:46 PM
From lsylvain:
you get the idea. treat it like a big 25 acre commerical job. and slam it out.



Then you see the neighbor sunbathing topless.

lsylvain
04-25-2007, 09:43 PM
OK first 5oboy a little advice and I'm not being an ass just giving some advice. I realize you are in your first year of business but you could not get a job of this magnitude completed anyway because you sit in front of your computer posting to this site 4 times a day when you should be out getting jobs and mowing grass. If you have never tried something don't say it can't be done. How do you know that it cannot be done if you have not tried? And for god's sake I feel guilty about spending too much time on this site and I have only averaged 1 post every 4 days you need to put down the mouse and get to work. Prove me wrong get 100 homes in a row and prove to me that it can't be done in 1 day with 3 guys. Just prove it, I'll try to do the same.

The biggest point is, quality isn't an issue involved in the time it takes to perform a task because a reasonable person would assume that we are professionals who do quality work so therefor the assumption is that you are completing the job using high quality standards.

If mowing a yard and making it look good is that difficult for you perhaps you had better find a new line of work. It is not difficult to mow in one direction stop and turn around and mow in the opposite direction. As much as you try to make it be, it will never be rocket science. Do you honestly believe that there is somehow this giant amount of skill required to push two levers forward? The machine does all the work, you just sit there and push the levers forward. Please explain how two people could yield different results using the same machine if the people mow following 3 simple rules 1 make sure you mow the entire area and don't miss anything, 2 don't hit anything, and 3 don't go so fast that you are getting bounced off the mower.

I said LETS ASSUME they are vacant lots and came up with the 10 hours of mowing figure. In my experience only about 40% of a lot or less is lawn the rest is taken up by the house, the beds, the driveway etc. So I am accounting for the extra crap in the way by increasing the estimate of mow-able area by 250%. I can mow trim and blow my lot in 20 minutes with a 36" walk behind. 20 times 100 = 2000 minutes which comes out to about 33 hours of actually time if you mowed 100 lots individually. My lot is 110 x 100 So that would be 27 100 ft passes with a 48", or just under 3000 ft of mowing. 5mph is 440 Feet per minute or 7 minutes of mowing. I have 830 feet of edging, but I am a corner lot with sidewalks on both sides and have a 75 foot driveway so I have alot more than your average lot. About 3 minutes of Edging if you go 3 MPH, and probably 500 feet of trimming around the house a couple of trees and 60' of fence. just to be safe call it 3 minutes.

7 Minutes to mow time 100 = 700 minutes to mow 11.6 hours
3 Minutes to edge times 100 = 300 minutes to edge 5 hours
3 minutes to Trim times 100 = 300 minutes to edge 5 hours
2 minutes to blow times 100 = 200 minutes to blow 3.3 hours
15 Minutes total times 100 = 1500 minutes total 25 hours

the extra 5 minutes it takes me is the turns and changing from one piece of equipment to the next. Say 1 minute to change tools 3 times and 2 minutes added for the turns. So there is my 20 minutes.

20 minutes times 100 = 2000 minutes or 33.3 hours.
less 99 minutes because I only have to grab the edger one time
less 99 minutes because I only have to grab the trimmer once
less 99 minutes because I only have to grab the bower once.
Plus 5 minutes because I will need to refuel the edger 5 times
Plus 5 minutes because I will need to refuel the trimmer 5 times
Plus 4 minutes because I will need to refuel the blower 4 times.

Equals 28.6 Hours.

Also I I said I had a 9 acre apartment complex with I think 15 buildings, a play ground, 6 courtyards that had to be done with a 21" 9 banks that were at least 250 long and 30 feet wide that had to be done with the trimmer and I don't even want to think about how many miles of sidewalks I had to do and the entire place was surrounded by a 6' chainlink fence that I had to trim both sides of, and I could get this done by myself in 10 hours, if I needed to. Usually a laid off and broke it up into sections over 2 days. If you add up these obstacles and call the fence worth 5 homes worth and each bank worth 1.5 homes that is the equivalent of OMG 33.5 homes

100 1/4 acre lots = 25 acres 25 acres divided by 9 acres = 2.7 times 10 hours = 27.7 hours.

And yet another example. When I worked for another company we mowed a 27 acre college campus. it took 8 guys 4 hours 32 man hours.

So right there I having given you 4 different calculations using real world examples on how long 100 1/4 acre homes in a row would take and they all can be done in one day with 3 men.

fiveoboy01
04-25-2007, 10:07 PM
OK first 5oboy a little advice and I'm not being an ass just giving some advice. I realize you are in your first year of business

Ignoramus, this is my second year in business.

but you could not get a job of this magnitude completed anyway because you sit in front of your computer posting to this site 4 times a day when you should be out getting jobs and mowing grass.

More ASSumptions on your part.

If the opportunity presented itself, I would pass on a job of such magnitude unless I could string it out throughout the course of a week. Becasue I have neither the equipment nor the manpower to do a job that large.

If you have never tried something don't say it can't be done. How do you know that it cannot be done if you have not tried? And for god's sake I feel guilty about spending too much time on this site and I have only averaged 1 post every 4 days you need to put down the mouse and get to work. Prove me wrong get 100 homes in a row and prove to me that it can't be done in 1 day with 3 guys. Just prove it, I'll try to do the same.

Perhaps you should read some of the other posts here. Posts made by those with more experience than me, probably much more, and they're essentially saying a 3 man crew can do 40 or so a day. Yet, you believe it's possible to work that 3 man crew so hard that they yield a 150% increase in productivity. Right.

If mowing a yard and making it look good is that difficult for you perhaps you had better find a new line of work. It is not difficult to mow in one direction stop and turn around and mow in the opposite direction. As much as you try to make it be, it will never be rocket science. Do you honestly believe that there is somehow this giant amount of skill required to push two levers forward? The machine does all the work, you just sit there and push the levers forward. Please explain how two people could yield different results using the same machine if the people mow following 3 simple rules 1 make sure you mow the entire area and don't miss anything, 2 don't hit anything, and 3 don't go so fast that you are getting bounced off the mower.

More dickheaded assumptions. If what you say is true, why have I had customers approach me because they don't like the way their current LCO is making their lawn look? If it's so F'IN easy, everyone should retain every single one of their customers forever. And don't give me that **** about price, because I guarantee I'm right at or HIGHER price-wise than everyone else in my area. There's more to it than "running over the grass" as you so state. I didn't say it was rocket science, but I didn't say it was something that a 2-year old can do and get the same results as someone who knows what they're doing.

blah, blah, blah - more useless numbers

So right there I having given you 4 different calculations using real world examples on how long 100 1/4 acre homes in a row would take and they all can be done in one day with 3 men.

No, you gave me 4 calculations using real world examples of an apartment complex, your own house, a university(with a crew of 8) and something else, which frankly I forgot, cause I wasn't really paying attention that hard.

If you think it can be done, fine. Great. I don't think it can without the entire crew working without a break and burning themselves out badly, even then I don't think it can be done in 10 hours.

I'm not going to argue further, I have my opinion and you have yours. Besides, I'm tired of listening to your assumptions about my business practices and your childish concern over how much time I spend on the internet.

lsylvain
04-26-2007, 12:11 AM
50boy you obviousely didn't read my post because I said i wasn't trying to be an ass and was just giving you some friendly advice about better ways to spend your time. From the comments you have made in this post it is obvious that your drive to succedd in this business has been sucked dry by the many many many many naysayers that troll this site. Those same naysayers have been on this site for years and years saying the same things over and over. It can't be done, it can't be done, advertising doesn't work, bla bla bla. Those people will tell you that nothing is possible they will tell you that the only way one can operate and make money is by being a solo operation. they will tell you that the most professional way to advertize is to print up fliers on an inkjet printer and put them on peoples doors, or put them in bread bags with rocks in them and because this is the extent of their knowledge (or they are purposfully trying to lead you down the wrong path so they can make more money) then proceed to argue the fact that it is illegal to put anything in a mailbox instead of just answering the guys question. Just take a little time and go through the posts and just look at how many pages there are for each. You will see a disturbing trend. Important subjects like marketing, and safety will have maybe 1 or 2 pages, but subjects such as my customer is a jerk, and this mean mean lowballer took my job, and my mower is better than yours will have 15 pages or replies because they don't know anything about marketing getting customers or giving bids properly or whatever so they post their complaints in stead. Keep listening to them and you will still be on this site 5 years from now bearly making enough money to squeek by and pay your bills buying $10,000 mowers $30,000 trucks and $5,000 enclosed trailers to mow a whoping 50k a year in accounts then come on here and complain because you can't seem to make any money.

take it or leave it. I'm done.

the ace
04-26-2007, 11:00 AM
You can't assume you will have them all right next to each other, and even if you did it would only take a few rain days or equipment problems to foul up the works and send this grand plan right down the sh!tter. However if we lived in a perfect world where we never got sick, equipment never broke down, and 100 customers with no mowing obstacles all side by side begged you for service I suppose it would be possible.

You better hurry or you'll miss the next shuttle back to earth!

lawncuttinfoo
07-19-2007, 12:21 AM
I don't really understand why ppl would put 2 or 3 man crews on the street if they cant pull 30 ( for 2) or 45(for 3) in 1 day. As a solo op, my long day (9hous) i do 15 lawns on a 65 mile route some tiny, some huge, average .25 acre lots.