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View Full Version : One man crew vs. two man crew


CentralOH
05-23-2007, 03:22 PM
I currently have one employee running a route by himself. I am still adding customers and his route is becoming increasingly difficult for one person to complete. I am considering adding another employee to ride with him vs creating a new route and having the new employee start his own route. I already have an employee in mind that I've been using part time on miscellaneous jobs so that is not an issue. I would need more equipment and another truck if I add the second route but I eventually want to start another route anyway so I'm prepared to spend the money to do this if needed.

I'm interested in the pros and cons of a one man crew vs a two man crew.

I'd also like to know if a one man crew can complete a route in 9 hours, how much would adding a second man decrease the time needed to complete the route? Drive time for the route is only a total of 1-1.5 hours.

I'm sure there are other factors I'm not considering so feel free to point them out.

Thanks for your input.

Rick

bohiaa
05-23-2007, 03:50 PM
have to do your own research man.....

Personaly I would NEVER NEVER NEVER stick a one man crew out there

txgrassguy
05-23-2007, 05:26 PM
First of all, one man is not a crew.
Secondly, with two employees whom work well together, factor in a minimum of 40% more efficient, more thorough, job completion.
That said my crews are a minimum of three employees, and between the two maintenance crews (6 guys) they maintain about 165 acres per week total.

MowinJesusFreak
05-23-2007, 05:34 PM
have to do your own research man.....

Personaly I would NEVER NEVER NEVER stick a one man crew out there

I couldnt agree more i never have a one man crew runnin its just waayyy to ineffecient....two ppl get done so much faster that one its definatley worth it!

CentralOH
05-23-2007, 06:19 PM
txgrassguy - thanks for your reply. I'm still not convinced a 2 man crew vs one "person" mowing is more profitable but it appears from your experience you know what you are talking about.

I realize one person is not a "crew" by definition but I believe you know what I meant.

MJStrain
05-29-2007, 12:33 AM
I currently have one employee running a route by himself. I am still adding customers and his route is becoming increasingly difficult for one person to complete. I am considering adding another employee to ride with him vs creating a new route and having the new employee start his own route. I already have an employee in mind that I've been using part time on miscellaneous jobs so that is not an issue. I would need more equipment and another truck if I add the second route but I eventually want to start another route anyway so I'm prepared to spend the money to do this if needed.

I'm interested in the pros and cons of a one man crew vs a two man crew.

I'd also like to know if a one man crew can complete a route in 9 hours, how much would adding a second man decrease the time needed to complete the route? Drive time for the route is only a total of 1-1.5 hours.

I'm sure there are other factors I'm not considering so feel free to point them out.

Thanks for your input.

Rick

I personally would never send out a one man crew. I always have two or more.

twj721
05-29-2007, 01:18 AM
Gee guess by your post then I am not a crew I work alone about 80% of time the other 20 % either my wife or 1 of our boys but they can only hep on Sat I like it when I have help as we can get more stuff done like Sat I had to do 1 or our church properties took 4 hrs soloing but when I have help can get it done in about 2 to 2.5 hrs the extra person does help for sure

jsf343
05-29-2007, 01:35 AM
I am with everyone else on this one. 2 man crew you have 2 sets of eyes so you hopefully don't miss anything as well as they are able to watch the equipment better. Also the safety factor, I would hate for the one guy to get hurt, cut off his foot, or have heat stroke or something, who would be able to help him? I am only throwing out different things to think about. If you do a search on this topic there are thousands of other comments on it as well. Go with the 2 bro, It won't be such a burn out and efficiency is better.

Jeff

MOWEMJEFF
05-29-2007, 10:27 AM
I am with everyone else on this one. 2 man crew you have 2 sets of eyes so you hopefully don't miss anything as well as they are able to watch the equipment better. Also the safety factor, I would hate for the one guy to get hurt, cut off his foot, or have heat stroke or something, who would be able to help him? I am only throwing out different things to think about. If you do a search on this topic there are thousands of other comments on it as well. Go with the 2 bro, It won't be such a burn out and efficiency is better.

Jeff

I work by myself about 60% of the time and the other 40 I have a friend with me who is on the mowing crew for the city (after 330 and on weekends, we also do his 11 accounts at this time) and I hate working by myself. I always get paranoid that a trimmer or blower will get stolen, or if equipment breaks I'll have to troubleshoot with only one mind. Not to mention when we work together we push ourselves soo much harder and take much fewer breaks (my house is within 5 miles of about 70% of my accounts) and believe that in what it takes me 8 hours we can do in 4 or less especially at places where the homeowners chat my ear of and he can be working the whole time. Unfortunately he has a 4 game tryout for the Cape Cod baseball league and as cool as that is hes the most dependable, hardworking, and knowledgeable about the industry of potential helpers, so I won't be dissapointed if he chokes.

fiveoboy01
05-29-2007, 10:52 AM
I work solo about half of the week. The other half my partner is with me.

Besides being WAY more productive, I have someone to talk to between jobs, and I just get a much better overall feeling while I'm working because I know that each lawn is going to get banged out in half the time or less. It makes the day's work go by MUCH faster, literally and figuratively.

nograss
05-29-2007, 11:30 AM
80 yards in 1 week, 2 man crew. Start 7 am finish 5 pm mon - fri only. Sat for mulch. Try that with 1 man.

Cutman007
05-29-2007, 08:18 PM
I would think if I had a guy that could handle a route by himself he would end up owning it.

Greenery
05-29-2007, 10:02 PM
Ok, weve experimented with this a bunch all we do is residential and with one guy we average about 13-15 per day and with two guys we average about 20-22 per day. so we run all of our mowers solo. so with those two guys solo they do about 26-30 per day versus 20-22 makes sence to me but then again we also incur additional fees like another truck, gas, maintenance. So really at this time were really not sure yet which is more profitable well have to do some more number crunching.

Cutman007
05-29-2007, 10:12 PM
hmmmmm.....????????

lifetree
05-29-2007, 10:27 PM
... Besides being WAY more productive, I have someone to talk to between jobs, and I just get a much better overall feeling while I'm working because I know that each lawn is going to get banged out in half the time or less. It makes the day's work go by MUCH faster, literally and figuratively.

I would think that the sense of accomplishment with having a 2 man crew would be worth it in terms of employee satisfaction ... therefore, less employee turnover might mean more profit.

BUCKEYE MOWING
05-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Gotta go with the two man crew ...More productive and alot more fun !

Cutman007
05-30-2007, 08:07 AM
Safety First! Like others here, I would never send a guy out there alone.

txgrassguy
05-30-2007, 11:47 AM
txgrassguy - thanks for your reply. I'm still not convinced a 2 man crew vs one "person" mowing is more profitable but it appears from your experience you know what you are talking about.

I realize one person is not a "crew" by definition but I believe you know what I meant.

CentralOH, what you have to realize about productivity verse efficiency is that to ensure a reliable standard a certain amount of redundancy needs to be in existence.
The downfall to solo operations is that redundancy does not exist and productivity will suffer when relying on the efforts of one individual. Essentially what you have is considered a non-sustainable operation as this model of operation has no allowable redundancy.
A wealth of data exists to chart the efficiency and productivity of one verse two and three people performing routine tasks common to our industry.
What becomes a sticking point is the capital necessary to expand to the three man crew level and to have the economic flexibility for the training and trouble shooting process common to growth, regardless of what business you are in.
So the real question becomes, how much money do you have to invest in the growth/expansion of your business, in addition to incorporating/translating for your expansion in order to acquire more market share in your area of operations?

lifetree
05-30-2007, 06:15 PM
txgrassguy -- very well said !!

Grass Kickin
05-30-2007, 09:39 PM
If he is considering either going solo or riding with a shotgun, chances are his operation is small. If that is the case, essentially adding another body is going to cut down on profits unless the accounts increase.

SEALAWNMANAGEMENT
05-30-2007, 10:25 PM
I am just wondering if you have ever mowed any yourself. If you had you would know how much quicker it is to have at least two people.
example
1 acre yard
mowing- 30 minutes
trimming -15-20min
blowing- 5-10min
= 45-60 min for one man or 30 max for 2

Greenery
05-31-2007, 12:00 AM
Haha who are you replying to sealawn?

nozzy
02-07-2013, 05:44 PM
I used to own a lawn care company in Portland OR. I averaged driving about 50 miles a day and I had 70 weekly accounts that I maintained by myself. I found with that much driving time that having a helper did not pay BUT it made the job more enjoyable. Also, I don't think an hourly employee can get through that many lawns by himself without massive burnout and/or starting to do crappy work. No one cares like an owner.

After being out of the biz for 6 years I recently started a new company in a new town and I'm having the same dilemma. It is hard to go from just yourself doing the work to all of a sudden having another two man crew. I would like to get it so I have a good two man crew going and then I just fill in if one of the guys needs a day off. The rest of the time I would be giving quotes, some fertilizations, aerations, etc.

I did some math and I figure that one employee, extra truck payment, equipment, gas, insurance, etc. will cost me about $190 per 8 hour day. I know I can mow $300+ per day by myself if the route is reasonably tight. Two guys can probably do $500 pretty easily but they will cost me (erroring on the highside) $330 a day. Is a daily profit of $170 for two guys reasonable and worth it?

The other thing to consider is we mow each account around here about 28 times a year. There is lots of leaf cleanup in the fall winter and then some snow removal. What do I do with these guys during the winter when there isn't anything to do?


Comments? Suggestions?? Thanks!