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View Full Version : Crew Size and why? What a week!


Jerry and Sons
08-10-2007, 06:47 PM
In the last few weeks we have been short one man on a three man crew, (not always the same guy) I have noticed that it is taking an average of 85 man hours to complete the crews mowing schedule for the week. This past week was the first week when the crew finally had three guys back, I thought wow this crew should be done their cutting in the same 85 man hours and then onto the side Jobs for the rest of the week. Instead this crew of three finished the mowing schedule in 117 man hours. What Gives? Open to any and all suggestions to motivated or rectify problem. On an average mans salary I am losing approximately 700 bucks a week!:hammerhead: ;)

LLandscaping
08-10-2007, 07:43 PM
We have a three man crew, it consists of me and two employees. Our employees work a four day week. We have one employee that rotates from landscaping to maintenance. They are still getting 40 hour weeks and seem to be less wore out.

F Haney
08-10-2007, 07:52 PM
I believe you need to make yourself part of that crew for awhile to find out what the average time is for the week concerning man hours. Certainly it will vary at times (breakdowns, weather, etc) but as a manager , you need to be certain of what the man hours required are for your work week and adjust for any known issues. Good luck

TNT LawnCare Inc.
08-10-2007, 08:44 PM
I'd be out with that crew to see what is going on. Its very hard at times to find good workers on, occasion you'll find that one thats great.

Daily Lawn/Landscape
08-10-2007, 08:46 PM
One way to regulate that is to have the crew leader write down start and finish times for each job. Watch those times each week. When I have a crew that seems to be running slow I also will have them write down what task each performed at each job, mow backyard, front yard, trim, pull weeds etc.
By doing that you will find out who is most productive at what job and assign work accordingly. Hope this will help you. You also need to spy on your crews from time to time and observe their routine.

ed2hess
08-10-2007, 10:49 PM
For a crew to be efficient they have to be there all the time...same guys do the same work.

lawnman_scott
08-11-2007, 12:18 AM
Do you guys really only work 40 hours? How much do you have to pay to get someone to do this kind of work with no overtime and off and on work for half the year?

sedge
08-11-2007, 12:47 AM
In the last few weeks we have been short one man on a three man crew, (not always the same guy) I have noticed that it is taking an average of 85 man hours to complete the crews mowing schedule for the week. This past week was the first week when the crew finally had three guys back, I thought wow this crew should be done their cutting in the same 85 man hours and then onto the side Jobs for the rest of the week. Instead this crew of three finished the mowing schedule in 117 man hours. What Gives? Open to any and all suggestions to motivated or rectify problem. On an average mans salary I am losing approximately 700 bucks a week!:hammerhead: ;)

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You pay them a percentage and you will be very, very surprized how that 85 man hours will be more like 75! Paying any one by the hour on a mowing crew is a one way ticket to going broke, in my opinion.

HS Football Rules
08-11-2007, 01:45 AM
You pay them a percentage and you will be very, very surprized how that 85 man hours will be more like 75! Paying any one by the hour on a mowing crew is a one way ticket to going broke, in my opinion.


I agree...hourly wages in a small margin market is death...I know it can't
be helped in many cases, but, if you can, avoid the hourly structure.

Leisure Time Lawn Care
08-11-2007, 07:47 AM
what % do you pay your guys??

TSG
08-11-2007, 09:41 AM
This week we were a man down for 2 days and we shaved 4 hours our time.
I went back and looked and believe
for me, having 2, 2 man crews would be better than 1, 3 man crew.
my goal for next year is to have
work 4 days
2 separate crews 3 days
Bring the 4 together for commercials 1 day.
Then re-evaluate

lawn_jockey
08-11-2007, 11:21 AM
our three man crew is mowing yards with lots under 12000ft at a rate of 3.5 per hour. When running a 2 man we are mowing about 2.5 yards per hour. With drive time not a variable of about 5-7 minutes included in the yards per hour. Take into consideration cost of operating 2 vehicles verses one also.

HS Football Rules
08-11-2007, 11:30 AM
lawn jockey.......check your PM......thanks

lawn_jockey
08-11-2007, 11:33 AM
I have yet to transfer to hourly rate simply because we do more than just mow. Most of the larger maintenance guys around here go by a percentage. I have been thinking about that. One thing I noticed. We had a real busy schedule one day due to rain which usually would not have been completed and I gave the a guys a $50 bonus to split if it was finished. They finished the day the same time as any other day. The work they did was still the same quality. They were just motivated and found they had a faster gear. Quite frankly it almost pisses me off that I can't get that out of them everyday. But at the same time it is human nature to not kill yourself unless their is a reward that makes it worthwhile.

lawn_jockey
08-11-2007, 11:41 AM
lawn jockey.......check your PM......thanks

Yup got it check yours

tjsquickcuts
08-11-2007, 12:46 PM
I am currently running one 3 man crew, and one 2 man crew.....I am part of the three man crew, and we usually do around 25 to 30 accounts per day, and my 2 man crew will do around 12 to 15 accounts per day.....Both crews work about 8 to 10 hours per day depending on what area we are cutting in....I dont worry about hours paid because as long as we are working, I am still coming out on top....On some days, I run both crews together but only when we have some sort of landscaping at the end of the day, or if we are needed by the builder I am working for....I really need a 3rd crew, but need to hold back on that salary money for equipment needed for next year. I wish I could be onsite in this neighborhood I am doing the new landscape installs for, but trying to run my maintenance and Landscape crews take up a lot of my day.....and on top of that, most days we have to go and lay sod, or plant trees/shrubs, etc at the end of the day....But next year, I plan on sitting in the little trailer with all the other contracts playing on the computer and doing site checks to make sure everything is running smooth. I will not touch a piece of equipment unless my expertise is needed....