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View Full Version : $25hr for crew leader, too much or is it worth it?


privatelawn
08-16-2007, 11:18 PM
planning on having crews of 4 with crew leader making $25 hr and the other 3 $10 hr, at the moment I have 2 guys and paying them each $10 hr, these guys are good, work very hard, do a great job and know how to run all equipment. When I get to the point where I want to run 4 guys per crew I would like to pay 1 of these 2 guys $25 hr.

With workmans comp, my share of there taxes etc about how much will these 4 guys cost me per hour if im paying them total $55/hr?

privatelawn
08-16-2007, 11:24 PM
By the way, from my math it seems a crew of 4 would gross $24k a month.
And in wages id be paying about $10k without including workmans comp etc, is that fair or too much spent on employee wages? Sucks to see $24k gross end up being like $5k-$8k net

lawnman_scott
08-16-2007, 11:28 PM
It will cost about $65-66 per hour.

sildoc
08-16-2007, 11:40 PM
Soooo, You are moving a guy making 10 an hour to 25???? seems like you are jumping him up a bunch and that the other 2 guys will be a bit pissed when they find out he got a 15 dollar raise. How about increasing your other 2 to 13 an hour and the crew leader to 17. then you have options to give them raises or bonuses for performance.


I am just saying the guy is getting 10 and you want to give him a 150% raise??? doesn't seem right.

Pristine PM
08-16-2007, 11:47 PM
I agree, that is way to good. We pay our crew leader about $15 an hour, but it works out due to winter hours and the perk of a truck.

privatelawn
08-17-2007, 12:20 AM
At the moment since they work with me I see it as im the crew leader and they are just the helpers but when I do send them on there own with 3 other guys they will have alot more responsibilities.

Ok well $25 is a big jump, maybe I should just increase it every 3 months or so, as for paying the $10 guys $13 well Id rather give that money to the crew leader as those other guys will be well just the crew.

Soooo, You are moving a guy making 10 an hour to 25???? seems like you are jumping him up a bunch and that the other 2 guys will be a bit pissed when they find out he got a 15 dollar raise. How about increasing your other 2 to 13 an hour and the crew leader to 17. then you have options to give them raises or bonuses for performance.


I am just saying the guy is getting 10 and you want to give him a 150% raise??? doesn't seem right.

causalitist
08-17-2007, 02:22 AM
unless you have all enormous properties 4 guys is going to be inefficient. better off with 2 crews. might mean you have to wait longer to make the step, but its better.

i would say get another crew and then hire a guy to do part of YOUR work (most) .. for $20/hr

sildoc
08-17-2007, 03:51 AM
At the moment since they work with me I see it as im the crew leader and they are just the helpers but when I do send them on there own with 3 other guys they will have alot more responsibilities.

Ok well $25 is a big jump, maybe I should just increase it every 3 months or so, as for paying the $10 guys $13 well Id rather give that money to the crew leader as those other guys will be well just the crew.

Happier the guys are the harder they work.

rodfather
08-17-2007, 07:27 AM
With workmans comp, my share of there taxes etc about how much will these 4 guys cost me per hour if im paying them total $55/hr?

here in NJ I add approximately 20% based upon $4.29/$100 of payroll for WC and another 11% for employer matching taxes

rodfather
08-17-2007, 07:28 AM
My maint crew foremen make $22.50 an hour.

johnwon
08-17-2007, 07:39 AM
Well I don't run a lawn care business, but do run a small business for someone else. Around here you will not keep good help very long at $10.00/HR. As for the crew leader....he should be somone you already have and trust to do the job. You can tell if someone you already have would be a leader or a follower. I agree that you may want to leave room for future pay increases. Even at $25.00/HR. he may not be happy if he don't get any future pay increases compared to the others. Yes the bonus idea is a good one, I know another guy with a small business who regularly rewarded bonuses. He thought it may be better to give them a large raise. He said now that they know it's coming automaticly, they don't bust a$$ anymore.

HS Football Rules
08-17-2007, 08:20 AM
First of all...laborer pay scale is irrelevant to a foreman's promotion...laborer pay is based on their performance,, not his, so raise them accordingly. If they bi*ch, educate them on how to attain a similar promotion.

Check your local market for avg. lead-man/crew leader pay...if you have a good hand, pay him just slightly more than avg. to protect from him being
stolen by a competitor. Structure his raises/bonuses to coincide with positive contributions that improve your/his company....ie..referral sales...training....initiative to
tackle tough projects....crew motivation...etc.

Seniority based...time based...yearly increases...ARE THE WORST form
of reward...match pay with performance throughout the year. They don't know when it is coming, so they don't know when to "turn it on & turn it off".

My best advice is.. structure compensation/bonuses/perks to encourage taking ownership in your company. A fat paycheck is cool...but we all get accustomed to bringing in a certain amount and spend just a little outside our means...and always seem to "need" more.

Don't top out your best worker too soon.

The above comment is strictly....IMHO...:cool2:

Mic_bug
08-17-2007, 12:50 PM
Happier the guys are the harder they work.

Agreed...about 23$ for leaders here

sildoc
08-17-2007, 12:58 PM
Another Idea is to make sure the guys are happy. Monetary forms are good but there are other things like gifts and such. I have a guy that I pay 9 an hour, this is low but he is an entry level guy with only 3 months experience, I over heard that he broke the screen on his laptop. He ended up getting a new laptop as a hard work bonus.

Fantasy Lawns
08-17-2007, 03:52 PM
I'm just gonna chime in here fur a moment ... this is comparable to my own "foreman" ... NOT crew leader ... my 2nd hand man ....just below ME

We are in FL ... the cost of living is "lower" here than "up north" .... We mow year round ..... n for most full time companies (certainly one considering this kind of pay) .... that's 50 weeks per year with 2 weeks paid vacation

SO .... at 40 hrs per week @$25 per hr is $52K per year ...2000 hours per year ... you pay him this every year ...weekly check ....even if it rains, storms or snows

Those whom actually pay this to there own .... grass cutting foreman ...NOT landscape, hard-scape or water-scape ....NOT spray .... BUT lawn cutting foreman

Kudo's .... killer .... income must be great

Don't get me wrong ... on a large scale outfit .... a top foreman is worth this n MORE ...but we are talking running multiple crews ....not a truck with 3 guys ... if you can afford this than .... GREAT

My guy gets ....close to this ... around $20 ...company truck ...paid time off ....bonus are "on top" of regular salary pay ...

My crew leaders get $13-15 on an "hourly rate" .... only my foreman is salary ... it helps keep the hours in order .... they want to work as much.... he wants to keep it at 40 hours ...

Ooh ....n privatelawns ... 4 man crew making $24k monthly gross ... is maybe a dream .... looks good on paper ....BUT in the real world ....I don't think so ...

I'm not talking of a "good month" ... I'm talking month in n month out .... $280K+ per year ... if you DO make that ... than my hat off to you

Good Luck with that

jcthorne
08-17-2007, 04:37 PM
24K a month is very possible with a 4 man crew for yearly maintenance contracts.

Although, I think he's insane to pay $25 an hour for a foreman of a single crew in the south. This guy better be responsible for multiple crews and be well versed in troubleshooting irrigation, applying chemicals, and be a great problem solver.

prizeprop
08-17-2007, 04:52 PM
Not for the price of $80 per month for cutting,I hear you Fla guys talking about. If the lawns are that small 4man crew is to many guys Anyway.

Fantasy Lawns
08-17-2007, 05:06 PM
I don't know .... been doing this fore a few years ....n the stars would have to come into aline

n I know this area very well .... large HOA entrances .... 4 man crew ain't gonna cut it .... we don't have too many larger than 1 acre jobs to tackle (kinda ideal fore a 4 man crew with alot in the same area) ... BUT I'll play numbers

Say we get $100 per cut (most of our stuff is cookie cutters).... you would need 240 of those ..... per month or average 8 a-day (nice if ya could fine em) ... n that's per cut ... we don't do too much that down here ...most are 42 cuts per year spread out into 12 payments ... maybe the next scenario would work

Say ya had 100 of em at $240 per month ($70 per cut) ....now that would work .... but getting 100 of em at that price .... the stars are getting in-line ... ya might have a few (I do) but not 100 of em

That's only 20 per day ...n that's do'able ....but again .. to have n keep 100 like that ... SWEET

Than there is drive time n all the other things .... I'd say if one is too budget or project ....it's better to use realistic numbers

Again .... $24k monthly that's not the issue .... the thinking is can 4 guys do this .... 5 good size HOA's (1 per day) can give this income ...but 4 guys ....in the heat of summer ....I'don't know .... 4 guys in Jan ....SURE ....but in June ....I'd like to see it

I'm only basing this on MY experience .... I use a 4 man crew last few years ....that crew did over 12,000 single cuts last year (based on my monthly accounts) n I only wish I could get that income ....I do a 130 HOA which takes 40 man hours (summer) these are dinky ....like 8 minutes TOTAL time per yard n the price goes with that size

Harley-D
08-17-2007, 05:15 PM
My crew leaders get $13-15 on an "hourly rate" .... only my foreman is salary ... it helps keep the hours in order .... they want to work as much.... he wants to keep it at 40 hours ...

Ooh ....n privatelawns ... 4 man crew making $24k monthly gross ... is maybe a dream .... looks good on paper ....BUT in the real world ....I don't think so ...

I'm not talking of a "good month" ... I'm talking month in n month out .... $280K+ per year ... if you DO make that ... than my hat off to you

Good Luck with that

This was the position i was in about 6 years ago making about 36k/yr salary. I was happy for about a season. Then, with passing all kinds of certifications, i saw i might make 37-38k the next year. This was with putting in about 2500hours a year. Halfway through the next season-burnt out. Done. They did what they could to keep me, but too little too late. It felt great knowing i stuck it too them especially when they knew i wasn't happy.:) Getting up at 5 and not getting home till 9pm a couple days a week can really hurt:cry: if you don't get compensated(money or otherwise).

Point is...fantasy's right. Foreman are salary-they want to get done fast. Laborers are hourly-will spend more time in that weedbed than neccesary but not a bad thing. There is no pay scale but you better communicate-if your guy isn't happy and you really need him, you better work a deal with him. It'll take you farther in the long run.

You gotta talk to the guys and see what's up first. What does he think he's worth to your company?

privatelawn
08-17-2007, 05:17 PM
Ive been switching between 2 guys and 3 guys to see how numbers work, still havent done the 4 guys per crew yet, this week are average with 3 guys was 6 homes per hour which includes drive times from the minute I leave home til the minute I get home, throughout the year I have not seen much of a differnce in time so for me every month is pretty much the same... could change and I dont know that yet because ive been in business for only a year.

I figure in the near future it will be better because the longer im in business the more customers next to each other I have but yet I try to do my calculations based on the present.

I do 99% 1/8 acre lots and I try to stick to that as I just dont see myself making the kind of money on making on bigger lots.

Now on my simple calculations with just lawn mowing it adds up like this, $80 per month for 300 customers done which = $24k

Now as I advertise so many times on the same hoa's all my customers are pretty close to each other, I have only advertised in about 5 hoas and continue to keep advertising there until there sick of seeing my postcards.

I don't know .... been doing this fore a few years ....n the stars would have to come into aline

n I know this area very well .... large HOA entrances .... 4 man crew ain't gonna cut it .... we don't have too many larger than 1 acre jobs to tackle (kinda ideal fore a 4 man crew with alot in the same area) ... BUT I'll play numbers

Say we get $100 per cut .... you would need 240 of those ..... per week ... n that's per cut ... we don't do too much that down here ...most are 42 cuts per year spread out into 12 payments ... maybe the next scenario would work

Say ya had 100 of em at $240 per month ($70 per cut) ....now that would work .... but getting 100 of em at that price .... the stars are getting in-line ... ya might have a few (I do) but not 100 of em

That's only 20 per day ...n that's do'able ....but again .. to have n keep 100 like that ... SWEET

Than there is drive time n all the other things .... I'd say if one is too budget or project ....it's better to use realistic numbers

Again .... $24k monthly that's not the issue .... the thinking is can 4 guys do this .... 5 good size HOA's (1 per day) can give this income ...but 4 guys ....in the heat of summer ....I'don't know .... 4 guys in Jan ....SURE ....but in June ....I'd like to see it

privatelawn
08-17-2007, 05:22 PM
4 guys on 1 home is too many for these very small homes but almost all my homes are close to each other, we edge 3 or 4 homes before we grab the trimmer etc.

Fantasy Lawns
08-17-2007, 05:31 PM
That's understood ... n I'm NOT banging ya .... I think it's great to be busy n have work .... specially when they are together of coarse .....

I don't wish to get off track from the original ? of the crew-leader pay ....I too wish too (n think I do ) treat my guys well ....n when you find a good one ...hold on to him .... pay is important ....as well as work environment ...n many other things

BUT making $$ is why we are here .... I wish you many years of success .... we should all get paid what we are worth ....just that $25 per hour or $52K per year is real good pay in this field ....lawn cutting ONLY ...not the other real $$ makers in this industry ... like tree work, landscape installs, water-features, hardscape etc ...than the higher pay can be justified

jcthorne
08-17-2007, 05:32 PM
Let's say you have a 4 man crew doing distribution centers, nursing homes, apartment complexes, and other large commercial properties.

Included in the yearly maintenance contract:

Mowing and leaf removal 26-36 times per year
Hedge Trimming monthly during the growing season
Chemical Apps for bed maintenance and turf
Mulch once or twice yearly depending on contract
Irrigation checks with spring start-up and winterization

Example.....1 apartment complex at $5,000 per month 12 months a year. It takes 50 mans hours every 10 days to maintain in the summer during growing season not including chem applications.

I'm not going to lay out an entire route, but this should give you an idea of why I say that 24k a month in maintenance contracts is not that hard for one crew. Obviously, the cost of chemicals, mulch, fertilizer, etc. are calculated into that 5k a month.

On the other hand, I doubt it's feasable with residential contracts, but I could be wrong because I don't deal with the residential client. I also don't think it's feasable to do 24k a month of just cutting grass with one crew.....commercial or residential.

Fantasy Lawns
08-17-2007, 05:40 PM
YES there is $$ in the extra's .... I am ONLY relating to a crew leader responsible fore lawn cutting n some hedging only

Spraying is GOOD income n the guy running this side should be paid GOOD

A foreman handling a $50K install should be paid well, or building a $10k pond

jcthorne .... I agree with you ....commercial work n the extras is where the $$ is ....cutting just gets us in the door ;-)

Also keep in mind when a crew is so packed with cutting jobs ....they or that crew it's self has little to NO time fore such extras as spray,mulch, heavy trim ....

A separate crew or even a solo guy will spray when the cutting crew is not there ... n then we are getting away with paying a crew leader $25 ... the spray guy SURE ....but the guy there earlier to just cut ? I think many here would agree this is a sure waste of $$

The Foreman over-looking all this ...he is more than likely worth MORE ...but I don't believe this was the orginal intent of the thread .... I'm reading it as a crew-leader

privatelawn
08-17-2007, 05:49 PM
The 2 guys I have are part timers now and have a night job, I have tried other guys and they were just too dumb, Now the main reason I would want to pay someone $25 hr is so that they stick around, I cant see this business working right if I dont have a few good employees. Employees is what looks to be the biggest challenge, For $25hr I can see these 2 guys sticking around for many many years yet I cant run my business depending on them either.

Im always planning way ahead, im not planning on paying them $25 right off the bat, I dont have 40hrs of work for them yet ( I quit advertising a couple of months ago as I dont want to get in over my head yet ) which is why they keep there current jobs.

So I guess after reading yours and everyone elses reply I will raise them up to about $15 or so and continue to increase from there if it works out as planned.


Thanks for your input and everyone elses, much appreciated


As for the landscape part of business for now I take care of that myself, when the time comes a crew may be added for it but I see it a bit further ahead.
That's understood ... n I'm NOT banging ya .... I think it's great to be busy n have work .... specially when they are together of coarse .....

I don't wish to get off track from the original ? of the crew-leader pay ....I too wish too (n think I do ) treat my guys well ....n when you find a good one ...hold on to him .... pay is important ....as well as work environment ...n many other things

BUT making $$ is why we are here .... I wish you many years of success .... we should all get paid what we are worth ....just that $25 per hour or $52K per year is real good pay in this field ....lawn cutting ONLY ...not the other real $$ makers in this industry ... like tree work, landscape installs, water-features, hardscape etc ...than the higher pay can be justified

PlatinumLandCon
08-17-2007, 07:28 PM
Personally, I'd do like $16-18 to start and then raise based on performance. Even give the $10hr guys a raise to 11 and give the foreman 20 if productivity is higher than expected. Jacking the foreman's salary will piss off the other guys (even though thats the way it works). Give the regular guys a small raise based on performance, it'll reward you in the end.