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willretire@40
08-21-2007, 09:47 PM
My setup 3 guys with 2 36" mowers 2 trimmers 1 edger and a BP blower. Our average lawn is 12k sq ft.

Problem is my guys cant seem to cut anymore then 20 lawns when it is upper 90's. And it take them 8 hours to do that. Foreman can pretty much keep up but the other guys look half dead after about 5 hours. So what can I do? Am I asking for to much?

J&R Landscaping
08-21-2007, 10:15 PM
Maybe throw a 48" wb into the mix to get done a bit quicker? With three guys, they should be able to get 28-34 lawns done per day depending upon how tight the route is. Yes, it might be lower in the heat but I worked for an LCO who had to 60" ztr's, and a 36" wb and the usual handhelds. Even in the hotter times, we could knock out 30-40 lawns a day with a 3 man crew. Mind you, many of the stops were 3 houses or more. 2 stops were 7 houses each.

lawnprosteveo
08-21-2007, 10:38 PM
Are they walking behind these walkbehinds? I gotta say I would be wooped if I walked 20 properties a day. I can ride all day long and still feel like playing with my kid at the end of the day. Maybe sulkies or some riding mower.

ALarsh
08-21-2007, 10:49 PM
Ever think about running two shifts? I do this (keep in mind its me and one other person) and on my really busy days I have one guy from 7am-1pm, and then a different guy from 1pm-6/7pm. Works great if you can coordinate it.

tjsquickcuts
08-21-2007, 10:55 PM
Man, you are cruel....Upper 90's can be killer....you really should think about their health also....trimming, hedge work, etc. is tough work out in the open sun....Mowing is a piece of cake compared to all the work things....Happy employees will stay and do good work...

lawnman_scott
08-21-2007, 11:10 PM
Its the job, end of story. Why do people want to hire guys who cant even speak english again? The low wages? Hell no!!!! Its that they arent lazy, and will actually work. I have one guy who will do anything, all day long and not complain and can be trusted. I have another that whines and complains about everything, slower than anything and takes him about 5 min to get started at any lawn. One makes $9, the other $12. If you find a good guy you have to pay them good.

fergman
08-21-2007, 11:32 PM
My setup 3 guys with 2 36" mowers 2 trimmers 1 edger and a BP blower. Our average lawn is 12k sq ft.

Problem is my guys cant seem to cut anymore then 20 lawns when it is upper 90's. And it take them 8 hours to do that. Foreman can pretty much keep up but the other guys look half dead after about 5 hours. So what can I do? Am I asking for to much?

this probably will sound dumb to you all but i really am serious. SLEEP is more important than alot of people ever think. 5 hours?? thats crazy! i work 16-18 hour days for 6days a week ALWAYS.yes thats approximately a hundred hours a week. i dont know what there age is but my dad is 61 and he gets out there and works or out works the best of them. we dont piddle around either. run, swing the wacker like your fighting off an angry crowd,run along driveways with wacker and blowers like we r running from pitbulls. we have alot of big properties around here though. you guys that get 30 and 40 yards would only get 15 or 20 here and thats with 1 60" exmark running full speed and a psycho runnin the wacker. getting 30 or 40 yards from daylight to dark is just flat out not heard of around here. but when i started working guys that long, thats when i seen that sleep was one of the most important things to have. when they dont sleep they look like there trying to see up a hot chicks skirt thats up a hundred yards away. dont listen and are very dangerous. fall asleep between jobs and there not worth the drinks i buy them.

Mow Mony
08-21-2007, 11:46 PM
this probably will sound dumb to you all but i really am serious. SLEEP is more important than alot of people ever think. 5 hours?? thats crazy! i work 16-18 hour days for 6days a week ALWAYS.yes thats approximately a hundred hours a week. i dont know what there age is but my dad is 61 and he gets out there and works or out works the best of them. we dont piddle around either. run, swing the wacker like your fighting off an angry crowd,run along driveways with wacker and blowers like we r running from pitbulls. we have alot of big properties around here though. you guys that get 30 and 40 yards would only get 15 or 20 here and thats with 1 60" exmark running full speed and a psycho runnin the wacker. getting 30 or 40 yards from daylight to dark is just flat out not heard of around here. but when i started working guys that long, thats when i seen that sleep was one of the most important things to have. when they dont sleep they look like there trying to see up a hot chicks skirt thats up a hundred yards away. dont listen and are very dangerous. fall asleep between jobs and there not worth the drinks i buy them.

I agree sleep is important to being able to work a full day, but so is living your life! How do you have anytime for yourself working 100hrs a week? I never run with equipment either, a fast pace yes, but running...no, just not a good idea.

To the original question...

3 guys is ineffective unless you unload and do 4-5 lawns at each stop. We have tried running a 3 man crew, and for the same route with only 2 guys, it takes maybe about 30-45 minutes off the whole day. Not worth the extra wages and oversight for the extra guy.

Also...consider paying by lawn instead of hourly maybe, that way they can work as long as they want, there is no motivation to bust your ass if you are getting paid hourly.

Keep a cooler with ice/drinks in the truck, and some rags to dip in the ice water to wipe your face off with. It only takes a minute or so every third or fourth lawn, but it is very refreshing.

Envy Lawn Service
08-21-2007, 11:56 PM
So what can I do? Am I asking for to much?

The best thing to ALWAYS do to find out "am I asking too much?" is to get out there and DO IT YOURSELF. You'll find out pretty quick what is reasonable and what is not. Then subtract a little for the fact they do it every day and get worn down... and also subtract a little for the fact they are less motivated than you (earning less, not their business, etc).

Stillwater
08-22-2007, 03:07 AM
Dude high 90's is frackin hot My guys can go home when it hits 102 no prob. see ya tomorrow.

swingset
08-22-2007, 04:00 AM
36" WB's on 12k square feet in 90+ degrees? I would be DEAD after 20 lawns.

Don't blame your guys, get a bigger mower and let them rotate mow/trim.

Efficiency = more $$, happier employees, more customers.

rodfather
08-22-2007, 06:01 AM
trade one of those 36's for a 60 with a velke

MTR999
08-22-2007, 06:07 AM
My setup 3 guys with 2 36" mowers 2 trimmers 1 edger and a BP blower. Our average lawn is 12k sq ft.

Problem is my guys cant seem to cut anymore then 20 lawns when it is upper 90's. And it take them 8 hours to do that. Foreman can pretty much keep up but the other guys look half dead after about 5 hours. So what can I do? Am I asking for to much?

two 36" are pretty close to two 21" if you don't have sulky for them, I think you sound more like bossy in AC office who does not know or have hands on reality with it. I can't do that with equipment and heat as you stated. You have to go with them, stay with them all day everyday and show them how to do 30 or 40 lawns with those equipment and heat till you can do it they can do too...bro.

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 06:54 AM
60" mower would not work for my accounts. When I am out there with them we can cut 25 in 9 hours. I am thinking about making it a 2 man crew until I get accounts right next to each other. I don't know how justmowit is doing it. And I know Texas is even hotter. Also with the 24 lawns that I have set up it is about 1 1/2 hour of drive time for the whole route.

sedge
08-22-2007, 07:12 AM
60" mower would not work for my accounts. When I am out there with them we can cut 25 in 9 hours. I am thinking about making it a 2 man crew until I get accounts right next to each other. I don't know how justmowit is doing it. And I know Texas is even hotter. Also with the 24 lawns that I have set up it is about 1 1/2 hour of drive time for the whole route.

Justmowit guys might only drive into 1 or 2 different developments for the whole day. It is the loading up and unlaoding that kills you. I am on on a crew with my son. I am 41 and he is 17, we do 24 to 27 per day every day. Worked all day when it was 107* heat indexes, no probs. The days that the route are really tight, we can finish almost 2 hours earlier then those days we have to drive.

Are you paying the guys on a %? If you are not, you best start ASAP. Those tired guys will not be so tired when they realize that they are getting paid per lawn and not by the hour or by the day. Productivity just plain sucks when your not paying by %.

JD657757
08-22-2007, 09:40 AM
Fire one of the slow pokes and get a stander. Save money on payroll, taxes workers comp, and so on.:)

Frontier-Lawn
08-22-2007, 09:48 AM
hire Mexicans they are use to the heat.

lawnboy dan
08-22-2007, 11:25 AM
are you using sulkies?

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 11:32 AM
We are using 1 sulkie. The foreman thinks that it is more pain in the butt then what its worth b.c most accounts are small. 10k sqft before any improvements.

GreenN'Clean
08-22-2007, 12:00 PM
I cut 15-20 per day by myself using a 52" wb and I have a 61" ZTR

Stillwater
08-22-2007, 12:21 PM
Tired after 20 lawns? Wow, I am tired before I even start the mower

TNT LawnCare Inc.
08-22-2007, 12:38 PM
2 Standers would make a huge difference, are you giving them drinks ,like gatorade ?

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 02:55 PM
Im not trying to spend more money on equipment. They should be able to cut atleast 3 yards a hour. So that should be 24 in 8 hours.

privatelawn
08-22-2007, 03:03 PM
We do 3 guys 1 52" ztr 1 of everything else, 6k sq feet lots, we do about 40 a day in 8 hrs but days like today we quit after 4 hours due to it being so hot today, we could have continued working but I was ahead of schedule so why not. Gatorade does make a difference, 3 months ago all I drinked is pepsi and couldent last more then 5 hrs, started drinking gatorade and I can handle 10 hrs

fergman
08-22-2007, 05:00 PM
Are you paying the guys on a %? If you are not, you best start ASAP. Those tired guys will not be so tired when they realize that they are getting paid per lawn and not by the hour or by the day. Productivity just plain sucks when your not paying by %. [/B][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

how would you go about paying by the percent? would you end up paying them more for mowing 18 yards than if they would have 20?:confused:

fergman
08-22-2007, 05:03 PM
Dude high 90's is frackin hot My guys can go home when it hits 102 no prob. see ya tomorrow.

i dont have time for myself or anybody hardly. but theres a little more time in the winter :cool2:

Ric3077
08-22-2007, 05:13 PM
3 man crews are not efficient...I would run a two man crew and a solo op or higher another guy and have 2 2-man crews. I run a 2 man crew and we can do 20 lawns in a day no problem Avg. lawn is only 8k ft2 though.

Fairway Land & Lawn
08-22-2007, 05:15 PM
We are using 1 sulkie. The foreman thinks that it is more pain in the butt then what its worth b.c most accounts are small. 10k sqft before any improvements.

I totally agree... For properties of that size ( and 2 mowers on the ground ) each man realy doesnt do that much walking. The heat does make a difference, however I dont think that it would put them 2-3 hours behind... Pay them per yard, and watch the production go up!!!! Another good point that has been addressed is SLEEP. If they cannot go to bed at a reasonable hour, get a decent nights sleep, and show up ready to do waht is expected of them, then it is time let someone go. It seems that they are a bit comfortable.

grassmedics
08-22-2007, 05:19 PM
3 yards an hour they should be able to do 6 at least. i did 3 yards in 1hour and 20 mins yesterday, and they are not the small yards either. But i did do it on a hustler miniz 36". i did complete the jobs mow, trim, edge, and blow.

lawnscapesLLC
08-22-2007, 05:58 PM
Just like the other guys said--2 man crews in my opinion are better (unless it's a really large yard) lots of sleep, LOTS of water, and have them try eating more during the day. Instead of an hour lunch where they get full, try to have them eat smaller stuff but more often. Every time i get back in the truck i have something to eat and drink as much as i can before the next stop and i have plenty of energy for a nice long day. a/c in the truck between jobs helps too.

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 06:20 PM
Right now the guys are getting paid $9 an hour and $12 for the foreman.What do you think if i do $3.50 a lawn for the 2 labors each and $4.50 a lawn for the foreman? That should get them going right?

Ric3077
08-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Right now the guys are getting paid $9 an hour and $12 for the foreman.What do you think if i do $3.50 a lawn for the 2 labors each and $4.50 a lawn for the foreman? That should get them going right?


This doesn't make sense to me...so if it is a 5k sq ft lawn or a 40 k sq ft lawn they make the same? If you want to pay by the lawn do a % of the bill for example 15% of a $40 lawn would be $6 for that lawn (the % can be picked by you).

Mrs. H
08-22-2007, 06:59 PM
One thing I noticed when I moved to the South is that everyone seems to take a nap after lunch. David's Granddad had a large farm with share croppers and hired hands. After lunch, everyone went home for 2 hours and then came back and worked 4 or 5 more hours.

I noticed because not only were all the old people laying around during that part of the day out of old habit, but David was comming home, showering and going to sleep too...and I found it annoying.

But...the point is the 90 and 100+ degrees will cause you some serious health problems. Heat stroke, dehydration, fatigue, ect. Going in shifts can be benificial...as long as you know your guys WILL come back to work. Problem is...will they? David will come in and go back out by himself some evenings when it cools off a few degrees, but it annoys him to have someone say he'll be back and they don't show.

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 07:17 PM
we only cut up to 16k sq ft and only have about 4 accounts that big.

supercuts
08-22-2007, 08:10 PM
sounds to me like its time for some ZTR's. it rained yesturday so we did most of yesturdays and todays, about 32 lawns in 9 hours. some are very large too, $100+ lawns. when my guys wine i remind them there are still some using WB's. they shut right up.

Chilehead
08-22-2007, 08:33 PM
I agree. There's something called hard work, and then there's something called punishment. I am solo and never do more than 10 a day. Three men does not mean you can do 30 a day. If you're getting 20 a day out of them in the heat, I'd say they're pretty good workers. There's an old story that goes like this: There were 2 men that were friends. One of them bred horses for racing. When asked the question,"Do you train your best horses hard everyday?", the owner said, "Of course not! If I did, they'd be worthless in no time due to exhaustion." ****The same goes for your laborers.****

sedge
08-22-2007, 09:18 PM
Right now the guys are getting paid $9 an hour and $12 for the foreman.What do you think if i do $3.50 a lawn for the 2 labors each and $4.50 a lawn for the foreman? That should get them going right?

Personaly I would not pay a set price per lawn as in a dollar amount. I would pay a % for each lawn based on what you are charging. Why? because if the yards are bigger or you bag some, the pay should be also. It is easy to figure this out. Take the amount your currently paying for the labor on those 25 lawns and then divide that with what your charging. This will give you a % that you can pay them.

I do agree with those that are saying that 3 men on your crews you are over crewed. My son and I do 24 to 27 lawns per day and some of ours are much bigger then yours. I think your guys are dogging it, and why not, they are getting paid more to go slower. :hammerhead:

Rax
08-22-2007, 09:24 PM
You could try offering steroids.

willretire@40
08-22-2007, 11:50 PM
Today they did 21 in 9 hours and the temp was only 82 and cloudy. So what was their problem today? Can't blame it on the heat this time. And the average yard was smaller.

If I try to do % per yard it will get confusing. That is why I came up with one set price. Also we do not bag we mulch everything.

I figure if they cut 3 yards an hour then the labors will make $10.50 and foreman $13.50 an hour. Or if they cut 3.5 an hour then it would be $12.25 and $15.25 an hour. Who here pays that much?

David Gretzmier
08-23-2007, 12:16 AM
There seems to be a thought here going by the number of yards they do. If they do 20 they are losers, if they do 24, they are winners. I gotta tell you, If I could go through and PICK the yards I could mow, I could do 24 by my self in a day. all open, minimal edging and trimming and blowing. a 10k sq. ft yard can take 10 minutes or 30 minutes. if they have lots of trees, beds, chain-link fence, hoses, toys, pool, dogs, ALL these add time. I've done houses in the same neighborhood that took twice as long, and got paid the same. That has nothing to do with the employees.

If you are still frustrated, mow them yourself and find the target time for each lawn and acceptable drive time. write it in thier route sheet and pay them based on the time it should take. Don't just make it up, "well, it is a 35 dollar lawn so it should be 20 minutes, etc", NO -Do the lawn yourself and be honest. you will probably want to raise your prices on the ones you take more time with.

mechanics get paid this way, a repair should take this long, and they get good enough to beat the time, but they get paid for the number of hours it should take, so they get paid more per hour.

HOOLIE
08-23-2007, 12:23 AM
Today they did 21 in 9 hours and the temp was only 82 and cloudy. So what was their problem today? Can't blame it on the heat this time. And the average yard was smaller.

If I try to do % per yard it will get confusing. That is why I came up with one set price. Also we do not bag we mulch everything.

I figure if they cut 3 yards an hour then the labors will make $10.50 and foreman $13.50 an hour. Or if they cut 3.5 an hour then it would be $12.25 and $15.25 an hour. Who here pays that much?

If you can do 25, and they do 20 or 21, that's probably about normal, like Envy said employees never work as efficiently as the owner does.

How many lawns do you have per stop (on average)? You really need to avoid the single stops with a 3-man crew. They just slaughter you on the labor.

HOOLIE
08-23-2007, 12:32 AM
this probably will sound dumb to you all but i really am serious. SLEEP is more important than alot of people ever think. 5 hours?? thats crazy! i work 16-18 hour days for 6days a week ALWAYS.yes thats approximately a hundred hours a week. i dont know what there age is but my dad is 61 and he gets out there and works or out works the best of them. we dont piddle around either. run, swing the wacker like your fighting off an angry crowd,run along driveways with wacker and blowers like we r running from pitbulls. we have alot of big properties around here though. you guys that get 30 and 40 yards would only get 15 or 20 here and thats with 1 60" exmark running full speed and a psycho runnin the wacker. getting 30 or 40 yards from daylight to dark is just flat out not heard of around here. but when i started working guys that long, thats when i seen that sleep was one of the most important things to have. when they dont sleep they look like there trying to see up a hot chicks skirt thats up a hundred yards away. dont listen and are very dangerous. fall asleep between jobs and there not worth the drinks i buy them.

Wow...missed this post!! Sounds like we found Topsites' "Cyberspace Twin" :laugh:

Marcos
08-23-2007, 01:51 AM
Amen. When it hits 102 the only grass that's green is irrigated, and it's boiling with brown patch and pythium. You spread disease on lawns with your tires like you would peanut butter over bread. So heavy ZTR and 52" mowers, and even feet, shouldn't be on the turf during the middle of the hottest days like this. I'd like to have a dollar for every irrigated brown patched lawn I've seen that easily could have been mowed a few hours earlier or later, and both the customer and mower would have been happier. And keep the blades high this time of year! No more "billing runs"! It is ruining the mowing contractor's reputations in general.

sedge
08-23-2007, 06:46 AM
Today they did 21 in 9 hours and the temp was only 82 and cloudy. So what was their problem today? Can't blame it on the heat this time. And the average yard was smaller.

If I try to do % per yard it will get confusing. That is why I came up with one set price. Also we do not bag we mulch everything.

I figure if they cut 3 yards an hour then the labors will make $10.50 and foreman $13.50 an hour. Or if they cut 3.5 an hour then it would be $12.25 and $15.25 an hour. Who here pays that much?

Confusing? huh? If it is 10%, then it's 10% if it is 12% then it is 12%? How is that confusing? It doesn't change per yard. Foreman % is higher of course, the 2 other guys get the same, but less. But up to you of course. Good luck!

MarcSmith
08-23-2007, 07:00 AM
3 man crew should be able to hit 25-30 in a day (8-9 hours). Heat or no heat.....My crews were running one 36 WB and one 52 ZTR In central florida in the summer... And they were Gringo's. average lot size was 14k. the 36's are killing you productivity wise. I know you don't wan to spend money on equipment but you may want to consider getting rid of one of them and picking up a a 52 or a 48 rider. I think the 60's are too big for Small resi's.

check the hours on each 36 at the begining of the day and then again at the end of the day. I'd put money on the fact they are only running one machine at a time which on small resi's its all you need.

I found the 36 may have gotten 2 hours of use during the entire week, while the 52 was picking up most of the time. Which was fine. if they were able to stay on schedule using one machine i was tickled pink.

KingOfCupCar20
08-23-2007, 11:25 AM
i do 20 or so a day on a stander and its not bad, but im a bit tired...if they are walking i believe they would be pretty tired

drmiller100
08-24-2007, 02:06 AM
hmmmm.
spend 5k bucks on a mower, that is only worth 3k at end of summer.
or spend 10k on third worker that is workth negative 12k at end of summer.

my crews mow 80 lawns in two days. one is a 22 year old lady. the other is my 12 year old son.
granted the lawns are all very small, and all in one subdivision. but i pay the lady a weird amount that ends up being sort of weekly as long as she mows the entire subdivision.
i challenge my kid to weedeat half the sub every week.
the lady is gaining a tan on the big ztr with mulch blades. the kid is losing weight, and gaining cash for toys.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
08-24-2007, 08:39 AM
I am doing between 60 and 65 lawns per week by myself, only working 4 days.

Stillwater
08-24-2007, 09:13 AM
I pay by the hour to avoid possible legal issues a disgruntled worker could cause in this area. then their is Workman's comp insurance that can get confusing and then their is the IRS mess and all that crap that goes with it. then not to mention minimum wage and labor laws, that I don't have time to deal with and constantly checking to see if I am in compliance with the law. I want to have the flexibility to move guys around to do other things but if I have them on % pay per lawn it turns into a huge convoluted paperwork mess. F-that I refuse to get into that frigging snake pit. Paying % opens the door and empowers workers to possibly cause huge labor law issues. I stopped Micro Managing a long time ago.

MarcSmith
08-24-2007, 10:01 AM
pay them a flat hourly rate. but lay out a bonus plan payable each quarter or at the end of the year. gives them something to shoot for tie in production, upsells, customer complaint/compliments, and equipment repairs....

Stillwater
08-24-2007, 10:44 AM
pay them a flat hourly rate. but lay out a bonus plan payable each quarter or at the end of the year. gives them something to shoot for tie in production, upsells, customer complaint/compliments, and equipment repairs....

your idea is great that is what I have been doing for many years it works. Still sometimes their are just off days it happens I dont stress over it.

MarcSmith
08-24-2007, 10:55 AM
Still sometimes their are just off days it happens I dont stress over it.

you just hope they don't have an off day every day...

willretire@40
08-24-2007, 02:36 PM
I just dont understand why everyone says buy a bigger mower. You dont think that 3 lawns an hour should be do able when all the lawns are in the same city with only 5 min in between each lawn. I think I just need to check into h2b visa guys and but them on commision.

I think in the end that I am being to easy on these guys b.c I hired 3 guys and still have the same 3 that I hired at the beginning of the season. I think that is unheard of in this type of field.

GreenT
08-24-2007, 03:02 PM
I just dont understand why everyone says buy a bigger mower. You dont think that 3 lawns an hour should be do able when all the lawns are in the same city with only 5 min in between each lawn. I think I just need to check into h2b visa guys and but them on commision.

I think in the end that I am being to easy on these guys b.c I hired 3 guys and still have the same 3 that I hired at the beginning of the season. I think that is unheard of in this type of field.


Whips and chains!

Sleep deprivation!

Reduced protein intake!

That'll get them! You'll see!

:eek:

mslawn
08-24-2007, 06:29 PM
I just dont understand why everyone says buy a bigger mower. You dont think that 3 lawns an hour should be do able when all the lawns are in the same city with only 5 min in between each lawn. I think I just need to check into h2b visa guys and but them on commision.

I think in the end that I am being to easy on these guys b.c I hired 3 guys and still have the same 3 that I hired at the beginning of the season. I think that is unheard of in this type of field.

The drive time is a killer even only being 5 mins between homes. With 3 people thats 1/4 of a man hour each lawn, 4 yards = 1 man hour driving time!! 3 men on small lawns are not as productive as 2 men if the props are spread out even over a block or two. I went thru this and have come to the conclusion that 2 men per crew bring in more per man hour with our setup.

HOOLIE
08-24-2007, 06:43 PM
I think you really need to go out yourself...incognito...and see for yourself how they work. Borrow a friend's car or something where they wouldn't recognize you and tail them for an hour or two.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
08-24-2007, 08:19 PM
I think you really need to go out yourself...incognito...and see for yourself how they work. Borrow a friend's car or something where they wouldn't recognize you and tail them for an hour or two.

BINGO ! I agree follow them around for a week and see what is going on still 20-25 yards a day is'nt that bad, buy the way how old are these guys anyways ? If there working 9 hours a day 25 lawns inclunding drive time is about 3 yards a hour, plus there lunch break,plus the heat.

screensnot
08-24-2007, 09:53 PM
I think you really need to go out yourself...incognito...and see for yourself how they work. Borrow a friend's car or something where they wouldn't recognize you and tail them for an hour or two.

This is a pretty good idea, but an hour or two is nowhere near enough time. A day or two might be enough, but maybe not.

Most humans do not run like machines. People have up days and down days, and one gut having a down day will affect the other guys as well. You've got to average out the work they do, and the headaches they cause. A guy that has big swings between his ups and downs often causes many more headaches than the guy who works on a slower average pace but is rock-steady.

Instead of following them around, you could sneak a GPS on the truck somewhere. Then you can see if they are spending a lot of time at one yard, or going off route for whatever reason.

Going off route is a big problem, but you have to allow it to some extent (in my opinion). We all have our little errands that we have to run. My last thing was dropping of a toy for warranty work. My buddy's kid got a defective toy The repair center is 30 miles from his house, but very near my route. So, I dropped it off for him. We all need to do this kind of crap every now and then. And working sun up to sun down each weekday means that you have no other time to take care of it.

Our crew members are paid a % of the gross, though. When we go off route, we are not earning any money. So, the other guys will moan and complain when one asks to stop off for something. And that is what keeps the amount of off route stops that we make down to a minimum.

The % of the gross is a great motivator for speed and efficiency, but it's no friend of quality. You've got to really keep your eye on the quality, or you'll start losing customers.

Pietro
08-24-2007, 09:57 PM
Man up. Just get it done. We do tons of lawns. Tues Ive got a 3 man crew who does 20 lawns, 10 being 1 acre. Wednesday we mow 48 lawns. 3 man crew. Theyre about 1/2 acre. Thurs, 25 lawns, all are 1 acre. Friday is a 4 man crew, we do 25 lawns, each are like 1.5 acres. We run a toro 60 and 48 ZTR's. I pay my guys salary. They get X amount per week. They work hard so they can go home earlier. Period.

willretire@40
10-22-2008, 04:02 PM
A little update. This year I went to 2 man crews mid season. I gave them a 36" stander and now I can get 20 out of a 2 man operation without a problem and they can be gone from the shop by 5.

ed2hess
10-22-2008, 07:41 PM
A little update. This year I went to 2 man crews mid season. I gave them a 36" stander and now I can get 20 out of a 2 man operation without a problem and they can be gone from the shop by 5.

Yep that darn stander almost cuts enough to keep 3 trim guys going on
most of our small lawns.

topsites
10-22-2008, 07:45 PM
My setup 3 guys with 2 36" mowers 2 trimmers 1 edger and a BP blower. Our average lawn is 12k sq ft.

Problem is my guys cant seem to cut anymore then 20 lawns when it is upper 90's. And it take them 8 hours to do that. Foreman can pretty much keep up but the other guys look half dead after about 5 hours. So what can I do? Am I asking for to much?

You might try to mow by yourself about 7 or 8 of these average lawns on a day when the temperature is about 98,
and if you feel fine after that go on and do two more, then do it again the next day, and the day after that.
Am I asking too much?

A little update. This year I went to 2 man crews mid season. I gave them a 36" stander and now I can get 20 out of a 2 man operation without a problem and they can be gone from the shop by 5.

Why I'd have never guessed, a 3 man crew is not as effective as two. :p

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-22-2008, 09:18 PM
[QUOTE=willretire@40;2567061]A little update. This year I went to 2 man crews mid season. I gave them a 36" stander and now I can get 20 out of a 2 man operation without a problem and they can be gone from the shop by 5.

20 1/4 acre lawns for 2 guys aint that bad at all. I remember you saying it being in the upper 90's to. So 100 Lawns a week for 2 Guys is GREAT. Asuming you've priced these at about 40 a pop is good money.

The Stander is the only way to go for resindential's under 3/4 acre's. You dont need a bigger Z mower,as some have stated. Get a 48 Stander too to go with the 36.

PTP
10-22-2008, 09:27 PM
Yes, you are being too easy on them.

You know you have a good crew when they can knock out 40 lawns with 21" pushmowers. I am not saying that mine do but I know that it has been done.

Personally, me and my 1 helper routinely do 25-30 per day - upper 90's or not. 3 guys should be able to knock out 20 quite easily.

BTW I read the post where you said that things are going better. Glad to hear it.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
10-22-2008, 10:32 PM
no way 2 know how many yards you can do in a day if it is not your own company .....................................................................................
no way 2 know with drive time type of yard , type of grass...................

harrislawncare1
10-22-2008, 11:49 PM
not so much how many yards but what u have planned for the day at a normal averaging working day that would want be scared to do yourself if not out there. we cut 16 today with gravely 60 inch , walker super bee- and third walker guys were thru by 4:30 tired not dead and I had a good day it's the revenue not the total yard. just don't ask guys to do something want to yourself thats what i always done

stevenf
10-23-2008, 12:25 AM
Low-High 90's is VERY common here. I think 20 a day in that situation is fine for 2 guys. 3 should be doing more IMO.

sflannig
10-23-2008, 02:00 AM
I agree with you, they should be able to do more than 20 yards in a day. I can get 15 done by my self in a day. Its called hard work. You hire people to do a job and you pay them to bust their a*s. If they are not performing up to expectations, let them know it. If it continues, it might be time to think about finding some workers that can meet them. Again, it comes down to hard work and effort. They can do more than you think but if you found out all that they could accomplish if they put their all into it, then they know you would expect that everytime.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
10-23-2008, 10:05 PM
I agree with you, they should be able to do more than 20 yards in a day. I can get 15 done by my self in a day. Its called hard work. You hire people to do a job and you pay them to bust their a*s. If they are not performing up to expectations, let them know it. If it continues, it might be time to think about finding some workers that can meet them. Again, it comes down to hard work and effort. They can do more than you think but if you found out all that they could accomplish if they put their all into it, then they know you would expect that everytime.

no way to know how many they can do :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

willretire@40
02-24-2009, 05:52 PM
The 2 man crew got up to 25 lawns on some days when the route was really tight. I think a motivated crew along with alot of advertising to make a route so tight that there is an average of 2.5 lawns per stop then they can do 30 lawns. Foreman would make $180 per day and the helper $150. 10-12 hours a day 5 days a week. All they will have to do is get in the truck and go. I will do fuel fill up and change blades.

JPsDuramax
02-24-2009, 06:05 PM
I remember in August 2007 we had a few days with temps in the 100+ area with 80%+ humidity:dizzy: Me and one guy started cutting commercial properties at 6am and worked through lunch to beat the heat. We were done by 1pm and had completed only 17 yards on a very loose route (around 150 miles covered)

A third man is not needed for residentials as the cost outway the benefits. Its basic economics.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
02-25-2009, 08:10 AM
all depands on the yard..............................................................

Danscapes
02-25-2009, 11:55 AM
I say SUCK IT UP, I say if you don't work you don't eat! I'm a one man operation and mow 10-12 a day by myself with a 36" WB and no velkey. Yes the upper 90's is hot but just remember that if you don't keep up your schedule there's always someone who will. This is a good thread for the newbies that are looking "to get rich" mowing lawns. The weather extremes in this trade are what separate then men from the boys. I look at it like being in the military, those guys do there jobs in unspeakable conditions and never complain. I take pride in that.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
02-25-2009, 12:24 PM
you tell the " THE ROCK IS IN THE YARD "

hustler king
03-02-2009, 10:52 AM
Wow, very interesting subject. I specialize in HOA's and I have weeded through many fly by night "employees" Some good some very bad. Humidity, heat and farm boy supervision and motivation is what my guys have to deal with. I had one guy tell me "Oh man, look no further I worked here and here and there, I got all kinds of expieriance and no how." Wow sounds great. First day he called me and said he needed a ride because his car was down. We make it out to the job site 15 minutes late. As I had my job leader show him around the first of 50 villas he seemed to look very intimadated. Within 20 minutes of him trimming around houses I noticed him stopping and sitting on a/c units messing with the head of the Sthil trimmer. I stopped after the third time and said "What's up?" He said "Oh man this is crazy out here" I said "are you gonna be wasting my time or are you gonna get you arse to work?" He said he didn't no it was gonna be that hard of work. I got my 73 year old neighbor who comes with me just for the exercise. The world is coming to an end when you can even get an honest days work out of someone on there first day, not to mention he had the ballz to get paid that day. When I dropped him off at his house I made it about a half a mile down the road when my buddy said "dude, he forget his sweat shirt" I said "well he didn't sweat and he ain't worth the shirt, wasted my time and money so screw em!" I threw it out the window!Ha Ha... Thats how I mow!