View Full Version : SIZE OF OPERATION
01-12-2000, 05:31 PM
Its me again, I wanted to know from you regulars on this forum, how big your operation is. How many accounts, what ratio comm. to res. Is there a secret formula for volume of work to # of helpers. I guess I am looking for to get an average from everyone to see if I overdo it on my help. If you have 80 accounts, some small, some large, probably a 50/50 split, how many people would you run with to keep up and do quality work. I am trying to plan for the upcoming seson and feel like I ran a little fat last year. Thanks in advance.<p>Homer
MJM Landscaping Inc
01-12-2000, 06:56 PM
Homer,<br> Ideally I think 2 man crews are the best, at least the most profitable. The problem with 2 man crews though is that labor is unreliable. Therefore I run 3 man crews and if someone doesnt show up the work can still be done. I would never use more than 3 men on a crew (this is from my experience) unless it is a large commercial property. Now with that said, the equipment u are running factors how many men u need. If u dont use ztr's u will need more men. I know a guy in my area who has 90 accounts and does it with only 1 other guy. He has 2 ztr's.(I dont know what size his accounts are) A 3 man crew with 2 ztr's should be able to come close to finishing your routes.<br>If you have reliable men, you could run 2-2man crews one cuts all week and the other cuts 1 or 2 days and landscapes the rest of the week. I have about 150 residential,(40%<br>>1 acre and 60% 1+acre) 5 good size townhome communities and a few other small commercial properties. For that I run 3-3man crews equiped with 2 dixie choppers and 1 toro walkbehind on each crew. I can get the work done with as little as 7 men and have a little time for landscaping. Sorry this was long but I hope it helps.<br>PS:I dont know your equipment and I dont know the size of your lawns but if there in the $30-$50 range avg., you shouldnt need more than 4 men. (Labor is very hard to find so I strongly beleive in spending money on faster, better machines to replace labor.)
01-12-2000, 06:59 PM
We (myself and one employee) have 112 accounts. 70% residential 30% commercial. All accounts mowed weekly, until the rain stopped twice this season. We ran fast, lost a couple. My employee is Excellent! He checks my work and is not affaird to grab the trimmer or blower to fix a mistake. We worked (mowing only) 50 - 58 hours in the spring until thing slowed. I tried a third guy, but it slowed us down. I am very lucky to have such good help. We also do chemicals on 20-25 accounts. In our favor most residential very close together. On Thursday we drive about 12 miles to service 22 accounts. Hope this does not sound like we are bragging.. We just busted our .... and loved it! Now I can stay home this winter with my twin girls!
Two motivated people can mow a lot of area, the problem with that is finding someone who is motivated. I think 3 men crews are probably the best if you don't have a lot of drive time between accounts. <p>We let two pepole mow and have one guy trim and blow off sidewalks. The trick is to keep everyone working until all the tasks are complete.<p>I have about a 20% commercial - 80% residential client base. 3 experienced people should be able to mow 25-40 houses a day, if you have grouped them so you minimize driving.
01-12-2000, 07:56 PM
Sorry I left some info out. I run a 50" dixie, a 72" dixie, a 48"scag, all ztr's. I have a 40" ariens tractor I use only for clean-up in the fall and winter, too slow for anything else, but good for excess leaves and small areas. We only have 1 trailer (20') and we load it as full as we can. I tried running a 2 man trimming crew last year, they would run ahead of us edgeing and trimming , we would come behind them and mow and blow. This worked out real good for the trial run but couldn't keep it together. I need a strong employee for this to work out but we did increase our productivity significantly. When the trimming crew got finished with the last yard they went home. This actually saved time overall, just needed better planning. I ran more than I needed at times and found that we could accomplish as much with 1 or even 2 fewer people.<p>Sorry for rambling,<p>Homer
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