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View Full Version : Which is more productive?


yardman14
07-12-2002, 11:49 PM
Hello all,
I have been a long time lurker and this is my first post.I am always amazed at all the knowledge and experience this board has to offer.My question is what is the best way to use my employees ,running two trucks.I presently have 80 residential accounts with a few commercial offices and shopping centers.I have 3 employees,one of them has been with me for 3+ years.Is it more productive to have 3 people in one truck handling the bigger accounts and myself handling the smaller ones alone ,or is 2 people per truck the better way to go.The way we do it now is we each go our own route and 2 days a week we meet up and all work the larger accounts.Any advice would be appreciated. Dave

geogunn
07-12-2002, 11:58 PM
hey dave--congrats for all of the lurking.

but it seems to me that with all of the experience that you have to offer, that we should be asking you these type of questions!:)

good luck, as I am a solo operator, sorry I can't help you directly.

welcome to lawnsite!

GEO

Jimbo
07-13-2002, 12:06 AM
Hi Dave- Nice to have you on board.

It looks like you have alot more acounts than me so maybe I should be asking you the questions.

I think there is some common sense to be used here so here goes.... You say that including yourself there are 4 workers, and that you all split up, and do jobs individually for the first part of the week, and then you meet up to do the large jobs together.

On the surface it seems like splitting up would take alot of extra vehicles, and equipment. Do they use their own trucks and trailers? I think you would be more productive working together, or at least 2 x 2.

Hope I helped get you thinking, even if I didnt solve your problem.

Jim

yardman14
07-13-2002, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the replys so far.This is the first season I have had more then one employee.I recently added about 25 residentials and found that 2 people could not keep up.I have been doing trial and error type thing trying to figure out which way is more productive.I have even thought about using one crew with 4 people but that can definitely be a lot of drive time which is what I am trying to avoid.Please keep the suggestions coming.

P&J Lawncare
07-13-2002, 12:28 AM
You are doing it right allready, I do it just like you and it saves on drive time and man hours.

proline32
07-13-2002, 01:34 AM
When I had employees, I generally found it easier to have two man crews, but many bigger lco's around here run three man crews, maybee you should hire one more person and run two three man trucks for maximum productivity.

gogetter
07-13-2002, 03:43 AM
yardman, tell the guys here some more about your situation. Then they can probably be more helpful (I say "they" because I'm small time compared to your operation, lol!).
What is the ratio of large accounts to small accounts? And for that matter, what is large and what is small? What type of equipment are you using? What's your vehicle situation?

I'm interested in hearing what you decide as I hope to expand in the future.

Smartgene
07-13-2002, 05:10 AM
Hi Yardman,

Gene from Michigan here. Was wondering what advertising you used to pick up your new 25 accounts. If you'd be willing to share here, that's great. If not, you may email me @
smartgene@aol.com

Thanks!

Doc Pete
07-13-2002, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by yardman14
Hello all,
I have been a long time lurker and this is my first post.I am always amazed at all the knowledge and experience this board has to offer.My question is what is the best way to use my employees ,running two trucks.I presently have 80 residential accounts with a few commercial offices and shopping centers.I have 3 employees,one of them has been with me for 3+ years.Is it more productive to have 3 people in one truck handling the bigger accounts and myself handling the smaller ones alone ,or is 2 people per truck the better way to go.The way we do it now is we each go our own route and 2 days a week we meet up and all work the larger accounts.Any advice would be appreciated. Dave

Here's how I look at it. Your "wasted" time is loading, unloading, driving and "accurately" getting all the guy's to finish a job at the same time. Smaller accounts "maximize" all these wasted time areas. Therefore, put more guy's on the larger jobs, and "you" do the small stuff.
Pete

AielLandscaping
07-13-2002, 11:04 AM
what you need to look at is numbers. in my experiance one person will always be faster then two, and two will always be faster then three, here's why. when one person is working by themself, that cuts communication completely out of the picture, whereas if you have multiple people you have to tell what to do, or are just having a conversation with that stalls your work time then your losing money...also when having multiple people work especially 3 or more, you are very likely to end each and every job with one person finishing first and waiting just a few minutes for the next guy and then the next guy... lets say that guy A. finishes his job and waits for guy B. who takes 2 min longer, and then guy C. takes another 2 min. well what we have is a total time lose of 6 min. if you run 20 plus cuts a day multiply that by 6 min and you've lost 2 man hours. so the solution really depends on how much you have to pay for fuel and if your drive time is minimal.. you have to compare fuel and drive time for your employees vs. lost profits from wasted man hours. whichever is greater should be your answer.

Mowingman
07-13-2002, 11:16 AM
I have a similar situation. I have 40 residential and 58 commercial, with 3 of the commercial being in the 15 acre range. I have 4 people total, including me. Here is what I do.
I send one man by himself to do residential properties 3 days a week. On Thurs. and Fri. he gets a helper as those two days have a heavy schedule. That leaves me with 2 helpers to do commercial on Mon. thru Wed. We do the big and tough commercials on those three days. Then on Thurs. and Fri. I only take one helper with me and we do the rest of the commercials, all the small, easy ones. Once in a while we may get backed up due to bad weather. Then all 4 of us may go out together with all the equipment and work as one big crew until we get back on track. Hope this helps you. :D

awm
07-13-2002, 12:20 PM
sounds like u ought t be givin advice.
if i were not solo and had that much .
the way u do it sounds ideal.
assuming thats 80 mostly weeklys
plus commercial wk.

yardman14
07-13-2002, 07:36 PM
Here are the specifics on the work week and equipment.The 2 largest accounts are 2 shopping centers which take approx 9 man hours a piece per week,these are close together and are billed as one,these are cut weekly.I also have 3 residentials that are 3+ acres with a lot of trimming and edging but not a lot of detail work.The rest are your basic neighborhood residentials that take about 20 minutes for 2 man crew and 30-35 minutes solo.In reality I average about 75 cuts a week as I have a few 3x a month places.Like I said before,I run 2 trailers,mine having a 50" dixie with 36"scag with sufficient blowers and trimmers etc.My other trailer is running a JD 52",bobcat 48",bobcat 36" with plenty of trimmers ,blowers etc.It just seems to me that a 2 or 3 man crew stocked with almost 12 feet of deck to mow with could mow faster then a 50" chopper on the larger properties.Am I wrong?The problem I am having is ,it seems like I can take any one of my guys with me and get the same amount of work done,on the other hand my other truck seems to me that they do not get enough work done for what they have to work with,whether it be 2 or 3 people.Either the 2 workers are slackers or I am expecting too much.Presently my 3 workers are working about 80+/_ a week.I am starting to think I should cut back to only 2 employees and let them work the full schedule.I would love to hear any additional strategies you all may have in mind.One thing I did not mention is that I take Mondays off,the other 4 days I always have the chopper no matter where I am cutting.