View Full Version : Trying for that Second Crew

Master of the Lawn
03-01-2004, 10:03 PM
Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to start a second crew? Should i start it out as a one man show, then grow it. My goal is two run two crews of two men each. that would be enough to handle initself. What do you pay the foreman/driver? Thank You for help. A.O.Smith ;) ;)

Expert Lawns
03-01-2004, 11:06 PM
Just wondering, how many weekly accounts do you have?

03-01-2004, 11:14 PM
All I have to say is good luck.............I started a second crew last year.

03-01-2004, 11:39 PM
We need to know how many accounts you have!

03-01-2004, 11:51 PM
If you have guys trained on the lawns go for it. If your guys are gonna destroy everthing and need a babba everyday don't. As for peoples good and bad experiences thats theirs do to bad luck, lack of social skills, or they can't afford decent people. One good tip a boss used on me for the lawn route 5 years ago was I got a salary based on man hours of the lawns averaged out my pay was 13 an hour and the other guy with only a little experience 9 an hour. Needless to say the first week took 45 hour per man the second took 40, etc... I had that route banged out on a average of 36 hours most of the season and it looked great... I let the other guy mow most of the time and weedwhacked everything myself because I was afraid if he screwed up I would be sitting next to my boss again and losing pay.

Master of the Lawn
03-02-2004, 12:32 AM
During peak season i run about 12-14 yards a day. I don't even think about stoping for less than $ 30. Right now i'am working along with another man. I know could'nt work a second crew year round. I've been thinking about getting into the yellow pages to help generate calls. Here in SA we have a north side yellow pages to help target customers.

03-02-2004, 12:42 AM
How many hours are you and the other guys working a week? Is the other guy motivated by more money and a good work ethic?

Master of the Lawn
03-02-2004, 01:30 AM
Right now about 30hrs week grass hasnt started yet. The other guy is money motivated with a good work ethic .

03-02-2004, 01:42 AM
If it was me I would get my 2 man crew maxed out like 50 plus hrs a week and then add a 1 man crew to take the 2 man back to 35 hrs. Put new guy with you and put experienced one by himself. And after you get the 1 man crew going start selling more lawn work to get everybody back to full week.

03-02-2004, 03:22 AM
Be careful......Getting a second crew means quality is going to go down. If you are a mow, blow, an go lco, then there is no problem. If you want to maintain quality, you might want to re-evaluate the situation. The second crew will not maintaim the quality you expect, or the same quality that you yourself provide.

I have been there an done it. Finally had to drop the second crew thing. I couldn't find anyone that was on the same level as me...If I could find that special someone, they would have it made.

You have to have that special individual that is a team player, and is looking to get to that same goal you are. If you have found that someone, great! If you haven't, you will know soon enough.

03-02-2004, 03:13 PM
IMO your goals are backwards. I had the same problem in the past. New goal.....more money....more profit.....less workers

Lux Lawn
03-02-2004, 05:04 PM
I am also going to try for a second crew either this year or next depending on what kind of response rate I get from my advertising.I do have a guy that works for me know that with a little more experience can handle a crew himself.

Master of the Lawn
03-02-2004, 05:27 PM
Good help seems to be the major crutch in the whole business. It took me 2 years to find a decent worker.

03-02-2004, 05:36 PM
how much are you paying these guys? Would 15$an hour make any difference?

Master of the Lawn
03-02-2004, 07:05 PM
Damn $15 an hour there goes the profits. Regular labor gets paid $ 8.50 Willing to pay the driver/foreman 11.50 hour

J the field Gorilla
03-02-2004, 08:29 PM
Commenting on the subject of good help, from what I have been told finding a good helper is harder than finding the work. Which is frustrating because I am now at that cross road wher I need a helper. This is confusing in that you can start advertising as early as you want, but until you see that person actually work on the job hand on you don't know what they are capable of. Probably will change helpers like shirts until getting lucky to find a good one.

03-02-2004, 09:43 PM
In todays economy you might have a decent chance. Number one rule he says he's experienced 50\50 he can't start a mower. Number two he has no clue how to do anything he said he's proficient in fire hime right there even if you have to drive him back to the shop. Number three when you hire another person is your current guy capable of being in authority when you aren't there. And most importantly if he makes you even 300 bucks more a week then you would without him arent you better off and three hundred richer even if your pie charts reflect a lower profit margin for you. And yes I've heard people say I can't get help that cares as much as I do about the business and they never will because ITS YOURS not THEIRS. Hope any of this helps. If its so horrable to have anyone but yourself work for you why are there so many companies that have 5 or more crews and a wealthy owner?

03-02-2004, 09:54 PM
What do you do to make "MORE $ w/ LESS workers" in this line of work?

I had the worst time this past season just trying to KEEP/run "1" 2 man crew. When I did have 2 guys that knew what to do, they were able to run 60+ accounts in 3 days... I would TRY TO run my Fertilizer accounts while they were mowing, BUT It always seemed like more time was spent babysitting or cleaning up after them instead! Take in to account the time for maintenance & up keep of everything to be in proper running order / appearance. (considering NO ONE I've had seems to cares about things that are not theirs!)

I CAN'T even THINK of running a SECOND crew... The STRESS would kill me! :blob3: :blob3: :blob3: :laugh:

As for PAY in my area:
Driver: average $15+/- per/hr, Labor: average $10+/- per hr

03-02-2004, 10:24 PM
Keep looking and don't be afraid to trim the fat if you find someone better.i've heard people say oh but this sucks! Or I hate that account. You know what sucks worse no job and no money. Some I would have to agree with procut and fire a foreman that makes $15 an hour and doesnt have anything to tell you at the end of the day except thing ran smooth here how long we worked and see you tommorrow. If not keep looking . 1 bad apple spoils the bunch. Another thing to watch out for is equipment is they are taking their life into their hands with equipment that is made up primarily of duct tape and driving work trucks that shake rattle and fall apart they lose whatever motivation the have fairly fast. Between doing maintenance and landing a great job at at a Landscaping only company I worked at like some dooseys. I only stayed long enough at each to find another because the things I mentioned about equip. and their other foreman were crackheads literally I told one boss about a guy snorting smack he told me that guy had been through alot and he was a good guy. That good guy made the same amount as me so I quit right there. I'm not saying this is the practice of the people saying don't do it, but why do some companies succeed and some fail. Not everything is luck good or bad.

03-03-2004, 09:45 AM
I don't have another income to fall back on. If I were seriously injured I would be out of business and soon bankrupt, unless I can fall back on good employees to keep the business going. I got lucky when I hired my first employee last year. I immediately noticed his motivation, attention to detail and ability to handle clients. My first employee was foreman material. Now it is up to me to develop my skills as a business owner, so that I can keep this young man fully equipped, well paid and give him room to develop. All the while he is providing me increased income and security and making a real contribution to the growth of my business. We have discussed his going into business himself doing fert jobs. Any thoughts on this. I like the idea.