I only work solo, but my son helps at times, so I dont have any experience with the crew concept when it comes to lawn care. But my primary job is a supervisor, and my thoughts would be to ensure crews are responsible for maintaining their equipment properly. If one person is lacking in mechanical ablilities, they are a crew..and a team. They should work together to teach the person and bring them up to speed on at least the basics. Maybe they cant do engine overhauls, but everyone should be capable of changing oil, air filters, and plugs as a minimum.
By maintaining the equipment, they understand whats involved, and will take better care of it IMO.
Every once in a while, you could do spot checks on the different crews and offer incentives for crews taking the extra effort maybe, or for a crew whos equipment was washed. lubricated, or whatever at the end of the day because they took the extra time to care for it...Example: gift cards to a resturant for doing additional maintenance, or whatever the case may be. Im just spit ballin here....LOL...so dont shoot holes by looking at my specific examples. Its just meant as a concept...some may agree...some may not. I do feel a few guys are going to be more capable at the maintenace, and those guys should have the ability to concentrate on the more compicated repairs, and not have to be constantly cleaning air filters, or changin oil and mixing gas. Everyone should be able to perform the basic repairs on the equipment that we are using every day.
My Primary Equipment:
2004 Chevy Avalanche
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer w/ trimmer and blower rack
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30
20?? Gravely ZT1534 34" ZTR
Mclane 25" Reel Mower
2010 Husqvarna 21" mower with Honda engine
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2013 Stihl BR 600 Blower
2013 Stihl SG20 Back Pack Sprayer
2013 Stihl HS81 t Hedge Trimmer
Poulan Pro 33cc with all the attachments
200? Billy Goat AE550 Core Aerator