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  #81  
Old 06-15-2012, 10:42 PM
BradLewisLawnCare BradLewisLawnCare is offline
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Sucks you had to do it that way. Really sucks. expectations are everything. i think there is a time and place for both. really depends on lawn size. ohh and one day is not enough data. . so next time you get called out on. think of it as data point #2.
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  #82  
Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
I got to try out the one man crew today. Not that I wanted to but one of our guys was out sick. So the kid that usually works with me went with my father and I worked solo. The two crews usually start at opposite ends of the service area and work towards each other where the larger properties are, where we all work together. I completed my part of the route only 1.25 hours behind where I normally end with another guy. So hypothetically if the fourth man was working we could have gained 2.5 hours working solo. I didn't factor in the large properties because no time would be gained or lost. Assuming the second crew did the same they would also gain 2.5 hours. Netting a gain of 5 man hours on that day. The other side is the operating cost of sending four guys with their own truck, trailer and mower 1 hour away from the shop to the serice area. So after adding some rough numbers on cost to purchase, register, insure, maintain and the two added trucks I came out with a gain of...... -$35.00. I will conceed that one man crews are more effecient for small/medium properties but in my case 1 man crews just are not a smart business move, but hey you were right about one man crews being effecient.....
can you keep that pace up day in and day out?
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  #83  
Old 06-16-2012, 03:13 AM
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Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is offline
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I'm done with this thread you can't teach people when they have their ears covered and eyes closed.

The one man crew model has some huge flaws and weakness. Now we did over 120 lawns in the last 2 days and as an owner you would think I know all my accounts but I don't. I have had some for 5 years Iv never stepped foot on. So when my partner needs me to help him its not comfortable to do strange accounts. And so if I am to do them I want his crew-member as a guide. So he can tell me this one likes it short this one wants you to go behind the shed this one wants you to mow 2 passes of the neighbors. You see over time you learn the accounts and you get to know all the issues that go with them the wet spots the unseen hole in the back you name it. Now that knowledge is passed through a crew and if one guy cant come to work or quits the other crew-member or members still know how to satisfy your client. But on a one man crew you do not have that and it is lost that the neighbor on the left will call the cops on you if you step over the line. Crews support each other and learn from each other. Solo crews do not have that and when a stranger shows up to mow the lawn its not always a pretty sight.

How do you train a solo crew guy after all a 30 min or 30 hour vid isn't going to do it it takes months to work on bad habits and it takes years before their vets and id say 10 before they are elite. At-least with a 2 or 3 man crew you can be training your future foremen when you have one man crews I guess they just spawn into existence like monsters in a video game. The Italian navy did something cute like this in ww2 they had more ships then they could man so they would sail up and down the Med and pretend they had a working navy. But it takes a long time to make officers or in our case foremen and the best way to train a new guy is to pair him with a experienced guy that has all the skills mastered.

As far as the production goes we had an $1800+ day today that's an average of 900 per 2 man crew. Now solo I know I could see perhaps 500 per man for the 2 owners but our crew members I highly doubt they would do much more then 400 a piece so in our case no difference today in production and with only 2 trucks not 4 and 2 trailers not 4 that's 20 fewer tires being worn. Now Iv made my case and it's well thought out and I know what comes next Ignore it because one man is the best and only way its sorta like global warming they said it so much it must be true.
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  #84  
Old 06-16-2012, 07:23 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Originally Posted by Duekster View Post
can you keep that pace up day in and day out?
absolutely not, I was running, and I normally have a fast pace.
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  #85  
Old 06-16-2012, 07:26 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Originally Posted by Kelly's Landscaping View Post
I'm done with this thread you can't teach people when they have their ears covered and eyes closed.

The one man crew model has some huge flaws and weakness. Now we did over 120 lawns in the last 2 days and as an owner you would think I know all my accounts but I don't. I have had some for 5 years Iv never stepped foot on. So when my partner needs me to help him its not comfortable to do strange accounts. And so if I am to do them I want his crew-member as a guide. So he can tell me this one likes it short this one wants you to go behind the shed this one wants you to mow 2 passes of the neighbors. You see over time you learn the accounts and you get to know all the issues that go with them the wet spots the unseen hole in the back you name it. Now that knowledge is passed through a crew and if one guy cant come to work or quits the other crew-member or members still know how to satisfy your client. But on a one man crew you do not have that and it is lost that the neighbor on the left will call the cops on you if you step over the line. Crews support each other and learn from each other. Solo crews do not have that and when a stranger shows up to mow the lawn its not always a pretty sight.

How do you train a solo crew guy after all a 30 min or 30 hour vid isn't going to do it it takes months to work on bad habits and it takes years before their vets and id say 10 before they are elite. At-least with a 2 or 3 man crew you can be training your future foremen when you have one man crews I guess they just spawn into existence like monsters in a video game. The Italian navy did something cute like this in ww2 they had more ships then they could man so they would sail up and down the Med and pretend they had a working navy. But it takes a long time to make officers or in our case foremen and the best way to train a new guy is to pair him with a experienced guy that has all the skills mastered.

As far as the production goes we had an $1800+ day today that's an average of 900 per 2 man crew. Now solo I know I could see perhaps 500 per man for the 2 owners but our crew members I highly doubt they would do much more then 400 a piece so in our case no difference today in production and with only 2 trucks not 4 and 2 trailers not 4 that's 20 fewer tires being worn. Now Iv made my case and it's well thought out and I know what comes next Ignore it because one man is the best and only way its sorta like global warming they said it so much it must be true.
These are a few of the reasons other than cost effectiveness why I won't run a single man crew. For saving time one man is faster, but that depends on the guy. Far too many variables, two man crews has worked for over 12 years and I'll bet it will still be working 12 years from now.
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  #86  
Old 06-16-2012, 08:20 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
absolutely not, I was running, and I normally have a fast pace.
Absolutely, we have to be realistic about productivity. They crew can gut it up and move quickly to catch up or work extended days to wrap up a short week.

However, when the heat settles in, they are going to need to stop and take water breaks more often. Yes the guys riding in the truck get a break but the driver has nearly no down time.

It is a fine balance between pushing the guys to be more productive and keeping them happy.
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  #87  
Old 06-16-2012, 08:37 AM
BradLewisLawnCare BradLewisLawnCare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly's Landscaping View Post
I'm done with this thread you can't teach people when they have their ears covered and eyes closed.

The one man crew model has some huge flaws and weakness. Now we did over 120 lawns in the last 2 days and as an owner you would think I know all my accounts but I don't. I have had some for 5 years Iv never stepped foot on. So when my partner needs me to help him its not comfortable to do strange accounts. And so if I am to do them I want his crew-member as a guide. So he can tell me this one likes it short this one wants you to go behind the shed this one wants you to mow 2 passes of the neighbors. You see over time you learn the accounts and you get to know all the issues that go with them the wet spots the unseen hole in the back you name it. Now that knowledge is passed through a crew and if one guy cant come to work or quits the other crew-member or members still know how to satisfy your client. But on a one man crew you do not have that and it is lost that the neighbor on the left will call the cops on you if you step over the line. Crews support each other and learn from each other. Solo crews do not have that and when a stranger shows up to mow the lawn its not always a pretty sight.

How do you train a solo crew guy after all a 30 min or 30 hour vid isn't going to do it it takes months to work on bad habits and it takes years before their vets and id say 10 before they are elite. At-least with a 2 or 3 man crew you can be training your future foremen when you have one man crews I guess they just spawn into existence like monsters in a video game. The Italian navy did something cute like this in ww2 they had more ships then they could man so they would sail up and down the Med and pretend they had a working navy. But it takes a long time to make officers or in our case foremen and the best way to train a new guy is to pair him with a experienced guy that has all the skills mastered.

As far as the production goes we had an $1800+ day today that's an average of 900 per 2 man crew. Now solo I know I could see perhaps 500 per man for the 2 owners but our crew members I highly doubt they would do much more then 400 a piece so in our case no difference today in production and with only 2 trucks not 4 and 2 trailers not 4 that's 20 fewer tires being worn. Now Iv made my case and it's well thought out and I know what comes next Ignore it because one man is the best and only way its sorta like global warming they said it so much it must be true.
great explanation of the multiple crew member theory. Obviously I would not send out a new guy after watching a training video to just mow grass, but the point is there. At least we are training. I think what my conclusion might be in the end is that 2 one man crews will be good if it is not pushing them to the max on days when 1 2 man crew would be pushed to the max. Or the long driving days. send one guy 25 minutes away and then have him works his way back. I can't see it as a sustainable method being that it takes one broken leg or one call in to really monkey wrench the operation. It is definitely an option and might be the most efficient, but I would be concerned in the long term for employee happiness and moral.
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  #88  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:10 AM
dutchacres dutchacres is offline
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I am all about being lean and mean. I understand where you are coming from but to be totally honest I believe you are way way over thinking it. You can crunch numbers all day long and always find ways of saving. It is like the old saying goes your spending a dollar to save a dime. How much time do you spend trying to figure this out. If you spent that same amount of time selling you would make more than trying to shave every penny off you could. Now I am not saying it is wrong what you are doing but just think you are making it way to hard on yourself. I was thinking it is like well I will only fill my gas tank up half way because it may go down 30 cents tomorrow or the next day and I will save some money. When in the long run you have to stop twice as often and lets say it takes you 15 minutes at the station. Well at $60 mh that is 15 bucks and unless you have a huge tank that is not going to equal out to if you would have just filled up the first time and been done with it. You can save money many different ways but what is it costing you to save that money. Employees are fickle and if they are not happy you lose production. So your single guy may work out great for a season and then he gets tired of doing everything so he slows down. The thing I have learned being in this business 13 years is everything looks good on paper. I charge per man hour. I estimate the hours to do a lawn and that's what I charge. Sure some I make more than others but that is part of learning how to properly bid jobs. This is just my two cents!
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  #89  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:20 AM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is offline
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Originally Posted by olmod View Post
I am all about being lean and mean. I understand where you are coming from but to be totally honest I believe you are way way over thinking it. You can crunch numbers all day long and always find ways of saving. It is like the old saying goes your spending a dollar to save a dime. How much time do you spend trying to figure this out. If you spent that same amount of time selling you would make more than trying to shave every penny off you could. Now I am not saying it is wrong what you are doing but just think you are making it way to hard on yourself. I was thinking it is like well I will only fill my gas tank up half way because it may go down 30 cents tomorrow or the next day and I will save some money. When in the long run you have to stop twice as often and lets say it takes you 15 minutes at the station. Well at $60 mh that is 15 bucks and unless you have a huge tank that is not going to equal out to if you would have just filled up the first time and been done with it. You can save money many different ways but what is it costing you to save that money. Employees are fickle and if they are not happy you lose production. So your single guy may work out great for a season and then he gets tired of doing everything so he slows down. The thing I have learned being in this business 13 years is everything looks good on paper. I charge per man hour. I estimate the hours to do a lawn and that's what I charge. Sure some I make more than others but that is part of learning how to properly bid jobs. This is just my two cents!
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So, if that dime is a dime being lost on every minute of production, and it takes the OP 40 hours to determine he is losing $.10 per man per minute, what kind of payback would that be?

And if he goes out selling, but is still losing a dime a minute per man, all the new sales in the world aren't going to keep him above water. Or in the black. Or in business.
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  #90  
Old 06-18-2012, 12:32 PM
dutchacres dutchacres is offline
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I understand but if he is losing money and running in the red then that is one thing. I was just talking about still running in the black but just having smaller profit margins possibly.
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