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Old 07-02-2014, 07:11 AM
kgs1 kgs1 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: hulbert,mi
Posts: 144
I don't personally understand the 4th guy... I've at most run 3 guys and 2 mow 1 trims and whoever gets done first edges the sidewalks/drives the next guy done grabs the blower and cleans up...efficiency!
If you have other lawns close to each other then send the guys mowing ahead of the others and the others will catch up to them, you will get them done faster, no need for a 3rd or 4th guy standing around waiting for the others.
If you must run 4 guys, then you should be doing a FULL service each time your at each lawn. 2 guys mowing 1 guy trimming and the 4th guy weeding and trimming shrubs as needed at each lawn. Charge more for a full service lawn care.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:47 AM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: southern WV
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So the guy doing the roundup is he licensed or is a license required in your state to spray roundup? So does that make him the only one that can spray, or is the entire crew licensed?

For us, 2 man crews and sometimes on larger properties 3 men.

1 guy mowing, 1 guy trimming/blowing. Or 2 guys mowing, 1 guy trimming/blowing. Whoever gets finished first starts doing whatever is needed next. I don't see the point of the 4th man blowing the entire time from a cost or effectiveness standpoint.

How much time are these guys standing around with their hands in the pockets? Who's getting finished first? Are all guys literally finishing within a couple minutes of each other? So does that mean that some of the guys are that slow or other guys that fast?

We are using 2, 3 guys servicing 3+ acre residential accounts and never had any complaints about not having time for proper servicing.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:16 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
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Originally Posted by GatorGardener View Post
Current setup: residential accounts of varying sizes. Four man crews with 5-9 properties per day. When they get off the truck:

Man 1 - immediately puts on backpack blower and keeps it on the entire time at the property.
Man 2 - edger/weed eater and then trims or picks up debris as needed.
Man 3 - trims entire time at property
Man 4 - mows and sprays roundup

No one has ever told them how or what order to do things. Is there an optimal order or process to maximize efficiency in this circumstance but to also maintain or improve quality? They currently switch off on the backpack blower at each property because it's considered the easier job - but I'm wondering if they really need a guy on the blower for the entire time at each property.

Ive heard complaints that they don't have enough time to properly service the accounts. We've at times added a fifth man to each truck to do detail work and the complaints go away but some of these properties are just way too small for that many guys on a crew.

At the moment I'm seriously considering adding a crew to reduce the number of properties they are traveling to each day and then reducing all crews to three men each to make up for it.
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You need to go out with one crew for a week. Observe. That means eyes open, mouth shut.

Monday morning second week you tell them why there are going to be changes and how things are going to now be done. Then you spend the 2nd week with this crew and implement the changes and time each property on that route.

This crew now knows that you know that they can get the route done in x hours and they can not drag it out to x+2 hours.

Third week you start the process over with your second crew. Fifth week you start with the third crew. And you review the time sheets with the first and second crew to see if they are on track. Eventually you will have all the crews trained to the new ways.

No reason to get a blower on as soon as the truck stops and keep it on the whole time.

I am working strictly solo this year. Though when in the past my friend would get the 20" mower and do the tight spots while I used the 42". When the 20" was done he would bring it back to the trailer and I would bring the 42" back over to him. Then I would edge and trim. Then he or I would blow depending on who got done first. Even then whoever was not blowing would load up the trailer and tie everything down so that as soon as the blower was put away we just drove off.

Point is no one just stood around waiting for people to finish.

Some properties we never needed the 20" so he would go straight to the 42" and I would use the hand helds. Thing is we adapted to the property size and requirements so that we both got done at the same time. Usually within 1 minute of each other.

Applications, roundup is separate from mowing. If you have enough work you may just have one guy do all the app work for you.

Dollars to doughnuts you will be running three men crews.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:45 AM
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Locqus Locqus is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Detroit
Posts: 689
Two man crews are plenty for residential I think. Ours run about 20-22 a day. We tried 3 guys and we had about a 5 minute lag time with one guy kind of not doing anything. We run 3 to catch up from rain but on a clear day. 2 is really all you need for an average lawn.
Paul Proctor
Office: 800-647-1951
Locqus - Free Field Service Management
Proud owner of Shamrock Landscaping LLC
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:47 AM
TTS TTS is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 590
I used to work in a healthcare facility that used the lean system. One of the big things they did was "spaghetti diagrams". I don't know if there's a real name for them or not. Like 32 mentioned go out with a crew with a diagram of each property. Using different colors for each employee mark off every step they take on the property. When done you will have what looks like a colorful bowl of spaghetti. Go back and analyze every line on the sheet and figure out things you can change to eliminate ad many lines as possible especially anywhere employees overlap.

I can tell you from experience that this system is an incredible time saver and can see it benefiting your scenario immensely.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:51 PM
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Glenn Lawn Care Glenn Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
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Depending on the size of the property I think 4 guys is too many. Sometimes 3 can be too many but it can work. 2-3 man crews are Ideal in my opinion.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:32 PM
GatorGardener GatorGardener is offline
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Originally Posted by 94gt331 View Post
Just curious if you don't mind sharing what your gross take is with one of your 4 man crew's on a average mowing day with 5-9 lawns?
About $1500 gross per crew per day. Base maintenance only - no fert, no trimming over 8ft, no extras in the base price. I'm going to buy a truck asap and get it down to 3 guys per crew.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:50 PM
kgs1 kgs1 is offline
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Location: hulbert,mi
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I have a lot of lawns just down the street from one another and the 60" ztr just keeps going till i'm done with the lawns in that area or street. The guy(s) (1-2 other than me) will be trimming/edging/blowing etc and they catch up fairly quickly,, if not when I'm finished I'll get the blower or whatever and go behind them til were all done with that area.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:56 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ragland Al
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One guy needs to be the crew leader.

2 guys need to be smoking cigerettes.

And 1 guy needs to be doing some work, usually the youngest feller.

That's how its done.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:37 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Location: LI NY
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Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
One guy needs to be the crew leader.

2 guys need to be smoking cigerettes.

And 1 guy needs to be doing some work, usually the youngest feller.

That's how its done.
If playing Jeopardy that would be the answer to the question: What is Red Neck Landscaping?
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