Does this make sense?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowerMoney, May 5, 2005.

  1. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I hoped to double my clients this year so I had a kid (19 yrs old) lined up to work with me this season. Well I didn't get double the customers yet but thought I'd have the guy help me 3 days per week for now. I had a couple of new residentials which are quite large and we did them in less time than I had estimated. Okay so far. (est. @ 3.5 hrs and did it in 2.75 hrs) The second week I did it alone and I finished it in 2 hrs flat. Same senario with the same 3 days that he helped me with in week one. I did them all faster by myself in week two.

    I know there's a learning/training curve but c'mon. It's gotta be even a little faster with a helper. Right? The kid seemed to learn quick and was working at a good pace.

    Think I'll just work by myself and put in more hours. Cheaper than paying out $10 per hr and not getting as much done. Better company too :rolleyes:
  2. green thum

    green thum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 162

    ;) I have to agree,i have a helper who helps when i need him,but it's weird i can work just as fast by myself?the company is MUCH better lol!!!
  3. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    By some chance are you edging on the weeks with the helper, and not edging by yourself??? If so that will make a BIG difference. I can get my accounts done in almost half the time with a helper. I have trained him to edge, trim, cut, and blow. I carry redundant equipment on the trailer, 2 mowers, 2 trimmers, 2 blowers, 1 edger. A typical group of houses will start out with one guy edging and one guy cutting. If it is a week with no edging, both of us will take off with a mower. First guy done with his cutting grabs a trimmer and gets to work, second guy grabs the other trimmer and continues with the next house. First guy finished grabs a blower... etc... until we are completely done. It is kind of like having 2 one man crews at the same location in a sense, and works out ALOT better than having one guy running a blower, and one guy cutting, etc.... I have experimented with many different combinations, and this is by far the fastest I have found. Not to mention with both guys doing the same jobs side by side, they tend to pace each other... or should I say outpace each other. So it benefits even greater.

    I see alot of owners that only touch the mower, and nothing else. If thats the case, you will never be able to drop any significant amount of time off your lawns with a helper. Other guys only run with 1 blower. 2nd guy is standing their watching him blow at the end of the job with no way to help and nothing else to do (barring re-stringing a trimmer, but you cant do that at every house). At the very least carry 2 blowers, that will likely drop a few minutes off each stop at the end.

  4. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,177

    Same here. Got to have two of everything. Not only for when one breaks. But then no one has an excuss for standing around.
    I got 4 mowers, two trimmers, two blowers, brush cutter, hedge trimmer in the trailer. For a 1 man crew 1 day a week and 2 man crew for 2 days a week.
  5. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    We were both active for the whole time. 2 mowers, 2 trimmers, but only 1 blower. I tried to time it so he was blowing as I finished off the trimming. I have to think it was a matter of him not knowing yet how to hussle across the yards. After all, First you get good, Then you get fast. Right?

    Oh well. I couldn't give him full time anyways, so he's got another job now. So far I can handle everything I've got, plus picking up a few more. I'll just put in some extra hours, but unfortunately I have had to lose a few other jobs such as clean ups. Still, overall, not doing too bad for only my second year at this full time.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    2 works well for me as most of the accounts can be split almost 50/50 between mowing and trim-edge-blow. It might take some time to work out how best to do each stop but once it is done it should work better and you should save time. I tried 3 for a short time on some of my bigger jobs and that did not work well at all.

    Build the route as a machine so that you do the exact same thing each and every week.
    Good luck.
  7. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    I'd keep him. after time you will get more efficient and cut your time by about 1/3. You need to get another blower. One other benefit would be if you needed a day off or got sick, you'd have someone who could takeover.
  8. bill w

    bill w LawnSite Member
    from Va.
    Posts: 198

    Your figures don't add up...your worker should have been able to stand around doing nothing while you finished the job in two hours, by your calculations. Yet, he was working at a good pace?

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