From 1 crew to 2

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by germann, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    We are possibly going to expand from one crew to two next year, and in the process hire our first real, outside employee, maybe even two. Up to now the three of us brothers have done everything. I would appreciate any experiece or advice shared for those who have experienced anythine similar. Just post any thoughts that you think will help. Right now, we have 70 residential yards, and do chemical apps. for about 30 people. With mulching, bush trimming, etc., it is full time for two, with the third helping out part time. We will need another truck, etc.
    Our Equipment:
    1997 Chevrolet 1500 350
    12 ft trailer w/racks
    Exmark Turf Tracer 48 and 36
    3 Stihl trimmers
    1 Stihl Edger
    2 Stihl Backblowers
    Honda trim mower
    Magna-Matic(new, and we love it)
    Lesco spreader with drop in Gregson Clark Sprayer
    Thanks, Philip
     
  2. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Your maintenance on the equipment and stuff will get torn up a lot faster than you are use too. People that do not own it, just do not treat it the same.

    We are in a similar situation, and have tried in the past, but for us, that is the biggest hurdle to overcome.

    Wish you luck, and pass on your success story and methods!

    Al B
     
  3. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,075

    Really interview the new potential employees very well and split up one full time brother on each crew. This will help to keep everything working smoothly. You really want to have someone you can trust running each crew. Best of luck to you.

    Gravely_Man
     
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    I agree 100%...one of the brothers has to run the new crew(s).

    Something else you should keep in mind, now with a second crew, you will need one or two more of everything else (another truck, another trailer, 2 mowers, 2 trimmers, another blower, etc.) to outfit the new crew. Maybe you already have enough equipment to get a second crew up and running and don't have to worry right now? You would know that better than me though.

    Adding another crew is nice and rewarding...and it can be expensive as well. Good Luck in your decision:D
     
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Roddy hit it on the head - Make sure for the first year that each crew has a brother in charge. You will need to double your equip, vehicle & triler. IMHO - get a 16'-20 foot trailer this time - you won't be sorry for your decision & it'll make it a whole lot easier for when you add the "Z". The larger trailer will hold 38,48,Z and other smaller stuff like push mower, edger & blower.

    Bob
     
  6. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Germann- When I started my second crew, my brother took my F150 with a 36" walk-behind, a trimmer, 2 back-pack blowers and a few hand tools. He and one other man would do the smaller properties on the route, and I had two men with me to do the larger properties. It was amazing how much time we saved doing things this way. I am a firm believer in small crews for lawn mowing.
    If you feel you can get the work to keep your two crews busy, go for it. You know you or one of your brothers can run this crew and not have much to worry about in terms of breaking machines or doing shoddy work. You will have to invest some money in your business, but from my experience, it will be worth it. Good luck, if you have any questions, let me know. Mike
     
  7. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Posts: 0

    GERMANN, I am in the same boat, but my brothers wouldn't't touch a lawn mower with a ten foot pole......, I have been wanting to start a cutting crew for two years now, but was just to nervous, This year I am going to put my balls on the table, and interview very carefully, I am expanding to make more time for hardscaping jobs. Good Luck!
     
  8. nu83

    nu83 LawnSite Member
    from omaha
    Posts: 238

    I thought about trying to expand to two crews this year but I just couldn't see it working out without someone I could trust running the other crew. I am training my one full time employee this year to be able to run his own crew next year, should I decide to go for it then.

    If you run the numbers it can be a big risk/low reward type deal.
     
  9. TaussigLawnCare

    TaussigLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    Well I beleive one man crew are the most efficient but then it is really easy to get burned out like when we do our 90,000 sq ft job we like to have us both there. For those of you that have 2 crews how do you keep in contact with the other crew I have a cell phone and the employee doesn't I tried the radios thing but it didn't work well should I add a phone on my cell phone plan and let them use it when we are seperate
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    A one man crew is the most efficient...get friggin real??? 90k turf??? For 2 of us , that's a walk in the park...LOL
     

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