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Hired help!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogreencanada, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. After years of frustration, we're planning on hiring ONLY retired and pensioned people who enjoy the outdoors and like yard work. They come from the old school with common sense, work ethic, work experience, pride and they enjoy the outdoors. Our company has decided to NOT hire any more students or young people as they are more of a burden than help these days (in other words-clueless). We can save on wages, sickdays, breakdowns, insurance, fuel, equipment wear & parts ........just to name a few, plus there is an endless supply of them coming with the babyboom. Afterall, company reputation is what we strive to meet, and we've falling short with the younger people, and besides, we're tired of "babysitting". The forcasted savings will be nice to see.
  2. jcthorne

    jcthorne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    This one ought to be interesting......Do you wonder why most senior citizens pay someone to do their own yards?

    How did you forecast production? Your operating cost per hour is going to skyrocket.

    I predict this fails miserably....but more power to you if you can make it work.
  3. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Canada doesnt have age discrimination laws? I do agree that they would be more apt to show up on time and take the job seriously.And I guess you would save when you take them to a buffet. But hard labor in the heat?I know its frustrating dealing with youth sometimes,but this is a labor intensive job.
  4. Oops, I should have mentioned, these older folk will be riding mower 85% of the time. We have about 325 acres to mow. The other 15% will be light duties. My foreman, who is only 29, can pick up the slack where it's needed.
  5. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    I think you are on the right track. I am currently working full time and have my lawn biz on the side. My experience in my full time job, is that the young people they have hired have failed miserably. They have no work ethic or discipline. Most are also way out of shape. I am not saying every single one is like this, but the vast majority has been. I have a friend that owns several pawn shops, he has hired a few retired guys in their 70's. He says they work circles around the rest of his employees. I think it will work for you. Let us know how it works out.
  6. For years, while working on the golf courses, I had lineups for riding mowing jobs by retired persons, they cut and go home no questions asked, and they can grasp the concept of how you want the grass cut. And we're not talking about the rinky-dinky $15,000 mowers that we use now. I'm talking about $30-$80k mowers on the golf course. Even in the last month, I've had 4 retired men wanting to ride mower for the coming summer. I know these men and they are bored at home over the long summer days. Maybe, I should clarify, retired. When I think and speak retirement, I'm thinking of those 55-65 who have taken early retirement, are in good health, and are looking for something to do part time (summer only) Their hours will be totally flexible, so if they want to take some time off , no problem I'll get someone else to fill in for the time. What old guy wounldn't want to sit on a mower for a couple of days and get paid for it? Found coffee money! If it rains, or gets to dry to cut, I don't have to worry about keeping them on payroll if there is no work to be had. Remember this is "fun money" for them, not a bread winners income. Whereas, if I had a committment to a younger person who depended on the summer income, I would be forced to "make work" and not get my value out of them. It's worked before for me on the golf courses, so there is no reason to believe that it can't work in the private sector.
  7. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    It sounds like if you can have them riding only they will work out. I don't think that will work for me. I can't see them trimming 600 foot ditch banks, edging all day, etc...
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    Riding might seem easy but my old bones have found that I can't do it 8 hours a day. Maybe if you had a real good seat. And the foot pedal raising of the big decks are a strain problem on some units. And the noise causes ringing in the ears for old people. Bet you will have lots of turnout on your ads....NOT.
  9. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I have a retired man run my third (backup mower) when needed, and or he runs my wifes mower if she has other things to do. He is 70, and can work circles around any of the 20 year olds I have been around. This next summer I am going to have to use him for at least a couple of days a week.

    Retired people in my opinion have experience, work ethic, and reliability. Besides that the first question out of their mouth is not "How much is the pay? How much time off do I get? and What are the benefits?

    I would be hard pressed to consider hiring anyone other that retired people.

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