How hard is to put a crew on the road without you?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Espacesverts, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Espacesverts

    Espacesverts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    Presently, I'm working with the guy every day. But, I'm slowly thinking about starting a second crew. If I do that, one crew will be lead by employees only. How can I be sure that the job will be done correctly? I was thinking about something. Maybe I could pay one guy at a week rate and the other will be pay at a hour rate. What do you do to be sure that the job will be done well?

    My other concern is with the mower. I'm worried about the fact that a zero turn can do so much damage on the grass. How can I be sure that they will take care of it?

  2. bigtex

    bigtex LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Posts: 151

    There Are So Many Added Headaches With A Second Crew. Work Ethic Will Almost Always Suffer When Your Not There. (guarenteed) I've Just Downsized Significately This Year With That Being One Major Factor. Today It Rained So I'm Able To Take It Off. If You'd Like My Advice Keep It Simple. Make The Most Out Of Your Biz With What You Got While Your There. Plus Your Gonna Need To Chase Down Alot More Work Just To Keep $ In There Pocket Full Time Or You'll Lose Them.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    why do you capitalize every word it make it real hard to read
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well, I'm sure you've noticed this much, working on your crew, is that customers are twice as likely to try and get over on your employees vs. the owner.

    Just when you thought we had it bad, you're working the front and start to wondering where your helper is... So you walk around the back to take a look see, and suddenly you hear talking, so you decide to listen for a minute... Lo and behold, your oh-so-loyal I-always-trusted-this-one customer is making a 'deal' with your employee behind your back (surely not with your equipment, it couldn't be, but oh yes, it is, it has to be...)

    Therefore, that's what I would expect, somehow there needs to be a solution of some kind in place for the nonsense... Most any employee will be approached, whether they can resist the extra $5 or $20 being offered for what should cost about twice as much is anyone's guess, I never did find a solution to this problem.

    I suppose it does boil down to how your employees handle these situations, best I can think of.
  5. Lawn_Boy

    Lawn_Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    Basically its a risk. Is it a risk worth taking, to you?

    I am certainly no expert, but you have to ask yourself "do I trust one of my employees to run a crew?"...."do I trust that person to handle/use equipment properly?"...etc...etc.

    If you can't trust them then either eleminate the idea of a 2nd crew or slowly try to find someone who you think could potentially run a crew for you, properly.
  6. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    You just have to find the right person. I haven't worked out in the field on a daily basis for two years. My lead is fully aware of our expectations, he's very responsible, extremely hard working, committed and dedicated. I worked with him side by side for 6 months before letting him out on his own. I've never had any problems with him poaching customers and if I did, he'd be fired. The quality of his work as at least as good as mine. Maybe I just got lucky but I think you simply have to hire the right person, treat them well and keep your expectations high.
  7. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    Pay your lead guy a good wage. Tell him the expectations of the company. Maybe on one day he does the easy work(ZTR) and see how he does. Someone on here has said they have clients that are supposed to ask employees to do things on the side. Employees know the company has these customers so if the employee does accept something on the side the client advises the business owner and you guessed it, the employee is fired. Maybe you could try that. That is what I plan to do when I get a second crew going. Maybe you could also have inspections of properties and if it doesnt meet your expectations then the crew has to fix it with out pay. Just some suggestions.

  8. Diversified Maintenance

    Diversified Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Keep your employees close but keep your customers closer. This business is about relationships in addition to quality work. I bring mine vegetables from the garden, go see em n the hospital, talk shop...whatever. Enstills trust and honesty!
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Running additional crews isn't difficult if you take the time to properly train these employees to accepted standards.
    Crews force you, the business owner, to focus on every aspect of your business to ensure profitability.
    Don't pay attention to details and you will suffer.
    Run your business as a profit generating mechanism and you will be alright.
  10. Espacesverts

    Espacesverts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    thank you everybody for all your responses!

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