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More updates on solo

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Well, as many of your know I went back to the solo operation this year. What has been puzzling me since last Thursday (when I started to mow) is that the mowings are one of three things:

    1. taking the exact time as my two man crew last year
    2. faster than my two man crew by about 5 mins
    3. slower than my two man crew by only 5 mins.

    My quality of work I feel is better and I am doing more of a thorough job. The stripes are better looking and property just looks more clean.

    Now I was a hard@ss with them last year and big on productivity. Everything from load time, unload time, etc. I thought that everything was down to a bare minimum for spending time on properties, but I am finding that by just being solo I am spending just about the exact same time on these properties as my two man crew did last year.

    Why is there such little difference between myself and the two man crew???:confused:
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    why? what are you doing, mostly medium residentials? if that's the case, the only thing your employee is doing(just an assumption) is wacking and blowing, if this is the case, your 20-30 minute stop, plus your 5-10 min travel time, he's only actually working like 5-7 min per stop.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I am talking about them from the previous years compared to my work this year

    Basically a two man crew from previous years compared to me just being solo this year
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    It should be taking me a lot longer than them from previous years times, but I am spending just about the same time as they did on the properties.
  5. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Mowing conditions may have alot to do with it. I know that here in PA, the grass is growing but it really has not taken off yet the way it normally does in the Spring. I know that last year, we were spending a lot of extra time at properties due to the onslaught of almost constant rain. This year, mowing conditions have been perfect and we are flying through lawns. Wait until early to mid May and then judge if your productivity is still as high.

    I have thought the same thing lots of times. There have been days I have been solo and wondered why I am moving faster alone, than my guys do. You have to realize that you are not going to find someone who is as fast, knowledgable, and efficient as you are unless you are going to shell out really big bucks for a worker. You have the most at stake in your business, and you know what it takes to do the job effeciently, and properly. Sometimes no matter how many times you beat something into your guys heads they just dont get it. A lot of times when I have a helper with me, I feel like I am almost paying for his company.

    In other words, You Da Man!:D
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    good point lawndog
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    I'll put my 2 cents worth in.
    You're the owner,Time is money to you.
    They were employees,Time was money to them as well but money in their pocket rather than yours.
    Employees just don't have the same motivation or quality of skills most of the time.JMO.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I work solo about 99% of the time. I took a very experienced helper with me last Thursday to catch up a little. He did the trimming, I did the cutting. I watched this guy and he was wandering all over the place, trim a little here, trim a little there. I have also noticed other helpers doing the same exact thing other times. It is like their brains work helter-skelter and in random order.

    When I trim I like to do it sequentially. I'll either go around the outside perimeter of the yard first, hitting objects close to the perimeter and then do around the house hitting the remainder of the objects along the way. With these other guys it's incredible that they can get finished trimming before I finish cutting and sometimes they don't.
  9. onelegjohn

    onelegjohn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    Hourly workers have a tendancy to SLOW down and take breaks...especially when the boss isn't looking.
  10. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    one thing you may not be factoring in is how tired are you going to be at the end of the day solo compared to having a helper

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