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Question For Guy's That Have Lawn Crews

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOLLYWOOD6973, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. HOLLYWOOD6973

    HOLLYWOOD6973 LawnSite Member
    from PGH PA
    Posts: 76


    This is my tenth yr in business. We do landscaping and lawn-care. I employ around 4-5 guys. I want to hire a Foreman and get another truck and split the crew so we can have a landscape crew and a lawn crew. What advice or what can I expert to run in to this year doing this? Besides more broken equipment?

    Thanks for your help
  2. HOLLYWOOD6973

    HOLLYWOOD6973 LawnSite Member
    from PGH PA
    Posts: 76

    any body?..
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    a couple of questions.

    on your lawncare, do you do full service work? hedge trimming, fert, weed control, irrigation maintenance?

    when you say landscaping, does that mean install work? Does that mean clean up work, or what?

    My suggestion is to have a mowing crew. They would mow, line trim, edge and blow.
    Second crew is for detail work. They would trim hedges, apply fert, control weeds, apply mulch, check irrigation systems, install sod, install and maintain annuals. Then when you have landscape install work, that would be their primary domain.

    By working this way and having good communication systems between the crews, the mowing crew can advise when the detail crew needs to go to a certain property and for what. The mowing crew can get in and out quickly. The detail crew can spend the appropriate time on certain jobs without killing the entire mowing schedule. You can detail, then mow the next day and the trimming clean up doesn't have to be perfect as the mowers will get the remainders.

    Done right this is a great system.
  4. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    make sure they cut your properties instead of his properties ! have fun an always keep an open mind an watch your properties an equipment !!
  5. ccll

    ccll LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    My one piece of advice would be to hire someone that you know will get the job done and do it right. I expanded this past year to two crews and it was a big pain in the butt, if your like me and my clients, you want things done a specific way, and we all know each client has their own little specific things they expect to be done when you show up to mow. It didn't matter how many times they mowed a lawn and I would specfically point out areas to pay close attention to, they would always forget to do something. And this is with a 36 yr old man who is a family member acting as my foreman on the second crew making between $350-400 weekly. I'm just saying it's hard to find someone to do the work the way you would do it yourself, without you being present on the job. Personally, I'm cutting back down to one crew this year, it just wasn't worth it to me to have another crew if I had to waste an hour out of the day going behind them making sure they did their job. I didn't want to end up like a couple of the big lco's here, they will send out a bunch of joe blows to mow or landscape and they receive more complaints than any of the smaller guys, I know because I usually pickup 5-10 jobs every year from their dissatisfied costumers. I'll say this and shutup, I think it's better to stay small enough so I can be on the job 95% of the time, knowing things are getting done right.
  6. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    The Foremans I have had work about a year and figure out how much money they are making me and get there equipment and go out on their own, my advise is if you hire a Foreman be sure he is broke and has bad credit so he cant buy any equipment.

  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    There is some truth to what zero turn says....wouldn't exactly agree with the broke/no credit part, but hiring a foreman should be a slightly more involved interviewing process. There are some people out there very qualified and seem to be a great fit, but they become temporary at best because they do not buy into the the idea of working for someone else all the time. Tailor your interview questions to what you are looking for and what you expect and be specific....ultimately in this industry I would take someone with far less experience who is organized, can follow instructions, cares about their job and is loyal.
  8. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    well you are established and it seems you have no trouble getting work. the only that thing can go wrong is getting the wrong guy.do your homework and you should go well.get him to work with you for 3 months that way you can really get to know him in every aspect. good luck :clapping:
    basically i agree with what sean says.this is different to putting a basic employee.more hard nosed interviewing involved here
  9. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 208

    Make your new forman and all employees sign a non compete clause upon hiring. Buy a book called the E-myth revisited by Mike Gerber and read it. It will give you some great ideas on expansion and putting management systems in place.
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    Great Book....E-myth

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