Small crew

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yardboyltd, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Does anyone run a specilized crew and set-up for small lawns? One or two guys, 22" push mowers, curved shafts, hand held blower and stick edger all in a business looking S10 or ranger... Maybe even a 32 if the market needed it...

    Just wondering my options for next year's expansion... Alot of small residentials and commercials around here and walkbehinds are even to big sometimes... $15-$25 jobs...
     
  2. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Forgot to say that my larger contracts have been great and that the thought had crossed my mind to get away from residential more and more commercial.. Mostly because it's less money for me and that I don't enjoy mowing the small yards as much as I should. This is a solution that I would consider though if it proved profitable...
     
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I don't understand. The larger properties have "more" of what you don't like, and that is "mowing". At least, that's how I take what you are saying.
    Funny, but with the hot weather I'm glad to have smaller lawns that allow me a minute or two in the A/C of my truck, as I go to the next job. I find it hard to believe you'd rather be in 100 degree for an hour or two, without a break, when the smaller lawns offer you changes in work, by blowing or whacking, and also let take a breather (in the A/C) as "part of the job".
    Those big lawns may get you more money, but you're paying for it by not getting break time in between. If you figure out those small lawns that are yielding $80/hour for the actual time you mow, the only reason may make a bit less is from the break between lawns. And, if you want to stay fresh after 20 years of mowing, those breaks are what you need. In my opinon, non-stop mowing for 2/3/4 hours regardless of what you are using is not my idea of work, it's slave labor.
    Pete
     
  4. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    Pete,

    I like cutting my bigger accounts more than the small ones as well. Maybe it's because time driving (albiet a rest) is money spent not made. I would rather be working than driving.
    Plus I have a routine. Trim, edge, mow, blow, and I would rather pull out my equipment once on a large job than a bunch of small jobs wasting my time unloading and loading my equipment.

    Just how I feel. Does this convey your feelings YardBoy?

    P.S. YardBoy I don't think it would provide a good image or be worth the money you would spend on a smaller truck etc. I don't think "specialized" is the way to go unless all your jobs are small and it sounds like you dont like the small ones as much anyway.

    Jim
     
  5. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Yep that's sorta how I feel...

    I do take breaks frequently, lots of water, sit in the truck, it's all fine.

    I want to do some figuring on this exactly... Wouldn't have to be supernice pickup, just nice paint and low maitenence... wouldn't have to have expenisve trim mowers, just nice cuts... curved shaft because in my expierence they save time in small yards because you get all around an object faster than a straightshaft... This would be less dangerous job than others, help could probably easily be found for this job for a fair wage...

    I'd just have to calculate of course. It's just that I wish I was either doing all large commericials or all small yards...
     
  6. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    yep,

    1-21
    1-32
    1-36

    2 trimmers, 2 blowers

    the 21 sees very litte use
     
  7. What about 6-7-8-9-10 hours straight?

    That's what hiring people is for.

    So would that be paid labor?
     
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,656

    I have a one - man "crew". He does 40 residentials a week, 4 of them are about 3 acres in size, the others average 10,000 sq. ft. It usually takes him about 28 - 34 hrs total. He has a pickup and a 16" trailer and carries the following:
    60" ztr
    21" trim mower
    32" wb
    42" Walker w/ mulch deck
    He only uses the ZTR on the acreage jobs.
    I made a list of what day the properties needed serviced and have left it up to him how he organizes his day. It has worked out great. Frees me up to do all the big commercial stuff. I love setting on one my big ZTR's all day. :D
     
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469


    I agree with you, however, I was assumming this was a "one man" operation and he was asking for suggestions for himself. Also, as he mentioned, he takes breaks and so forth. My suggestion was to incorporate "those breaks" as the time to go from one job to another.
    As far as equipment loading and unloading, as a one man operation, my trailer and mowers are setup so I am mowing within 30 seconds of getting out of my truck. I understand your point, and that's why I spent a fair amount of time setting and positioning my mowers so they are ready in an instant.
    Pete
     
  10. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Posts: 117

    Yardboy, I went from what you are saying, a bunch of small places, largest being about 15M to doing a lot of big places which went up to about 3 acres a piece and it SUCKED. In my experience, its not too bad to do a bunch of the small places. Once you get into doing the big places where they have lots of acreage, you're not just going to be doing the mowing, they are going to book you SO full of side work your head will be spinning. The year I started taking on big places, I got 1 place that required 1 guy there pretty much full time, and a group of accounts that required I be able to drop what I was doing whenever they called and go running (they paid very well). Then there was a group of people who were very finicky about the work that was done. Honestly, I would not take on the big places if it was just me again. Stick to the small places if your a one man show. Between just a few big places they will run you ragged.
     

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