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Solo Operations - How many can u handle?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ktorrence, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. ktorrence

    ktorrence LawnSite Member
    from East TX
    Posts: 10

    First, I'm new to LawnSite. I've learned so much and I say Thank You! for all the great information. I plan on being a solo operation. Personally, I would rather net 25k-35k a year being solo and offering my customers Top Notch personalized service versus the added stress of depending on employees. Besides, let's keep it real, cutting yards and good employees just don't mix very well. Toss in a few 100 degree days and my a-- would be grass.

    Anyway, for the solo ops, how many customers could you handle under these guidelines: 1) Average size yard 7500 sq. ft. 2) All customers within a 45 mile radius. 3)Work schedule M-F Start @8am Finish 3pm(lunch on the fly) 4)60% mow, trim, blow; 30% mow, blow, trim, edge, fert(3 annually), hedge trimming(once monthly); 10% mow, trim, blow, edge, fert, hedge, turf pest control(as needed), weed control(as needed). 5) 70% gated 6) Equipment Exmark 60 lazer, Quick36 super duty wb, shindaiwa trimmer t270, Redmax 8000(please don't start another 8000 vs. BR600 let it be) 7)Allow for inclement weather and additional services such as mulch, aeration, fert (additional services done on saturday)

    Ok, Talk it Up!!!!
  2. slebeau20

    slebeau20 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 103

    I personally can handle about 8 lawns a day. After that I start getting tired and I'm not as sharp. This is on the residential end. Now on Fridays I do 15 acres of church properties. I'm not quite as bad because of riding while I'm mowing. This year something I am hoping a brand new Wright Stander will help. The past two years I've used the GS30 (the @ss kicker)
  3. MacPhersonlawn

    MacPhersonlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Last year with a helper we did around 16 per day. This year I will be alone and plan on 8 or 9 per day. That is 8:00 to 3:30. To much stress with employee and if they don't show up for a day you are stuck! Had one last year you just could not understand why he had to show up on time! On his last day he actually said that if I was going to yell at him (for not showing up the day before) he was not going to come in. I said I was going to yell at him. Never saw him again.

    Doing all the work yourself can wear you out. I'm 58 and by the end of the day lifting up both gates of the trailer feels like I'm lifting up the trailer. Be careful, you can burn out real fast if you take on to much.
  4. slebeau20

    slebeau20 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 103

    Hey on your gate for your trailer put back savers on them. All you need is a garage door spring, cable and anchor points. One anchor point on the trailer and then another on the gate. I'm only 5'2" and before the system it took all of me to lift the dang thing. Now with the system on I can lift it with one finger. Believe it or not this saved a ton of my energy during the course of a day.
  5. Bulldog26

    Bulldog26 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I'm a school teacher working solo, I can knock out 5-7 after school each day. 3:00 - dark.
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I mow about 80 - 100 hours / week.

    Figure how how long your average lawn takes including drive time, then divide that into how many hours you want to work on average during the week.

    That'll give you the amount of lawns you're going to be able to do.

    I only do 38 accounts in that 80+ hours / week. Needless to say, I'm not doing 7500 sq ft properties.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    8-15 per day. Plan on 8 and schedule for 8. Do extras when you have extra time. this allows for incliment weather and if you want a day off durring the summer you do 15 for 3 days and have an extra 2 days off.
    Spring sucks and takes longer, the time it takes you in spring will be cut nearly in half in summer when the major growth slows down.
    Fert doesn't take long to put down so just plan on a long week every 4-6 weeks.
    even if you have a apple to apple day, you will finish faster one compared to the other.
    In essence for the guidelines that you have provided you can do between 40 and 70 lawns a week.
  8. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I mow, blow, trim 35 per week in one neighborhood, with a Toro 48" Z and a Toro 36" WB. I mow half day Tues, full day Wed, half day Thurs.
  9. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    I mow around 5 -6 per day. I could do more but enjoy being able to come home after 4-5 hours.
    This year my goal is 7 per day. Thats nothing until July gets here and then it takes all the energy I can muster up to finish.:p

    My hats off to you guys who are in you 40's & 50's doing more than me in a day.

    When I first started in this business I could 10 yards a day by myself but now even with much better equipment find myself tired early on. Maybe because I dont work out.

    When I'm tired from mowing and driving through a neighborhood and see an 80 yr old lady mowing her grass I find renewed energy within myself for some reason.:p

    Here's the thing with planning on how many to mow! When your solo, you have to count on rainouts. If you have 10 per day and cant mow for a day, then the next day you have 20. What happens if you have 2 days rainout???
  10. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    80-100hrs /week:confused: thats like 15hr days 6 days a week at least.

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