Tracking windshield time for residential route

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mark McC, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    This year I kinda messed myself up by getting customers in far-away places, but next year, I'd like to cut my windshield time to sixty minutes a day. This would include the drive from my place to the first job in the a.m. and the drive back to my place at day's end. I have to figure those in because I'll have to pay the help for that time.

    For those with residentail routes, what are some of your experiences with windsheild time, and do you keep track of it?
     
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yes, i used to. i had a log book with me, it was simple. when i stopped i put next to thier name :time in: 10:15. then when i got back in the truck , i put next to thier name: time out: 10:32. etc. when doing residentials like we do (2k-7k) the most time is spent loading, unloading, and traveling. that's why grouping is so important. i had these 4 in a row. from stop to go, it was a consistant 1 hr and 5 minutes. everytime, one hr and 5 minutes. they were $30 each. one of the 4 cancelled. my new time on these properties was now 57 minutes. a consistant 57 minutes. this means that extra lawn was taking me only 8 minutes, FOR $30 BUCKS!. now, imagine if you have 10-12 in a row?
     
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I have a fair amount of clustering, but not like a more mature operation. It'll be easier to avoid windshield time next year. I'd really like to keep the windshield down to sixty minutes a day next year, but methinks that'll be difficult to do five days a week. I figure two days it'll be ninety minutes, three days sixty. I can live with that, but not five days at ninety minutes a day.

    P.S. As you can see, I did not spell-check the first entry in this thread.
     
  4. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

  5. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I saw that thread the other day, but I'm looking for some specifics about the amount of windshield time by several operators in the residential end of the business. I'm trying to get a feel for how many productive hours I can cram into a 40-hour work week because it says a lot about what my business plan for next year will look like.
     
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    yup, I keep track of it. I cut my service area down from 30 miles, to approx 10 miles this, HUGE difference. I saved a lot of money and was able to get more work done. A tight route, is a good route.
     
  7. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    i get about 30 mins of drive time a day or so. All my accounts are within 2 sq miles of each other, and they are all clustered up. Most lawns i have on 1 street is 14.
     
  8. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    I spend about 80 mins in the truck every day. It makes for a 8-10 hr day, but since I'm solo, it's not that big of a deal. I start at my farthest account in one direction and work back to my house. Then I go to my farthest in the other direction, and again work back home. It's more truck time than most would like, but I'm solo this year, and I don't have the worries of paying someone...it just takes more time from MY day.

    I would say that in your first few years that its okay to take oddball jobs. I've found that the neighbors will see you working, and you'll pick up more work in that neighborhood. My farthest customer was my only one out there, and by the end of the year I picked up 4 more in his hood. Now I'm making that same drive for 5 customers, and it seems worth it. I'd much rather take on extra work as a solo, and have a full day, than turn it away and get home early becuase I wasn't willing to drive. As your schedule fills out, you continue to pick up new customers that are "between here and there" and that's when you should limit your service area. If you get too busy, that can be to your advantage...time to raise prices when your personal demand is greater than supply of labor.
     
  9. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    Thanks for all the input guys. Tiedman, can you give me a rough idea what your windshield time is on a typical day?
     
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    well, I pulled some schedules from the filing cabinet and it appears that my busiest day of the week (monday) averages out at 57 mins.
     

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