2 employees in a truck thoughts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grassmonkey0311, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,448

    Looking for some numbers on 2 employees in a truck....

    I'm not talking about an owner/operator with a helper, or an owner being 1 of the employees, I'm looking for info strictly on 2 employees in a truck as a mow crew. I know there are many factors, but how much revenue are they bringing in per day and how many yards are they mowing? Have you had any issues with 1 calling off, and if so, how did you handle it?

    Thinking of making some changes for next year and wanted to start a thread to see what everyone else is doing/how they are handling it. I know I'll have a bunch of other questions, but those are my major ones for now.
    Tara Ann and Jake the grass guy like this.
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,092

    So the problem is “the buddy system”
    Two guys work together all season long.. that’s a good thing, right?

    In the spring growth and rain slow things down
    So let’s say they do $720 in revenue during that part of the season.
    Technically this should be their slowest/lowest production.
    Mid summer comes and they’re still producing the same rate??
    They should be finishing earlier
    But they’ve gotten used to the route being x lawns y hours gimme my paycheck

    The buddies cover eachother
    They don’t need each others help in mid summer
    One stays in the truck texting or talking on the phone while the other gets the rest of the job done,
    They think it’s fine because they’re still finishing in time.
    Try throwing more work on them and it’s Minoan and groan ... it’s too much work
    Yak yak over time ....

    This is common scenario

    No buddies
    One boss
    One helper
    Don’t leave the same helper with the same boss
    The the route belongs to one guy
    That guy is the one who shows up and performs regularly
    The call outs are helpers
    If they show up ok
    If not the bosses get OT

    YOU will find in the summer months two guys gay a route done in 8 hours and one guy will get the same routes done in 12
    Or faster

    So if the lead gets 16 an hour
    On the day you pay him by himself he’s $224 in pay
    On the day both work (assuming helper is 12)... the pay is ...224!
    Weird huh?

    The trick is base pay is $12
    The designated lead gets the bonus of $4/hr
    Don’t show up, you lose your lead.

    The most dependable guys get the lead pay.

    Make sure your routes overlap a bit
    That way they can help eachother if need be.
    Don’t have the routes scattered all over your service area if you can help it,

    Everyone’s situation is different and you have to work with what you can.
    But the thing that seems to be the same no
    Matter who or where is “the buddy system” with mow crews
  3. OP

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,448

    Thanks. It would be a salary based position, when work slows I can always pull the helpers off the trucks to do other work if we fall behind on clean ups, etc.

    I have solo routes now, but I'm thinking a 2 person route will increase yards per hour, spread the work load and the overall quality of the job will be better. Sometimes I feel like it's a bit much for a solo guy to do it all, but he has to do "X" amount because of the overhead.
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,092

    not following the 'overhead' concept.
    An employee in the field is producing billable hours,
    Of the billable hours a certain percentage of that is recovering overhead, but he himself is not overhead.

    you know you can't pay salary to someone who's work hours are more than 20% billable hours, right?
    If he works OT at all, he has to be paid it - in the pay period he earned it.
    You can always pay him more money than hours he worked... but you can't use that as an offset to cover OT in a different pay period.

    In the field on mowing, one man is always more efficient.
    Two men do not get twice the work done.
    One reason is windshield time.
    Two men cant drive through traffic any faster even tho both are getting paid.
    Another is "the buddy factor" and still another is lawn mowing is rarely synchronize swimming, meaning the guys are never going to be in perfect unison... It happens, but not often.
    Adding another guy to a crew will maybe increase your production for that crew by 50%
    So if you were clearing $480 a day with one guy... you may see $720 with two but certainly not $960.00
  5. OP

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,448

    Not really looking to get into a debate on overhead and paying....more so looking for info on the questions I posted.

  6. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,847

    I have found this to be accurate. Paying for 2 trucks may seem to be silly and expensive, but if you generate an extra $240 per day, those expenses are covered very quickly.

    In my experience, in my area, 1 guy can handle 8-10 or so lawns in an 8hr day. 2 guys 12-15 or so.

    If a guy calls in sick (is that what you are asking?), then the other guys goes out solo, or someone fills in.
  7. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,319

    I agree with hackitdown .....we have not seen a big difference with a 3 man over a 2 man mowing operation.
    Example : our average 2 man production 15 lawns 8 he day

    3 man crew same area/route is 17-18 lawns per day. Only 3 more lawn with an extra guy!!!

    Next year I'm splitting up my 3 guys and adding an additional to make 2-2 man crews
  8. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    My 2 man crew has been great, but then again I have stand up guys who are great. I also trained them well and emphasize my expectations. Having GPS on the trucks with random drop-ins in the field help out too.
    spider_king and grassmonkey0311 like this.
  9. OP

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,448

    That's along the reason for the thread. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it to put an extra guy out rather than all the expenses for another truck, equipment, etc.
  10. OP

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,448

    I think a crew size is like a mower size....they all have their specific use.

    Right now, I run solo routes, each route does 15 to 18 lawns per day in a 9 hour day.

    My though is instead of buying another truck, equipment, etc....add a helper in the truck and mow 25 to 27 lawns per day. But, could the 2nd guy potentially mess it up? Calling off, showing up late, not getting along with the other guy... you get the idea. I can easily work around all those scenarios, but I certainly don't want to create them. Less stress is the goal.

    The reason I'm thinking of changing is I think the solo routes are a bit much. I notice all new employees start off strong, then burn out after a few months.

    Curious to know your thoughts on it. I've read a lot of your posts and you seem to have a good operation going on.
    hort101 likes this.

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