Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gway, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. gway

    gway LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    No im not a new guy on the block dont worry...just wanna know on a good tight route how many lawns, residential and typical sub lawns can we cram in per day? on average how many lawns are you guys doin per day. i wanna start a new crew of 2 but not jam thier day.

    much thanx!!!
  2. 1st impressions

    1st impressions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58


    I would expect no less than 2 stops per hour. Have them switch off mowing and trimming so fatigue does not set in.
    A sulky would also be a good investment. We start as early
    as 6:45 with commercial and 7:30 on residential so a 10 hr
    day does not last into the evening.

    Is a zero turn rider a possibility? Fun and productive,but

    If you already have 2 trucks, maybe set each one off on their own. Figure 45 minutes per stop so in a 10 hour day
    each guy can get 13 lawns done. 6 extra accounts a week means more $$$ for you and BONUS $$$ for the workers. Just a thought.

    Good luck with your decision and for the upcoming year.
  3. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Here is the way i see it. If you are starting a second truck then you either have an employee to run it or you will soon be training him how to run it. Your employees should perform at 70-80% efficiency of what you teach him. I cant expect my guys to work as fast as i do. I have alot of years and alot of tricks up these ol sleeves. they still work on reverse edging with thier tounge stickin out the side of their mouth as they concentrate very hard on the task.

    Depending on the lawn sizes, i would say up to 20 yards a day easily. I know this takes me and my one employee about 6 hours to do. I have alot of 5k lawns though so you may have bigger lawns. Only you can really look at your schedule and know for sure.

    How many accounts do you have? Types of equipment? The reason i am asking is that two years ago i had 3 person crews running all day 6 days a week. We got bigger and faster equipment and now i am working solo (not up to full speed yet as the season is just getting started) and soon will be hiring only ONE employee. The equipment you use can save you trememndous amounts of time. I figure i am 200% bigger than i was back then and i need less employees. Go figure. Aint technology grand?
  4. gway

    gway LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    hey acute...thanx for the valued info. last year i had 2 crews at 3 emp per crue and we got done with about 270 / week for the 2 crews combined. this year im scaleing back and only runnin 1 crew with 3 at about 160 houses. then i was thinking that i would be out on thur friday doing about 20 per day on a tight route. intrested to here about what type of equipment you use to be able to go solo and be bigger??

    were just runnin 36 48's from lesco and been doin this for years.im hopein that cuttin back on having 1 crew may make things easier this year and less headaches and overall more $$. im just worried about all you new kids on the block handin out your little flyers sellin your soul for 15-20$$ per cut.. godd luck!!!
  5. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Currently i am running with one 52" hydro wb exmark. We mulch with it. I can usually do a 5000 sf lawn in about 15-20 minutes depending on the amount of woody ornamentals that we have to go around.

    We also have one 21" ariens gear drive for those lawns with small gates. We had a 36" wb belt drive from exmark last year. I was a very happy camper to sell it. I found that i could do a 3k sf lawn just as fast as the 36 when i used the 21" mower. My crew disagreed cause they couldnt do it, but i timed myself and was about 3 minutes faster than either mine or thier fastest time on the 36. It would have been a different story though if the 36" was hydro and it would have WASTED the 21" if i had learned to mulch instead of bag it all.

    We usually pull up to the property, and both ppl lower the back gate. Then the trimmer person gets his machine off of the rack and starts trimming. The other person jumps on the mower (52" Exmark wb hydro with the jungle jim attachment) and starts mowing. The first person done grabs an edger or the blower as is appropriate. If he grabs the edger then i put the mower away and close the gate, then i grab the blower. As he puts his edger away i am finishing the blowing. The first person done over all does a quick scan to make sure the lawn is done up to standard.

    No matter how hard you look it seems that you can never find a fast crew person. When they go solo and you are on a differnt truck it seems that thier time is cut dramatically and adds 5-15 minutes per job. Gets annoying.

    When i am with a person, no matter which task i get (mower or trimmer) I am usually done first. Especially if i am on the trimmer. If i am trimming then i have time to edge and blow as well before they are done.

    If it is a lawn that requires differnt size mowers (52 in front and 21 in back) then i take the faster of the two jobs. This then puts me on the trimmer earlier so that we can get done faster. I am not the best trimmer or mower in the whole world, but i aint half bad. I try and train my employees to be quality orientated first and formost. I train them on trimmer because it seems to take the longest to learn how to do great. I ask them to go only at a pace that they can do a perfect job with. I try and not take the trimmer from them if i am done with all of the other tasks because they need the time on the machine to get better. This can really annoy the crew. No matter what piece of equipment i am on i am done first usually.

    Example: Last year i was working with two crew on one descent sized job. Probably 15k at least. They both grabbed trimmers and it took them 1.5 hours total to trim it. That is 3 man hours total! I was NOT a happy camper. The next week i went out and did it and was done in 15 minutes. That was at a walking pace too. They were dumbfounded. One guy lost his job that day and the other quickly picked up his pace. he is now one of my best ppl.

    Time is money. I am sure we all know that. I am hoping to get that 31 hp lazer by Exmark either late spring this year or early spring next year. This should make it so that i am able to stay pretty much solo for another year. Or so i would like. hehe.

    The biggest time savr is makeing a crew person completely proficient at one task before expanding his knowledge. My ppl wont learn to mow till i know they can trim pretty good. This consists of me not having to check his work. When he gets to that point (Usually 2-3 months) then i give him a promotion. Only those that are assests to the company will get promoted. Perhaps that is why i have only had two good people ever stick around. hehe.

    I expect alot from my crew. I have a moto. I will not ask them to do something i havnt or cant to myself. The example above for instance. After that the main guy saw it was possible and asked for more of a one on one training to closely analyze why he was so slow. I found in that case that he was trimming from right to left. This put his trimmer oposite where he needed it to be. After changing that and slowly explaining angles of grip he learned how to trim faster and better. I now never check his work. If it takes him longer then i simply know that he was having a hard time because of height or something. I dont even ask.

    God i love my job!
    Hope this helps.
  6. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Simply Amazing...
  7. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    hark, is that sarcasm i hear? hehe. Sall good. I would be interested in the day to day or job to job order that other people have. It would be great to learn faster ways. Equipment not withstanding.

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