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Anyone operate 2nd shift? or rather 2nd work week?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Az Gardener, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    My guys have been working 4-10's for years. So my rigs and equipment sit for 3 long days... Seems like such a waste. I have always thought about hiring a complete second set of crews to work Sat-Sun-Mon. They could do commercial work or I could offer an econo rate for residential if they don't mind us working on the weekends. With the economy like it is I think now would be my best chance of finding those guys.

    I know there would be some typical logistical difficulties with two crews sharing one rig and all. I would have to buy a couple more back up pieces of equipment but the reward would be tremendous. Even at lowballer rates I could do an additional 30-K per month with out adding significant overhead :clapping::clapping:

    Do you do this? Do you know of anyone else that does this? Looking for thoughts, any input?

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    why not just puck up more places and kick the current crew to 5 days a week?
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Overtime-quality of life for my guys. That also does not provide that much more upside just adding one day and I have to pay OT. The other thing is my current guys are paid a premium because of the upscale homes we service. Paying that much to do commercial work would be like paying Monet to paint your garage.

    I could hire much more reasonably priced employees for the kind of work they would be doing on the weekend. I could also use it as a minor league kind of training tool train them on the weekends and then if they are good enough promote them to the bigs and the big $$$
  4. CLS LLC

    CLS LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    My friends brother works for a contractor in the area who has a second shift. He has one crew run from 7-3 and then the second crew runs from 3:30 to 8 or 9 oclock. He does it for the same reason as you. The longer the equipment is running the more money is rolling in. He does have some issues with people complaining about it being done so late. But if you plan your routes accordingly with commercial's after 6pm you shouldn't have too many complaints.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    What size is this guy? 2-3,5 rigs? It would be tough to ask a guy to start his day at 2:30 in the afternoon when its 110 and climbing. Thanks for letting me know that I'm not completely off my rocker.

    When I first started in the industry I was on the install side of the biz. My boss (who is now the president of ISS Ground Control) had a small second shift of H/S guys who came in at the end of the day and just cleaned up after us and watered in plants, once in a while they would backfill trenches if we had set the heads. If you think about it it was a smart move, no sense in paying high dollar irrigators to stop production to do labor work. They did a good job and the jobs were left spotless for the evening and all the plants got a good soak, critical here in Az for a successful project. These were big commercial installs, we would have minimum 5-6 men on the reg crew and the H/S crew would drop in just as we were leaving the foreman would briefly line out the H/S foreman he had 1-2 guys with him.
  6. CLS LLC

    CLS LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    Yeah my friends brother was in HS while he was working for the company with 2 shifts.

    The company is a 3-5 crew size company. It works for him. Our temps aren't anywhere near that. But I think it is completely feasible to have a Saturday and Sunday crew. You could staff it with college and HS kids who would love a job where they only work weekends. I think it would also be easy to sell commercial customers on the idea because they would never have to see you on the property per say. I think it's a great idea.
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  7. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    We used to offer 2nd shift from 8:30-5 and 5-12 midnight we mowed our residential
    accounts durring the day, commercial and open areas at night . and they would also mow on saturday and do landscape maintenance on sunday. It allowed us to grow to add location crews at first . now we work with our employees who work a 1st shift job else where and they come in at 3:30-4:00 and work untill all schedualed mowing is completed ,between 10-11:30 p.m.
  8. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,096

    Two thoughts on why 2nd crew should work 2 days instead of three.

    1) Much easier to schedule equipment pm with an off day.

    2) Much easier to hire help for the weekend than for three days. Unless you could work three twelves and pay for forty. My guess is that three twelves would be tough in your heat.

    A couple of ?'s would be...

    What would this do to your personal rest/family time? The older I get the more this matters to me.

    Would these new employees be damaging your equipment that you rely on to service your regulsr customers?

    I seriously believe that this is worth looking into. Management of the "weekend crew" might even serve as a training ground for you to develop some key employees. I see lots of positives. Let us know.
  9. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    Im super small at this point, but basically do the same thing.

    We do all of our hi end residential work during the week with my full time guy.

    Then on the weekends I go out with a HSer, and do my low end work. It gives my full time, skilled guy the work schedule he wants (barley any), and saves me money by having a lesser employee with me while doing my lesser jobs.
  10. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Not a bad idea at all.

    Start small and flexible. Find a couple of guys who want part time work. There are plenty in this unemployment market. DO NOT COMMIT a set amount of hours. DONT BRING THEM IN JUST TO GIVE THEM HOURS.

    Tell them right off the bat what you are looking to do. If it starts with them doing 3 lawns then they get three lawns period.

    I used to do this with a ballfield contract that I had for a village. My regular crews were done by 6. I had one guy that came in 4 evenings a week at 6, took one truck out and by himself mowed the ballfields. He did one a night. I paid him a set flat rate and didnt have to worry about it.

    Adding a crew can be risky.

    I had a problem for years. In the spring and summer I was getting swamped with spring extras, mulch, installs and such. Once the lawns started growing I needed all my guys on lawns, so I would hire 3 or 4 guys and have a landscape crew.

    My problem was It was sooo busy that I hired the guys permanently. What always happened was they would go non stop for 2 months, then the extra work would drop off considerably.

    I would have a couple days with no landscape work, so I would send the guys out with the lawn crews. Now Im using 4 person residential mowing crews......There was not enough profit to bloat the payroll like that.

    By the time I got the guys trained, and really liked them, I found myself finding busy work for them because they wanted hours and I wanted to keep them.

    Big mistake.

    You cannot have non productive hours.

    Go out and sell enough work to book 2 guys ONE day. Then hire 2 guys, tell them its for ONE day a week, and that you PLAN on increasing it as the work increases.

    Dont be afraid to be honest with the guys you hire.

    As owners we tend to think like employees too much.
    "Nobody wants to work one day a week....or.....Guys need x amount of hours"

    First and foremost they need a company to work for that will be around and will be able to pay them.

    Give it a shot. Keep it flexible. And I think it will work out well

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