Capacity of a two man operation?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cold_and_tired, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I did a search and didnt come up with much. Mainly because I am very new to the lawn care business and dont know what to type in the box.

    I have been in the landscaping, fence building and snow removal business for about 5 years now and I am thinking about moving into the lawn care business in order for me to keep my brother-in-law on full time.

    I want to stay with residentials for now and MAYBE offer lawn care services to a few of my commercial snow accounts.

    Initially, I plan on purchasing two walk behind commercial grade mowers. I already own two blowers, two weed eaters, and a small trailer.

    Starting out, it will just be my BIL and myself. Lawn sizes in my target service area range between 900 and 1800 sf roughly. I figure that the two of us could handle 15-20 accounts per day (mow, trim, blow) without being too overwhelmed.

    What do you guys think? Too many? Too few?

    I will be lurking around here trying to pick up on some of the basics. If this place is anything like plowsite, I shouldnt have any problems getting the info that I need.


    P.S. My sig will be coming soon!
  2. anotherturfgeek

    anotherturfgeek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    15-20 a day seems a bit high for 2 men new to lawn care. If these were really close together, Maybe. You have to take into consideration several things: rain, fences, other obstacles. It can be done with alot of hustle if your good and pay close attn to details.
    The 1000-1800 sq.ft lawns are postage stamps that are not very profitable mostly.

    Good Luck
  3. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    You really have to do it to know. I have 1 day per week I run solo. That day I do 13 cuts by myself from 8am-3/4pm. Then I have a day that it is just me and one other guy and we do 7 from 8am-5pm. Obviously my solo day they are all on the same street and they are all around 1/8 acre lots. The day that I exampled with 2 of us working, they are big lots with drive time between, so it depends.
  4. barko4

    barko4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Drive time makes a huge "cut" into what you can do and what you can make in a day.
  5. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Precisely, since they are postage stamp lawns thayt's why I was thinking that a 2 man operation could do 15-20 in one day !!
  6. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I run one of my crews with just 2 guys. Those 2 guys have been with me for 5 years. They will do on average about 15 houses a day. That is full service. They can also handle a clean-up or two also. At first it may take awhile to get used to, but 2 guys on a residential route is the way to go. I run 5 guys on my commercial crew and 4 on my other crew. The cost to profit ratio is almost even with all the crews. Drive time is part of the business, TRY and place your accounts around each other, but sometimes you may have to go a little further until you pick up a better account.
  7. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    It depends how close your customers are to each other. The drive time is what kills you. We run 2 man crews. On Thursday one of our crews were doing 32 lawns. They could park in one spot and do 9 without moving the truck then go to the next area and do 12. Then on Friday they only did 16 because it was a more spread out route. Of course these were being done with 60 inch riders. The size mower along with the skill level of the trimmer man will have a lot to do with it also.

    Hope this helps?
  8. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

    15-20 accounts/day is pretty much the industry standard on an average size yard. Heck, you have 15 hrs in a day in the summer so you may be able to do 30!!!:)
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    I would press anybody to do 20 yards per day around my neck of the woods where all the lawns are over 5k sq ft. No way. I would think 10-12 would be maxing it, and that is with a tighter route.

    If the OP is just starting out, his route will not be tight. Better temper those expectations of ramming in so many lawns per day.
  10. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the input guys. I'm planning on putting out some mailers and/or door hangers in my target areas.

    The houses I am going after are all packed together. Hopefully there won't be too much driving involved in any one day.

    I'm going to keep crunching numbers and reading the forums. Hopefully I will be ready to go by the start of the season.

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