Crew Margins and Targets

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by A-Land, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 856

    This thread is targeted at people who run crews. I'm not saying others can't chime in, but let's try to stay somewhat on topic.

    I'm curious if people would be willing to discuss, perhaps without bottom line numbers, what kind of targets they have for profit margin, specifically on mowing crews, but really across landscaping crews, tree crews, whoever happens to be lurking around.

    Those numbers are fairly easy when you run your own company and maybe employ an assistant, but when you start getting into running a crew with 2-3+ people, they get a lot more complicated.

    For instance, what are your total costs per day for a crew? What is your target for income per day for that crew? NOTE: For all of these questions, feel free to answer something like: "If my crew's total cost is $X per day, my target income is $1.2X. By the time I clear taxes, I hope my profit is 10% of the crew's productive income." I know people are very secretive about their exact costs with good reason, so feel free to use percentages in this thread.

    Additionally, I think it might be helpful to note what kind of crew you're talking about. Specifically, things like:

    -How many people are on the crew?
    -What kind of work does the crew do?
    etc, etc, etc.

    You might also want to include a breakdown of your costs per hour. Feel free to "total" some categories - i.e. the total cost of labor, with unemployment insurance, taxes, etc.

    And finally, what sort of things do you do to try to minimize your highest costs? For instance, have you made greater investments in equipment to try to minimize your labor costs? And have those measures worked?

  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Really Glad to see a thread like this.

    I'm sure diffrent areas will vary.

    About 2 days a week, our 2 man crew brings in 700 +

    now I pay them 100 a day. resulting in 500.00
    the reason it's 700 on these two days because of larget mowing jobs,
    the other days they make 500 and some change
    the total is 2900.

    now out of that I pay them 1000.00 for that week.
    were down to 1900. from that we will run right at 400 for fuel
    leaving 1500.
    from that I really have NOT factored in insurance, wear and tear. and such.
    going on these numbers it takes 2 sets of baldes. " WERE IN SAND"
    I order them from
    for 2 ZTR's that's about 70.00
    we get about 2 weeks from a set of blades so that 35.00
    then there is oil changes and filters and time to do that.
    we will run a ZTR about 20 hrs a week so it's like oil changes every other week.

    other than that I dont keep that good of records. maybe I should.
    BUT I will share,
    LAst year THAT crew, Brought in 133,000.00
    for 2 men that's not bad.
    We pay more than most in our area, But we get better Quaility people.

    I would like to hear from others on this issue and if anyone thinks I can reduce my over head PLEASE chime in.

    thanks again
  3. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 856

    Great to hear from you. I'm struck by your labor costs and your daily mowing costs. Around here, if you want "good" people for running crews, you need to be at minimum $16. Even trimmer guys, if you want good, reliable ones, might be getting $10-12. Most people in Massachusetts would not get out of bed for $8 an hour, even if it's reliable, steady work.

    One thing I've seen before are guys who want to get paid $12 under the table because they don't want to make the $9.50 an hour after taxes.

    However, a two man crew around here could probably do $100/hour in work with an okay route, and likely better then that with a very tight route. With a tight route and good equipment, maybe $120/hour if trained well and motivated with high capacity equipment. For a 9 hour mowing day, we're looking more at $900+, but we have increased labor, etc, costs. We have mostly clay soil so we don't need to change blades as often and rarely need to outright replace them.
  4. TSB group

    TSB group LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    The same goes here in PA, I can't see getting anyone for less than $10 an hour. And that guy is one of those guys that wears a hat crooked and his pants are always falling down.

    My best guys are like 16-18 and my labor is 12-13

Share This Page