Crew size vs. gross

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MLI, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    What do you guys think is a good gross(for lawn maint.) for 1 man....2man.....3man.... gross for 1 working day? Ive experimented with different size crews to see which was most profitable at the end of the day(net). What Ive come up with is this:
    1 man crew can do about $550-$600gross in a day labor and expenses) $300+
    2man crew can do about $700-$800 gross in a$400+
    3man crew can do about $900-$1100 gross in a $500+
    Now running the 1 man crew is the leanest way to make $$$ as you add crew size the net is lowering. Around here drive time(windshield time) is a killer, 3 guys sitting in truck stuck in traffic morning noon and night eats profits. Also 3 guys in truck have a habbit of chewing up time dinking around etc etc. We all know its hard to pay high wages in this trade for top of the line workers and the more crews you have out there, the more costly events that can take place. Heres what Im thinking:
    1man crew = less fooling around time...if 1 guy is stuck in traffic...the others are more likly to be working on a job...better pay/benefits
    After their base pay(around here its $20p/hr for foreman) you give them a bonus based on a percentage over what you want to gross for the day. I want $500 per day outta my worker. Ill give him a percentage of the $$$ thats over $500. If he doesnt do the $ bonus! Im sure most will say...what about burnout?...well we all burnout no matter how many are stuck together...least this way the worker is getting better than average wages which in theory should keep him happy. Long term worker =less training! This system would be easy to keep duplicating...each worker would be responsible for 60+accounts. He maintains them....has to answer to any problems that pop up.....keep machines maintained etc. Better control for the owner! Whats your take?!
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The drawback of this, is that while you have 1 man per truck, so they are more liable to be on a job, rather than tied up in traffis doesn't hold true. Now you have 3 (or however many) guys in seperate vehicles not necessarily held up, but still doing windshield time. The only thing is, is you have that much more vehicle fuel and usage going out multiplied by however many trucks are out. This is not to mention more liability. It has been carefully analyzed in the industry, and the ultimate number per crew seems to rest at two. While one guy is most efficient, he can also end up dragging rear with fatigue. I can certainly see the point that spreading out IS covering alot more ground, though.
  3. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    I agree with Runner - 1 man crews are more profitable from a numbers standpoint as a 2 man crew can't necessarily generate twice as much work in the same amount of time. So while a 2 man crew isn't twice as productive, it is more efficient when adding in the fatigue factor. I think a 3 man crew is simply a waste of labor dollars in regards to maintenance only operations.
  4. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Our 2 man crews can do 1.5x what a 1 man crew can do. I think this is cause our yards are fairly close together. All of our residential yards are within a 5 mile radius of our shop.
    We add a landscaper to the crew if we have a rain day to catch up, not a money maker but a necessity to stay on schedule. If a couple of rain days in a week then I will go out with a couple of landscapers. The only drawback to that is that each crew might not have the most desireable equipment for the yard they are on.
    Each grass cutting route is between 40 and 55 hours per week depending on how the grass is growing.
  5. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    If you are working a huge job, especially an all-day job, more men are better especially if a mower breaks, etc and someone has to become a mechanic, etc.

    Now for small yards, two, in my opinion, is all you should bring if you are working the 1/4 acre- 1 acre jobs. I like to bring 3 guys on the 1-4 acre jobs especially if they involve seperate tasks like stick edging and push mowing in addition to the standard zero turn+ weedeater work.

    Whatever you do don't take 4 men (we have a crew cab) to small jobs. One will always stand around stuck on stupid, or even worse antagonize others and pull the whole crew down to a 2 man output. BTW....putting a large crew on a small yard is a great way to shake out the loser on the crew if you can't quite put your finger on who the true deadweight is....just see who goofs off most when opportunity exists.

  6. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I have found that for a mowing crew 2 guys does generate double the gross income for the day easily. On the other hand adding a 3rd man to a mowing crew cut very little time off of our route as one man seems to always be standing around finished with his thumb up his ass.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    The key issue to having a 3-man crew (I had 2 this year) for strictly lawn maintenance is having them all finish up each job at approximately the same time (give or take a couple of minutes). My 6 guys love a 3-man crew vs. a 2-man crew. So do I.

    A. I need one less truck and trailer.
    B. If for some reason one person can't work, 1/3 less crew is better than 1/2 less.
    C. On hot summer days, it's motivating to have that "extra" man.
    D. Each person knows what has to be done on each and every job. Period
  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    Solo I can bring in 400-550 a day our two man crews do 600-800 a day. The 3-man is something we do when one guy is out of something bad happens we merge into one 3-man crew but mostly we do two 2-man crews and that has worked very well. We have about 130-lawn accounts atm and when we get a good day we can bang out 50-60 lawns in a single day that way. With a 3 man crew 30-40 lawns is are top number so the twin crews really pay off. As thick as my list is I still don't think its thick enough to run 3-man crews I would want my double and triple lawn stops to hit 4-8 lawns per stop before I would change to that style. But most of my years in the trade was spend leading a 3-man crew for someone else so I do know all to well how efficient it can be.
  9. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    Dollar for dollar I see the 2 man crew is being the way too go...when you figure in fuel, and truck/trailer expenses.

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