Daily production for 2 man crew.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, May 16, 2014.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Let's play the what if game....

    Assume you did only residential and small dr offices. Average lawn is 12k(full lot 1/2 acre). Assume the average price is $35-40 per cut. Assume average 30 growing season cuts and 7-10 offseason/leaf clean ups.

    What would you expect out of a 2 man crew? How many mow days?

    With a 9 hour day and 4 mow days I'm figuring on $450-500 minimum.

    My reason for asking is in running a 3 man crew mowing 5 days a week and 43-45 average hours a week. I'm thinking of running 2 crews with Fridays for side work not sure I have enough work right now
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  2. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    My 2 man crew averages 15 to 20 per day, these are 1/2 acre plus lots with full service on all of them. It depends on the route we average 600 to over 1000 per day. They work a 4 day mowing route, that leaves a day open for rain. IF the crew is not turning 500 dollars per day, then my company is not making anything.

    Another factor is how close each accounts are. We have some that are 4 houses per stop. With that you can get a even higher profit margin.

    Only you know what your overhead cost are so figure what it takes for an 8 hour day of mowing to send the truck equipment and employees out and that's your bottom line. Then you know how many yards they need to do to make a profit for the company.
  3. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Best I can figure on equipment I'm around $17/hr running truck, trailer, ztr, push mower, 2 trimmers, 1 edger, 2 blowers. I based it on 1860 hrs per year I estimate my full time guys work.
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

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

    I ran 2 man crews for the last 11 years, over time we became more efficient and found ways to increase the daily income per crew. The last few years we typically brought in $700-900 per day for a 2 man crew mowing. This year I went to one man crews each owner now brings in $500-700 per day solo. Now we work close to 11 hours a day but thats nearly identical to what we were doing the last 8 years or so.
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I personally with a helper did about $500 average 3-4 days a week. 7-8 hr day. 100 fuel bill a week for everything including 1 day of sod or some other misc work. About 125 a day to the help after taxes and W comp state UE insur. I was in school at the time too so that's why the shorter days.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,116

    dude, your question just boggled my mind.

    I have to ask what is it YOU do for a living?
    Because from your posts this spring it sounds like you get mowing crews going in the morning, then leave to go to do something else, and at the end of the day you are all confused why they are so f-d up and can't figure out what's going wrong?

    So you have a 30 week season, PLUS maybe 10 off season services? Or 10 weeks of off season services?

    Im going to ignore that.

    Just focus on the mowing portion of the question.

    Route density.
    IF you have more than 7-12 minutes of travel time between stops, this is going to murder your productivity.
    If you have ALL your stops 10 plus minutes away it will murder your productivity.

    On lawns the size you are talking about (12k and under) you can spend just as much or more time, traveling, loading and unloading than you do actually performing the service.
    This is due largely to traffic, and loss of focus of the crew (the more windshield time the more distracted simple minds get)
    just because the microsoft map point/gps says it's 10 a minute drive doesn't mean it will ONLY be 10 minutes.

    7 minutes or less is ideal.

    so lets assume you have a tight route.
    If you don't, increase your sales in areas you already work by dropping your prices in THOSE areas only. Anything that is in-between stop and and stop C should go for a lower price to get it, it will help your route density, productivity, and profit margin immensely.

    Now for a two man crew properly routed.

    What the heck are you using? 21s? 36 wb? walkers?

    Im going to shoot for the ideal set up.
    If I had this route, I'd want walkers if there is easy access or 48/36 walk behinds if there is difficult access.
    I don't like standers because they have all the draw backs of ZTRs (wheel ruts and spinning tires) and I hate hate hate call backs and complaints.

    So both those machine set ups will give you about the same productivity, with walkers obviously costing twice as much, but TWICE as nice!

    step 1) mowers should be loaded and fueled and ready to go. No morning horse around. NO stops at gas station for milk and F-in cookies!

    Step 2) truck goes to the CLOSEST stop first - why? because this is the first lawn of the day, where they will find the flat tire, the trimmer that won't start, and the I forgot my route list on top of my car issue.

    Step 3) they will go to the FARTHEST job next. - why? because now working your way in bad to the shop , the morning traffic has died down, the after noon hasn't started yet.

    Step 4) now follow all the lawns in order. the closer lawns might have some traffic to deal with by end of shift, but… they are close to the shop an almost done, they also get to pass the first one they did for that day, which gives an after the fact QC of the property.

    IF you follow the above, two men should spend about 70-80 minutes of windshield time (each) and they will mow approximately 10-12 lawns (depending on exact size and trimming/ obstacles.)

    figure 80 minutes windshield time
    figure 30 minutes lunch
    figure 600 minutes for the shift
    figure 30 minutes a end of shift to switch on new blades, gas up for the next day.
    so 140 minutes of that shift is non productive
    leaving 460 minutes of production time
    so if you do 12 lawns that's and average of 38 minutes per lawn (with 2 guys thats 1 hour 16 minutes total billable time)
    So each lawn should be priced at 1.3 hours (on average)
    at $60 an hour, your average lawn is $78.00
    $936 for a 10 hour route (start to finish)
    you're averaging $46.80 per payroll man hour on that route. (but that's factoring in non billable time as well)

    where a lot of the guys make mistakes is trying to get $60 plus an hour of every hour the man is clocked in, which does this to the math,
    20 hours x 60$ = $1200.00/12 lawns =$100.00 a lawn.
    OH look at those low ballers at $78.00 a lawn!
    But the $60/hr is supposed to already be recovering overhead costs…so now they are doubling up on their overhead costs, and if they don't "they aren't making any money"

    Here's the secret, you CAN'T make any money WATCHING one lawn crew. an owner can't do that until there are at least 3 full lawn crews in the field.

    Hope this answered your question on what a lawn crew should be responsible for for a day (guys with big ZTR routes are going in to be WAY different by the way)

    $800-$900 a day per crew is acceptable. If you are beating that, your guys need a raise. (or you're mowing big lots with ZTRs and don't travel much)

    my suggestion is to work the guys 4 each 10 hour days, so you should be averaging $3400 per week. 30 weeks is $102,000 in mowing revenue. 1/3 of that should be payroll ($34,000…so the crew lead pulls about $680/wk and the helper $453/wk)
    Off one mow crew like that, an owner might see $15-20 grand in his pocket, if there are no surprises or issues.
  7. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Thanks for your post. Are you assuming $78 per cut? That would never fly here. My average cut is $38-42. So while my question may be dumb our markets are totally different.

    My current 3 man crew is grossing about $3000 per week based on a 5 day and 43 hour average. This leaves no time for side work. I figured with my current route running 2 crews would be around 27-30 hours.

    When I was a 2 man crew I was working with them so production was obviously different.

    I'm figuring a 2 man crew with a ztr will cost me $42 per hour excluding profit. So looking at 4 days mowing and 35 weekly hours I need to be close to 3700-3800 plus combined gross.

    So based on my area and my cost I feel I am close to that goal. Some effort spent upselling or direct mail might pick up the needed customers.

    Yes. I do send my mowing crew out while watching them, and my time is spent book keeping, repairing equipment, estimating, meeting with customers, doing lawn applications, etc. so that's a full job itself.
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,116

    You didn't mention you had a ZTR, or that the ZTR is capable of fitting on the lawns and working productively, you're' looking at a different pricing structure and a different productivity level.

    and please STOP thinking "your" market and "My" market are different.
    I didn't give you any stats or info about 'my' market.

    I made generalizations based on averages which I QUITE clearly set in the beginning of the post; because you didn't give enough information about your set up or requirements. Which boggled my mind.

    With a ZTR….and what?
    IS that jus a ZTR and a Line Trimmer?
    A ZTR and a Walk behind?
    TWO ZTRs?
    What's the second guy on this crew do, and what equipment does he have to do it with.

    Personally, I have a $50 minimum mowing this year (unless it's high density multi residential postage stamps…but that's the exception to the rule)

    IF you are getting $38-$42 per 12k lot, what are we talking about specifically, is there 12k of TURF or is the whole property 12k and grass is just some it?

    ASSUMING the turf is 12k, on average, and your cut is $40 on average , and generally most guys shoot for $60/hr. That means your crew has to be in an out of a property, gate to gate in .8 hours.
    Thats 2 guys 24 minutes.

    so going back to my original post, lets assume 10 minutes of travel place to place.
    That's 34 minutes per customer.

    10 hour shift has 600 minutes in it.
    minus your 110 minutes of unproductivity I previously mentioned.
    that's 490 minutes.

    34 minute stops (on average)
    that's 14 customers a day.
    14 x $40 =$560.00 per day.

    I think you need to get out of the mowing business.

    your crew is going to burn $250 in straight pay roll that day.
    After associated costs at $325.00
    You'll soak up something like $100 in fuel? That's $425.00
    You've only got $135 per day left and you haven't remotely begun to recover the costs of doing business.
    Judging from your earlier posts about employees this season, I think your seriously looking at trying to make ends meet/ profit by choking your employee wage down too low, which causes your employee issues, because working for you isn't worth what you are paying.
    which THEN blows up in your face because you can't keep employees/productivity going.

    Why do you mow?
    Have you thought about NOT doing it?
    What about just gardening, applications, plant health care, as a business?

    you could augment with small planting enhancements to existing landscapes and subbing applications to the mow blow and go guys.

    Find a few mower only companies to sell your gear to, and refer to customers and in turn your just focus on plants and turf applications (and pruning and what not)
    Slow things, down, cut costs, make more profit?

    Mowing doesn't look like it's going to pan out with those numbers.
  9. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Thanks for the advice. Obviously our markets are very different. Wouldn't matter whether you ran 1 push mower or 2 ztrs. You'd never get $50 per cut for most of the residentials in this town.
  10. JohnnyRocker

    JohnnyRocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    10-12 lawns a day with two men? Wow, I do 15-18 solo. To make the $700/day, many on the forum say they need to get out of two men, you would be charging $70/per lawn(up to 1/2 acre as stated by the OP). Ummmm....yeah that will never work. There is no reason two guys should take 38 minutes on lots this size. Wow!!

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