definition of a foreman?


LawnSite Silver Member
S.I., NY
Just wondering, because i have 2 workers right now, my brother and my "amigo". My brother doesn't drive the truck, i do, but he works with "frank" to make sure everthing gets done. Or if I'm trying a new guy, he'll give them a rundown, etc. I'm always there working, so he's not running the show, but right under me. Would he be considered a foreman and be given a raise accordingly, or do you reserve that for when you can let them go on their own you can do other things?
Basically, is a foreman your top guy? or your top guy who allows you to not have to be there every second.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Destin Florida
Responsible for the safe, timely completion of all assigned tasks. Also responsible for safe guarding the assets of the company. Must insure that all tasks completed meet the minimal standards. Will have a positive attitude and appearance when approached by a client or possible client. Will report any detrimental behavior by any employee.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Columbus, NE
I've been a forman(at least that's what they called me) One place was a landscaping company just starting out. Before the sumer help was hired there was the owner and me the forman. what was I the forman of? Myself. But whan the help started I ran the crew Or crews. Made sure everything we needed was loaded, Got everyone doing there part. directed traffic. fixed things that broke. called the boss If there was something I couldn't answer. A couple times the guys complained to the boss that I wasn't working just cause I didn't dig as many holes as they did, I told him If that's what it looked like it was because I was trying to keep everyone else working. Somedays it was like babysitting, trying to keep an eye on everyone all the time.

I've also bean called a forman for a couple mowing companies.
Same type of deal. Make sure the right equipment got loaded, make sure the lawns got done right. make sure that the mowers had sharp blades. and the truck had fuel. dump the grass. train the new guys.
I wouldn't always drive as forman though. If there was someone I could trust to drive, I might let them and use the time to fill out the time sheets and plan for the next stop.

I sure am glad I work by myself now!!


LawnSite Fanatic
Beaverton, OR
A foreman should be able to handle all aspects of work. If you're just doing maintenance, foreman is really almost too big of a word. There really isn't enough to do to be considered a foreman, IMO. The best you can be if you just do maintenance is a crew leader.

In regards to landcaping in general - a foreman is one who can take over and run a maintenance crew for a day or two if needed. He can also train new crews. He knows exactly how you like things done. He can also handle and work with your landscape construction crews, irrigation installation crews, etc. He can build retaining walls, install a flagstone patio, renovate a lawn, install new sod, trees and plants, knows where all your suppliers are, knows where all your customers are and knows them by name, can bid at least smaller jobs for you and bid them just as you would have, can take your equipment and vehicles to your mechanic if they break down, etc. Basically, he can do it all and has done it all. That's a foreman.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I guess that would depend on the size of the company Jim ... what your describing to me sounds like your right hand man ... more of a supervisor/manager position. There is no way a foreman could do all what you describe in a larger company.
Crew leader=foreman IMO. Sounds like the original poster is talking about a lead hand on his crew and he should make more than the others.
Our maintenance foreman are responsible for their tools/equipment, crew, quality of work, paper work and cracking the whip to make sure everyone is working.
Our construction foreman are responsible for loading their equipment and material each morning, being able to read a blueprint and build the landscape.... plus the same responsibility's as the maintenance foreman/women.

Heron Cove PM

LawnSite Member
Olney, MD
The owner or President is my wife.

I would consider my self as the General Manager. I over see ALL operation of the company. What I say in the end goes.

A Superintendent Over sees all of the crews. He fills my shoes in an absent.

A Foreman (Crew Leader) is in charge of a crew of how ever many may be on that crew. That crew has a pecking order in case he is out.

Each of these people has responsibilities according to what they may encounter during a day. If something comes up that they feel they can't handle then they take it up to chain so to speak for an answer. They ARE held accountable for ALL decision they may make. We only put competent people in these rolls.

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