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equipment & crew production numbers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by advancedlmi, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. advancedlmi

    advancedlmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I am looking for some general production numbers for various pieces of equipment to help me with estimating. I'm starting a new business, currently cutting some various foreclosed property lawns but want to gear up for next years cutting season. I want to hit the sales hard over the winter and secure contracts for next year but estimating and figuring how long a job will take is one of my current hurdles. Again, right now I am looking for some general numbers that might be commonly used in the industry.

    Here's what I'm looking for:

    Edging with a stick edger, how many feet per minute or second?
    String trimming: how many feet per minute or second?

    Mowing: How many square feet per minute or hour, what ever formula many of you professionals use for the following types of equipment:

    36" walk behind
    48" walk behind

    36" Stand on
    48" Stand on

    48" zero turn
    54" zero turn
    61" zero turn

    Here are a couple other general numbers that I'm looking for:

    Using a two man crew, about how many stops per day could I realistically plan on? Of course lot sizes is a factor but again, just some general numbers.

    Average hourly pay for crew? Midwest, Illinois.

    Last question, companies operating multiple crews, is there a general gross income per crew that many of you shoot for? Or in other words, is there a realistic gross profit per crew that I could use for my planning.

    Thank you for any input.
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,196

    One thing you forgot to ask: our consulting fees for this much information.
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Too many variables as my business model and yours are quite a bit different.
    Check with your local SBA office, usually they will have info such as you are requesting here.
    Regarding crew productivity, the biggest variable is YOU, not your crew(s). How well you train them, hire them, motivate and supervise will all have an impact upon net revenue generation.
  4. LariatRyder

    LariatRyder LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 41

    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Joining Planet, and checking out Nielson books will give you some guidelines and standards to go by, however, everyone is different and learns at a given pace, thus the problem with standards. Best bet, do a time analysis of the team you have with your own equipment and see how they do, Use your crew and equipment as your standard, then set some achievable goals. Good luck
  6. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Alright. I'm gonna tackle this. I love helping the new guys, and even more, I love running numbers. I've done these calculations myself.

    The first key is to BE REALISTIC. If you think the numbers look too good, they probably do. So try to think more along the lines of "the cup is half empty" to calculate your numbers/times.

    Note, any time that you get doing calculations, you will want to calculate as being 70% slower to make up for lack of employee motivation compared to your own, turnarounds with the mower, etc. Example, you may estimate your average speed as going 4mph, but you aren't going to be going 4mph the whole time, you have to stop, do turn arounds, go around obstacles, etc.

    To get your 70% productivity rate, multiply your TIMES by .3 and add that number on top of your time. Multiply your SQ FT PER MINUTE by .7. Do not add the .3 to your estimated mowing times as your sq ft per minute is already calculated in with the 70% productivity rate

    If you're already out mowing and have equipment, take a tape measure with you next time. Measure the linear feet of an edge and a length of fence to be trimmed. Then time yourself. Write that number down. Apply your 70% productivity rate.

    Mowing: How many square feet per minute or hour, what ever formula many of you professionals use for the following types of equipment:

    Sq Ft/Min = Mower Width / 12) * avg ft/per min
    Avg Ft/Per Min = 5280ft * mph * 60

    For example to figure up the ft per minute of 4mph you would multiply 5280ft (which is one mile for those that do not know) by 4 to get 21,120ft. Then, divide that by 60 (minutes) to get your ft per minute (352ft).

    Then multiply that by the feet of your mower width. for a 36" mower, it is 3 * 352 ft, to get 1056.

    Dont forget to do your 30% so that your productivity rate shows 70% of that.

    So theoretically, a 36" mower that you normally run at 4mph, should get you 739 sq ft per minute.

    You can figure the rest out on your own with the math I gave you.

    I usually did about 20-25 with 21" mowers, average lot size before improvements, 7000 sq ft. Fairly less than a mile between customers.

    If you want to get technical, use your linear ft per minute trimming/edging times and mowing estimates in unison to figure up how long it would take to cut a given size property. Add your drive times between properties on a specific schedule and see how many you come up with. Then take three properties off your estimated route and try it out (to be realistic) and see how it goes in real life. You can always add them back if you're performing good.

    $8 - $9, but that is here in Texas. Pay them better, if they do better. The better pay they get, in a honest worker, the better they will produce. You may have to run through a few bad apples until you find a respectable worker, and that means waste of time and money for you. I paid my employees by the cut to eliminate wasting my time and money. But that is another subject.

    That is kinda of a difficult question. I just wanted my guys to finish the routes that I gave them because they needed to be done. A full route being completed, well, that is your max potential income for the day. You have to figure out what your time and services are worth and what you want to be making as gross income.

    Hope all of this helps. Have fun.
  7. advancedlmi

    advancedlmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Mowhuston, thank you for taking the time to give me some helpful information. Working with the 70% ratio is very helpful as yes, you must always look at a more worst case scenario versus the best case scenario. I appreciate how you broke it down and explained how to work the math. I currently do have a 48" Exmark zero turn but again, looking for others insight. I'm also trying to figure out what other equipment would be best to add to my fleet or how to best set up each crew. This will also help me set goals as to how many accounts I will have to land.

    Looking Good Lawn Service, thank you for your advice as I will look into Planet and see what they have to offer.

    Members need to remember, this is what forums are for. For individuals to share ideas, ask questions, learn from others, teach others and find useful information. If you don't like the thread, move on to another. Members want to read threads for information, not childish comments.
  8. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Haha. Well, yes I found the "consulting" comment funny to be honest. I do consulting for home owners as well as future/current business owners for extra cash while I'm doing school.

    However, Lawnsite is where I learned the business, and I enjoy passing the knowledge that I learned here, as well as by trial and error, along to others to help save them a bit of time and money.

    Good luck in your endeavors. May you business prosper, your days be log and hot, and your evenings leave you covered in grass. :D
  9. advancedlmi

    advancedlmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

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