Equipment maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AL Inc, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Question for those who run multiple machines/crews. How do you approach your equipment maintenance- ie: sharpen blades, grease, checking oil, and air filters? From the start, I've been fanatical about these things, but as my schedule has gotten busier, I don't have the time. Over the last few years, my employees have done more and more, but they aren't always thorough if I'm not around. Generally, we meet at the yard at 7 a.m. and are out by 7:30. This to me is a waste. 5 men for a half hour really adds up. I guess I was just hoping for some ideas to streamline a bit. Thanks in advance, Mike
  2. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    when i used to work for a lawn service before becoming a solo op
    the crew formans of each crew would come in a 1/2 hour before the rest of the guys to check oil, grease ,gas up and what ever else was needed so when the rest of the guys showed up we could leave and get to work
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    its not wasted time . simple clean air
    oil and lub.. help can wear out or tear up anything ,if they try hard enough.
    but if u are doing these things .u can bet
    its his fault when something doesnt work.
    u can get rich on that bet. as it will be true 95% of the time.
    one factor to consider is depreciation.
    i once worked for a lg plumbing outfit,
    that bought fleets of new vehicles.
    never changed oil or nothin in them.
    i ask the owner why one day . he hm hawd around and finally said it wks out better for him due to tax rite offs.
    still seems like a terrible thing to do to an engine.
    ps i should note their are some lemonds,
    as most have experienced one or more.
    good luck brother.
  4. beck

    beck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    I read the other day on here that someone does all the equipment maintenance at the end of the day instead of in the mornings.
    reason: Most employees want to get home and will work faster as opposed to mornings when most are dragging but.

    sometimes I will bring blades with us and have one of the guys change them while at a yard

    If you have multiple crews you may consider a part-time/evening mechanic to do the maintenance. One of my friends uses someone that is going to school at a technical college.
  5. leaflawnandlimb

    leaflawnandlimb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    We change blades every morning. On friday afternoon ( if we finished on time for the week ) I'll buy pizza and wings and a twelve pak and we all stay a little later and change oils and grease and such. Guys seem to think its fair and dont mind playing grease monkey for a while.
  6. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    2.5 hrs of man hours a day does add up( that's 12.5 hrs.) spent on maintenace a week. If you leave at 7 a.m. and get back that half hour earlier, then that would give you plenty of time to stay behind and do the maintenance end. That is of course if you are willing.
  7. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    OR, of course, you can always show up earlier like was suggested.
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I agree with beck. Bring in a part time night guy for 3 hours to do it all. Your 5 guys will come in at 7:00am to clean, lubed, fueled up equipment and be out by 7:05am.
  9. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Streamline it,

    Find one good guy to do it every night... and the someone to load up every morning so it's all ready to go when guys show up.

    I find the mornings the worse for guys standing around half asleep chit chatting about what they did the night before.

    I am a bit of a fanatic about getting guys out of the yard every day and have implemented some major changes this year ( read finding good help - Elements of business). Its a lot more complicated for us with multiple Landscape crews but has been working very well.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I agree is kris. We have one guy come in early in the morning to load up the trucks and he is also responsible for maintenance on the equipment in the evenings as well.

    He keeps records of what is done and when for every piece of equipment. Sure hope he never quits cause then I'll have to be doing it again...LOL

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