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How do you do so many in a day?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Pugsly, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. Pugsly

    Pugsly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I must be not doing something right.

    How are people doing 12-15 lawns a day?

    I have a total of 12 lawns so far and broke it down so far to 4 lawns a day.

    It takes a little over a hour to do each lawn. So far today alone the 4 I've done took almost 6 hours!!!
    2 of them had so many lawn decorations and flower beds that trimming alone took almost 1/2 hour!!!! Than that left little room to maneuver my exmark 36" metro so i had to pull out the push mower. (again extra time)

    One house had so much thatch that i mowed it 3 times and was still shooting out dead thatch. WTF. (heck i should have charged him for a power rake job :rolleyes)

    Are you guys during a regular weekly mow, going through the trouble of weedwacking within rock gardens, flower beds or etc?

    Or does a weekly routine mow just consist of trimming around trees, houses etc within the area of the turf and the rest that is growing within old mulch etc extra cost job?

    I think i'm doing too much for too little!!!!!: )

    The same guy with the thatch had so much growth over the sidewalk that even my little wonder 3.5 hp was bogging down!!!! (i probably should have too charged extra for the added labor to do that).

    These lots are roughtly 6-8K sq ft. your average size suburban subdivison.

    What am I doing wrong? how are people doing lots in 20 -30 mins??:confused: :confused:
  2. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    "going through the trouble of weedwacking within rock gardens, flower beds or etc?"

    This is not part of regular mowing service, this would be a part of full landscape service or full property maintenance service. Mow & blow is just that. Mow the lawn, trim what the mower can't cut (I think this is what you are referring to as "weedwacking"), then blow off the clippings from road, sidewalks, cars, etc. & GO to the next one. Once you get practice at your trimming technique you will be trimming those small lots in 3-5 minutes instead of the 1\2 hour you mention. Take your time in the beginning to work on an efficient technique, start at one corner & you should end back there without going back over areas twice or walking from one spot to another then back to another spot etc. etc. After a while you will walk one smooth trip around the property without wasted moves. I can trim at the pace of people that do that "walkercise" (not sure what you call it, half way between jogging & walking normally) Same thing goes for blowing & mowing. Watch other efficient crews in your area to learn from them (just like watching a training video). Good luck.
  3. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236


    Maybe a few things to consider...

    First, The amount of accounts you do means nothing... it's the dollar figure that matters... I use to average 17 a day when I lived in Vegas, but here on the Oregon Coast I have 2 accounts that take two days each... But the dollar figures are about the same....

    Any new account will take a while before it is in good shape so that you can get your routine down and fly through the yard and still leave it in good shape.... I feel residentials usually take a full year to get all the beds, shrubs, turf, irrigation, etc. in shape and properly fertilized so that you are in complete control.... Depending on their budget, commercials can take two or more years to get under control...

    You will get faster as the accounts get in better shape and you learn your routine for each (and learn to bid properly :)... Try to set yourself some daily monetary goals.... try to reach $200 a day, then go for $300...

    You can do it... just gotta get "In The Zone" and that only comes from plently of experience.... :)

    Good Luck, Clay
  4. Pugsly

    Pugsly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    So if i mow n blow and the customers calls up and syas why didn't i get all the grass, I simply tell them thta's not included? How much extra do you guys get to add this sort of service. I know it depends on how bad and how big but in general. A one time fee or a monthly addition fee or you tack on 5 or 10 bucks a week?
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Sounds to me like you need to pick your jobs better.

    I'm not hurting for business but I definetly need more. If I took every job I was asked to do I'd be swamped, but most of the jobs I get to bid on suck pretty bad. I'm not taking on any job anymore that has a horrible lawn I have to do a ton of work to to get it fixed, then they have all these lawn jockeys all over.

    I'll wait, grow slowly, and hand pick every job I take.

    It's your reputation at stake. If you can make a marked improvement and the maintain that great looking lawn, that's what is worth parking your truck in fromt of every week.
  6. Pugsly

    Pugsly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    yep..if i could do it over i would not have accepted at least 3 of the 12 jobs. but they were 3 of the first 4 jobs i got and really was eager to get going. I already know a little better what jobs i'm willing to take on.

    I do kinda find it a challenge on the one lawn to get it into shape. I think a good thattching and getting him statrted on a fertalizer program should start to make the lawn look better. This is the one that i hope to use as my before and after page on my job bids. (assuming it turns out they way i think).
  7. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Pugsly, I'm wondering the same. I bought a 36" w/b Exmark and I know I'll get faster as I get used to it. It is a lot different than cruising around on a tractor ,but I don't see me doing 12-18 a day like some are doing. I did 2 yards yesterday and it took about 1 hr 45 min including loading/unloading and 5 minutes travel time (1 was 15k the other 7k). There was a little more than avg. (I guess) trimming since it was the first trim of the season. What gear are you mowing in with your Metro? I have the same mower and at least right now I have only been able to get it up to 3rd for a short time. I don't have a sulky yet ,not sure if I want one. I think we share some thoughts about improving the customers yard and not just seeing how many we can do in a day. I'm not knocking those who do a bunch in a day ,but I can't help wondering how good they look going that fast. This may be a typical "newbie" attitude ,but I believe in giving the customer as good of job as possible even if it means spending a little more time doing it.
  8. Pugsly

    Pugsly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    i got a 36 metro, echo srm2400sb w/edger attachment and a n echo pb-403 blower. I have a grass gobbler and hate the damn thing. I'm hoping that the new blades or the mulch kit i ordered will help out. This thing sux when it comes to simple side discharge with the stock blades. Puts clipping that hare not very small all over the place. My 21" honda wb does a hell of a lot better with a ton less clippings. But like i said i hope the mulch kit helps out a ton. I hope!!!!

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