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how long will it take me to cut these lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fblandscape, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    I was just talking with my mowing partner and she is gonna get out of it for a while. We both cut lawns for her father 1 day a week. Apparently the two of them got into a big fight tonight and she doesn't want to cut lawns anymore. So that leads me to believe that I will be asked to cut them all.

    There are 11 lawns, ranging in size from about 5,000 sq ft to 4 acres. Together, it takes us at our best time 8 1/2 hrs to cut. However at that time, they come out looking like garbage, and we do not cut a good sized area of the largest property. That area would probably add on another 1/2 hr to the mowing time. The lawns are for the most part pretty spread out. Some have a lot of trimming and edging, others have none. Together we use a 61" surfer, and a 72" sit down machine. The 61" machine gets used a lot more because it is closer to the tailgate.

    What would you say is a good estimate for how much time they will take me to do solo?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It should take you just over twice as long to do them by yourself. The reason for being just OVER this amount is that there are somethings that work out much quicker with two people. Things like having things handed to you to lifting the gate and putting the the pins in. When someone is right there, it is done immediately. When you have to walk over and get or do it yourself, this eats up more time. It all adds up...believe me. During my 20 years experience, I have worked with eight people, and every amount under, and yes alone, - aLOT. I know the difference. Good luck with it, and it's nothing that CAN'T be done.;)
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    It depends on what you are using for mowers......:rolleyes:
  4. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    However much longer it takes, since you may be doing them by yourself I do believe your hourly rate has to go up! Good luck Matt.
  5. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393


    You need to start thinking in terms of man hours and how every job has a man hour rating. The theory goes something like this, if you have 11 lawns that take 8 hours, with 2 people, then it should take 16 hours with one person, or 4 hours with four.

    However, to disagree with Runner, I find that one man crews are much more effecient then 2 or even three man crews, even more so if that one man is the owner of the company. The reasons why are many, and in your case the biggest savings will be in travel time as you said your cuts are spread out. Although, you can certainly get more done simulatanouesly at each property with multi-person crews, travel time cant get any faster just because you have more people in the truck. So for example say you have 10 mins drive between each cut. With your 11 cuts that comes out to 110 mins or just under 2 hours travel time. If your by yourself, you only have to pay for those two hours. Now if you have three other people in the truck, you now have 8 manhours of travel time.

    So with a one man crew you have 14 hours of labor and 2 hours of travel time.

    With a four man crew you have 14 hours of labor and 8 hours of travel time. So instead of earning and paying for 16 hours your rates now have to bill for 22 hours. Do you understand?

    Another reason one man crews are more effiecient is you have no slack time. If you have one person working, when they arrive at the job, they get out of the truck and get to work and they will work right on thru till the job is done. With a second guy, there are stories that need to be told, water that needs to be sipped, an overlap of people working in an area, and the human nature of just slowing it up a little cause you have someone else to pick up your pace. And not all jobs work out that the cutting takes exactly as long as the trimming edging and blowing.

    Yea, I realize this is a long post, maybe I should have just posted an worthless comment and put a roll my eye smiley thing, but instead I thought Id try to help you out a bit.

    Good luck to you.
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    First off, are you willing to cut the whole works every week by yourself?
    Since its only 8 1/2 hrs with 2 people can you break it into 2 days without a problem?
    I have found that what takes my wife and I 12 hours to do can be done by me alone in roughly 16 hours. That number gets smaller in the heat of summer when growth slows and trimming becomes less needed in some areas. I am not saying that will be the case for you.
    I think the problem will be not in the mowing but in the details. You have big equipment so the lawn cutting part should go easy. Its the trimming and edging of the properties that will slow you down.
    You are pretty efficient on a 72 while you are sitting and mowing at 7 or 8mph but once you have to walk and trim for an hour you become tired.
    Drive time is important too but there is little you can do to change that.
    I would be hedging for a raise since you are now a foreman and the crew. The owners profit has increased and your work load has nearly doubled. If you cant get a raise then I would be asking for some help from somewhere to do the trimming and edging parts at least.
    Good Luck, let us know how it turns out.

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