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How many startups/day

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, May 4, 2006.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    yay! two guys that were back to back canceled so now I have an hour for lawnsite!

    This isn't a question to see who is the quickest on a service call but rather to see how you guys schedule your startups. I worked for two companies in the past and this is what they did.

    #1. had three vehicles of two man crews for startups and I either got a full schedule in the morning or a schedule with only the first two calls. If it was only a couple of calls then I would call my boss after I was done and he would give me add ons until the day was over. if the schedule was for a complete day I would obviously just follow that. If, however, I got to a call that had a couple root pinch offs and a valve that needed to be changed I was supposed to try to get it done at that time and call my boss to let him know I'd be late to the next one. He would then have another truck pick it up or do it himself.

    #2. had 5ish vehicles of two man crews. I got a list in the morning for the whole day. I had to keep my schedule. If I ran into a situation I would let the homeowner know they are as started up as they can be for now... I'd either shut off the timer or only let the problem free zones run. Somebody would be calling to schedule a follow up apt.

    what do you guys do?

    I've never liked not being able to get the job done the first time but sometimes it's unavoidable as certain jobs in the spring take a half day like when they got a new driveway installed over the winter.

    I also can't just schedule 5 calls/day as it leaves you with a lot of extra time when all startups have nothing wrong and they take you 25 minutes each.

    so far I've been doing the best I can scheduling everybody with enough time so that I don't have to reschedule anybody but right now I got almost 10 guys I gotta get back to because I have to wire track a valve box, shoot a bore, run a new line, etc. This is why my Sundays are 12 hour days

    if you have advice please let me know... figure I'm just running the one service vehicle for now...

  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    These really don't seem like routine startups and go beyond what should be expected. These now mostly fall into the reconfiguring system area. :)

    We're a little different but we're in the process of turning on all our systems this week. We take care of what we can and what may have an immediate impact on curb appeal and everything else gets shifted to maintenance mode starting next week. We're already 20 work orders behind. My advantage= eight hours in the day and what gets done, gets done. The rest waits. You don't like it then give us more personnel.
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    I have two of us, and try to fill the entire day. I give them a 2 hour window as to when we'll show up. But by the end of the day, I'm getting on my tech's nerves for calling him every half hour - hey you're running late, what's the hold up? What can you do to get out of there? How much longer? Dude, what's the problem?

    He does everthing he can to get it done at that time so we don't have to go back. But that kills our schedule sometimes. Probably his worst trait is time management. Knowing when to stop and let them know we can return later, but most of the system is operating at that point. I have a list on the wall here of "Go Backs" and "Extras". 9 Go backs, and 16 Extras.
    Go backs are due to tree roots, new deck with leak underneat (deck is 6" above ground, need to re-route pipe), new drive way - heads are damaged, WeatherMatic solenoid that I did not have, new trees that just happen to have broken pipe underneath, etc.
    Extras on the board are add heads, change nozzles from all VANS for better flow/pressure, move heads, rain sensors, raise heads, etc.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    You'll never please everyone and until your startup systems reach a point of stasis there will be no rest for the wicked. :laugh:
  5. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    We try to schedule just 6-8 per day. And if there is a "go back" it is 3+hr service call or an install department job. What I have been getting is, your guy was out two weeks ago and now a head quit moving (and here is the best part) well since he did not replace it then it is going to be free right? I had a lady that did that and he ended up spending an hour there and with parts the call was in the 130 range, she flipped so I told her that I would take the 35 service call fee off and then she pulled the "well I have been using you for a few years and if I have to pay then I am going to use another company next time" well I waited about .2 seconds and said take the 35 off and pay the man, our time and materials are not free. Keep in mind this is after she "thought" that my guy would drive the 40minutes each way to give her a free estimate so she would be able to decide if she wanted the work done. Told told her that we only give free estimates on new installs and if she wanted an estimate on service then she could of requested us to fax over an invoice with pricing on it. *****.

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