How much income should a two man employee only crew bring in in a day mowing?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jasonnau, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    time to trim the fat
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Two employees here, assuming they are good, could realistically (not hypothetically on a perfect day, with insanely motivated workers who love to work cheap for you) gross $500 mowing a "typical" (not ideal) route in realistic (not ideal) weather conditions and with realistic (not idealized) problems that come up in an 8 hour day (not 10, not 12). Then you have to factor in the fact that this is a seasonal job. Not many go-getters want to take 3 months a year off at zero pay. So to keep them around you have to over-pay them during busy periods or pay them to sit around a lot.

    I personally have sustained (not peak, not best day, not working bursts part-time, not killing myself physically, not working insane hours) $400/day. After factoring in the added costs of a seperate crew you can see why I have not stuck with the employee thing and am happily solo.

    Everyone gets rich doing this on paper. But after reality is applied many I see out there seem to be driving rusty old trucks and struggling to stay busy. So that tells me not everyone knows how to properly account for the "friction" involved in making estimates of revenue and costs. The devil is in the details. Be sure you account for all your costs and are realistic about how much revenue employees can reliably make you. They are the weak point. Also be realistic about how much extra they cost besides their paychecks. More damage, more complaints, absenteeism, more wear/tear, higher insurance costs, all these things are bigger than most realize.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    For heaven's sake you're all over the place with your nominclature. Go get a basic accounting book. Nobody can understand what you're saying because the terms gross, net, produce, generate, etc are all being used differently.

    If your 2 man crew is producting $700 a day then you should have no complaints. But if that's 10 hours or 8 is a big difference. This is why you need to learn how to put all this down in a format recognized by all.
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    If two guys worked for me and only grossed $500 a day mowing I would fire them both. If you are legit and paying these guys legit, and paying unemployment for them then they COLLECT during the three month layoff. My guys gross $500 a lot of times before lunch. They also plow during the winter. I do not see why you would stay solo grossing $400 per day. I dont think that is a huge accomplishment. I dont think its a bad days pay, and if you keep overhead low you can do ok but you are never gonna get ahead. There is probably only $300-$350 a day a day profit if you are lucky.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    As usually is the case I wanted to take this opportunity to mention that it appears the majority of Lco's
    would make you believe that twice what you just quoted is not only quite possible but it's what they do
    on a regular basis, and that's just for starters, then the figures go up from there...

    They'd make one believe they regularly knock out twice the work at double the speed for at least twice the money
    than those of us who have been doing this every day for more than a few years!
    Yeah right, and I'm a totally stupid and insipid moron and thanks for thinking of me.

    Like some solo, 14 acres, 4.5 hours, $450!
    Of course they've been "in the business" for 10-20 years, too.

    I find very few posts in a year that are anywhere even close to an actual figure.
    Yours is still a bit lofty but I can see it, if one were to try and if one did not get
    burned out, then it would still take more than a few years just to get there,
    but I think $400 a day is possible, very much so, just not this 5-6-7-8-9-1000 and more crap.

    No, just because 400 is possible does NOT mean 500 is a short step from it, not in this business, not sustained.

    I ain't figured it out...
    It's either a pissing contest, he with the biggest e-q3/!$ wins.
    Maybe someone's trying to impress the girl, the others, or themselves.
    Perhaps it's wishful thinking, happy accounting, maybe drugs.
    Could be an attempt to trip up the unwary.
    Possibly they don't really run a business, they're doing it wrong, or they haven't a clue?
    Someone takes their absolute best day in all the years and figures that's the deal?
    Perhaps a combination, and some things I forgot...


    Maybe the one thing I could understand if they're embarrassed to admit it but then WHY say anything at all?
    It usually tones itself down after it's been mentioned SEVERAL times and by more than one person,
    then some time passes and history repeats itself.

    It just don't make no dang sense, guess that's just the nature of this business?

    Peace out
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  6. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Why wouldn't you expect to make 40-50 dollars per man hour. LOL is this unreasonable. If you had two guys make $500 dollars in an 8 hour day they are screwing off A LOT or you are a big time lowballer.

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    My two man crews, doing residential only, avg 650.00 a day.
    That is an avg day of 9 hrs.
    There are some better days, (tighter routes easier homes), and then there are worse days, (wet grass, heavy growth weeks etc) but thats my avg so far this year.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    sounds a bit low to me...

    what kind of mowers are you using?
  9. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 996

    When I run solo I generally average between $400-$600/day gross. If you knock out 12 yds that average $40/yd that's $480, throw in a couple $60 yds and the occasional $90 yd and your average jumps up alot. I have one day in my route with a helper that ends up being an 11 hr day, all residentials, gross is right at $1000 and change. These are very spaced out residentials some as low as $35 and a couple around $90. We're humpin' all day though. I wouldn't expect two employees to get this done but I push hard that day being the owner, and my helper knows what has to be done. I also have a solo day, all commercials, takes me just under 8 hrs and gross is $680.
    These are real numbers, no B.S. For standard residential cookie cutter lawns I think two guys should consistently generate $600 +/- GROSS. That's around 17 $35 lawns that can be knocked out in 20 minutes w/ two guys. Some days my cookie cutter lawns kill me because they're not all right next door to eachother. Other days I make up for it with some large well paying commercials that I can average over $100/hr. Like alot of others have said though, numbers can be all over the place. But to answer your question if they're generating between that $600-$700 / day revenue mark then I don't think you're going to get a whole lot more out of them unless you invest in some better equipment perhaps (not sure what you're using right now) or get some more accounts that lets you readjust the route to make it tighter.
  10. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    I know a lot of people may brag and all kinds of stuff but I make between $400-500 a day mowing solo for about 9 hrs and around $700 with a helper. I hope to increase it by tweaking a few thing next season but those are honest figures. I know because I track figures and average them ALL the time trying to squeeze more in. =)

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