How much is TOO much??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by eslawns, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I'm hoping some of you guys who run 1 man shows can help me.

    How many yards can one person reasonably expect to do alone?

    Right now I have 43 lawns to do every week, but 4 of these are large commercial accounts, and I have a contract for mowing overgrown lawns in the city which means 5-10 extra a week. With all the extra work (mulch, one time cuts, shrubs, etc) I've had this year, I'm having trouble staying caught up. My wife says I've bitten off more than I can chew. Have I?

    BTW, I'm not considering getting any permanent help this late in the year. I just want to see what the other owner operators think is a reasonable workload.
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    How big are the lawns?

    Obviously you have too much if you're having trouble keeping up.

    I have 30 that average about an acre. 9-10 hrs/day Tues. thru Fri. I'm not sure if I want to fill Monday with more lawns or keep it open for extras or a make up day.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I figure that a solo operator can knock out 15 (8-10m/sf) lawns per day with travel time in less than 10 hours. If you have 2-3 clients close at hand this number can be increased to 25. I think that anything over 22 is TOO much. These figures are for a 48 wb, using a bagger.

    When I started cutting on my own, we cut Wed thru Fri for Residentials and Mon-Tue for Comm/Ind Accounts.

    Saturday was maintenance or make-up if weather post-poned the work week.

    Although you are not looking for additional crew assistance, if you get into a bind, you might consider day-labor or contacting fellow LCos to see if they are slow enough to spare a laborer for a day.

    Hope this helps.
  4. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Being solo also, Possibly you have got too many.I would keep Monday open for maint,rain,repairs etc.This winter are going to go through your accounts and keep all or let go of your non-profit,pain the a@@ accounts etc.Sounds like your making the money this year!!;)
  5. crs

    crs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    I agree with TSG it all depends on the properties. Yesterday, I serviced eight accounts in a little over six hours. Today, I serviced five accounts and worked a little over nine hours.

    You just have to find out what your comfort level is and try not to get too far from it.

    Good Luck!
  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I only have 15 residential accounts that avg 10-15m /sq. feet. I also have 6 commericals, one of which consumes most of my time. During the season, it's all I can do to keep up. I've turned down about a dozen yards this year. 8 hrs. in the heat is enough for me.
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    not to offence to any type of machine,as ive used most and
    really liked a lot ofum. but a solo with a z raises the potential
    earnings by double or more.thats saying that in an 8 hr day
    the difference is that you not dead at the end of the day.
    let me qualify the statement by stating that my experience does not include much velke riding. my back just couldnt handle it as im fairly tall. i used to have a friend that was in luv with his.
    later nowTM
  8. GrassChopper

    GrassChopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    When I started, I was using a 52" w/b and working about 12 hours a day. I bought a 48" Wright Stander and work less than 8 doing the same accounts. Alot to be said for a Z mower.
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    I started this season with 60 accounts (solo) and soon burned myself out. I put the whole buisness up for sale and started training for a new venture while still mowing, now I find out two weeks before school starts that the BOE redistricted so I have two kids going to two different schools at two different times (am and pm) so ended up selling close to half my accounts (meeting with the guy today to finalize). Had to turn down the new job, kinda sucks esp after two weeks training 5 hours a day.

    I will have 30 residentials left while shuffling kids back anfd forth from school and daycare. For me this will be a full plate. A lot less money but my family comes first.
  10. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Haven't used them, but college kids sometimes have a day with no classes. Possibility.

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