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How to run crews

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stuie, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. stuie

    stuie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Hey all
    Im kinda thinking of expanding the business this season ( early spring here) advertising etc etc.Im flat out myself at the moment but my work base is an hour away.Traffic etc etc etc.Im thinking of scaling these accounts down to two days a week Tuesday and Friday because these are the best paying days with weekly full service customers -the rest is just on call or whenever.
    So the plan is to work close to home 3-4 days a week and with the help of a crew just mow lawns and do cleanups.
    So the question is how do others handle their crews,any special tips or techniques?Should i just run casuals for those days and not put on permanants and then go scratching for work in winter to pay them. payup
  2. olepops

    olepops LawnSite Member
    from 98026
    Messages: 6


    With the right personell you might make more money with more multi man crews. I know that in my case using Clip software was indespensible. it tracked job times and costs over many weeks and months and I began to see more clearly. The profits were in some of our least favorite accounts somtimes.
    I ended up running one man crews with great results. My work was however nearly all residential. The key for us was to use the Stander 52 and no other mowing machines. No trailers either. Modified pick up beds with all that is needed for mowing, nothing else. Big lawns (acres) or small lawns (under 5 minutes mowing) the Stander 52 was the key.
  3. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Can't remember who it was on here that said this but they used a GPS tracking system for their trucks to help productivity. You may have to do a few suprize appearences in the begining to make sure the supers are doing what you want and a few follow up calls to customers wouldn't hurt either. Start a policy handbook so they know whats expected when they become a more permanent part of the biz. Sounds like you just need temp crews now? More guys could produce more but add crews slowly so you can see how it works out. Others on here have said only to go 2 to a truck but I think that depends on your props.
  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Hey mate! <a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008_ZSXXXXXX44US' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/23/23_1_44.gif' border=0></a>Help me out with a little more info here. You wanna send the crew out on the two days each week(Tuesday & Friday), or use em with you the other 3-4 days, and do the 2 days yourself? Got to watch the windshield time mate. It will kill your productivity like nobodys business. I reckon you are gonna add some blokes for the "busy season" , and scale em back a little when work gets light , right? You have to find good, reliable guys for it to work out. Many guys, knowing they will be out of work all winter, sometimes aren't productive enough , and don't are about getting done each week on time and such. Make sure your numbers say you can take on X amount of guys on "fixed" accounts, such as mowing, where you aren't billing by the hour. Hourly jobs aren't a problem as long as you have the work each week to keep everyone busy and happy. Don't really know where I'm going with this, but I'm gonna go grab another coldie and check in on this thread later..g'day
  5. stuie

    stuie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Basically i will do the two days myself probably with a single helper on those days but this fellow is retired and lives in the area so that cuts down on time spent with him just sitting in the truck travelling.
    I figure that the other crew could run with two people in spring and summer into autumn and then scale down to one in winter.So basically a full timer and a casual.Ive got a guy that has already expressed interest in the team leader position and he works for a local council (old work mate) is hard working and very reliable.Have to make sure he had a full five days work though
    Possiblility the casual could be a backpacker (tourist) after work for a certain period.Then using them there are other laws to comply with.
    Also have to factor in another truck and equipment etc etc etc.So on three days i would have two trucks running around the local area for probably 8 -9 months of the year 3 - 4 days a week if projections are on target ;)
    Planning a rather large assault on advertising and website etc etc to bring in the work in this area.No point in having the crew work in the eastern suburbs fulltime because two hours of labour before they got to the first job would be a budget killer.Took two hours to get home last night after a major accident on the motorway. :angry:
  6. Braxton

    Braxton LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 81

    I'm a very long way from having to worry about this, but I'd eventually like to build to this point, so here's my question.

    Do most companies in this industry work employees over the winter, or do they shut down and lay off for a month or two?

    I plan to start in business in the spring of this year, and figure a two month slow to no work period for my area, based on what I'm told by others and can observe. Not a problem for me, I can set aside for this, but what about when I get big enough for employees? Do I lay them off or what?



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