How young is to young?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Song Bird, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Song Bird

    Song Bird LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    If you were running a family run lawn care service, how old would you feel you children needed to be to help out with.
    What jobs would you let them do at what age and/or size?
    Would you let them run any equipment like a push mower, line trimmer, or under 20 horse power rider lawn mower?
    What jobs would you let them do?
    I have read the labor laws both for Iowa and the Feds. So I know what the law's say for ages and what they can do.
  2. dura to the max

    dura to the max LawnSite Silver Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 2,246

    depends on size too, you want to look professional. id say 14-15, but thats kind of stretching it. i guess old enough to be responsible with what theyre doing is the biggest issue. but looks is very important.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Agriculturally speaking you can get away with it no matter what the age,
    but since it still costs I would consider the factors influencing this choice...

    There are things we know, but then there are things that just because we know them
    doesn't mean we do them... On the other hand knowledge is power, some is good,
    some isn't, you see what I am getting at is finding where the balance strikes.

    To make it simple, and I don't want to know exactly, but why?
    I can not tell you the answer, these are things you have to know for yourself,
    I think it is a matter of some or more of the following:

    1. Being that they are your children, who came up with the idea first?
    > Did or do they want to do this, or did or do you?

    2. Is it a matter of choice, or survival?
    > Without their help are things going down hill fast, or do they want to and it really doesn't matter?

    3. Is it a matter of education, and experience?
    > It would be better if they stay in school, if you catch my drift.
    >> On the other hand if they just want a job so as to have some cash...

    For example if they just want to find out what it's like to work for a living, or maybe you want to show them?
    That's probably all right, might even be a way they can get behind the wheel one day...
    It could be the answer to 'daddy buy me a car' for instance.

    I'm sure there's more but you have to know...
    Hope that helps some.
  4. zemzabob

    zemzabob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I think you will know when the time is right I mean after all who knows then better then you good luck.
  5. Fred B

    Fred B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Workers compensation has a major say in that department. Up here anyone under 16 is not legally allowed to any job which is considered dangerous. That means any type of machinery or cooking grills, construction... Anyone between 16 - 17 can do dangerous work as long as they have a written note from their legal guardian. 18 and older - adult.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Look @ the farmers in the past,i was running big tractors :walking:, 10 years of age...
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Same here, My first form of transportation was a yamaha 80 GT to get around from field to field. 10 was the first age I drove a tractor.

    Urban Landscaping though, not such a hot idea. On the farm, only other farmers are around to look at you funny. In Urban areas you have some highly educated (they think) snoots looking down at you.

    It's all a personal call I guess. I would say 16.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The question you have to ask yourself isn't to do with the law as it is specifically written, by the time we get done poring through the legalese your children will be of age LOL. Because as far as the law goes I can drink a 12-pack, get in my car and do 100 mph's down the Interstate AND flip the officer the bird AND go home afterwards AND not get arrested.
    But do I do it, do I really feel like I'm that lucky or that big of a man?

    So you wouldn't be asking if they were of age, and this information has been left out, maybe for a reason.
    And that frustrates because you're asking me to give you the all right like that, and that is something I can not do.

    Folks do it all the time, but they're taking a chance.
    If their child is injured they have to live with that, understand there is no insurance, no state support in these cases.
    You can't, if they're too young to operate certain and one or the other gets hurt...
    How will you get any kind of support, soon as you tell them what happened?
    You see...

    But there's far worse out there that could kill them, too :p
    So I'm not here to stop anyone, but you have to know this for yourself.
  9. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    It depends on the kid. If the kid can responsibly operate the equipment, does good work, and can look somewhat professional, yes. But if the kid tries to pop a wheelie on a 10k ZTR, is using the weedeater as an air guitar, aims the BP blower at people, and comes to work with pants falling off his butt and hair in face, then no. You get my drift. It depends on the kid.

    But as a general rule, don't let anyone under 11 use power equipment even on your own house.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i started my lawn care buisness around age 10

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