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is this faster

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ronslawncare, Nov 4, 2000.

  1. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    im a newby to lawn care business.im from longisland ny. ive been noticeing alot of different landscapers run like 5 trailers.i watch them do this all the time they get one guy from the crew drop the hole trailer off with all the equiptment pick up another trailer drop another guy and trailer off at another house with all equiptment.to me i think it just would be faster in finishing up 1 job at a time with all your help...i dont no also this is my first year in this business i love it good money if u have any great tips for me for just starting that would be great.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You would think it would be that way but that's not the case. If you take 2 guys that work at the same pace and give them identical equiptment they can get more work done separately than together. At least that's the case where I live.

    There are 2 reasons for this.

    In my area it is not unusual to hardly ever have more than 2 houses that can be cut without packing up and moving equiptment. Each time the crew has to move it takes a minimum of 10 minutes. For each additional guy you have on a crew the amount of time on the job is reduced by 33%. If you have a job that takes 1 man 60 minutes to do it will take 2 men 40 minutes to do the same job. This is because of the way we traditionally divy up work. More on this in a minute.

    The problem with having more than 1 man on a crew comes down to time spent working and time spent moving.

    Let's assume it takes 1 man 1 hour to do each job on his route. Let's also assume it takes him 10 minutes to move between jobs. In an 8 hour day this man by himself can get 7 jobs done. That's 7 jobs@1 hr. each = 7 hrs. plus 6 moves@10 mins. each = 1 hour for a total of 8 hours.

    So 2 guys seperately should be able to cut 14 yards total at 7 yards each in 8 hours.

    Now, put these 2 guys together. It takes these same 2 guys 40 mins. to cut a yard together and it still takes them 10 mins. to get to the next job. These two guys will only get 9.8 yards done in the same 8 hours. The reason? The increased time it takes to move the equiptment. Because they are getting the jobs done faster they are spending more time moving equiptment and thereby lowering efficiency.

    Now the second reason is because of the way work is split up between 2 guys. Usually one guy grabs a trimmer and the second guy starts mowing. Generally on a job the majority of the time is spent mowing. So if 1 guy is trimming and 1 guy is mowing guess what goes down? Mowing efficiency. This is why time on a job is only reduced by 33% for each man added to a crew.

    If the crews that you saw working have their jobs spread all over the place then dropping 1 man at a job is probably the most efficient way to get the work done.
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Again right on the money.we going to learn
    something inspite of ourselves.
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "Each time the crew has to move it takes a minimum of 10 minutes.'

    This number seems high. I think you could greatly increase profits by halving this time, which should be simple just work out a system. For ex, it takes me maybe a minute to unload, the stuff goes back on the trailer as Im done with it, maybe another 1 1/2 min to load up and secure the load.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    thelawnguy wrote:

    <b><i>For ex, it takes me maybe a minute to unload, the stuff goes back on the trailer as Im done with it, maybe another 1 1/2 min to load up and secure the load.</b></i>

    And how long does it take to drive from one job to the next? 10 minutes might very well be conservative in a lot of cases. And the smaller the jobs the worse the ratio of time working to time traveling gets.
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    I did not realize that the 10 min included travel time. That makes more sense. I work mainly in urban center so after loading up its 2-3 minutes to the next stop.

    Most of my accounts are situated so that one stop will take care of 3-6 properties. Time spent on the roll is time you are working for free.
  7. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Yes I believe the 1 man therory is true and have tried it . However If man A is me or you and man B is an hourly employee , who will get more work done in one day ? Unless you get lucky it is man A. You see man B is unsuprvised and may not have our best interests in mind. This spring when I had help ( 1 man per truck ) I was producing 100-175$ a day more than my help. The answer is piece work or a salary wage. I know when I have help with me I can push the envelope to the max and get quite a bit done . If you can get good help and turn them lose treat them well and keep'em ay all costs.
  8. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    you guys got it all down to a science thanks for the input.the best way is to try and get all of your customers neighbors ill definately do that next season .i can see how much time and money u save .any other tips for a begginer
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Most likely in the situation that ronslawncare is describing all of the workers are of the type B variety. Remember the scenario that I described was where both workers work at the same pace. I have actually discussed this arrangement with my helper and he likes it. Right now he is working for me by the hour. I told him I would split the money with him 60/40 with me getting the 60. He provides his own truck and his own gas. I will provide him with a 36" mower, trimmer, blower and fuel. All machines will be returned at the end of the day to me. Any complaints are fixed by him. Any service cancellations and he is fired.
  10. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I would disagree on this one. I would put my two man crew against anyone (with same equipment) with two men working separatly. Productivity discussed on this topic is based on that the men are like robots. The time later on in the day will take a toll on the men making in longer to finish each job. With two man together this is reduced greatly. The two separate workers may start out ahead, but the two-man crew working together will win in the end. Plus it costs more money..more equipment will be needed to work seperatly..we have two of everything except trailer so the equipment is split and a then a trailer must be purchased. Now with just one piece of equipment per type many problems can occur when you do not have a back -up...trimmer, mower, go down...what do you do?

    [Edited by LoneStarLawn on 11-05-2000 at 03:32 AM]

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