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Lawn scheduling

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by unkownfl, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    How many days of full lawns would be running the risk of being too many for two man crew. Do you guys run 6 full days all season long? I run 3 full 12 hour days of mowing in the busy season (100-110 lawns) 7:30-8:00pm. I really want to add another 25 lawns to make it 125 before I add either another helper or another crew and I'll just bounce in and out all day and help and deal with other crap when it comes up. I usually do other jobs on Mondays and Tuesdays then mow Wednesday thru Friday. If I know its going to rain later in the week I move my lawns earlier in the week and move the other jobs around not my lawns further back if I can. I haven't had to work on the weekend all year I just don't see it as being professional mowing residential on the weekend. I know you can pick up extras on the weekend but I just don't like running into people all day long trying to enjoy their weekend BBQ or whatever they have going on.
  2. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Hard to tell since I don't know what size properties you are cutting. Is that 100 a day in 12 hours? Is it 2 men including you?

    Right off the bat, I couldn't run the crews for 12 hours in the heat and humidity for health and safety reasons. Also, I start running into labor law considerations such as overtime.

    3 days x 12 hours = 36 hours; that leaves me 4 hours before I owe overtime.

    Our residential properties tend to range between 1/3 & 1/2 acre; a four man crew can cut 45 (+ or - a couple) efficiently and professionally. Our commercial properties vary; our smallest HOA is 7+ acres, takes a four man crew about 5 hours & CA's, it depends on the number of buildings on the property. Eg. 27 buildings on about five acres takes a four man crew also about 5 hours.

    We; Clean up (trash, branches,etc.) light trim on the ornamentals, rake the leaves out of the planting beds, mow (mulching decks on the mowers) weed whack, edge, blow and go back to survey for irrigation damage and spot treat for weeds.

    We schedule full days for major trims, clean up's and over sized ficus hedges.

    Each property is different. The HOA's & CO's take less time to mow because we don't have as many obstacles. The HO's usually take a little longer, specially when you include traveling time.
  3. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    We mow around 3-3.5 lawns an hour. These are just about all 70*125 lots with 3000+sqft homes. About 3k-5k SQFT of turf. Minor hedges >20ft and beds with > 100sqft. My guy is on Piece work so we take break and since these are all residential there is a lot of window time in the a/c.
  4. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    The math doesn't add up; a total of 100 homes a month? Or 100 homes a day? 3 homes an hour x 12 hours = 36 homes a day; Those are small lots. Unless you have a lot of travel time, you should be able to tighten up and do that in 6 - 8 hours.
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    12hrs daily*3 yard average per hour = 36 lawns mowed perdayt*3 days=108 yards per week. Like I mentioned above we have a pretty good amount of window time or we could do 4 per hour with taking a break every so often.
  6. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    youre running too hard...its past the time for another crew...you will burn out your people real fast doing what youre doing....we have been there..you get more productivity in the first 5 hrs of the day and then it slows down...keep it as easy as possible and you will keep good people for many years...its better to make a little less from a crew and have multiple crews than it is to try to make a killing on just one...
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    If you have the work to keep yourself busy for another day or two of the week - then adding another crew would be the way to go. Adding a 3rd person to the crew, while nice, is less productive IMO as the windshield time in the day is still the same. However if you are able to split the properties up - allow a two man crew and maybe single guy you can trust run lawns on his own - you could eliminate window time. Maybe your two man crew doing the properties that are full service and give your single man crew the regular mow, edge, trim and blow jobs?
    Window time is the enemy I would venture to guess is eating up the time that you would need to get potential extra lawns done. However your cost of getting up and going for another trailer is a bigger cost as you now have two trucks, two trailers, two or more mowers on each trailer, two of every stick, two insurances.
    I am in a similar situation now looking at the advantages of adding another trailer to the lineup next year and figure it will pay off but the initial investment of all the extras is the primary concern not knowing if the business will be there the first year to fully gain the profit I want out of it.

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