Looking for Production Goals/Rates for a Spray Tech to Achieve

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GreenAsItGets, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. GreenAsItGets

    GreenAsItGets LawnSite Member
    from Apex NC
    Messages: 18

    Hello All, we are starting a dedicated spray tech position for the first time and wanted to know what production rates we should expect him to produce per 8 hour day.

    I know it will range and vary- but I would like to see what some of you have discovered are historical square footage per hour for both residential routes versus larger HOA and commercial route.

    We are currently doing an all liquid application with a 300 gallon spray rig in a pickup- which is what we have- its calibrated to do about 150k per tank.

    We also have to get our water from the city reclaimed department each fill.

    Thanks in Advance for any Insight!
  2. sprayboy

    sprayboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 934

    I would think you would base it off what you do per day with your own routes.
  3. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Those are numbers that are going to be determined by the amount of lawns, total square footage and total amount of revenue from the route. The numbers would change from route to route as well. There will not be a "standard" answer.

    With that being said, I'll go into a little bit of detail about what I used to do when I worked for the Lawn Company on Cape Cod. In my route, I had 440 lawns to fertilize in a 6 week period. I can't remember the total amount of square footage, nor the total amount of money generated from each lawn. However, we had 3 DAILY goals that we had to try and achieve so that we would finish each round in the 6 week time period. My DAILY goals would start out "heavy" and slowly go down as each week passed. This would allow for service calls and estimates to be mixed in during the week. It would also allow for the occasional "Rain Day", should one arise. Saturdays were 1/2 days and were used for service calls or estimates only.


    440 Lawns in 6 weeks
    ??? Total Square Footage
    ??? Total Amount of Billing Dollars

    DAILY GOALS (Because I can't remember what my total sq. footage or billing dollars were, the numbers for those below are hypothetical)

    Week 1

    19 Lawns per day
    100,000 square feet per day
    $925.00 per day

    Week 2

    17 Lawns per day
    92,000 square feet per day
    $885.00 per day

    Week 3

    15 Lawns per day
    86,000 square feet per day
    $850.00 per day

    Week 4

    14 Lawns per day
    80,000 sq. feet per day
    $800.00 per day

    Week 5

    12 Lawns per day
    70,000 sq. feet per day
    $765.00 per day

    Week 6

    11 Lawns per day
    50,000 sq. feet per day
    $725.00 per day

    I also have to mention that if we hit TWO out of those THREE goals on a daily basis (it didn't matter which two), all of our lawns in our routes would be done within the 6 week time frame and then the next round would start.

    I used to EXCEED those goals on a regular basis and I would average about 18 lawns per day for the entire 6 week period even though my goals would be slowly reduced as each week went by. Sometimes, I'd be in a trailer park and I'd do 22 lawns for 75,000 sq. feet and $1,100.00 in one day, and other days I'd be in a residential neighborhood, where I may do 10 lawns for 135,000 sq. feet and $800.00. This would allow me to sometimes finish my route 3 or 4 days early and I would then jump into another person's route if they had been out sick or were on vacation.

    This is the way that our company used to do it and it was a system that was designed for success.

    One more thing: EFFICIENCY IS THE KEY! I had all of my customers separated by town, then neighborhood, then street, and I made sure that everytime I went to a street, every lawn that I had on that particular street got done. I had all of them in order by how I came down the street and went from one to the next. From there, I'd hit the next street in the neighborhood and hit all of those, and so on, and so on. This not only ensures efficiency, it ensures consistency as well.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. GreenAsItGets

    GreenAsItGets LawnSite Member
    from Apex NC
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for all that great info!
    How many days per week did you work (if no rain, etc) and how many hours typically per day?

    Sounds like you tried to consistantly hit around 15 to 20 homes per day- so knowing the hours/days per week will help me figure a baseline.

    Also- do you think I could call your old employer and bend their ear for these similar details? I am in Raleigh NC fyi-

  5. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I must emphasize that the way we did it isn't the only successful way that it can be done, it's just what worked for us. I'd love to give you the contact information of my old employer but I no longer have it - it's been 6 years since I left there and 9 years since he sold out. It was a small, locally owned company with about 80 employees and 3 locations, and our Owner was in business for almost 20 years. He then sold out to Scotts Lawn Service and I stayed with them for 3 years until I realized that their business model sucked and I didn't want to be a part of it anymore.

    I will tell you that when Scotts bought the company, it was their first purchase of a company that was actually profitable and we routinely scored the highest levels in Customer Service from surveys done by the University of Massachusetts - our retention rates were always 90% or more! Scotts promised the world to us all during the buyout but reneged on everything they promised and alas, it wasn't meant to be. Within 3 years, 95% of the Lawn Company employees were gone. :hammerhead:

    O.k, back to your question. I routinely worked 6 days per week during the busy season (spring, fall) and 5 days per week during the summer with 1 Saturday per month at a half day. I used to average around 55 hours per week but that included half days on Saturdays, so I'd work on average about 10 hours per day. Of course, you were only asking for 8 hours, so you could scale the amount of stops, square footage, and dollars down so that it fits into your 8 hour plan. Remember, proper routing goes a long way toward efficiency and allows more lawns to be done during the day. It eliminates wasted driving.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  6. GreenAsItGets

    GreenAsItGets LawnSite Member
    from Apex NC
    Messages: 18

    Ok- so u worked your tail off!

    Yes this is new to us so we are planning 9 hour days M-F no weekends for now.

    Next questions is pay-
    1) Did they pay the techs mostly a weekly salary or per hour?
    2) Overtime Pay?
    3) Bonuses if you achieve certain goals? If so how far apart were the monatary goals laid out- like every 6 weeks(1 complete app) or daily?
    4) Did they penalize u for overages, or callbacks or redos?
    5) Did each tech handle all of their 440 customers as far as calling them to see how things are and meet them if they had problems?
    6) Who handled measuring and sending out new estimates?
    7) Did they use GPS on the trucks?
    8) Where did you fill up your tank and how long can you leave product in your tank before using it again?

  7. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Yes, we worked our tail off but the owner really took care of us and the rewards were worth it. To answer your questions, he wanted us to take ownership of our own routes and we were paid bonuses that were based not only on production goals, but other goals as well.

    We were paid an hourly "salary" so that there was not really "overtime" pay. What our Owner did though, was pay you half of your hourly rate for any hours over 40. For instance, if you worked 55 hours per week and you were paid $16.00 per hour, you'd get that amount for the first 40 hours. For the remaining 15 hours, you'd get paid $8.00 per hour. The rest of the "overtime" was "banked" and came back to you in the winter as from January 2nd through March 15th, we would only work 4 days per week and get paid for 5 (32 hours worked, 8 hours off with pay). I'm not sure of the legal aspects of this type of situation but somehow it must have passed the law because it was done for YEARS. I must say that NONE of us were unhappy with this situation and there were almost 80 employees, many of who had been there for 7 to 20 years.

    Our bonuses were paid out TWICE PER YEAR (last week of June and first week of December) and were not only focused on production goals but other goals as well. Personal appearance (wearing the company issued boots, pants, shirts, hats, sweatshirts, jackets and all PPE safety attire) played a role in the bonuses as well, as did the cleanliness of your truck, maintenance of your truck, accidents in your truck, ability to help out in other routes when needed, and customer feedback, etc.... I'm not sure how the company came to the amount to give out for bonuses but I can say that I was happy with the ones I got. I used to recieve around $1,000 in July (Great for summer vacation or July 4th weekend!) and around $900.00 or so in December (great for Christmas shopping!) We also got $50.00 gift certificates to our local grocery stores to buy Turkeys at Thanksgiving time.

    We never got penalized for callbacks, overages or re-do's. First of all, Customer Service was # 1 and callbacks were to be expected (we had a 24 hour response time). Also, we had a policy that your lawn would be green in between treatments (within reason) and if a callback resulted in another treatment of fertilizer, it would be free. Overages were checked daily and were monitored. If someone was using excessive amounts of fertilizer regularly, management would step in to correct the problem (some of our lawns were under measured which would result in being "heavy" with fertilizer, even though you fertilized it correctly). The goal is to keep those to a minimum! Re-do's almost never had to be done, as everyone was committed to doing a great job. Managers also took service calls and did production work too, so they would help out in all of these areas.

    Yes, the techs had complete "ownership" of their routes. If a customer had a compaint, had to be notified in advance for a treatment, or needed you to visit their lawn for a service call, it was us who they dealt with. In difficult situations, sometimes managers would need to get involved but if you had a good tech, this would be kept to a minimum. Like I stated before, I had 440 customers, while other routes had 530, 600, or even lower, like 350. Those with the higher numbers had tighter routes, more lawns in each neighborhood and smaller lawns.

    We had no GPS units (they weren't around then!) but everyone had maps in their trucks which were replaced with new ones every winter. Also, each tech stayed in the same routes from year to year to keep consistent customer relationships and ownership of their route.

    We filled up our trucks right in our shop. We had an overhead filling station that we would park our trucks underneath and we'd fill the water from a 4" hose. We also had another hose connected to our fertilizer tank and would fill the liquid fertilizer from that, also from overhead. We would refill every night so that the trucks were ready every morning. Different products had different amounts of time that they could "sit" in mixed form. If we were using something that would be junk in 24 hours, we made sure we only filled with enough product to spray out that particular day.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  8. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I forgot to mention that we would get paid for two weeks off during the Christmas/New Year's holiday time frame as well! That paid time off, combined with the 8 hours each week during the winter 32 hour work weeks, was in addition to our regular paid holidays.
  9. Puck1969

    Puck1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    LOL Hissing Cobra, I must know you! I worked for the same company and you also have to take into account service calls etc. Those are base #'s you have described but there will be issues along the way. If you hire within your company and he/she is a hard working individual things will work out.
  10. The Turfinator

    The Turfinator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I worked for Scotts Lawn Service in Cleveland about 10yrs ago when they took over a local company, sounds like they adopted the Lawn Company's business plan and procedures. hmmm dont remember those bonuses though?

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