man hour question???


LawnSite Member
central Indiana
I have a condiminum complex that takes me approximately four hours to do myself. That includes mowing, trimming, and blowing off all the sidewalks. I have a XW2300 Dixie and a 48 walk behind scag. My question is.... If I have help, do I run both mowers at the same time until all the mowing is completed and then both of us trim and blow, or do I just run the Dixie and have my help trim until I am done mowing then help him with the trimming and blowing? Which way do you feel is more efficient??? All input is greatly appreciated.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Providing that your helper is already trained,I'd use both mowers first,then trim and blow. If the helper isn't trained, start him out trimming. I read in a trade magazine,that when teaching an untrained employee, you should start him out on the smallest piece of equipment and work his way up.


LawnSite Senior Member
I aggree with the last post on one part. If you have an employee that is good at trimming, I would run both mowers and then trim and blow the walks. If he/she is untrained I would have that person mow. It's my belief it is easier to teach mowing than it is trimming. We get calls all the time to do less than ideal yards. This is the place where I teach the new people to trim.

It's been my experience that trimming is one of the harder tasks to learn to do well. It's harder to make it look nice and do it fast. One can also do a lot of unexpected damage with a trimmer if the operator is untrained. ie - kill trees, grass, throw rocks through windows etc. etc.


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
I think you should try it both ways. Time it and see what works best.

Look at how long each part takes you now. Does it take you longer to trim or mow? Would it actually help using the wb? Maybe not. Having the speed of a dixie, you may be better off having the person trim as soon as you get out of the truck. Its a production issue, that can only be figured out by you. I can say, that if you study the issue and pay attention to times, you will find one way that is the best.


LawnSite Senior Member
SW Missouri
i have an apt. complez that takes about an hour. My help uses the walk behind first. Then he trims. By the time I am done mowing, I grab a blower along with my help.
The timing just works out on that one. You may have to try a couple different ways. Keep in mind your help will become quicker after a few weeks.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Pittsburgh, Pa
I usually have one guy trimming while the other is mowing, then when the guy gets done trimming he starts to help mow. This seems to work the best in my opinion. I have bigger places that all four of us do, those places, I always have the laser going full speed and a walk behind going. The other two are either trimming or blowing. I would not start a guy off trimming either, it takes more skill to trim then to mow. I usually start them on a toro, then too a walkbehind, then the laser. During this period I let them keep TRYING to trim at little places getting use to using the weedeaters, until I feel confident in them trimming a place without supervision.


LawnSite Senior Member
Hopefully you will find a helper whos already trained, if not i would train him on my walkbehind,and the trimmers,if he can't run a blower you don't need him anyhow. I bet with you on the Z and him on the w-behind you will prob be trimming before he is done if he is new, after hes done give him the blower or trimmers, and he will by watching you catch on in notime, but i stress i want the lawn looking flawless,but im very picky, I don't leave a site untill it meets my standard. You will cut your time in half after a few gos at it. Marks Mowing Service


LawnSite Member
Seattle WA
We always trim first so any clippings along the edge get sucked up by the mower. This probably doesn't matter for you if you don't do beds. Almost all of our accounts are full maint. including pruning raking weeding mow edge so we rake or blow beds, trim then mow. this way you can suck up most debris. If you wait to trim and blow after mowing you will almost always have someone standing around, which is a no no if you want efficiency.