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Maximizing crew efficiency at a residential property

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GatorGardener, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. GatorGardener

    GatorGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Current setup: residential accounts of varying sizes. Four man crews with 5-9 properties per day. When they get off the truck:

    Man 1 - immediately puts on backpack blower and keeps it on the entire time at the property.
    Man 2 - edger/weed eater and then trims or picks up debris as needed.
    Man 3 - trims entire time at property
    Man 4 - mows and sprays roundup

    No one has ever told them how or what order to do things. Is there an optimal order or process to maximize efficiency in this circumstance but to also maintain or improve quality? They currently switch off on the backpack blower at each property because it's considered the easier job - but I'm wondering if they really need a guy on the blower for the entire time at each property.

    Ive heard complaints that they don't have enough time to properly service the accounts. We've at times added a fifth man to each truck to do detail work and the complaints go away but some of these properties are just way too small for that many guys on a crew.

    At the moment I'm seriously considering adding a crew to reduce the number of properties they are traveling to each day and then reducing all crews to three men each to make up for it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,276

    Three guy crews are optimum for residential

    If you stick with 4 the guy running the back back should do round up and pick up debris. No need to wear a back pack the whole time.

    Depends on size of properties as well
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    First off how big are these yards. My 2 man crew services 15 to 20 properties a day. One guy rides the mower and the other trims and edges if the mower finishes before the trimmer then he grabs a trimmer and starts. Then one blows the property off and the other dose detail work.

    First off the guy on the blower the whole time is a waste. Also anytime you get more then 3 men on a site they start overlapping each other.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Puddle of Oil likes this.
  4. Blanks landscaping

    Blanks landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Yea I don't see why someone needs to be on the blower the entire time unless it's fall time I would have him spray roundup until there's a need for someone with a blower
  5. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    Is this really the way your crew does it's resedential mowing? If yes wow 3 guys basically waiting on 1 guy mowing? At least your yards probaly look very well kept with all the extra guys doing detail work. 5-9 properties, are these properties all large estates? Just wondering we do around 20 yards with 2 guys mowing each day .5 acre to 1 acre yards mostly and we still don't make a killing money wise. I wouldn't want that many guys on resential yards to much downtime and wasted money on labor costs. But your properties might make more money than mine also.
  6. GatorGardener

    GatorGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Mix of large estates down to .5 acre lots. All of them are high paying and demand high quality.I just want to provide that high quality as efficiently as possible so I can maximize profit , as I'm sure we all do!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    Just curious if you don't mind sharing what your gross take is with one of your 4 man crew's on a average mowing day with 5-9 lawns?
  8. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,762

    Is it possible to break down the larger and smaller properties, then proportion your crew size based on property size?

    We started doing this and improved efficiency and increased billable time per employee.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. xclusive

    xclusive LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,054

    2 guys should be cutting and 2 guys string line trimming. The 2 guys finish up first can start blowing off and once the other 2 finish they can start spraying or pulling weeds. Any additional work would be done by a separate crew on a different day i.e. shrub trimming, pruning, mulch, seasonal flowers, etc
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,966

    Excuse me.

    I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    FOUR guys on a residential crew…m-m-mowing?

    Why is there a guy blowing the whole time?

    What's he blowing?
    especially when no one has trimmed or cut yet (since he puts the BP on right away?)

    Round up. I see no reason to do this the same visit.

    Mowing, put a second mower on that crew.

    Two guys mow, two guys trim, two guys blow.

    The OTHER two guys are another crew ENTIRELY.

    5-9 properties a day?

    you said residential didn't you? Not town home complexes?

    5-9 ranches?

    Im confused… the taste of vomit is returning.

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