one man crew?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CNYScapes, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    What are your guys opinions?

    A very good friend of mine in the business runs one man mowing crews. He sends out 4 trucks every day. These are residential.

    He is successful, runs all new or close to new trucks and equipment. I have known him 25 yrs and he is very good with his money and watches all expenses closely.

    His opinion is that 2 guys in the truck on small residential lawns is not as profitable as a one man crew.

    I do agree but I find that some guys do not like working alone?

    It is a good way to make each guy accountable for what gets done on the jobs, as he has no one to blame anything on but himself.

    What you guys think?
  2. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    this is a very good question as i have given thought about one man crews...i personally like 2 man crews, but the more guys you have, the less profitable you are, having said that, the more trucks and equipment you have, the more expenses you have...i hate working alone and most others do too...keeping everything into consideration, 2 man crews are my choice whether i'm involved or not...we have even done 3 or 4 man crews if the job is big enough where we can be in and out of a job in 2 hours where it will take one guy most of the day...being at 1 job all day by yourself sucks, you will lose morale fast
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,649

    All I will say is that when I worked solo, I could cut 8 lawns per day. A two man crew can do an average of 14 per day. So the productivity is not double.

    But splitting into 2 one-man crews would carry the extra cost of truck, truck fuel, and trailer. It would take a while to model a comparison on a spreadsheet.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    There's a lot to be said for having one person accountable for all the work. Having two people together is more about having someone to talk to than anything else. Some people thrive by themselves and some don't. The key to having one man crew's is efficiency.
  5. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,053

    I'm solo now but have worked in every size crew. Solo is most affordable for the owner, 2 man crews can be disastrous unless one of the guys are the owner. If two guys are friends and one is in charge.. the other will rebel. 3 man crews can be most productive and profitable if the guys don't goof off all day. 3 robots would be perfect.:laugh:
  6. Landgreen

    Landgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I have been considering one man crews as well. I have had two 2 man crews and then have cut back to one 2 man crew and one 1 man crew. The 1 man crew makes 33% more per man hour :dizzy:

    Sometimes its difficult to find two guys that can work together anyway.

    I'm thinking of 1/2 ton trucks, light custom single axle trailer just barely large enough to fit zeroturn and 36" WB. I would even consider a Ford Ranger if it had the courage to pull a trailer every day to help offset the extra fuel used.
  7. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    Landgreen, we are on the same page on both ideas.

    This past summer I also had 1 two man crew and 1 one man crew. I am considering just sending out 3 one man trucks. I have the equipment and trucks already.

    As far as trucks go, after running all 3/4 and 1 ton trucks for the last 12 years, I have recently purchased a couple used 1/2 ton chevys for mowing crews and they get much better gas mileage and have no problem pulling the equipment.
  8. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I think there are many factors to consider based on your area, route, proximity of jobs, and average time spent at a job.

    If most of the lots are small (1/4 acre), than this could be very profitable.

    As an owner or manager, you need to be motivating, competent, clear, etc. or you will be running around checking in on pissed customers all day
  9. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    put one guy in charge of production/ quality and pay him $1 to $1.5/ hour more. tell him that he needs to be accountable for the crew, and tell him he will be the one fired if things go wrong.
  10. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Production will not double. It due to the law of diminishing returns. at some point there will not be enough work to keep everyone in a production mode through no fault of their own

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