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"Tight" Route: A Definition?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Seems someone is always mentioning developing and maintaining a "tight" route. I can see where there might be a considerable difference in what constitutes a tight route from one location to another. Someone servicing primarily residentials in housing developments in the suburbs would likely define it differently than someone servicing property in a more rural area, or the inner city.

    I'm just curious what some of you who have been in the business for some time, and consider yourself successful, call a tight route. I'd also think it would be more important to those running crews than for a solo operator such as myself, simply because of wasted man-hours. What is the ratio of miles to accounts serviced in your particular case? Thanks.
  2. south jerz

    south jerz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I consider a tight route one with no more than 2-3 minutes of driving time between accounts, preferably with sections where you don't have to reload to the truck and can walk from house to house.

    My tightest route is one with 30 accounts, all in about a 1 1/2 square mile area. Average drive time is 1 to 2 minutes. However there are two clusters of four next-door neighbors, so no travel time there.

    The other routes between 10-20 accounts each are typically 1-3 minutes driving time between accounts.

    We probably spend a total of 25-30 bucks a week on gas for truck and equipment. This is in Philly metro area, dense suburban neighborhoods, typically 1/5-1/3 acre lots.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    approx 75 accounts, in a 7 mile round trip radius. having your "shop" right on your property. this is a "tight route". example, i left home at 8:15 this morning, by 9:30, i was back home for a break, i signed online, sipping a cup of coffee, and grossed $240+ to that point. THAT, is a tight route
  4. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I service 50 properties in one neighborhood. From my house to my garage to the neighborhood, back to garage, then home is 10 miles, and at the end of the day I have serviced 20 properties.
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    8 miles by 8 miles square. 76 properties in 45 stops. It's not totally "tight" but it's not much travel... I service 22 in the same neghiborhood, though I break it up over 3 days because if I spend all day there I'd have to leave to go grab lunch anyway, and it just breaks up the monotony of it all to go from site to site sometimes.

    I really kinda dread the stops where I have more than 2 or 3 houses in one stop. Seems like I'm NEVER going to finish in one spot... Even tho I know it's more $$$ due to the lack of drive time and fuel usage, it still bothers me to be in one spot very long.
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    22 yards side by side up and down the street. $30 ea. 2 guys 3 hrs. new neighborhood that was built couple year ago. used to mow for builder till company went broke and changed names.
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,686

    165 accounts as of this week and 140 of them are with in 5 miles or less of my house. A tight route to me is lawns with a mile or less between them I have 20 plus clusters now my best has 13 on one street and I have a lot of 4 and 5 house stops as well.
  8. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Wednesday is my "tightest" day. First thirteen yards my son mows and then drives the Z to the next yard while I trim and blow and then bring the truck and try to keep up with him. Yards are 3000 square feet to an acre and a half and all within a half mile. Worked six and a half hours for $640 and went home.
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    while drive time is certainly important for a "tight route" , I prefer to measure the revenue generated per man hour on a given day. One of our mowing days has mostly residential...the other 2 days is medium to large commercial accounts. While it takes me 10 minutes between commercial accounts for driving, the bottom line at the end of the day is that my per man-hour revenue is greater with the commercial accounts than the residential as I'm not hassling with parking and load/unload.

    Bottom line for me is the revenue generation per 8 hour day regardless of how much or how little the drive time is.

    When on vacation, I do the mowing for another company who has about 50 small to medium sized residential accounts. The constant load/unload 15 times a day would make me crazy even with the tight route for these accounts.And if I dont get them done by rush hour and the traffic, the effciency goes down even further
  10. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    If you have a tight route, your route is not a slut.

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