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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Swampy, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Well didn't find one of these and I know this place is full of business owners. I wanted to know if this a good training plan since I got a lot of experenced and green kids coming in to work for the owner this season.

    The company is turning 27 this year and we do full time lawn maintance (residental, commerical, industrial, muncipal) , full time landscaping everything but walls, and part time spraying app. This year we are introducing full time spraying with a new truck to enter the fleet.

    First day: In house
    1. Fill out Paperwork (new driver background check, Licensing for spraying, etc...)
    2. Assignment of equipment.
    Mowing crews:
    Green kids: I stick them on push mowers and string trimmers at first then graduate them to walk behinds (usally if they can't operate a walkbehind then then they can't handle a ZTR or a Front mount.)
    Expirence: I put them on a 325 Toro, its the oldest in the mower fleet and the most unforgivable
    Landscape Crew:
    Green kids: Whell barrel, hand tools, and blowers
    Expirence: Depends if they can operate a Skid steer or not.
    3. Safety videos for the equipment, followed by weekly safety sit downs with owner.

    Second Day
    1. Machine/Truck maintance. What should be greased, equipment cleaniness, blade sharping, and machine recovery.
    2. With any new hires or crews going out this season. I'll be with them for the first week to make sure everything gets done, on time, and safely.

    This season we are making safety a bigger issue from the accidents that happened last year with me and another employee. Mine wasn't to bad ended up tipping a JD 2210 down a hill, and the other guy (green kid) stuck his hands under a running mower deck losing fingers.

    I won't be working with the spraying crew this year my supervisor is heading that up.

    Was wondering if this a good start to a training plan
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I've been in the commercial Lawn & Landscape field for over 17yrs I take a much different approach to training new employees. First things first, I give a thorough interview then if I feel the person would like this job and be a benifit to my company the we do the paperwork. I only hire from the ground up so a new person would start on a mowing crew after recieving a day or two training. I always train my employees the way I want them to be and first on the list is the correct way to use a string trimmer. I have seen newbies on other crews go out in field and ruin someones lawn because they didn't know how to use a trimmer correctly. Next I spend time showing them the correct way's to use the mowers and blowers. I only use experienced crew for landscaping and shrub trimming, same crew and would never use a newbie for either of these jobs. I would have to disagree with you all the way around on maintnance of truck, mowers, blades and just about anything else for that matter. I will never leave the future of my business up to a new employee or any employee. I have good employee's that have been with me for a long time but I like to make sure everything is done and done right when it comes to maintnance be it mowers, blades, trucks, trailer, or whatever.
  3. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    I do not put new employee on trimmers because they tend to want to trim edges right to the ground.

    I train them on the look depending on the property then they can work the trimmers.

  4. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Well the owner is more worried about having a new guy jump on a machine and tearing the hell out of a machine. Thats why I start them off on a push mower or a string trimmer to learn the "basics"

    New guys on landscape crews are there for clean up or grunt work such as picking up shrub clippings, loading/moving wheel barrels
  5. kkls2006

    kkls2006 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Swampy looks good to me.... It would be nice to hear how other people handle training as well?????
  6. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    I've been working on creating a training program for more than a month. I haven't added it all up, but I must have 50 pages or more worth of material right now that I would be reviewing with new guys. One large section is about personal safety. We'd have a lot of discussion about all the safety issues before they ever touch equipment. From indepth discussions about how our ears have about 15,000 cells each that are related to the hearing function, and once they are damaged, that's it - they don't regenerate, and how important hearing and eye protection is... to the many things that can go wrong by neglecting one's feet, to all the other ways this work can hurt you. And this is just personal safety. There's a lot more to discuss before giving the hands-on training.

    If there's substantial interest, I might consider making a video. ??

    Anyway, your company should get those safety switches fixed. That accident with somebody losing fingers should have never happened. It's irresponsible to put new guys on equipment with disabled safety switches.
  7. Isthe$green

    Isthe$green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Just wondering what you guys think. I've done lawn care with a friend for eight years, since i was 12 and haven't done it for about 4 years. Anyway the guy i used to mow for is somewhat of a friend and now is offering to sell me his buisness. He has id say about 55-65 weeklys and avg. price is 32.00 a yard. Well ill break it down like this.

    2000 walker mower
    18ft trailer
    2 stihl weed whackers
    i believe 250psi gas air compressor
    1993 chev 4x4 flatbed
    some cheap blower

    thats all id probally want. So i guess the ? is what would you offer to pay. Also I'm a painter so if i buy this id keep doing what i do and hire some people. Also if anyone has calculations on how much i would actually have to pay for a 8 or 9 dollar an hour employee
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Agree with you about safety, I have a strict company policy that mandates the use of hearing protection and safety glasses that are provided to my employees.
  9. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    cutting guys i take them to my parents back yard and have them run around on the ztr and trim around the fence and the pool and see how they do and i really dont know how i can train them to run wheel barrels if they cant do that well...then they arent working for me
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Kind of like the basics if they can't handle a wheel barrel then they can't handle a skid steer.

    Me and the Supervisor are looking to make some safety/maintance video's this season. I'd like to see what you come up with so I can base off of it.

    The biggest thing is that I don't want to see someone get hurt like I did or that green kid did last season.

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