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Which is more productive?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yardman14, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. yardman14

    yardman14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Hello all,
    I have been a long time lurker and this is my first post.I am always amazed at all the knowledge and experience this board has to offer.My question is what is the best way to use my employees ,running two trucks.I presently have 80 residential accounts with a few commercial offices and shopping centers.I have 3 employees,one of them has been with me for 3+ years.Is it more productive to have 3 people in one truck handling the bigger accounts and myself handling the smaller ones alone ,or is 2 people per truck the better way to go.The way we do it now is we each go our own route and 2 days a week we meet up and all work the larger accounts.Any advice would be appreciated. Dave
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    hey dave--congrats for all of the lurking.

    but it seems to me that with all of the experience that you have to offer, that we should be asking you these type of questions!:)

    good luck, as I am a solo operator, sorry I can't help you directly.

    welcome to lawnsite!

  3. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    Hi Dave- Nice to have you on board.

    It looks like you have alot more acounts than me so maybe I should be asking you the questions.

    I think there is some common sense to be used here so here goes.... You say that including yourself there are 4 workers, and that you all split up, and do jobs individually for the first part of the week, and then you meet up to do the large jobs together.

    On the surface it seems like splitting up would take alot of extra vehicles, and equipment. Do they use their own trucks and trailers? I think you would be more productive working together, or at least 2 x 2.

    Hope I helped get you thinking, even if I didnt solve your problem.

  4. yardman14

    yardman14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Thanks for the replys so far.This is the first season I have had more then one employee.I recently added about 25 residentials and found that 2 people could not keep up.I have been doing trial and error type thing trying to figure out which way is more productive.I have even thought about using one crew with 4 people but that can definitely be a lot of drive time which is what I am trying to avoid.Please keep the suggestions coming.
  5. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    You are doing it right allready, I do it just like you and it saves on drive time and man hours.
  6. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    When I had employees, I generally found it easier to have two man crews, but many bigger lco's around here run three man crews, maybee you should hire one more person and run two three man trucks for maximum productivity.
  7. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    yardman, tell the guys here some more about your situation. Then they can probably be more helpful (I say "they" because I'm small time compared to your operation, lol!).
    What is the ratio of large accounts to small accounts? And for that matter, what is large and what is small? What type of equipment are you using? What's your vehicle situation?

    I'm interested in hearing what you decide as I hope to expand in the future.
  8. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Hi Yardman,

    Gene from Michigan here. Was wondering what advertising you used to pick up your new 25 accounts. If you'd be willing to share here, that's great. If not, you may email me @

  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Here's how I look at it. Your "wasted" time is loading, unloading, driving and "accurately" getting all the guy's to finish a job at the same time. Smaller accounts "maximize" all these wasted time areas. Therefore, put more guy's on the larger jobs, and "you" do the small stuff.
  10. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    what you need to look at is numbers. in my experiance one person will always be faster then two, and two will always be faster then three, here's why. when one person is working by themself, that cuts communication completely out of the picture, whereas if you have multiple people you have to tell what to do, or are just having a conversation with that stalls your work time then your losing money...also when having multiple people work especially 3 or more, you are very likely to end each and every job with one person finishing first and waiting just a few minutes for the next guy and then the next guy... lets say that guy A. finishes his job and waits for guy B. who takes 2 min longer, and then guy C. takes another 2 min. well what we have is a total time lose of 6 min. if you run 20 plus cuts a day multiply that by 6 min and you've lost 2 man hours. so the solution really depends on how much you have to pay for fuel and if your drive time is minimal.. you have to compare fuel and drive time for your employees vs. lost profits from wasted man hours. whichever is greater should be your answer.

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