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    Alright, so I got lucky and I will discuss my issue.

    I pay my guy $4.00 per lawn, after careful explanation he understood that it is well over minimum wage and it's temporary until we obtain more lawns and a third person.

    He has a lot of motivation, but he sucks at his job. I prefer it this way because I can now train him to be the best. The more difficult part is how I correct his mistakes without upsetting him - not a current issue as I seem to be slacking in quality this year myself. I don't really have the drive I used to have, but I'm sure it'll come back.

    Today we did two days work, and it was him who suggested it due to the rain tomorrow, and that made me damn proud!

    I'll admit, I do tend to get frustrated with him on his technique - using a blower takes 2 minutes, not 10! The trimmer is used on the grass that the other machines couldn't cut, don't just walk around and trim air.... dammit! It's like I'm stuck with a retard or something. I don't remember how difficult everything was for me starting out, I think I was one of those people who quickly got the idea of what to do on the spot.


    Anyway, $4 per lawn x 4 cuts/month = $16 x infinite(clients)
    It works well for the both of us as we are both working less hours then we would any other job and he is making more with me!

    At 200 lawns being 800 visits per month he can be making $3,200/month, and finish at 2-3pm every day. Though, I will probably give his pay a cap before that. lol

  • #2
    Alright, so I got lucky and I will discuss my issue.

    I pay my guy $4.00 per lawn, after careful explanation he understood that it is well over minimum wage and it's temporary until we obtain more lawns and a third person.

    He has a lot of motivation, but he sucks at his job. I prefer it this way because I can now train him to be the best. The more difficult part is how I correct his mistakes without upsetting him - not a current issue as I seem to be slacking in quality this year myself. I don't really have the drive I used to have, but I'm sure it'll come back.

    Today we did two days work, and it was him who suggested it due to the rain tomorrow, and that made me damn proud!

    I'll admit, I do tend to get frustrated with him on his technique - using a blower takes 2 minutes, not 10! The trimmer is used on the grass that the other machines couldn't cut, don't just walk around and trim air.... dammit! It's like I'm stuck with a retard or something. I don't remember how difficult everything was for me starting out, I think I was one of those people who quickly got the idea of what to do on the spot.


    Anyway, $4 per lawn x 4 cuts/month = $16 x infinite(clients)
    It works well for the both of us as we are both working less hours then we would any other job and he is making more with me!

    At 200 lawns being 800 visits per month he can be making $3,200/month, and finish at 2-3pm every day. Though, I will probably give his pay a cap before that. lol
    I'm interested in how this all turns out Scott as I am looking at possibly hiring someone to help out on my big accounts next year.
    So at $4.00 a lawn how many lawns do you do a day/week/month??
    I figure he would need to do some were around 20 lawns a day to make minimum wage or there about ?? I maybe wrong as I have never done this before and maybe I'm missing something (it wouldn't be the first time).
    Last edited by Ducke; 07-12-2011, 08:22 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well I had more written but something happened.

      Anyways do you guys really do that many jobs? I'm lucky if we do 10 a day that is roughly $800 a month for full time work if I paid him $4 a lawn.
      Colton
      Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

      Comment


      • #4
        Surely the 40 lawns per day is a long term goal as I noticed you would cap the pay by then. Maybe consider reducing it to $3 per yard ($120per day) and say that's the bulk rate discount.

        I would love to have a two man crew doing 40 lawns per day, However, there are only a few large developments where there would be enough houses with small enough yards to make it possible to do by 2 or pm. These properties would only take 10 mins. for two guys each 6 lawns per hour (3 lawns per labor hour) would be feasible while not loading and unloading constantly. We have lowered our minimum to as low as $30 for a lot with no fencing hoping to really break out in these neighborhoods.

        Cheese, how do you see your schedule unfolding to make the 40 per day goal and is there a pricing strategy you intend on using.

        Comment


        • #5
          A two man crew should be able to manage 30 lawns per day.

          It's all about strategy.

          Know your lawns

          1. Mow the perimeter of the lawn first, this is done to leave space for you and your lawn mower to turn around efficiently, and to also make sure that you wont leave grass tufts behind when you are doing your 180 degree turns.

          2. Mow lengthwise. If you don't mow lengthwise, you are wasting a lot of time. Think of a rectangle, mowing one way takes less 180 degree turns than the other.

          * Never mow in a circular or closing-box pattern unless you are maneuvering around obstacles.

          The closing-box pattern will leave you dead center of the lawn, where you have no choice but to ruin the pattern by leaving a single and out of place line behind when you exit, etc.

          The circular pattern will look ridiculous on most properties, and you will have a lot of problems once you have no more room to continue your ever-growing circle of doom.
          [O] <- Eventually, that circle is going to leave a lot of grass left over around the corners of the square lawn, which will require you to create a new pattern which will cause the lawn to look awful.

          For the straightest and best looking lines, use curbs in the front of the house as your guide, and slowly work towards the house, or use the driveway edge (depends on the property). If you do not have a decent guide, make a lengthwise pass down the center of the property, and use that line/stripe as your guide;

          When possible, split your lawns in half and do the side opposite to the exit first. This is so that you are working towards the exit of the property and will avoid ruining your stripes.

          Always mow hills across, never up and down. You will save energy and have more control of your machine.

          Always trim from the top point of a hill and side to side, never start at the bottom. Control + energy saver!

          Trim with your left hand towards the edge/obstacle if you are right handed. A.K.A always go left (if you are right handed).

          <iframe width="425" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BBUcvk6-Iz8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
          0:18 - 1:32 = Perimeter
          1:32 - 1:40 = Preparing for my first straighline/guide
          1:40 - 1:47 = Creating my guide
          2:09 - 2:16 = Preparing for a second pattern which will be finished upon my departcher
          2:20 - 2:25 = Not letting an obstacle interfere with my main pattern
          2:43 - 2:50 = Preparing for a new pattern/splitting the lawn and mowing lengthwise
          2:56 - 3:30 = Following my guide to section off part of the lawn so that I can finish towards the exit point
          3:32 - 4:10 = Using my guide again to section off the other side of the lawn
          4:10 - 4:30 = Preparing for a new pattern/section
          4:30 - 4:39 = Mowing excess before my deparcher from this section
          4:39 - 4:43 = Following the perimiter in order to maintain my pattern
          4:43 - 4:49 = Finishing off the final section and going the opposite way as before, in order to perfect my design - and to avoid hitting the car with my tractor attachment.
          4:52 - 5:00 = Following my "perimiter first" rule




          Routine
          When you pull up to a lawn, it's always good to know what you are going to do before you get out of the truck.

          1. MOW
          2. TRIM
          3. BLOW

          The trimmer is used to cut grass in areas the mower couldn't, so it's obvious that it should be done after mowing. However, if you know the lawn well - trimming can be done first. WARNING: You may waste time if you find out you have to go start up the trimmer a second time because you may have missed a spot of grass to cut.

          Using the blower is the tool to cleanup a mess, it would be last considering the mower/trimmer leave a lot of debris around - pretty straightforward.

          Using the blower takes more skill than you think, it takes a lot of newcomers months to get it right to be efficient. An average lawn would need the driveway, street, poolside, windows, and gardens blown out to blow the grass back onto the lawn, or piled up to be bagged.

          Newbies will be seen walking back and forth with a blower, because they have yet to understand the physics of the machine. An example; imagine a bunch of grass clippings all around a garage door. No one would think that aiming the blower directly towards the garage door would bounce the air off the garage door and blow the clippings behind you. Simple.



          Having a team

          With two people, I am able to get things done immediately. On average, we each have 2 jobs per lawn.

          Tractor + Trimmer
          Self-Propelled + Blower

          If one of us is finished mowing before the other, that person is responsible for trimming.

          If one person is on the trimmer, the other person is responsible for bagging the grass from the equipment, filling our equipment up with gas, re-stringing the trimmer, etc.

          While driving, it is my workers responsibility for filling in our time of visit in our book.


          ****-

          Today we both finished mowing at the same time on a street with 3 customers. The strategy was for one of us to focus on backyards, while the other focuses on the front yards. This is so that we are never in each others way.

          However, it is damn fun to both trim the same areas together - one person focuses on obstacles (if there are many) while the other does the perimeter/hills. We will also trim the same area if we have nothing else to do.



          ********

          Depending on your level of skill, and the kind of day you are having. Lawns can be done in no time at all. It's very simple, cut the grass - get out!

          For every hour, 4.5 lawns are completed without rushing and with drive time.

          Comment


          • #6
            You guys are just talking mowing then no bushes or anything?
            Colton
            Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

            Comment


            • #7
              For sure!

              I know a few guys that do as much as they can every visit to a property, but as you grow it becomes difficult to manage. It's better to get the lawns done, then focus on the other tasks (bushes) when you have the time.

              For example for those who are doing as much as they can per visit, when you grow and time becomes an issue, your clients expectations will remain the same, as they will not understand why you can't help them out on the spot... "I mean, you used to always do this/that for me, why can't you now?" = negative.

              Never do requested work on the same day, and you will avoid that problem! Clients don't like to be told, "Not today", unless that's how you've established yourself earlier on.

              If I did an extra job every time I cut a clients lawn, I would never get ahead.
              ********-

              Anyway, everything works out well for the lawns with two people. If I get a third person, I will have that spare time to do little extra jobs while the guys are maintaining the lawns.

              Eventually I will be able to get out of doing the labor, and letting the crew handle the load. Though I am sure that I will continue my own route so that I'm never bored! The idea is to get a kid with a license, send him and my new guy out to do the lawns - every call I get I'll forward the info to my guys and they'll get the jobs done. I'll be stress free in that aspect!

              I also picked up another set of AM/FM headphones for my guy, damn I'm good! -$100 lol

              Comment


              • #8
                4.5 lawns an hour?

                I guess it depends on a lot of variables because it takes me an hour or more to do one lawn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can see the 4.5 yards an hour only if the houses are close to together and simple mowing. We did 4 houses and a front entrance to a neighborhood today in 1.5 hours... These yards are also maintained every week and had two mowers running then both got on edging, weedeating, blowing etc. Also, they really are not big yards at all.
                  2008 F-350, 2006 rzt50 23kH, 2010 tank m48 with 25kH, 16x8 vnose car hauler, echo edgers and weedeaters.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This was a great write up, and love the video.



                    A two man crew should be able to manage 30 lawns per day.

                    It's all about strategy.

                    Know your lawns

                    1. Mow the perimeter of the lawn first, this is done to leave space for you and your lawn mower to turn around efficiently, and to also make sure that you wont leave grass tufts behind when you are doing your 180 degree turns.

                    2. Mow lengthwise. If you don't mow lengthwise, you are wasting a lot of time. Think of a rectangle, mowing one way takes less 180 degree turns than the other.

                    * Never mow in a circular or closing-box pattern unless you are maneuvering around obstacles.

                    The closing-box pattern will leave you dead center of the lawn, where you have no choice but to ruin the pattern by leaving a single and out of place line behind when you exit, etc.

                    The circular pattern will look ridiculous on most properties, and you will have a lot of problems once you have no more room to continue your ever-growing circle of doom.
                    [O] <- Eventually, that circle is going to leave a lot of grass left over around the corners of the square lawn, which will require you to create a new pattern which will cause the lawn to look awful.

                    For the straightest and best looking lines, use curbs in the front of the house as your guide, and slowly work towards the house, or use the driveway edge (depends on the property). If you do not have a decent guide, make a lengthwise pass down the center of the property, and use that line/stripe as your guide;

                    When possible, split your lawns in half and do the side opposite to the exit first. This is so that you are working towards the exit of the property and will avoid ruining your stripes.

                    Always mow hills across, never up and down. You will save energy and have more control of your machine.

                    Always trim from the top point of a hill and side to side, never start at the bottom. Control + energy saver!

                    Trim with your left hand towards the edge/obstacle if you are right handed. A.K.A always go left (if you are right handed).

                    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BBUcvk6-Iz8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
                    0:18 - 1:32 = Perimeter
                    1:32 - 1:40 = Preparing for my first straighline/guide
                    1:40 - 1:47 = Creating my guide
                    2:09 - 2:16 = Preparing for a second pattern which will be finished upon my departcher
                    2:20 - 2:25 = Not letting an obstacle interfere with my main pattern
                    2:43 - 2:50 = Preparing for a new pattern/splitting the lawn and mowing lengthwise
                    2:56 - 3:30 = Following my guide to section off part of the lawn so that I can finish towards the exit point
                    3:32 - 4:10 = Using my guide again to section off the other side of the lawn
                    4:10 - 4:30 = Preparing for a new pattern/section
                    4:30 - 4:39 = Mowing excess before my deparcher from this section
                    4:39 - 4:43 = Following the perimiter in order to maintain my pattern
                    4:43 - 4:49 = Finishing off the final section and going the opposite way as before, in order to perfect my design - and to avoid hitting the car with my tractor attachment.
                    4:52 - 5:00 = Following my "perimiter first" rule




                    Routine
                    When you pull up to a lawn, it's always good to know what you are going to do before you get out of the truck.

                    1. MOW
                    2. TRIM
                    3. BLOW

                    The trimmer is used to cut grass in areas the mower couldn't, so it's obvious that it should be done after mowing. However, if you know the lawn well - trimming can be done first. WARNING: You may waste time if you find out you have to go start up the trimmer a second time because you may have missed a spot of grass to cut.

                    Using the blower is the tool to cleanup a mess, it would be last considering the mower/trimmer leave a lot of debris around - pretty straightforward.

                    Using the blower takes more skill than you think, it takes a lot of newcomers months to get it right to be efficient. An average lawn would need the driveway, street, poolside, windows, and gardens blown out to blow the grass back onto the lawn, or piled up to be bagged.

                    Newbies will be seen walking back and forth with a blower, because they have yet to understand the physics of the machine. An example; imagine a bunch of grass clippings all around a garage door. No one would think that aiming the blower directly towards the garage door would bounce the air off the garage door and blow the clippings behind you. Simple.



                    Having a team

                    With two people, I am able to get things done immediately. On average, we each have 2 jobs per lawn.

                    Tractor + Trimmer
                    Self-Propelled + Blower

                    If one of us is finished mowing before the other, that person is responsible for trimming.

                    If one person is on the trimmer, the other person is responsible for bagging the grass from the equipment, filling our equipment up with gas, re-stringing the trimmer, etc.

                    While driving, it is my workers responsibility for filling in our time of visit in our book.


                    ****-

                    Today we both finished mowing at the same time on a street with 3 customers. The strategy was for one of us to focus on backyards, while the other focuses on the front yards. This is so that we are never in each others way.

                    However, it is damn fun to both trim the same areas together - one person focuses on obstacles (if there are many) while the other does the perimeter/hills. We will also trim the same area if we have nothing else to do.



                    ********

                    Depending on your level of skill, and the kind of day you are having. Lawns can be done in no time at all. It's very simple, cut the grass - get out!

                    For every hour, 4.5 lawns are completed without rushing and with drive time.
                    www.painelesscreations.com
                    Visit us on Facebook
                    http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also to note, if you have a ztm you can get jobs done a lot faster than by just using a 21 inch mower.

                      Pros: Bigger deck, speed, less fatigue!


                      With a 21 inch mower, every job can feel like a struggle and take up to 30 mins per property with trimming and blowing. A ztm turned that 30 minutes into 5 minutes - easy!

                      Maybe I shall make another video, lol Thursday is tomorrow and I don't wanna film the same lawn again lol.. Any other lawn, the client is usually home which would be weird..... Now that I think of it, that's why I hate Fridays too, all my clients are home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yep for some reason I always prefer them not home, I am not doing anything wrong. Its just I always worry about the speed. I think if they realized how fast we do there lawns they would hate to pay us. Plus you lose the wow factor. "Wow Factor" the joy of a customer coming home to a perfect lawn as they pull into the driveway from a hard days work at there job.


                        Also to note, if you have a ztm you can get jobs done a lot faster than by just using a 21 inch mower.

                        Pros: Bigger deck, speed, less fatigue!


                        With a 21 inch mower, every job can feel like a struggle and take up to 30 mins per property with trimming and blowing. A ztm turned that 30 minutes into 5 minutes - easy!

                        Maybe I shall make another video, lol Thursday is tomorrow and I don't wanna film the same lawn again lol.. Any other lawn, the client is usually home which would be weird..... Now that I think of it, that's why I hate Fridays too, all my clients are home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                        www.painelesscreations.com
                        Visit us on Facebook
                        http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also to note, if you have a ztm you can get jobs done a lot faster than by just using a 21 inch mower.

                          Pros: Bigger deck, speed, less fatigue!


                          With a 21 inch mower, every job can feel like a struggle and take up to 30 mins per property with trimming and blowing. A ztm turned that 30 minutes into 5 minutes - easy!

                          Maybe I shall make another video, lol Thursday is tomorrow and I don't wanna film the same lawn again lol.. Any other lawn, the client is usually home which would be weird..... Now that I think of it, that's why I hate Fridays too, all my clients are home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                          With small gates and small city lots I would hardly use anything other then a 21" .
                          Until I get some bigger lawns my Toro Super Recycler will have to do the trick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yep for some reason I always prefer them not home, I am not doing anything wrong. Its just I always worry about the speed. I think if they realized how fast we do there lawns they would hate to pay us. Plus you lose the wow factor. "Wow Factor" the joy of a customer coming home to a perfect lawn as they pull into the driveway from a hard days work at there job.
                            Good point. Homeowners can't wrap their brains around paying $35-$45 for something that is completed in 15 minutes. On the other hand, if I'm busting my a$$ for 2 HOURS, they are HAPPY to pay it.

                            I just got a job today from a client who was not happy with her current (haha, I mean FORMER) lawn service. Aside from the fact that they raised her rate by ten dollars, and were overheard using foul language, "They were only here for ten minutes" was one of the comments she made to me.


                            CHEESE, your time estimate comparison is pretty accurate.
                            There's one lawn I do that takes me 20-30 minutes (with 21" Toro) to mow the back yard depending on how fast I feel like walking. The house behind it has same size lawn and their service uses a zero turn mower... FOUR freaking minutes, and he's done with the back.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the client doesn't want me using the tractor due to a bad experience with a former service provider, I say;

                              "I don't blame you, a lot of guys around here just plow their lawns without thinking. I will show you what I can do this time, and if you have any problems with the job we will find another solution. The tractors stripes look really good when done right, and I want your lawn to stand out"

                              They are always willing to let me try it, and I have yet to hear any complaints.

                              Basically, I use their bad experience as a chance to shine. I tell them,
                              "The last guy didn't have a brain - I do".

                              I remember when I used to tell people,
                              "I don't use tractors, they destroy lawns, and I want your lawn to be perfect!" LOL!


                              It's usually the elderly who are the most intimidated by bigger machines, and large groups of people working on their property. They like to watch, and pay attention to what is happening without being overwhelmed. It's not a good thing for us, but that's the way they are and we have to deal with it.

                              Comment

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