How fast do your employees mow? Do your estimated man hours match your actual man hours?
Maybe lawn care isn’t ALL about speed, but we both know that speed and efficiency are top priority when you are watching your man hours! Man hours are what you’re basing your quotes on, so you need them to be as accurate as possible. How can you improve on these numbers to increase your efficiency?
If you just save 2 minutes on each lawn you mow, a 12 property day takes you 24 minutes less time – and 5 days of that means you are saving 2 hours!! Imagine the money you could make getting 2 extra hours to mow every week.
I know companies that were able to add 1-2 extra days of work to each crew by being more efficient (a lot of that was due to piece work mentality).
Using the piece work system allows your employees to think more like owners. They’ll take fewer breaks, look after the equipment better, and start making better decisions about their time and yours!
We said besides speed, efficiency was the other top priority. Using piece work helps in that area as well. Most people think it goes against common sense – more speed means more mistakes. It’s actually the opposite. Using piece work will weed out the under-performing employees, leaving only the best employees to do the job quickly and efficiently.
See the video below for an example of a pretty efficient crew.
Here’s an example of cutting man hours effectively.
This is how mowing usually goes for our guys (we run 2 man crews).
Pull up and park.
0-0:20 seconds. Mower comes off the truck and starts cutting (velke dropped if walk behind, blades engaged). Second man grabs trimmer or 2nd mower depending on property.
0:20 seconds – 6:00 Guy on big mower finishes front starts on backyard. Guy trimming/using small mower starts blowing the front sidewalk/driveway/back patios.
6:00 – 10:00 Finish blowing, hopefully if the timing was correct both guys end up at the truck at the same time. Total man hours = 20:00 minutes (10 minutes x 2 guys).
Based on that a property like this would be $15.00 per cut ( 20 minutes/60 minutes * $45 company hourly goal).
But there is travel time, and you need to build in some time for Spring time growth, so what we would actually bid on a job like this (if it’s near our route) would be around $25-30
20 minutes to do the job +
15 minutes travel time / built in extra (7.5 minutes per man)
= 35 minutes / 60 minutes in an hour *$45 company goal= $26.25
Want to see what I mean? Checkout this video!
To learn more about how to watch your man hour rating, see this post.