Turf Magazine - May, 2013

FEATURES

In Your Own Words: Do You Work Seven Days a Week?

Lawn care and landscape professionals speak out

JimsLocalLawn: I work seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and even on rainy days I am working on equipment. We have four seasons here so I only have about six months of mowing, and gotta hustle to get it done!

I don't feel like I could ever get burnt out from the work because I enjoy doing this!

So how many of you are working seven days a week? How much work is too much?

Kidmows: We never work Sundays. Sometimes Saturdays if we are overloaded with work or get a little behind because of rain, but never Sunday.

gcbailey: Same here. We do 10-hour days and Monday through Friday is more than enough, but there is that occasional Saturday due to rain or whatever.

orangemower: I wish there were 10 days in a week. I'd have three more days to work.

dstifel: I work six to seven days a week depending on rain. Every year I say no more weekends; lasts about a week then I get behind from rain and spend the rest of the season fighting to get caught back up.

Patriot Services: Our season is way too long for seven days. I work the crews and tech about 50 to 55 hours a week during the growing season. Saturdays are for special projects or things that ran long. Sometimes I bring a guy to help me with repairs and detail trucks on Saturday. Florida is way too much fun to work all the time. They get good checks and I want them to have family and fun time.

LandFakers: Usually six days. Save Sundays for relaxing, working around the house or to make up mowing if I get rained out on a mowing day.

GrassGuerilla: Depends on the "extras". Cleanups and one-timers can mean six and seven-day weeks in spring and fall. Anything other than Monday through Friday is strictly voluntary. Sundays are getting rarer. A day to recharge and spend time with family is important.

Besides, servicing a property while the customer is home is a mixed bag. While a great opportunity to walk and talk, selling the extras and projects, it's seldom the quick productive "rain day make-up" we imagine.

smallstripesnc: I work Monday through Friday. Blades on at 9 a.m. and I get off when I'm done, which is usually around 5 to 7 p.m.

zechstoker: My route is Monday through Friday. I get rolling at/around 8 a.m., and finish most days by 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays are my days off, and I try to keep it that way best I can. If some special job has to be done that can't fit in during the weekdays, I'll sacrifice some time on Saturday for it. Certainly not working on Sundays though. That's my "house work" day, at least while the lady's at her retail job.

MTenterprises: I will only do commercial on a Sunday if they are closed, but never a residential on a Sunday.

Smokenjoe_10: Depending on how the lawns grow, I work seven days a week no matter what, farming when I don't need to mow.

pseudosun: If I didn't have downtime, I'd be miserable, so I have no interest in working seven days. I try to push hard so I can wake up Saturday and not have to worry about working.

weeze: I got into lawn care to escape the rat race of life. I work five days a week, really only four and Friday is a makeup day for rain or anything extra. I've worked on Saturday a few times, but it's a rare thing. I never work on Sunday.

herler: I haven't had much choice. In my 12th year I'm north of 10 percent past my all-time record number of jobs, I'm backed up so far I tell people it's going to be a month or two and still they ask me to put them on. Some days I get up at 3:30 a.m. and by the time I sit down again it's 11 p.m. The last nine days I did 1,650, which I'm sure is low by some accounts, but I've got mouths to feed, equipment in need of parts, cars and trucks that need replacing, bank balances continuously running low, the list is never ending.

I haven't been this busy since I can't remember when. So yeah, I worked the last two or three Sundays.

weeze: I guess I just don't understand, but why work seven days a week? Why not just hire another guy and get it all done in five days? Or just let some of the customers go? Gotta know when to say when.

It's an ongoing cycle. The more you make the more you buy so the more you have to make to keep up.

I don't know, just curious. I worked on a crew of three people back in college. We did 10 yards a day, made about $500 a day average. We never worked Saturdays or Sundays. If it rained we just picked up where we left off the next working day, so if it rained Friday we just mowed Friday's yards on Monday.

JCLawn and more: I usually work five 12- to 16-hour days, and Saturday is usually six to 14 hours and Sunday depends on what's going on. If I had rain during the week it can turn into a 10- to 16-hour day really fast.

ddixon7: Six to seven days a week here. I mow all commercial stuff on Saturdays, but sometimes that spills over to Sunday. Residentials during the week and rarely does that spill into Saturday. I try to front load my schedule to allow Fridays for make-up rain days.

hi_speedreed: You guys are crazy. If I had to work seven days a week to make it I would sell it all and go back to my old job. You either have too many bills or you just love money. Three to four days a week, five max, and that only happens a couple times a year.

Caddyshack Lawn Care: I'm solo, so seven days a week is the norm for me, weather-permitting. Especially this time of year I have to just because I wouldn't be able to keep up otherwise. As the grass slows I adjust my schedule so that I mow fewer lawns each day. I'm not the kind of person who can bust my tail, then slow to a snail's pace on the weekends, then speed back up. Plus, my arrangements with customers is that I mow when it needs it, and this time of year most lawns need mowed every three to five days. Once summer hits and it warms up I usually just work a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

With that said, I like the flexibility that working on weekends offers. If the family wants to take a day off to do something together, it's never a problem."

"In Your Own Words" is contributed from the lawn care and landscape forum at www.LawnSite.com, which was named one of 10 Great Media Sites by Media Business magazine, and has been chosen as a winner of the Most Engaged Media Brands for 2010 by min, a firm that tracks the media industry. Visit them, and join in the discussions.