Two man lawn care crews are tough to keep productive.

It can be difficult to find good employees. Then finding ways to keep them productive is a whole other story. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, if an employee has a moment to rest, they tend to have a difficult time getting re-engaged into the work. This behavior can at times make a two man crew seem extremely unproductive.

One lawn care business owner wrote “there is no point in having a 2 man crew if only one person does all the work. I’m debating if I should keep my employee on board a little while longer to see if he can adapt, or fire him. It’s a tough call… He’s pretty useless and a big whiner.

I really just need someone who can use a trimmer and make straight lines with a mower. That’s it. Ideally the way it should work is, I use the tractor so I finish before him while he uses the walk behind. Then I can get on the trimmer. When he’s done mowing, he should be blowing debris and we’d be finished.

But the reality of it is more like… I finish with the tractor… I trim… I grab the blower… He finally loads up the mower and just stands there. There is no excuse. He’s slow and lazy. He gives me this, ‘my job is harder than yours look.’

Last Thursday I said, ‘we’re not using the tractor.’ The lawns that took him 20 minutes to just mow, I did in maybe 5-7 minutes… In total with trimming and blowing, I took 15 minutes. That aggravated him big time, I could see it in his face. ‘That’s how we’re going to stay in business,’ I said.”

A second lawn care business owner said “that is exactly why I hate having a 2 person crew. One person does all the work and the other just flutters around the yard acting like he’s busy.”

A third shared “I finally let my employee who does trimmer go. I’m still pissed about the whole situation. He did exactly what you are saying yours does. I mainly had him with another guy doing our 26 apartments and he was even worse with him because the boss wasn’t around I guess.

He’d load the trimmer up after the end of the day without string, couldn’t trim or edge no matter how many times I showed him. Sat in the truck and played with that stupid damn cell phone. Wouldn’t help unload or load at each stop. Missed spots all over the friggin place to the point that my customers were starting to complain, and would just stand by the truck when there was still blowing to do like a damn dog ready to get in the truck and leave. DRIVES ME F&#@$^& NUTS!!!

The only thing holding me back from wrapping that trimmer around his scrawny little damn head was he’s a good friend’s son. My friend keeps telling me oh he’ll get the hang of it. You can’t expect him to be perfect, he’s only 19. 19??!!! That’s not a friggin excuse!! He needs to grow the hell up and take some responsibility! Anyways, enough of the ranting. I know exactly how you feel.

I interviewed a guy last night and I think he’s gonna work out much better. He is 21 and just out of the Air Force. Good kid, doesn’t smoke (unlike me) which means he should have a good stamina for bustin’ his butt on some of these jobs and a good attitude. I’m quizzin’ him last night and he’s like all I am is a trimmer, right? I’m like yeah, why? He says, well this isn’t rocket science. I almost fell over! I was like THANK YOU! This is a no-brainer job man, you show up do your job well and get paid and go home. Trimming takes no brain power. Hell a monkey can do it and do it well. You’re hired!”

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