I know us Landscapers work our nuts off. And thought it'll be interesting to discuss just how hard we work and for how long. How long is a interesting one for me as I'll explain.
I'm currently working on a medium sized contract, an hours drive each way. I get up at 6am, leave 6.45..arrive on site just before 8am. Crack on with the day's schedule. I'm tackling this project on my own ( yes, it's one of those jobs! ) A back garden with access only via an alley way and three neighbours gardens. With the skip round the front, all rubbish is taken through neighbours gardens. Materials in and having completed 57 linear metres of 8' concrete post, panel featheredge with 12'' concrete gravel boards..I can tell you carrying those materials through is bloody hard work. 37 sleepers also recently carried through..on my own remember!
I work through to 5. Stopping only for a quick bite to eat if hungry. I don't go beyond 5, as I've an hours drive to do.
Now, having been in the game for a long time. I can recall the old days when starts were 7.30 with late finishers to 6.. occasionally 7 during the summer. Those hours are mad, and if one works at the rate, usually by 4pm one starts getting sloppy, with mistakes being made. I recall working for a company and my bug bear was some eejit suggesting at 4pm to tackle some complicated cuts. Sod that..morning is the best time for me to deal with the tricky brain teasers.
So, tell me what are your hours of work and also just how productive are you and your team throughout the day?
start 8-30am/9am have half hour dinner and finish between 4 and 5pm, very rarely later than 6pm.
I only work 4 days as my wife works monday and sat so I spend these days with my young son.
Don't earn a fortune as you've probably guessed but am happy with this balance of work and family life.
I do normally work as a team of two..sometimes three. But due to relocation etc, I'm having to start up again from scratch and not exactly stacked out with work at the minute so happy to do this one on my own.
Gary @ Acer Paving & Landscaping said:
One thing I forgot to say in my previous response was that I started in this business with one employee. I admire your hard work Clive, but I've never seen hard landscaping as something that can be done viably / economically by one person.
Depending on where we are working we are all at base for 7.30am, then either get things organised, bits and pieces to do, or straight to jobs if further afield.
Would love to finish at 5pm every day, but at this time of year 6-7 is more realistic - need to get little extra done to stop it piling up or going into weekend. 5 days a week for me, boys sometime will do a Saturday, and I am currently working on my own garden and fitting out new office too.
Hours of work, well okay.
08:00 till 16:00 Monday to Friday from January 2nd/3rd till December 24th. Paperwork etc. is for the evening.
Holiday - December 25th till January 2nd/3rd but at least that is every year.
Along with this, we open every Saturday 09:00 till 12:00. Then spraying/watering on a Saturday afternoon/Sunday as we cannot do so with customers around.
51 or so weeks a year working, and yes we still go into check our plants over Xmas.
Why do we do it? Because we love it, and would not wish to change it.
Varies really. Today awake at 5.15, out of house at 5.45, 45 mile drive to meet up with the guy I subby to at 7.00, then another 20 mile drive in van to first job. All chipped and away by 10.45. Another 20ish miles to job number 2, break for lunch, fuel up, onto to last job, tip the chip and logs at the yard, back to drop off kit, pick up car and off home by 3.15. Back in house for cuppa by 4.40ish. Knackered. I'm off to bed now I think!
I've come into this business from a different world and perspective - one that started at 4.30am and finished at 7pm - seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Overnight call outs sometimes 2-3 times a night. Thats dairy farming for you.
I was a lot younger then - now I'm content with 5- 6 days a week working from 8.30am to 5pm ( ish) on the job and as Gary has intimated fitting in the admin and quotes etc after the physical work has been completed often doing this on Sundays or week day evenings.
I don't know if this is/was some sort of conditioning but from about the age of 11-12 that was what I was expected to do and I can remember working at midnight and still being required to get up at 5pm from a young age. Excellent!
So considering everything in reality I've slowed down as I've got older - you do. Its an inevitable factof life.
At 48 yrs of age and as a one man band for 8 years its time to work smarter, perhaps not quite so hard and I've got help and more help and there's more machinery and I'm working towards a big fat back seat role supervising and managing.
One can do - two to three can do one hell of a lot more in less time and more efficiently.
I'm looking at 5-6 potentially and I'll also ditch the Sunday work.
My brothers 50 this year - he still works 4.30am to 7-8pm, then does his admin etc 7 days a week. Overnight call outs...and still has time to do triathlons and marathons, "fun runs".......there must be a completely and utterly mad gene in our family!
8am-5pm, no weekends...whats that all about?
Just joking guys...before the back lash begins;-)
At the moment I am solely concentrating on maintenance, and find there are not enough hours in the day/week/month to get it all done. The longer I work, never ever seems to clear the backlog and new jobs that come in. On the plus side 95% of my work is within 2 miles of my house. So it means I can load the van, be on a job within 2 minutes of leaving the house. This is a big bonus for me because I have to take Tuesdays off to look after my two young boys whilst my wife works. On the "working" days it would be 8 till 5.30 with lunch between jobs. Some Sundays at the moment as well. I've never added up admin/planning time, It would depress me too much
I think this ties in a bit with the business plans/dreams thread.
I try and avoid working at all Sundays and aim to finish Saturday lunch time, it doesn't always work but I hit that target most weeks. During the week hours are fairly long.
A 7.30 start is essential here, so we can avoid the 'school run' which is a nightmare - a 10min run can end up as 40! We finish at 5 in the summer, 4 in the winter and definately no weekend work - life's too short.
In the gardens 7.30/8.00 am, usually get home 5-6, maybe earlier some days.
5 days a week, weekends are precious and I'll never take on an amount of work which
would tip me in to Sat/Sun.
Work to live, or live to work?
hello landscapers and fellow maintenance people! I'm a very young senior citizen so I don't believe in too early a start! I work 9.45am til about 6 - usually had enough by then. Try not to do too many 2 hour jobs - that I find is more tiring than a good 4 hour stretch followed by a quick lunch, then a 3 hour stretch in the afternoons. 5 days a week - my garden takes precedence at the weekends. In the height of the season I am really gardening 7 days a week. What's that about all work and no play ....?!