When prospective pooper scoopers contact me for coaching, one question that comes up often is “How many yards can you clean in a day?”
The answer is…it depends. There are several conditions that will affect the number of yards you can clean in a day.
Size of the yard
Central Kentucky’s landscape is interesting because it has a blend of overlapping urban and rural areas. Some of the wealthier neighborhoods have large lots in a rural setting and some neighborhoods have small lots in an urban setting. I can clean a quarter acre lot in ten minutes or less. I can clean an acre lot in 40 minutes. The average yard takes about 25-30 minutes to clean.
In urban settings, houses are closer together. The opposite is true in rural settings, houses are further apart. How much time you spend driving depends on the distance between stops, traffic flow, road closures, and other driving conditions. In rural settings, it could take twenty minutes to drive to the next stop, while in urban settings driving to the next stop could take as little as six minutes.
Two times a week, I travel to Louisville, Kentucky to clean yards. From my home, that’s about an hour drive. Because of this, I know that I have one less hour to clean yards on days I go to Louisville. Another time constraint that I deal with is having to pick up my children from day care and my wife from work. To pick the boys up by 4:30, and still have time to pick my wife up at 5:00, I have to leave my last stop by 3:30 p.m. That means I have a shorter work day on the days I work in Louisville.
Time since last cleaning
Initial cleanings usually take longer because dog owners have likely not cleaned up the yard in a long time. These first time cleanups can take an hour or more to service.
Routine cleanings often take less time because waste has not had time to accumulate.
Number of dogs
The more dogs a household has, the longer it will take to clean the yard. The obvious reason is because more dogs equals more poop. The more poop in the yard, the more often your grid pattern will be interrupted as you stop to scoop.
What I can do
Based on my experience cleaning yards, I have on record yards that take as little as eight minutes to as much as 40 minutes to clean. The average of these is 24 minutes. Factor in driving time and on average, it takes about 30 minutes to clean a yard. That means in an hour, I could feasibly clean 2 yards. That means in an eight hour work day, I could clean up to 16 yards. In a six hour work day, I could clean up to 12 yards.
At this stage in my business, I am not at full capacity. On some days, I clean as few as 5 yards. There is at least one day a week that I am at full capacity, cleaning 16 yards.
I could improve my capacity by hiring an individual to help service yards. In this way, if we both are capable of cleaning 2 yards per hour, our effective capacity would increase to 4 yards per hour. However, I am not quite ready to make that leap yet. I’d like to get my customer list up to about 64 customers before I hire someone to help me.