cleansing of open spaces (picking up litter, emptying bins, etc.)
maintenance of hard surfaces (like basketball and tennis courts)
It is a big list, but there aren’t any surprises here. One thing that wasn’t mentioned but could technically be on this list is interior landscape maintenance. It sounds fancy, but it basically refers to the installation and maintenance of indoor gardens.
Organizations that need ground maintenance
Every organization that owns a facility will need some form of ground maintenance. That being said, if you own a building that is in the city core, it is likely that you do not have a lot of outside property that needs to be maintained. The little you do is covered by your building maintenance team.
What we’re going to focus on here are businesses and organizations that have a greater need for grounds maintenance. Since they are so many of them, we will try to roughly split them into the following groups:
organizations with a lot of space outside of their facility (schools, college campuses, select fitness facilities, resorts…)
places where appearance is very important (apartment complexes, shopping centers, theme parks, hotels, zoos, botanical gardens…)
sports fields (golf courses, football stadiums, and other similar sports locations)
different public properties (like public parks, cemeteries, memorial gardens…)
This is by no means an all-encompassing list. However, it gives a good feel for locations that need a strong grounds maintenance strategy.
Types of ground maintenance workers
In general, ground maintenance workers do not require any formal education as they are trained on the job. That being said, some employers might ask for certifications or formal education in areas such as horticulture or landscape design.
Groundskeepers: groundskeeping workers are responsible for mowing the lawn, caring for plants and trees, snow removal, lawn care, upkeep of sidewalks, parking lots, fountains, fences, groundskeeping equipment, and similar.
Greenskeepers: are groundskeepers of golf courses; they do everything stated above plus some specialized golf course-related tasks like relocating holes and repairing tee markers.
Landscaping workers: plant flowers, trees, and shrubs; fertilize, mulch, and trim all plants; can help with installing systems like lighting and sprinklers.
Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators: they work on preventing or controlling weeds, insect infestations, and diseases by applying herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides; they can also work with fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals to stimulate growth and solve other lawn problems.
Tree trimmers and pruners (a.k.a. arborists): use chain saws, chippers, stump grinders, and power pruners to clear dead/excess branches from trees and shrubs to clear utility lines, roads, and sidewalks; might specialize in diagnosing and treating tree diseases or creating ornamental trees and shrubs.
All of these grounds maintenance jobs come in many variations with a lot of overlapping responsibilities. For instance, here is a screenshot from RaiseMe that lists out common careers for grounds maintenance workers:
If you have an in-house ground maintenance team, you obviously won’t hire 20 different people so each can perform one specialized task. Depending on the size of the property that needs to be maintained and the scope of the tasks that need to be covered, you will hire an appropriate amount of people that will have diverse responsibilities.
At the end of the day, nobody is stopping you to occasionally hire a third-party contractor to execute a specialized task that is outside of the expertise of your internal team.
Those that do not want to go through the trouble of managing an internal team will look to hire a professional grounds maintenance company.
Both are completely viable approaches that come with their own set of pros and cons. We recently wrote about property maintenance where we discussed the pros and cons of building an internal maintenance team and outsourcing everything to a vendor. Since used points translate well into the context of grounds maintenance, here’s that comparison table:
In essence, the main difference is that when you have an internal team, you can use a CMMS or other maintenance platforms to have detailed insight into performed work and its costs. With outsourcing, you have less control, but more time to focus on other important tasks.
Facilities that have a lot of ground to cover might find it easier to just outsource everything. While there are some platforms out there like Thumbtack that could help you find local ground maintenance professionals, your best bet is to google grounds maintenance companies in your city and review those that leave the best impression. If you have business partners or friends that might be already using such services, reach out and see if they have anyone to recommend.
Finding a trusted company will ensure that the grounds are routinely maintained and get the attention they deserve.
"This is one of the most easiest CMM Systems I have used. With unbelievable response times to questions. The Limble staff is very helpful. With this system, our equipment downtime has been cut by 20%."
— Gordon Shanks
Sunbelt Forest Products
Great product at a great price
"Terrific customer service, easy to use, and at a great value. Our old Maintenance software was very difficult to use and was very expensive."
— Brian Williams
Over all very good
"Nice layout and easy to use. Email alerts are very useful, and the comparison between planned and unplanned is very helpful"
— Paul Sheppard
A very simple and elegant CMMS system
"If you've had prior experience with CMMS systems, Limble is very intuitive. The ability to view and use the software on multiple platforms is very advantageous. I was able to become proficient and launched the system after only 2 weeks. Support from Limble is fantastic - very prompt and they work well with you to truly understand your questions."
— Robert Toth
"Great experience. Solved our obvious PM tracking issues but also addressing our SHE&S requirements (safety audit task tracking), Environmental checks are being logged, Corporate Audit items tracked"
— Michael Babcock
Very easy to use, functionality is great
"I can track my inventory and it sends me emails when I'm running low on an item. Also that I can track how much time I'm spending on certain jobs over an extended period of time."
— Cody Jensen
Download our Preventative Maintenance Checklist
Take the management stress away from preventative maintenance.
Cheat-sheet to better productivity and reliability
Steps we've learned over years working with thousands of customers
Important tips to help you avoid common costly pitfalls when creating your PM plan