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View Full Version : fall clean up help!


polarisrider4life
10-02-2009, 08:49 PM
i was wondering if anyone could help me with a fall clean up problem. i bought and a little wonder high output blower 2 years ago and have learned all of the tricks to getting the best performance and power out of my blower, except when there is wind. Some of my customers have very open properties that the wind can really blow accross and i just have the toughest time blowing the leaves in any other direction than the direction the wind is blowing!! My buddy said there are "techniques" he uses to be able to work on windy days, but he wont give up any of his techniques! lol Does anyone know of anything that might help so that the leaves don't blow back over my head if i blow against the wind?

Steve
10-03-2009, 05:08 PM
Could you work with the wind and set up a tarp where you can blow a certain group of leaves into the tarp along with the wind and collect them like that?

polarisrider4life
10-09-2009, 11:07 AM
yes that could do it! a little more work and a little longer to do but i guess it's faster than sitting in front of the TV for the day haha. so simple of an idea but i never thought of it. thanks

Dumore Landscape
10-09-2009, 11:19 AM
Even a better thought, I use Snofence. Its cheap and you can reuse it again and again like a tarp. but the wind blows right through it, catching more leaves.

Steve
10-09-2009, 06:52 PM
Even a better thought, I use Snofence. Its cheap and you can reuse it again and again like a tarp. but the wind blows right through it, catching more leaves.

That is a great idea! When you are using it on a lawn how do you set it up?

Dumore Landscape
10-11-2009, 02:56 PM
Well I get my snofence from TSC. and the have those push in fence post so I use about six or so. And when I set them up I'll put them in a U shape and blow the leaves to the trap. That way if its windy I don't loose them when I vac them or bag them up. The whole process take about an hour to complete in a small lawn with about 4 trees.

Steve
10-11-2009, 07:43 PM
Thats brilliant!

I'd love to see a picture of this in use!

Do you find you do this in the front and back yard depending on the size of the property or do you always just make one leaf pen? In the front? Near your truck maybe?

How big do you make the pen? How many feet of fence would be good to use?

Do you use a truck vac to vacuum them up?

Dumore Landscape
10-11-2009, 08:29 PM
I will get some pics soon! I haven't started clean ups yet.

For me I use the snofence from TSC and it comes in like 25' rolls, I buy alot for drive ways so I use whats left over.

I will put it in the lawn about 40 ft or so away from the tree it gives me a chance to have a big work area. I use only one most of the time. Space the stakes out about 4- 5 ft apart then put the fence on the post.

I use a vac from the blower I have, its a old crapsmen...(craftsmen) I vac them into garbage cans most all the time unless its windy.

Steve
10-11-2009, 10:27 PM
Would you do something like this?

Dumore Landscape
10-13-2009, 12:38 PM
Exactly Its like a leaf corral. I use it sometimes at the golf course where i work.

polarisrider4life
10-15-2009, 03:12 PM
well i'm off to work in a little bit and i'm going to try out your idea! i got my snow fence and the blower loaded so i'm hoping you have found me the answer! I will update you guys later.

Steve
10-15-2009, 10:00 PM
Take some pictures! I look forwards to hearing your results.

Dumore Landscape
10-16-2009, 08:44 PM
Defently take pictures! I also want to know how it works out for you!

polarisrider4life
10-30-2009, 09:07 PM
sorry guys! :( I've just been overwhelmed with business the last 2 weeks!! Like seriously i can't even keep up, but everyday the photo's and testing out the snow fence on my 2 properties i need it for drives me crazy!! i really plan on getting them on but like i said, i tried door to door selling fall clean up and the results have been AMAZINGLY better than ANY form or advertising i have ever tied before so this is my craziest year yet!!!! i will get photo's on here within a week though! Sorry

Steve
10-31-2009, 08:04 AM
I am happy to hear you are so busy! And I am looking forwards to your photos!

polarisrider4life
11-17-2009, 10:17 PM
About freakin time right! lol whole thing has been a bitch but here it is. they are pictures of the property after i was done. the weekend of the 6th &7th was PERFECT with NO wind whatsoever so i did not need the snow fence thank god, although it is better than nothing haha. And my other huge account that was gonna need the snowfence, decided with the economy that he changed his mind and was going to do it by himself to save money, and my 3rd person who was gonna need it got all the leaves done herself with the weekend of the 6 &7 and 14 &15 being so perfect so i got off real easy this year with wind swept properties. You can see in the pictures that once the leaves drop off the trees in the forest surrounding the huge open side lot, the wind can just come right in and sweep right down the length of it. And just a friendly suggestion Steve! I always see people asking about advertising on your forum here and after many years of traditional advertising and this year combined with that, i can honestly say the best answer for you to tell those business owners would be word of mouth, % off for referal's and the cherry on the top and best is DOOR TO DOOR ADVERTISING!!!! It takes a Ton of time, but the return is MIND BLOWING if you tell people you will just give them a FREE no obligation estimate on the back of a business card. I filled my schedule and finished them all and just went out again and did more door to door and have almost filled all my available time again! Thanks for all the help this year Steve and everyone else who makes this site what it is!

Steve
11-18-2009, 05:26 PM
% off for referal's

What % do you suggest offering the customer for referrals? How do you advise promoting that you offer a referral %?

Where do you find the most referrals come from? From customers who are looking to get a % off or just natural referrals?

polarisrider4life
11-19-2009, 03:09 PM
i usually take 10% off if they can tell me or show me something that i KNOW they wont know without being refered. Obviously i have records of every job i've ever done and i carry copies of those records with me when advertising and when i actually do jobs, so i just look up the name of who they said they heard of me from right there when i do the new customer's estimate.

It's not terribly complex as to how i advertise it haha but i just put on flyers and tell people when i go door to door estimating that i will not be under cut by anyone and if you find a better price, WRITTEN, say like an estimate and signed, i will match it or beat it (matching or beating it all depends on how cheap it is and how reliable the other company in question is).

Where the referals come from is about 50/50. ALMOST everytime i do a job, 3 out of 4 times.....people are so pleased with my work that they ask for business cards and give them to friends and family. I did one job 2 weekends ago and the woman asked me for 4 cards plus the one i gave here when she hired me and she handed them all out! 2 of them actually brough back customers and i treated them very well for using my services. The other half just comes from people who i give estimates to going door to door. In this cut-throat business knowing your competitions price is everything so people give up written documentation of other guys prices and i beat it and they get the 10% off that way.

This past season was the best i have had in one hell of a long time! and it reminded me why i love my job! :)

On a side note, thanks for the episode of the show on the snow fence idea lol it was great.

Steve
11-20-2009, 02:14 PM
It's not terribly complex as to how i advertise it haha but i just put on flyers and tell people when i go door to door estimating that i will not be under cut by anyone and if you find a better price, WRITTEN, say like an estimate and signed, i will match it or beat it (matching or beating it all depends on how cheap it is and how reliable the other company in question is).

How often do you feel you have to undercut another bid?

What do you try to undercut it by? A certain %?

polarisrider4life
11-22-2009, 08:08 PM
it is pretty rare that i have to undercut someone else, but when i do, 100% of the time it is a low baller. There are sooooooo many ways of doing it and EVERY situation is different. Usually it is a low baller cause with this economy, people lose there jobs and go buy a mower and don't know what it costs to make money and operating costs so they price low. When i do come across this problem, i do some hw and investigate the other guy, see his work, and other things, then i will go 5-10% off there price, match it, or if it is just WAY to freakin low then i will give a price a little higher so i'm at least not losing money and if its really that bad, i give the homeowner my price and say i'm sorry but i can't even cover operating costs muchless make any profit, so this is as low as i can go and i let them think bout it. I only do not match or go higher than other guys if its dirt low and ill be losing a ton of money, but like i said, it almost never happens (happened to me once in 6 years) where the guy gives a low price and is reliable and does a good job for his low ball price.

Steve
11-22-2009, 08:34 PM
That is fascinating!

How often with the leaf cleanups do you find you are able to get the customer to sign up for other services as well and possibly even lawn care for the next season?

polarisrider4life
11-30-2009, 04:30 PM
i would say less than 10%. Before the economy hit the fan, it was wayyyy easier to get additional jobs! Now with the tuff times and people stretching every dollar as far as it can possibly go, customers are VERY closely watching there money. Within the last 2 years, my records have shown extremely obvious falls......if people can do it themselves or think they can in there wildest imaginations, they will try to do it themselves even if they never have before. With leaves, us lawn care companies have A TON of leverage because it takes the average homeowner about 2 sold weekends of raking to do there leaves. If we give them a price of $100, some things are still very worth the money to them because they hate it that much or just dont want to spend the time on it. Older folks though i have found that 9 out of 10 times i can sell them one or more of my services. For example maybe they are not able to rake anymore and hire me for leaves, i give them my price and get to talk with them and they get quite curious as to how low i am on my other services if the leaf quote i just gave them was that low. (i do go low ta fair, but im not a low baller!......for the record lol)