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jasonw
12-04-2010, 09:53 PM
So here is a good question. I have only done one leaf job this time last year at a large ranch where the rest of the year I do the lawn. I was told to just pile them all in the drive to be burned so that's what I did. I parked the truck in strategic spots, laid a tarp in it, fill it then went to where I wanted to dump and simply pulled the tarp out and dumped the leafs on the ground. Now that I am looking for business in town there is no way this can happen. I can already assume I will be removing them from the property. Now on my own properties I just run them over with the mower and let it pick them up. It leaves little shreds here and there but all in all dose a fairly descent job. Would it be unprofessional to do this at a clients house? just blow them onto the lawn then mow them up? If not how would you suggest I do it while being cost and time effective and for a normal city lot what would you charge?

Hedgemaster
12-04-2010, 10:43 PM
I'd be interested in hearing some advice as well.

I only did one "clean up" job this fall and I got tired of filling up trash bags by hand (they only hold "so" much), so I began "mulching/bagging" them with my mower instead.

It was easier to stop the mower and dump the chopped up leaves into the bag than scooping them up by hand, but it still seems less than ideal, so I didn't bother doing any other real "leaf jobs" this fall. I couldn't see how I could make any money considering all the time it takes and how FREAKING many bags I had to haul away for such a small area.

Hoping to learn more so I can do it right next fall.

I was thinking "lawn vac", but I don't know.

jasonw
12-04-2010, 10:53 PM
A lawn vac would be sweet but how many seasons would it take to pay for it? The only ones I have seen are tow behind vac and cost several thousand dollars. I did see a leaf blower/vac but you would have to empty it every 13 seconds. wast of time.

psparaco
12-04-2010, 11:27 PM
Last year i did 2 leaf jobs and raked , blown and bagged leaves by hand. took wayyyy too much time and wasnt worth my time for the money. I think one job we did our hourly average was like 3-10/hour. I know screwed myself on the bid big time. you live and learn.

This year we did a leaf bid where we came out to one of our customer's property every 2 weeks for a total of 2 visits. Each time my fiance Jessica used the blower to clear out the flower gardens and driveways and blow all the leaf debris back onto the lawn where I hit it with the tractor with the mulch cover on and rode over the leaves 2-3 passes and shredded them. We spent 30-45 min tops each visit for both visits and averaged about $80.00/hour. We just came out this past Friday and all the leaves were off the trees and we had very little leaves to clean up but overall the customer is extremely satisified with our work and already hired us for next year.

so overall,
I explain this to potential leaf cleanup customers.

we can rake and bag your leaves for XXX dollars OR

we can mulch all your leaves with our tractor/mowers and shred the leaves for a 1/3 of the cost it would with raking.

We also explain the pros and cons of doing each.


Raking and Bagging
PROS: your yard looks clean as a summer's day; no leaves or debris blowing around from windy days.
CONS: your robbing your lawn of free fertilizer its about the only one i can think of.

Mulching with mowers
PROS: no bags to put up for recycling and/or trash or us to haul away( hauling cost extra); your giving your lawn natural fertilizer. Over the winter months the shredded leaves will break down and by spring the lawns soil will be richer with nutrients; you'll spend less money on buying fertilizer for your lawn in the spring and summer of the next year.

CONS: up to a few weeks after the job is completed, the wind hits the shredded leaves and they looks like its new years eve with the ball dropping. like confetti everywhere. thats about it.

jymie
12-05-2010, 12:14 AM
The trick when you mulch up the leaves is go in a different direction from the first pass on the next pass. For example 1st pass go north/south, next pass go east/west. That will mulch up whats left much better and smaller almost to a powder. Make sure you have excellent mulching blades on the mower.

Steve
12-05-2010, 05:27 PM
I explain this to potential leaf cleanup customers.

we can rake and bag your leaves for XXX dollars OR

we can mulch all your leaves with our tractor/mowers and shred the leaves for a 1/3 of the cost it would with raking.

We also explain the pros and cons of doing each.

What kind of reactions do you get from your customers when you explain this to them?

MrLank
12-06-2010, 11:24 AM
No one likes leaf clean up? :) Friday we finished up with #16. Our process is this: Blow out all flower beds/street & drive/decks. If I'm mulching then I make sure that leaves are a foot away from all sides. If bagging, we just keep blowing leaves into a pile or multiple and bag up. My prices are about the same either way. I charge for a standard lawn anywhere from $160-$200. The way I figure my prices is basically from a mow job. If I was going to charge them $40 to mow then I multiply that by 3(amount of times I mulch the lawn)= $120. Then I add an hour for me and my helper blowing $55 and if bags are needed customer will get added the cost of bags plus $25 hauling. We can get a standard lawn done in about 1hr30min.

I am at the point of getting tired of doing them lol. It's not that it's that hard of work, it's just leaves suck. You're either fighting the wind or I really hate when they are matted to the grass.

So yeah...that's how I do it.