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phouse65
09-17-2012, 05:02 PM
I was wondering how to deal with the customers that do not want fall cleanup or leaf removal, but you end up mowing their leaves up every week? Do you add a leaf removal fee anyway? Just looking for some suggestions on how to deal with this issue.

LawnBoy0311
09-17-2012, 06:11 PM
Rule #1. If you don't take care of the customer, someone else will.

On that note, sometimes its best to do a little extra.

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-17-2012, 07:42 PM
This really matters more on your area. Where Im at the leaves keep falling for another month after the mowing season has ended. So we'll either come back and do the clean up or do it in spring.

I cant really see you adding a charge because theres leaves on the ground when your mowing. On the other hand I wouldnt blame you for driving around piles of it either.

Lopes Lawn Care
09-17-2012, 07:49 PM
Yeah I run into the same thing here in ct. I usually keep mowing until the leaves have fallen to a point were mowing becomes very messy. Then i usually come back once they're all down and do a clean up. All i have is a couple walk behinds and the bagging on those things suck. Especially with leaves so it does become a pain and a bit more work. I usually charge a bit more for bagging and hauling the stuff away.

Can't wait for that ztr to come into my life someday. Can't fu**ing wait@!

Hedgemaster
09-17-2012, 08:55 PM
I think he has a valid question and I don't see how anyone should be expected to do twice the work for no extra pay.

A few leaves are OK to mow, but when the lawn is completely covered and the grass is still actively growing, why should they get a free leaf cleanup?

It's one thing if you've already factored this into your pricing way back in spring, but if you had no idea the lawn would be this way (not all lawns are like this - trees, or no trees), your pricing surely isn't "padded" enough to compensate you for the extra time and work of doing a cleanup just so you can them mow the lawn.

I have one client that I have been blowing off leaves before mowing for at least 5 weeks now - there are so many that you can barely see the grass. The only reason I don't charge for it is because her lawn borders some woods and I can quickly blow them into that area. If there were homes next to her, what would I DO with all the leaves? Gather them up and take them with me? For FREE?
I think not.

Grass Doctor
09-17-2012, 09:03 PM
do you bag when u mow :confused:

Lopes Lawn Care
09-17-2012, 09:57 PM
Exactly hedge, i tend to do the same. I blow off if its quick and there are woods near by. If that's not possible i do bag but i charge a bit more for it. Once it's gotten bad and no longer baggable by me I then stop mowing and then do a clean up. Most of my customers are o.k. with this but others give me a hard time about the bagging thing. It's definitely more work which equals mo money, mo money, mo money (In Living Color reference for those to young to remember the show). I think having a ztr with a collection system comes in handy BIG time this time of year.

http://static.zoovy.com/img/gkworld/W231-H166-Bffffff/T/im2078.gif

Hedgemaster
09-17-2012, 10:10 PM
do you bag when u mow :confused:


Bag???



Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!


No.

stevef1201
09-18-2012, 07:39 AM
Now I realize that you yankees do not have this option, but, I charge the same amount every month as I mow 12 months of the year. Leaf clean up is part of the charge. Example: I have a 1/4 acre lot with a house, charge 125 a month for 12 months. Thats 1500 a year for 42 mowings, or about 35 a cut.
8 of those are primarily for leaf clean up, and some grass mowing.

dpld
09-18-2012, 08:19 AM
Rule #1. If you don't take care of the customer, someone else will.

On that note, sometimes its best to do a little extra.



thanks you so much master jenkinson for giving me yous 25 dollaz to mow your lawn.
i am in debt to you for giving me such a opportunity, don'ts worry about those leaves i will takes care of it cause lordy knows i hits the lottery when i found you.


that is a bunch of poppycack, you do a great service for a reasonable price but you don't do squat for free.
if they don't want a clean up and they are not paying for bagging and disposal then you throw on some gator blades and let it fly.

like a deli is gonna throw some extra crap on your sandwich because you are already spending 5 bucks on it or a pizza place is gonna give you a free topping because you are paying 10 bucks for a plain pie, yeah right.

that is how you make money and if you play paddy cake with your customers and throw in free service because you fear they are gonna whip you to the curb then you got a crappy customer or you are a crappy businessman or both.

too many landscapers own jobs and not businesses and the thing that cracks me up is they would rather own a job and take crap from all the people they work for then just show up and take crap from one person by getting a job.

spare me the you got to start somewhere line because with that attitude thats the way it will always be.

sorry, i am not trying to be a deek just telling it like it is and is and it angers me to see hard working people get crapped on from their clients.
you own a business in hopes of making more money then you could possibly ever imagine and you own a business so you don't have to work in fear of losing your job.
customers come and go and it is not like the old days where you may have 60 of the same clients for 10 years.

phouse65
09-18-2012, 09:46 AM
Yes, I do bag all of the grass and leaves. The leaves are falling earlier this year and it is making a normal mowing job double in time.

phouse65
09-18-2012, 09:50 AM
I was wondering how to deal with the customers that do not want fall cleanup or leaf removal, but you end up mowing their leaves up every week? Do you add a leaf removal fee anyway? Just looking for some suggestions on how to deal with this issue.
I do bag when I mow.

dpld
09-18-2012, 10:50 AM
Yes, I do bag all of the grass and leaves. The leaves are falling earlier this year and it is making a normal mowing job double in time.


well if you already bagging anyway but you are finding that you are collecting more debris tell the customers that you will need to charge a modest dump fee in addition to the standard costs to help offset the cost of disposal.

if you are leaving debris on property in a compost pile then you are only adding time.

it would also be a good opportunity to sell them on a fall clean up.


being in the fall you are using your mower to pick up most of the leaves as they drop i usually charge a extra 1/3 of the weekly service to compensate the leaf disposal and the little extra time to dust the beds onto the lawn for the machine to pick the leaves up each week.

and then the final time we are on each property they get a once over the entire property and beds and lots and get billed a final clean up.

we incur many expenses through out the year and with fuel bieng at or near 4 bucks a gallon everything in our business cost more.
dumping fees go up fuel cost goes up materials costs go up nursery stock goe up fertilizer goes up.

every thing we do and buy in this business is in accordance to fuel prices and you need to charge according or these hidden costs add up and put you in the poor house.
when you are eeking by the quality of your service is the first thing to falter.

Early Bird Lawn Service
09-18-2012, 11:08 AM
Go The Extra Mile- Always do more than you're paid to do in a positive mental attitude. Then the law on compensation will take care of you. True Fact

Hedgemaster
09-18-2012, 12:00 PM
I trimmed some overgrown shrubs the other day since they were unsightly and the owner didn't have the extra money to pay to have them done.
The utility company reduced my bill by $30 this month for doing so. (not)


It's one thing to do good and to put in a little extra effort from time to time, but charity will never, ever, ever pay your bills.

phouse65
09-18-2012, 12:13 PM
Thank you for all the replies to our issue. For those who don't want leaf removal.... we will take off the bags. Easy enough. Thanks again. :D

Martywdx
09-18-2012, 12:22 PM
Go The Extra Mile- Always do more than you're paid to do in a positive mental attitude. Then the law on compensation will take care of you. True Fact


I agree. Just the other day I was paid 200.00 for 2 hrs work of helping one of my clients son move some boxes and some light furniture.
I get many jobs like that because my clients know I go the extra mile. without making an issue.

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-18-2012, 12:55 PM
I agree. Just the other day I was paid 200.00 for 2 hrs work of helping one of my clients son move some boxes and some light furniture.
I get many jobs like that because my clients know I go the extra mile. without making an issue.

I have a customer that hires me without a bid everytime. I just name my price and they pay it. They needed help moving. Just 2 guys to move the boxes, no truck. I told them it would be about $70 a hour for reference. We did it in 2 1/2 hours. I charged them $210. They gave me and my guy $60 tips each. Then gave us these german petal cars that sell for $250 a piece. We sold them both for $150. Then they tell me to bill them to get the beds in shape, mow, and remove a bush. That was another $350.

Charge for the work you do. Youll get paid for it. If you dont you wont. Its that simple.

LawnBoy0311
09-18-2012, 12:55 PM
thanks you so much master jenkinson for giving me yous 25 dollaz to mow your lawn.
i am in debt to you for giving me such a opportunity, don'ts worry about those leaves i will takes care of it cause lordy knows i hits the lottery when i found you.


that is a bunch of poppycack, you do a great service for a reasonable price but you don't do squat for free.
if they don't want a clean up and they are not paying for bagging and disposal then you throw on some gator blades and let it fly.

like a deli is gonna throw some extra crap on your sandwich because you are already spending 5 bucks on it or a pizza place is gonna give you a free topping because you are paying 10 bucks for a plain pie, yeah right.

that is how you make money and if you play paddy cake with your customers and throw in free service because you fear they are gonna whip you to the curb then you got a crappy customer or you are a crappy businessman or both.

too many landscapers own jobs and not businesses and the thing that cracks me up is they would rather own a job and take crap from all the people they work for then just show up and take crap from one person by getting a job.

spare me the you got to start somewhere line because with that attitude thats the way it will always be.

sorry, i am not trying to be a deek just telling it like it is and is and it angers me to see hard working people get crapped on from their clients.
you own a business in hopes of making more money then you could possibly ever imagine and you own a business so you don't have to work in fear of losing your job.
customers come and go and it is not like the old days where you may have 60 of the same clients for 10 years.

You are the PERFECT guy to take clients from. Unfortunatly, your attitude runs off on your clients. When your out there nickle and diming your customers to death, you never ask yourself why your still out there doing the back breaking work??? When I finish my part on the lawn, and my guy has the blower, FIND SOMETHING TO DO! There's nothing wrong with pulling a few weeds while your guy finishes up. Don't sit in the truck and say "I won't touch that because Mr. Customer won't give me an extra $2.50!" Now adays its all about SERVICE.

The guy posting made it sound like, to me, that he was bagging. Sorry OH MIGHTY DPLD if I don't read things the same as you.

willshome
09-18-2012, 01:30 PM
When I finish my part on the lawn, and my guy has the blower, FIND SOMETHING TO DO!

I think dpld has more than one blower and would help his guy, I mean "GUYS"

For me it's all about how long they have been getting weekly mows. If they have been getting mowed since early spring non stop then we will clean up a few leafs (on the lawn)

AkersLawn
09-18-2012, 01:30 PM
Obviously there are two sides to this issue. One being, it is best business practice to charge for every service, and the other being to charge for a service, and go above and beyond that service for the same pay.
What I wonder, is when you charge for every service, do you have any sort of agreement with your customer that when the trees or bushes need trimmed, you will either bid on it, or get paid more for it? Or are the extra services taboo until the customer asks about it?
And when you just do a little extra here and there, what happens when you trim the 3 small trees, and when the big one comes around for half a days work, do you just take that too or risk your client being upset because you've just 'always done it' ?

I have this all planned out the best way i thought up this fall. Simply ask your client. Find out if they are looking for 100% ground maintenance from you, or if they just want a weekly mowing. Work it out before hand. If not, you will end up with more work than you can handle, or not enough work to keep you busy all year. not to mention unsteady pay.

Hedgemaster
09-18-2012, 01:37 PM
I think you really need to SEE the lawn in question before laying out an opinion as to what is the right thing to do.
Everyone's situation is different - different lawns, equipment, rates, etc.
One man can blow through the extra work without it making a dent in his schedule, or income, while another will be definitely feel the hit of taking on the extra work.

dpld
09-18-2012, 01:41 PM
You are the PERFECT guy to take clients from. Unfortunatly, your attitude runs off on your clients. When your out there nickle and diming your customers to death, you never ask yourself why your still out there doing the back breaking work??? When I finish my part on the lawn, and my guy has the blower, FIND SOMETHING TO DO! There's nothing wrong with pulling a few weeds while your guy finishes up. Don't sit in the truck and say "I won't touch that because Mr. Customer won't give me an extra $2.50!" Now adays its all about SERVICE.

The guy posting made it sound like, to me, that he was bagging. Sorry OH MIGHTY DPLD if I don't read things the same as you.

nobody ever said anything about nickle and dimeing people to death but depending where you live the fall leaf season can be a couple hard months with a ton of leaves, as is the case in my region.

if i were to " throw that in " or " go the extra mile " as you say i would we doing everyones clean ups and removing a seasons worth of leaves for lawn mowing prices and working for free.

if it is so minimal then the subject would not need discussing and if it is a lot then it needs to be addressed.

so you say i am the perfect guy to take clients away from and you don't know squat about who i am and how i operate and you think based on a post about charging someone extra for a substantial amount of work that you think i am some arrogant @sswipe that can not hold onto customers.
you also say that as if you have any clue and would even be capable of the task of taking anything away from my operation.

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-18-2012, 01:54 PM
This is why I said it matters on your area. In my parts leaf clean ups run $300-$800. Theres no way I'm going to do that for mowing prices. Not to mention it would be close to impossible to mow a foot deep pile of leaves.

I will mow the leaves till the end of october and commercial clients till nov 15th. Now the reason I keep mowing the commercial clients is to make the clean up easier because the clean up is part of the contract. Then Ill show up and clean the rest out.

For the residential clients if theres a pile of leaves like that I will work around it and explain why. Clean ups are a big part of the year for me. I will not do it for next to free. Charging double the mowing price will not even be close to covering cost.

LawnBoy0311
09-18-2012, 02:07 PM
Down here where I am, leaves aren't that big of a deal. But when I lived in MA, they were a HUGE deal. So I see what you mean about extra time. I know both worlds.


DPLD-your right, I don't know you. But heres my best guess...

Mid 50's, still behind a mower, complaining about "the good old days" or "when I was younger, I could...". Probably a smoker too.

I don't mean to rag on you, but sometimes your attitude brings out the true you. you can't be right at everything. This forum is full of opinions, and just like @$$holes, everyone's got one!

dpld
09-18-2012, 03:11 PM
Down here where I am, leaves aren't that big of a deal. But when I lived in MA, they were a HUGE deal. So I see what you mean about extra time. I know both worlds.


DPLD-your right, I don't know you. But heres my best guess...

Mid 50's, still behind a mower, complaining about "the good old days" or "when I was younger, I could...". Probably a smoker too.

I don't mean to rag on you, but sometimes your attitude brings out the true you. you can't be right at everything. This forum is full of opinions, and just like @$$holes, everyone's got one!


wrong on all accounts, age 46, no i am not still behind a mower and why would i want the old days back when back then i was starting out and struggling and today we make a half a mil?

no , you can have the old days.

let me take a crack at the guessing game,
mid twenties to early thirties using a glorified home owner machine in the back of a pick up blaming the larger companies for making it so hard to make a living and thinks this forum is a club just for you.

i don't know what got up your @ss about what i said and i really could care less but you are the one who started hurling insults and if you don't like what i post then don't read it, but you don't have to be a @zzhat about it.

i never proclaimed to be the end all, i just stated my opinion and i am sorry you don't like my opinion but any response i give can only be that, i can not give him your opinion.

truth be told i give breaks to people but i choose who gets them and who earned them as loyal customers and i already go the extra mile for my customers and i never have to deal with these issues because everything is spelled out in great detail from day one with all my written contracts.

all my accounts are inclusive and already include shrub trimming, mulching, mowing, clean ups and chemicals and they pay for each and every part and it all gets added up into one lump sum and divided by the payment schedule.
and because of that i don't have to sit here and scratch my wondering if i should or should not throw something in as well as i never got to break any "bad news" to the customers.

wat5150
09-18-2012, 06:59 PM
HHMMM....I dont now DPLD from a hole in the ground but I think he knows a fair amount about this business. His posts are usually always informative and tell the side of the bigger lawn guy and how he got there.:cool:

Lopes Lawn Care
09-18-2012, 07:48 PM
I agree Dpld definitely has a good handle on his business and always gives good advice on here. I too don't know him personally nor have I dealt with his company. So I can't sit here and make character judgements on the guy.

I like what he has to say, hes very to the point and honest about that way things are. If you want things sugar coated or whatever just don't read his posts. If you hear a song you don't like on a radio station don't you just change the station or turn it off. Very simple to do.

shadrach
09-18-2012, 10:00 PM
Charge for your time. If a customer does not want to pay you for your time then replace them with another one the first chance you get.

Von Bobbeh
09-19-2012, 01:54 AM
If my mower goes Brrrrvvvztt right through it's included! if it clogs up, I'm not going to mow untill I get paid to clean it up, or they clean it up.

Grass Doctor
09-19-2012, 03:34 AM
HHMMM....I dont now DPLD from a hole in the ground but I think he knows a fair amount about this business. His posts are usually always informative and tell the side of the bigger lawn guy and how he got there.:cool:

i use to have a great concept about him but i don't know i have a taste of $hit im mouth about some hedges that a guy was asking how much to charge i said 50.00 cents per sqf he try to give me $hitt for it :D like i care. yeah yeah he seems like he knows what hes talking about i give him 50/50 as far as i know he can be like godslaper owner of 10 dump trucks and 20 scabs who cares i use to work for a guy that charge 1,200,00.00 for a residential landscape project in arizona for some music producer. wtf ever anything its posible in this life :D

Grass Doctor
09-19-2012, 03:38 AM
yeah charge the focker extra for the mow if u bag or just mow with a mulcher kit over them and if he give u $hittt about it tell him u are giving him a favor by not charge him for the clean up he dont want to pay for.

LawnBoy0311
09-19-2012, 06:46 AM
i use to have a great concept about him but i don't know i have a taste of $hit im mouth about some hedges that a guy was asking how much to charge i said 50.00 cents per sqf he try to give me $hitt for it :D like i care. yeah yeah he seems like he knows what hes talking about i give him 50/50 as far as i know he can be like godslaper owner of 10 dump trucks and 20 scabs who cares i use to work for a guy that charge 1,200,00.00 for a residential landscape project in arizona for some music producer. wtf ever anything its posible in this life :D

Agreed 110%. He can dish it, but can't take it. Quick to judge others opinions too.

About 10 or 12 years ago, I worked for a large landscape company. He was in his 3rd year of business when I started. We were doing multi million dollar landscape projects on new houses, TONS of commercial properties, and a never ending list of residential properties. His company was doing VERY well. I remember the day he paid cash for a dump truck, had the custom paint and logo on it. His display also won 1st place at a homes and garden show a few years in a row. No need to go on, you get the idea. By his 4th year, things started going wrong. His attitude got the best of him. I know a lot of his customers left; out of the 8 he had on my street, he didn't have a single one left. His company when right down the crapper. From what I hear from old friends, he has a few residential and commercial properties left, and thats it. 40 something years old and moved back in at his parents house. He started nickle and diming customers to death, and they found someone else. His price increases were too much, contracts were out of whack, it seemed as if he was in it for the $$, but couldn't care less about the customers. A real TruGreen approach with one major problem...he wasn't national.

When I think of starting a company, I think of growing it as big and best as I can. All of us joined this forum to to learn and help eachother. I chose not to read too many posts by DPLD because he's quick to slam others into the ground. If it's not his way, it's wrong. He may have a large company, he may own 50 trucks, doing $1 Mill + a year. Who knows. Some of his advice I found to be very misleading. Everyone here has good advice and input. Some a lot better than others.

The original poster asked a simple question. I would think that if it took quite a bit longer, he or she would charge accordingly. If it's just a few leaves on the ground, mulch or bag (in his case) and keep it moving. By no means would I "give away the farm". But if it takes a few extra minutes and I didn't factor it in to my quoted price, I'd do it to satisfy the customer. We all come from different areas, so the situation would be different for all of us, therefore we all have our own opinions.

dpld
09-19-2012, 10:08 AM
Agreed 110%. He can dish it, but can't take it. Quick to judge others opinions too.

About 10 or 12 years ago, I worked for a large landscape company. He was in his 3rd year of business when I started. We were doing multi million dollar landscape projects on new houses, TONS of commercial properties, and a never ending list of residential properties. His company was doing VERY well. I remember the day he paid cash for a dump truck, had the custom paint and logo on it. His display also won 1st place at a homes and garden show a few years in a row. No need to go on, you get the idea. By his 4th year, things started going wrong. His attitude got the best of him. I know a lot of his customers left; out of the 8 he had on my street, he didn't have a single one left. His company when right down the crapper. From what I hear from old friends, he has a few residential and commercial properties left, and thats it. 40 something years old and moved back in at his parents house. He started nickle and diming customers to death, and they found someone else. His price increases were too much, contracts were out of whack, it seemed as if he was in it for the $$, but couldn't care less about the customers. A real TruGreen approach with one major problem...he wasn't national.

When I think of starting a company, I think of growing it as big and best as I can. All of us joined this forum to to learn and help eachother. I chose not to read too many posts by DPLD because he's quick to slam others into the ground. If it's not his way, it's wrong. He may have a large company, he may own 50 trucks, doing $1 Mill + a year. Who knows. Some of his advice I found to be very misleading. Everyone here has good advice and input. Some a lot better than others.

The original poster asked a simple question. I would think that if it took quite a bit longer, he or she would charge accordingly. If it's just a few leaves on the ground, mulch or bag (in his case) and keep it moving. By no means would I "give away the farm". But if it takes a few extra minutes and I didn't factor it in to my quoted price, I'd do it to satisfy the customer. We all come from different areas, so the situation would be different for all of us, therefore we all have our own opinions.




i would sure love for you to put up some actual quotes and point out to me where i have slammed others for their opinions and give misleading advice.

you surely have me confused with someone else and outside of guys like godslapper and weekend warrior i have never had any issues with anyone and the two guys i mentioned everyone had a problem with so i was not alone.

you seem to be real quick on judging people and coming to your own personal conclusion that is not based on any fact what so ever.

please don't compare me to a godslapper because i take great pride in my business and how i appear and who i hire and if you are not a red blooded american you will not work for me.
i don't use and never have used wetbacks so please don't go there and my business is what it is from 23 years of busting my azz and 27 years of learning everything i could and making all the sacrifices to do so.

whether you like how i say it or not i usually don't give advice lightly and i am fully aware that most on these boards are new to the biz and are looking to learn and i like to share some of my experiences with the younger dudes and dudettes and if i suggested something to someone and it caused hardship on them i would take that very personally.

i have never had as much back and forth with anyone on these boards until you came along and i come here to talk shop with everyone and share some stories and the last thing i want is to deal with this nonsense.

lets get back to the topic, the OP has a customer who is not paying for a clean up and now is incurring leaves and wonders if he should charge or let sleeping dogs lie, correct?

now, there are two ways to look at this, 1. it is actually taking more of his time and he is concerned enough to come on here and seek advice or 2. it is absolutely no big deal and he wanted to make a post here for no reason what so ever and only did so because he can.

i would thing that it is a problem for him because he asked and i said, if it is a lot and it is increasing your time on the job to adjust the charges accordingly and if it is no big deal and affecting his bottom line then just do it and forget about it.

you pretty much say, customer is always right and no matter what they ask for you do it for the same price and this dpld wants to rob everyone blind and even charge people to move their newspaper from the lawn to the porch and is a miserable old man that is mad at the world and stuck behind the machine thinking about the old days.

to me, based from all your replies it would suggest that you are the one who thinks they know it all because you are trying so hard to push the issue that you are the one who knows best and knows all there is to every thing me.

you say you are new to the biz and you come here to learn but yet you say everything i suggest is wrong and misleading as if you know and if you know as much as you think why would you be here instead of out applying all your great knowledge to building your empire?


i am done with this topic because it went from a question about additional work to a slander fest.

Grass Doctor
09-19-2012, 08:27 PM
Bag???



Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!


No.

hey not all of us have a nice Ferris with a brand spanking new mulching kit on it instead some of us have a honda :D with a twin blade system :D:D:D and a bag.

selectcutservices
10-10-2012, 03:13 PM
April
Spring Clean-up: Remove leaves, sticks and debris from all bed areas and lawn
One Mowing

May through October 1st
Weekly mowing and trimming
Edging of cement walks and drives every 2nd week
All grass clippings to be blown off of walks and drives

October
Fall-Clean-up: Remove leaves, sticks and debris from all bed areas and lawn
Two mowings

Novemeber
Final Fall-Clean-up: Remove leaves, sticks and debris from all bed areas and lawn
Final Mowing

you can figure out what you need to charge and then give a monthly quote and just charge by the month

LawnCareMan280
10-10-2012, 04:55 PM
I was wondering how to deal with the customers that do not want fall cleanup or leaf removal, but you end up mowing their leaves up every week? Do you add a leaf removal fee anyway? Just looking for some suggestions on how to deal with this issue.

What I do is I give my customers free leaf cleanup because they say I do a lot of nice work so I just give it to them for free.

greenscaper123
10-11-2012, 03:07 PM
i would sure love for you to put up some actual quotes and point out to me where i have slammed others for their opinions and give misleading advice.

you surely have me confused with someone else and outside of guys like godslapper and weekend warrior i have never had any issues with anyone and the two guys i mentioned everyone had a problem with so i was not alone.

you seem to be real quick on judging people and coming to your own personal conclusion that is not based on any fact what so ever.

please don't compare me to a godslapper because i take great pride in my business and how i appear and who i hire and if you are not a red blooded american you will not work for me.
i don't use and never have used wetbacks so please don't go there and my business is what it is from 23 years of busting my azz and 27 years of learning everything i could and making all the sacrifices to do so.

whether you like how i say it or not i usually don't give advice lightly and i am fully aware that most on these boards are new to the biz and are looking to learn and i like to share some of my experiences with the younger dudes and dudettes and if i suggested something to someone and it caused hardship on them i would take that very personally.

i have never had as much back and forth with anyone on these boards until you came along and i come here to talk shop with everyone and share some stories and the last thing i want is to deal with this nonsense.

lets get back to the topic, the OP has a customer who is not paying for a clean up and now is incurring leaves and wonders if he should charge or let sleeping dogs lie, correct?

now, there are two ways to look at this, 1. it is actually taking more of his time and he is concerned enough to come on here and seek advice or 2. it is absolutely no big deal and he wanted to make a post here for no reason what so ever and only did so because he can.

i would thing that it is a problem for him because he asked and i said, if it is a lot and it is increasing your time on the job to adjust the charges accordingly and if it is no big deal and affecting his bottom line then just do it and forget about it.

you pretty much say, customer is always right and no matter what they ask for you do it for the same price and this dpld wants to rob everyone blind and even charge people to move their newspaper from the lawn to the porch and is a miserable old man that is mad at the world and stuck behind the machine thinking about the old days.

to me, based from all your replies it would suggest that you are the one who thinks they know it all because you are trying so hard to push the issue that you are the one who knows best and knows all there is to every thing me.

you say you are new to the biz and you come here to learn but yet you say everything i suggest is wrong and misleading as if you know and if you know as much as you think why would you be here instead of out applying all your great knowledge to building your empire?


i am done with this topic because it went from a question about additional work to a slander fest.

I know this thread has pretty much been answered but I would say if you have to take anyones advice on this it would be DPLD. While I've been in this business for about 14 years I just started my own company this year and I run things pretty simple I feel. You get paid for your time worked. If it's taking you more than a 1/3 of your normal time spent, then you should be charging accordingly. It also depends on who the customer is also. If customer A gives me a ton of side work throughout the year, pays on time and pays well.. well then I might not mind doing some additional service like picking up a few branches or leaves. Now if customer B is a cheap skate, doesn't pay on time, complains all the time and is just generally a pain in my a$$.. then more than likely he won't be getting any charity work from me. Besides, in my experience, the ones that are a pain usually won't stay on too long anyway cause they're constantly looking for somebody who can cut your lawn for $1 cheaper. So why go the extra mile for those customers?

To answer your question OP.. if they don't want a clean up, ASK them what they would like you to do with the leaves while your cutting. You can offer them a variety of options. 1) You mulch the leaves up and let them lay on the lawn with no additional charge. 2) You bag them and charge accordingly 3) You tell them, if you don't want to pay for a clean up AND you want your lawn cut without the leaves mulched all over the place, they need to get off their a$$ and pick them up.

Hedgemaster
10-11-2012, 10:55 PM
I just did a cut for a new client today - first time cut.

There were a ton of leaves on the side of the building in an area about 15'x 30' and he asked if I could remove them. I had given a quote of $50 to do the lawn the day before and said I'd mulch the leaves that could be mulched and if there were too many leaves, I'd have to charge a little extra to remove the rest.

That's what I did. I asked if he would be agreeable to an extra $25 to remove the remaining leaves and he was fine with that. Ultimately, I undercharged for that part, as there were more leaves than I bargained for since I had to bag the majority of them. That took more time than I had planned, but in the end, it could make me even MORE money. I asked where he had gotten my number and he said "Angie's List". He said he was going to give me a good review.
Sweet.

Also, he wants hedges trimmed, continued leaf cleanups, and there are multiple tree limbs that need to be pruned back. Giving a discount can sometimes pay more in the long run.



I also made up my mind - no large leaf cleanups unless I can blow to the curb for streetside pickup. Bagging takes FOREVER, and my trailer isn't big enough to handle a lot of leaves.

willshome
10-11-2012, 11:04 PM
I also made up my mind - no large leaf cleanups unless I can blow to the curb for streetside pickup. Bagging takes FOREVER, and my trailer isn't big enough to handle a lot of leaves.

Could you hire someone to do curb side pick up. I am adding that to my list of services

Hedgemaster
10-11-2012, 11:14 PM
Could you hire someone to do curb side pick up. I am adding that to my list of services

I dunno. Never considered that.
I can't imagine anyone wanting to pay enough to cover the added expense of paying someone else to suck them up. I guess it depends on who you are working for. Around here, I haven't found many who want to pay much for leaf cleanup.


Fortunately there are several municipalities around that do curbside pickup on certain days.

I screwed up last season and blew a customer's leaves to the curb. She called later to tell me they have to be removed or she will be fined. I misjudged her location - the area that has curbside pickup starts a few streets away.
:(
Fortunately when I went back to bag them up, the borough truck that sucks up "excess" leaves form "problem areas" was going by and they offered to suck them up if I "bought them lunch".
DEAL! :D

LawnBoy0311
10-12-2012, 06:11 AM
curb side pick up is one major reason I don't do fall leaf removal. Theres no point, because all you have to do is put the leaves on the curb, they do 2 pick ups incase you miss the first one. No point to advertise if everyone does it for free.

offering a service to a part of town who doesn't have curb side pick up, that could be a pretty good idea! Maybe let them know all the leaves have to be there by a certain date, this way you can go suck them all up at once????

Its easy for the home owner too...just rake the leaves onto a big tarp and drag/dump.

willshome
10-12-2012, 07:45 AM
Maybe let them know all the leaves have to be there by a certain date, this way you can go suck them all up at once????


there is a ad on youtube for leaf loading service
"We charge $5 per minute for the vacuum truck and operator with a $50 minimum. As you can see in this video we can remove a significant pile in just a few minutes (http://youtu.be/nvJFUl_yVU4)"

Hedgemaster
10-12-2012, 09:59 AM
there is a ad on youtube for leaf loading service
"We charge $5 per minute for the vacuum truck and operator with a $50 minimum. As you can see in this video we can remove a significant pile in just a few minutes (http://youtu.be/nvJFUl_yVU4)"

Yeah, ummm... tacking on an additional $60 or more isn't going to fly unless you're dealing with something HUGE that has a HUGE bill to begin with.
"Average homeowner" (here) isn't shelling out that kind of cash to clean up leaves - they'd let them lay there first.

Grass Doctor
10-12-2012, 11:51 AM
i dont really do leaf collection really i dont thing here in south TX thats a big thing but i see this guy, on you tube with his lawn tractor, i believe its a nice idea, i have one customer that he is not in a year round contract, he have his house for sale, he is in another state, he call me yesterday he prepay for the month i dont have to call him and ask (i really hate that) so he ask me, the grass will stop growing here really soon, how are we going to do for the winter,
well he have lets say 3 big oak trees they shed their leaves here around next month,
my answer: well u probably will need only around one law service in the cold months, so lets say pay me for the one mow, $75 and then add $25 for i have to blow the leaves to the grass before i mow and them mulch them.

this is what i plan to do but with out the bagger,
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/arzlboC-x6k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Steve
10-15-2012, 12:02 PM
this is what i plan to do but with out the bagger,

How do you think it will come out without the bagger?