Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

Leaf Clean-ups


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 09-06-2011, 05:44 PM
element009's Avatar
element009 element009 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ocean County, NJ
Posts: 176
Rep Power: 5
element009 is on a distinguished road
Default Leaf Clean-ups

Hey guys,

It's been a while since my last post. Summer has gone fairly well for me, I hope it has been good for you as well.

I've been trying to figure out the best way to go about leaf clean-ups. This is my first year on my own. My old employer did not have any set leaf clean-up, instead they continued to visit the lawn each week and cut it, clearing all leaves at each visit. I'm not really sure how they priced this, but as the leaves fell in greater quantities, there was obviously much more work to do. A friend of mine who runs a company says he does 3 leaf clean-ups. A lot of customers, however, have expressed a desire for only one leaf clean-up in the fall. Obviously only one leaf removal makes it is a very big job. But I don't know what to do for the whole month that the leaves are falling...the grass still grows, so it makes sense to go in and cut the grass, but that inevitably requires me to remove the leaves as well. If I don't cut the grass for the entire time the leaves are falling, then the grass length makes blowing the leaves much more difficult.

So, how do most companies deal with these clean-ups (i.e. how many clean-ups are performed and how are they priced?)
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:14 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I purchased the commercial Dr. Lawn Vac units, I live in an area where pretty much every client has hardwoods, some more than others, a lot more in some cases.

The first year I had two units and no idea what to charge, to do it quick you need two guys, one blowing the leaves in away from beds, fences etc. one driving a tractor or ZTR with the attachment doing the collecting, this setup worked very well.

Since every customers lawn was different and some I could not get the equipment into as they were too small, I stayed with lawns that were 10,000 square feet and up, on average we got $65 an hour.

The one condition I made was the mulched leaves were dumped on the property, I did not offer a haul away service, however we would for $45.00 cover the mulched leaves with a fertilizer 36-0-0, the nitrogen would brake the leaves down over the winter and allow the client to use the compost in the spring, this was a hit.

Biggest job we did was 1.5 acres, received $300 for it however it took most of the day.

I found there was excellent money in this, I have seen a crew pull into an area to do one job, especially on a Saturday or Sunday and never move the truck, they went house to house, this did however create problems as there were always jobs left at the end of the season we didn't get to, just too much demand.

What would happen also is people would see a truck pulling the unit to a job and call the number on the truck or trailer, I always found this interesting, it was one of those services, in my area, no one else had the equipment.

I have an almost new one sitting in the garage I just listed for sale as I am no longer in the lawn care business, be interesting how quick it sells.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-06-2011, 08:47 PM
justin_time justin_time is offline
Justin
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: French River, ON, Canada
Age: 29
Posts: 1,801
Rep Power: 0
justin_time is on a distinguished road
Default

Billy Goat has a new system (new to me) that can accomodate on your truck as a dump and a leaf loader.

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:57 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

I'm starting to sweat this dilemma too. People assume I know what I'm doing, but honestly, I've done ONE leaf cleanup this spring where I blew them into piles and bundled them in burlap tarps.

Aside from that, I have NO idea how to handle this. Multiple cleanups? One big one? Mulch them with the mower?

I'm the type who mows his grass up until about Thanksgiving just to keep it looking neat, but I doubt others are willing to keep paying for mowing that late into the season. It sure would make it easier to just mow them into bits!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:12 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

I offer the customer the choice of having me continue weekly mowings into November at the regular price or if they cancel early they have to pay $40/hour on the cleanup. It ends up being just about the same price either way but the weekly mowings are easier than one big cleanup.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:22 PM
element009's Avatar
element009 element009 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ocean County, NJ
Posts: 176
Rep Power: 5
element009 is on a distinguished road
Default

So do you mulch the leaves back into the lawn each week or do you take the leaves away each week?
Quote:
I offer the customer the choice of having me continue weekly mowings into November at the regular price or if they cancel early they have to pay $40/hour on the cleanup. It ends up being just about the same price either way but the weekly mowings are easier than one big cleanup.
Today 10:57 PM
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:36 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 8
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by element009 View Post
So do you mulch the leaves back into the lawn each week or do you take the leaves away each week?
I put the bag on my mower and let it fill up and then I go over the rest of the leaves and it grinds them up really well because the full bag acts as a mulch block. Then I'll empty the bag, raise the deck up about 1/2" and go over it again. Some gets mulched back in the rest goes in the woods.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-04-2011, 10:43 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

There are so many "leaf" threads I didn't know which one to bump, but this one works...

I've also been finding that some lawns that still need cutting are covered with leaves to the point where they can't be mulched. (push mower)

On a few of the smaller ones, I did a quick leaf cleanup first and told them I did it as a courtesy - the reality was that if I hadn't, I couldn't have made any money by mowing and they weren't ready to pay for a "full" cleanup yet.
All of the freebies have involved blowing them into the woods or to the street where the city sucks them up - I'm not bagging/hauling leaves for free.

Doing this has earned me some points with my clients and has given me some practice at moving leaves with my new Echo backpack, so for now it's a win/win situation.

That said, next season, I'm going to add a cleanup charge if I come to mow and I am unable due to excessive leaves on the lawn. I can't do twice the work without being compensated.





Funny story:
I went to cut one of my regulars yesterday. She had switched to biweekly about a month ago and I knew there would be leaves as well as the grass to cut. I wasn't sure what the regulations were in her area regarding leaf collection - do they need to be in brown paper bags, or can they be blown to the street for the borough to come and vacuum up?

As I started down her street, I saw a borough truck sucking up some leaves. I then passed a landscaping crew who was blowing leaves from a lawn to the street, so I stopped and asked them if the borough takes them from teh curb. "Yes" was the answer - cool.

I proceeded to blow all the leaves down to the street, making a nice, neat pile in a long row along the client's curb. I then mowed the lawn and left a bill in the mailbox, as my client wasn't home.
That evening I received a call (voicemail) from the client - "You can't put leaves on the street - I'll get a fine. Please come and bag them as soon as possible". This was at 5:30pm and I was headed home.

I called the borough building the next morning and discovered that the client was correct and the landscapers who told me it was "OK", were wrong. Apparently the truck I saw just does some naturally occurring "trouble spots" of leaves - not "pickup" as I was lead to believe.

Sigh. Off to spend time picking up leaves that I'm not getting paid for.
When I arrived, the borough leaf vac truck was two houses away, so I walked down and explained the above scenario. I asked if they planned on sucking up "my leaves" because if so, I wouldn't waste my time doing so. He explained that he wasn't allowed to and we chatted about a few things before I turned to walk back up to my truck and get started on my cleanup.

I just got my trash can and rake out when the vac truck stopped and I was approached with the old "Buy us lunch and we can suck those up for you" offer. LOL! DEAL!!!
I forked over ten bucks and everyone was a winner.

Lesson learned: Know the leaf collection rules for the area you work in ahead of time!!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:39 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 74
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 0
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

I'm happy they offered you some help!

I was shoveling a small parking lot last year, had a guy with a plow across the road come and do it for $10.

The only problem was everything wasn't completely out of the parking lot due to the fact he used a plow, not a blower. So I had this massive compacted pile I had to shovel away at.

I ended up ramming it a few times with the truck in reverse... I won the battle. It was 3:30AM, and I was tired man.


**********-

Anyway, leaves this year are bugging me. Last year it went smoothly, but I think it's because I have a lot more to do, and so little time before the snow.

If you've got a place to dump leaves, blow them on a tarp and toss them in your trailer. Even if you make 2 visits per property to dump the leaves (or something crazy), you'd be saving money in equipment maintenance.

All lawn mowers can do a good job mulching or picking up leaves, but I still don't like to abuse my equipment like that. It's also starting to get very tedious picking up leaves with the lawn mower.


.... I saw one company with a can, and they were burning the leaves on the road (new company?). Probably the dumbest (waste-of-time) thing I have ever seen to be honest. Strange stuff!

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 11-04-2011 at 11:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-05-2011, 10:54 AM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 1,912
Rep Power: 0
SECTLANDSCAPING is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
.... I saw one company with a can, and they were burning the leaves on the road (new company?). Probably the dumbest (waste-of-time) thing I have ever seen to be honest. Strange stuff!
Did they have marshmallows?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leaf Vac's? ABurlison Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs. 14 04-10-2015 06:12 AM
Need help For charging on leaf clean-up dynastysnow Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation 1 11-17-2010 02:36 AM
Leaf Clean-up lxarth Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 13 09-25-2010 10:33 AM
Fall leaf clean up lawn sign ideas. Steve Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 2 10-03-2008 11:12 PM
Fall leaf clean-up Clean Lawn Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 5 09-11-2007 08:17 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
Today 12:40 PM
Today 12:40 PM
by Steve
0 1
Before & After tree...
COREtreeservice
Yesterday 09:20 PM
Yesterday 09:20 PM
by COREtreeservice
0 45
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
Yesterday 11:28 AM
by Steve
6 1,787
Ready to learn and get...
Koley Lawn & Landscape
06-28-2015 05:16 AM
Yesterday 11:26 AM
by Steve
8 1,793
Three Stripe Land Care...
hammr04
06-30-2015 07:19 PM
Yesterday 11:24 AM
by Steve
1 57
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
06-30-2015 07:41 PM
by hammr04
5 1,857
Country Life Lawn Care
darleneh
06-29-2015 11:24 AM
06-30-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
3 1,710
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
06-29-2015 09:23 PM
by Chilehead
6 1,806
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
06-29-2015 02:30 PM
by Mr. Mow
11 2,041
Marketing ideas
xandrew245x
04-29-2014 06:35 AM
06-25-2015 07:11 PM
by GreenWorx
34 5,656
Never ending sod jobs
avetslawncare
06-05-2015 09:46 PM
06-25-2015 11:42 AM
by Steve
11 2,286
Weed and Feed Service...
mike94740
06-23-2015 05:50 PM
06-24-2015 09:56 PM
by avetslawncare
2 1,764
Trimming hedges / trees,...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
06-23-2015 07:08 PM
06-24-2015 09:59 AM
by Steve
1 1,759
Hi Everyone from Arkansas
KellyMarie
06-04-2015 04:16 PM
06-23-2015 01:34 PM
by KellyMarie
4 2,036
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
06-23-2015 06:36 AM
by GreenWorx
7 2,263
problems with a customer...
LawnCareMan280
06-16-2015 10:26 PM
06-22-2015 11:11 AM
by Steve
6 2,028
Please review this FREE...
markty
06-21-2015 07:42 AM
06-22-2015 11:00 AM
by Steve
1 1,784
A good commercial bid...
burtle
06-20-2015 09:09 PM
06-22-2015 10:56 AM
by Steve
1 1,845
What would you do with...
holymoly
06-20-2015 06:48 PM
06-22-2015 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 1,781
New Member just joined...
vgoleco@hotmail.com
06-19-2015 03:49 PM
06-22-2015 10:42 AM
by Steve
2 1,821
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 03:04 PM
06-21-2015 07:24 PM
by Chilehead
4 1,910
Blade usage
Wolf4dk
06-16-2015 12:18 AM
06-21-2015 05:35 PM
by kslawn
4 1,925
Hello, I am new to the...
adamslawnservices
06-17-2015 08:06 PM
06-19-2015 10:28 AM
by Steve
3 1,853
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
06-19-2015 10:22 AM
by Steve
4 1,919
First commercial bid
SGL1
06-12-2015 08:57 PM
06-18-2015 05:04 PM
by SGL1
9 2,280
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
06-18-2015 11:02 AM
by Steve
7 1,994
I have been rude and...
biglee
06-15-2015 10:11 PM
06-18-2015 10:46 AM
by Steve
10 2,079
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
06-17-2015 08:38 AM
by burtle
9 3,173
Customer keeps adding...
Mr. Mow
06-13-2015 06:22 AM
06-16-2015 10:23 AM
by Steve
11 2,138
Pass discounts onto...
burnell76
06-03-2015 06:33 PM
06-16-2015 10:02 AM
by burnell76
3 2,015
burned grass only where...
nhauto
06-15-2015 05:28 PM
06-16-2015 09:45 AM
by Steve
2 1,887
Half year mark review.
Steve
06-02-2015 11:24 AM
06-15-2015 01:04 PM
by Steve
18 2,599
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
06-15-2015 01:01 PM
by Steve
86 9,644
New Member
Bruce Fehr
06-05-2015 07:13 PM
06-15-2015 12:53 PM
by Steve
6 2,020
New to the business,...
CarefreeMowing
06-12-2015 02:36 PM
06-15-2015 12:50 PM
by Steve
1 1,901
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 11:45 AM
06-13-2015 08:48 AM
by holymoly
45 11,979
New to the forum, new to...
CarefreeMowing
06-11-2015 12:35 PM
06-12-2015 10:44 AM
by Steve
2 1,821
problems with a customer
LawnCareMan280
05-19-2015 06:28 PM
06-11-2015 10:50 PM
by stallman419
8 2,371
Website Review
Outdoordesignsknox
06-08-2015 08:44 PM
06-11-2015 09:48 PM
by Just for Cuts
13 2,249
another newish job for me
holymoly
06-07-2015 08:34 AM
06-11-2015 10:05 AM
by Steve
8 2,041
Anyone need help? I have...
biglee
05-06-2015 12:22 PM
06-10-2015 01:45 PM
by holymoly
15 2,957
Hello from the GREAT...
gbfarmsllc
06-09-2015 11:10 AM
06-10-2015 01:29 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 1,890
Hey guys and gals, I'm...
Joeyhall
06-03-2015 03:54 PM
06-08-2015 02:15 PM
by chris2500hd
8 2,136
Mowing Bermuda...
Mr. Mow
06-02-2015 12:45 PM
06-08-2015 12:45 PM
by Steve
12 2,289
Hey Guys
PrattLandscaping
06-07-2015 06:37 PM
06-08-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
2 1,905
Share your stolen...
SGL1
05-27-2015 09:05 PM
06-08-2015 11:54 AM
by Steve
25 2,837
Hello there My name is...
zwalk1839
06-04-2015 11:10 PM
06-08-2015 11:52 AM
by Steve
4 2,018
Laid off oil field...
Mr. Mow
05-30-2015 09:03 AM
06-08-2015 06:20 AM
by Mr. Mow
4 2,126
How do you find one time...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
06-02-2015 09:57 PM
06-05-2015 09:49 PM
by avetslawncare
4 2,050
Show us your stripes
Just for Cuts
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
06-04-2015 05:24 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 2,351
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping advertising apartment complex apartment lawn care estimate applying bark billy goat brushcutter blowout bob villa collections commercial curb appeal services demonstration design door hangers edging employee problems equipment dealer equipment rental facebook foreman free advertising free lawn care google growing a lawn care business hardscapes hills how to husqvarna increase customers jobs landscape landscape services landscaping lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave new business ordinance past due patio install per hour service plowing pricing push versus ride scripts secrets to landscaping shell shreaded small engine repair snow plowing sq ft square foot trailer trailer mate pro tree tree pics trimmer rack up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood www.greenturion.co.za
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:42 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:42 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy