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View Full Version : How many of you DONT do leaf removal?


WJW Lawn
11-19-2006, 03:22 PM
GOD I hate leaves!!!!!!!!!!! How many of you just dont fool with them? As far as outside non regular client jobs.

Josh.S
11-19-2006, 04:16 PM
GOD I hate leaves!!!!!!!!!!! How many of you just dont fool with them? As far as outside non regular client jobs.

ME! I only do them for regular clients, unless I'm really really slow and somebody gives me a call to do them... I HATE LEAVES!!!

Charles
11-19-2006, 05:17 PM
There is no way around doing them for me. I hate them too. All that dust and labor. But grasscutting here is not what it used to be so I have to seek out leaf jobs

DaughtryLC
11-19-2006, 05:23 PM
Only for regular customers, unless someone wants to Shell out tha $$$$$:dancing:

WJW Lawn
11-19-2006, 05:24 PM
For me...I hate the labor lol I dont mind working my butt off...but there is something about leaves that I just dont like. Secondly...since I take care of my own yard...it's always hard to give quotes to outside customers...because there is no way in a MILLION years I would pay what I quote people. lol But I stick to my price...and at least enjoy the money. I try and pretend the leaves are dollar bills..lol That makes it a little better.

Charles
11-19-2006, 05:29 PM
I can estimate small jobs. But large jobs are by the hour-- they can take it or leave it lol. Leaves just wear me out. Blower on your back for long periods and getting the leaves out of the bin...

Roger
11-19-2006, 05:33 PM
If you choose not to do leaf work, who gets onto the customer's property to do the work? Why would you let a competitor have full access to your customer?

I have found some of my best mowing customers through a call, "... the man who cut my grass this season just stopped coming, and I have nobody to take care of the leaves." Thank you for giving me the opportunity to find new mowing customers next to existing ones, thus tightening up my mowing routes for next season.

If you choose not to do leaf work, then what other work are you doing to generate income in place of the lost income from the leaf work?

Somebody mentioned dust, but I gather (from many other posts too) the primary problem is that some folks don't want to work to earn an income. Income must be great enough from the rest of the season to bypass leaf work, and am happy to watch TV, or some othere form of entertainment. However, there are enough posts to complain about competition, poor work habits on the part of other LCOs, etc to lead us to think that the best choice is stand by idle, while others are willing to do the work available.

Off the soapbox now -- there is much doublespeak throughout threads about lack of income, low prices, contrasted with a willingness to bypass work.

WJW Lawn
11-19-2006, 05:36 PM
Well..I service my clients...I was talking about leaf only customers who call about this time of the year. I would never pass up on leaves to a regular customer.

Grn Mtn
11-19-2006, 06:21 PM
To make leaves enjoyable you need to have a leaf vacuum system and a dump. Both of which I don't have, so no leaves other than my own here. As far as my customer go, I run double blades on my mower and/or bag, so they really don't need to call anyone.

jtkplc
11-19-2006, 06:23 PM
Having the right equipment for the job makes leaf clean-ups a lot more enjoyable, mostly because they are a very good money maker.

DLCS
11-19-2006, 06:29 PM
Having the right equipment for the job makes leaf clean-ups a lot more enjoyable, mostly because they are a very good money maker.


Depends on where you live.



I only clean leaves for my regular customers, i just don't have time to do one time leaf clean-ups and I really don't care to. By the time I finish with my regular customers, it either is snowing or too freakin cold.

crzymow
11-19-2006, 06:39 PM
i do a few outside leaf jobs, mainly if i have the time. I really dont mind doing leaf jobs, im just sick of doing them in the rain this year. this is the most rain ive seen in the fall this year.

1MajorTom
11-19-2006, 07:00 PM
We only do regular customer's cleanups now. When we first started we would take a one time clean up from a non customer. Now, we are overloaded as it is.

grapeford
11-19-2006, 09:47 PM
Same for me, regular customers only .

mow2nd
11-19-2006, 10:14 PM
ME............unless it is a year around customer. Other than that, NOPE.

Rickco
11-19-2006, 10:39 PM
I will take any job that I can fit in Right now. We take care of all clients first but i figure every one to be done Mon.-Fri. by Thanksgiving. So any call ups we get will be done on weekends,if the weather holds. We've done several allready this way and it has made me some very real money over what we would have. Also picked up three plowing contracts for the winter and one lawn for next season. It's great to get payed to come up with more money for the future.

dcondon
11-19-2006, 10:58 PM
This year we only did regular customers.

LwnmwrMan22
11-19-2006, 11:09 PM
I only schedule regular customers.

However, right now, 5 days before Thanksgiving, people are stopping me, as I'm still doing odd jobs around the properties, (yes, end of November and there's no snow in Minnesota).

Anyways, I'm now back out to a week + 1/2 out for leaf work. Seems I'm the only guy still working, everyone else has packed up the equipment for the year.

I don't like leaves, but I also don't understand how when there's nothing to do, how you can turn down money.

Don't get me wrong, I'm collecting snowplowing money now for temps when it's 50 out, all of my plowing is on contract, but shoot, might as well go out and make $150-250+ / day for a partial day's work.

I by no means work my butt off now this time of year, but if there's nothing else to do, it's just 'free' money, IMO.

HOOLIE
11-19-2006, 11:11 PM
I do anyone that will pay the price I give...anyone that pays is a 'client'. Since snow here rarely sticks around for more than a week time is not really an issue.

I never get to the point where I say "I've made enough money this year"

Tagg
11-20-2006, 12:16 AM
We use the CYCLONE Rake the only way to handle leaves in high volume:) . We do a commercial property with about 8 acres of leaves and it takes about 2 hrs/acre. Don't mind at all.:drinkup:

iowa
11-20-2006, 12:50 AM
It is November 19, the snow may be coming soon, and I am just starting on my weekly lawn customer's clean-ups. I will take any clean-up job with this rig!!!

BTW- The pile to the left of the truck was from the previous day. That is 3 lawn's worth of leaves that fit in just one load. I love my Billy Goat.

Envy Lawn Service
11-20-2006, 01:18 AM
This year we only did regular customers.

Well, up until this year, I only did leaves for regular weekly customers.
But this year I did take on some additional leaf work.

To this date, I have done leaves, but I have never done leaf REMOVAL.
In other words, I'll mulch them or blow them to some location.
But I will not haul them away.

All my regular customers are sold on mulching them, or using them for mulch.
So either I make turf fert out of them, or we 'leafscape' with them.

For leafscaping, we either spread them into natural areas in their natural form...
Or they get chopped into leaf mulch compost.

For the new leaf customers I took on this year, all of them either lived where they had curb-side pickup, or lived out in the sticks where we had somewhere to go with them. Thank goodness too, because it would be extremely hard to get a good enough rate to support all the equipment needed to productively handle REMOVAL. Some of these wooded estate size jobs here will easily produce a semi-trailer load at a time.

robbo521
11-20-2006, 01:26 AM
i love doing leafs.i hook the vac up and just ride.when it get full take it to the burn pit.

Grass Kickin
11-20-2006, 08:43 AM
No true leaf season here in Fl. for me, nothing the mower can destroy and mulch up. When I was in NY, I loathed them.

kipcom
11-20-2006, 08:44 AM
Why Why Why...throw away OR BURN Natures FREE fertilizer ?????:confused:

We offer "Mulching" of the leaves only and our customers LOVE it.

Protect our Enviroment !!!! Educate your customers on the benefits of mulching.

Do Not BURN leaves !!!! or place them in the TRASH (we have enough trash)

Mulch Mulch Mulch Use Natures FREE fertilizer :dancing:

Grass Kickin
11-20-2006, 08:46 AM
I don't have a set leave pick up plan here in Fl. for the past two seasons, they were defeated by the mulching mower.

TWUllc
11-20-2006, 09:29 AM
Every year I ask myself, "Why the F am I still doing this ****?!" Does that answer your question?:laugh:

Prestige-Lawncare
11-20-2006, 09:56 AM
As the saying goes ... money talks. Everything has it's price.

DynaMow
11-20-2006, 10:01 AM
I must be different. I ENJOY DOING LEAFS! But I am wierd, I like sweeping, shoveling snow, vacumming, things like that.

HOOLIE
11-20-2006, 06:13 PM
I just signed one up today that had been using another LCO...this one neighborhood there are a lot of older folks, and seems a lot of LCO's are quoting by the hour. Now you quote $120 an hour for leaves to a 75 year old man, that ain't gonna fly. He didn't make $120 in a whole week back when he was a young lad :laugh: I'm sure a lot of them can be done in an hour (with 3-4 guys and leaf loader) but that somehow doesn't get across to these people.

LwnmwrMan22
11-20-2006, 06:23 PM
You guys that insist on mulching... that doesn't work for everyone.

Where I'm at, the oak leaves will destroy a yard if they're mulched, too much acid.

porter5
11-20-2006, 06:34 PM
OH HELL YA WE DO FALL CLEANUPS, AND REMOVAL, STARTED MONDAY NOV 13TH HAVN STOPPED YET, WORKED SAT, AND SUN, WEVE ALREADY TRUCKED IN 19 LOADS OF LEAVES TO OUR DUMP SITE, IN A 1 TON DUALLY DUMP, WITH "VERY" HIGH SIDES , ABOUT 5 YRDS A LOAD, AND WE STILL HAVE 3 MORE WEEKS TO GO, INCLUDING SAT, AND SUN, SOOOOO YA WE DO THEM!!!!!!!!! WORST PART OF THE SEASON, WORK FORM DARK TO DARK, AND ALL WEEKEND, BUT WHEN WHERE OVER WE ARE OVER AND THATS IT, JUST PLOWING OUR 60 ACCOUNTS FOR THE WINTER AND IF IT DOESNT SNOW , WELL THEN ILL BE DOING ALOT OF HIKING IN THE WOODS UINTIL MARCH, WHY WOULDNT YOU DO THEM, IF YOU ARE IN THE LAWN MAINTENCE BUISNESS THEN ISNT IT A GIVEN.....????payup payup payup payup payup

WJW Lawn
11-20-2006, 06:34 PM
Why Why Why...throw away OR BURN Natures FREE fertilizer ?????:confused:

We offer "Mulching" of the leaves only and our customers LOVE it.

Protect our Enviroment !!!! Educate your customers on the benefits of mulching.

Do Not BURN leaves !!!! or place them in the TRASH (we have enough trash)

Mulch Mulch Mulch Use Natures FREE fertilizer :dancing:


I always get the strangest looks when I talk to customers about mulching the leaves...So Kipcom...how exactly do you sell mulching leaves to your clients?

Envy Lawn Service
11-20-2006, 10:51 PM
You guys that insist on mulching... that doesn't work for everyone.

Where I'm at, the oak leaves will destroy a yard if they're mulched, too much acid.

You obviously haven't read any of my threads on this issue.

I've been keeping records and tracking data for years now concerning this, and I can tell you without a doubt I have debunked this myth. Mulching them in has no measurable effect on soil pH. All it does is increase organic matter content, and increase levels of naturally available nitrogen levels.

Not long ago a University also published a supporting study as well.

DLCS
11-20-2006, 11:10 PM
You obviously haven't read any of my threads on this issue.

I've been keeping records and tracking data for years now concerning this, and I can tell you without a doubt I have debunked this myth. Mulching them in has no measurable effect on soil pH. All it does is increase organic matter content, and increase levels of naturally available nitrogen levels.

Not long ago a University also published a supporting study as well.


Exactly

The only time I have trouble is if the turf is very thin to begin with and the mulched leaves are thick enough to smother the grass. But really its not a problem, I either blow the heavy stuff or run a bagger over the areas that need it.

LwnmwrMan22
11-20-2006, 11:49 PM
You obviously haven't read any of my threads on this issue.

I've been keeping records and tracking data for years now concerning this, and I can tell you without a doubt I have debunked this myth. Mulching them in has no measurable effect on soil pH. All it does is increase organic matter content, and increase levels of naturally available nitrogen levels.

Not long ago a University also published a supporting study as well.

Okay, you're right, I haven't read them, because I'm not a believer in mulching.

I guess maybe it's because my own yard was ruined when my parents tried to mulch in the past.

I guess it's because I've seen so many other yards around here, completely sandy soil, but ruined because of oak leaves.

I'll agree that Maples, Ash, Aspen, softer wood trees, the leaves that basically turn to dust as soon as you step on them, basically, they can be mulched.

If you're on 2 acres with 40 mature oak trees, you'd better be bagging.

For the mere fact that DLCS stated. You'll smother the grass if nothing else.

robbo521
11-21-2006, 12:03 AM
i do mulch but when them big oaks hit the grounds and are almost a 1ft deep.i would love to see you mulch them.like i said i mulch all the time nomatter what,but i aint killing my mower.as long as the people that pay me are happy then i am happy!

HOOLIE
11-21-2006, 02:02 AM
I can honestly say I've never seen anyone in my area mulching leaves...rarely do I see anyone with a mulching kit.

If the lawn is open enough I will run over it several times to chew the leaves up, then bag them.

A lot of customers either have woods or curbside town pickup for leaves.

lawnworker
11-21-2006, 10:23 AM
Necessary evil for regular customers. Mulching is hard on the mowers, but it's all I got.

green horizons
11-22-2006, 07:25 PM
Mulching leaves works. The real "secret" to success on properties with
heavy leaf debris is to mulch weekly throughout the falling process.
A one-time removal/disposal after all leaves have fallen, will almost always cost more than mulching the property fours weeks in a row.

Groomer
11-22-2006, 08:57 PM
Yeah, right, you have 100 accounts, and 4 days of rain, and suddenly that, "mulch them weekly scenario", goes out the window. Meanwhile, that rain brought wind, and your looking at major leaf debris. All looks good on paper, until mother nature takes over. I love the "falling process" line, like it majically happens every year in some orderly fashion.

green horizons
11-22-2006, 10:30 PM
Hi Groomer. Thanks for your positive response and exchange.


10-22-2006, 11:25 AM
Groomer
LawnSite Member Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: south west ohio
Posts: 98

I've said it before, I'll say it again, we mulch till we can't. I have properties where the leaves HAVE to be removed, at a certain point.

So I guess somtimes mulching works and sometimes it doesn't.
It must depend upon ones mood.... I didn't say no leaf removal, I said mulching works. Clearly there are uniques situations.

ozd12005
11-22-2006, 10:43 PM
I myself HATE leaves but as the season ends but love the cash it brings in

Roger
11-23-2006, 07:44 AM
Some are saying, "clear them off," others are saying "mulch them." I have found that true in many cases, but also found that "do what works." In several cases this Fall, I have mulched leaves a time or two, but then cleared them the next time. Or, visa versa. If the leaves are damp or wet, then a property that was mulched last time will be cleared this time. November brought some weather challenges and many times the properties were damp or wet. So, to keep the leaf work moving, I cleared them while wet or damp, knowing that mulching would not work. Yes, it was harder work, but the job got done, and I could cross it off and get on to the next job. I do not wait until the "leaves are dry enough to mulch." As pointed out earlier, schedules get mixed up easily after a few days of drizzle, rain, showers, etc.

From another perspective, the timing for clearing is often better than for mulching. Mentioned above was "working them one way, back/forth, then start at the other side, move them back," or similiar suggestions. Usually, when I mulch, I use my wheeled blower to clear remaining debris and get rid of the rows of mulched leaves. [I use a chute blocker on my Exmark 36" Viking, with regular Gator blades -- mulching blades with mulching kit does not mulch leaves nearly as well]. For me, the combination of mower (possible multiple passes) and blower take more time that just putting the blowers and tarps to work, and get them out.

Obviously, each situation (quantity of leaves, dampness of leaves, wind, access to trailer, etc) is different. For me, this means using a strategy that fits the situation best, not beholden to one method for all cases.

Bel Air Bob
11-23-2006, 05:34 PM
I do leaves, but only if they'll pay my price, $150 minimum and up. I aim to gross at least $300 a day to cover all the work and equipment cost. Even at that, it's much less profitable than mowing. I am working alone using Little Wonder blower, truck loader, TracVac. I still find myself asking, like someone said earlier, "Why the hell am I doing this?" I think it's a pain in butt. But the grass aint growing, so why not..

mdvaden
11-24-2006, 01:39 AM
Oddly, being a certified arboirist who does not do lawns, I don't mind bidding leaf removal projects.

The end result always looks so good, and it's almost relaxing.

jcb287
11-24-2006, 05:27 AM
I love to do leaf clean up.Fall is my favorite time of year and since I got a Cyclone Rake this year I'm really loving it.I can't imagine how I got along without it now that I have been using it.:clapping:

cclllc
11-24-2006, 09:23 AM
Yeah, right, you have 100 accounts, and 4 days of rain, and suddenly that, "mulch them weekly scenario", goes out the window. Meanwhile, that rain brought wind, and your looking at major leaf debris. All looks good on paper, until mother nature takes over. I love the "falling process" line, like it majically happens every year in some orderly fashion.

It happens to me every year.

TJLANDS
11-24-2006, 09:41 AM
Leaves are a necessary evil in NJ. This year even with the best equipment for leaves it is still tough. Alot of rain and wind and most of the leaves came down within a 10 day period from Oct 24 thru November 3. Then we have had some very heavy rain Nov 7-10 and again Nov 15-16 and again Nov 22-23.So we haven't had alot of time to catch up. We will be picking up leaves until Christmas at least.

Turfcutters Plus
11-24-2006, 06:27 PM
Mulching leaves works. The real "secret" to success on properties with
heavy leaf debris is to mulch weekly throughout the falling process.
A one-time removal/disposal after all leaves have fallen, will almost always cost more than mulching the property fours weeks in a row.
That's EXACTLY what i do.:clapping:

Envy Lawn Service
11-25-2006, 03:32 AM
Yeah, right, you have 100 accounts, and 4 days of rain, and suddenly that, "mulch them weekly scenario", goes out the window. Meanwhile, that rain brought wind, and your looking at major leaf debris. All looks good on paper, until mother nature takes over. I love the "falling process" line, like it majically happens every year in some orderly fashion.

Heck... me, I pray for just a little rain in leaf season. Nice fall drizzles to keep things moist are GRRREAT!!!!! No dust.

But if it wants to come a downpour and cause a drop so deep I'm plowing leaves... well that's OK too.

Git the tools and Git-r-done or stay on the poarch!