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GravelyGuy
11-21-2006, 08:29 PM
This may be nothing compared to some of yours, but this was a tuffy for me being that I'm solo and the leaves were super wet. All of the leaves in the beds made it tough. I went at it with my Husqvarna 145 BP and my 5 HP BillyGoat. This one is big compared to most of my others.:walking:

GravelyGuy
11-21-2006, 08:31 PM
Last picture

lucky4511
11-21-2006, 08:31 PM
so how long did the job take you and what did you charge for it?

GravelyGuy
11-21-2006, 08:36 PM
It took me every bit of 7 hours and I charged $240. I wouldn't be able to get much more than that around here. The blowers would have worked a lot faster if the leaves had been dry.

I also got a free lunch out of the deal. Really friendly people.

dozerdogue
11-21-2006, 08:44 PM
You did a very nice Job. On the other hand I think you way undercharged them $240.00 for 7hrs is kinda cheap.

GravelyGuy
11-21-2006, 08:50 PM
I have low overhead. $240 covers my expenses and makes me plenty of money solo. I have a hard time bidding jobs hourly anyways because people hate paying an 18 year old anything over $7 an hour:rolleyes: I made up a portfolio of some of my best work and it seems to be doing quite well this season as far as helping me to land jobs. These people are also full time service from me so they definately get a break on things. I mow, clean gutters, trim shrubs, power wash, mulch, aerate, do snow and everything for them.

Signature Landscaping1
11-21-2006, 08:54 PM
Great Job!

Roger
11-21-2006, 09:02 PM
I looks like you were able to leave the debris at the curb, right? Did you use tarps to drag the debris to the curb? Seeing the distances and the quantity, most likely your 5hp BG was not able to get them from the long distances to the curb.

GravelyGuy
11-21-2006, 09:10 PM
Yes, city pickup and I did have to use a tarp. The wet leaves made the tarp fairly heavy. The BG sucks if the leaves are wet.

Grass Kickin
11-21-2006, 09:24 PM
You did a good job! Solo? Excellent job!

thomsoutdoor
11-21-2006, 09:30 PM
Good Job. Sad you only got $240. I used to vacuum and haul away but became to much work for the money. Now I pretty much mulch. I get multiple visits and in a out quick and it adds up to more money. Still a pain in the as@ ! Its hard to make money doing leaves when you are competing against newbies trying to make a buck and the bigger companies with the cheap labor.

B&M
11-21-2006, 09:54 PM
We had one about that size last week...... I HATE LEAVES!!!

Your only 18? Keep up the good work, it's great to see other young Guys that do good work.

nmez21
11-21-2006, 09:55 PM
Very nice work!

dcondon
11-21-2006, 10:09 PM
Looks great!!! Maye next year you will be able to get a little help and make it go easier.

ed2hess
11-21-2006, 10:54 PM
It took me every bit of 7 hours and I charged $240. I wouldn't be able to get much more than that around here. The blowers would have worked a lot faster if the leaves had been dry.

I also got a free lunch out of the deal. Really friendly people.
Have you ever tried to mulch leaves this is a perfect example where you could have mulched them. With a decent size 36"WB and mulch kit with outlet blocked you could have mulched the first pass in less than an hour. Then blowed the leaves out of beds and did it again. You ought to give it a try.

lawnMaster5000
11-21-2006, 11:48 PM
I too would have mulched all those leaves into dust. Ok well not dust since they were wet but still would have mulched them.

What would the rest of you have bid on that job. Hard to tell from the pics but I cant imagine how any of you can say it is hard for you to make money doing leaves if you are charging $240 for that.

Hard to price from the pics but I cant imagine I would have charged over $120. Remember, dump at the curb, not haul away.

Dunn's
11-22-2006, 12:41 AM
Yea same here I don't think we could have eben got $120 since they where just being moved to the curb. I don't want to be mean but my last to jobs today where more work than that and I was by myself and since they where next door to each other it only took me 2Hr and 23 min together and that was with me hualing them away. I only used the small echo back pack and still did it fatser. Maybe you should look into a better machine than the husky. I just say this becuase I can't Imagine what else could have caused the job to take 7 hours. You are going to burn yourself out real fast this way.Maybe we are not seeing something. Is there something we are missing that caused it to take so long.

NC Big Daddy
11-22-2006, 06:49 AM
It took you 7 hours? Did you use a rake?

3 man crew maybe 2 hours (more like 1.5) $270.00.

cborden
11-22-2006, 07:54 AM
It took you 7 hours? Did you use a rake?

3 man crew maybe 2 hours (more like 1.5) $270.00.



Solo at 7 man-hours or a crew of three at 4.5 - 6 man-hours, not that much of a difference. Especially after you take payroll & taxes out of it for your three man crew. Seven man-hours seems a bit long, but equipment and experience makes all the difference. Around here, that's not a bad price from what I could see from the pictures.

NC Big Daddy
11-22-2006, 08:07 AM
Great point. Only thing is a 3 man crew can do 5 of these a day with little effort. $1350 per day. But I understand what you're saying.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
11-22-2006, 09:01 AM
I could have done that with my mower in about a hour and a half. Mulch the leaves on the grass, then blow out the beds and mulch them again.... this is working solo. Of course I wouldn't have charged that much for only a hour and a halfs work though....

GravelyGuy
11-22-2006, 05:35 PM
I had a mulch kit on my ZTR for the first year I had it and it does NOT look very good when you mulch the leaves. High end residentials around here do not want their leaves mulched, they want them hauled. One more thing, it rained for a week straight here before I did this. Way to wet to mulch. It took so long because there are a million shrubs around this house with leaves stuck in them. you can't see everything with the pics. I find it hard to believe anyone could have done it any faster and still removed every single leaf from the entire property like I did. I was haulin ass and about to have a heart attack dragging the tarp around to the front :rolleyes:

LawnScapers of Dayton
11-22-2006, 06:00 PM
you did a nice job.......

lawnMaster5000
11-22-2006, 07:06 PM
dont drag the tarp to the front. make a long row of leaves with your blower then take your rider or walk behind and push the leaves to the street.

If you had 2 guys you would have doubled your work force but nearly trippled the amount of work you can do. I wont do leaves by myself b/c you lose so much efficiency. You blow from this side, then run over to the other before the wind gets them. It sucks when you cant get two guys there. I have been there before as well.

As far as the 7 hours thing. No matter how wet or how many bushes i cant imagine taking that long unless you picked every leaf out of each shrub. In that case i understand the price and the time.

Good work either way and congrats on the money.

Groomer
11-22-2006, 07:51 PM
Some guys just can't understand that there is a point when mulching just doesn't get it. There are certain properties, some guys have 'em, some don't, where you just can't mulch. The leaf drop dictates that you move them off property. Charge accordingly.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
11-22-2006, 10:16 PM
When I say " Mulch " I am not talking about putting a cover over my mowers discharge and gator blades and trying to mulch the leaves per say....

No what I do is start on one side of the lawn and mow forwards, pointing my discharge towards a bed, or natural area, then reverse over what I just cut. Leaves are flying out of the discharge, but some of them are getting mulched. I keep going back and forth until I make it to the bed. By the time I get to the bed, no matter how thick the leaves are, very little leaves are left to go into the bed.

At that point if you want to clean out the beds, then move the mower and blow out the beds and then do the same back and forth cutting with the mower shooting the leaves the other way. It takes time, but does not leave a heavy amount of chewed up leaves visible in the grass and it eliminates nearly all of it. If there is a wooded area nearby I will blow, push with mower, or " mulch " towards that wooded area.

Most of the people here in this area cover the beds once or twice a year with a layer of pinestraw. I usually do not blow out pinestrawed beds as you can just lay new straw over the leaves and the leaves will decompose under the straw and go away on their own.

It takes some time still to clean a lawn up my way, but it is alot faster than blowing the whole lawn off into a big pile at the curb.

Just Mow
11-22-2006, 10:23 PM
Very nice job. Keep up the good work and you will have more work than a solo can handle.

johnny v
11-23-2006, 01:25 AM
80$ x 7 hours = nice cash for that job otherwise let the wetbacks take it....

MowerMoney
11-23-2006, 07:19 PM
Dude. You did an awesome cleanup job on that one. :clapping: Looks like you hand picked every single leaf out of the beds and bushes. More than I would do, I only guarantee 98%, never 100%.
And your pricing is exactly what we get in my area.
Do you really believe these guys that tell us they're getting $80 to $100 per hour for leaves? Maybe they have bigger equipment and 3 man crews, so they're done in 1.5 hrs. Therefore they walk away with maybe $150 for the same job. Figure it out......who walks away with the most net profit... mmmmmmmm?

turfsolutions
11-23-2006, 10:54 PM
I have been doing leaves for 15 years. He did a great job and the price was right on. He may have been able to cut the time down an hour or two with the right equipment. Everyone has different techniques when it comes to leaves. We combo Redmax blowers, rakes, snowshovels, tarps and a rider with a JRCO vac and an 8hp blower only if the leaves are sticking to the ground. We average $40 per hour per man. I love leaves.

Keep up the good work and save for the right equipment.

Envy Lawn Service
11-23-2006, 10:59 PM
I'm sorry... but CRAP!!!!

What I wouldn't give for a gravy job like that.

I understand that if you want to offer leaf services and increase your chances of getting more jobs, you can't mulch them all... because some people who have just never seen it done are not sure about the idea of mulching them, and would rather just do old fashioned removal.

For a regular customer, I would have mulched those an been gone in under an hour. For a "leaf" customer I would have blown those to the street for curbside pickup in just a few hours.

Looks like that is a corner lot. I would have blown the back across to the side street curb and blown the front to the front curb. If there is no side street, I blow the back to one side, then around to the front.

Idealtim
11-23-2006, 11:26 PM
Looks about the same size and make up of most of my lawns. Your time and bid were right near what mine would of been.

Envy Lawn Service
11-24-2006, 12:10 AM
Look... I am really really really not trying to be a negative butthead here...

But I gotta say, if a job like this is taking you that long, something needs to change. Your methods, your equipment, something.

I'm not saying that to be like "my methods are better than yours" or "my equipment is better than yours" but rather to somehow guide you to more productivity.

To put what I'm saying here into prospective.... one guy with one RedMax 8001 can clear like a 2 acre estate of heavy coverage, and blow enough leaves into a single location to fill a large semi trailer in 4-5 hours (half a day give or take). And that's working at a pretty relaxed but steady pace.

In fact, I myself can do this by myself, and I'm a semi worn out 32 year old with a bad back. And this is my first season ever offering this caliber of leaf blowing services.

So I'm saying that if "I' of all people can do this... YOU can do it too.
But it's up to you to figure out what the missing element is.

If you guys want to try to discuss it more and figure it out, I'll be glad to discuss it with you. If you are content with your production and don't want to, that's fine by me too.

It's just an observation.....

GravelyGuy
11-24-2006, 01:14 AM
I guess I'm just a slow unproductive piece of ****:hammerhead:

*THREAD CLOSED*:sleeping:

Envy Lawn Service
11-24-2006, 01:29 AM
I guess I'm just a slow unproductive piece of ****:hammerhead:

*THREAD CLOSED*:sleeping:

Well, I told you I wasn't trying to come off like that.

But if that's the way you want to take it, that's fine by me.

Richard Martin
11-24-2006, 05:52 AM
Envy, his methods will change in time and I know you realize that. When I first started doing leaf cleanups my times were pretty long too. But since I was doing them for the price of a grass cut (so it ain't so) I learned pretty quickly that I had to find a better way to get these jobs done. I experimented with all kinds of equipment. Rakes, handheld blowers, a homemade leaf plow, leaf vacuum, mulching, literally everything I could find or think of. The last big job I did was 5 acres (by myself) and it took me about 8 hours to do and paid $320. On that job I did a combination of mulching and blowing with my BR600. Since then I've added a 8 HP Little Wonder blower and a lawn sweeper (works great on Pine straw) to my arsenal and I hope to do even better in the future.

Gravely, you'll get better with time and it looks like you're on the right path with pricing. Just remember this. Even if you can get that job done in half the time don't ever, never reduce the price.

corey4671
11-24-2006, 07:30 AM
as an example, I had an older couple call me out last year to do a cleanup. Had about 14 HUGE oaks on about a half acre...tons of shrubs up against the house and flower beds galore. Took about 1.5 of blowing to get lwet leaves away fromthe house then about another 2.5 to mulch mulch and mulch sonme more until they were gone. Paid $200. Called me back again this year...customer said on the ohone felt like there weren't as many leaves this year..felt like I should charge less. TOld her I would have to see it first. Went out to do the job last Saturday...still 4 hours...customer was not happy that it still cost $200....Tight wad PITA...won't go back next year...will be "too busy"

brucec32
11-24-2006, 09:55 PM
Have you ever tried to mulch leaves this is a perfect example where you could have mulched them. With a decent size 36"WB and mulch kit with outlet blocked you could have mulched the first pass in less than an hour. Then blowed the leaves out of beds and did it again. You ought to give it a try.

I agree. That wasn't so many leaves that mulching wouldn't work. Even if you wanted to vac them up, you'd save so much time you could unbolt the mulch kit, attach the bagger, make a last pass to suck up any large remnants, and still get the job done in about half the time.

And GravelyGuy.....Rather than get miffed, why not learn from those who have more experience? The points they're making will save you hundreds of hours of hard work a year if you use the advice.

o-so-n-so
11-24-2006, 11:24 PM
Nice job.....You should get some referrals from a job like that. Your price seems in line but you job time is a little high. You do good work "kid"......:waving:

RossP
11-24-2006, 11:48 PM
really nice clean up:drinkup: .. cant believe the pricing tho. must just be your area. around here i charge around 85/hr. :hammerhead:

zim bob the landscaper
11-24-2006, 11:55 PM
I guess I'm just a slow unproductive piece of ****:hammerhead:

*THREAD CLOSED*:sleeping:
dude calm down u will get faster at these things. last year it took me a clean up 8 hours it was about 3 times as big as urs with 8 times the leaves. but this year i did it in 2 hours. i made really good time. u will get better i know this.

Envy Lawn Service
11-25-2006, 02:23 AM
I agree. That wasn't so many leaves that mulching wouldn't work. Even if you wanted to vac them up, you'd save so much time you could unbolt the mulch kit, attach the bagger, make a last pass to suck up any large remnants, and still get the job done in about half the time.

And GravelyGuy.....Rather than get miffed, why not learn from those who have more experience? The points they're making will save you hundreds of hours of hard work a year if you use the advice.

Exactly! And thanks by the way.

That's all I was saying. And truth is, this is my first year blowing off large properties. Before it was seldom and only small stuff like pictured here. With that said, I'm no speedy teen anymore, that's for sure, and I only work at a slower consistant steady pace.

Point being, if I can do it and cut off that much time, anyone can.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
11-25-2006, 08:48 AM
I did 9 clean ups yesterday. Every one of them was covered in leaves. I blew some of them, mulched some of them... didn't waste any time, Got started on the first one at 9:30am and was done at dark, working by my lonesome.... Of course I don't charge the bucks you guys charge for it, It only takes me a hour at most per yard.

clydesdale
11-25-2006, 09:32 AM
Please tell me how much acreage. I have been at this 17 years part time. I tarped for 15, used a leaf loader last year, and this year I mulched. Let me first define mulch for my purpose. All i did was close my ezchute and run my mamba blades. I would cut in a perimeter and work my way to the center. I first blew all the leaves out of the bushes onto the lawn. I also stepped up to a 13hp billgoat force blower. I charged roughly the same as last year and my hourly wage effectively went up from 60 to 80/hr. I work solo and didnt use one damn tarp. I only had to use the leaf loader on 2 accounts. The mulching method reduces the leaves so much it is remarkable. THEN I BLOW THE LAWN DOWN. I dont just mulch and leave. I blow it down just like i used to. But now the leaf pile is a fraction of the size and if I miss a leaf or two, you really cant tell because it has been reduced to a fraction of the size. If the lawn in this pic was not more than 1.5 acres, then you could cut that time way down. Your basic 1/2 acre in the burbs of NYC was taking me on average 2.5 total hours. I would do 40 min one week and maybe more or less the next week. The yards with heavy coverage, I visited weekly for the last 3 weeks. It took me a long time to change methods but I am not tired, didnt drag one damn tarp and I worked solo for 80/hr. What I learned was buy great equipment and refine your method. By the looks of those pics, I could have done that yard in much less time. But I am not 18 anymore and when I was, I would have been damn proud too. You will get better and faster. Reinvest in better equip. For starters, a 5 hp wheeled blower is a toy. I bought the 9 hp force and returned it 10 minutes later for the 13hp. What was the acreage?

bigjeeping
11-25-2006, 04:06 PM
Great job.. and how many of your 18 year old buddies make $35/hr and get free lunch?? I think you got a killing on that job!

turfsolutions
11-26-2006, 11:38 AM
I can see one man bringing in $85 per hour with major hustle and full effeciency on certain jobs. But managing a crew there is no way you can expect that kind of money on a regular basis.

$85 per hour x 8 hours = $680 per man per day x 2 men = $1380 per day x 5 days = $6800 per week x 4 weeks = $27,200 total monthly sales of a 2 man crew doing leaves

Maybe I am doing something wrong but my 2 guys didn't do $27,200 worth of leaves this month and leaves is all they did. That said, they did have a good month.

If you were a solo by these numbers you would have done $14,100 worth of leaves in a month.

Tall order for 1 man. Even in my younger days I don't think I could have kept that pace as a solo. Any solo's out there that did $14,100 this month in leaves?

Grass-Masters
11-26-2006, 10:27 PM
I feel for ya man, I had about 6 or 7 of them like that. I did them by myself too. Fall clean up is a pain, next year I will be ready with more equipment.

GrassBustersLawn
11-28-2006, 10:52 PM
Not to OFFEND anyone that charges LESS than what I do for leaves.....HOWEVER, consider the following...

.1. I don't like doing my leaves. (and you probably don't either)
.2. I don't like doing someone else's leaves even more...SO
.3. If I'm going to do someone else's leaves...they are going to PAY MY RATE
.4. If they don't like my rate...they can do it themselves or find someone else

I charge $60 a man hour + dump fee and travel time (Yes, I know some charge more, many charge less & some are doing it for SLAVE WAGES (I know 1 guy that was doing it for $12 an hour...TRUE)). So for GRAVELYGUYS job I'd charged $450 for 7 man hours + dump fee. Granted, I bet I could have gotten it done in 4 or 5 hours and been in the $300 range (with my equipment).

My MINIMUM to show up is $150. Not bothering to show up for less. I've been doing leaves for a solid month now. So there are plenty of customers willing to PAY!

GRAVELYGUY...just commenting on your "I'm 18 and people don't want to pay me more than $7 an hour..." WHAT DOES YOUR AGE MATTER??? Do you say "hire me, I'm only 18 and need the money?" YOUR AGE IS IRRELEVANT. You are SELLING a SERVICE. SELL it at the GOING RATE! Also, you mentioned your "overhead is low". I don't care if you use THEIR RAKE & TARP...YOU STILL ONLY HAVE 9 or 10 hours of daylight this time of year. YOU ARE SELLING YOUR TIME...CHARGE APPROPRIATELY!!! If they don't agree with your rate, find someone else that does!

Leaf season can be VERY PROFITABLE if you have the right equipment and CHARGE APPROPRIATELY.

Mike

BSDeality
11-28-2006, 11:01 PM
Please tell me how much acreage. I have been at this 17 years part time. I tarped for 15, used a leaf loader last year, and this year I mulched. Let me first define mulch for my purpose. All i did was close my ezchute and run my mamba blades. I would cut in a perimeter and work my way to the center. I first blew all the leaves out of the bushes onto the lawn. I also stepped up to a 13hp billgoat force blower. I charged roughly the same as last year and my hourly wage effectively went up from 60 to 80/hr. I work solo and didnt use one damn tarp. I only had to use the leaf loader on 2 accounts. The mulching method reduces the leaves so much it is remarkable. THEN I BLOW THE LAWN DOWN. I dont just mulch and leave. I blow it down just like i used to. But now the leaf pile is a fraction of the size and if I miss a leaf or two, you really cant tell because it has been reduced to a fraction of the size. If the lawn in this pic was not more than 1.5 acres, then you could cut that time way down. Your basic 1/2 acre in the burbs of NYC was taking me on average 2.5 total hours. I would do 40 min one week and maybe more or less the next week. The yards with heavy coverage, I visited weekly for the last 3 weeks. It took me a long time to change methods but I am not tired, didnt drag one damn tarp and I worked solo for 80/hr. What I learned was buy great equipment and refine your method. By the looks of those pics, I could have done that yard in much less time. But I am not 18 anymore and when I was, I would have been damn proud too. You will get better and faster. Reinvest in better equip. For starters, a 5 hp wheeled blower is a toy. I bought the 9 hp force and returned it 10 minutes later for the 13hp. What was the acreage?amazing. my avg price went from $60 to 80/hr too! I did basically the same thing this year. I use a buggy on the back of the Z and leaf plow on the front too. mulching to reduce the piles in the woods is a major time saver too.