View Full Version : Leaf Cleanup

10-26-2001, 10:14 PM
How much do you guys charge for leaf cleanup? I got a call the other day, went to the persons house and looked the area over.
This yard is fairly small, so I said $25. Her response: "no, twenty, I can't be spending hundreds of dollars on this kind of
stuff." She also mentioned that she pays the people who mow $20 (why they don't pick up the leaves I don't know, there are not
even that many, a mower would pick them up easily) and chemlawn $40. She wants the leaves picked in 3 days, because the mowingguys are coming. The grass wasn't even long, and as I said, a mower would pick that up easy. When we mow, we don't charge for leafs unless they are extremely excessive. Since the yard was small, I said $20 is fine. I think that leaf cleanup is a hell of a lot harder than mowing, and should cost more. What do you think? Once I hear what you guys charge, I think I will tell her (she is having us pick up leaves weekly) to find another lawn care service to quote you a price and see if they'll do it for $20.

10-26-2001, 10:27 PM
How long do you think it's going to take? I charge $15-$20 an hour to do this kind of work on larger properties that are going to take me more than an hour. If it takes less than an hour, it's $20-$30. $30 an hour for one hour, $20 for half an hour, and if it's less than that I don't bother. The least amount of money I can make doing this kind of work is $30. Not too bad.

10-26-2001, 10:32 PM
You said "I don't know why the guys who mow don't pick up the leaves."
I bet I do! It's because they won't touch them for the mere price of a cut - in this case, twenty dollars. THAT'S why she wanted you to DO it for twenty. I wouldn't touch that job for under fifty - I don't care HOW small it is. It isn't worth it. You have to fgure, people pay the NEIGHBOR kid to do it for that, and this gal wants you to pull your equipment, you have invested in, over there, (spending gas and time just GETTING there) and run it on you INSURED time for twenty bucks, THEN spend the time getting away from the job, (again spending gas) and PLEASE don't tell me you're hauling these off, too!

10-26-2001, 10:46 PM
oryano--in my market, unless I cut the grass, a $20 leaf job will cost you $100 if I do it.

and that is if I will do it at all.



10-26-2001, 10:54 PM

10-26-2001, 10:59 PM
I just gotta laugh. Her mowing guy won't do it so she calls you. 1. If I do the job I'm your new mowing Guy. 2. I have never over estimated a leaf job. They always take longer than they look.:rolleyes:

10-26-2001, 11:05 PM
I decided since the yard didn't have many leaves in it, and she just wants them put on the street I would do it for $20. It shouldn't even take an hour, and I need some more jobs. She found out about us by her neighbor (few blocks away) that we mow for when he is out of town. The same guy referred us to his other neighbor, who we mowed for while he was moving and hired us for other odd jobs. I havn't been in the business long, and don't have many jobs. I am hoping other people will see us doing work for her and will contact us. I tried flyers, but I think one of the most effective way of getting business is by references.

10-26-2001, 11:09 PM
I understand. Stick it out . Nobody got this cocky overnight. Its easy to be confident on computer, harder when you are hungry.:cool:

10-26-2001, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by Scag48
How long do you think it's going to take? I charge $15-$20 an hour to do this kind of work on larger properties that are going to take me more than an hour. If it takes less than an hour, it's $20-$30. $30 an hour for one hour, $20 for half an hour, and if it's less than that I don't bother. The least amount of money I can make doing this kind of work is $30. Not too bad.

I'm sorry Scag, I read it like 4 times, and I still can't make any sense of your pricing stucture.........
......ok, just read it again. Now I'm dizzy!:confused: ;)

10-27-2001, 12:06 AM
Grass cutting is slowing down so at 15 you probably have some extra time on your hands. You said that the leaves were not that bad and she wanted them picked up before the grass cutters came. blow everything into the lawn and mulch it up real good since the leaves are not that bad. Do a really good job and show her that you can do a better job than her regulars can. Sounds like she is interested in year round service which would indicate, that kept up on a regular basis, mulching of the leaves would be no harder than a regular cutting of the lawn. If you're happy with the price, do the best job that you can and try to add a permanent client to your list.

10-27-2001, 12:07 AM
I have never over estimated a leaf job. They always take longer than they look.

This is why I will only charge by the hour.. $45 per

10-27-2001, 12:11 AM
I'm sorry,... I didn't realize you were 15. Hey, GO for it!;)

10-27-2001, 12:18 AM

$75 a man hour, ONLY charge by T&M!!!!!!!!!!!


If you have read Lawn Site like you said you have, you have not read it like you said you have. Just look at what you are asking.
First asking about leaf clean up pricing. Talked about many times over the last few weeks. Second dropping your price to appease, or gain a customer. Now what you have done was cost your self money to get one when you could have done another and made money instead of loosing money. And told the customer they can get you to drop your price so they now can control you and your biz. You have a lot of reading to do. You had better use the "search function" and use it well over the next couple of days.

I am not trying to be rude, I am just trying to point you in the right direction.


10-27-2001, 01:12 AM
tell the lady u will mow and mulch leaves or blow to street side for $25 weekly. this will get you more work and a new full time customer and save her some money(making her happy). i used fliars in the neighborhood on a few homes that i do snow removal for to get the mowing name out there and this year i have gained 14 of 18 jobs on the street and will probably take the next 4 next year. references work the best. one of my clients was so impressed with my lawn he dropped his company and took me, referenced me to 3 neighbors, his mother and son(for next yr) and his elderly brother who lives a block down. he also has me take care of his store. (the store is mulch beds and a large parking lot so once i get the plow or skid steer next year i will take on that too). one client has made me over $3000 already this year and even tho his lawn was completely destroyed due to grubs and scots grub control (i know this is off topic but i warn lcos to not use this ever, the grubs came back in 2 weeks and destroyed the lawn. lesco grub/worm worked in 3 days!) he is still impressed and gets me work. you need to build a strong customer base now when your young and settle for slightly lower prices (you can do this because you probably dont pay taxes or insurance). good luck with leaf season

10-27-2001, 01:41 AM
dlandscaping, do you pay taxes and insurance? :rolleyes: I believe the old saying is: "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones?"

Hoosier Mower
10-27-2001, 02:20 PM
I charge $30 an hour flat rate that way your not changing your rate depending on the yard size. I'd also recommend her to think about hiring you or someone that does complete lawn care.

10-27-2001, 03:28 PM
no i do not pay taxes or have insurance. i said he mite seeing as he is only 15. i know that not having the insurance and all is hurting my business but this is my first year and i am only doing neighborhood. when i get my liscence and truck next year i am getting insurance and paying taxes. i am not throwing stones i am simply giving my advice.

10-27-2001, 04:56 PM
dlandscaping, you're spreading pesticides and you don't have a drivers license yet (which would imply that you don't have an applicators license yete either).

I'm not taking that risk! I've loaned my piddly little craftsman drop spreader to one of my customers so she could drop some weed & feed, but I won't do it myself until I get licensed.

Better be careful out there.

10-28-2001, 12:41 AM
Reread Lawngodfathers post.

Then reread again. He's correct. I averaged over $75 per hour last year. Most of the time your there longer with leaves than cutting. Not to mention your cost are higher. The dust means you will use more air filters, the oil will need to be changed more often, your health from dust, bags if collecting with bagger, etc.

Example: A lawn that normally takes me 30 min to cut, I got $135 for the leaf job last year. It took me 1 hour 10 min.

People don't do leaves because this job sucks. At least the homeowner way does. I actually enjoy leaves now. I invested in good equipment and the job becomes more fun. This is a dirty job, don't underestimate your worth. This site is here to help our industry and business grow. Don't think like an hourly employee, think like an owner. Pass on the junk, especially a customer that wants to dictate your price. They will only get worse over time. There are way to many good customers out there. Find quality and life and business will be more enjoyable.

Shady Brook
10-28-2001, 09:08 AM
I think chargeing extra for leaves is a good idea if for nothing more then all the dirt. All that junk I am pulling out of my air filters has got to be passing through to the engine in some quantities. Leaves have got cause excess wear to equipment, so I charge accordingly. I need to look at those enginaire filters! ;)


10-28-2001, 10:39 AM
Leaves, leaves, leaves.... a never ending battle.
We are set to mulch them or totally pick them up. i give the customer the option of letting me come in once a week and mulch them to nothing. Using 2 dixie choppers with doubles. This is the first year using doubles and i wish i would of had them around the last 5 years!! I usually charge about $15-20 extra to come in and just mulch and scatter. If they want them picked up its $65 per hour plus$10-15 for disposal. 2 man crew goes in blows the beds shrubs wherever, one starts mulching to some , the other one starts picking them up with the Walker GHS, dumps them at the truck side to be vaccuumed in. Most yards are done in a hour or less.:blob3: