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Rich's landscaping
07-05-2008, 03:12 PM
As stated before in a different thread im just starting out. Im begining to get calls on fall cleanup but unsure what to charge. I have my rate of 45$/hour. Do i give the customer a set price or should i do the work and then bill them. To me if i charge them for 3 hours and then i go back 2 or 3 times im screwed. :dizzy:
Right now i have a backpack and a rake i plan on buying a used walk behind blower.

This site has been really valuable asset for me thanks everyone.:)

TPendagast
07-05-2008, 05:56 PM
Tell everyone it is $55 per hour (you will use more fuel per hour than just mowing and there will be time spent dumping leaves) for fall clean up there will be a minimum charge for a lawn cut (whatever it costs to cut their lawn) PLUS $55 per man per hour, time spent OFF site is still billable hours as the crew will be dumping leaves from that job.
If they dont like that deal you could tell them its a minimum $110 dump fee per visit.
After a year of billing this way you can tell the customer, oh well last year it was $400 for your fall clean up. So assume it will be similar to that (plus or minus 20% depending on rain, volume of leaves etc) but still charge hourly, the fall is persnickity, some years the leaves dump inside two weeks, some years customers call me up to ask if I can "shake the trees" to get the leaves out so I only have to come once.
SOME properties will let the leaves fall and only want you to come ONCE (these jobs always end up costing MORE) and some people want their property cleaned once a week or at least every 10 days (this is the best way to do it, and the most cost efficent) and still others prefer says 2-3 times per clean up.
Anyway just go hourly plus or including the dump time/fee, but fall lcean ups will always cost more hourly than regular cutting.

ALC-GregH
07-06-2008, 11:11 AM
I'm going to charge $75 per hour and do it myself. Mowing is a given when clean-ups are done. That will be included in the price. Dump fees for me are only $5 per trailer load so those fees will also be included. In the end, If I normally charge $50 to just mow and it takes me about an hour, I'll be getting $75 to mow plus the time spent cleaning up. So if it takes me 3hrs to mow and clear all the leaves out, I'll make right around $165 after expenses. :D

hackitdown
07-06-2008, 01:45 PM
Here is how I price it for a customer.

1. It is a $240 minimum
2. The fee is based on $60/hr/man
3. Based on my best ESTIMATE, your property will cost between $360 and $420
4. If more leaves fall after I clean up, I will return for a reasonable fee.

bohiaa
07-06-2008, 08:45 PM
That's too LOW.............

punt66
07-06-2008, 09:56 PM
That's too LOW.............

you have fall cleanups down in Texas?

TPendagast
07-06-2008, 10:14 PM
people dont understand fall clean up until theve worked in New England... Ive heard people say "how can you charge that much?" Or "Idont even have a blower or a bagger I just mulch the leaves"

Hah!

milkie62
07-07-2008, 01:07 AM
NOWAY can you mulch leaves all season in New England.You cannot "mulch" 4-6" of maple leaves and still falling.I have had some maples hang on until after Thanksgiving in upstate NY. I could never give a price on a cleanup around here.I charge hourly and it will vary from year to year depending if we get early snow and the blower will not peel them up etc....

punt66
07-07-2008, 11:00 AM
people dont understand fall clean up until theve worked in New England... Ive heard people say "how can you charge that much?" Or "Idont even have a blower or a bagger I just mulch the leaves"

Hah!

agreed. they have no clue.

Wayne's Lawn Service
07-08-2008, 09:57 AM
Cleanups are a great opportunity to make money. Too bad we don't have more day light in the fall to work a few more jobs.

I agree with you guys 100%. Cleanups are jobs that must be priced hourly and at a higher rate than mowing. The conditions are such that is harder on equipment and requires specialized equipment to do it and make a good PROFIT.

Before we know it, many of us will be hooking up Vac's and firing up parking lot blowers. Oh Gosh, where is the summer going. In the mean time, check your plow and salt box. Okay, maybe not just yet!

milkie62
07-08-2008, 11:13 PM
I laugh at an old Troy-Bilt ad showing one of their mulching mowers going thru some leaves and it looked like perfect lawn.Talk about false advertising.They were right around the corner from me in upstate maple tree country.Light leaves will come up OK with a bagger,once they start falling ---------FORGET IT.

Jim8Nascar
07-20-2008, 07:51 AM
Hey Guys,
This is my 1st year in the biz and you guys have some great advise!! I live in Rhode Island and just got a bunch of FREE equiptment!! Man like pennies from heavan. Around here there so many people just throwing mowers in the back of thier trucks claiming to be "Lawncare Companies". Some guys are charging $20.00 to cut lawns!! NUTS!!
I'm just waiting for the fall because these guys have no idea how underbid they go. When they realize how much it accually cost to do a spring or fall clean up correctly,they'll be out of business and their customers will be calling me!!
I am planning on charging $45.00 to $55.00 an hour for fall clean-up. The nice thing about where I live is that the trash guys pick up the yard waste bags!
2004 Dodge Dakota Qaud Cab V-8
5 x 8 Tailer
33" Cub Cadet ZTR Walk behind
6.75 Jon Deer Mulching 22"
Deer seeder/dethatcher
Toro edger
Echo Blower
Echo Straght shaft Weed wacker
Walk behind Blower

HighlandLC
07-20-2008, 01:51 PM
Hey Guys,
. The nice thing about where I live is that the trash guys pick up the yard waste bags!

Ever had customers ask you to bag the leaves so it would be cheeper ? LOL

Vac truck or mower-bagger is the only way to go.

bohiaa
07-20-2008, 11:43 PM
you have fall cleanups down in Texas?

YES But NOT IN JULY.......

Allens LawnCare
07-21-2008, 02:11 PM
As stated before in a different thread im just starting out. Im begining to get calls on fall cleanup but unsure what to charge. I have my rate of 45$/hour. Do i give the customer a set price or should i do the work and then bill them. To me if i charge them for 3 hours and then i go back 2 or 3 times im screwed. :dizzy:
Right now i have a backpack and a rake i plan on buying a used walk behind blower.

This site has been really valuable asset for me thanks everyone.:)

Don't touch fall clean estimates until the fall. My guess is you haven't given an estimate then go back in the fall and find all the leaves have piled in your customers yard. Tell them it would not be fair to them to give an estimate now because you stick to your prices and have no control over mother nature.

Allens LawnCare
07-21-2008, 02:13 PM
you have fall cleanups down in Texas?

I think it's cattle poop

Jim8Nascar
07-21-2008, 10:01 PM
Good advise!:drinkup:

martinlawn
08-03-2008, 12:36 PM
We charge $45/hr per man and thats not enough. I get $60/hr (avg) when mowing with my 52" Stander and I have the wind in my hair and get a nice tan. Clean ups are a neccesary evil that goes with the business. It is very dusty and we're always racing the clock to beat the snow as well as daylight saving time here in MN. This fall its $50/hr per man and I tell you thats not enough. People whine and think I charge more than a lawyer or Dr. but its a lot of work. I have told them that I will do it for $15/hr if I rake it by hand but it will take 30 hours... then they shut up.

Cashio13
08-03-2008, 02:46 PM
people dont understand fall clean up until theve worked in New England... Ive heard people say "how can you charge that much?" Or "Idont even have a blower or a bagger I just mulch the leaves"

Hah!

haha here in New England it feels like leaves are falling forever. Its kinda hard to pick up tons of leaves with your mower....it just doesn't work like that.

ed2hess
08-03-2008, 07:21 PM
agreed. they have no clue.

No Clue......we deal with leaves from October all the way through early April. the worst comes in March and April with live oak leaves. If we was handling levers like you guys(blow them and suck them) we would be talking about really big bucks since they leaves just keep on coming. So....we mulch them into dust and then we pick them with with a Walker or some other little bagger when needed. Simple and easy and doesn't take time. I still don't get why customers up north let leaves pile up 2 ft or more then have them cleaned up rather than having them done weekly. It certainly don't save them money does it:hammerhead:

hackitdown
08-03-2008, 07:29 PM
No Clue......we deal with leaves from October all the way through early April. the worst comes in March and April with live oak leaves. If we was handling levers like you guys(blow them and suck them) we would be talking about really big bucks since they leaves just keep on coming. So....we mulch them into dust and then we pick them with with a Walker or some other little bagger when needed. Simple and easy and doesn't take time. I still don't get why customers up north let leaves pile up 2 ft or more then have them cleaned up rather than having them done weekly. It certainly don't save them money does it:hammerhead:

'cause it gets cold quickly and all the leaves fall off the trees in a week or two. You simply cannot mulch or mow them.

I have customers that ask me to come weekly for cleanup, and that is cool...even so, some weeks a typical 30 minute visit will become a 2 hour cleanup because the leaves all fell off the friggin' trees since the last visit.

Other customers ask for mowing to stop Oct 1. Leaves fall mostly in November. They ask for the big cleanup at that point. So, 8 visits at $50 each, or a cleanup for $400, comes out the same.

Others mow their own lawns, and call for a cleanup since the job is HUGE. Before I did this work, my wife and I would spend 2 or 3 weekends cleaning up leaves with rakes and tarps. It sucked...hard.

punt66
08-03-2008, 08:34 PM
No Clue......we deal with leaves from October all the way through early April. the worst comes in March and April with live oak leaves. If we was handling levers like you guys(blow them and suck them) we would be talking about really big bucks since they leaves just keep on coming. So....we mulch them into dust and then we pick them with with a Walker or some other little bagger when needed. Simple and easy and doesn't take time. I still don't get why customers up north let leaves pile up 2 ft or more then have them cleaned up rather than having them done weekly. It certainly don't save them money does it:hammerhead:

Yes no clue. Not meaning that as an insult. Are seasons are completely different. All the leaves fall from the trees in a 6 week period before the snow comes. After that were done. We have alot more trees up here. I have yards that the leaves within 2 weeks will be 4 or 5 inches high. While your mulching leaves throughout the winter were drinking cofee at 3 am and plowing snow. So yes, unless you have lived up here you really have no idea.