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View Full Version : Looking ahead to leaf removal season...


CollegeGuy
08-04-2008, 03:14 PM
Once the grass stops growing and the leaves start falling, how much business does leaf removal bring you? Do you have do downsize your crew? And how do you schedule leaf removal with your customers, on request, one time at the end of the season or weekly/monthly?

What % of your lawn care mowing customers request that you do their leaves in the winter too?

Matts lawn care
08-04-2008, 04:12 PM
For me leaf removal is my most profitable service besides mowing. I hire my bro and 2 friends. About 3/4 of my mowing customers request leaf removal. There are a few ways to do it. You can come every other week, 2 times or 1 time. It all depends on how nice hey want there lawn looking.

Petr51488
08-04-2008, 04:17 PM
If its a weekly house, i show up weekly until the leaves stop falling, and some for bi-weekly. I may not cut the grass, but i show up to the customers property and clean it up.

dutchman
08-04-2008, 04:39 PM
If its a weekly house, i show up weekly until the leaves stop falling, and some for bi-weekly. I may not cut the grass, but i show up to the customers property and clean it up.

How do you bill them...Do you take the leaves away

mowerbrad
08-04-2008, 05:39 PM
Leaf season is definately very profitable for me. I can make 4 times what I can mowing in the same amount of time. Usually once I do one customer's lawn then all their neighbors start coming out to see if I can do theirs too. So I do it on a first come first serve basis, but my year long customers always come first.

naturescape
08-04-2008, 07:54 PM
I don't "remove" a d--n thing. I mulch all leaves, improves the lawn, and I charge the price of the regular weekly cut. Fall is a great time of the year for me.

Can't wait to try my Hi-Lift Gator blades on leaves. From what I've seen so far, they will work better than anything else, and I won't even have to use a mulch kit. Those can be a pain.........

dcombs
08-04-2008, 08:03 PM
How much do you charge to have them removed?

Whitey4
08-04-2008, 09:46 PM
I do three cleanups... one each in Oct, Nov and Dec. There are far too many leaves here to mulch them, they have to be removed.

STIHL GUY
08-04-2008, 09:59 PM
i mulch them for a few weeks and then pick them all up in the end. it is no use picking them up when half the trees havnt let go of the leaves yet. it can be tricky because i have had trees full of leaves even after the first snow

naturescape
08-04-2008, 10:56 PM
I do three cleanups... one each in Oct, Nov and Dec. There are far too many leaves here to mulch them, they have to be removed.

NEVER too many. I have mulched 4 foot piles of leaves before. You just have to know what you're doing, and best to keep up with it every week.

nobagger
08-04-2008, 11:17 PM
NEVER too many. I have mulched 4 foot piles of leaves before. You just have to know what you're doing, and best to keep up with it every week.

What! I would like to see you mulch some of the lawns we have with knee deep leaves. I honetly never had much luck with mulching leaves, either the customers aren't happy with the final out come or I'm not, so we just keep on bagging and baggin and bagging. Of course we charge accordingly.

Whitey4
08-04-2008, 11:29 PM
NEVER too many. I have mulched 4 foot piles of leaves before. You just have to know what you're doing, and best to keep up with it every week.

First, I don't do cleanups every week. I blow out the beds, I will use my WB with discharge chute to blow them onto a tarp, and drag the tarp off. I'll use the leaves (except for maple) in my own compost pile. The maple leaves go to the dump... they just don't compost well.

bone1
08-04-2008, 11:47 PM
how much do you guys charge for leaf removal? my first year doing it, don't really know what the going rate is. thanks

dcombs
08-05-2008, 12:09 AM
Same here. First year in the business and i need to know some kind of price ranges to get started.

St. Andrew's Lawn Care
08-05-2008, 12:15 AM
I usually have about 3/4 of my customers wanting leaf removal. I ask them if they want me to continue with a weekly mowing to bag leaves as they fall. I may not be cutting grass but I use the same equipment, bag it, remove it and charge hauling/disposal fee. I simply add $15 for weekly visits regardless of how many leaves I collect...$25 for ever other week visits and apply a disposal fee on top of it and bill them at the end on the month. Some customers ask me to come one time...I apply an hourly rate of $45 and a disposal fee...
Hope this helps...

bone1
08-05-2008, 01:58 AM
I usually have about 3/4 of my customers wanting leaf removal. I ask them if they want me to continue with a weekly mowing to bag leaves as they fall. I may not be cutting grass but I use the same equipment, bag it, remove it and charge hauling/disposal fee. I simply add $15 for weekly visits regardless of how many leaves I collect...$25 for ever other week visits and apply a disposal fee on top of it and bill them at the end on the month. Some customers ask me to come one time...I apply an hourly rate of $45 and a disposal fee...
Hope this helps...

hey, thanks for the info! i appreciate it!

CoopersLandscaping
08-05-2008, 08:19 PM
Oh my Gosh. LEaf season. I hate leaf season, but I work all week for all of October and into November every week. I just use a vac and a mulching mower and bag. But it sucks

thelawnboss
08-05-2008, 11:17 PM
you can not ask someone else what they charge for leaves, unless they are nearby you. i am sure the price in michigan is much differant than arkansas. BUT not wanting to sound like a jerk, we charge 40 per man hour here in MI

Whitey4
08-05-2008, 11:30 PM
you can not ask someone else what they charge for leaves, unless they are nearby you. i am sure the price in michigan is much differant than arkansas. BUT not wanting to sound like a jerk, we charge 40 per man hour here in MI

Point well taken.... my prices vary widely, and I only have accounts in ONE town! Some houses have few or NO deciduous trees.... some are jam packed with them. Others are victims of wind blown leaves. Put a Norway maple at 50 feet tall, a sycamore and an oak on a 100X90 foot plot, and you got some serious leaves to deal with. Then I have customer situated where they have no large trees, and are out of the wind line. They pay a lot less for fall cleanups.

I don't charge per hour... I make a best gueestimate and live wit the profit margin. Repeat customers are easy.... it's the new ones that are difficult.

shovelracer
08-05-2008, 11:38 PM
I just got the contracts out the other day. i look forward to it cause all the years expenses are caught up and its straight $. I actually bring in more people for about 2 months. My rate is regular man hour labor + extra gas, equipment wear and tear, etc. With the short daylight hours and average crew gets about 6-7 billable hours per man. A good day can bring 8-9 tops. I love it, but it gets stressful some years with the weather and such. I always love the last minute calls in december for some extra padding. My favorite part is the countdown followed immediately by 20 hour plow days and a few days of lawnsite and couch time.

bone1
08-06-2008, 12:13 AM
you can not ask someone else what they charge for leaves, unless they are nearby you. i am sure the price in michigan is much differant than arkansas. BUT not wanting to sound like a jerk, we charge 40 per man hour here in MI

of course it's different in different states! just trying to get an idea of how people charge!

naughty62
08-06-2008, 07:59 AM
we have a older z, we mounted a 4ft tine rake w/ a fabbed electric lift cylinder off a old snow blower . That gets the wetter stuffup and windrows it away from obsticles .And then we bag it with zd 326 with a shaft driven blower attached .12 ft dump box, so dont have to make over 4 trips a day .But still can not get away from rakes,tarps and blowers .Dont forget eve troughs cleaning except on those 3 story victorian giants . LOL:laugh:

cod8825
08-08-2008, 02:59 PM
We take are Super Z with rakes, blowers and the such and mulch everything into a pile and then we use are walker GHS to bag it up this way it cuts way down on our haul off.

We estimate time and charge $50 an hour to do the job. Most lawns take about 1 hour with two guys and we charge about $150 to $200 for most residential lawns.