PDA

View Full Version : Fall Cleanups w/o trailer


lawnboy852
02-25-2010, 05:54 PM
So I work solely in my own neighborhood, and have decent business during the season. However what I really need is a way to do my fall cleanups and deal with leaves, without a truck or trailer. I think that mulching leaves, then bagging them is the best way to go, but I am wondering if anyone has a better option. I have never tried full mulch kits on my mowers (an exmark Metro and a Hustler SWB) and my accounts drop a pretty good amount of leaves...

Also, Would you consider it bad business to bag leaves, then put them out for pickup by the trash?

LawnoftheMonth
02-25-2010, 08:12 PM
rake them into a pile at the curb and light them on fire. :)

lawnboy852
02-25-2010, 08:50 PM
Unfortunately burning them is illegal here, i think, or at least greatly frowned upon... Definitely the most fun way to do it though

Creative1
02-25-2010, 09:59 PM
You sound really limited on your options so sounds like all you CAN do is bag and leave out for the trash. I would atleast time my leaf removal a day or so before trash pickup to minimize how long you have them sitting in front of your customers house. We haul ours off, but that doesn't sound like an option for you. Talk to your customers, if they don't mind sitting them out for the trash, then there is your solution.

Kennedy Landscaping
02-26-2010, 09:30 AM
Build a compost bin in your back yard and just throw the bags of leaves on your mower and then throw them in the compost bin. I don't see an issue with this especially in your own neighborhood I don't imagine it would be too hard to do.

lawnboy852
02-26-2010, 11:16 AM
I actually have a giant compost pile/brush pile in my back yard, so I guess if I bag leaves up weekly there shouldnt be too much at one time to just run back and dump really quick

GrassesGuy
02-26-2010, 11:22 AM
Not sure how many accounts you got or how big your compost pile. I will tell you this leaves pile up fast and you will need a lot of room. If you don't shred them it will be along times before the breakdown. Of course grass clippings would speed up the process.

TMAC
02-26-2010, 12:31 PM
In my area several compaines offer curb side p/u. they come along and suck them up with a truck mounted vac. and dispose of them. mabye find one in your area and cut a deal for multiple homes in one area.. mabye save a couple bucks off price for your pocket

jeffslawnservice
02-28-2010, 05:54 PM
When I first started I had no truck nor a trailer. For my fall clean-ups I would just bag the leaves and leave them curbside for the city to pick up.

Big Bad Bob
02-28-2010, 08:13 PM
When I first started I had no truck nor a trailer. For my fall clean-ups I would just bag the leaves and leave them curbside for the city to pick up.



They allow that where you are? I would get a ticket if I did that. And I'd still have to haul them away to the composting facility.
I think your best bet, if you are unable or unwilling to spring for a truck and trailer, is to sub it out. Or, as TMAC suggested, leave them at the curb and have another company, with a vac, come by and suck 'em up.
If you can leave them curbside and your city will pick them up, that's the way to go. Do they charge for that?

lawnboy852
02-28-2010, 09:20 PM
I believe around here its all contracted trash pick up, not city run. Ill have to check the regs on it, but that might be the way to go, otherwise ill be making a lot of runs back to my compost pile!

MileHigh
03-02-2010, 05:24 PM
what I really need is a way to do my fall cleanups and deal with leaves, without a truck or trailer.

Also, Would you consider it bad business to bag leaves, then put them out for pickup by the trash?

:dizzy: ya, ok, hack it out and get a nice white Nissan Sentra, with a box of Hefty contractor bags, a nice rake from Ace, and go to town.

Why in the hell would you wanna do a cleanup with no truck or trailer???What are you 14?

It's the complete opposite with me...I will refuse to do one without a truck and trailer? R U Nuts?

In my eyes it IS "bad business" to leave debris behind on any job-site...let alone if it's already in bags...

The only time this is an ok for me is if the Client wants it that way...and guess what...It's more expensive, cause it takes much longer to say bag the debris into trash bags as opposed to tarping it.

Creative1
03-02-2010, 07:26 PM
:

In my eyes it IS "bad business" to leave debris behind on any job-site...let alone if it's already in bags...

The only time this is an ok for me is if the Client wants it that way...and guess what...It's more expensive, cause it takes much longer to say bag the debris into trash bags as opposed to tarping it.

I would have to agree w/ bladescape here. I think cleanup is the exclamation point on a job well done! I live in an area where a lot of people do "half way" cleanup jobs and I always shake my head. It's usually the guy that outbids everybody, then halfway through the job realizes he's working for minimum wage, and looks for ways to cut corners to get the heck out of there. It doesn't take long for mine or other reputable companies phones to be ringing the next time those customers need work. If you plan on doing this kind of work, I would invest in a small truck atleast. Otherwise, if these are nice homes, you will lose them eventually by not having the equipment needed. That being said, if you aren't willing to invest, talk to them, and atleast time your cleanups a day or so before trash so they don't have a pile of junk in front of their houses. You will eventually find people w/ the right equipment can come in and do a better job for cheaper than you can do it. When your customers realize that...... I'm sorry to say, you will lose them.

clean_cut
03-02-2010, 09:37 PM
:dizzy: ya, ok, hack it out and get a nice white Nissan Sentra, with a box of Hefty contractor bags, a nice rake from Ace, and go to town.

Why in the hell would you wanna do a cleanup with no truck or trailer???What are you 14?

It's the complete opposite with me...I will refuse to do one without a truck and trailer? R U Nuts?

In my eyes it IS "bad business" to leave debris behind on any job-site...let alone if it's already in bags...

The only time this is an ok for me is if the Client wants it that way...and guess what...It's more expensive, cause it takes much longer to say bag the debris into trash bags as opposed to tarping it.



Hey, who knows, hey may be 14... Not everyone has the $$$ to buy a $2,000 trailer and 15,000 truck...

Anyway, I would either try to put them in big plastic bags and put them on your compost pile or (if your customer is o.k. with it) leave the leaves by the curb. In the end though, I guess mulching would be one of the best options if possible.

lawnboy852
03-02-2010, 10:22 PM
Thanks for all the replys everyone, and please, I hate seeing these super heated threads on here, I appreciate the responses, but especially via text on the internet there are clearer, more polite ways to respond to questions.

I will be 17 this year, and to most people yes, I am nuts. Why would I start a lawncare company, doing REAL work, when I could be bagging groceries, or just riding off my parents?! I come from a fairly privileged area, and I just cannot stand stuck up people who believe work is below them and essentially freeload. I value hard work, I LIKE to have MY own money, and I enjoy working outside, not the monotony of bagging groceries or making change all day at a cash register.

That being said, my time is plentiful, there is almost no way for me to lose money on a job im doing, because I WOULDNT be making more elsewhere, id just be sitting on my butt! This is why im trying to fill my schedule with MORE work, so that I make MORE money! There is a lot of money in cleanups if I can get to a point of doing them efficiently, but I have to start a little smaller.

And also to what has been said above, I agree that an unfinished or halfass job is despicable. Hence, why I want to DO the cleanups, and swallow the cost/time consumption that results, because when people sign up for season long lawncare, it doesnt end when leaves start falling. I WANT to finish the job, and since everything is literally within walking (or a short mower ride) distance, that might mean taking loads of leaves back to my personal compost pile, or bagging leaves if my customers are alright with it.

Bringing me to my next point, that my customers respect me, because I respect them. People like to see people working hard, especially (I feel) when people see kids working hard for their goals. Most of my clients are very successful people living in very nice houses, but they know they didnt get there on their own, there were little things that helped along the way, and people that helped them. They understand that if I need to do things a little differently than the large LCO's for the time being, so be it, because I can do just as good a job as they can, and usually at a better price, or overall better customer relations.

I was simply asking for your take on my situation, asking a few simple questions with a given set of restrictions. I appreciate all of your replies, and all of your opinions, but I did not come here to be diagnosed as CRAZY because im willing to do something the hard way, if its the only way.

STIHL GUY
03-02-2010, 11:39 PM
pile them all by the curb and have another LCO come with a leaf vac and suck the piles up

STRINGALATION
03-02-2010, 11:57 PM
I have 8 - 12' x 20' hd tarPs i use for leaves. 2 blowers and 2 rakes, not super fast but it makes money, for now.

Weekend cut easymoney
03-03-2010, 12:09 AM
You can mulch up any amount of leaves--my experience is that with a side plate on most any walk behind mower, as well as most 21inch mowers, you can run over the leaves several times and sufficienly mulch them up--many people have stated that since there is not the same volume of leaves here in Texas, I am wrong about this.

..but in my 25 years experience, I have been able to mulch leaves 2 feet thick with little problem--what I would suggest if you are worried about this is to not let them accumilate so deep--mow/mulch regularly throughout the fall period --like weekly--you should not have a problem mowing over the leaves 2-3 times with a walkbehind/riding mower--
Make two passes around the perimeter of the yard with the lawnmower, weedeat the lawn to throw the leaves away from the fence, then just mulch up the leaves--

pkra12
03-03-2010, 12:20 AM
You cannot mulch any amount of leaves! Man i wish you could but there wouldnt be grass left in the yard come spring at least not on my lawns. Make a deal with a smaller lco in your area, preferably one starting out but who has a leaf loader and have him suck up your piles. Make sure you get a good price b/c you will be giving him a decent amount of business and pass that cost onto your customers. Thats how i had to do it until i got my own vac. Hope that helps.

Weekend cut easymoney
03-03-2010, 12:28 AM
Respectively--I know you northern guys pretty much do it all the same--I'm telling you--you CAN mulch it up and save the time and the cost-been there and done that--I've bagged leaves, raked them, blown them----
--let me figure out how to upload a photo on here--

Weekend cut easymoney
03-03-2010, 12:51 AM
I just created an album--Mulching leaves made easy--
The leaves were small Oak leaves as well as Arizona ash leaves--I'd say this was a small job, with a relatively small amount of leaves--I just happened to have a camera that day and spent the time to take the photos to support my argument

STRINGALATION
03-03-2010, 01:46 AM
I'd like a photo aimed down at the grass . That looks pretty short. We got tall fescue and cant pull thatt you might as well make evry tree full of pine needles. It',ll all smoother
plus still looks like crap but i dont have the the plate so that could be factor

STRINGALATION
03-03-2010, 01:47 AM
Haha maybe thats why that yards full of weeds lololol

Big Bad Bob
03-03-2010, 10:03 AM
I just created an album--Mulching leaves made easy--
The leaves were small Oak leaves as well as Arizona ash leaves--I'd say this was a small job, with a relatively small amount of leaves--I just happened to have a camera that day and spent the time to take the photos to support my argument

Yard looks pretty weedy. Have you checked the ph lately? What type of turf is it? I know cool season grasses would not do very well by mulching 2 feet of leaves year after year. Even doing it on a weekly basis in smaller amounts with a total of 2 feet, which is normal here.
I do run a mulcher over it, however, on the 1st pass. Reduces the volume. Some leaves get mulched in but the majority gets removed.
My customers wouldn't stand for their yard looking like this one does.

gardiner
03-03-2010, 10:42 AM
i just mulch themm with my 48exmark metro and a br550 blower if you have sharp blades it will cut them down to a dust on dry leaves it will take a few more pathes over the piles . being solo it was too much to tarp and haul away the leaves and make money .

Creative1
03-04-2010, 09:37 PM
LAWNBOY....... I think u may have misunderstood my reply or maybe u were talkin to BLADESCAPE about being rude. If I came across as rude, please understand I did not mean it that way..... I purposely didn't copy certain parts of BLADESCAPEs message to keep from coming across as rude. I was just agreeing w/ him on removing all debris from a property at the end of a job. That's how I do my business but I was also saying if u don't have the equipment, talk to them and they will probably understand. I wasn't comparing u to people who do half-way cleanup jobs, either, I was just saying be careful not to be like them. I try to never be rude on here. No matter how big anyone's company is, or how much we know, or how long we've been in business there's always someone who's bigger, knows more, and been in the business longer that could call us stupid. That's why I never do that. I was just giving u my opinion that it might be time to invest in a pickup or trailer. Hope this clears that up and good luck w/ your biz this summer!!!!!!:waving:

lawnboy852
03-04-2010, 10:17 PM
Thanks! Im sure everyone understands some meaning can be lost on the internet, and things dont always come across as intended. Either way, no harm no foul

clean_cut
03-04-2010, 11:17 PM
pile them all by the curb and have another LCO come with a leaf vac and suck the piles up

I'm not sure how much experience you have with this, but how much would be charged in a situation like this? For a decent sized yard's pile of leaves after a week?

Just a guess, but would it be around 10-15 dollars if they were in the neighborhood anyway :confused:

TMAC
03-05-2010, 01:10 AM
I'm not sure how much experience you have with this, but how much would be charged in a situation like this? For a decent sized yard's pile of leaves after a week?

Just a guess, but would it be around 10-15 dollars if they were in the neighborhood anyway :confused:

the several companies i know that offer it here charge by the hour 1 hour min even decent sized yards only take about 1/2 hour,some have a small dumping fee 20.00 - 30.00 bucks if you use them regularly and get to know them they give discounts for multiple uses and will tell you when they will be close to an area your job is at , sometimes they can get them the same day if you've scheduled jobs close to each other or next day. rates are around 60.00 - 80.00 an hour. so 100.00 gets rid of them with no loading and driving to dump them and a 1/2 hour of forking them off a p/u truck. i used this service a couple of times one year when i had truck trouble for a week, was well worth the $$. costs atleast twice that to hand load a truck, drive to dump fork it off. we had 4 foot plywood sides on truck to load you gotta sling a tarp full of leaves over your shoulder like santa claus and climb a 6 foot step ladder to get them over the top. A hundred bucks to not do that labor "priceless".

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
03-08-2010, 02:50 AM
i would mulch em up into pieces..then tarp em and drag em behind ur friggin self prop mower to your compost pile if u have to! forget bagging leaves. youll fill a bag up in two seconds worth of leaves IMO. i guess if you have small yards with not alot of leaves it may be alright to bag em, but i would stay away from that. if you have any car at all...buy a hitch and cheap ass $2-300 5x8 off craigslist and go to town. with the money you get off 2 cleanups you could have a decent trailer

Weekend cut easymoney
03-08-2010, 11:30 AM
The yard was my neighbors house that I was doing becasue I was tired of leaves blowing into my yard-it was a rent house-it was St. Augustine grass--the customer never watered so any gaps in the grass which lend to weeds is most likly due to that--honestly, there were not a bunch of weeds-

-change in PH in soil can cause poor grass growth-resulting in bare areas where weeds would grow, but do not necessarily feed the weeds-it does give them a competative advantage, but overall the spectrum of PH where this is true is kinda small-onion, for example it does though
Generally-leaves add to the organic matter of the soil and increase the overall health of the lawn, and keep weeds down--I dunno about pine needles though--I concede the point if there are horticulturists up there that say so--

--My arguement would be that continual blowing, removal of leaves, 'sucking up the leaves from the lawn'--removes the top layer of soil in dry conditions--gernerally hurting the grass by weakening the soil-
But I'll concede that a large voulme of leaves is more difficult to mulch and having a thick 2 inch layer of mulched leaves on the lawn would not be too good for it (leaves are generally air, so you would have to have a massive volume of uncut leaves for this to happen though)

eaglescout1993
03-08-2010, 04:16 PM
if you do NOT want to buy a trailer "sounds like you realy only need one for a day or two for leaves" go to your local u-haul or penkse and get a standard 1/2 ton and a small trailer to rent. for the weekend. i know where i live if you rent a truck for a day it is about 50 bucks.

only reason i know this is because my bros truck broke and he needed to haul his own trailer that day.