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View Full Version : Bidding leaf clean-up


cbkc
10-14-2010, 03:57 AM
How do you guys bid lead clean-up? I got a call to do it and I have the equipment and time but have no idea what to charge. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

cbkc
10-14-2010, 04:07 AM
In advance I want to say I did research this topic and didn't find exactly what I was looking for. I hate how these threads sometimes turn into arguments so guys like "ALC-GregH" who do nothing but post negative comments please don't reply. Thanks again to anyone that can offer advice!

redskinsfan34
10-14-2010, 07:32 AM
I would say estimate how long you think it will take you total (from the time you step out of the truck to the time you put it in gear and leave). Then charge around $1 per minute. That's what i do. My .02

Runner
10-14-2010, 09:44 AM
And of course figure disposal time.... By figuring time (you get good at it after awhile, as you learn just how long things take), you can't get hurt. Just don't sell yourself short when you start vamping up your equipment.

CTmower
10-14-2010, 03:29 PM
My minimum is usually $200, which is roughly 2 hrs worth of work. I usually start from there and feel the customer out. If I give them a flat fee and they kind of shake their heads then ill say ok no prob, and give them a hourly rate which usually works out to more then my flat rate. I dump my leaves for free which the customers dont need to know about so they also get a $25 dump fee added on at the end.

shovelracer
10-14-2010, 04:01 PM
Using a suggestion on rates won't do you any good because if you are charging a dollar a minute and show up with an electric blower and a rake you wont get any work, much the same were if you were to work for $20/hr you would not make any money, assuming you are at least halfway legit. You need to figure out what your rate is, and no one can tell you that with out seeing your books, then figure out how long it is going to take you. If that is not what you want to hear than by all means check the going rate on craigslist.

bradseabridge
10-14-2010, 07:45 PM
Charge double what you originally plan to charge. TRUST ME.

tobylou8
10-15-2010, 12:03 PM
Charge double what you originally plan to charge. TRUST ME.

Good advice. I would add, charge them like it is the only time you will ever work for them.

RLS 2010
10-15-2010, 12:21 PM
Charge double what you originally plan to charge. TRUST ME.

Great Advice! But I don't know about double. I've learned the hard way leaf jobs ALWAYS take longer then they look. I little bit of leaves scattered all over add up quick!

bradseabridge
10-15-2010, 12:41 PM
Usually if I think $200 I will charge somewhere between $300-$350. Also with leaf work I give a minimum price and maximum, it will be at least $200 and no more than $350. I also let them know that I have never actually charged the high rate yet, and that the norm is somewhere in the middle. This way I don't have to tell them my hourly rate for leaves which is $60/hr I just estimate how long it will take me, use that number for the low price and then add on $100-$200. I started doing this last year, people seem to like it because when you give them two set prices they know they wont pay more than your high amount and it gives them peice of mind about the price. If I told people I charge $60/hr for leaves and didn't give a flat rate, they would laugh me out of their yard because most the people I do work for DON'T EVEN MAKE THIS MUCH! Even though I'm probably only making $40/hr realistically. Try it, people like having set limits on a price instead of an hourly quote, you gain trust and people don't worry about how much it will cost while your still working. Try it and see how it works for you.

Matter if fact, I do this for everything now as well not just leaves.

Also this is for big cleanups only. If I'm managing the property as the leaves fall I charge $15 more than the normal cut price. I blow leaves from beds, pick them up with the grass catcher on my walkbehind with super hi-lift blades then remove the leaves and dump them at my place of choosing. I do this probably 3 times once the leaves start to fall, and on the last time I cut the lawn short for winter. So a $45 lawn which is my average yard, would be $180 for leaf cleanup progressively through the season. If I came back one time to do it all at once on a $45 lawn I would charge roughly $250-$400 this is with my leaf vac and a backpack blower. If I didn't have my leaf vac it would be way more, or if I have to tarp the back yard and bring them through a gate. Fortunately I try to only do leaf work in the high end neighborhoods where there is at least 1 acre of property and no one has fences, the yards are almost completely flat as well. These are the best accounts. They have more money than they know what to do with, and they are in competition with their neighbors to see who can have the nicest yards. I love the feeling of backing the truck and trailer up to a big AZZ windrow and just sucking the leaves up, no more picking them up by hand and bagging them. Like the kids I see every year just trying to make a buck. Hell I used to do this when I was younger worked my ass off for little money, thankfully I wised up and learned to work smarter not harder and got the right equipment.

memphis.landscape
10-15-2010, 01:19 PM
I never give an exact price when quoting leaves. I will always say it will be 300-380. I have given exact prices before and screwed myself. There is so much involved with leaves. Are they wet are there pine trees gate size.
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tobylou8
10-15-2010, 01:25 PM
I never give an exact price when quoting leaves. I will always say it will be 300-380. I have given exact prices before and screwed myself. There is so much involved with leaves. Are they wet are there pine trees gate size.
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Do they want you to wait until all the leaves have fallen and are soaking wet, black with decay, only do it in January, etc., etc. . Cheers:drinkup:

memphis.landscape
10-15-2010, 01:28 PM
That is for when people just want it done once or twice. Most of my regular customers never ask me for a price. Just want me to do it.
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gasracer
10-15-2010, 03:24 PM
Gee I felt bad charging a guy $100 last year...

GBD
10-20-2010, 09:00 AM
So you guys seriously charge around $300 for an acre? I'm curious to know how you price this as well because the whole leaf thing is something I haven’t dealt with before either.

tobylou8
10-20-2010, 09:10 AM
That is for when people just want it done once or twice. Most of my regular customers never ask me for a price. Just want me to do it.
Posted via Mobile Device

DITTO!!!!:clapping:

bradseabridge
10-20-2010, 03:39 PM
So you guys seriously charge around $300 for an acre? I'm curious to know how you price this as well because the whole leaf thing is something I havenít dealt with before either.

there are so many variables it's hard to say what I charge. Yeah $300 an acre for 5 mature oak trees, or $50 an acre with 1 mature oak.

Miller Time
10-20-2010, 06:48 PM
JMO i go 90 per hr plus dump fee's We baggem in the mowers or blow in the gutters and suck it up with the vac. It shoots into the dumper and DUN. All my HOA's Love me. No mess, No dust from pulverizing

GBD
10-20-2010, 08:29 PM
So when you guys do your leaf clean ups, do you blow everything to where you can either bag it or use a leaf vac?

bradseabridge
10-20-2010, 09:37 PM
if it's too much for the mower with the bagger than yes. If it's in a back yard I tarp and drag the tarp to the gate, and put the hose through the gate and suck them off the tarp. If it's the front yard I blow either into piles or to the curb and suck up.

GBD
10-20-2010, 09:51 PM
Ok. This is my first year for leaf clean ups, thanks for the advice. I do not have a leaf vac at this point but it sounds like it might be worth investing in. What vacs do you use and what do you haul your leaves in? Sorry, not trying to jack the thread....

bradseabridge
10-20-2010, 10:06 PM
search leaf boxes, and all your questions will be answered. I have a giantvac.

Miller Time
10-21-2010, 05:03 PM
giant is nice and parker.