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NarNar
11-01-2010, 08:20 PM
The leaves and pine needles in my area are such a PITA! I find my guys and I taking longer removing leaves and pine needles then mowing.

Any suggestions to make life easier?

Do you guys charge more for leaf removal?

When you are doing lawn maintenance do you go into the beds and try to remove the leaves and needles?

(I had a customer, who came home, right when we are about to leave and asked if we can go into the beds. I wanted to bill her extra, but didn't want to talk numbers in front of the guys that work for me- ended up eating another 25 min)

Would love to hear back from some of you. I know you always have good suggestions. Lets refrain negative comments, I would like to keep this thread productive, thanks.

ohdad34
11-01-2010, 08:50 PM
The leaves and pine needles in my area are such a PITA! I find my guys and I taking longer removing leaves and pine needles then mowing.

Any suggestions to make life easier?

Do you guys charge more for leaf removal?

When you are doing lawn maintenance do you go into the beds and try to remove the leaves and needles?

(I had a customer, who came home, right when we are about to leave and asked if we can go into the beds. I wanted to bill her extra, but didn't want to talk numbers in front of the guys that work for me- ended up eating another 25 min)

Would love to hear back from some of you. I know you always have good suggestions. Lets refrain negative comments, I would like to keep this thread productive, thanks.

If you're worried about employees hearing, tell them to do something, and go for a walk with your customer to discuss things. For me, it usually averages about twice the time to do leaf cleanup. In your 25 minutes, depending on what you charge, you missed out on anywhere from about $30 to $60.
Usually how thorough your cleanup is depends on what your customer is willing to pay for. I try to get most of the leaves and such every time. For one, it helps me, it's easier than removing them at the end of the season, because they just get wetter and heavier. Therefore, its taking more time, so in the end the customer ends up paying more once than if they would've paid a little each time.

NarNar
11-01-2010, 09:02 PM
If you're worried about employees hearing, tell them to do something, and go for a walk with your customer to discuss things. For me, it usually averages about twice the time to do leaf cleanup. In your 25 minutes, depending on what you charge, you missed out on anywhere from about $30 to $60.
Usually how thorough your cleanup is depends on what your customer is willing to pay for. I try to get most of the leaves and such every time. For one, it helps me, it's easier than removing them at the end of the season, because they just get wetter and heavier. Therefore, its taking more time, so in the end the customer ends up paying more once than if they would've paid a little each time.

I would have told them to go do something, but like I said we where on our way out, bit we were sitting in the truck. The best part was looking at the everyone's face, they were like, DAMN, we got to get out and do this- in their mind (and mine also) we were at the next property.

stickleylawncare
11-01-2010, 09:49 PM
If a yard has tons of pine needles, they should use that as their mulch instead of trucking in cypress mulch. Lots of people and HOAs use needles around here. Makes a great mulch and keeps the weeds to a minimum.

93Chevy
11-01-2010, 10:03 PM
"If you used Meg mo blades, you wouldn't need to bag anything"

NarNar
11-01-2010, 10:47 PM
"If you used Meg mo blades, you wouldn't need to bag anything"

What is Meg mo blades?

SNAPPER MAN
11-01-2010, 11:07 PM
Just blow out the flower beds before you mow and then bag it all up with the mower. That's what we do and it works well for us.
Posted via Mobile Device

NarNar
11-01-2010, 11:18 PM
Just blow out the flower beds before you mow and then bag it all up with the mower. That's what we do and it works well for us.
Posted via Mobile Device

I am running an Encore 32 Walk Behind with a bagger, I did like you said, blow out the leaves then bag it with the mower. The problem is, there are a lot of leaves and it seems the mower is not able to pick up all of it... their is a trail left behind.

Do you run into any of these issues?

SNAPPER MAN
11-01-2010, 11:52 PM
I am running an Encore 32 Walk Behind with a bagger, I did like you said, blow out the leaves then bag it with the mower. The problem is, there are a lot of leaves and it seems the mower is not able to pick up all of it... their is a trail left behind.

Do you run into any of these issues?

You sometimes have to mow over twice. We just mow in a circle which eliminates that problem.
Posted via Mobile Device

NarNar
11-02-2010, 12:10 AM
You sometimes have to mow over twice. We just mow in a circle which eliminates that problem.
Posted via Mobile Device

Will try mowing in a circle thanks.

lawnboy dan
11-02-2010, 09:04 AM
SNAPPER HI vac is the answer

NarNar
11-02-2010, 11:55 AM
SNAPPER HI vac is the answer

Thanks Lawnboy, do you have any experience you would like to share?

ArTurf
11-02-2010, 01:07 PM
Do a search on this subject or you can read some of my old replies on this subject.

NarNar
11-02-2010, 01:18 PM
Do a search on this subject or you can read some of my old replies on this subject.

Do you have a link?

ArTurf
11-02-2010, 01:36 PM
Do you have a link?

Click the search option at the top of the page or to view my posts click my name then view posts.

NarNar
11-02-2010, 01:47 PM
Click the search option at the top of the page or to view my posts click my name then view posts.

Thanks. This will help, not just me but anyone that might have the same questions.

lawnboy dan
11-02-2010, 06:48 PM
all i use for leaf/pine needle cleanup is a snapper hi vac with a gator blade. bagging is rare and usually all is gone with one pass with the snapper /gator. been doing this since the gator blade was invented. amazing time /work saver. this works for ALL types of leaves no matter how many -even wet. try it and be amazed

yardguy28
11-02-2010, 08:21 PM
The leaves and pine needles in my area are such a PITA! I find my guys and I taking longer removing leaves and pine needles then mowing.

Any suggestions to make life easier?

Do you guys charge more for leaf removal?

When you are doing lawn maintenance do you go into the beds and try to remove the leaves and needles?

(I had a customer, who came home, right when we are about to leave and asked if we can go into the beds. I wanted to bill her extra, but didn't want to talk numbers in front of the guys that work for me- ended up eating another 25 min)

Would love to hear back from some of you. I know you always have good suggestions. Lets refrain negative comments, I would like to keep this thread productive, thanks.

i service my regular clients weekly during the fall to get the leaves. they pay extra for the bagging charge. usually it's the same bagging charge as the spring and summer. on small to mid size propertys i hit the beds each week. on larger properties i hit them 2 to 3 times a season. those 2 to 3 times i hit the beds cost extra as well.

i spend on average 15 to 20 extra min. bagging up leaves and blowing out the beds each visit. so of course it costs extra.

i don't worry about pine needles. haven't had a client concerned about them yet.

NarNar
11-03-2010, 12:09 AM
those 2 to 3 times i hit the beds cost extra as well.

i spend on average 15 to 20 extra min. bagging up leaves and blowing out the beds each visit. so of course it costs extra.

In your area, what is a fair xtra charge for the extra work? If you don't want to disclose it, you can PM me. Thanks for the help.

yardguy28
11-03-2010, 05:05 PM
In your area, what is a fair xtra charge for the extra work? If you don't want to disclose it, you can PM me. Thanks for the help.

it's usually a time thing. an extra 10-15 will usually cost you and extra $10-$15 dollars.

for me anyway leaves in the fall is different than bagging grass in the spring.

in the spring my amount i charge is for string trimming, edging, mowing, bagging the clippings and blowing.

in the fall, more so in the mid to end of it your not trimming or edging. at least i'm not. but yet i still charge the spring/summer price plus extra for the leaves.

so i personally don't always charge the extra $10-$15. it might only be an extra $5 like i do in the spring/summer.

my bagging charges for spring/summer/fall are usually either $5 or $10 depending on the size of the property.

but if i were to do a prop in the fall that i had to string trim, edge, mow, bag the clippings/leaves and blow i'd be charging the $10-$15. but instead of edging and trimming that time is spend on the leaves. so what i don't spend all that much extra time doing leaves vs. spring or summer.

in the spring/summer it might take me an hour to string trim, edge, mow, bag the clippings and blow. that same property might still only take me an hour to do leaves because i'm not edging or trimming.

NarNar
11-03-2010, 05:49 PM
it's usually a time thing. an extra 10-15 will usually cost you and extra $10-$15 dollars.

for me anyway leaves in the fall is different than bagging grass in the spring.

in the spring my amount i charge is for string trimming, edging, mowing, bagging the clippings and blowing.

in the fall, more so in the mid to end of it your not trimming or edging. at least i'm not. but yet i still charge the spring/summer price plus extra for the leaves.

so i personally don't always charge the extra $10-$15. it might only be an extra $5 like i do in the spring/summer.

my bagging charges for spring/summer/fall are usually either $5 or $10 depending on the size of the property.

but if i were to do a prop in the fall that i had to string trim, edge, mow, bag the clippings/leaves and blow i'd be charging the $10-$15. but instead of edging and trimming that time is spend on the leaves. so what i don't spend all that much extra time doing leaves vs. spring or summer.

in the spring/summer it might take me an hour to string trim, edge, mow, bag the clippings and blow. that same property might still only take me an hour to do leaves because i'm not edging or trimming.

Thanks that was helpful.

yardguy28
11-03-2010, 07:17 PM
Thanks that was helpful.

i'm glad cause i wasn't sure i made any sense. i would type it one way and then come up with a better way to say it so i did that as well.

NarNar
11-03-2010, 07:27 PM
i'm glad cause i wasn't sure i made any sense. i would type it one way and then come up with a better way to say it so i did that as well.

You did well. Thanks, you get an American Flag :usflag:

Mudly
11-03-2010, 07:50 PM
be carefull when mowing over large quatities of debris, it will dull your blades for one and worst take the life out of your belt and motor. Tarp the big stuff, there is nothing wrong with using a rake, and if the tarp is big enough use a back pack. Mowing in circles will end up turfing the turf little by little even scalping it if you dont have a floating deck.

yardguy28
11-03-2010, 08:26 PM
i don't mess with rakes and tarps. if it's bigger than i want to mow over i bust out my trac vac. i don't even know if i own a rake.

93Chevy
11-03-2010, 08:30 PM
i don't mess with rakes and tarps. if it's bigger than i want to mow over i bust out my trac vac. i don't even know if i own a rake.

I rake out areas I can't blow effectively, like patios or driveways with a hard corner (like garage doors or low walls)...Instead of blowing into the corner, I just rake out a couple feet quickly and then double back with the blower. Less mess I've found.

Mudly
11-03-2010, 08:34 PM
i don't mess with rakes and tarps. if it's bigger than i want to mow over i bust out my trac vac. i don't even know if i own a rake.

i hope your kidding about the rake.

NarNar
11-03-2010, 08:59 PM
i don't mess with rakes and tarps. if it's bigger than i want to mow over i bust out my trac vac. i don't even know if i own a rake.

LOL, thats funny you said "I don't even know if I own a rake," cause my ASS was RAKKKING. I don't cut on Mondays and, my neighbor across the street (new customer) said, I need it done... she canceled service with "Orlando," and he comes on the 1st and 15th.

No point in calling my guys for one property... so it was just me.. and MY ASS WAS RAAAKKING, the wife came out and said.. YUP,.. "MY MAN's ASSS is RAAAKING."

I was looking at a TRAC VAC, but I think I will try the tarp first, because the TRAC-VAC is going for $2K-$3K.

NarNar
11-03-2010, 09:03 PM
be carefull when mowing over large quatities of debris, it will dull your blades for one and worst take the life out of your belt and motor. Tarp the big stuff, there is nothing wrong with using a rake, and if the tarp is big enough use a back pack. Mowing in circles will end up turfing the turf little by little even scalping it if you dont have a floating deck.

I have a very large TARP, I am going to try this, thanks.

lawnboy dan
11-04-2010, 08:18 AM
i dont carry a rake either-there is no need using my system. i have been poasting about it here for several years now and not one of you has tried it! i laugh everytime i see some dumb lco struggling with a bagger on his z or wb and using a tarp and rake. ypu need 3 things blower-gator blade -snapper hi vac mower. you can tackele ANY leaf project

stan the man
11-04-2010, 02:18 PM
i hope your kidding about the rake.

i believe him on that

yardguy28
11-04-2010, 03:21 PM
i hope your kidding about the rake.

nope no joke. everything gets the blower treatment. i can get debris out of a corner pretty easily.

a blower is just so much quicker.

i dont carry a rake either-there is no need using my system. i have been poasting about it here for several years now and not one of you has tried it! i laugh everytime i see some dumb lco struggling with a bagger on his z or wb and using a tarp and rake. ypu need 3 things blower-gator blade -snapper hi vac mower. you can tackele ANY leaf project

i bet my system works just as well. all i need is a blower and my 52" mower with high lift blades and the grass catcher.

2 passes on the property and i'm done. place is spotless.

NarNar
11-04-2010, 04:00 PM
i dont carry a rake either-there is no need using my system. i have been poasting about it here for several years now and not one of you has tried it! i laugh everytime i see some dumb lco struggling with a bagger on his z or wb and using a tarp and rake. ypu need 3 things blower-gator blade -snapper hi vac mower. you can tackele ANY leaf project

You should break out a digital camera and video tape your system, put it on youtube, then announce it here. I am sure you will get lots of hits and comments.

lawnboy dan
11-04-2010, 05:29 PM
i should also mention there is no bagging! the combo of the hi vac and the gator blades and the leafs just turn to dust. usually all gone in one pass. if you must bag after mulching the leaves -it turns 100 bags into just one

NarNar
11-04-2010, 06:17 PM
i should also mention there is no bagging! the combo of the hi vac and the gator blades and the leafs just turn to dust. usually all gone in one pass. if you must bag after mulching the leaves -it turns 100 bags into just one

What machine are you running?

yardguy28
11-04-2010, 06:51 PM
i should also mention there is no bagging! the combo of the hi vac and the gator blades and the leafs just turn to dust. usually all gone in one pass. if you must bag after mulching the leaves -it turns 100 bags into just one

won't fly with my clients or me. as i stated in a previous post. i have never and i mean NEVER seen a mulching job of leaves done so well that it looks the same or better than bagging.

my clients don't like that underlying brown color. they want there lawns as green in the fall as they are in the spring and summer.

every single mulched job i've seen has a brownish tint to it from the mulched up leaves. and if you get up close you can actually see the mulched up leaves in the grass.

i don't care for it and neither will my clients.

using my system i usually dump the catcher twice in the front and twice in the back.

riverwalklandscaping
11-04-2010, 07:42 PM
Just my two cents but due to the small surface area on a pine needle vac systems don't work as well on them. Depends what kind of pine, but around here for white pine my 15,000$ zero turn with bag vac system does not get them all nearly as well as a sweeper from homecrapo will behind a crapsman riding tractor. My suggestion for best results would be a mower with a bag vac system towing a sweeper with a collection hopper. Just my 2 cents anyways.

stan the man
11-04-2010, 07:46 PM
Just my two cents but due to the small surface area on a pine needle vac systems don't work as well on them. Depends what kind of pine, but around here for white pine my 15,000$ zero turn with bag vac system does not get them all nearly as well as a sweeper from homecrapo will behind a crapsman riding tractor. My suggestion for best results would be a mower with a bag vac system towing a sweeper with a collection hopper. Just my 2 cents anyways.

is that right. i hate try to pick up pine needle with my walker it clogs. good to done.

Mudly
11-04-2010, 08:07 PM
nope no joke. everything gets the blower treatment. i can get debris out of a corner pretty easily.

a blower is just so much quicker.



i bet my system works just as well. all i need is a blower and my 52" mower with high lift blades and the grass catcher.

2 passes on the property and i'm done. place is spotless.

heres a scenario a concave 90 degree corner of a house with a ac or any unit sitting 2 feet from the wall. takes 10 seconds with a retractable rake.
with a backpack you can't get the angle theres no room.

how about underneath shrubs against a house, Blow them at the house!?, your not fitting a walk behinde vack in any of the areas.
rake it out to wear you can get behinde it with a blower. ive soloed many clean ups running the billygoat and back pack blower at the same time with rake in hand.
i still stand behind my rake. I'm all ears on another way of pulling out debris in this situation.

yardguy28
11-04-2010, 08:56 PM
heres a scenario a concave 90 degree corner of a house with a ac or any unit sitting 2 feet from the wall. takes 10 seconds with a retractable rake.
with a backpack you can't get the angle theres no room.

how about underneath shrubs against a house, Blow them at the house!?, your not fitting a walk behinde vack in any of the areas.
rake it out to wear you can get behinde it with a blower. ive soloed many clean ups running the billygoat and back pack blower at the same time with rake in hand.
i still stand behind my rake. I'm all ears on another way of pulling out debris in this situation.

never run into an of those scenario's. i don't have any clients that have shrubs against the house.

as a rule of thumb if the blower can't reach it, it stays. the blower gets what it can and the rest is left to decompose away.

Mudly
11-04-2010, 09:23 PM
never run into an of those scenario's. i don't have any clients that have shrubs against the house.

as a rule of thumb if the blower can't reach it, it stays. the blower gets what it can and the rest is left to decompose away.

my rates are up there for this reason, you leave debris to rot over air roots, stumps and foilage that debris rots what it touches, obviously not in one season but over a period of time you will have issues with your plants.

stan the man
11-04-2010, 09:47 PM
cleaning leaves out beds are part of the clean up. i get all the leaves out. because they will show.

yardguy28
11-04-2010, 09:57 PM
cleaning leaves out beds are part of the clean up. i get all the leaves out. because they will show.

as do i......

i've never run into a senario as mudly suggested. so i don't have the problem of leaving leaves under bushes because my blower or vac won't reach them.

i also don't take on clients with work i can't do. whether it be because i'm not interested or don't have the proper tools or the jobs to big. so i don't have clients that have a bunch of plants and bushes. my clients all have simple landscapes. and the few that have tons of stuff, maintain the landscaping themselves.

i do the lawn maintenance side of things, not landscaping. i will mow, prune small shrubs, do fall and spring clean ups, mulch exsisting beds and snow removal. but thats the extent of my services.

Mudly
11-04-2010, 10:04 PM
as do i......

i've never run into a senario as mudly suggested. so i don't have the problem of leaving leaves under bushes because my blower or vac won't reach them.

i also don't take on clients with work i can't do. whether it be because i'm not interested or don't have the proper tools or the jobs to big. so i don't have clients that have a bunch of plants and bushes. my clients all have simple landscapes. and the few that have tons of stuff, maintain the landscaping themselves.

i do the lawn maintenance side of things, not landscaping. i will mow, prune small shrubs, do fall and spring clean ups, mulch exsisting beds and snow removal. but thats the extent of my services.

thats cool, i started out as a grounds keeper and was heavy on the bed maint, still am but have added cutting to my services. as a idea of how large my some of the beds i maintain they usally get 20 yards of mulch. infact a buddy of mine has a client that takes about 150yards of mulch, i didn't believe him at first so i told him i would hop in his truck one day, we got there and i told him i was going back to my shop to get the utilcart. There are some massive beds in the huntingvalley and tanglewood areas.

mowZ06
11-04-2010, 11:03 PM
i dont carry a rake either-there is no need using my system. i have been poasting about it here for several years now and not one of you has tried it! i laugh everytime i see some dumb lco struggling with a bagger on his z or wb and using a tarp and rake. ypu need 3 things blower-gator blade -snapper hi vac mower. you can tackele ANY leaf project

Your system + this yard = FAIL
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1110.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1111.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1113.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1114.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics020.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics011.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics017.jpg

NarNar
11-05-2010, 10:08 AM
Your system + this yard = FAIL
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1110.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1111.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1113.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1114.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics020.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics011.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics017.jpg

I am originally from CA, I don't know what raking means. Now I live in TX, I sort of know what raking means. I saw the pictures you posted. Holy (just **** in the pants). LOL

stan the man
11-05-2010, 10:12 AM
I am originally from CA, I don't know what raking means. Now I live in TX, I sort of know what raking means. I saw the pictures you posted. Holy (just **** in the pants). LOL

sometimes you just have use a rack and trap. i hate it but it works.

NarNar
11-05-2010, 11:47 AM
sometimes you just have use a rack and trap. i hate it but it works.

"rack and trap," I take it that's a trake and tarp? I am getting use to the lingo.

yardguy28
11-05-2010, 04:19 PM
Your system + this yard = FAIL
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1110.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1111.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1113.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/000_1114.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics020.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics011.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc178/1fstws6/landscapepics017.jpg

no way i would even attempt a property like that.

mowZ06
11-05-2010, 07:33 PM
You mean there is no price on your head. Im sure you can be bought for the right $$$ lol , but I know what you are saying it looks very overwhelming even to me it does every year when I first walk on the yard for a fall clean up I usually go into mild shock but after I get started it gets a little better. This was one of my very first customers many many years ago.

stan the man
11-05-2010, 07:46 PM
You mean there is no price on your head. Im sure you can be bought for the right $$$ lol , but I know what you are saying it looks very overwhelming even to me it does every year when I first walk on the yard for a fall clean up I usually go into mild shock but after I get started it gets a little better. This was one of my very first customers many many years ago.

i did one Wednesday got to the house look at it. i said that i didn't to do it. i just got in to it and it was a walk in the park .he just getting started on it.

Mudly
11-05-2010, 07:57 PM
You mean there is no price on your head. Im sure you can be bought for the right $$$ lol , but I know what you are saying it looks very overwhelming even to me it does every year when I first walk on the yard for a fall clean up I usually go into mild shock but after I get started it gets a little better. This was one of my very first customers many many years ago.

thats right shock and awe, welcome to ohio ladies.

yardguy28
11-05-2010, 10:19 PM
You mean there is no price on your head. Im sure you can be bought for the right $$$ lol , but I know what you are saying it looks very overwhelming even to me it does every year when I first walk on the yard for a fall clean up I usually go into mild shock but after I get started it gets a little better. This was one of my very first customers many many years ago.

no i mean i wouldn't even attempt it.

i don't have equipment or desire to do a job that large. for one thing i don't leave the piles at the curb like that. i haul all leaves away and all i have is a full size pick up truck.

secondly i am a solo operation.

and third my method of leaf removal would not work on a property that large with that many leaves down.

i'm use to servicing mostly my regular clients and they are done weekly. all i have is a 52" GS with a rack me grass catcher, a backpack blower and a 36" wb with trac vac to tackle leaves. i mostly use the 52" GS. i'm sure you've stumbled across a post where i detailed my method for leaf removal.

i'm one of those rare people that can't always be bought. no matter how high the price.

mowZ06
11-06-2010, 09:56 AM
no i mean i wouldn't even attempt it.

i don't have equipment or desire to do a job that large. for one thing i don't leave the piles at the curb like that. i haul all leaves away and all i have is a full size pick up truck.

secondly i am a solo operation.

and third my method of leaf removal would not work on a property that large with that many leaves down.

i'm use to servicing mostly my regular clients and they are done weekly. all i have is a 52" GS with a rack me grass catcher, a backpack blower and a 36" wb with trac vac to tackle leaves. i mostly use the 52" GS. i'm sure you've stumbled across a post where i detailed my method for leaf removal.

i'm one of those rare people that can't always be bought. no matter how high the price.

Just me and my wife do the business,but I know what you mean . I was just messing with you about the price thing. I have been known to turn down some jobs that I know I could not handle.

NarNar
11-09-2010, 09:49 PM
no way i would even attempt a property like that.

I am with you on this one. Without the proper equipment and experience, that would take way to long to be profitable. Sometimes it is good to know when to walk away.