View Full Version : Fall Clean Up
09-02-2002, 02:32 PM
When u have customers that u are already bagging--how do u get more money out of them in the fall, when u are already bagging anyway?????:angry:
09-02-2002, 02:49 PM
Seeing as I only pick-up a few weeks in Spring and a few Fall, before leaving things till I do a clean-up, I can't really say, but I would imagine that would have to be something you either state in a contract or have the agreement and understanding with all of your customers that there will be a slight increase in the Fall due to the increased labor and dumping fee's. If that is the case, I would send out a reminder to that affect, so there is no confusion come Oct. Another way you can compensate, is to just make a small increase to their weekly or monthly bill, whichever method you use, and just keep picking up whatever falls. I have heard other guys stop officially "cutting" say in mid Oct. and then just do a T & M type billing and add that time to the final clean-up bill.
09-02-2002, 03:02 PM
Thats a tough one. The leaves can be a good thing too once the grass stops growing. People would normally start cutting off service when the grass stops growing at a normal pace, but when they see the leaves there, they keep paying every week.
I'd say leave it alone until the leaves really start to slow you down. When they do, start billing for the extra time for "leaf clean-up" and add it to the invoice. I'd tell your customers now though so they know the plan.
When fall comes, you don't cut the grass. If they call for a fall clean-up, then charge accordingly.
09-02-2002, 03:11 PM
I would add some to the weekly mowing. Around here the leaves start to fall around now and grass grows till october but the leaves still fall until november. Thanksgiving is usually our end of season mark. Continue doing a weekly mowing until the grass stops growing then do a giant cleanup getting leaves from all beds etc, take em away or dump on site throw some fert down and you are done until spring.
09-02-2002, 03:12 PM
I think you have to let them know that bagging grass during the year and vacuuming up the leaves in the Fall are 2 entirely different activities. One is a heckuva lot harder to do then the other.
Picking up leaves takes a lot longer, too. It takes specialized equipment...backbacks for cleaning out the beds, leaf blowers, and vacuuming equipment...not to mention disposal fees if any.
With new customers we sign up during the course of the year, I always ask them before leaving them on the initial visit by saying, "how do you want us to handle your leaves come Fall time?" I don't want any surprises by them saying, "oh, I thought taking care of the leaves would be the same price as mowing."
We keep on with the weekly service and mow the leaves up charge double a regular lawn mow when they start getting thick. We charge 10$ a 44 gallon pail of leaves that are bagged and scredded in the track vac's and 20$ for every ultra vac full of mowed up leaves.
On the jobs that have a huge amont of leaves and cant be just mowed up easy we put em on a hourly rate.
Very interesting way of charging ... does it all come out fine in the end? Have you got it figured you can get so many pails per hour?
The charge for the pails of dbree is in addition to the cilent getting charged double what a reguler lawn mow would be.
It works works out well for us on the city lot size lawns that have a couple a maples in em and most of these take two of us on one 20 to 30 minutes to do.We have no lawns cheaper then 30$ so here is one example and this would be a stamp sized lawn 30x2 =60 plus lets say 5 44 gallon pails of schedded leaves thats 110$ bucks for most times 20 minutes at a stop .A day of leaf mowing mounts up for the two routes we do every day.
Like i said on the bigger lawns and the ones with a lot of trees and a ton of leaves its a hourly rate.
09-02-2002, 04:21 PM
We too have a line in our grounds maint. contract that states all leaf clean-up will be at $x/manhour, with a minimum of 1 manhour or mowing price if leaves done only. Generally, if we are only blowing some fom curbline onto turf to be bagged and we're not emptying our bags anymore than a normal pring cut - then no charge, otherwise - more work=more charge.
09-02-2002, 09:06 PM
the extra time it takes you, bill them for it. Or you could just charge them more for a clean up. Remember you have to get the leaves out of the beds too, so if nothing else charge them for that.
09-02-2002, 09:11 PM
I do things a little different here. In my area I cut a yard 40 times a year. This is cutting it weekly in peak season. By monthly in fall and spring and once a month in winter. If it's a normal size lawn I'll charge $50.00 per cut. So what I do is 50 X 40= $2000.00 / 12 = $166.00 a month. The customer always asked what are you going to do when the grass stops growing. I tell them vac pine straw, leaves, ect. The bottom line for us is that we don't make as much in the summer as we could but, we make more in the winter. And I don't have to worry about my customer base running off in the spring. We just keep mowing. All but 11 of our accounts are yearly. I didn't think this system up a friend of mine told me he did it. It works great for us.
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