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View Full Version : Bagging vs. mulching


ULTIMATE LAWN
11-05-2002, 04:12 PM
I have been reading these leaf mulching vs. bagging threads with some amusement.

I must say, I believe the negative responses from those who bag are due mainly to the fact they have invested big $$$ in Pecos, truck vacs, bagging system etc.

The simple fact is that in most cases 1 or 2 passes with a mower properly set-up with gators or double gators & cut in the proper pattern will eliminate nearly all traces of leaves.

Also during leaf season, the leaves do not fall all at once. Most of our contracts we visit 5-7 times. We simply run the mower over with the mulcher once. In some cases it doesn't look as good as bagged but since the leaves are still falling, you can't tell the difference one hr. later anyway.

The only time you would need to make 3 or 4 passes to make it look immaculate is the final visit. The time saved on the other visits including hauling is enormous.

& yes you can charge equivilant fees for doing MUCH less work.

Just because you're using a superior system doesn't mean you can't charge as much as those who have invested in unproductive equipment.

There really is no comparison if done right.

I sold my Walker & my truck vac 2 years ago & profits & time saved have both increased.

Ricky
11-05-2002, 04:21 PM
Welcome to LS

This is the most accurate post that I've seen on this subject so far.

kppurn
11-05-2002, 04:36 PM
Looks like this debate will go on forever!:D
I ordered the micro mulch kit for my lazer yesterday and I hope it works well. If not, I'll have to fit the ultra vac into the 2003 budget.

jeffex
11-05-2002, 05:28 PM
Our $25 per mowing lawns get charged $40 these next few weeks for "leaf maintenance". At about 2 wk intervalls we use the mower with the mulching kit installed to grind up leaves and then make a final pass with leaf gobbler installed . On our final cleaning we charge $60and we blow the garden beds out before we mulch. If people want only one final cleaning the price is dependent on the number of leaves. I sold the idea of "leaf maintenance" to most of my regular customers and the ground up leaves have time to decompose and never build up to choke grass. I get more profit out of this method and I am able to sell gutter cleaning on the last cleanup to realy boost pofit because the final price is not as high . People balk at the big price jobs but if you get it a little at a time they feel better about the cost especially so close to Christmas.

jeffex
11-05-2002, 05:40 PM
or the shorter version- mulching AND bagging -repeat!!

Lawn Specialties
11-05-2002, 05:54 PM
I'm just glad I figured out how to mulch em before I blew 3 grand on a leaf loader

1MajorTom
11-05-2002, 07:13 PM
Quote: The simple fact is that in most cases 1 or 2 passes with a mower properly set-up with gators or double gators & cut in the proper pattern will eliminate nearly all traces of leaves.

Also during leaf season, the leaves do not fall all at once. Most of our contracts we visit 5-7 times. We simply run the mower over with the mulcher once. In some cases it doesn't look as good as bagged but since the leaves are still falling, you can't tell the difference one hr. later anyway.

The only time you would need to make 3 or 4 passes to make it look immaculate is the final visit. The time saved on the other visits including hauling is enormous.

Welcome to lawnsite.
Your statements are right on the money. That's how we handle our leaves also.
We just serviced a yard that was filled with trees. We quickly blew out the beds and the drive, and mulched everything up. It looked good. We left, went around the block to service three more customers. Came back, and you couldn't even tell that we had been there!!! The leaves were falling and blowing fast, and they were everywhere. So until the leaves are all dropped, we cut weekly and mulch everything up.
We then worry about the final leaf cleanup of the season, because we agree, it is a must to leave a customers yard in top shape over the winter.

gogetter
11-05-2002, 07:29 PM
Jodi, do you also increase the regular mowing charge for these 'leaf grinding' visits like jeffex does?

And do you do it weekly, or bi-weekly like jeffex stated he does?

1MajorTom
11-05-2002, 08:03 PM
Jonathon,

We cut all customers weekly during the fall that require leaf mulching. Because we feel we are fortunate to be cutting weekly this time of the year, and because it takes very little time to blow out the beds and drive quickly, we just charge our regular visit fee.
Grass here is going dormant, and we are working on final cuts on our customers that don't have trees. So the weekly leaf mulching is a good thing for us.
(We did give the customers their choice though. Weekly cutting, or one big cleanup.).

Final clean-up where we are extensive in cleaning up the beds and getting the leaves that are lodged under hedges for our customers with trees, we do charge a higher fee based upon how long we were at the property.

jeffex
11-06-2002, 06:25 PM
on most of these jobs the pass with the bagger on just picks up tiny flecks of leaves and we fill the catcher 1 or 2 times at most. We did a new customer this week who had a 4-5 inch layer of leaves in her back yard. We ground them into dust and blew the small pieces back into her garden beds as mulch. She was glad we were scheduling her for 2 wk intervalls because it looked so good. If we did only 1 final cleanup we could get $90 or so before she would just say forget it. This way we will get 3 maintnence visits at $40 each and a final cleanup of $60. If she goes for the gutter cleaning that will add $35 to the final cleanup and we stretched our pofit. I have some who don't get alot of leaves but they still have enought that they will pay us $25 to mulch them up. The lawn doesn't need trimming or edging so the few extra passes evens out to the same time at the house. Again, we are able to get more profit out of this customer without hitting them too hard.

Heller Landscaping
11-06-2002, 10:55 PM
We usually try to mulch ,with doubles of course. If customer requests, we will bag at extra charge.:blob4: We use double high lifts on a bob-cat w\b they shred them to bits.:)

SLS
11-07-2002, 06:37 AM
:) :) :) :)