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Tha5150
03-26-2012, 03:21 PM
and all i have is a 44" dixie with no bagging system. a friend gave me this lead cause he has no time and i am just starting out, still in the "i will do anything" faze. he quoted her $500 and she wasnt completely sold until i said i would blower her entire roof off and do an extra corner that she had not bothered with.

anyways, i am 99% i can get this job at $500 or $450 worst case. problem is, i will not rake all this. good thing, there is a burn site in her back yard where she wants everything dumped so there is no removal.

i have tried to find a place to rent a riding leaf vaccum or something with no luck. and i said i have no bag so what is my next best option.

A. you guys tell me some great simple way to get this done in 3 hours by myself with something i dont know about

B. rake myself and or hire someone to help ($10 type help at the local store) and hate everything about the job the 15 hours it takes to finish and try to kill myself on the job.

C. Sorry ma'am, not going to happen. good luck....

Florida Gardener
03-26-2012, 05:07 PM
If we are talking a full 3 acres of leaves from big oaks and what not, you will be working a lot longer than 3 hours even if all you are using is blowers. $500 is way too low. You need to double that for it to be worth your while. I also wouldn't take jobs based on what others quote....you need to charge what YOU need to charge.

Tha5150
03-26-2012, 05:09 PM
Its a 3 acre lot, i would say an honest 1.5 of land but scattered around.

also, i am too new to figure out my time and price for this. . he is a good friend who quoted a number and he felt comfortable with that.

Florida Gardener
03-26-2012, 05:20 PM
Its a 3 acre lot, i would say an honest 1.5 of land but scattered around.

also, i am too new to figure out my time and price for this. . he is a good friend who quoted a number and he felt comfortable with that.

without the proper equip like our northern friends have for leaf cleanups...just using blowers can be very time consuming. If it is a lot of live and laurel oak leaves...simply cutting with a mulch kit or plate won't do the trick. If these are other leaves and you dont have a mulch kit or plate on your mower, you can throw a set of gators on, get all the leaves into a central location and rake and bag. Can you give me more info on your equip, the way the property is set up, the trees, and what exactly the customer wants....

Weekend cut easymoney
03-26-2012, 06:08 PM
Over the last 30 years we have mulched all our leaves...you just need to have a mulch kit and run over them 3-4 times.

Personally, i'd rather ride around on a large mower than bag up and haul off leaves. You'll need a dust mask and goggles that keep dust out of your eyes.


Whatever works for you though...you'll need to do it many times before you'l know what to bid each time

.. most guys are going to tell you mulching won't work or it will look bad.....I'd recommend trying it a few times...I hate to haul off leaves and clippings (when you bag, you also collect dirt and also deprive the lawn of organic material that can help to keep weeds down, save on water and generally make the dirt more healthy).

What also works....Mulch around once and then take mulch plate off and push remaining leaves toward center (mow in a clockwise pattern, throwing the leaves inward) until you get leaves in a pile...the remaining leaves you can then bag...but there won't be as large a volume-

THEGOLDPRO
03-26-2012, 06:25 PM
Mulching leaves only work for you southern guys with very little leaves, Its impossible to mulch the leaves in the fall time up north.

If it were me trying to do what you want without all the proper leaf equipment like we have north, I would take your little mower and keep mowing in circles working form the outside in until you mowed all leaves into a pile in the middle of the yard then i would rake them all on a big 20x30 tarp and pull it with my mower over to the burn pile.

Florida Gardener
03-26-2012, 06:36 PM
Over the last 30 years we have mulched all our leaves...you just need to have a mulch kit and run over them 3-4 times.

Personally, i'd rather ride around on a large mower than bag up and haul off leaves. You'll need a dust mask and goggles that keep dust out of your eyes.


Whatever works for you though...you'll need to do it many times before you'l know what to bid each time

.. most guys are going to tell you mulching won't work or it will look bad.....I'd recommend trying it a few times...I hate to haul off leaves and clippings (when you bag, you also collect dirt and also deprive the lawn of organic material that can help to keep weeds down, save on water and generally make the dirt more healthy).

What also works....Mulch around once and then take mulch plate off and push remaining leaves toward center (mow in a clockwise pattern, throwing the leaves inward) until you get leaves in a pile...the remaining leaves you can then bag...but there won't be as large a volume-

in florida, you aren't going to effectively mulch live or laurel oak leaves in st. augustine. The need to be blown out or use a lawn vac.

01thump
03-26-2012, 07:19 PM
If you do not have the right stuff to work with move on to the next job ..if you try and do the job you will not look like a pro and might not get work from that customer down the road and might even get bad mouthed ..not good for you..tell them you are not set up for that type of work right now you might be surprised how a little hounesty will grow your buisness..i have turned down work becuase i was not ready for it at the time and i did get call backs and work from some of those customers...

stickleylawncare
03-26-2012, 08:50 PM
in florida, you aren't going to effectively mulch live or laurel oak leaves in st. augustine. The need to be blown out or use a lawn vac.


Like he said, you can run over those oak leaves as many times as you want, they aren't going to mulch. With limited equipment, blowing them into larger piles then raking them is probably your only option. We turned our old open trailer into our Feb-March Oak leaf/pollen clean up trailer. With two billy goat vacs and the trailer to quickly dump the bags onto, you can make pretty quick work of the oak leaves on small and large properties.

Weekend cut easymoney
03-26-2012, 09:24 PM
I'm telling you guys...done it many many times...people from up north talk about the volume of leaves...but those leaves are generally a lot easier to mulch up-

-Live Oak leaves here are as difficult as it comes.

One of these days I'm gonna Demo a mower when I am in Indiana visiting my uncle and take lots of photos--maybe when I'm up at the big Show in Louisville-October
let me see if I can find a photo to post...

unkownfl
03-26-2012, 10:11 PM
I'm telling you guys...done it many many times...people from up north talk about the volume of leaves...but those leaves are generally a lot easier to mulch up-

-Live Oak leaves here are as difficult as it comes.

One of these days I'm gonna Demo a mower when I am in Indiana visiting my uncle and take lots of photos--maybe when I'm up at the big Show in Louisville-October
let me see if I can find a photo to post...

I'm sure you can do it but you won't have any grass. I don't know how you can do it in St Augustine and have any grass. All that mulched up leaves makes the grass so thin.

zturncutter
03-26-2012, 10:30 PM
and all i have is a 44" dixie with no bagging system. a friend gave me this lead cause he has no time and i am just starting out, still in the "i will do anything" faze. he quoted her $500 and she wasnt completely sold until i said i would blower her entire roof off and do an extra corner that she had not bothered with.

anyways, i am 99% i can get this job at $500 or $450 worst case. problem is, i will not rake all this. good thing, there is a burn site in her back yard where she wants everything dumped so there is no removal.

i have tried to find a place to rent a riding leaf vaccum or something with no luck. and i said i have no bag so what is my next best option.

A. you guys tell me some great simple way to get this done in 3 hours by myself with something i dont know about

B. rake myself and or hire someone to help ($10 type help at the local store) and hate everything about the job the 15 hours it takes to finish and try to kill myself on the job.

C. Sorry ma'am, not going to happen. good luck....

Now that you have sobered up (JUST KIDDING) do yourself a favor and go with C.

zturncutter
03-26-2012, 10:31 PM
and all i have is a 44" dixie with no bagging system. a friend gave me this lead cause he has no time and i am just starting out, still in the "i will do anything" faze. he quoted her $500 and she wasnt completely sold until i said i would blower her entire roof off and do an extra corner that she had not bothered with.

anyways, i am 99% i can get this job at $500 or $450 worst case. problem is, i will not rake all this. good thing, there is a burn site in her back yard where she wants everything dumped so there is no removal.

i have tried to find a place to rent a riding leaf vaccum or something with no luck. and i said i have no bag so what is my next best option.

A. you guys tell me some great simple way to get this done in 3 hours by myself with something i dont know about

B. rake myself and or hire someone to help ($10 type help at the local store) and hate everything about the job the 15 hours it takes to finish and try to kill myself on the job.

C. Sorry ma'am, not going to happen. good luck....

:drinkup:Now that you have sobered up (JUST KIDDING) do yourself a favor and go with C.

unkownfl
03-26-2012, 11:07 PM
I would walk. No way would it be worth while. Focus more on getting lawns this time of year instead of being jack of all trades.

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 08:08 AM
Here are some pics of the property. . Just to put things into perspective



https://picasaweb.google.com/117715227965940810058/Leaves

Johnagain
03-27-2012, 08:15 AM
Page not found.

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 08:18 AM
Not much grass under all if it..


https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SU8dHzprk8g/T3GfGCxTC6I/AAAAAAAAvpM/8t0sT71N_cs/s800/IMG_0269.JPGhttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5DXNXcOtI4w/T3GfGFihsTI/AAAAAAAAvpc/WB61wUbbVF4/s800/IMG_0267.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xJ6i4femiWw/T3GfGD4nnRI/AAAAAAAAvpQ/iKICEGnjBQU/s800/IMG_0268.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h9npc06rvs0/T3GfJ5Q28nI/AAAAAAAAvps/HlEsz2SmiFk/s800/IMG_0270.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xB-HBqf0kBs/T3GfJun4U-I/AAAAAAAAvpo/VMpbtE_ROF4/s800/IMG_0271.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cvE60b75KQg/T3GfKD3Xy_I/AAAAAAAAvpk/Uj07t_tbSrE/s800/IMG_0272.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0ehMtGUqVNI/T3GfNYSZt8I/AAAAAAAAvqM/pAXnOt21dAU/s800/IMG_0273.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-nrxAR1SN3SM/T3GfNJHHipI/AAAAAAAAvp8/NLXKyacAAbM/s800/IMG_0274.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i_-CCGFaaw0/T3GfNcHIT-I/AAAAAAAAvqA/kDuP9pCYD1M/s800/IMG_0275.JPG

Johnagain
03-27-2012, 08:27 AM
I have a lawn that looks like that and what I do is put on a set of gator blades and run over them 3-4 times about the height of 2.5 in. Most all the leaves will chop up into smaller pieces and will start decomposing when the rains start. The shorter you can cut the better the leaves mulch.

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 08:29 AM
But is that something I should take on with my 44" and how long do you think it will take me? Also how long until they decompose?
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Weekend cut easymoney
03-27-2012, 09:53 AM
I have a lawn that looks like that and what I do is put on a set of gator blades and run over them 3-4 times about the height of 2.5 in. Most all the leaves will chop up into smaller pieces and will start decomposing when the rains start. The shorter you can cut the better the leaves mulch.

I agree--been there and done that, many many times...you'll be fine--lower the mower, blow the leaves out of the plants--need a mulch plate or mulch kit on mower...and dust mask for sure-

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 10:05 AM
2 questions.. time to complete for 3-4 passes and time to start looking better once mulched.

fyi, all i would do is cover the discharge chute and add gator blades

unkownfl
03-27-2012, 02:17 PM
If she is paying you 500 for that job and you run it over with some gators and even with a mulch kit shes gonna be pist. You have no grass the mower isn't going to suck that crap up unless you cut on 1.5 inches.

Patriot Services
03-27-2012, 02:24 PM
Sub it out to a sucker (in every sense of the word) that has a bagging system for 400 and pocket the hundred.

Go to your Walker dealer and ask to demo a machine for a day.
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Florida Gardener
03-27-2012, 02:27 PM
If she is paying you 500 for that job and you run it over with some gators and even with a mulch kit shes gonna be pist. You have no grass the mower isn't going to suck that crap up unless you cut on 1.5 inches.
Not to mention all that sand...I would charge 1-K, get 2 more guys and have 2-3 blowers, rake and bag....
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BCL Services
03-27-2012, 06:26 PM
I would say thanks but no thanks! Looks like a major pain in the a$$! Or rent a leaf sucker.

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 06:28 PM
I can't find a lead sucker or riding vacuum or anything to rent. Nothing. Guess its not going to happen
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Florida Gardener
03-27-2012, 06:30 PM
I can't find a lead sucker or riding vacuum or anything to rent. Nothing. Guess its not going to happen
Posted via Mobile Device

I would def take this job, but at the right price, which isn't $500...
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jvanvliet
03-27-2012, 06:46 PM
I'm sure you can do it but you won't have any grass. I don't know how you can do it in St Augustine and have any grass. All that mulched up leaves makes the grass so thin.

We mulch all the time, including live oak. The leaves need to be spread out, we raise the mulching deck 1" above our usual cut and make a slow pass, sometimes two (1/2 inch lower).

Once done mulching we use the blowers to spread out the mulched leaves. Too much concentrated material in the grass invites fungus.

$500 for 3 acres is low.

Weekend cut easymoney
03-27-2012, 08:45 PM
We mulch all the time, including live oak. The leaves need to be spread out, we raise the mulching deck 1" above our usual cut and make a slow pass, sometimes two (1/2 inch lower).

Once done mulching we use the blowers to spread out the mulched leaves. Too much concentrated material in the grass invites fungus.

$500 for 3 acres is low.

we use the same approach....I posted photos last year on the subject...

check out fall cleanups w/o trailer

Here is one thjat had pecan leaves...this one was easy...two passes

Tha5150
03-27-2012, 08:54 PM
Easymoney, did you use mulch blades and open chute and take or what was tithe process? Looks pretty darn good. But that's a 1/2 acre ;)
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unkownfl
03-27-2012, 09:13 PM
Easymoney, did you use mulch blades and open chute and take or what was tithe process? Looks pretty darn good. But that's a 1/2 acre ;)
Posted via Mobile Device

He's using a mulch kit but he has grass to mulch it into. You have dirt so instead of seeing full leaves it will be 1/4 of a leaf spread all over. Which ever way you cut it both jobs look like a hack ran it over. The lawn pictured is cut way short and my customers would flip there lid if I mulched there leaves. Why not just put a catcher on one mower and be done with it.

Florida Gardener
03-27-2012, 09:16 PM
Since there is virtually no grass, I think backpacks and a couple helpers is the best way to go.....

Weekend cut easymoney
03-27-2012, 09:26 PM
No mulch kit, just side plate
-Lawn was St.Augustine and cut at about 3 inches...we go from 4.5 inches in summer down to about 3 inches in fall-
Agreed it is more difficult without grass, but you can do it--the grass makes it much easier
I don't bag cause organic matter for the lawn is much better than not...moisture retention, makes soil healthier...which makes grass grow better-bagging sucks up lots of dirt as well over time-plus bagging up leaves and hauling them off is sorry...
I would agree that bagging has its place...when there is so many leaves they would be accumilated after mulching them up...
i would also agree that bagging a yard typcially looks a little nicer-that doesn't mean that I would do it...hauling off debris is a losing proposition...guys up north get paid to do it, down south people don't pay for you to do it...they just expect it (if you bag)

Patriot Services
03-31-2012, 03:14 PM
and all i have is a 44" dixie with no bagging system. a friend gave me this lead cause he has no time and i am just starting out, still in the "i will do anything" faze. he quoted her $500 and she wasnt completely sold until i said i would blower her entire roof off and do an extra corner that she had not bothered with.

anyways, i am 99% i can get this job at $500 or $450 worst case. problem is, i will not rake all this. good thing, there is a burn site in her back yard where she wants everything dumped so there is no removal.

i have tried to find a place to rent a riding leaf vaccum or something with no luck. and i said i have no bag so what is my next best option.

A. you guys tell me some great simple way to get this done in 3 hours by myself with something i dont know about

B. rake myself and or hire someone to help ($10 type help at the local store) and hate everything about the job the 15 hours it takes to finish and try to kill myself on the job.

C. Sorry ma'am, not going to happen. good luck....

So, what did you end up doing and what did you learn?:usflag:

cpfriz
04-01-2012, 12:20 AM
Oak Tree leaves are the worst one to work with in FL
1. They are small to mulch.
2. Small enough to get into or between the St. Augustin grass roots (Hard to rake)
3. If you do mulch them first they have to be dry and 2nd since all the leaves are brown it doesn't look like you did anything after your done.

My opinion blow all the leaves in piles and load in a tarp or a large cloth. This will save you at least 1-2 hrs from bagging and then dumping.

CS-LAWNSERVICE
04-01-2012, 10:19 AM
Mulching leaves only work for you southern guys with very little leaves, Its impossible to mulch the leaves in the fall time up north.

If it were me trying to do what you want without all the proper leaf equipment like we have north, I would take your little mower and keep mowing in circles working form the outside in until you mowed all leaves into a pile in the middle of the yard then i would rake them all on a big 20x30 tarp and pull it with my mower over to the burn pile.

have done it this way in the past and it works well especially since she has a burn pile she wants them all dumped in

AllBrad
04-01-2012, 12:28 PM
Spend $300 or whatever it cost and purchase a side bagger for your mower. A little gas money and a very small profit. Consider the hard work and extra labor time an investment for the next leaf job. It is paying for the new bagger. On the next job, and there will be more, you can charge more money and spend less time doing the work.
I personal mulch when I have grass, and rake (blower) or vac in dirt.

South Florida Lawns
05-06-2012, 01:43 PM
We use blowers and big tarps. Blow all the leaves to center fill tarp and drag to road. Then tie the tarp and lift it into the dump truck or open trailer. The big tarps take 3 guys to lift some times especially if wet.

Puddle of Oil
05-06-2012, 02:08 PM
This thread makes me laugh.