View Full Version : Charging for leaf clean up

10-20-2000, 08:58 PM
When you are mowing and you are taking time to blow leaves off driveway and blow off the lawn do you charge extra or is it common courtesy. Because it is taking roughly 20-30 min extra on some houses.
Just wondering about this

10-20-2000, 09:10 PM
I keep track of the extra time but for the most part if I am truly mowing lawn they still get billed the regular amount. The grass really slows down now so any mowing is really a plus.

The customers that sign up for the fall clean get the real full service. Once the grass quits growing I still show up every week to pick up leaves with a full clean out for the last stop for the year. I try to figure 4 to 6x the weekly mowing fee for the final clean which includes my extra time during the previous weeks. It works alright because I only clean about 12 of 24 weekly customers.

I know its a little confusing but I seem to do o.k.

10-20-2000, 09:20 PM
I'm with Mow Ed. There are a few transition weeks where there is mowing and light leaves,but most of them can be mowed. Also, weedwacking time is reduced or eliminated on well maintained homes by now (on Long Island anyway) and I ease off the flower beds so it balances out. Then, when leaves are heavy you don't mow so spend that time cleaning leaves each week instead, at least off the turf. After Thanksgiving I start fall clean ups and go until Christmas cleaning gutters last (yeah,say what you will ya babies, but it's easy $ and I'm already there (won't do three story houses). I charge about 6-8x the weekly maint fee, but it includes the spot seeding if needed in Sept. as well as a light winter fert. app. (Don't want too much N in the spring).

gene gls
10-20-2000, 10:36 PM
I went to an hourly rate this year to cover the extra time caused by rain days, toys and garden tools left in my way to be picked up and the leaves in the fall. I only have two customers that are up set with the extra charge and one of them bought a 68 Vett in mint condition.

10-20-2000, 11:50 PM
on my residental contracts i get paid $$$ per month year round and they get 40-45 services per year its never too bad
and with the addion of the walker this year its going to be record time compared to years in the past..I hate leaves...but i ilke the money non regular customers pay real good if i clean thier 2 months mess ,,in most cases their better off paying me to stop by at least every other week they would save some $$$

10-21-2000, 12:54 AM
I usually blow leafs off driveways, sidewalks and decks after cutting. I don't charge extra for this, because with the right equipment, it does not take that much extra time. While I'm cutting, I use the DC to blow leaves of lawns. I direct them to the street or the beds. Then when we do are clean up we blow them out and pick them up.

I think doing this extra step, without charging everytime you do something different makes your service stand out over and above other lawn services.

10-21-2000, 01:41 AM
If the leaves are that bad and your not doing a fall cleanup then blow the leaves onto the lawn then mow the lawn. Using a mulching blade or even bagging will say you more time...20 minutes to blow of driveway and sidewalks is too much time..what kind of blower are you using?

10-21-2000, 01:50 AM
I used double Gator blades today and did not pick up a leaf. Didn't want to use high-lift due to newly seeded lawns.


10-21-2000, 02:42 AM
You need to think of this before you bid on the job. Unless they pay you real good for your services and you are just willing to just do the extra work to make them feel like your doing a all around professial job and only if they were paying good I would not worry about it.

10-21-2000, 03:27 AM
Twenty added minutes to spend blowing leaves off the sidewalk and drive is too much for me! This time of year, twenty minutes after I left it would look like it did when I first got there to mow!

Lawn Cruiser
10-21-2000, 12:11 PM
I just pick them up with my mower this dosen't take much time and like others this extra mow late in the season is a bonus.

10-21-2000, 10:43 PM
On the September billing, I thank ALL clients for letting us take care of their lawncare needs and remind them that Fall is on the way and leaves are comming. I let them know that if we spend a significant amount of time, usually 20 min. or more, that we will be billing accordingly. Usually a buck or two for the short time stuff and rarley never more the $10.00. Right after I spell this out, I post a paragraph explaining what a "Leaf Job" is so they will not freak out when they get the bill for double, triple or sometimes quadruple the regular mow cost. This has worked out well for us. You must let your clients know beforehand what your plans are or they will most generally throw a fit. If a client throws a hissy any way, I expain exactly what we did and then just adjust their bill to make them happy. So I lost a couple of bucks on that particular job. But did I really???? After you do a clients lawn for several years. They get used to the fees. That's when you break out the secret weapon that you bought over the summer to make the job go faster. Maybe a larger mower, bigger blower, chipper, truck loader, or maybe just two xtra helpers that you are paying 10 bucks to help you out. The Client generally won't know the difference. Nosy clients just require more attention and you'll make it up on the next one. Just my philosophy.

10-22-2000, 01:49 AM
I like to blow the driveway and front porch area off before we cut. I also take a quick walk around the perimeters with a backpack. That's the most meaningful task to a client, is that they are not having all the leaves tracked into their house. I've learned this over the years because I've had clients out in their yard sweeping, blowing, and raking up leaves when they get heavy. They all give that reason - tracking into the house, and quite truthfully, as a customer, they really shouldn't have to worry about that. I charge a set rate for fall cleanup - (usually aprox. 4X the cutting price) and the more I mulch up prior to that, the easier the final job will be. Not only that, the property is cleaner, and the customers are happier with the service.

10-22-2000, 03:57 AM
well the way it works for me is that

1 man 20 mins =9 $
2 man 20 mins =18$
3 man 20 mins =25$

the way it works is all based on 25$ per per man charge

plus icharge foe the lawn cutting till the end of october .