View Full Version : Leaf Removal

02-17-2004, 12:54 AM
Any body here mess with large debris removal.

I recently acquired a yard that hasn't had its leaves raked/removed in a lllooonnngggg time.

The city does not pick up debris at the curb.

Whats your best leaf removal method?

Who out here is lucky enough to have one of those curbside truckmount vaccum things?

Dump trailer?

without this stuff , leaf removal sure is laborious.

With two guys and a truck and trailer. for 2 days. this is looking like a 500 dollar job.

Client was looking to spend about 200.

02-17-2004, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by DowntoEarthLLC
I recently acquired a yard that hasn't had its leaves raked/removed in a lllooonnngggg time.

With two guys and a truck and trailer. for 2 days. this is looking like a 500 dollar job.

Client was looking to spend about 200.

Lets see. Based on these 3 things, you probably better leave it to someone with experience and equipment.

1. Not done in a long time...talk about a lot of leaves. You will be underestimating the job for sure.

2. 2 guys there 2 days with equipment...$500 is to low. 16 man hours makes it $31.25 per man hour and you haven't added in truck, equipment, dump fees, etc.

3. The customer dicatating to you they want to spend only $200, well that in itself is enough reason to run for the hills.

02-17-2004, 01:02 AM
Tell client to keep looking.

Premium Services
02-17-2004, 03:39 AM
two days and two men on the job the least i would think about doing it for would be about $800. if it was me i would charge $850
pick up a third man and put in one long day.

02-17-2004, 08:14 AM
I have lots of experience with leaf removal and I don't remove leaves anymore. I chop them to bits and leave them on the lawn.

This job has bad written all over it and as others have said, run from it. 200.00 for a matted down unraked wet spring lot will make you rethink your decision.
You are correct in the fact that without that equipment the job is laborious and it is as tough on your equipment.

It seems that you are into this by the way you stated that you recently acquired the yard. I am assuming that this was not talked about with the new client other than they want it cleaned and they told you their price. I don't know what your method of pricing is but I do leaf jobs by the man-hour. I'd suggest you figure out your rates and tell the owner that this is the way you do it. You will surprise yourself in a negative fashion if you do the job any other way because it isn't as simple as mow and go. I am not trying to discourage you, I learned the hard way and I see you are on the doorstep of the teacher of that same lesson.

You can make it work to your favor but it takes careful planning and a good explanation on your part. If you don't get this job on your terms then it is not worth it.

Please keep us updated on this one because many of us know how much of a bad thing this can be.

Blades of Steel
02-17-2004, 08:15 AM
Tell them to buy a rake and 200$ worth of bags and get started. I would also ask them if they would be willing to work 2 full days with all the equipment and cost for 200$. Not likely!

02-17-2004, 09:08 AM
way to cheep i spend a pay at a prob 3 guys and without dump fees its 900

02-17-2004, 09:15 AM
DownToEarth - I have all of the equipment that you mentioned in your original post and my suggestion to you is to inform the homeowner that you will do the job for an hourly rate, do not estimate the number of hours or provide a maximum $ amount as you are sure to be burned. Let the home owner know that working by the hour is the only fair pricing method for them as well as you. If you have to haul the junk away do not forget to add in the time this takes as well as any dumping fees. Don't forget to have the owner sign a contract for services provided just in case a trip to 'small claims court' is needed to collect.


02-17-2004, 11:08 AM
If charging hourly, make sure you tell them this also includes disposal time and fees and if you wish, drive time (not recommended unless it's really out of the way).

02-17-2004, 12:24 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here. How big is this yard? About 50% of my accounts are in residential areas and I'm used to picking up a ton of leaves.

on a 3/4 acre lot I'll dice up the leaves with a w/b and blow them all to the curb with my Little Wonder. Were talking one man job at 1.5 hrs max. I have a guy with a leaf loader that will pick up whatever I need for $50-80 bucks.

I may be totally missing the mark here, but I'd do the job for $200 total.


02-17-2004, 02:54 PM
DownToEarth, your observation that the leaves on that lawn haven't been picked up in a lllooooong time tells you 2 things:

One, this homeowner does not really care much whether his/her lawn looks good.

Two, this homeowner has not, in the past, found any other LCO willing to work for the amount he/she is willing to pay. Thus they simply didn't bother having it done.

Their expectation of a $200 price confirms that.

They only want a nice lawn if they can find someone dumb enough to work really cheap (usually someone new to the business)

Don't be their dumb low-priced sucker. And if you are thinking a real good job here will get you referrals elsewhere, forget it. What you will get in the way of referrals will be other cheap people hoping you will also charge them too little for their neglected lawns. You will find that giving reasonably priced bids on those referrals is time wasted.

This is experience speaking.

02-17-2004, 04:12 PM
hit the road :D

02-17-2004, 05:28 PM
Or you could tell em for $200, I will clean up a quarter of your yard. In a couple of weeks, we can clean up another quarter for $200 etc....

Put them on the easy payment plan sort of speaking. In other words explain to them, what ever company they call is gonna charge em at least $800, your just willing to make it easy on them, as far as payment is concerned. Do a little at a time at thier conveinence. Just make sure they are givin ya the money each time you go over there.

It will work for you and them. Your not havin to move massive amouts of leaves all at once, an they dont have to fork over all the cash all at once......See what they say.

02-17-2004, 06:26 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

I've talked to the client about my hourly rate and just charging him per hour.

I've got 14 hours into it already, and that was just the back. I'll work till I run him dry.

The client is one of those guys that buys up foreclosures and fixes them up to rent them out. Kind of like a slum lord I guess. He wants to spent as little as he has to to get the place rentable.

Yeah I know, run... But I need the money honey.

I'll make something out of it, it won't be the easiest 800 or so bucks though.

Thanks again Lawnsite Crew