View Full Version : Fall clean-up pricing

11-20-2000, 10:15 PM
Hey folks, just a trying to get an idea about charging for fall clean-ups. I tow my 12' trailer with my 96 chevy pickup carrying 2-52" mowers with baggers, 2 8hp blowers, a (jrco)leaf plow, 2-backpack blowers. If I need to I can have one of my men drive my 86 dump with a 16hp Giant vac hitch mount to the job to suck up the leaves and take away. I don't get charged to dump the leaves. As far as an hourly rate, where should I be per hour for a clean up with needing to vacuum or without having to vacuum. My business is in CT. I usually have a total of 3 men to do a clean up without the vac. If I have to vac I usually try to get a 4th man. Thanks for the help.

11-20-2000, 10:28 PM
for cleanup where i need to tarp leaves and pull them to the street i charge 5-7 times as much as cutting the grass.

11-21-2000, 12:40 AM
ive been doing tons of cleanups i love them.i charge 150 to 250 i only did one house for 75 because they gave me two refarals of there neighbors of 150 each a house .im the cheapest around landscappers in my neighborhood get 350 to 450 so im stealing all there business .the only different thing i dont do at the end of my cleanups is mow the lawn if they want it ill charge another 30.oo but only two people had asked for that.i went to do a house today of just blowing out all beds that was two acres took me three hours with another person helping i charge 150.oo for that i think i undercharged but it wasnt to bad.the landscappers that did the whole leafcleanup got 650 without the doing any beds they blew alot of leaves in the beds so thats how i wounded up with this job today.but 650 is really good huh for just doing leaves if u have the right equiptment i guess you can do anything....just charge what you feel that would make u satisified theres always more than you bargained for so dont charge cheap.......

11-21-2000, 08:51 AM
Theres a lot of new developments I do along with old developments. Its difficult to say to the new ones that I'll do their leaves for 120.00 (4x 30.00) when they only have 3 15' pear trees. On the other hand a lawn that I did yesterday I do for 25 during the season, charged 200.00 for a cleanup. If they had me come out when the leaves first fell the bill would have been 350 or so. What to do? Charge by the hr. This yr I charge $XX per hr per person including travel time. An earlier post said that theres always more than it seems. Dont cut your throat by giving a price unless youve done the property before.

11-21-2000, 10:13 AM
thats true how abut like 50.oo a hour i also had thought about that but didnt think customers would buy it.

11-21-2000, 10:49 AM
I must say i bit the bullet on a few leaf jobs so far, being kind of new to this bus. it was hard for me to bid these clean ups. What i can say is we have quickly learned not to feel guilty to charge 4-5 times the cost of mowing for leaves, it ALWAYS looks easier than it is!!!!!

11-21-2000, 11:06 AM
I don't give set price on leaf clean-ups. I may give a price range...very wide, and then charge by man/hr on the job. It's too easy to "eat it" on leaf jobs. I see no reason why any of us should not make a good profit on leaf clean-up. My baggers and wheeled blowers only get used this time of year, so it's got to be worthwhile for the equipment expense alone.

11-21-2000, 11:11 AM
We charge $30.00 per man hr that works great most jobs that we mow for $20.00 or $30.00 per time in the summer will take 4 to 10 hr we have tons of red oaks as of Nov 10 we have had snow on the ground so we missed out on about $4500.00 of clean ups thats life. well git them in the spring.

11-21-2000, 05:34 PM
I have been charging hourly for cleanups as well. I have been considering going to a flat monthly charge for service next year though. With an hourly charge on cleanups there is no incentive to work hard and fast, not worth it if I am alone because my average property can be cleaned in 1 hour. with 2 men working together (one on pushblower and one on backpack) it takes 45 min to 1 hour (therefore 2 man hours, and no customer have ever complained about that). There is also no incentive for upgrading to better equipment. I bought a high output blower this year which saved me alot of time on cleanups....now I have a better blower and am making less money. What's that all about ? So for regular customers, I can take this years gross and figure a monthly. The only time I could really get screwed is if we have alot of rain.


double e
11-21-2000, 07:11 PM

These other guys are right. you should charge buy the hour so you don't get burnt. I t seems like you have nice equip., so don't under cut on your prices. You have gas and maintainence to pay for. for 3 men i would probably charge around $75 dollars.

Don't ever ever ever tell a customer you can dump the leaves for free. My landfill is 30 min. away. I tell every one I take them there. Then drive about 3 miles up the road and dump them on a buddies farm. Then charge around $20-$40 for landfill.

As for the 16hp Giant vac you have- does any one know where I can find one. I'm looking for something kind of cheap for I don't do many clean-ups. what's a price range I'm going to buy one for

I live in Delaware- if any one has one for sale thats about 2 hr. away e-mail me

I'll probably have to wait after clean-ups for cheaper

Thank you

11-21-2000, 07:30 PM
$30 an hour for leaves???That's just a guy and a rake right?

11-22-2000, 07:30 AM
What's the point Getmow ? Do you think high or low ?

11-22-2000, 08:15 AM
I work alone and charge $50 per hour minimum without removal.

11-22-2000, 08:26 AM
Just curious.....do you guys working alone run 2 blowers at a time (1 backpack along with a pushblower) ?

11-22-2000, 09:42 AM
I get paid year round so i don't get all that BIG money ya'll get. I can't see anyone around here paying those prices though, cosider yourselves very lucky!

If a non-customer calls me and wants a cleanup it's usually after all the leaves have fallen and it's been raining and they're wet and thick and...............well I learned last year to go with $100.00 minimum, from there it goes up. If they want to live in leaves for 3 months then they need to pay the price to get them cleaned up. I quoted a lady the other day $50.00 to clean her yard. The curbs had not been edged in years, there were just a few leaves on the ground, and not much grass growing . The whole job might have taken me 45 minutes. She thought that was too high.......I'll probably decline most clean-ups this year and save my equipment.

Maybe I could start an association down here and get everybody to raise their prices on cleanups like you guys do! 4x the normal..............nah, they would never buy that.


11-22-2000, 12:33 PM
I charge $25.00 pre/man hour. Too me thats enough to keep me happy. I NEVER give a set price, just asking for trouble when you do that. You just need to sit down and decide on a price per man/hour that is good for you. For me $25 is good, for others it may be more, it may be less. You have to weigh a lot of factors. A lot of guys on here have a lot tied up in their business than the common part timer. SO therefor they have to charge more to make the same amount that another would make.

11-22-2000, 06:27 PM
Alot of good thoughts above........Bottem line ....get your hourly rate that you need to survive!!!

11-22-2000, 06:53 PM
I wouldn't ever work for an hourly rate for any reason, i try to price high enough to cover the job no matter how bad it can get. If we bust our butts and get it done fast no complaining , if it takes all day well my problem.

Double e , you flat out lie to your customers? Nobody says you have to tell them the whole truth, but i try not to lie to anyone, i just won't tell them my business, shouldn't matter to them where you dump as long as it's off the property and not dumped illegally.(not saying you do this!)
I have lied to people about things like this before but i couldn't do it anymore, just not worth getting caught in a lie by a customer.

11-22-2000, 07:02 PM
Was spending extra time on leaves here on some properties in late August. Only way to fairly be compensated is to charge for your time. Every stop all year is timed, even for properties we've mowed 500 times already. I sure don't want to charge 5X or 3X or ?X for busting my tail on anything! Customer is charged for the TIME involved, whether it be mowing, fertilizing, cleanup or whatever. If you track times and costs, after 2-3 years you can assign an hourly charge to each operation or machine. (Or you could buy estimating guideline books.) That is how a successful business prices its product or service. And you always have to do this to make sure you are making the money you expect.

11-22-2000, 09:00 PM
Charge for your time. Make sure to get enough for your overhead and equipment. We charge $25 per man hour and $10 per yard of debris hauled away. Most clean ups run $125-$250. Then there is the upper 15 percent that run $450 to $1500. Make sure you come out on top.

11-22-2000, 10:31 PM
I thought about charging by the hour but I don't.When I look at a new job I price it high so that if I get it, I know I'll make a good profit..For my regular customers, I've been charging 3x price of mowing the yard.I don't remove the leaves, I just mulch them up..I have mulching kits on the 3 mowers that I haul..If the leaves are thick, I run over them with the Gravely 260z first and then with my Honda or Gravely walk behind..My average clean-up takes about 1-2 hrs and my average price is between $100-$150.So far we've done about 70 cleanups and I have about 35 more left to do..Happy Thanksgiving...Clean-Cut

11-23-2000, 06:48 AM
For you guys getting 3-5x a cut for leaves:

How often do you go to cleanup ?


If you are blowing the lawn off first, does the price include cutting or do you skip weeks in the fall?

I have been getting 1-2x a cut to blow the yard clear (that's how everybody does it around here) and then charge for the cut if it needs it.


11-23-2000, 01:38 PM
Here is the problem with charging hourly...

Did a property recently that is 3/4 acre with many pine trees, oak trees, and maples. Once I blew out the beds and around trees I had a pretty good pile of leaves on the lawn. I took the exmark wb with mulch kit and ran over them quickly one time and chopped them up. The jumped on the Lazar HP with ultravac and quickly sucked the chopped leaves up. When I finished I had only 6 bags of leaves at the street. Would have been close to 30 bags if not mulched first. Took me 1.5 hours by myself.

If charge by the hour ($50) I would have only made $75. That's with putting $10,000 worth of equipment on the property. With lesser equipment then it might take longer to do, so I could make more, right?lol. But why should I get less money for the job just because I have better equipment to do it faster? This property would easily be worth $150 to do, but at an hourly rate you would get screwed!

11-23-2000, 01:51 PM
65 Hoss, Point well taken. I agree that there is a little common sense needed when pricing jobs. I will usually have a minumum charge if the lawn is small enough to do in under an hours time. I try to put into the formula how long the customer may think it will take them to do the job themselves. Then I explain how hard we'll work to make it look nice. It usually works. I love those lawns that take under an hour that you can get 95-125 $ or so. I consider hourly when the job is just so big and there could be some much *%@&#$$%* under the leaves that I would go with an hourly rate vs. flat rate. Then the customer determines how long they want me there and how picky the want me to be.

AGG Lawn Maintenance
11-24-2000, 05:58 PM
Homer I don't know if you need to come here or if I have to go down there. Where I'm from (New Jersey) you can make some pretty good money doing leaves. All the leave work I do is left curbside for city pick up. The only bad thing is some towns take longer than others to pick up leaves. But maybe I need to head south year round work is good if the moneys right.
AGG Lawn Maintenance