View Full Version : Leaf Vacuuming service

08-28-2004, 10:19 AM
How many of you guys add a leaf vacuuming service in the fall?

Our local public works stopped doing a fall pick-up a year ago so people have to bag and truck the leaves to the transfer station. What a pain!!!! We've got a bunch of fall clean-ups but the guys can do them and call me on the radio when done and I'll go vac them up while I'm on my rounds. It sounds like good extra money, plus it will help pay for the new equipment. I'm picking up the materials this week to build a box to go in my dads new GMC TC4500, I figure it will hold about 14 to 15 yards. Then get a Little Wonder 16hp on a swing-away hitch and I'll be ready for action!

What do you guys charge? I've read a threat or two that 75 an hour is about right for a 2 man clean-up crew but what about a vac truck with one or maybe two guys?

P.S. Dumping at our transfer station is FREE :p

08-28-2004, 11:32 AM
We do a whole city for curbside pickup. so yes it is good money when we do other pick ups i give people their choice, 145 per hour including dump time or 350 per trailer load, 30yards plus dump fees of 75 per load

08-28-2004, 01:50 PM
How do you handle small vac jobs. I was thinking in the neighborhood of a price for the 1st 1/2hr (maybe $60) then $1.25 per minute or (maybe $20 per 15 minutes) which includes disposal since its free in our town.

08-28-2004, 02:19 PM
Good thread. I was going to wait til Sept. to talk about leaves, but since the subject is open, here goes: I'm getting ready to offer the same curbside leaf pickup with a 14' contractor dump and a 16 HP Giant Vac with the extra long swing away receiver hitch mount. Got a bunch of questions: How much faster is it with 2 guys rather than solo? Will I need a blower, or will rakes be enough? What does a cubic yard of chopped dry leaves weigh? Wet? I'm also interested in pricing to homeowners and LCO's. Thanks for all replies.

08-28-2004, 09:40 PM
We are doing regular fall clean-ups for our LC customer but this would be seperate. This would be just the vac service. Someone will call and we'll vac their pile which needs to be within reach of the driveway or street. How many guys do this and prices?????

08-28-2004, 10:07 PM
ill price area, houses in certain areas around town will usuallt be about the same yard....we all know the smallest yard always has the most leaves. but when you vacume an extra yard of leaves isnt a big deal. so when peopel call i ask where they are what road and i look on my map. i know my city pretty well and ill give them a flat rate like $60. couple reasons.
1. home owners keep on on leaves so you dont get them all at ounce.
2. i keep it a little cheap because i want to be called back, in this case its $60 and thats what they think when they call you.
2.5 the call three times now all fall, $60 ea. trip because thats what you told them, First pile was more than half of there leaves, second trip was a quarter of there leaves and the third trip was just a fart in the wind.
3. Per trip you alreadt doubled what you were thinking of charging in your post above.

all togeather you got $120 dollars for picking the leaves up...maybe 2 hours into the whole ordeal and a couple gallons of gas, not to mention the 5 neighbors that saw you and did the same thing.

but there is a catch, i cheat i hate screwing around, i buy the best i can to get things done, the vacumes we use are 125hp deisels 38 inch fans with 18 in intake hoses. not bragging, but it mean it never clogs, and im never at the house longer than 15 mins on average, if i fill the trailer( 60 yards) it is in under 30mins but thats a lot of leaves right there

thats how i price it,

if i run hourly....i hate it because we can move so fast i do it for $85 an hr.:blob2:


08-29-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks Eric!! I'm not sure that will work well here just because each yard is so different in size. I think people around here are to cheap to have you back twice let alone 3 times. However I have been wrong before.

08-30-2004, 01:52 AM
I'm looking to get more into leaves this fall myself. I don't have any ideas on how to price either. Never thought about doing curb side pick up. Good idea! My only problem is, is that my area allows you to burn leaves in yard or in street against curb. So if the homeowner got that far they would probably do it all.

08-30-2004, 01:57 AM
I was looking for any good advice on attacking leaf jobs. I just bought a Echo 751 BP blower, but other than that all I have is rakes and a tarp or two. Can anybody help? Also would be interested in hearing more on these big vacs I see mounted on trucks,(where to find them, cost, etc.). I want to buy a Dually w/flat bed and build a box and have a vac, just don't know where to look for the equipment.

08-30-2004, 09:25 AM
Around here the 2 most common truck loaders are Billygoat and Little Wonder. You should be able to get one from your local mower saleman. You can also check there web sites to see which company is near you. The 16HP runs about $2800. I'm picking up a Little Wonder and the swing-away hitch for it.

We did the tarp thing this spring and let me tell you it stunk!!! We blow everything onto the lawn, ran around with our Walker to chop and vac them up, then dump on a tarp, then it the truck, and if the stuff was to boney for the machine we'd tarp it and drag it. Can't wait to have a truck loader!!!!!!! After next springs clean-ups I'm going to mount it on the trailer tonge (ours is enclosed) to load the clippings, big time and back saver!!!!!!!

People around here are allowed to burn leaves also but its not very common anymore. Neighbors hate the smell and I don't think people like having to hang around by the piles.

08-30-2004, 01:30 PM
how do you advertise for just picking leaves up at curbsides.

08-30-2004, 01:48 PM
My town has a small paper that is delivered to each home every other week. I'm going to put a insert in 2 issues this October. It only cost $205 plus I have to have the inserts copied.

08-30-2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by economiclawncare
how do you advertise for just picking leaves up at curbsides.

I saw a big box truck a few years back with this printed on the sides in huge letters:

"You rake em........we take em...."

I thought it was pretty clever.