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Stringblade
10-11-2004, 07:38 PM
just curious to see how you charge for clean up? in the past i have always charged by the job but i under-estimated a job last year and it took twice as long as i expected how many of you charge by the hour if so how much do you charge?

wmsland
10-11-2004, 07:51 PM
You should be charging by the hour. I have found that leaf jobs are pretty tough to bid. If they want a bid quote it high,you can always reduce the final price if it doesn't take as long as you thought it would, and the customer will think they are getting a deal, and you will probably be getting more work from them.

bobbygedd
10-11-2004, 08:03 PM
leaf cleanup is the toughest work to bid. tell them you want $80 an hour for a crew of two, they look at you like you're nuts. tell them you want $400 for the job, you get the same look. i find hourly to be the safest way to bid, but i get the least amount of jobs quoting this way.

mkroher
10-11-2004, 08:46 PM
$45 per hour, per guy. period. also $50-75 load/dump fee (per load), if I use my vac, and have to dispose their leaves.

If they don't like it, they can find someone else.

chefdrp
10-11-2004, 09:34 PM
i carge 45 bucks per hr. Im not sure how ill do it this year now that i have that nice new 11.5 hp blower. It will take me alot less time.

grassyfras
10-11-2004, 10:00 PM
I price by the season. 2-4 clean-ups a year depending on how lucky they are. thats basiclly what i tell them. They go for it if they trust you. Good luck bid high.

HOLLYWOOD6973
10-11-2004, 10:49 PM
We charge $30.00 per man hr. Four man crew, we use backpack blowers push blowers and suck them up with the leaf loader. Then charge to cut the grass. Money falling from the sky!!!! :blob3:

dlandscaping
10-11-2004, 11:26 PM
We averaged $40 per man hour, and on any jobs that we made under than , we weedwhacked and called it a mowing. It is the easiest money that can be made with the right equipment-- im sure that many ppl have said this.

tiedeman
10-12-2004, 12:07 AM
I charge by the hour w/ disposal, with a minimum 1 hour charge

walker-talker
10-12-2004, 05:13 AM
I charge by the hour also, disposal fee included in that hourly charge. I can do probably a dozen cleanups before I have to dump. On top of that, it's only $20 to dump. Like tiedeman, one hour minumum.

scott's turf
10-12-2004, 06:30 AM
I charge by the job. We usually only do clean-ups for our lawn mowing customers so we are very familiar with the lawn. The first clean-up price may be a little low the first year and I will raise it the following but usually it is pretty accurate. Last year we grossed well over $60/man hr because we had a good wind storm the a few days before and most of the leaves were gone. I love fall clean-ups! Most of all because I know that the season is almost over.

GarPA
10-12-2004, 07:23 AM
our regular customers dont even ask what the leaf clnup fee will be...
for a 1 time cleanup customer, we usually give them a low to high price range...most are ok with that.

Like Bobby said, some people will gag when you tell them your manhour rate so we stay away from that approach.

Something you may also want to consider...if we are running the mowers with the vac systems on, we view that machine as an "employee" and we bill for it accordingly. Leaf dust is hard on equipment and because we can get it done so much faster than guys with rakes and tarps, we need to charge for it. Cleanups are the one service where WE set the pricing rules and we dont deviate from them....if we dont get the job thats fine. I;d rather not get the job than get it at the wrong fee

KathysLGC
10-12-2004, 09:07 AM
$40 per hour because i can't remove them. If I could it would be $50 per hour.

Aproct
10-12-2004, 10:12 AM
I just had a customer call me and want an estimate. Okay, go to the property look around, good size yard, good amount of big trees, gardens that need to be blown out. Customer wants an estimate on two clean outs, one at the end of oct and november. I figure 3 man crew, 1 to 1/2-So I call the customer and tell them between 200 to 235 per clean up including disposal. The phone is silent. He comes back on, "is that for both times?" I reply, "no that each visit." I explain to him that it maybe cheaper depending on the amount of time that we are there. The customer "oh, so you are on an hourly basis." Duh......Then the customer tells me that last october it took him almost 7 hours to clean out the yard and he is complaning about my cost!!!WTF!!

Leaf clean ups are hard to price and even harder for people to pay what the work is worth....

walker-talker
10-12-2004, 01:24 PM
Depending on the amount of leaves, a leaf cleanup might be considered a cosmetic service or luxury servide more than a necessary. Because of this, some do not want to pay much for the services. This is my take on the matter anyway.

KathysLGC
10-12-2004, 01:30 PM
two years ago I posted at work a quick flyer $30 ph leaf clean up w/out disposal. An employee wrote on every one $20 an hour with him and his sons. I posted on every coffee station so that was about 8 flyers.... talk about lowballers..... Every one here thought i was crazy for asking that price so never again will I offer services at work.

jpp
10-12-2004, 04:50 PM
i carge 45 bucks per hr. Im not sure how ill do it this year now that i have that nice new 11.5 hp blower. It will take me alot less time.

I am sure many of you are going to disagree with this but here goes. Why don't you charge the same for the blower? Consider that another person out there with you. I have done that in the past myself. I am sure I just opened up a can of worms here but hey at least I am being honest about it.

GarPA
10-12-2004, 05:00 PM
I also think that part of the problem regarding people gagging over the fee, is that in the customers eyes, it really is one of the lesser "skills" that we landlizards posess as compared to other services many of us provide. Customers may not be able to install plants, new lawns, and make picture perfect stripes, but they know for sure that they can hold or push a blower around with little or no experience needed. We no longer seek out new customer cleanups as I got tired of telling Harry Homeowner that his $400 cleanup could not be done for $90.

As mentioned above, I think it might be the single most difficult service to sell if you are trying to get the right price for the work

GarPA
10-12-2004, 05:05 PM
JPP...you didnt open up a can of worms. Your point is the same that I made earlier. You bet I consider a 10k commercial machine with a vac system as 1 additional employee to be billed for. 2 men 2 z's with vacs = 4 men per hour to be billed for

Branchland
10-12-2004, 05:09 PM
Ok, let me ask this. You have a good customer that you picked up this Spring. They ask you now what leaf pick up will be. You give them a price and they say that's too high. So what to do now? Might you lose them as a customer forever? Just mulch them? I would hate to lose any customers but I'm not doing it for the same price as mowing either.

This is the first year with as many customers as we have. Other years only about 10 yards and only a couple needed leaf removal. So I haven't really had that problem yet. So far this yaer only 2 customers have asked me to price it and I've just told them it depends on how long it takes and if I have to haul them off. Both was ok with that. Luckly.

jpp
10-12-2004, 05:11 PM
JPP...you didnt open up a can of worms. Your point is the same that I made earlier. You bet I consider a 10k commercial machine with a vac system as 1 additional employee to be billed for. 2 men 2 z's with vacs = 4 men per hour to be billed for

Sorry GarPa,

I totally missed that post.Obviously I agree with you. If it the job gets done faster because of the equipment then guess what the customer should pay us for using that equipment. Just like it was an employee.

JPP

gramps
10-12-2004, 05:24 PM
I am sure many of you are going to disagree with this but here goes. Why don't you charge the same for the blower? Consider that another person out there with you. I have done that in the past myself. I am sure I just opened up a can of worms here but hey at least I am being honest about it.
Totally agree.The equipment increases productivity. Labor decreases same work done. Charge accordingly and move on. :cool2:

jpp
10-12-2004, 07:29 PM
Ok, let me ask this. You have a good customer that you picked up this Spring. They ask you now what leaf pick up will be. You give them a price and they say that's too high. So what to do now? Might you lose them as a customer forever? Just mulch them? I would hate to lose any customers but I'm not doing it for the same price as mowing either.

This is the first year with as many customers as we have. Other years only about 10 yards and only a couple needed leaf removal. So I haven't really had that problem yet. So far this yaer only 2 customers have asked me to price it and I've just told them it depends on how long it takes and if I have to haul them off. Both was ok with that. Luckly.

BranchLand,

Stand your ground. As long as you know you are charging the right price. Now I would educate them in the leaf removal process. It might seem like easy work to them or maybe not. I would ask them if they have done the leaves before themselves?How long did it take you? What did you use to do this? Only a few questions that I would ask. Then you can educate them on the procedure use and the equipment that you use that you have to pay for to do the job.

I have a couple of customers that want one time leaf removal. I absolutely told them no. If they don't like then they can take a hike. I tried to educate them but to no avail. Believe it or one is a professor at Ohio State. So I know they have they have the cash. This is back breaking work especially once they get wet. Just my .02. Good luck.

ince8728
10-22-2004, 09:48 PM
I charge by the hour w/ disposal, with a minimum 1 hour charge

Hi this is my 1st year charging by the hr. My labor rate is 50/hr for a 3 man crew. In jersey the leaves havent REALLY started coming down yet but so far my prob is that where nocking out accounts in 30-45 min (rarely an hr -1.5hrs) so i'm only charging for the 30-45 min which sux. So when you say that you have a 1hr minimum if you do the house in 45 min do you still charge for an hour?

- Matt

shepoutside
10-22-2004, 10:23 PM
Is it just me, but I cover all services, in the monthly fee. They pay the same all year long, and this cover's fall cleanups. I find this to be better for both customer, and for myself too.

chefdrp
10-22-2004, 10:31 PM
i carge 45 bucks per hr. Im not sure how ill do it this year now that i have that nice new 11.5 hp blower. It will take me alot less time.
well i nkow how i am going to charge now. I am just going to charge more than i did last year. close to 70 per hr. and i can now get done alot faster.

gogetter
10-22-2004, 10:39 PM
Hi this is my 1st year charging by the hr. My labor rate is 50/hr for a 3 man crew.

Is that per "man hour" or just $50 per hour?????

GarPA
10-23-2004, 05:23 AM
Is that per "man hour" or just $50 per hour?????
I was wondering the same thing Jon. Otherwise its $17 an hour per man....yikes!

bastalker
10-23-2004, 09:13 AM
:nono: Never tell customers how much you charge per hour!! If a customer asks me how much I charge per hour, I tell them i dont charge by the hour, I charge by the job. I am in fact charging by the hour, but the customers dont need to know how I reached the dollar amount. Nothing worse than a customer eyeballin you the whole time your doing a job to ensure they are gettin thier $50 an hour (or whatever your hourly rate is) woth of work.

IMO...Customers asking how much I charge per hour are looking for cheap...

There are more than enough leaves up here for everyone, and there are definately lco's up here that will do it cheap, an dont mind giving an hourly rate. I'll let them get the eyeballin....

GarPA
10-23-2004, 11:23 AM
amen bastalker...'hourly rates" are more of an internal business function and customers dont need that information.

1. they have leaves
2. they want them gone
3. all that matters is how much to make my leaves go away?

Logsdonlawncare
10-23-2004, 11:53 AM
This is my first year doing fall clean-ups, so i decided to pass out flyers in this wealthy, older neighborhood full of huge oaks. I figured that all these accounts were already spoken for, but to my surprise the phone started ringing. I ve got lined up 13 houses directly next to each other. All of these yards are roughly 15k. Anyway i shot them all a "neighborlly discount" price of 150.00 per cleanup. Plus im gonna land a few for winter fert as well. Just wondering if i am way underbidding these or what? How long would you think it would take to do 13 cleanups with no drive time? Can it be done in 2-3 days? Equipment- scag 48 with 3 bag vac, stihl BP blower, 2 men and some rakes.

Todd

Lawnchoice
10-23-2004, 12:22 PM
120 / HR

Walker GHS
Scag Tiger Cub with triple bagger
EB8000 Backpacks

If they balk at the price, I walk away.

lawnprosteveo
10-23-2004, 12:41 PM
I can see your point that telling the hourly rate to the customer can have some negatives. But I am putting my customers on an every two week schedule for leaf cleanup. Some visits will have alot of leaves, some visits will have less. So, by charging an hourly rate, I don't over/under bid and they dont over/under pay. If the customer balks at the price, I explain that I mow their yard in 20 minutes and they pay $35 which we agree is a fair price. That figures to be $105 per hour. Leaf removal is more labor intensive and I will only be charging $50 per hour and visiting every 2 weeks instead of every week. That usually puts it in perspective for them.

JKOOPERS
10-23-2004, 01:49 PM
i charge $90 per hr for a 2 man crew and thats just mulching the leaves up. (for new costumers or just for clean-ups) my exsiting costumers i charge 4 times the mowing price .

Picman
10-27-2004, 03:42 PM
Im new into leaf cleanup this year and i dont have a little wonder blower. Is my Sentar with a bagger and my redmax blower good enough to get the job done or do i still need the old tarps and rakes?

lawnprosteveo
10-28-2004, 05:42 PM
I would say having tarps and rakes is a good back up in case you get into a job with too many leaves for your mower to handle. Thats my opinion anyway...

jpp
10-28-2004, 06:37 PM
I would say having tarps and rakes is a good back up in case you get into a job with too many leaves for your mower to handle. Thats my opinion anyway...

I had to take 6 tarp loads out of a back yard today. Only have the trees are down. Boy that was fun.

Rwise10230
10-28-2004, 07:53 PM
I charge just like my local competitor with the R US in their sorry name.......$30 minimum and $1.00 per minute each time we blow. If I have to carry any off it's $75.00 per load. I'm using a Little Wonder, Peco vac system and backpack.......whatever it takes.

They can use me.......or call another.....and yes......thay may be cheaper. If I'm going to go broke.......I'll do it on the banks of a river fishing.

ince8728
10-28-2004, 10:38 PM
well i'm the owner and i'm on site with every cleanup so i get 30/hr and my 2 guys get 8 & 9/hr. I changed 2 a 1/hr minimum so if it takes us less than an hr i still charge for an hr, which isn't bad. (I'm also 16 so i'm still in the learning process)