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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:43 PM
This is one of my very few leaf clean up jobs. It's a non-maintenance customer and this is the first of 2 visits for leaves. Will go back again when they are all down. I didn't take pictures of the whole property covered in leaves but I did take after shots. The whole place was covered (about ankle deep) like the first few photos so you get the idea. Leaves had to be blown through plant material/underbrush in the front. Property is appoximmately 25,000sf. Weapon of choice was a RedMax EB7001. Leaves get blown into the surrounding woodline. A couple of piles needed to be tarped and dragged to woods. The piles you see in the photos are less than half of what I already blew into the woods.

Anyone think they can estimate the man-hours it took? :cool2:

I'm going to post around 18 photos.. so please wait 'til I finish (15 minutes).

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:44 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:45 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:46 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:46 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:48 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:48 PM
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mdb landscaping
11-02-2004, 06:48 PM
that place is a piece of cake compared to some of the ones we do. :dizzy:

FrankenScagMachines
11-02-2004, 06:49 PM
Tom, Looks good but i don't understand why they even bother to make that a lawn area there... if it were me i'd just leave it all natural and not ever even worry about it, but hey thats me lol.

PLM-1
11-02-2004, 06:49 PM
that looks like a really difficult place to do clean up!

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:51 PM
................... you guys can't read?

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:52 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:53 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:54 PM
home stretch.........

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:56 PM
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FrankenScagMachines
11-02-2004, 06:57 PM
That's right Tom, we're illiterate. But, we can type like you wouldn't beleive :D

Why did you say that? I read it all just fine. I really didn't feel like counting how many pics you attached and waiting another 20 minutes to say what was on my mind and didn't want to come back to the thread later.

No hard feelings :)

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:57 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:58 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:59 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 06:59 PM
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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 07:00 PM
Okay... done. Lost a couple somewhere in cyber space :dizzy:

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 07:05 PM
that place is a piece of cake compared to some of the ones we do. :dizzy:

That's nice... how many man hours?

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 07:08 PM
Tom, Looks good but i don't understand why they even bother to make that a lawn area there... if it were me i'd just leave it all natural and not ever even worry about it, but hey thats me lol.

I don't know why.. I would leave most of natural too.

BTW.. no hard feelings :)

FrankenScagMachines
11-02-2004, 07:12 PM
cool beans. well you did a good job :) It can be alot of work, sometimes alot of hard work, but i love leaf removals. Unless they are soaking wet or i underestimated on time. Then i hate them LOL. Something about this time of year and the nice weather (when not wet) I just like leaves. I think it also has to do with that when i was a little kid we went to Grandma's and a elderly friend's house and did their leaves (my mom, me and two brothers) and i guess i just always did love it. Now I go to Grandma's and do them myself and i went and did them last weekend. Kinda hated it then lol... too thick and wet in areas.

Smithers
11-02-2004, 07:16 PM
Tom, i just did a .5acre (flat as it can be) covered 2" with leaves. It took me and my wife 9 man hrs (one RedMax 7001 and ultravac). But we had to bag after every pass.

I am afraid to guess how many hrs it took you....but here you go... 18 man hrs.
Did you bag at the end?

how much did you charge him?

george

MikeLandscaping
11-02-2004, 07:17 PM
We have a bad one thats basically on a hill and cant get trucks near and we have to bring it to the trucks not fun at all

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 07:20 PM
Tom, i just did a .5acre (flat as it can be) covered 2" with leaves. It took me and my wife 9 man hrs (one RedMax 7001 and ultravac). But we had to bag after every pass.

I am afraid to guess how many hrs it took you....but here you go... 18 man hrs.
Did you bag at the end?

how much did you charge him?

george

George,

All I did was use the blower & tarped a couple of piles.. no bags & no mower. Sorry.. not close on the time.

Smithers
11-02-2004, 07:26 PM
wow! not even close. give me a clue. more or less?

I saw only one Redmax there, so i'd say then 25. but i'd be interested to hear how much you charged him

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 07:30 PM
George,

If I gave the price it might give away the time spent. I want to see if anyone could come close first. This may help others out with estimating time & money.

So it took your wife and you 4.5 hours to do your job?

Smithers
11-02-2004, 07:43 PM
Tom,

I agree with you. if you give the price, it will be easy to estimate the time it took you. Was i close the second time (25hrs)?

Yes, it took us 4.5 hrs, but as i said, we had to bad in Home Depot style paper bags and then haul them away. We did not stop the whole time. and you know what the worst thing was???? I had bit the job at $85. THE WHOLE FRIGGIN' THING - .5 acres. :angry:

That is why i am very interested in finding out how long it took you and how much you charged. it will help me with estimating the next time.

george

Dixie Cutters
11-02-2004, 08:04 PM
Im going to guess 12 man hours, assuming you have 2 people working the job?

impactlandscaping
11-02-2004, 08:06 PM
Tom-Solo, right? Redmax power, blown into the woods, a few tarp piles to the woods....I'm going to say around 5-6 man hours solo, about a 375-450.00 job....

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 08:06 PM
George.. still not close. :)

Dixie.. It was just me. Not 12 hours but closer then Jorge :D

Smithers
11-02-2004, 08:40 PM
ok. it took you 9 hrs. I know because you second guess me about my disaster that took 9 hrs. tell me i am right.

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 08:46 PM
"tell me i am right"

Sorry.. no can do. :p

Smithers
11-02-2004, 08:54 PM
it was 8 hrs, right?

N.H.BOY
11-02-2004, 08:58 PM
Ill chime in and guess $ hours and with a redmax!!!! right ?

proenterprises
11-02-2004, 09:00 PM
6 hrs.




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Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 09:07 PM
Ill chime in and guess $ hours and with a redmax!!!! right ?

Huh?

George.. persistent aren't we? No again. I think even if you got it right I would tell you no... just to mess with ya. :D

Where is everyone? I thought this was a good idea... I feel like I wasted my time posting these pictures. It was a pain in the ass to list them this way (having to wait 45 seconds between each post). :(

Smithers
11-02-2004, 09:13 PM
i am determined becuase i have to give out another estimate for a leaf cleanup tomorrow. that's why i am trying to correctly price this one out and not screw myself again.

george

GreenMonster
11-02-2004, 09:18 PM
how many man hours?

To clean-up the leaves, or take the pictures???
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

No collecting or loading, I woulda guessed 8 or so, but we already know that's wrong, don't we?

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 09:25 PM
"To clean-up the leaves, or take the pictures???"

LOL.. only a few minutes and the client will pay for those minutes too. :) Wanted to give as much detail for accuracy.

Mark did you see my posts in the Landscape forum "Raised Beds"?

GreenMonster
11-02-2004, 09:27 PM
Mark did you see my posts in the Landscape forum "Raised Beds"?

Yes, I did, before I hopped in the shower.

Sorry, I'm heading back there now. :waving:

Gilla Gorilla
11-02-2004, 10:01 PM
Im guessing 5 to 5.5 hours for that job.

Premo Services
11-02-2004, 10:40 PM
Pretty much leaves, but not a good match for the mighty eb 7001. I think it tyook around 3.5 hours to do it complete.....

Lawn-Scapes
11-02-2004, 10:53 PM
ding.. ding.. ding.. ding..ding........ and we have a winner :cool2:

That's right Premo.. it took me 3.5 hours... although the way my right arm is feeling.. I'd think it was more like 18 hours.

Smithers
11-03-2004, 07:57 AM
how much did you charge? you never answered that. At least i was close the first time....when it comes to how your arm felt. :cool2:

Lawn-Scapes
11-03-2004, 08:15 AM
George.. you should try to charge $50-$75 an hour. What I do is try to determine how how many hours it's going to take me and then add an hour to that. So.. if I think a job will take me 3 hours this is what I say to the potential client, "Mrs Smith the price will be $225-$300 depending on how long it takes me." I've never had a problem doing it this way.

Smithers
11-03-2004, 09:02 AM
hey tom,

Thanks for the reply. However, i am very confused on how to estimate the amount of time that it would take me.

For example, that lot that i was telling you about (.5acres)....it took me and my wife 4 hrs or so. Granted, she did not work 100% of the time like i did. But i did not stop for the 4 hrs.

Also, it was very windy, and leaves from the neighbor's yard were coming over constantly, but I never in a million years imagined that it would take us 4 hrs. I literally had to stop after every pass, stop the mower, open a paper bag, put the plastic thingy to hold the bag open, disconnect the bags from the UtraVac, slowly pour the leaves into the paper bag, attach the bags, start the mower and fill up the UltraVac with only one additional pass.

It was very frustrating.

How do you do the cleanups? i am not talking about this one becuase you did not collect them. I am takling about the ones that you have to clean everything and haul it away.

Do you dump the clippings and leaves on the ground or the truck, and then when you are all done you collect them with a vacuum into the truck bed? What exactly is your process?

I am thinking, next time, i will pour the UltraVac bags into the truck bed or the ground, and go back to collect more, while my wife fills up the bags. That way, both of us dont have to fill one bag at a time.

I hope i did not go overboard with my explanation. thanks a lot, though. i really appreciate your feedback.

george

proenterprises
11-03-2004, 09:18 AM
i feel your pain petrentz, cleanups can be hard when you miss judge your time your spending. esp when your bagging the leaves, but 50-75/hr is a good rate.

Eric 1
11-03-2004, 09:25 AM
I hate those kind of jobs, but it came out good!

Lawn-Scapes
11-03-2004, 07:10 PM
How do you do the cleanups? i am not talking about this one becuase you did not collect them. I am takling about the ones that you have to clean everything and haul it away.

Do you dump the clippings and leaves on the ground or the truck, and then when you are all done you collect them with a vacuum into the truck bed? What exactly is your process?

I am thinking, next time, i will pour the UltraVac bags into the truck bed or the ground, and go back to collect more, while my wife fills up the bags. That way, both of us dont have to fill one bag at a time.

I hope i did not go overboard with my explanation. thanks a lot, though. i really appreciate your feedback.

george

While I don't do a whole lot of clean ups at this time.. I've done enough throughout the years I've been in biz. For some reason most of the properties that I maintain now don't have a lot of trees on them. My process for the ones that do have trees is to grind them up into dust with double gator blades. If there are so many leaves that I can't make the particles disappear then I pick 'em up.

Next season I will advertise for fall clean ups. I will purchase a dump from the seat hopper for my Dixie Chopper and a leaf loader. How nice and easy that will be.

I'm not sure what to tell you... Until you gain more experience and have a good system in place you'll have to take the bad with the good. I'm not sure what you were thinking (I know.. you wasn't thinking!) with an $85 bid? Honestly.. I've never seen a leaf job for less than $150. <---- Hint: Start your minimum here :) I mean.. If someone was only expecting to pay $85 for leaf removal.. they probably wouldn't be calling.

Yesterday I received a call to estimate a leaf job. The lot was half an acre but she said she only wanted me to do the front because she had mean dogs in the back. So there was about a quarter acre up front covered with 4-6" of leaves. I called her up and told her $180-$240 depending on how long it takes me (I'm telling you.. this low-high bid stuff works). She said okay... go ahead. Today I went there.. blew all the leaves away from the house into the middle of the lawn and hopped on the Dixie and started grinding. I knew I could not make all of it disappear but got the particles down pretty small. I don't know exactly what the reduction ratio is but it looks like 100 to 1. I ended up leaving there with my dumper half full.. 2.25 hours later. Add another .75 hour for hauling to the dump. I'm telling you this to let you know (George) that even a little 1/4 acre job will probably take (an experienced guy) a minimum of 3 hours.

I don't know what you're doing with paper bags??? Is this a mandatory thing? I would try to avoid bagging if you could.. time saver. Try grinding the leaves before you suck them up in that ultra vac.

I'm attaching a photo of an example of the size of the leaves that I picked up today.

Smithers
11-03-2004, 07:59 PM
My process for the ones that do have trees is to grind them up into dust with double gator blades. If there are so many leaves that I can't make the particles disappear then I pick 'em up.

I will purchase a dump from the seat hopper for my Dixie Chopper and a leaf loader. How nice and easy that will be.

I'm telling you.. this low-high bid stuff works). She said okay... go ahead. Today I went there.. blew all the leaves away from the house into the middle of the lawn and hopped on the Dixie and started grinding. I knew I could not make all of it disappear but got the particles down pretty small. I don't know exactly what the reduction ratio is but it looks like 100 to 1. I ended up leaving there with my dumper half full.. 2.25 hours later. Add another .75 hour for hauling to the dump.

I don't know what you're doing with paper bags??? Is this a mandatory thing? I would try to avoid bagging if you could.. time saver. Try grinding the leaves before you suck them up in that ultra vac.



Tom, thank you very much for the explanation and the picture as well. I'd like to ask you a few things and explain a few things as well.

First, you are right. i was not thinkin with an $85 bid. He then called asking a second cleaning and asked if we can cut him a deal. yeah, right. i am sure.

Second, i can't dump the leaves by his curb since the city does not come and suck them up like other cities in the area. So we had two choices: bag them and the city will pick them up. Or, go to the dump, pay $20 and dump them there. I decided to go with bags since my "profit" would have been $85-$20 had i chosen the second option.

Now, here are the questions:
What do you mean double gator blades? I have gators on my Exmark (the aggressive blades with "teeth" at the end". But what are double gators? Did you mean Meg-mo's? I heard those really work and i will buy them probably early next year.

What did you mean, "A dump from my Dixie and a leaf loader"?

I followed your advise today and i gave a guy an estimate $125-$150 - a straight forward yard. I will let you know if i get it. He was very entusiastic.(sp?)

I will definetely chop up the leaves really well before i even open up a paper bag or start collecting.

thanks a lot, Tom. george

Lawn-Scapes
11-03-2004, 08:13 PM
Double gators meaning.. 2 on each spindle like this ---> +