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View Full Version : Do You Haul Off Clippings Or Leave On the Property?


JustMowIt
12-23-2004, 12:53 PM
Even though we mulch everything we can, & only have 1 Bush & Bed Truck, the clippings are a big cost & annoyance. We have to haul them to our shop, unload into a big trash trailer, then once a week to the landfill where the rules & cost are really increasing.

What do you guys do???

chevyman1
12-23-2004, 01:01 PM
dump on site as much as possible, but rarely do I bag at all.

impactlandscaping
12-23-2004, 01:10 PM
We mulch everything as well. When it requires cleanup(bagging, chipping, etc..), we take the dump truck rather than the half ton. Our local WVU AG farm takes all processed green waste to mix for compost and field dressing.

Living in a college town: $$$$$
Insurance in WV:$$$$$$$
Taxes in WV:$$$$$
Free dump site: Priceless... :p

YardPro
12-23-2004, 01:32 PM
don't know what to tell you we mulch everything.

mpblass
12-23-2004, 01:38 PM
I dump clippings at our city forrestry dump. They will take grass, leaves, branches or whole trees. The cost is $8.00 per load no matter how big or small the load.

alpine692003
12-23-2004, 01:40 PM
I leave if I dont like the customer, I haul away if I like the customer..

mowerman90
12-23-2004, 02:42 PM
Been in business for 15 years and have mulched EVERYTHING for the last 12.
Of course I mow St Augustine grass exclusively and it mulches very well even when overgrown. I also mulch up all of my shrub trimmings up to about the diameter of my thumb. Before I get flamed about this let me tell you that I have never had to replace any spindle bearings because of this nor have I had to replace any blades. I pile it up in a row go over it once with the deck in transport position and then 2 maybe 3 more times with the deck lowered to the height of the grass. Then I take my blower and and give it a quick shot and you can't even tell I'd been there. Hauling, disposal and dump fees are for the birds.

Palms, however, are another story. I'll mulch a few small Sago fronds but that's about it. Anything bigger and I've got to haul it away.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-23-2004, 02:47 PM
On site as much as possible but I still get plenty of grass clippings to deal with. At first I had to pay 10 dollars a pick up truckload at the local and only area recycling place for organic. The price did not bother me they did they had limited times you could go in there they closed at like 4 had even fewer weekend hours total pain in the ass no Sunday. Then I got invited to dump on my step fathers farm we have a spot for leaves and grass he also allows manure from a horse farm. The pile is 2 years old now I would put it at 3500-4500 cubic yards of compost. Up here topsoil goes for 20-25 a yard so you can see the man is really making out as think about it when he has 10000 yards of top soil to sell.

specialtylc
12-23-2004, 03:23 PM
We bag everything that is mowed with the smaller mowers. The rider stuff is just discharged, no mulch kit. On average we haul off 6 cubic yards of clippings a day. We have our own landfill on our property. And thats where we dispose of the tree and shrub prunnings also.

Shuter
12-23-2004, 03:50 PM
All clippingas are bagged and removed. My price does reflect this service.

Gene $immons
12-23-2004, 03:55 PM
Just mow it,

That was the biggest question had regarding your operation. I would suggest buying a tractor and a plow and dump them at your property if you have the land to do so. I have 5 acres of trash land for this purpose. Good idea to keep limbs and grass separate.

What do you do in the spring when you scalp Bermuda lawns? That stuff has to be hauled off.

JKOOPERS
12-23-2004, 05:24 PM
i dont have that problem with exmark they disperse the grass great

walker-talker
12-23-2004, 07:12 PM
What do you do in the spring when you scalp Bermuda lawns? That stuff has to be hauled off.Suck it up with my leaf vac and haul it off to the recycling center. The last load of leaves only cost $25 for nearly 6,000 pounds. I call my set-up my "leaf vac" and "leaf truck", but it was primarily bought and used for scalpings in the spring.

Jusmowin
12-23-2004, 08:58 PM
IF I bag I dump the clippings in a clear plastic lawn bag and put it at the customers curb to be picked up by the city. Theres no way Im gonna take my clients junk home, besides its not my grass its theirs and if it sits on their curb for a few days whats the big deal! :rolleyes:

Yard Perfect
12-23-2004, 09:23 PM
As above, we pick up all clippings and take away. However, when possible we encourage the customer to obtain a recycle container that the city will pick up. I have a tendency to move clippings to those who have above containers. The containers cost the customer about $6.00 a month from the city.

sildoc
12-23-2004, 11:54 PM
I mulch most everything. However on shrubs and when it get to wet to mulch and look good I bag. I haul it all off when I do this. It costs only 5 bucks to dump my truck and my trailer costs 15 heaped. I would say 8-10 yards of debris. How ever they charge out the wazoooo when you dump branches and such larger than 3". That is when I leave it or charge accordingly.

JustMowIt
12-24-2004, 07:17 PM
Just mow it,

That was the biggest question had regarding your operation. I would suggest buying a tractor and a plow and dump them at your property if you have the land to do so. I have 5 acres of trash land for this purpose. Good idea to keep limbs and grass separate.

What do you do in the spring when you scalp Bermuda lawns? That stuff has to be hauled off.

Yes, we have 25 acres, but we tried that several years ago & it seemed impossible to get the guys to separate the coke cans, plastics etc., plus we had to empty the plastic bags. And yes, the scalping is creates a lot!

For the guys that haul to the compost stations, you have to empty the grass & clippings from the plastic, right?

I think we have made the decision to buy the Kraft Paper bags that the cities require, & leave them on the property for the City to pick up. Our cities require that the limbs be cut in 4 ft lengths & tied. That is OK with us, becasue we charge our 3 man Bush & bed truck out at $100 per hour. The upside, is the customer will know that we showed up & how many clippings that we didn't haul off.

Have done a little shopping & can buy the bags in pallets delivered for 35 cents each. Does anyone know of a better price on these bags??
MJ

Soupy
12-24-2004, 08:00 PM
Yes, we have 25 acres, but we tried that several years ago & it seemed impossible to get the guys to separate the coke cans, plastics etc., plus we had to empty the plastic bags. And yes, the scalping is creates a lot!

For the guys that haul to the compost stations, you have to empty the grass & clippings from the plastic, right?

I think we have made the decision to buy the Kraft Paper bags that the cities require, & leave them on the property for the City to pick up. Our cities require that the limbs be cut in 4 ft lengths & tied. That is OK with us, because we charge our 3 man Bush & bed truck out at $100 per hour. The upside, is the customer will know that we showed up & how many clippings that we didn't haul off.

Have done a little shopping & can buy the bags in pallets delivered for 35 cents each. Does anyone know of a better price on these bags??
MJ

$33.33 per man hour seems low. Is this normal for your area? Do you have a minimum? Like if a customer just has a couple of bushes that one guy can trim and clean up in 30 minutes.

I know you charge by the hour so you don't have to drive out and give estimates. But in the past I used to tell a customer that we charge $60 per man hour and they would think that is high. I would then say how about $120 for the job. They would agree and it would take 1 -1 1/2 man hours. We now bid by the job and not by the hour. It works out a lot better and brings in a lot more then what we use to charge which was $60/hr.

We also try to leave the waste on site (our town has free yard waste pickup) but if the work is in the county then we have to haul to the dump and the customer pays for this plus mark up.

In the past did you not charge for debris? Did you just charge for the time spent on-site?

JustMowIt
12-24-2004, 08:25 PM
$33.33 per man hour seems low. Is this normal for your area? Do you have a minimum? Like if a customer just has a couple of bushes that one guy can trim and clean up in 30 minutes.

I know you charge by the hour so you don't have to drive out and give estimates. But in the past I used to tell a customer that we charge $60 per man hour and they would think that is high. I would then say how about $120 for the job. They would agree and it would take 1 -1 1/2 man hours. We now bid by the job and not by the hour. It works out a lot better and brings in a lot more then what we use to charge which was $60/hr.

We also try to leave the waste on site (our town has free yard waste pickup) but if the work is in the county then we have to haul to the dump and the customer pays for this plus mark up.

In the past did you not charge for debris? Did you just charge for the time spent on-site?

Yes, we have a 1 hour minimum & for the ones that are worried, we will make them the first stop in the morning so our driver can walk it & estimate his time.

We have always hauled everything off, but getting real tired of it! Also, this truck does not make much profit because our service area is so big, there is a lot of driving. This is a call in truck for our 2,000 mowing customers & don't know how many customers we would lose if we quit offering Bush & bed. Our newer approach is lower price for mowing with no B&B offered.
MJ

Soupy
12-24-2004, 08:36 PM
Yes, we have a 1 hour minimum & for the ones that are worried, we will make them the first stop in the morning so our driver can walk it & estimate his time.

We have always hauled everything off, but getting real tired of it! Also, this truck does not make much profit because our service area is so big, there is a lot of driving. This is a call in truck for our 2,000 mowing customers & don't know how many customers we would lose if we quit offering Bush & bed. Our newer approach is lower price for mowing with no B&B offered.
MJ

Why not just charge more for that service? Bush and bed work should be bringing in a lot more per hour net profit then mowing.

Drive time is a problem when you charge by the hour. You just need to up the hourly charge to reflect this or start pricing by the job.

I think your mowing price is plenty low already, I wouldn't lower that anymore. What do you do for the customers that demand weed control. I'm assuming you sub that work out. Can you do the same with Bush and Bed?

dcondon
12-24-2004, 10:28 PM
dump on site as much as possible, but rarely do I bag at all.


Same as us.

K.Carothers
12-25-2004, 01:23 AM
This year I will only mulch. If I lose customers then I lose customers. If I can't make it up with new accounts then I will get into another business.. I am not in this business because I love to cut/manicure lawns, I am in this business to make money. I do like to be outside and have the freedom of being a business owner but I will not sacrifice my life for something that wont produce!

alpine692003
12-25-2004, 01:36 AM
I dont know what the big deal with you guys bagging is??

I bag all my customers lawns and they are all 21" mowers..

Yard Perfect
12-25-2004, 02:23 AM
I agree with ALPINE, bagging makes the lawn look nicer and the customer happy. What ---- bending over to empty the bag is a big deal. That being said, mulching is better for the lawn, but a well manicured lawn and a happy PAYING customer is a good thing.

Soupy
12-25-2004, 02:46 AM
I agree with ALPINE, bagging makes the lawn look nicer and the customer happy. What ---- bending over to empty the bag is a big deal. That being said, mulching is better for the lawn, but a well manicured lawn and a happy PAYING customer is a good thing.

Bagging takes time which takes away from profits. A customer would have to pay me double to bag and that ain't going to happen.

Yard Perfect
12-25-2004, 02:57 AM
"Ain't going to happen" trying to make my customer happy and put out a good product, sounds like good advice to me!

Soupy
12-25-2004, 03:13 AM
"Ain't going to happen" trying to make my customer happy and put out a good product, sounds like good advice to me!

If they pay for it then there is nothing wrong with it. I was just answering why some of us have a problem with bagging. Besides, You would have a hard time seeing any clippings in my lawns, so bagging would have no benefit.

JustMowIt
12-25-2004, 09:00 AM
Why not just charge more for that service? Bush and bed work should be bringing in a lot more per hour net profit then mowing.

Drive time is a problem when you charge by the hour. You just need to up the hourly charge to reflect this or start pricing by the job.

I think your mowing price is plenty low already, I wouldn't lower that anymore. What do you do for the customers that demand weed control. I'm assuming you sub that work out. Can you do the same with Bush and Bed?
I think the people would faint if we charged more than $100 per hour! they really gripe now at $100. I agree, if we could give them a bid of Exact amount, we could get a lot more money, but we do not want to hire a person to run around doing estimates especially for 1 truck. On squirt, it is easy because there are plenty of good companies to refer to, & be out of the loop for complaints, but bush & bed is different, there is no one to refer to. Mowing is much more profitable when we can book 35 to 40 yards, pay the guys $10 per yard, all done on the phone, no on site estimates.

Gene $immons
12-25-2004, 10:10 AM
Just mow it,

I don't use bags at all, we dump directly into the dump truck. I was looking at your fleet and noticed that most of your trucks are flat beds that the mowing equipment sets on. We use a dump trucks with a hoist, and pull a trailer for the equipment. This would add some expense to your fleet to convert all of your thucks to this method.

Trash and limbs thrown into the truck is a big no no. If a customer has large amounts of limbs to haul off, a second empty truck is sent later.

dishboy
12-25-2004, 02:01 PM
"Ain't going to happen" trying to make my customer happy and put out a good product, sounds like good advice to me!


I switched from bagging to mulching this season and the only feedback I got was this year the lawns looked better than ever before. IMO there goes the theory of bagging producing a better product.

Mulching to be successful needs to be Incorporated into a management program with other cultural practices including fertilizer types, amounts, and timing that compliment the mulching practice.

The majority of my clientele are not even aware I stopped bagging my lawns............

rodfather
12-25-2004, 03:13 PM
They stay...unless you can tell me what am I going to do with 300 acres of grass clippings each week.

lawnprosteveo
12-25-2004, 09:20 PM
Gene, do you bag all clippings when you mow or just during the first of the season when you cut the bermuda short?

Steve in Tulsa

Gene $immons
12-25-2004, 09:49 PM
Gene, do you bag all clippings when you mow or just during the first of the season when you cut the bermuda short?

Steve in Tulsa

It depends on the growth rate, In the spring we tend to bag more to not leave a mess.

I just bought a new Dixie Chopper so I guess we will be doing a lot more mulching next season.

I think the new machine will cut up the clippings better than the 21" mowers anyway.