Originally Posted by Wayne's Lawn Service
In his situation to simply have a flat rate of $80 for any size property in leaf removal may not be a good idea. As you know with your experience, pricing goes way past the size of the yard or property when it comes to leaf removal or leaf mulching. Having a square footage flat pricing structure for almost anything but leaves in my opinion may work. Example: Aeration, fert & weed, mowing, etc. Even then, certain levels of difficulties will apply and possibly change pricing. However, when you take an area that is full of trees, or has a few trees, or simply has blow over leaves from the neighbors, this can create a completely different situation when you do leaves.
Just like you stated in your opinion, you probably do 75% without vacuuming or hauling away. Based on the leaf volume of each site, the best method of cleanup does change and you can make money doing it many ways.
The contractor that I was responding to stated that they were blowing leaves into a pile, raking onto a tarp, and then putting them into the back of his truck, smashing them down the best they could, then hauling them to the dump. All that for $80 in anyone's market is not possible for a two man crew. Based on overhead such as truck, trailer, mowers, blowers, labor and drive time, $80.00 will not get it. To boot, he stated they were lucky to get two a day completed. That gets his daily gross receipts to $160. Let's ass/u/me they are working 7 hours a day for two men. Total labor hours for the day is 14 hours. $160 divided by 14 labor hours = $11.43 per labor hour to cover all costs and profit. Can't be done.
I respect your opinion as well, but it that situation it is not possible to make any money for that price. That's what my post was directed toward.
Yeah, my bad...I noticed later that you said flat rate of $80. I was thinking hourly rate for some reason and not back to the original post. In light of that, I agree with you. Maybe I was in a bad mood or something, but it seemed to me like you were stating things strongly...the can't be done and the only way to do it type thing...again, sorry, my bad.
Most of my accounts are 2+ acre lots with plenty of woods to lose leaves in, but even on the ones that I haul leaves I prefer to grind them with my mower which I haul in my low profile dump trailer for those accounts. I can fit a lot more leaves with them ground up with the mower and just don't like using a leaf loader...I have one and used it one season. To me it's just a lot of work to get the leaves to where I can vac them up and then I still have to vac them up, and even that is work. Bagging with the mower I don't even pick them up but briefly...park mower next to trailer ramp, take bags out of hopper, slide up ramp, slide across the trailer floor and dump. For me, being solo in the fall and not exactly being young anymore I find it less strenuous and more efficient overall...not that I don't have an account or 2 that would be nice to have the leaf loader on. I have a buddy I can call for that but haven't in the last couple of years.