Originally Posted by CTmower
My setup has worked great for the past 5 years. This is how I do it with 2 people.
Little Wonder 11hp push blower, 2 backpack blowers, Billygoat leaf loader, EZ Dump insert.
I use the backpack and push blower while my worker uses the backpack. We either blow all the leaves if possible to the front of the yard. If the piles start to get too big to move I use my Turf Tiger with the deck all the way down to push the leaves all the way up front. I could never justify spending $450 for the JRCO leaf rake when the mower pushes them just fine. I use the push blower as a 3rd man, putting it in positions and aiming it where we can then go in with the backpack blowers and push the majority of leaves as far forward as the wind power we have will allow us. Repeat steps as many times as necessary until all the leaves are at the front curb. I have my Billy Goat loader mounted on the front of my truck with a 10' tube running into my boxed in dump insert (I built 6' high walls on each side with a top hinged back door for easy dumping). We drive right up to the pile, suck up as much as we can, move forward and repeat process until were done.
This setup/system has worked great for me over the years. I started leaf cleanups pretty much the same as you, tarping them onto a trailer and then manually dumping them at the dump. I vowed to myself I would never do that again after the first year and I didn't. Bought all the right tools and clean ups have been pretty easy ever since.
$80 per leaf removal??? In my area my prices begin at $150 and I rarely have anyone say no.... Im pulling up to customers yards with over $20k in equipment to do a professional job. If they want little Bobby from down the street to come over with a rake and leaf bags for $40 then let him do it. Your time is money, do quality professional work and people won't second guess your prices.
X2 almost identical. Ez dumper 4ft sides, 16hp loader, two bp, BG 13hp sp blower, jrco leaf plow. I don't haul any leaves off and most are done twice a year. I think my pricing is very fair at 60hr solo with my setup. I'm usually making 70-80 a hour but new ones I I like to charge by the hour. Most start at $200 and up.