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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:23 PM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 674
How to make leaf removals quicker and more profitable?

Currently my business consists of myself and one employee. We are running a special for leaf removals. $80 for under 1/2 acre. Yes I know once we get close to the 1/2 acre mark its time consuming but blowing the leaves into piles isn't what takes so long. Its the raking leaves onto the tarp and putting them into the bed of my truck and the trips to the dump site that kill time and limit us to two leaf removals a day.

Our process is this.

-Blow leaves into piles
-Rake piles onto a tarp and empty tarp into bed of my truck.
-Once we mash the leaves down and get as many as we can in truck bed we fill the four tarps we have and tie them up full of leaves and put them in my trailer.
-Go dump at dump site.

Equipment for leaf removals

-Redmax EBZ8500RH
-Stihl BR600
-1996 Cummins 12V long bed truck
-4X7 trailer

I have talked to many people who can do at least 5 leaf removals on 1/2 acre lots a day. They have a crew of three but thats only one more guy than I have. So I don't think the extra person would make it faster.

BUT the leaf loader trucks I keep seeing around must really speed things up.

Does anyone have any advice to make the process we have quicker? Also it seems I'm in a lowballer area because people say $80 is way too much because guys do it for $45 for the same size lawn.

Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:32 PM
CowboysLawnCareDelaware's Avatar
CowboysLawnCareDelaware CowboysLawnCareDelaware is online now
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Location: DE
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You have a fair price, the other businesses won't be able to bring in enough profit to keep afloat. Im not sure what size tarps you use but I use apprx. 10'x15' tarps, if you put a couple bricks or rocks along the edge you can blow the leaves onto the tarp instead of raking. Otherwise invest in a leaf vaccum, that is one of next years investment's for my company.

-Michael
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:40 PM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 674
Thanks for the reply. We have pretty big tarps but the leaf vacuum just seems like the answer. So much faster to blow them to the curb and suck them up. It only makes sense but at the same time I know they're not cheap!
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:45 PM
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JB1 JB1 is online now
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Location: From the hills of beautiful Southern Indiana
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if you mention rakes, you are already losing money.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:56 PM
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CowboysLawnCareDelaware CowboysLawnCareDelaware is online now
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The only time I use a rake is when I have a clump of leaves in a small area, its just faster for me to pull them out of their than to sit there with the blower and watch them move little by little.

I can't remember details but if I recall properly another landscaper that I keep in contact with used an old blower in reverse. So it would suck up the leaves and then blow them into the truck and he only spent $300-$400 on it. You just have to make your own brackets and fit the proper size tubing to it on your own.

-Michael
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:07 PM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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I have been looking at used leaf collectors but they're for mowers but I could use just the engine part with the vacuum housing and just route the hose to my truck bed. I can mount the sucker on my trailer to pull behind the truck. I've seen a few for cheap but they're only like 5HP. Would that be nearly enough to suck up leaves and put them into my truck? I know the systems are meant to be used with a mower but just wondering if something like that could get me by until I can spend the big bucks.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:31 PM
C Jovingo Landscaping C Jovingo Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallstripesnc View Post
I have been looking at used leaf collectors but they're for mowers.
Do you serch different KEY WORDS? You say leaf collector in this post, do you try others.

I searched with seperate search for each

Leaf loader
Truck loader
Leaf vac
Leaf vacuum

Leaf loader turns up the most results but if someone don't call it leaf loader it won't come up in search
Posted via Mobile Device
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:51 PM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 674
The few leaf loaders I have found they want way too much for them. I do have a walk behind leaf vac but it doesn't do that well honestly and its the size for a push mower and about two strips fill the bag. I may try mowing them first and try sucking up the rest with my walk behind leaf vacuum.

I still think blowing them to the curb and sucking them up with a leaf loader seems like the fastest method. I mean really we can get usually have the entire lawn blown into piles within 20 minutes or less. But the tarping them into the back of the truck bed and taking a few trips to the dump site is very time consuming.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:44 PM
jbss86 jbss86 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: new jersey
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboysLawnCareDelaware View Post
The only time I use a rake is when I have a clump of leaves in a small area, its just faster for me to pull them out of their than to sit there with the blower and watch them move little by little.

I can't remember details but if I recall properly another landscaper that I keep in contact with used an old blower in reverse. So it would suck up the leaves and then blow them into the truck and he only spent $300-$400 on it. You just have to make your own brackets and fit the proper size tubing to it on your own.

-Michael
Hi,
Just wondering if you know the steps involved in how to use my leaf blower in reverse to make it vac the leaves?
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:32 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 7,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbss86 View Post
Hi,
Just wondering if you know the steps involved in how to use my leaf blower in reverse to make it vac the leaves?
One step....go to your nearest dealer and ask them for a shredder vac!
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