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  #1  
Old 10-24-2013, 09:04 PM
riverwash riverwash is offline
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Is my area cheap or am I missing something, Leaf Clean up

I know in my area the commercial rate is around $40.00 per hour.

I do leaf clean up using a 44" walk behind mower with a Track Vac. Works well to get around all the tight spots in these smaller yards.

Average residential sized lots in my area are around 5-10,000 sqft. Most lots here have huge monster Maples of all varieties, Oaks, Ash & Elms etc...

From start to finish on these properties with alot of leaves from those big mature trees it takes me about 2hrs to thoroughly clean the property.

When I originally started out and went to give quotes, the rate whomever else did it for is well under what I have figured into costs. Last quote was approximately 8,000 sq feet...She told me someone else did it for $60.00 total. This place would take me about approximately 1.5hrs on site time plus disposal time (1/2hr), actual disposal costs & tax. I'd be around $97.00 for this property.

I'd say the average price here I've heard what customers have paid for clean up, disposal and tax is $75.00 per.

When I add it up for lets say a 2hr on site job, 1/2 hr for time disposing ( which equals travel/unloading time), then add actual disposal costs & tax on everything. It should be approximately $120.00.

Is my town just that cheap, is my figuring that far off or is there an aspect I'm missing with the big picture on the clean ups?

Last edited by riverwash; 10-24-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2013, 09:15 PM
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SchannaultROLC SchannaultROLC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverwash View Post
I know in my area the commercial rate is around $40.00 per hour.

I do leaf clean up using a 44" walk behind mower with a Track Vac. Works well to get around all the tight spots in these smaller yards.

Average residential sized lots in my area are around 5-10,000 sqft. Most lots here have huge monster Maples of all varieties, Oaks, Ash & Elms etc...

From start to finish on these properties with alot of leaves from those big mature trees it takes me about 2hrs to thoroughly clean the property.

When I originally started out and went to give quotes, the rate whomever else did it for is well under what I have figured into costs. Last quote was approximately 8,000 sq feet...She told me someone else did it for $60.00 total. This place would take me about approximately 1.5hrs on site time plus disposal time (1/2hr), actual disposal costs & tax. I'd be around $97.00 for this property.

I'd say the average price here I've heard what customers have paid for clean up, disposal and tax is $75.00 per.

When I add it up for lets say a 2hr on site job, 1/2 hr for time disposing ( which equals travel/unloading time), then add actual disposal costs & tax on everything. It should be approximately $120.00.

Is my town just that cheap, is my figuring that far off or is there an aspect I'm missing with the big picture on the clean ups?
You're missing the fact that a commercial crew will come in with 2-5 guys and make your 2hr clean-up a 45 min job. You can't just base your prices off what you can do by yourself. You have to look at the big picture.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:08 PM
echo echo is online now
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Sounds like your area is cheap, if in fact that's what they're doing the jobs for. If the lady told you the last guy did it for $60, my immediate question would be why theyre not doing it. I can't see making any money doing leaves for less than what we charge to do lawns. Must be an awful lot of guys doing cleanups if its at those prices and after fuel and disposal they're working for practically nothing. Even if 2-5 guys come in they're all getting paid and doing the job in half your time, there's barely any profit. Just doesn't add up.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:16 PM
riverwash riverwash is offline
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Thats my thoughts on it Echo.

The $60.00 was the lowest I've come across so far, that was from today infact. I asked her if this guy was commercial or someone just doing it on the side which she didn't know either way. I asked what truck he drove since I know most by their trucks and/or biz name, didn't remember that either. Only thing I got out of her was she has him in her phone as the "Leaf guy". I then explained the costs for me being commercial and no way could I match that price.

Her yard to mow & related Iíd be at $30.00. I look at clean up should be somewhere around 3x the mowing rate.

But there's been several others that told me the previous guy did it for $75.00 None of these have been crews from what I have gathered. That was from last season.

There's 2 big company's in town. Couple mid size crews but other than that some owner/operators using 720 john deere's with the dump from behind units. Then your handful of fly by night guys you see one season & gone the next. I wouldnít say the town is saturated since overall I just donít see alot doing the fall clean up residentially. Mowing, well thatís a different story.

But compared to other towns around generally speaking, everything is lower here as far as commercial work.

I know it takes me longer due to being a 1 man operation and my current machinery mower w/ trac vac is smaller then others. But even if I eat 1 hr. due to that I'm still at 1.5hrs @ 40 hr between time on site & travel with disposal/disposal costs, gas & tax. Iíd still be around $85./90.00 Which is around that 3x the mowing rate.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:28 PM
RonWin RonWin is online now
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I shoot for 100 an hour. Just landed a 185 dollar cash job that will takr no longer than an hour and a half and no leas than 1 hour.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:43 AM
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Outlawn Outlawn is offline
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Originally Posted by riverwash View Post
Thats my thoughts on it Echo.

The $60.00 was the lowest I've come across so far, that was from today infact. I asked her if this guy was commercial or someone just doing it on the side which she didn't know either way. I asked what truck he drove since I know most by their trucks and/or biz name, didn't remember that either. Only thing I got out of her was she has him in her phone as the "Leaf guy". I then explained the costs for me being commercial and no way could I match that price.

Her yard to mow & related Iíd be at $30.00. I look at clean up should be somewhere around 3x the mowing rate.

But there's been several others that told me the previous guy did it for $75.00 None of these have been crews from what I have gathered. That was from last season.

There's 2 big company's in town. Couple mid size crews but other than that some owner/operators using 720 john deere's with the dump from behind units. Then your handful of fly by night guys you see one season & gone the next. I wouldnít say the town is saturated since overall I just donít see alot doing the fall clean up residentially. Mowing, well thatís a different story.

But compared to other towns around generally speaking, everything is lower here as far as commercial work.

I know it takes me longer due to being a 1 man operation and my current machinery mower w/ trac vac is smaller then others. But even if I eat 1 hr. due to that I'm still at 1.5hrs @ 40 hr between time on site & travel with disposal/disposal costs, gas & tax. Iíd still be around $85./90.00 Which is around that 3x the mowing rate.
It doesn't really matter that a 4 person crew can come in and do it in an hour or less, because you are not a 4 person crew. Bid a price that you are comfortable with, and see what happens. They may question it, but oh well. If they question why you are higher or whatever, just explain that you're a busines with operating costs. Maybe even ask why the guy(s) that did it before is/are not doing it anymore. Give yourself a little wiggle room to come down and make the customer feel like they are getting a "deal" if you need to, but don't come down to the point that you are not making any profit.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2013, 07:10 AM
echo echo is online now
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We give one price and done. Take it or leave it. Once you start negotiating you're always negotiating.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2013, 08:17 AM
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clydebusa clydebusa is offline
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Years ago you could get fall and spring clean up cost in Tulsa. About 15 years ago it is now just really the same cost of a mowing. A lot of crews will just do it for the same cost if they are doing the lawn for the season. My thoughts is just to do the clean up several times over the fall period to stay on top of the leaves falling. If you are a one man crew these jobs are time consuming, 2 to 3 man crew makes it easier and much faster.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2013, 09:57 AM
echo echo is online now
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That works great if you're servicing the lawn or if they call before the leaves all fall. In many cases we see the lawn when the leaves are all down.
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2013, 02:04 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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a 4 man crew for 45 minutes is 3 man hours, he says he can do it in 2 man hours... more men doesn't mean less time, just faster.

Faster means more properties serviced in a single day.

More properties in a single day means more overhead recovered and therefor less charged per hour, proportionately.

However, larger companies frequently have MORE overhead TO recover to begin with.

BUT larger companies have advantages to bulk purchasing of materials and equipment frequently.

so in essence it should average out pretty close.

My larger commerical crew will generally charge LESS per man hour than a mid-small sized companies crew.

So if your 2 man hours at $40 is an $80 clean up with associated dump fees that bring it to $120.00,

My larger commercial crew is 2.25 man hours @ $36 or $81 and my bulk dumping (I can dump debris with a semi side dump'r) and the fact I have a larger yard where I can store copious amounts of debris until I have a semi load... means my dumping fees arent as high and I might come out at $105.00 to your $120.00.....

However, Im also probably NOT chasing customers THAT small to begin with unless im trying to conquer a neighborhood 'Brickman Style"

MY guess, your customer is lying, so she is talking about the neighborhood kid who gave her a price three years ago.

In my experience, most customers lie through their teeth, either intentionally, or ignorantly (like it was a $60 dump fee and they forgot about the actually man hours that was a different line item on a bill they havent even seen in over a year)
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