$300.00 leaf job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by clipperslawnservice, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. clipperslawnservice

    clipperslawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I"ve heard of guys raking leaves onto tarps, but my truck is a short bed
    and will not hold many leafs ,and my trailer is a open ,low sided 5-8,
    so i decided to bag the leafs. i used my blower to pile them up, then
    baged them and ran the mower to mulch what was left. had a total
    of 141 bags, there were also 7 flower beds to rake and blow out!
    it took me 10 hours ,customer didnt ask for a price, i
    trimmed some trees for her before, so i guess she thougt i am reasonable
    on my price.so do you think i should bill her for 10 hrs. @$30.00 hr.?
    or is that way to high.? also, any suggestions on a faster way to
    remove leafs with my limited equipment. thanks for ANY help!
     
  2. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    without commercial equipment its slow going. Without seeing the property i couldnt tell you what to charge. 30hr is low but it took so long because it was all by hand. So $300 seems reasonable.
     
  3. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    500 is minimum i would have charged her if i had a laborer there...
     
  4. clipperslawnservice

    clipperslawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    My rates are normaly hire than this on mowing and tree work, but
    $400.00 or $500.00 for leaf removal, wow!!!! I live in a very small
    town[3000 pop. i guess if i can get those kind of prices it will make
    the back ache worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Take the cost for the bags.
    Add to this $20 for equipment use (rake and tarps).
    It sounds like you worked hard so 10 hours labor $15 an hour, 150, add that.
    Give yourself $15 for driving around picking up supplies, add.
    Another $30 for the use of the mower. + it

    Did you have a disposal fee?
    If so, tack this on.

    Now, what do you have?
     
  6. CCC52

    CCC52 LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 39

    Dude, 141 bags of leaves?

    Leave them on the front lawn for a few days and bill her $1000.;)

    I'm only kidding. $300 sounds more than fair, labor alone covered that.

    All I can add, 20-some years ago I agreed to 2 bi-weekly mowing accounts. It was spring and they had Chemlawn service. Second month in I mowed at around 3 1/4" and bagged both lawns. Filled 15 or 16 giant size lawn and leaf bags for the $30 price I'd quoted for both. Stinking, reeking 100+ pound bags of fresh grass and dog doo. 3 weeks later they called wondering where I was after a full week of rain in between...

    :walking:

    Whoever said $500 nailed your bare minimum. I work fairly cheap but your description is well over the $300 mark IMHO.

    Edit to add, sideboards for the truck! I've done it with sporty shorties too although I've found 2wd longbeds superior for all-around user-friendliness. I did it with an old GMC on 36's. Pain to load, then again, 141 bags?!! Tarp, load, and haul. Charge for it too, imagine what her trash service will say to 141 bags!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  7. clipperslawnservice

    clipperslawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I already put the cost of the bags on the bill and i already hauled
    the bags to the conv. station, 5 trips ,but no charge to dump.
     
  8. DRBLawnBuster

    DRBLawnBuster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 831

    $300 sounds about right, But maybe you should look into putting ply wood around the sides of the trailer and make it like 5 foot high so you coulda just put leaves in there instead of bagging it.
     
  9. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    10 hours...I would have charged around $450-$500. Leaves are one of the worst jobs to do imo. They are dirty, dusty, take forever, sometimes really wet, and where I live...leaf season is cold!
     
  10. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,165

    The job sounds like it was too big for your operation. $300 if it makes you happy charge it. It probably isn't enough though. Live and learn.

    Make a leaf box for the truck or trailer, invest in a good collection system for a ZTR (trac vac's are great), truck loaders are nice also. Part of your issue is that the leaves were never chopped up before they were bagged. You might of cut down your bags a third by doing this.
     

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