charging more for the mowings due to leaves?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RonWin, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I generally don't charge exta just to run my bagger even though it is more wear and tear and gas. It's usually either double cut or bag and I charge the same for both. I generally walk the property over when I get there and decide how I'm going to tackle it with each visit, depending on condtions. I don't run my leaf vac anymore. I only have one property that it would really be nice to have for. I only have a half dozen or so that I need to even haul the leaves away. The rest are onsite disposal being 2+ acre lots with woods on 3 sides usually.
     
  2. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 658

    What kind of leaf vac do you have? And how efficent are they? Do they clog or fill up extremely quickly when doing heavy amounts of leaves? They are good for dumping the bags in the back of the truck if oyu are hauling them away and dumping them at the curb if the town/city sucks em up (other wise re-bagging them would be useless?) I have neglected taking a look at these things as i thought they would only be useful for residential consumers and not lco's, am i wrong?
     
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I believe he's talking about a heavy duty truck loader when he speaks of a leaf vac.
     
  4. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 658

    ah, the debris loader. Ya i am looking to get one of those bad boys. Thinking tailgate version so that i can still tow a trailer with box build to catch leaves. Gonna be pricey tho..
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I don't use my leaf loader anymore. I should probably sell it while the selling is good.
     
  6. Bean5912

    Bean5912 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Ron, i have been discharging on the properties where customers do not want a fall cleanup at all. then there are some customers who want me to wait till every last leaf has fallen and some where i am going back once a week until there all done. ioum in the same area as you and as for the mowing we are pretty much done with it. i know next week will be my last cuts. by now any leaves you have been discharging will be chopped up and take up less room if you bag. Dont work for free, unless you have a place to dump legally without a fee. inform the homeowners of the options and let them know leaves take up more room then grass clippings and its more time added above and beyond a normal mow.
     
  7. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,485

    well i have the oem scag triple bagger kit for my scag cheetah which is awesome, even at 2800 installed and out the door, then i have the heavy duty truck loader which is a giant vac, 15hp kohler command pro and that is awesome two, if the leaves are dry, it will keep 3 guys busy and suck up and shred big piles of leaves in minutes. both are highly efficient. both will clog on occasion.

    yep i have a giant vac debris loader, mine is skid mount so i kinda have to just put it on my landscape trailer and have something run into my dads dump truck which has a 13 yard dump body on it, but its not an air tight setup, but i don't have many clean ups where i have to haul the leaves out yet, but i plan to get a lot more. i kinda bought it on because i had the money and i knew i was going to need it eventually. i picked it up for 1600 with a new motor in 09 and a new impeller and it had a newer 10" clear hose on it so you could see the clog. i thought it was good deal so i grabbed it.
     
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I have a Billy Goat 16Hp leaf loader but I haven't used it in years. Even when I did use it I didn't use it much at all. I really only have one property where it would come in handy. Running solo and having only a dump trailer, I find it more efficient to haul my Lazer with Ultravac bagger in my dump trailer. Every year I say I'm going to put a leaf box on the trailer and go chasing piles and one-time cleanups after I'm done with my regulars, but by then it's almost Christmas and the window of opportunity has pretty much closed.
     
  9. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,485

    yah, wouldn't you be able to do a lot more work through out the day if you had an extra set of hands, especially in the fall time? i do some things alone, but i feel like i'm moving so slow and getting nothing done. i for one will gladly pay one of my guys 15 dollars an hour to hold a ladder for me so i know it won't slip out from under me and leave me on the ground in pain, and for clean ups i usually have two guys with me, when i first show up to a house, all 3 of us get on backpack blowers and kick all the leaves out of the beds and any corners where i can't go with my 61" mower, then i get on the cheetah and start sucking up leaves and either bringing them to the truck loader to get sucked up or the woods and second guy is on his machine bagging leaves as well and the third guy is pushing leaves into a pile with the little wonder once he starts slowing down i come in with the leaf plow and push the pile into the woods, and then he repeats and we finish mowing the lawn and he starts the finally trimming. ususually i can do 3 or 4 clean ups in a day and the truck is less then half full even. its pretty efficient it sounds like you may be charging a little more then me as i haven't broken it down like you have yet, so i kinda just estimate what the clean will take me or what is believable to the customer and then i go in and haul ass leaving it looking perfect and charge 100/hr but i just estimate usually i'm on the high side and i do things quicker then expected, but i've done the clean up before i just stick to last years price, no matter what.
     
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I have one of my sons to help me in the summer but the rest of the time I'm solo. I move pretty darn fast for an old fart...I walk faster than most people jog, and in the fall I'm go go go. I really don't mind working myself to exhaustion...I actually enjoy it. I'm a former endurance athelte and long distance backpacker and can double-time it all day long as long as I snack frequently and drink plenty of fluids. My new Husky 580 blower helps a lot. What used to wear me out the most was using a wheel blower oddly enough, and the 580 has all but replaced that. I bill out at $60/h and have for several years. I should probably bump it up a little since I'm more efficient now with that blower, but I just care about getting it all done before the snow falls.
     

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