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Fall Cleanup Questions??

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ryan41, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. ryan41

    ryan41 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    This will be my first year doing fall cleanups. I do not have a vac system on my mower but i do have 2 nice backpack blowers
    (Echo PB-770T & Echo PB-500T). I was thinking i would charge per hour not by job. ($35-$40 an hour). Most of my lawn accounts would not need dumping i would be able to blow them onto a tarp and drag them into the wood/compost pile. Let me know what you guys think? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. xstatikplus

    xstatikplus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    we never bag or vac with our mowers. all blowers and tarps. for the account you will have to dump I have 2 suggestions 1 factor in the cost of dumping in your price of course 2 if you are piling it in your truck or trailer to take away lay out your largest tarp at the bottom before any leaves go in fill it up so far then lay down another tarp more leaves another tarp.......makes for a fast easy off load at the dump. before we got a dump trailer we used this method most times 5 or 6 tarp layers in the trailer and its easier to roll 6 tarps off the trailer rather then pitch forking the whole thing. hope the season goes well for you, good luck
  3. xstatikplus

    xstatikplus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    oh and what kind of a mower do you have? if it's big enough I have a good method for moving tarps if interested
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Don't reveal your hourly charge... I estimate in my mind the time it will take to do the job... add 50% to it that and say it shouldn't cost more than X, but most likely be closer to 'x'...
    I've got those same 2 blowers... the little one was paid for in 80 hours, and the big one paid for in 50... :)
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,035

    I grind them up and bag them with my mower a lot when I have to haul them. Some get blown in bulk to the woods. Often I blow off the bulk of the leaves and then use the mowers to pick up what remains. I rarely use a tarp. It really depends on the particular property and conditions at the time....wet leaves don't mulch very well. If you need to get them to the curb for municipal pickup it's hard to beat the tarp method. Use your judgement and experiment with what works for you. I bill my regular customers hourly. One time cleanups are often done on a lump-sum basis.
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,233

  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,035

    If it's a small property you have to be very mindful of the wind direction and how much throttle you give the blower. I try to avoid doing really small properties when it's windy. It helps if the leaves are damp, but I wouldn't go so far as to wet them or anything. It can help to grind the leaves up a bit before blowing them...reduces the surface area and their tendency to blow into neighbors yards.

    As far as the shredder vac goes, I have the Echo equivalent, the ES-2500. I only use the vac part for final detail work such as corners, window wells and getting stubborn leaves out of shrubbery and ground cover. I would not recommend one as a primary cleanup tool...just too slow. The hand blower portion can be useful for small jobs too though.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Ryan get a set of gator blades for your machine and a chute blocker and mulch the crap out of the leaves you have. Tarping and blowing are effective but time consuming. You can also tarp and drag with the mower but once again it takes time and effort. Grinding moderate amounts of leaves is good for the lawns also and if you do have thicker accumulations you can use your backpack blower to disperse them. You will have to spend a little for the blades and blocker but you will reduce the volume of leaves by 80 to 90%. If you are handy you can fab your own blocker out of steel and save the cost. It just has to flop in front of your discharge. You will feel better at the end of the day and you will make more money for time spent which is the name of the game.

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 759

    Im also interested in this thread, I just picked up a new BR600 for leaves this year, as this is also my first year doing leaves. I plan on blowing them onto a tarp and dragging to my truck, but my question is...do you guys wait until all the leaves drop or continue with the weekly service? I will also be charging an hourly rate (with 1hr minimum) for X amount plus dump fees etc.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,035

    Hauling leaves in bulk in a pickup truck doesn't work that well in my opinion. They just fill up the truck too fast = multiple trips. Yeah you can stomp them down but that takes time too.

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