1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

fall cleanups with vacuums..what do you have?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by adforester, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    I went from doing 2 cleanups last fall and am looking at around 12-16 cleanups this fall hopefully. minimum building lots here in town are two acres but most of the grassland is under 1 acre.
    That being said i'm looking at buying a machine to help me with fall cleanups. Around 6 or so people will want the leaves taken away so I am looking at
    getting a leaf vacuum.

    What size vacuum do you have and what would you say a good starter vacuum size would be for someone with a f350 with a dump insert?

    what about the push billy goat vacuums? seems like you'd be at it all day without a vacuum thats under 16 hp???
  2. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    I have a dirt devil that I got from Walmart for $89. I have to change the bag out pretty often but it gets the job done for my tire kicking craigslist customers.
  3. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    ya i don't have any craigslist customers, average willing home owner is willing to spend around $350 for cleanup and maybe a little more for disposal. Alot of my customers I just blow the leaves into the woods but there are more and more customers that want disposal of leaves and rightly so.

    I used to blow the leaves on a tarp and put them into my pickup truck with a box but would have to take multiple trips due to lack of compactibility and shredding.

    One landscaper I know does the tarp trick and drags it into his truck with a ladder, but I don't have a big dually dump, just a dump insert truck here...
  4. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,329


    We manage to figure it out...Billy Goats all day... NEVER gonna get a little wonder again.
  5. WorldsStrongestLandscaper

    WorldsStrongestLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    I just love how newbies say oh I have 20 lawns for fall cleanup. And I get 350 each =7000$ so let's spend 4000 on a brand new vacuum (or 2000 on a used and throw it away next yr) after fuel and monthly expenses and new back packs and a helper( cuz by getting a loader I can already see their lazy which leads me to believe they are gonna pay a guy) At the end after building a box u are left with 500-1000$ profit. Makes no sense. Just tarp it onto a trailer or sub it out. That's what we did when we started for years and those fing 500lb tarps that everyone bi$#%es about??? I was pulling them up hills when I was 12 yrs old. Don't be a chump. Landscapers are supposed to look like conan the barbarian or Rambo not Artie Lang or Paul blart mall cop. Put your back into it. U have all December to recover!!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,329

    You have a point there but when you have a loader....AS MUCH AS I HATE TO DO IT, You can do leaf pile pickups...Only thing is you have no clue what people have raked into that pile until its stuck/in the impeller of the Vac. Which would give these guys some more money...ALSO when you have a loader it takes the stress out of clean ups because in my case I have the guys blow out the beds then i just zip around on my mower collecting then and dumping them at the loader. TRIPLE+ SHREDDED = More space in truck. which means less trips to the dump..

    Which means more money.....possibly

    Honestly my setup paid for its self before fall was over that year.
    Just saw one on CL for 1800 Looks good it was a Billy goat.
  7. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Oh put the leaves on a trailer? Last price I got for a dump trailer was 4500.

    Oh and about me being lazy, ya I've worked labor my whole life masonry, treework, gardenung, and to say
    The least I don't mind using machines. I bet you use a 21 inch mower for all your yards conan the barbarian.
    Yes I agree it doesn't make sense money wise yet but I want to look professional to my clients and having my own business
    Getting started out you dont make much profit your first years, did you?
    I really don't make much in a year maybe 24000 but I have a new f350 with dump insert
    And want a vacuum because my back hurts most days due to an injury I had when I was a young kid.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Hey I had 1 lawn last year to now but you know I didn't use a 21 knapsack
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    adforester_ what sucks is your thought process fact is NO ONE here will tell you different then i am about to .
    you thoink your back hurt the cheap tarp way of doing leaves then just wait untill you une the hose all day . granted i doubt you have that kind of work volume but what do i know .
    No one has ever paid 2000.00 for tarps and never have they sucked a brick into a impeller on one neither so when you get a vac for the first time i hope your piles are clean leaves.
    with no more jobs then your talking i would bet a walker mower and a 10" x10' tarp and a 2nd guy helping will be faster then your vac if you figure out a process.
    if all i had was 7000.00 in cleanups i would pay some one $4000.00 and keep the profit and never touch the leaves .
    we go through a vac every year . this year we are moving up to a trailer tow billygoat and i bet it will be dead by spring ...... it is just money spend it wisely and a vaccume at your volume is as stupid as buying a new mowers to mow 10 lawns a week or to save time .

    get you a 16" trailer throw some 4" walls on it and mow the leaves and bag them and tie the tarps and haul them off . you can get about 100 walker dumps on a trailer this way for about $50.00 in tarps and $100.00 in plywood.
  10. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    My scag bagged is 7 bushels and when the leaves get thick it doesn't come close to picking them up lol
    Posted via Mobile Device

Share This Page