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How to get people to pay for leaf cleanup?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRIAN GALLO, Oct 10, 2002.


    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I'm always astonished this time of the year when I read on here about the big $$$ you guys get for doing leaf work. Around here nobody pays a dime extra for anything to do with leaves. My grass accounts just get mowed, if the lawn is full of leaves oh well. That's the customer's take on it btw. I used to go over the lawns a couple times to at least mulch up the leaves as fine as possible, but not anymore. I'd go to the door and get the same check ammount for regular mowing. :mad:
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    our customers, new and old, have it in writing: grasscutting ends oct. 15th. we will continue to service your property, if u so desire, until dec. 10th. this service however will fall under the category of cleanup, and will be charged accordingly depending on the amount of leaves there r to be cleaned. u just cant do it for the regular fee, u r shooting yurself in the foot if u do
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    This subject gives me a headache. Reason I bought the more costly Z with the ultra vac was not because I could not have used a walk behind for mowing....but the mower vac appealed to me along with the speed of that mower...but frankly that mower cant go alot of places other mowers can...so I have to do leaves to justify some of my costs. Since this is my first fall with this equipment, I am clueless as to what the market will bear price wise for this service here in PA. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I'm tempted to call some other lcos who say they do this and ask them how they price it....now would I appreciate someone doing this to me? NO...so after second thought I wont....but this whole leaf topic is a frickin hassle to price when you have no idea what the reasonable rate is in your area...I know we have had a bazillion posts on this topic but frankly I still have no confidence in what number to quote people who call me cold turkey from my ad. I never lowball....but I also dont want to look like a moron with some super high price that nobody is charging....well enough of my babble...
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    for me ,leaves just exstend the mowing season until end of november. if they want to skip a wk. they just have to pay exstra. most can understand ,more wk more money. what im really after is the exstended season tho .
  5. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    I start out mulching a few leaves during cuts.Same price. When I must chase leaves the price goes up. Depending on amount of trees price could double or tripple. I have trouble with 1 time customers (ones I don't mow). They want a price now to blow and vac after all leaves are down. I looked at one today 1 1/2 acres.about 30 trees mostly Maple.They could wind up a foot deep. Leaves must be picked up than dumped in woods.I told him low $400 high $800. For 30 years owner used rake,blower and tarps.I know his average time.
  6. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    I've got 5 maples on my own property and you're right, the leaves will be at least a foot deep.
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    "How to get people to pay for leaf cleanup? "

    Give them a rake and let them clean them up.

    People here have some larger properties with lots of leaves. There is no way in the world a guy that wears a suit for a living is gonna take his Saturday and Sunday and pull a rake. In some cases it is just physically impossible.
    People want their yards looking good until it freezes hard and once it freezes they still want it to look clean.
    I have so much work doing leaves that I don't even take on work from non customers until near the end of the season.
  8. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    Your not into highend residentials....or not high enough. They want their properties **** and span ! they want every last leaf off the property !
  9. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    Hey kitz, seems this is a problem all over!!!! I am still in the learning stages of how to price leaf cleanup with a lazer and ultra vac. Last season, for my regular customers that were done on a weekly basis, I was charging 60.00 hr. It worked out good for me, and the customers really liked them done weekly. Also, it was a heck of a lot easier than waiting till they all fall down. I have a neighbor of one of my customers and she waits till the week of thanksgiving to have them done, they are all wet, and really thick. I have been doing this prop. for a couple years, and charging by hour, using bp blower and a turf tracer with grass gobbler. Last year I told her that the bid will be raised from 180.00 to 280.00. She accepted my bid and with the lazer/ultra vac I did the job in 4.5 hrs instead of the 7 or 8 hrs. it normally would take. By the way, the leaves were dumped in the wooded area behind house.
    Just remember that leaves are hard on you and on your equiptment, and it always takes longer than you think it should take. This year, my rates will be higher to cover raising costs. If the one timers want me to do it, then they will have to pay for it to be done on a one time basis. This year, I would like to get more of the one timers, but it is still hard to try and figure how many hrs it will take to do the job.
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    PREMO...your post was very helpful in that you have the same setup...well when I get the calls I'm going to go with $75 an hour and see how many people stay on the line after they hear that number...and yes I do understand how hard this work is on us and the equipment.,....the challenge is that most homeowners dont understand that no matter how much its explained. I'll post again after next week when my ad runs...should be interesting..BTW if any of you think my guesstimate of 75/hour is too low/too high have at me! ...

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