I Hate Fall Clean Ups!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MR HYDROSEED, Nov 22, 2005.


    MR HYDROSEED LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    i was trying to think positive about my first year doing fall clean ups, i was actually excited about it. I knew this would happen! Yesterday my Dodgeram almost went up into flames as my leaf laoder caught on fire when some leaves landed on the exhaust. i'm telling you it was close! i smelled smoke turned around and fire! i started beating the leaves with my rake, the fire was only inhes from my truckbox full of dry leaves, i was parked in a load of leaves also, burning leaves were falling onto the pile of leaves, OH
    SNAP! i smothered them out mostly but it wasn't until i remembered my friends 20oz Pepsi on the front seat that i shook up and sprayed on the engine did it go out. Then after 5 minutes of heavy breathing i look over and it stated again from an ember but went out a bit easier. BRING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!! The day before i was loading leaves at some stupid job that i think i made a buck an hour at and i could smell doggy poo, hmmm yeah great i just went to pick up some leave to put into the hose and yup! doggy pudding all over my hands, AWESOME!!! I LOVE THIS!!! i then washed my hands with gasoline and thought to myself, this is normal. I remember raking leaves behind some bushes with my friend/worker saying we're doing all of this for $300??? "We should put on some clown suits" It ridiculous! any jobs that i bid higher i didn't get because now one wants to pay big bucks to have their lawn raked. When i first started this business, i vowed never to mow lawns. I couldn't see how it was worth driving all around town hauling so much equipment with two guys to mow a lawn for $45 in an hour. I am concidering it because i want to have some steady work for my workers all season and there must be some money to be made right? I figure i may make crap at mowing lawns but i'll make money doing all those little other things they may want. Is it worth it? what esle can i do?

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    If you don't mow lawns, what do you do?
    Price the leaves higher, and than even higher, and than add even more.
    You are at a great place, you hate to do leaves and you don't want to do them, SO just price yourself so high that no one will hire you and you will not have to deal with them.

    OR someone may say "OK do them" and than you will be making real money
    And when you make money go out and buy a fire extinguisher
  3. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  4. oatka

    oatka LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    well, I'm glad to hear your truck didn't go up in flames. Today I did my first fall cleanup. i don't own a business and i've only mowed for cash about 15 years ago a few times. but, i'm unemployed so i put together what i could with what i have. i have time, a rake or two, Microsoft Publisher for some quick and simple business cards, and a minivan. i took both back seats out of the van and off i went. i went to a neighborhood close to the leaf dump and the first house i stopped at the lady was convinced to pay me $45 for raking her leaves. i figured the back would take me 20 minutes...it took at least an hour. in the end i was there for about 3.5 hours. so it wasn't great money, but considering how much i usually get paid to watch Oprah, it wasn't bad. i'd love for someone to fund me to buy a plow truck. any takers?
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    so here is what happens, you get a new job next year and dont do this anymore..., a licenced lco come and gives the lady a bid on the job, the bid is 400.00, and she flips, and said

    THE LAST GUY DID IT FOR 45.00 and refuses to ever pay what the job is worth agian, ............ one more customers head screwed up by incorrect pricing

    please try and charge market value for your work..... it hurts you, it hurts
    the industry......

    maybe market value is only 85.00 where you are at, i dont know, its not too high for leaves where im at either, but its so importand not to drive the prices down any further then they already have been.....

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Very well said! Ditto!!!
  7. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    Similar thing happened to me yesterday. Told her to get the guy who did it last year and she said he doesn't do that anymore.

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