per hour Charge for leaf blowing/removal?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    Im trying to price out some jobs NOT in my area. All of my customers have minor leaf cleanups in the fall.

    I have a lot of interest in an area south of me and where the leaves fall for days, feet high in spots. What should i be charging as a base per hour worth of work?

    I have yards that are fully fenced in, need all the lawn blown off and under gardens etc, around trees and fencing, through ONE 4' wide gate onto the driveway and to the curbs.... Im assuming it would take one man about 4-7hrs worth of work easily. I give people the option to chop and mulch up the leaves, blow out the gardens etc or just fully blow them all to the curb for pickup. Another customer requested i REMOVE the leaves fully and do NOT leave them at the curb... as this would require me now to use my walk behind mower and BAG the chopped up leaves, dump them in my truck and remove them, If that yard is a good 6hrs worth plus more equipment running and me having to take the leaves, what should i be charging for that?

    Ive quoted a few taking about 4-6hrs worth of work $250-$285.
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    it really depends on what you need to make, and what you want to make. Also sometimes you have to go with what the market will bear.
     
  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    Im not sure of the market in this area, thats why i was asking a generalization of high and low market areas. $300 in some places, people dont blink an eye, other places they woudlnt have spent $100 to begin with.
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    if you are asking per hour rates, I say anywhere from $25 per hour and up. I personally charge $72 per hour
     
  5. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    I would think in Jersey, you'd be at the higher end of the pricing spectrum. We don't bill by the hour, but we try to average $ 90.00 per man hour, and $ 200.00 per hour with the truck and loader for curbside services. As tiedeman said, sometimes whatever the market will bear. I personally hate leaf cleanups, and therefore, I charge more for them.
     
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210


    Tideman thanks for your info too.

    impact, i was trying to "guestimate" these lots to be at least 50$ an hour. I dont price hourly either but assumed if i could figure $50 per man hour using blowers, mowers etc then thats a fair rate for the area. If i did HAVE a truck loader, i would be inclined to charge much more as well since its much more equipment specifically for leaf removal. My "removal" service now is only limited to a 34" mulching mower with a side discharge aluminum bagger option and manually dump into the back of a truck, which would take a "few more than a lot of dumps" :), thanks. It might just be the area of interest some are older folks, some people stay home all day anyway, they assume if they pay someone a "few" bucks they wont have to do any leaf cleanups.... Im having my brother do the majority of this area anyway so my hourly rate doesnt need to be as high as if i was doing it personally and still it seems like the recently quoted properties are a no-go.
     
  7. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    I've been billing the ones I know high to make money, the new customers I've been saying $40.00 / hr. Telling the customer $35.00 standard rate plus $5.00 / hr fuel charge. Haven't had anyone say no yet. I'm busier now than I have been in months. I'm happy to see a good cash flow into the end of the season. Makes up for those dry months.
     
  8. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    so how many hours are you spending on a particular property? i do things quickly, and work my ass to make sure im done half day etc, not there all day, so to say $40 an hour, and done in 3-4 hours i didnt make too much $160 total max. Theres other companies with 4 mexican guy crews, truck loaders, multiple backpack blowers, i know theyre getting a good penny for a job. If i say $300 and im there 4hrs then thats a lot more per hour for my husle and bustle. I make $20+ at my day job with NO costs out of pocket like, equipment, gas, truck insurance, maintenance, paying for employees etc, $40hr or less id think is just too low. Unless theyre having me do days worth of work at a very leasurely pace, which my hours are still worth more since i work non stop:)
     
  9. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    Get what you can. On the jobs I know my time on, I estimate higher to make the money. If I'm not sure, I bid by the hour to cover my azz. I personally am happy making 160.00 in 4 hours. If I need to take leaves with me, I charge a dump/haul fee for that as well. Many of my jobs I can loose leaves in the woods. Most of my accounts I've been charging extra per cut to mulch up the leaves in the yard. I have all the same costs for insurance and gas etc. And yeah, I work as fast as I can without taking breaks. I just get the vibe from most customers that they aren't too excited about spending a whole lot of cash on their yards this time of year. But, If your customers don't gauk at a high hourly rate, bid it high. I'd like to make as much money as I could, but I feel as though my rate is fair to them, and profitable to me. If you are good at estimating a leaf job, don't even bother with the hourly thing. You'd be better off.
     
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210


    thanks, well in this particular area i might come down a bit to get more customers then. thanks
     

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