Why not just bag the leave?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cuts.ca, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Cuts.ca

    Cuts.ca Banned
    from canada
    Posts: 24

    In the other thread about leaf clean-up people are talking about buying dump trucks and mulching z's. This is my first Fall Clean up and I plan on cleaning out tight areas and bushs with back packs and rakes, using a push blower to clear out the yard, then when its all in a big pile I will simply bag the leaves in the largest bags I can buy.

    Around here you are allowed to leave bags of leaves and spring clean up stuff for the garbage trucks.

    Anything wrong with this technique. I don't have a dump truck or a leaf loader set up and even if I did, I want to keep it simple for my first fall clean-up.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    For very small yards that may work-- but for a lot of the guys in the North East they would be bagging 500 bags--- You need to reduce the bulk and than have mechanical pick up to make any time
  3. Cuts.ca

    Cuts.ca Banned
    from canada
    Posts: 24

    Nothing over 10,000 sq. ft. all city properties, I'm not sure if that would be considered small property or not (I think so) I definetly won't be adverstising in areas where acre lots and if there is the odd one I am putting sizes and prices on my flyers, just not real sure about the price. I won't have time to do estimates, in the spring clean-up I got so busy I had to get extra help and I still lost work because we couldn't get to it all. $$$ this fall.:weightlifter:
  4. Cuts.ca

    Cuts.ca Banned
    from canada
    Posts: 24

    For reducing bulk, something I would like to do, would something like this be helpful? only problem is its electric and I wonder if I reduce the volume but not the weight, if I would be using almost as many bags anyway so they don tear. I also think it might take too long to put all the leafs through this thing, I'm also buying a lawn vac with tube attachment, I'm not sure how useful that will be though.

  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    Time is at a premiumn at this time of year, and the equipment that allows you to do more and faster is worth it. Leaves are kinda a pain in the butt, Ive tried a few ways and the less I have to touch them the better it is for profits

  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If the unwritten question here is 'does there exist a fast and easy wham-bam way of doing the leaves' then the simple answer is:
    No, no such method exists.

    I understand the problem is people don't want to pay a lot to get leaves done. Oh well, tough luck, that is not my problem because the leaves are in their yard and not mine. Perhaps once they do it themselves they might have some more respect for why it can cost 400-600 dollars to clean a yard that's about knee deep in the stuff. And if they don't want to pay, then why did they call? Oh yeah, that's right: Because EVERYBODY calls you for leaves. Hence the reason I ONLY do leaves for regular customers who have been with me ALL year.

    The reason I don't put leaves in bags is the same reason I don't pull weeds by hand, and that is it takes too long. For me, nothing works faster than a tarp and a rake, but it needs to be a cordura or dernier tarp (made of a tough cloth, real tough) and not the cheap plastic ones. Then, haul it to the trailer over my back like santa claus and dump it on there, I guarantee it takes less time to haul them away in the trailer than it does to bag the lot.

    Now I can load dang near a cubic yard of leaves on a tarp at a time, if I gotta sit there fooling around sticking hand fulls worth of leaves in a bag and then try and compress it but careful or it rips, I'd never get done. They think $200 / trailer load is too much, but then I have to get it loaded and secured and dumped and be back home in 4 hours and the dump charges me $40 so all I get for my 4 hours is 160, you do the math, maybe I should charge more but then I'd never get any work.

    Here's a $200 load (and yes, they are compressed, you can sit on that tarp cover and careful or it bounces you off lol):
  7. Cuts.ca

    Cuts.ca Banned
    from canada
    Posts: 24

    This spring I worked out how to load up bags fast. Once its in a pile you fill up the garbage can with NO bag, sticks, everthing. Then you put a bag over the garbage can, right over the garbage can, so that the entire can is inside the bag, then flip the whole works upside down and pull out the can.
  8. Echelon

    Echelon LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 95

    dont know how it is in your neck of the woods but we can only bag yard waste in brown paper bags. they all seem to be a common size and really arent that big imo. is it the same there or can you use plastic also?
  9. Cuts.ca

    Cuts.ca Banned
    from canada
    Posts: 24

    We can use plastic, clear or black and as big a bag as we want. For spring clean-up I started with small black bags that fit tight on the inside of a can but then I got bigger cans and much bigger bags so big they fit easily around the outside of the can. Bought them in bulk from a janitorial supply store.
  10. 2nd Chance

    2nd Chance LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 86

    where i live <east texas > it is not economical to haul them to our local landfill so if they <the customer > won't get with the "mulch plan " they best call somebody else . there is a crew of Hispanics who do lawns around here they bagged grass and leaves forever -not anymore -can't afford to pay fuel charges to run back and forth to landfill <plus disosal fee> See it's like this , there will always be some people who will rake a yard by hand ,put the leaves in trash bags and do it for 7.50 an hour , it make take them ten hours but the customer feels like they "got their money's worth" . I could hva mulch them for the same price in 2 hours but the customer would feel "shortchanged" . This business is as much about psychology as it is anything else ,. If you last in this business you will get a real good idea at just how "FUNNY" people can be . Remember this -you are a service that most people dont want to have to dael with ,to a lot of people you are just one notch above a trash man . People will gladly pay a Plumber or another trade 100 bucks for 1 hour but they dont think YOU are worth that , it doesn't matter to them how much you have invested in equipment and your overhead , You are a "YARD BOY" . As long as this mentality exists we will ALL be at a disatvantage and you better always be lookoing for an "EDGE"

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