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1 time leaf pick-up or.....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Joel B., Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    Do most customers want you to come out once later in the season when most of the leaves are down or do they want you to keep the leaves off their lawn during the fall requiring weekly trips to pick up leaves?

    What would you do with a lawn that has a little too many leaves to mulch but not quite enough for a full fledged leaf pick up, for instance:

    You mow a yard that has some leaves on it and after making a few passes the leaves are not going away (getting chopped up). Do you:

    Bag up the remaining leaves and charge for a mowing and maybe 1 hour of leaf pick-up?

    Charge the whole time as leaf pick up? What if the customer didn't want the leaves picked up?

    Leave the leaves on the lawn and get them later?

    Or is it easier to just let the customer tell you when they want leaf pick up?

    And yes, I am searching for information too.


    Joel B.
  2. beck

    beck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Each customer is unique. I have some that want everything bagged everytime, even if the yard could be double cut and the leaves would be barely noticeable. Others prefer mulching.

    Pricing: Some customers expect to pay the same either way but you must inform them that leaf clean-ups have a higher price, because 1) more time 2) more equipment (baggers, leaf vacs etc.) 3) disposal fees 4) more equipment maintenance due to dust . . .

    you could send out a letter informing them of the higher price and tell them that you will use your own judgement as to the most efficient and economical way to deal with leaves, and if they want to discuss it with you please call. For example I found it to be easier to mulch the leaves in one yard as many times as possible as opposed to doing one large leaf clean-up at the end of the season.
  3. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Yes, it really depends ... if I can mulch them, I do.
    Sometimes if there is too much, but not enough ... like you indicated, I will take a blower and move them over to a side or corner and leave them till the actual clean-up is done. Mind you this is done in instances where the customer isn't willing to pay additionally for the time it would take to just pick up the lawn areas with the mowers ... thinking it should be included in the "weekly mowing rate". Then I just charge them for whatever it takes to pick them up, when and if I am the one doing the clean-up.

    Beck ... a question?
    If you found it easier to mulch them as opposed to picking them up, did you still charge them more or for a "clean-p" seeing as you magically made the leaves diappear anyway?:D
  4. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I agree with the others, everyone is different. Just price accordingly. Personally, if the customer doesnt care, I mulch.
    I did a leaf job last week, some places the leaves were in a big pile, and I mulched the whole yard. Some places I had to go over three times, but it still easier than bagging (to me anyway).
  5. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    depends on the customer i am doing. as my sig shows, i run a walker with GHS so naturally that collects them anyway. there are some yards where i don't collect, just leave the door open and rear discharge so they don't matter. also i have my metro with a mulch kit so they disappear well there too.

    i don't go out of my way to get all of them up (normal season), but i won't move them to avoid collecting them either.
  6. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    i just side discharge the yards till the mowing slows down and the leaves start to come down heavy. i do two full cleanups per account. usually when the brunt of the leaves have fallen, and then when all of them have come down.
  7. beck

    beck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    If we spend extra time blowing leaves out of beds, away from the fenceline and trees, etc. we charge extra.
    If we perform a "normal mowing" just cut trim and blow without worrying about the leaves they get the same price.

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