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When the leaves start falling HEAVY, when it's tarp LOADS, when it takes more than 10-15, say 20 minutes extra...
I try and remember, too, the times I get to take it easy and zoom through the yard in 10-15 minutes UNDER (like in summer) and technically am taking advantage of the customer at times, I usually tolerate leaves until they fall HEAVY... I mean, things aren't ultra-busy right now, this is one bit of extra service I don't mind giving.
Good question with good answers above. Most regular customers have me do leaf "control". I don't call it removal because most leaves stay on the properties as mulch. I continue to mow until the grass goes dormant and there is an extra charge for the time spent on leaf control. I know the time it takes to mow each property so I just keep track of extra time. It is quite profitable this way. The only thing on the invoice is the day and the total price. So the weekly mows are still billed monthly and then they get a seperate bill for leaves.
I dont know how you folks get by with this! Pinestraw lately has been hurting me, every yard is taking about 30% longer. I approached my first 2 clients Friday with the extra charge and was told right fast they would get someone else. Now I will not back down on my price if its the going thing in my area but the other LCO dont charge extra for it either so I cant. I just thought I would test the water this week after all the reading Ive done on here and it went over like a bad fart. Had 2 to call yesterday and tell me to skip this week "because grass aint growing" and these are yards with lots of pines. Know how much straw can fall in another 2 weeks? These WILL be billed double or dropped, plain and simple.
It becomes a cleaup when there is no longer any grass to be cut, and you are dealing with leaves only. I estimated that next week would be the last for cutting here in CT, but now we have 3 days of rain in the forecast, which may bring the grass back, and drop leaves at the same time...