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Can i justify a leaf loader?

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
I spend alot of time reading on this site and I find that many of you have a leaf loader set up of some kind. I have a dump trailer that could easily be set up for a leaf box.... my local street department offers leaf pickup for city residents. There are a few small towns 10 minutes each way that do not offer such a program. There are also some small neighborhoods on the outskirts of town that are not serviced by the street department. How many customers would I need to make it worth my while? Thanks
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
Figure $8k for a 35 hp. $1k for box building and fab work. So $9k total. Rough numbers.

We charge $100 a pickup right now. So 90 services gets you to 9k. Still gotta figure labor, fuel, etc. Probably have to do 180 services to be even on everything.

We're thinking of upping collection price to $125 for non cleanup clients. $100 for cleanup clients.
 
OP
J

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
Figure $8k for a 35 hp. $1k for box building and fab work. So $9k total. Rough numbers.

We charge $100 a pickup right now. So 90 services gets you to 9k. Still gotta figure labor, fuel, etc. Probably have to do 180 services to be even on everything.

We're thinking of upping collection price to $125 for non cleanup clients. $100 for cleanup clients.
Mark,
Thank you for your rough figures. That helps me alot. Now I just need to determine if I could get that many clients. Obviously I think it would grow once the word is out for the out of city limits folks just not sure how many id be able to snag all together.
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
Mark,
Thank you for your rough figures. That helps me alot. Now I just need to determine if I could get that many clients. Obviously I think it would grow once the word is out for the out of city limits folks just not sure how many id be able to snag all together.
We don't actually own one....always had a buddy do ours for the $100 each. He's sorta flaky lately so next season we're buying 1. We were talking these rough numbers at the shop today so it's fresh in my head.

We'll probably run a dedicated collection crew and advertise to homeowners who don't wanna bag and to other lawn care guys who don't vac or who are to busy to vac all their jobs.

Many towns here do collect leaves but a few big ones don't. Also, some of our clients don't want to wait on the town and will pay us regardless so it's all done and not left blowing back into yard, etc.
 
OP
J

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
We don't actually own one....always had a buddy do ours for the $100 each. He's sorta flaky lately so next season we're buying 1. We were talking these rough numbers at the shop today so it's fresh in my head.

We'll probably run a dedicated collection crew and advertise to homeowners who don't wanna bag and to other lawn care guys who don't vac or who are to busy to vac all their jobs.

Many towns here do collect leaves but a few big ones don't. Also, some of our clients don't want to wait on the town and will pay us regardless so it's all done and not left blowing back into yard, etc.
I'm going to do some checking and see if I drum up some work for one of these rigs
 

rclawn

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Kansas City
It’s basically going to cost what a new mid range zero turn will cost you, but I’m not sure you can get a 0% finance note on it like you could buying a mower with Sheffield. If you can afford to pay cash, I would say get one as long as leaf demand is there. Probably a little late to justify it this year, however. At least around here doing leaves is trash after thanksgiving. You’re stuck dealing with caked down leaves from being snowed and rained on, way easier when they’re fresh.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
It’s basically going to cost what a new mid range zero turn will cost you, but I’m not sure you can get a 0% finance note on it like you could buying a mower with Sheffield. If you can afford to pay cash, I would say get one as long as leaf demand is there. Probably a little late to justify it this year, however. At least around here doing leaves is trash after thanksgiving. You’re stuck dealing with caked down leaves from being snowed and rained on, way easier when they’re fresh.
I dunno
You can get a scag leaf loader
I don’t know why Sheffield would treat it different than say a SW walk behind?
 

DLL LLC

LawnSite Member
Location
Pennsylvania
As already stated, if you live in leaf country, how can you not afford it. We just bought a new Billy Goat 18hp, unit and swing hitch costed $4600. We average $300 per leaf clean up. Already near 30 clean ups this fall so its been paid for twice. ive found it takes about 40 mins to fill our 1 ton dump with dry leaves (about 500lbs of leaves). Wet leaves takes about 2 hours to fill but is averaging about 1400lbs of wet leaves. So even just pickup without a clean up we charge atleast $120, our minimum hourly rate.
 

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