• Thankful For Your Family…. Business?
    Landscaping businesses are often family endeavors. While this can combine the best of both worlds (personal and professional), it isn’t always smooth sailing. Click here to read more.

Can i justify a leaf loader?

OP
J

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
I'm not sure I would need something quite as big as a 35 hp. I was thinking more along the lines of an 18 hp. Something in the middle to try it out. No body around here does it so I don't know what works better. I'm in East Central Indiana
 

jetson

LawnSite Senior Member
Still not convinced on this argument. We have trees around here like a bazillion of them. Never would I spend 9k on a box truck to suck up leaves. If u start early enough u can mulch them. I mean we have like a bazillion trees around here and never once did we think about a leaf loader. U have to empty it. It gets full and u can bill by the hour for leaf clean up. In ur situation no way would I spend that kind of money for a leaf loader / truck when u don’t have the business yet. It’s wasting money u could put in other places.. it’s like spending 30k on a truck and equipment with out having one customer.
 
OP
J

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
I'm not sold on anything yet thats why i asked for thoughts and opinions. I'm not afraid of the work just curious about what kind of money could be made in my situation
 

JFGLN

LawnSite Gold Member
Still not convinced on this argument. We have trees around here like a bazillion of them. Never would I spend 9k on a box truck to suck up leaves. If u start early enough u can mulch them. I mean we have like a bazillion trees around here and never once did we think about a leaf loader. U have to empty it. It gets full and u can bill by the hour for leaf clean up. In ur situation no way would I spend that kind of money for a leaf loader / truck when u don’t have the business yet. It’s wasting money u could put in other places.. it’s like spending 30k on a truck and equipment with out having one customer.
Why do guys get on here and say things like this^ Have you ever been 50 miles from home?

I would say quite a few people on Lawnsite have a need for a debris loader. Why do you think companies make them?
 

jetson

LawnSite Senior Member
Why do guys get on here and say things like this^ Have you ever been 50 miles from home?

I would say quite a few people on Lawnsite have a need for a debris loader. Why do you think companies make them?
Because the guy asked if he should buy a leaf loader. The answer to the question is with out the business why on earth would he spend money on it. That’s what this is a reply to. If he has u limited funds available then sure . Spend money on equipment which will sit in his driveway. He said he doesn’t have the business to pay it off and if it was worth it because he was going to try and corral the business . It doesn’t work that way. U can’t buy the equipment and just expect to have the business. He should only spend the money if the demand for him to have a leaf loader is demanded. Been in business 15 years. Have had 2000000 people ask me to buy their leaf loaded because they don’t use it enough when they could just saved the money and did other things with it. That’s all. In this case he should build his leaf business and then buy one if necessary. No one answers the question they only reply with how well they are doing and not the reality of this equipment will not give him any ROI on the short or long term without the business. The alternative is to just mulch them. And save the money until
The demand warrants a purchase. He said he thinks he has to reach to the out skirts. If the demand for you to buy said leaf loader then yes do it and good for you. This business in the beginning middle and end is about making smart decisions. This is why 85 percent of the people don’t last. They spend 30k and then sit and wonder why they are selling their equipment after a year. Instead of growing with the business. But you must have endless amounts of business and the reality is the “leaf season” is only a few weeks. So why would anyone spend 9k on equipment which will be posted on Craigslist in the spring because it just sat there. Yes people use leaf loader. Yes there are big and small commercial outfits where a leaf loader is a tremendous money making opportunity. But not for the original poster.
 
OP
J

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
What i meant by drumming up business was getting customers lined up throughout the next 9 or 10 months for te next leaf season. Im not going to buy anything without the work. I was just wanting to know if it would even be worth the time to even try to get the business with my local city offering it. I'm in a small town the outskirts for me are 5 minutes from my shop either way. Thinking this would be something to help keep busy for a few more weeks
 

TSP Lawn Care

LawnSite Member
Location
NorthEast
What i meant by drumming up business was getting customers lined up throughout the next 9 or 10 months for te next leaf season. Im not going to buy anything without the work. I was just wanting to know if it would even be worth the time to even try to get the business with my local city offering it. I'm in a small town the outskirts for me are 5 minutes from my shop either way. Thinking this would be something to help keep busy for a few more weeks
Thats exactly it. you dont need the biggest leaf vac they make to make it work. See whats out there for used ones. Living up in the northeast in Massachusettes we have crazy amounts of leaves and unlike everyone else on here not all my customers want the leaves shredded into the yard they want them gone. Since its my first year in business i couldnt justify the purchase for myself. But my buddy makes a killing doing his own clean ups and having a day or two that he just drives around and collects for other companys. Youll have to start somewhere but could def build up clients whether its other companys having you come clean their mess from the curb or using it on your own. Right now my buddy has 62 people on the books not including his own clean ups to just go and suck up the pile for a fee. Next year i will definitly be getting my own and hes getting overloaded so itll be nice to start out having a few customers as my buddy just gets too busy to get to everyone. IMO worth it just find a good deal where it wont bankrupt you.

Quick example my buddy had an 18hp loader for 5 years. Paid around $3100 for it with 50hours on the machine. Used it for 5 years and made WAYYYYYYYY more than 3100 back on the loader. Fast forward to this year he traded it at a dealer in CT for new one with the 31hp vanguard non EFI engine on it and they gave him $2800 for a trade and the new machine was like $5600 on sale. So IMO it is worth it for you and as you can see where some people find them useless others find them to be gold mines!. He only paid $300 to use that machine for 5 years and just think of the money you can make in 5 years of work with it. My area is in high demand of leaf removal though as well.
 

JLSLLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
The Garden State
Why do guys get on here and say things like this^ Have you ever been 50 miles from home?

I would say quite a few people on Lawnsite have a need for a debris loader. Why do you think companies make them?
I just love dragging cans and tarps into the back of my dump body :laugh:
Leaf loader makes for quick work , and I can fit way more than I would just dumping them into the truck- as you know.
 

cool breeze

LawnSite Senior Member
I don't know where Jetson is located but here in VA our leaf season lasts 10 weeks, not two weeks; so yes a leaf loader is worth while.
 

mathteacherj

LawnSite Member
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
I had a hitch mounted on front of dump trailer and converted a Trac Vac zero turn vacuum set up into a leaf loader. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it has made me a lot of money and helped immensely to get more in the dump trailer. I’m in NE Indiana. If I had a faster loader, I’d be doing even better, but I wanted to start out small and figure out my market.
 
Top