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Charging enough to make de-thatching worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    We all know that de-thatching has it's bad aspects but it's a fairly popular service in my area for roughly 3 weeks in the spring if that. If we have a really rainy spring demand is less. Many lawns look really dry and brown in the spring. People can't resist hand racking or messing with it. :) Kinda like picking a scab. Considering all this what has been your experience on offering this service?

    The biggest PITA factor is gathering up & hauling off all the thatch. This is why I like rototilling so much more. Till - tidy up - get paid payup and leave.

    If I do bids or estimates for this service I would take my Mantis with the dethatching attachment to test for the amount of loose thatch to haul off. This is the area I think LCOs get burned on this service. They end up hauling off 5 truck or trailer loads to the dump and loose all their profits with all the time spent driving to the dumps green pile and waiting for all the rest of the others to get out of the way. Dump runs here take a long time and it's $52 a ton to make matters worse. I honestly think the time spent sucking up all the loose thatch with my hi-Vac 21" mower or with my Quick 36 with gator blades and accelerator catcher is a mere tiny fraction of the time spent hauling to the dump.

    This is also a great opportunity to up sell aeration and overseeding payup along with my weekly mowing services. And to advertise my services with my rolling bill board enclosed trailer.

    Any input much appreciated!
  2. verant

    verant LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    In my area, customers like it and i suggest it for most of my customers. it really makes the spring grass look and grow better earlier in the season. matted down lawns are terribble.
    It is worth it bacause i charge similar to what i charge for fall clean up. Thatching is the basis for my sprin clean up service. plus, then u bag up the extra leaves and grass of the lawn. a front mount thatcher with a Z and a bagger works great. my charge is $45 per hour and this includes the time it takes to dump them. so if it takes a half hour to dump, i'll charge another $25 or so. It's good money and a good way to start the season

    TREEGUARD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    We power rake every lawn in the spring when we do the clean-up it does make a huge differance in the look and the way the lawn starts out. Our average charge is about $125 for roughly 3 to 4 thousand sq feet.
  4. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,021

    Our average charge is about is $150.

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