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Charging for leaves

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ken50, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. ken50

    ken50 LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Messages: 142

    This is my first year, so bear with me on this question. When the leaves start to drop in the fall, and you pull up to your regular customer's house and there are leaves everywhere, when do you start charging extra, and how much extra do you charge? I plan on running the mower over it once to get the volume of leaves down, and then bagging....is that the most efficient way to do it? I am in the Texas hill country...any help is appreciated.
  2. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 186

    just start charging extra when there are too many leaves on the yard to mow and mulch. hill country, you got oak leaves probably and sometimes they're so small and heavy that you can't mulch, then thats when you make your off season money by blowing and raking all the leaves. that, or you wait till spring. i'm in N S.A. so thats what i do. any more hill country texas questions, ask.
  3. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    I put DOUBLES on my mowers in the fall. One set of blades is mulching. They tend to chop them up pretty fine. I will try to windrow them and then back over the windrow. Usually does the job on light accumulations. I charge 25% extra for that. If the client wants them picked up, I charge $45 per man hour PLUS 2 times the dump fee (to pay for my travel time to the dump). I have a 6x10 dump trailer that I put sides on. It holds 7 cubic yards. I usually blow the leaves onto a tarp and them pull them over the side of the trailer.


  4. ken50

    ken50 LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Messages: 142


    Hope you don't mind me asking, but is there a lot of money in leaf cleanups in our area? I'm not that far from you.
  5. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    unless they want a fall clean up we just mow them up.
  6. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 186

    ken, you might find some people that want about 4 or more clean-ups over the winter and spring months when the oaks are dropping leaves, that is where you can make some money, but then you find some people that wait till april to call and haven't had them picked up in two years, thats when you charge a lot more. i got about 260 bucks for a 5hrs (total) of raking with three guys and two longbed truck loads (maybe three, it was about 4 years ago)and now that i think about it, even today that rate seems alright in most areas, i'm sure today now that we're more efficent and all, i wouldn't doubt that it would only take 2 1/2hrs to do the same size job. also tree trimming is big in the winter, but make sure you know what you're doing. i work for an aborist part time on the weekends, its good money. and tomorrow i get to learn to climb trees and be a tree monekey :cool:
  7. rockhouse

    rockhouse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I've mowed for 10 years in the Fort Worth area & the only leaves i've had to pick up are the live oak leaves (they're too rubbery). Mulch the hell out of them. I usually charge double for leaves because it takes me at least twice as long to do them.
  8. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 186

    i guess the easiest way to say it is, do what you gotta do to make it look good and charge a lot more money when the leaves start falling.
  9. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    A lot of landscapers like using a Walker riding mower to pick up leaves with in this area. It seems to work good for them.
  10. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    just a word of advice, when doing jobs with small leaves (white oak, etc...) pay attention to how much volume there is, it can be very misleading, those suckers add up quick. as far as cutting down to reduce volume, that's right on track, just don't powder them and expect your vac system to pull them up as well.

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