city pick up vs haul away

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ALBsun1, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. ALBsun1

    ALBsun1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    Alright, i am small, about 80 - 100 accounts, and most are avg size resi's in cities/towns that have curb side leaf pick up. So, that is what i do, blow/tarp the leaves to the curb and leave them for city pickup. I am considering buying a loader, but, i ask myself why? Say i have a loader, how do i explain that extra charge to my customers when they know that the city will pick up for free if the leaves are on the curb? Another variable is that leaf season is not that long, and not that much $$, how can i justify the purchase of a loader. Don't get me wrong, i want one because i want to be able to leave a job 100% clean and not have to worry about leaves blowing back into yards, but there are so many costs and things to consider with that. Anyone else in that boat?
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    theres no really big money in leaves it just keeps you busy dont spend too much we have a loader but only about 4 or 5 of our clean ups are city pick up or put in them in their woods how many would you have to haul them away put them to the curb spend less time and make more money
  3. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,377

    One of the pluses.. like you already mentioned is the leaves not blowing back. Thats really the only one i can think of rite now. Also, you can advertise to the town of those who would like curbside pickup same day so their leaves won't blow back (your non customers).
  4. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Also, there may be a city ordinance, like here, which says that a homeowner can put leaves to the curb for pickup, but a contractor can not. Actually, in this town, we aren't even supposed to bag grass and sit it at the curb. It has to go with us. Not many LCOs follow that ordinance, because it isn't enforced, YET. Im taking a wait and see attitude. I did just purchase a leaf loader this past weekend, and I am building a box now.
  5. plantzpropertymanagement

    plantzpropertymanagement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    You said your a small co.? 80-100 accounts! I would kill to have that many accounts thats big to me.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    You can haul them all away and it will be clean for about 5 minutes until leaves from every other pile and lawn on the street blows in. So save yourself the money and blow them to the curb.
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    Same boat. I just leave them for the town. Who wants to spend the time to load and then drive, pay, and dump? Not if the town does it free (paid by taxes). Also, if the town provides leaf pick-up it means that every one in town is entitled to the service since they paid with taxes. Why would a town require someone who already paid for the service in taxes then expect that person to pay a contractor to remove the leaves? They pay twice then. What's the difference how the leaves get to the curb? That's BS. Here we can put leaves in the street until 12/1. After that I have to take them so it's a mad rush in November to get as much into the street as possible!
  8. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Last year I didn't haul any leaves away, this year it's about 50% of the custumors. Alot of the towns are starting to get strict about putting them on the curb. They can't be out there for more then 7 days before pick up or a fine. You never know whe there coming, or they have it posted that they will come in dec., personally I'm not waiting that long and started to pick all leaves up in catchers. I was actually surprised alot of people where happy to see that I would haul them out even if it costs more. And definitly charge more it takes more time then to just dump at the curb. The thing is if you don't have a loader you need catcher's because you can fit so much more in the truck then not grinded leaves.
  9. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    in my town I live in, they pick up only in the city limits, so I advertized to haul leaves away, from people outside the area that did'nt have a place to put them or burn. I said, you rake em, we take em. I usually charge 40-60 per yard, I have no dump fee's only gas and alittle labor involved. I tell them no sticks/rocks etc, if so I have left the leaves in a pile, they can get somebody else to get them. Also they have to be accessable by me.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I guess then I shouldn't have gone out and bought 5 Redmax 8000's or 3 Hasty Vacs (clamshell) for our Z's then. :laugh: There's plenty of money in leaf cleanups if you know how to price them accordingly.

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