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Estimating leaf removal

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fred Garvin, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    This is my first year doing leaf work. I'm going to meet with a potential new customer today. I have already told him it will be $50 per hour. He is still willing to talk, so that is a good thing. However, I know he is still going to want some idea of how long it will take. Is it safe to say if you can mow an acre an hour you can do an acre of leaves in two hours? Am I being to optimistic?:confused: This job has I'm guessing about three acres and three houses on it. When I meet with him today I'll walk the property off with my gps to see for sure how many acres it is.

    I'll be using a 52 inch ztr with a 16 cubic ft colletor.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. brinlee lawn

    brinlee lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    whatever you estimate double it. nothing like a good rain to spoil your profit.
  3. zim bob the landscaper

    zim bob the landscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,706

    also are you removing all the leaves? do you have a leaf box and loader?
  4. Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I have a 16ft. trailer with rolling box on it. The box is 8ft long and 4ft high. Only the front 4ft of the box has a floor. It is my own little invention. I have yet to try it, it may not work. If it don't I have a back up plan. I have a place to dump the leaves for free and it is on my way home.

    I met with the property owner today. I can tell he is wanting some kind of estimate other than $50 per hour. I walked it off with the gps. There is 1.43 acres. Several HUGE oak trees. I'm thinking about bidding it $380. (I know I shouldn't't be giving a bid on leaves:confused: ) That is 7 hours for me at $50 per hour and hiring someone to do all the blowing and raking for two hours at $15 per hour.

    Am I anywhere close?
  5. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    Free Bump as I'm interested in this thread as well. I'll be tackling the leaves for the first time this fall also.
  6. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    i never give an estimate for leaves that havent fallen. made that mistake once, wont do it again.
  7. Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    He has it done once at the end of the season.
  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Excellent point for warning !!
  9. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Your price is in the ball park. Did you consider how many leaves will blow onto that property from the surounding area when the high winds kick in? As you work your areas on a weekly basis, keep in mind of how and where the strong winds blow all the junk durning the year. It makes it easier for you at pricing fall cleanups in the future. I price all my regular customers fall cleanups in March when I send out the new contracts. The properties that I know will get strong wind will get a higher quote for fall cleanup. Its easier to drop the price some if you end up with an easy job.
  10. Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I called this morning and bid the job at $380. I told him if it took less time than I thought I would adjust the price accordingly. He said he couldn't afford it. He acted like I was not even close to the price he has been paying. Here is the good part. He has been using one of the bigger LCOs in the area. They usually spend the afternoon on his property running two mowers and sometimes a third man running a leaf loader. Is this company working for free?:confused:

    I feel pretty confident in the price I gave. It also feels nice to know that I won't be wearing out me and my equipment on a big job for peanuts.

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