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Fall clean up. A whole neighborhood

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by TPnTX, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    Theres very little lawn but a lot of roof area---regardless of pitch, if the wind blows a little you will have a lot of leaves on the roofs--unless the pics are a little distorted. If there are leaves on the roofs then later they will blow down and your job will look like sh***t.

    In short, if its just for the lawn area then I'd blow everything to the st and have 1 or 2 trucks with loaders picking them up--- subbing out some of that seems the way to go--considering the volume, the fact that you dont want to break down and shell out for a loader setup and you somehow think a few guys can do this effectively. I believe 1 or 2 decently set up trucks could move right along and if you find a guy hungry for work its just pickup and go so I'm convinced you can do it cheaper than by hand...no matter what the labor. Bagging is a joke--sorry if that hurts your feelings but the volume alone shows that bagging isnt an efficient option.

    Obviously you spent time watching the previous company do it--- if so, you should know exactly how much volume is there. You should also have a plan, so instead you're insulting people on here who are offering suggestions with only a crappy description and a couple pics-- it's un-warranted.
    You already know it all so why ask?? I'm wondering if you're just a troll because your bait and complain approach isnt one of anyone who watched an operation, had any plan at all and overall would balance out the work of hand bagging vs a loader. Good luck and buy extra bags.
  2. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    If you bid the job to begin in January, AFTER leaf cleanup, then why cant you charge an additional amount for this years' cleanup? being that it isn't technically in your proposal?
    I have bid snow removal contracts to begin on November 1 (seasonal contract $XXX/ month, unlimited visits to property) , only to have it snow late October. That one or two events get billed seperately b/c they dont fall within the specified contract time period.
    Just a thought. This additional fee may give you the cushion to justify some extra equipment or labor.
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    So is your plan still bagging? I think that is a tough path to take. Many, many men for many, many days.

    I'd try again on a leaf-loader. I gotta think a dealer could get one shipped to his shop within 5 or 6 days. I think $2500 spent on a leaf-loader would have a very fast ROI. I had a new mower delivered quicker.

    Otherwise, you could build up leaf boxes on your trucks, and load by hand, or dump into the trucks from the mower bags. If you load by hand, the leaves will not by chopped up and reduced in size (something the leaf-loader would do), so you will have more truckloads to dump. I'm guessing that you do not have a dumptruck, so you will need to rig up something to get the leaves out. A Loadhandler may help. Or I read about guys laying a pallet in the bed of the truck, loading leaves on top, then drag the pallet out with chains or something. Better yet, rent/borrow a dump froma friend.

    Let us know how you end up doing this job. Prove us wrong!
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,660

    I have snow messing with my clean ups as of tomorrow night but your situation makes me smile your screwed. Those are going to be 10-20 mins each not including sucking them up or a final cut. You have est. 200 man-hours of work based on your 400 units. With 5 guys that is 6 days not including wind, rain, or snow days. And that is provided you have enough blowers for all of them and that you wise up and get a dump truck with a leaf box and a loader. This is 10,000-15,000 dollar clean up if your bids less then that you screwed up on your math. Also putting a backpack on a bum or lawn virgin doesn’t help much my men my partner or myself are each worth 3-4 clean up newbies. Its the reason I do not bother trying to hire a few extra guys in fall they are worthless and you end up just turning dollars and covering their salaries. One more point your street pics show trees with allot of leaves have you even considered how much debris that is going to produce looking at your map picture I could see maxing my 16 cubic yard leaf box 12 times. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fired you before you even get to the lawn mowing you sound way over your head. Also staking out another company’s account and spying on them to figure out your prices is very creepy.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I don't get...if you got the contract awarded to you, did you just leave out anything about leaf removal for '09? You said you planned to spy on the current LCO, but I would assume if you got the bid, you must have included a price for leaves for next year. Or maybe not?

    Messages: 99

    Matt from NY hit the nail right on the head. You did not think that you would have to do the fall leaf cleanup this year so that cost was not included in your bit. Try to get more money from your new client. They should understand provided you explain that this years cleanup was not factored into the bid and they chose you because they were not happy with their old companies service, not only because you came in 2% lower. Also since you have two trucks Perhaps you could send someone of north to pick up a leaf loader. The consensus seems to be that you need one for this job. As a group they also believe that you don't realize how large this job really is!
  7. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    I just got home from a hunting trip so I'm late to this. I agree that a leaf loader would be the way to go but most of the people that say it can't be done otherwise are from up north where the trees are bigger. Trees in Texas don't grow as tall at least in Southern Texas.
  8. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    I took this pic friday. It's the longest street in the neighborhood. Most of the trees are Live Oaks anyway.

    I can't find anyone in DFW that uses a loader. It's a pretty big town. Crazy. I remember last year I worked for several weeks on this big project in an upscale neighborhood. The the houses all had your typical trees mostly live oaks. But the streets where lined with various maples and oaks. I noticed one day workers blowing into a piles and bagging. I thought back then "I wonder why they dont have a loader" because I always see people here talking about it.

    I bought a new blower yesterday a Redmax 8001. I'll probably rent a push blower there's a rental right around the corner. I put 4' sides on a trailor in case I have to haul much.
    I'll figure something out for the long haul. We're going to get after it tomorrow. However it's suppose to be windy. thats great.

  9. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    GOOD LUCK, may the force be with you.
  10. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    as far as the contract, Leaf cleanup is included. 2 in december. I think again what is throwing everyone off here is that the trees aren't the same around here. And the satellite pic just made it look worse because you see all these big trees but most of them are evergreen.

    I estimated it will take a crew 2 days per cleanup and thats how I bid it. Again I also thought I would have 10 months of prep before we had to do it.

    Its going to be fine. Some mentioned earlier that spying creeped him out. Maybe Spy is a strong word. I "observed" What's wrong with that? It's not like I was hiding in the bushes. NFL teams spy.

    Anyway I appreciate everyones advise but again to be perfectly honest what "creeps" me out is this forum. The shet people will say. WTF? I just felt compelled to post this last pic so everyone will know, this isn't Connecticut.

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