Fall cleanup = spring cleanup

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Carolina Cutter, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    People around here are funny about this. Some want their leaves and such cleaned in the fall......when they should be. But others wait until its time for things to start growing......seems as though the cold air and the brown grass mean that lawn services are not needed. I got a call today from a lady that needs her lawn cleaned and spruced up for spring and then I might also have the seasonal contract.

    I just hate cleaning leftovers from the fall in the spring. Not to mention the price is going to be much higher now that this mess has laid there all winter. I try to tell people that but they still wait.....hmmmmm. payup
  2. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    Good luck cleaning leftover leaves from the fall, its not easy. Once the cold air and snow has frozen them to the ground, they are not nearly as easy to pick up as they were freshly fallen in the fall. Charge accordingly.
  3. jimslawns

    jimslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Do you have a lot of Pin Oak trees, I find that folks around here that have those trees tend to put off the clean-up until the Pin Oaks (Quercus Palatrus) sp lose their leaves until spring. I try (note TRY) to get folks to let me come out twice fall/spring but as everyone knows, some people do not care about their lawn that much. I have done several clean ups this spring from referrels, that I am glad for...however when you ask them about mowing/fert they say "oh my regular guy does that" My question to them is why doesn't your regular guy do leaves, and spring clean up? You would kinda think they might be interested in having a full service CO.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Always charge non clients more. If for no other reason than because you know their regular guy already passed on the job.

    Perhaps use it as a teaser to get a signed seasonal contract. Yes Sir that would be $400 for the clean up, but with a yearly maintenence contract that would be $325. And next year you won't have to look for someone to do the clean up.
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I had one person call me 3 days before a snow storm last fall to do fall clean up. I quoted her a price, but told her that I was still busy and it would be about a week before I got to them. Of course the snow came and I couldn't do them. So I am dreading them now come spring. I am curious of what you guys would answer to this question:
    would you charge the same amount for the spring clean up as the fall clean up in my circumstance stated above?
  6. The LawnSmith

    The LawnSmith LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    The spring clean-up isn't necessarily fun, but here in Alabama, its good income prior to the mowing season. It takes more time on one property, but pays a lot more too. I started my clean-ups last month (Feb) and have plenty left to do. Clean ups are hard to bid if its a new customer as it always takes longer than projected to finish, but I keep a log of how long each regular customer took me to finish last spring and if I underbid last year, I adjust the price this year by simply telling them that last year it took a lot longer than I had projected it would, but that I had stuck to my bid last year. I haven't had one customer gripe about the price. I think they realize that if they have someone who knows what they expect, and does the job to their standard they will pay to keep them for the mowing season. With new customers I am slowly learning to factor more time into the bid than I think it will take. Hopefully each year I'll get better on bidding these things......Just my opinion.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I hate, hate, hate, cleaning up leaves in the spring...did I say I hate this type of work? I had a job one year where the leaves were so thick and matted down I had to rent a tractor and york rake to get them out of the grass. What a f***ing nightmare that job turned out to be.

    But, I remember what my good old dad told me and that was "charge accordingly" . :D
  8. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I run into that too, seems to me that the regular guy should be doing them, but mabey he makes enough to not worry about the leaves.

    The leaf cleanups are a money maker for me, as with core aeration, mulching, fertilizing, and bed maintenance.
    I did a lot of core aerations in an area where the regular guy did not do the extras, and he was cool with me, because he knew I could not beat his prices. Way too low, so I did the money makers payup and he mows. for the peanuts.
    There were 5-6 more that we did weeding, pre emergent, stone edging, mulching and made more in one day than " the regular guy" makes all season just mowing. I would like to get the mowing for these jobs, but I will not stoop to his pricing level. :realmad: :gunsfirin :gunsfirin

    To your post about the spring cleanups, they are a pita but will do them and charge more for it. I do like the idea about giving price and then telling them if they signed a year agreement for full service, it would be lower, BUT NOT BY MUCH.
  9. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Well the good thing is that she doesnt have a regular guy.......hoping it will be me....
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    I got 1 client that just refuses to get leaf pickup period. He has one of my higher levels of maintain plans but will not step up one more plan or just add leaf pickup. The bad thing is that his back yard is pretty big and he has tons of big old oaks trees, you know the kind, they are the species, "bigum old makem a huge messum" variety. It sucks.

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