Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hometown Lawn Care, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Hometown Lawn Care

    Hometown Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I got my 1st call for fall cleanups today, I guess they wanted to book in advance, this is my 1st season so I just want to know about Estimateing and how you manage a fall cleanup shedual, but im mostly intrested in how you price a yard and how you mange a schedual for cleaning it up......

    Thanks ALOT!!!! please somebody help...
  2. Hometown Lawn Care

    Hometown Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    by the way im in the Northeast ( North of Boston to be exact )
  3. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Messages: 930

    Go by the hour. It's about the only feasible way you can do it. Small town here, so I charged about 100/man hour for clean-ups, minimum 1 1/2 hours. MY cleanups went like this:

    Blow out beds and rock garden areas.
    Mow up the leaves on the lawn and the leaves you blew out of the beds, etc.
    Bring it all to the dump.

    I'm sure there are alot more people on here that get WAY more than what I got, but I maybe only did 10 each fall, and I still made some good money.
  4. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    It's up to you when you start and how you go through the process

    Leaves fall in October, they are blown out to the lawn and generaly picked up while mowing. Or for the few blown to a pile, tarped and hauled to truck. And we can keep a weekly schedule.

    November comes we lost an hour daylight. We remove annuals if we haven't removed for fall plantings. Blow out, tarp it all up and dumped into truck, cut lawn, line trim. We make 3 visits from November to mid December.

    Last go through we get the leaves, cut, edge. We're not doing beds cause they are generaly frozen, though our second visit they are spaded.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    This is how I do it.

    I charge an hourly rate, usually $50 an hour (for just me), 1 hour min. Ann Arbor, where I mostly work, has 2 street pickups for leaves for each neighborhood in the fall. I schedule the yard clean up a day or two in advance of the street pickup to coincide. I blow everything out to the street to the curb. If necessary I tarp leaves from backyards, etc to the street. Leave a 6 inch gap for rain water. City comes, sucks them up and takes 'em away. I don't have to take anything to the dump. :D Usually do both street pickups for a yard, do about 40 cleanups per season, average.

    If leaves are on the ground before the cleanup while I'm still mowing, I'll do a pre-mowing blow really quick to get most of them up and off the yard. And charge for it. I do not like to mow over leaves.

  6. Hometown Lawn Care

    Hometown Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    ok cool so if I do it by the hour and i have 2 people i'd say 50$ an hour, cool...

    Doesnt working by the hour turn some customers off, in fear that we might work slow...
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    you have to inform the customer of the reason for the per hour rate and why you charge per hour. I always tell customer the reason for per hour during fall and spring is because I don't want to over charge them on just bidding one price. They usually buy what I am saying
  8. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    it will prob take you a few leaf jobs to get the estimating down and then you will still miss one here and there..last yr was my first yr to do leaf cleanups and i am here to tell you that it will take longer than you think to clean them up...make sure to wlk the entire property, kick the leaves up to see the thickness, etc...do not give an hr quote...many homeowners do not understand that something as easy and non-technical as removing leaves should reap 50-100hr...bid the job according to how many times they want them picked up ie, every week while they are dropping (best) three x (good) or one time when they are all down (worst and most exspensive)...invest in good quality backpack blowers, remax 7001's get my vote and blow out the beds and either tarp or collect via mower...nuttin' to it:D
  9. Hometown Lawn Care

    Hometown Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Does the mower need to be powerful to collect the leafs, like could I use lets say.... A Craftsman 21in walk behind or a 21in Lawn Boy Commercial Grade?
  10. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Paul, either of those mowers will do fine. What I suggest is that you take the bagger off and go over the leaves first to mulch and grind them down a bit, then put the bagger on and pickup all the remaining debris. You will not have to empty the bagger as often and you won't haul off as much if you haul, if you set it by the curb then it won't blow off as easily either.

    I hope you mean $50 a man hour? If you have two or even three guys working for $50 an hour, that is $25 a man hour if you have two, much less if you have three. That's not enough to break even probably! Let's say $50 a man hour for instance, then you have 2 guys working the job that is $50x2=$100 an hour billed out. Or three guys- $50x3=$150 an hour billed out. The only way to do cleanups is give them an hourly rate and tell them what all you will be using, how many guys, what the job will include and say approximately how long it may take, stressing the fact that it may take longer. Cleanups always take longer than you think.

    Happy leaf-ing! :blob4:

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