How much to charge for leaf cleanup in fall

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by landscapetastic, May 7, 2012.

  1. landscapetastic

    landscapetastic LawnSite Member
    from ny
    Messages: 41

    Last Year Brand New to the business I charged $250 for a 1/2 acre of
    fall cleanup. There was about 8 trailer loads of leaves to haul away.
    Dump fee now (was free last year) is now $15 each load. How much should I really be charging for fall cleanup on a 1/2 acre property. Last year with 3 guys
    on the 1/2 acre property it took a day and a half to fully cleanup.
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,677

    Tough to say since I do not know how inefficiently you were working and by the sound of it you were no where near my companies output. For starters loading leaves by hand into a trailer is a lot slower then say sucking them up with a truck loader into a 16 yard box. In fact that would likely not have filled up a truck once. Since they get shredded they break down at a ratio of 11-1 or 10-1 so 16 yards is 160 yards of loose leaves.

    Then comes what types of blowers you had and what skill levels your guys have. And what capabilities you had to move bulk leaves like a leaf plow on a ZTR. All these things need to be considered and then of course there is the property itself. Is flat with a few trees and some small beds around the house. Or is it hilly or swampy and every step pushes the leaves into the mud. Is there ivy or pachysandra that covers 10000 plus square feet (don't laugh iv done a yard before that had a full acre of ground cover not including the lawn and beds) A typical half acre lawn with some trees and normal beds is 200-400 for the clean up. I run a 5 man crew we charge 60 per man hour so 300 dollars an hour and we normally knock out lawns that size in just over an hour. So my question for you is why so long what was it that ate up all that time?
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    Figuring a M/H rate of $30 you would be at $1080 for that cleanup based on 12 hours. You might want to either reconsider your pricing or how you do your cleanups. A 1/2 acre lawn with three guys should take NO more than 2 hours.
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    How big is your trailer?

    How are you picking up leaves?

    Got to find away to get clean up from 1.5 days down to 1 day.

  5. Lawn132012

    Lawn132012 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 175

    You need to mulch those leaves. Even a leaf blower / spreader is cheap enough to get one. If you were raking the leaves in a pile and then had one guy mulching them it still not take that long to do that entire proprty. I remember my father and I several years ago do a job (I was mid 20's and my father in early 60's and we did a property where they had a three foot wide flower bed around entire house along with a completely fenced year which also had 2-3 feet of flower beds around it and we took ONE DAY. 8 hours. Granted nothing to write home about but for two people and no real MODERN equipment except for a rake and a hand held blower / mulcher I think we did pretty good comparing to what you had 3 guys doing.
    How hard are they working would be my question.

    Even back then we got $400 for the yard. We were far from a real LCO company at that time. People asked us to start one because we did what we said we would do and we showed up to complete the work on time.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Wow...3 guys and a day and a half for one 1/2 acre property. What are you doing, picking the leaves up one by one by hand? I have a leave loader but don't use it anymore. I find it more efficient to grind the leaves up and bag them.
  7. roberthathaway7

    roberthathaway7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    250/(three guys x12 hours)= 6.94/hr. Then there's gas and equipment expense... I'd say personally you might have cleared two dollars an hour, that is if you payed your men their 6.94 divvy, and that's if it's straight cash and you all just split it. You need to be charging at least 1 dollar per mile there and back for hauling a trailer full of anything, plus charging for the hours driving and unloading. 250 may not be bad if you widdle the process down. Look for efficiency. Just to get the ball rolling for you, explain to us exactly what the job was like, what all tools, equipment and methods you used, then let us know what all you have at your disposal to use, and we can discuss a plan on how to become more efficient and effective. I'm looking forward to hearing back, I'd really like to help you out. All you need is an ear from some experienced folk and this is the right place to be
  8. kendavisbiz

    kendavisbiz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    your selling time....we charge $50 per man hour plus the cost of hauling debris.3 men 150 per hour. charge for all time including dump time plus fees. if they dont take your set rates move on. you dont want to fail and u will if you dont sell time at a set rate.
  9. kendavisbiz

    kendavisbiz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    u cant say how long without seeing the job
  10. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    At least $20.00..maybe more..

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