How much to charge for leaf removal

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Triptoy2002, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. GoldnGreenLandscaper

    GoldnGreenLandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Why not simply charge an hourly rate for fall cleanups done in November and December? That's what we do. Believe this year was $55 per man per hour.
    oaksandiron likes this.
  2. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 10,283

    It's easier to control people like that...

    Those that won't stand for something will fall for anything...
  3. Steven801

    Steven801 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I usually charge $50 an hr for each guy. I never tell clients how much an hr and I just figure out in my head how many guys for how many hrs and that’s the price I tell them. We blow everything out and then suck it up with Billy goats. I have been using billy goats for a while now and I think it’s faster than tapping even though sometimes we have to tarp. Billy goats aren’t hard on your back and you can fit more in the trailer than tapping them. We are fast etc so I know $50 an hr for each guy is probably a good deal. Sometimes I will add dump fee but just depends.
  4. oaksandiron

    oaksandiron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Unfortunately these two statements are entirely too true. I have a client who pays $65 per visit for lawn maintenance that includes blowing off decks and a high-end patio, poking a few weeds out of the planting beds, and weed-whacking and edging. Takes 1 person (me, usually,) 45 minutes. But when it took us 11 man hours ($54/hr) to clean up his leaves he went apoplectic. What he essentially said was "if you value me as a client you will negotiate this price down or I am straight up not paying." Meaning no matter what we won't recover anything near the actual cost to clear his yard AND we will lose him as a client. Because damn straight I am not going back there next year. I just really, really want to recover some cost.

    And for the record this is a high-end client and the property is a second home. Definitely makes me think about quitting this business all together.
  5. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 6,015

    So what did you do, lower the price or what? Just wondering
  6. oaksandiron

    oaksandiron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Absolutely not. We tried to explain how mowing was an entirely different animal than leaf cleanup, and he said he would get back to me on what HE thought a fair price was. I am bummed, because until this they have been good clients. I am still hoping to recover ANYTHING from this bill.
  7. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 10,283

    Tell him you gave him a fair price. The bill is the bill and anything not paid will be sent to collections. Once they pay, send cancelation notice.
    Doc8406 likes this.
  8. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,450

    This is why submitting and getting a bid approved are paramount. If he contested the charge, how are you going to prove he agreed to the price?

    People with a lot of $ are not stupid. There are thousands of lawn guys waiting to take that lawn. That means your disposable if and when the customer decides, unless you have a contract and even then, your still disposable.

    It’s not personal, it’s biz and clearly that’s the way this customer thinks.
  9. FitzRightMowingService

    FitzRightMowingService LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    This sounds like a good formula. I did the hr rate like like everyone else did... which led to a few under bidded jobs.
  10. prezek

    prezek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    As big of a pain it is with the days getting shorter and shorter during the fall, I make sure I give even my best customers ballpark pricing for leaves if we haven’t done them before. They have no clue. They don’t think about the work involved, cost for dumping, time at the dump, etc...i have many people who pay $40-65 a week all year long for mowing, but tell them 250 to do their leaves and they think you have lost your mind....I hope all works out and you’re paid in full.

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