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How to make leaf removals quicker and more profitable?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smallstripesnc, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    80 bucks for a half acre,

    My word.

    We did a simple town lot, 100 x 40, 5 mature trees, three hours, $150.00

    And that's just getting them to the curb, no hauling. Would have probably been two trips with the leaf loader and 6 yard box.

  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    how old is the walker you have now?
  3. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Messages: 549

    2006 mtlghs 31hp 48"

  4. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I may end up making some taller sides to my truck bed to try and squeeze more leaves in so we can make less trips. I think I'm just getting to the point of hating leaves. At least its money for this time of the year though.
  5. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Messages: 549

    leaves and weeds are the biggest pain the @$$, at least with weeds you have the option to spend money on machinery. All you can do with weeds is pull them and make sure you put down a pre-mergent for next time.

  6. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Yes mulching the leaves will take them down in size considerably. Also the leaf loader will reduce the size and make them much more compact.
  7. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,633

    Either a leaf-loader or a ZTR with bagger will save time. Both will chop up the leaves quite a lot, which will allow for fewer dump runs. Try the gator blades.

    But the big issue is that if you are not charging for dump runs then you are not charging for your time on the job. If 2 men are taking 4 hours per cleanup and only charging $80, then you are billing at $10 per hr/per guy for what should be one of the most profitable services of the year. Pay for gas and equipment and you may be in the $7.50 range. Heaven forbid you have one equipment failure, you are losing money. Every market is different, but around here 4 hours for 2 guys would be in the $400 range.

    I don't want to sound negative, but you may not have the right equipment to be competitive until you get a ztr or leaf-loader.
  8. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,273

    hey guys, with your ZTRs how big is the bag? i assume you bag the leaves with your ZTR and then drop at your leaf loader or in your trailer/box?
  9. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Thats how we do it. I dont even offer haul away. The town does bulk pickup once a year. I just have my 2 workers blow the gardens out onto the lawn. Then I drive by on the 60 inch Z with the tripple bagger. Easy as pie!
  10. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,917

    Im in your area and a job that size I would charge $150+ It should take us 1-1.5hrs.

    Although we are not bagging. I use a 7X16 dump trailer with 8ft. tall sides and a leaf vac.

    With two men we can average 7-8 jobs a day. That's when we are geared up for leaves only. Most of the time we are mowing, trimming shrubs, leaf removal etc... all in one day! Maybe one day a week we can do just leaf removal.

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