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large leaf cleanup job

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by David Shaw, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. David Shaw

    David Shaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    I just got a call to go look at a leaf cleanup job. the man said he had about 2 ACRES. How would you price this without scaring someone to death. This is a prime neighborhood to get into so if I can get this job it would be good. Dave:confused:
  2. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Do you have to haul it away? What kind of equipment do you have to deal with it?

    Probably should go hourly unless you have done this size before or you could try to build a bid using the amount of time it currently takes you to do say 20k sf and extrapolate it out to 2 acres (87120 sf) but be sure to build some serious profit in as you will be moving a lot of leaves over longer distances.

    Whatever you do I hope you get the job. Maybe give him a discount if he signs a yearly mowing contract. ;-)

  3. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Lets say you bid this "cheap" to get into neighborhood. Would he share his price with neighbors who in turn will want cheap rates?, and/or with cheap price he may want you to do this cleanup year after year at your cheap price, and/or he may want to hire you for other work expecting the same cheap rate. Its a cycle thats tough to get out of if you let it happen.

    Don't sell yourself short. I bid jobs of this magniude on the high side because of all the variables involved. Your in business to make money, not rake leaves because you like to. Sure theres a sense of accomplishment to cleaning up a huge property-just make sure you make it worth your time.
  4. David Shaw

    David Shaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    As far as I know right now I have to haul em off. I'm using my Walker and a blower/vac and rakes. Hardly use the rakes. I don't want to bid it "cheap" just fair. I just haven't dealt with anything this size yet. Dave
  5. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Not sure how big your blower vac is but your walker with GHS should do a great job with a few trips to the curb. Perhaps you could sub-contract a truck with a big vac to come and get them from the curb when you are done? Then it almost becomes easy.
    Almost. :)

  6. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,902

    Dont worry about scaring him....you should have told him before you came out or before you do come out...let him know you are in a prestigeous area...you have a large property with alot of leaves and "my" company is going to do this job right its not a quick job and it will cost a bit of money but if you want price over quality your looking at the wrong guy....

    thats the typical thing I try to say i want the customer to know what kinda of money he is up against before I arive.
  7. David Shaw

    David Shaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    The Walker does a great job. It reduces the volume more than you would think. Like I said I didn't find out about this tilllate this afternoon. Haven't even been to see it yet. If it's light in leaves I don't think it'll be a big deal. If it's heavy as you know you're talking more time.
  8. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 955

    We do alot of larger houses. Today we did a house that was 4 acres with ALOT of leaves. I try to charge by the hour as much as possible. On larger jobs, if you havn't worked on the property before it can be hard to figure the job without doing it by the hour. For example the job we did today, we did a smaller job early this morning and then got to this job around 10:00, I told my crew that I wanted to try to be outa there by like 2:00 so we could get to another job, but we didn't acually get out of there untill 5:00 because the leaves where wet and heavier than I thought.

    so on the job today we had 6.5 hrs (- .5 hrs for lunch) w/ 3 guys = 19.5 man hours x my labor rate and thats what i charged.

    If you do have to give the guy a set price go higher than you think because it will probly take longer than you figure and definitly don't lowball it just to get the job.
  9. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Man, I wish I had customers like that.

    Let's just ASSUME a labor rate of $45 an hour, which I believe is LOW for leaves.

    19.5*45 is $877

    If the job took you 12 hours (10 to 2 is 4 hours, times 3 guys), you would of had a total bill of 12*45 which is $540. And I didn't even give you credit for lunch so say 3.5*3 is 9.5 hours which then would of only been a bill of $427. So it took twice as much to do it today.

    Or the customer paid an "extra" 337 just because you did the leaves today and not yesterday or tommorow.

    I totally realize that once leaves that thick are wet, they will stay wet. But I don't even know how to PSYCHOLOGICALLY tell a customer that "Well, it could be anywhere from $500 to $900 depending upon how long it takes...

    When the customer gets the bill for the $877 do they flip and hit the roof?

    I think your link show somerset county which I know is people with $$, and if they can afford 4 acres of property, then $300 extra for leaves is nothing to them at all when they are making $4000 a WEEK income ($200,000 salaries)...

    Did you ever run into a problem with these kind of bids?

  10. David Shaw

    David Shaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Tell me about it. I would like to get $45.00 an hour for leaves. But I don't think my market would stand it. I try hard not to lowball though.

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