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Leaf cleanup idea

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by mowerbrad, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. stan the man

    stan the man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 702

    my min charge is 100.00.you have truck ins buss. ins and fuel for truck and fuel for vacuum time to go to dump some of my account that pick up for are 8 truck loads my box 8 wide 12 long 10 high. you are say 50.00. that tell me that you not have many leaves. i have 35 account that i do curb side leave pick up for
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,015

    That was my point as well, this is not a cheap business to be in and a very small window of opportunity to make money. Don't sell yourself short on this, people will pay higher prices than what you're talking about. There is nothing wrong with being a little cheaper, but not to the point you will loose money.
  3. stan the man

    stan the man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 702

    you are right they can 10 to 20 mins of work but my account will have all long the driveway along the road so you in out of the truck moving it went i do my account i get friend to help one one the vacuum on one with a rack i make 6000.00 to 10000.00 more a year doing curb side pick up and i have lco that i pick up for to and a lot sticks to in the leaves to.
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Well in no way is this idea going to happen this year. I'm trying to plan for next season. My main goal now, is just to see if there is a market for this type of service. Soon I'll start talking with people around my community to see what they think this type of service is worth or what they are willing to pay for this service. I know kind of what my expenses will be and how much I should be pulling in per hour

    Like I said, this is just the start. I have to get a price on how much it will cost to have a dump trailer built and I still have to decide on what brand and size truck loader I want to buy.
  5. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

  6. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Your forgetting to factor in his drive time to and from the dump as well as time spent at the dump not to mention his capital investment in a leaf loader etc, which aren't cheap. $50-$60 per pile he should charge, less if a customer has neighbors on the same street & same day that want the service.
  7. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,396

    hahaha, ya i didn't quite get all of that either...
  8. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    I'm sure it can be done. But before you start counting the money...

    Just imagine the hassles with scheduling so that they have their leaves piled up and ready to go exactly when you're in the neighborhood. Or wind blowing piles away before you arrive, scattering them and you getting blamed for leaving a mess. Or cars parked blocking your access to the pile w/o blocking traffic. Or ingesting some junk into your expensive machine the customers toss in. What happens when you show up and there are no leaves there because the game went into overtime and they didn't get around to it? Think they'll still pay up? And enjoy invoicing or collecting $50 checks from dozens of customers. I'm sure that wont' take long.

    Then think of having to field a phone call and answer questions, negotiate prices, get address info and directions, deal with problems, and give out your standard schpeel EVERY SINGLE TIME you want to make $50.

    I'd rather field ONE phone call, deal with ONE person, and collect about $1500 for a mowing/leaf cleanup season by squeezing one more of those in rather than deal with 30 collecting their raked leaves for peanuts.

    It's one thing if you're making small $$$ on scheduled year round service. But one offs? No thanks. A garbage man can do quite well at $5/stop because he has 30 stops on that street and it takes 1 min each and they pay 52 weeks a year, year after year, with one call to field. But this is different.

    You'd be better off trying to work something out with LCO's who each have dozens of accounts for you.
  9. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,015

    If you read this to yourself with a Cajun accent it all makes sense.
  10. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I have no problem with hard work to get the jobs. I can handle a large volume of calls and I'm very familiar with my area so directions really aren't needed, plus I could always just turn my TOMTOM on in the truck.

    The one thing that I am seeing as a potential problem is giving the customer a price. Obviously it would be inconvenient for me to go out to the customer's house, look at the pile and then call them back later with a quote for the pile, hoping that they say "yes". I will have to have a minimum charge obviously.

    Since people would call before hand, I could set up a good route for the days that I'd be out. Most of my service area is subdivisions, so the houses can be pretty close together, so hopefully travel time would be minimal.

    Of course I'd bring rakes and a backpack blower to clean up a little around the pile. But you are right that the wind could really make a mess out of the pile, blowing leaves all around the lawn.

    I'm thinking I would do the clean-ups at least every monday, since most people would be cleaning up their lawn on the weekends. Or I could always work during the weekend if needed.

    I still have lots of planning to do before I really start to move forward with this idea.

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