Leaf cleanup idea

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

  1. Green Industry Pro

    Green Industry Pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Tyler Texas
    Messages: 305

    Awesome idea, I believe a dump trailer and leaf vacuum is definitely the way to go. I would probably charge $30 for 1 removal, I know others have suggested higher rates, but you have to look at it from the client's view. They do all the work of cleaning them up and putting them into a pile and all you are doing is vacuuming up the pile(awesome idea) but I don't think people would easily pay too much for that. Obviously depending on the size of the job you charge more, but I can't really help you too much because I don't know your exact situation and I myself haven't ever done this sort of job either. I might try doing this myself..thanks for the idea. Good luck

    GOD BLESS AMERICA:usflag::usflag::usflag:
  2. stan the man

    stan the man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 702

    break down truck ins. business ins. truck gas. vacuum gas. payment of vacuum. your labor. dump ran. backpack blower use and fuel 30.00 cover that. i am glad i dont work for free i am out to make money
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    $75 min here. No way you can be profitable at $30. I wont even do it for $75 anymore
  4. stan the man

    stan the man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 702

    my min 100.00 and all the money i make goes away for new equipment that i get the new mower i got this payed cash
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Wow...just wow. $30? You're gonna invest $6k in a dump trailer and $3k in a leaf loader, spend time with the customer on the phone, drive there (don't forget truck expenses), do the job, dump your load, invoice the job, enter the payment, deposit the check and do everything else associated with managing an account for $30?!!!!! THAT'S INSANE!!!!
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    what i think is insane is paying $50 plus for someone to come and spend what 10 min, lets be generous and say 30 min. at the most, standing there sucking up leaves.

    i'd have a hard time charging much more than my hourly rate. especially since my hourly rate already takes into consideration all the items already listed (truck insurance, fuel, etc.)

    it's already been said before that i have a totally different outlook on this business. when i price jobs i try to think like a client. not saying that is the determining factor because i do have to make a living and i do have my hourly rate. but what i said above is looking at it from a client point of view. thats an insane price.

    i would never pay $100 for just one pick up so i wouldn't expect anyone to pay me $100 for a pick up. i know in this business we try to work smarter not harder, but when people are paying for services they expect physical work to be done. the higher the price the harder and more physical labor work they expect.
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Don't forget that the leaves don't magically disappear from your truck or trailer either. You have to go somewhere to dump then.

    You have to expect to pay a premium for something that is darn close to an emergency service...at least it is around here..there's very little time between when the leaves stop falling and the snow starts falling.

    After you spend a day or 2 vaccing leaves, I think you'd change your mind about how much to charge. It's hard, equipment intensive dirty work!
  8. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    Add another chunk of change for the wonderful dot inspections.

    And add double to the trailer set up because we all know things don't break down.

    The $30 dollar idea is nuts because the work isn't in getting a fluffy pile of leaves to the curb. It won't take them anytime to tarp it there, and they'll be wondering where the truck's at. They want it gone like right now
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here we go again, now I don't mean to point out the obvious ...
    But it should not cost more because for some reason or another, whatever the job,
    the cost should stay the same regardless of equipment or method.
    Don't we charge by the amount of work?

    Thus it can not be cheaper with a more expensive piece of equipment, but it really
    shouldn't cost more either, matter of fact it should come out to about the same.

    I mean, unless you like spending a lot of money so you can work for less...
  10. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Any and all equipment that I will need to buy for this venture (ie, dump trailer and leaf vac) will be paid for in cash. I have never financed a purchase and don't plan to anytime soon. So I will have absolutely no payments to make on ANYTHING.

    When towing my truck gets 8-10mpg...so lets assume 8mpg. I already mapped out what I would consider a fairly busy day doing the leaf pile "sucking" and it came out to be 85 miles including all trips to my dump site. So lets just say 100 miles to make things even...that means I would burn 12.5 gallons of fuel driving from job to job and to my dump sight. Add in an extra 25% for while my truck may idle during the day which would be an extra 3 gallons per day, for a total of 15.5 gallons per day. I'm not too sure how much fuel the leaf vac would use but lets say 4.5 gallons per day to make for an even 20 gallons total between the leaf vac and my truck. And at $3.50/gallon, that'd be $70 per day just in fuel costs.

    For business insurance I would need about $5/day during the season to pay for it (that's using a very generous number too). For truck insurance I would need $10/day during the season to pay for it (again using a generous number). So my insurance should be covered by $15/day.

    For maintenance costs, lets say $0.40/mile on the truck...so for each full day of "sucking" I do (or 100 mile day) I will have to have $40 to pay for truck maintenance. Then for each hour I use my leaf vac, I'd have to have $2 for maintenance costs and $2 for depreciation costs. So if the vac runs a total of 5 hours in a busy day (fairly generous number if you ask me)...I'd need $20 to cover maintenance and depreciation costs.

    As far as the trailer, lets say I'll need $0.20/mile. So that same 100 mile day, I'd need $20 to cover maintenance costs on the trailer

    And just to be safe lets add an extra $20/day for any unexpected happening.

    This all makes for a total of $145 per day just in expenses. I'd like to say that this would all be in an 8 hour day which would be about $18/hour, so lets say my expenses (not including paying me) will cost me $20/hour. I know I will have to replace the money in my bank account that I would spend on the dump trailer and leaf vac. I will also need to pay myself for doing this.

    So to conclude, my expenses will be $20/hour just to run this rig...that's just breaking even and not making any money back.

    Now I figure I can do 2-3 lawns in my area per trailer full. A lawn in my area will fill about 5+/- yards worth in a trailer (I know this through experience) after going through a leaf vac. So with a 6x12 dump trailer and sides either 4' above the existing 2' sides or 6' sides above the existing 2' sides...I can hold between 16 and 20 yards worth of leaves.

    I think a minimum amount will definatley have to be set. Right now, I'm thinking a minimum of $50. Once I start talking to more people about this around my community, I should have a better idea what people are willing to pay and if this will be a profitable service for me based on what the potential customer will be willing to pay.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010

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