Leaf Pile Removal Worth It?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by rlmlandscape, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. rlmlandscape

    rlmlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Was wondering from the guys out there who remove leaf piles for homeowners if it's really worth it. I heard from one of my buddies that it wasn't but I've also known him to price cheaply. I run a f350 dump with a 20hp towable leaf loader that can load up a normal lots leaves in 45min-1hr, and was thinking around $150 per house to pick up the leaves (I do have a place to dump for free). Was wondering if advertising for this would be worth it or you guys feel the money isn't there?
  2. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    it absolutely could be worth if you price stuff right and people bite at it, i'm not sure you would get 150 to suck up some leaves but you know your area, not me. but you should advertise for it.
  3. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I have done a lot of home owner pile pick-ups. My biggest problem was the home owner would put the piles where they are hard for you to get to, they would rake all the crap from the yard into the pile. You have to watch for bottles, cans, rocks and chunks of wood that could do damage to your truck loader. In years past there was a lot of calls for pile pickup but now most home owners ask for a fall cleanup.
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    You have the equipment to do it and you're asking?
  5. rlmlandscape

    rlmlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I'm asking if there is money in it. I know I have the equipment for it but do people pay to make it worth going out for it. Basically am I going to get over $100 to drive for 10-15min to a house and spend 30hr-45min to suck up the leaves then spend the time to take them to dump them or are people expecting lower prices for leaf pickup.
  6. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    I can't compete with free and that's what I have here in Charleston. Customer blows/rakes leaves to the curb and the city has a huge vacuum truck that drives around all the time sucking up piles. It's included in garbage fee that you pay if you live in city limits. Actually a good deal, my trash and fire bill is $16.25 per month. No limit on the amount. Just give them a call and they will pick up big stuff like appliances and furniture too. My leaf cleanups are push them to the curb inside city, push them to the trees out.
  7. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Back in the late 80's I was sucking up the leaves for a landscaping friend for $75 a pile, he would be there to help me load. I had a 30 hp vacuum so like yours it would go fast, sometimes not, it sounds like there is nothing to it but it still took time. You have to figure if it's for a home owner you will be doing all the work, and what if you get there and the piles are a mess, you want one big pile not allot of small ones. But was it worth it. yes. The only drawback for me was I had a ton of leaf jobs back then and it took my away from my jobs. You only have so much time for leaves till the ground freezes.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    We have city pick up here but there is always the budget pressure to cut services so I am interested in this. However I see the set up that the city uses and I cannot imagine that people would pay a premium for something that their taxes pay for now.
    The city uses a very sophisticated system of Holders with rakes to pull everything off the curbs into rows, a farmer is contracted with a hay baler retrofitted to bale leaves, the bales are dropped to the pavement and a front end loader picks them and drops them into full size dump trucks, a street sweeper cleans the stragglers. Very fast, very efficient and very expensive equipment.

    Here is my post from many years ago, they still do it this way. I am trying to put a pencil to paper to figure out how to price it for business but I get side tracked thinking how great this process the city uses really is.

  9. rlmlandscape

    rlmlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I guess I'll look into doing it if I get calls for it. Up where I am in Rhode Island people either need to have a landscape company pick up the leaves for them of they need to bag them in brown leaf bags and let the trash company pick it up. There is no township pickup around here.
  10. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    It's nice looking at it from a homeowner perspective, but I would get a lot more business if the city didn't do it.

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