Leaf removal truck

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Elitelawnoutdoorservices, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Elitelawnoutdoorservices

    Elitelawnoutdoorservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Fall is on the way and lawns aren't gonna need cutting, so I took a leap and bought a vacuum truck. My plan is to offer curb side as well as full service. No one to my knowledge has a large vac system in my area, so I plan on offering my service to local lawn guys as well.
    The truck has some age, but in overall great condition. Gonna paint it, letter it up, and give it a good maintenance once I pick it up. Hopefully I made a good decision. Any encouraging words or advice is highly welcomed. IMG_0895.PNG IMG_0896.PNG
     
  2. Elitelawnoutdoorservices

    Elitelawnoutdoorservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Well I picked the truck up today. Made the 200 mile trip without any problems. Tried out the vacuum on a pile of leaves and pinestraw that I had once I made it home. They were gone in no time.
    I'm going to start putting a plan together for pricing, marketing, and finding a good pile of leaves somewhere so that I can get familure with pile size and timing.
     
  3. GrassManKzoo

    GrassManKzoo LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Kalamazoo, MI
    Messages: 3,370

    That's a cool truck my man!
     
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  4. Elitelawnoutdoorservices

    Elitelawnoutdoorservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks! It's a Odb Scl800tm. I couldn't pass up the deal I got.
     
  5. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,343

    When offering curb only pickup (stuff you didn't collect) sticks and stuff that shouldn't be in there might be a problem. You'll need to be very insistent on this.

    The way I do my leaves is I go around with my mower with collection system on my mowing setup (Isuzu NPR) and pile the leaves by the curb in a row more less. I then make a round with the debris loader/dump trailer with a different truck with the wife driving and I load/collect the leaves. I'm a solo guy so this is the most efficient way for me. If you're working with someone I suppose you'd take both trucks with you at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    hort101 likes this.
  6. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,879

    On pricing...A pile this big ( ) can take a very short time, or a very long time if it's wet.

    If the customer makes the pile of leaves, you won't know whats in it. Also a pile is easier to suck up than a long row in most cases. Leaves blown loose to the curb are much easier to suck up, than those pushed together with a mower or even tarped. They get packed together.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    ltdlawn likes this.
  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,343

    As far as row vs. pile, I guess it depends on your situation. I prefer row due to the fact I have someone driving and slowly moving up with the row. If I "pile" them up I have to stop vacuuming and rake the pile closer. These are leaves that have been collected by a mower so they don't blow away like ones that have been blown to the curb like some do.
     
  8. Elitelawnoutdoorservices

    Elitelawnoutdoorservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the replies. I've spoke with a handful of local lawn guys and they all said they would for sure use me over bagging this year. Pricing I was thinking somewhere in the ballpark of $40 for the first 15 min and $10 for every 5 min after. If I get hoa I will do a flat rate or something. Around here their won't be many that go past 15 min if they are piled right in a row.
     
  9. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,879

    You are correct about the row vs pile. I blow and kick the pile. raking seems like the hard way. Leaves that have been mulched and vacuumed up with a mower are harder to vacuum. Charging by the time instead of the size of the pile is the best way. I personally never feel comfortable paying someone by the hour, with an open ended cost. If I'm interested in the job, I may go look and give a price, but usually, for a one time customer It's $75 for the 1st 30 minutes and stop me after 30 minutes if you're not delighted with the production rate.
     
  10. Elitelawnoutdoorservices

    Elitelawnoutdoorservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    What size vacuum are you using? I haven't really gotten to put much time on this one yet. I just got it last week and we don't have many leaves on the ground yet.
     

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