Leaf Removal

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by barefootlawnsandlandscape, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    First year in business, everything is going well. I was planning for the fall and was wanting to get your opinions on the best way to go about building a successful leaf removal clientel for the fall. I have my contracts that I will be doing, but I want to add more. I am going to send out a mailer to all my current customers telling them I will be doing leaf removal and Christmas light installation. I was wondering, do you charge the same for leaf removal per visit to your regular customers as you do to mow their yards. I definitely planned on charging more to new customers that enlist my services for the fall due to the disposal of the leaves. I was just thinking that since these people have been loyal to me throughout the year it would be nice to give them a break on the leaf removal. I was also wondering how do most of you go about removing the leafs, rake and tarp, bag w/ZTR, mow into center of yard then bag and tarp. Thanks for the help in advance and be careful in the heat.
  2. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Actually a very good question...I started last year and didnt do alot of leaf removal so im curious what the seasoned pros have to say.
  3. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    this year $150 min. includes 2 visits, increses with property size and almost doubles if i have to remove the debris. I will be using the cyclone rake or a OEM bagger unit so it won't take so long. but leaves are a pain, charge accordingly. and if the min is $150 for current customers, then charge $200 min, for new or cleanup only customers.
  4. bls47303

    bls47303 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 354

    $55 an hour
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    RULE: Always save your winter money first!
    exceptions: first year Lco's may find saving a bit difficult, but remember it for next year.
    REASON: So you can do what follows.

    RULE: I do leaves first and foremost for my regular grass customers who have been with me at least ALL year, and if they haven't been a royal pita the whole year. Anyone else, I don't care who they are, can wait until the above customers are taken care of, and if I don't have the time, oh well.
    REASON: Because *everybody* will call you for leaves! Translation: You will get skru'd.
    Ok, some you win, but you will lose on more than a few. Sorry, this appears inevitable. Thus, I find it best to deal with those customers who have already spent good money on my lawn services so that when I lose money on leaves, it's a little more tolerable. Yeah I still get mad but it's not so bad.

    $50 pmh with the 10hp pushblower, $40 pmh with the backpack, and for hauling, it's $200 per 6x12x2 trailer load (which, if I'm hauling them, the $200 includes everything, but it's per trailer load). Most every yard I have ever dealt with took 1-4 hours to wipe clean, longer if hauling is involved (usually, a half a day per trailer load). Keep in mind the days get awful short, and it's so dang chilly in the early hours of the am that if I get 4-6 hours of work done, that is good.

    One or two visits, I don't care, it doesn't matter thou I prefer two because the leaves are always easiest at the beginning.
    Once it rains they get a little harder to deal with, and every rain after that it gets worse. Heavens help if it snows lol!

    p.s.: I do have a few leaves ONLY customers, but I cherry pick big time.
  6. keith_480231

    keith_480231 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Any suggestions on what would be a good starting average price in SEMichigan? And also why would you lose on any leaf deal?
  7. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    So are you guys saying that you just blow the leaves off the property w/a little wonder or backpack. I am assuming that is where possible, otherwise the tarp and haul or mow and bag method has to be used. So, in neighborhoods you pretty much have to haul, but on larger properties you guys just remove the leaves from the maintained areas by blowing or I assume directing the chute to the desired areas. I was also wondering how many of you guys do Christmas light installation and how successful that was for you. I am hoping to have enough contracts next year not to have to worry with doing this much work in the winter, but I need to keep the worker I have busy and need to feed my baby girl. I have some winter money saved but not enough to feel comfortable enough to just sit back and not advertise for these services.

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