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leaf removal

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by evergreenmike, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. evergreenmike

    evergreenmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I know of guys that charge 75 bucks a load when hauling away leaves whether they get charged to dump or not. is that fair? what is a fair rate per load if not be charged dump fee or just add it to labor hrs. i was thinking about dumping leaves on my property and making use out of them
  2. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    You could pay the people to take their leaves and make compost out of it. But then again, what happens to those leaves after you leave that property is not the owners business..is it?

    So, charge as much as your market will bear and do what you want with them.

    If you're scared of making as much as you can, you may be in the wrong business as lawn care has very low profits already.

    So don't be shy otherwise you'll be broke doing this.

  3. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I charge per yard on the ground. Then send them thru the loader. Just because I am becoming more efficient doesn't mean I am going to charge them less. We do pay $6 per yard to dump.
    I still have to pay for the new equipment and the time I save I can pick up more customers.
  4. All Season Bill

    All Season Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    In our area we can charge $90 for deliveries and $90 for debris removal.
    If it takes two trips than $180....etc.

    Last year we decided to raise our hourly labor rates. It was a bold move and it even looked expensive to us but after one year of using that rate it just became second nature to us and found out that some companies are even more expensive, so it didn't make us feel so bad. Oh yeah...and we made some money this year!
  5. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    That was and still is the hardest thing for me to do. We raised our mowing prices $5 a cut this year for the first time in four years. I thought we were going to get calls from our older customers complaing about the price. Not one customer batted an eye over it. (started thinking maybe it should have been $10) Fuel has gone up almost two dollars a gallon since we started, insurance goes up, employees need raises, and we can only eat so much of the over head and customers were very understanding. The way I see it is we do a really good job and we are a really nice company to deal with. I go out of my way to help customers and I do take into consideration older customers that are on a fixed income. You just have to remember that everyone even lco are on a fixed income. Their is always a company in your area that is a lower price and always a company that is higher. You just have to be the most reliable and back the work that you do.
  6. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Sure beats paying for someones cleanup. You charge x- amount and then subtract the dumping fee and fuel and your pay for employee(s). The job takes longer than your estimate. You end up making six dollars an hour your company makes nothing and you just payed for a customer to have a cleanup. This is not a charity most people that I work for make more than I do. I would rather they pay for their own cleanup or I could be working at a grocery store and making 7 an hour. The big ger I grow the less I worry about not getting a job because a customer cant pay my price. If they cant afford it they can go out buy a rake ($10) and a tarp($10) and do thier own cleanup. If they want to put a monatary value on their time and its less than mine, they can do it themselves.
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Fair? Of course. He tells them $75 and they say come and do it. Whats the problem. I charge $75 for sucking up leaves at properties that I dont do the cleanups at. If I do your cleanup there is a $30 disposal fee for the leaves if I have to haul them away. I adjust the $30 if it is only half a load. Oh by the way. I dump all my leaves at a farm for free.

    Break the $75 down some.
    He needs pay for work and drive time
    Needs money for the leaf loader
    Needs money for fuel.
    Needs money for wear and tear on truck
    his leaf box cost him money
    The list goes on and on. After he factors in all the costs for him to even do that one $75 load, he will have to do quite a few just to cover the costs

    I look at my prices and there is NO WAY IN HELL I would pay someone $200 to do a leaf cleanup, $200+ for my bush trimming, and $75 for grass cutting (I have over 1 acre). But as a business owner I HAVE to charge that much or more to cover the cost of business and be able to live a comfortable life.
  8. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I have to drive up to 30 minutes to the dump, spend anyway from 10 - 45 minutes waiting at the dump to be able to dump (depending on time of day), not including the time it takes to dump (just a few minutes) then up to another 30 minute drive back. So I charge atleast $60-75 per load for my time and about $15-20 extra for the county dump fee (if Im charged). In 6 years Ive never had anyone question the cost.

    My county does have leaf pick up service for the whole county. (1) Down county area - all you have to do is blow the leafs out to the curb and they will come by and suck them up. In the upper county you have to bag them up and place them at the curb and the county will come by once a week (wednesday) and pick up the bags. With this the problem is if its a thurs. you do the work the bags sit for a week before they get picked up. This is when most people choose the extra money to have me haul them away.
  9. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    when people tell me to "haul" or "drag" them into the woods i explain the labor in that will cost more than me hauling them to the dump. that stops that. if you need to justify hauling them, you need a truck with vac which costs alot of money. i get $100/load. if they still want them dumped on the property, $100/load. you need to learn to charge for the things you do. i was like you in the beginng, but when your investing tens of thousands in equiptment, esspecially fall cleanup equiptment you only use 2 months out of the yera, you better get compensated for that. and if the dump charges you, then add that to the $100/load.
  10. All Season Bill

    All Season Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I had an old lawn care guy tell me once, if you do a good job, they will run out with a check to give it to you. Well...I've never had anyone run out to me....but I know what he meant.

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