Questions about upcoming Fall...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mister_snowplow, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Solo here and owner of a part-time LCO (Wintergreen, LLC). I have 7 residential clients (average 7,500sq ft) that I service in the afternoon/evening when I get out of my full-time job. Everything has been going smoothly so far (mowing, trimming, blowing, etc.), but I am beginning to get a little worried about the upcoming Fall. I'm worried because as the Fall approaches the sun is setting earlier giving me less and less time to mow and completely service my lawns. On top of the sun setting earlier each day I will have to deal with leaves. I know I'm not going to have the time after my full-time job to pick up the leaves and mow my clients lawns before the sun sets. I was contemplating servicing all of my clients on the weekend where I would pick up leaves, and mow in one shot. Or, I was considering picking up leaves on the weekend and then returning on my scheduled weekday night to mow...and whatever leaves are on the ground at that time I'd mulch and suck up in the grass gobbler (I have a 36" Bobcat Classic). I realize the gobbler will fill up very quickly. Honestly, I really want to find the most efficient method and if that method is completely servicing my clients on the weekend then so be it. If this were your problem, how would address it? Thanks for the advice guys...I appreciate it.

  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    I move all or most of my lawns to the weekend then work on the weekdays after school to pickup leaves till i can't see anymore. Having my dad help in the fall is nice too. You gotta haul ass to get the job done, though that is why i hate fall, tons of work, short lighting, and have to work on weekends. Good Luck
  3. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Thanks for the response.

    I don't mind working on the weekends, I just want to find the most efficient way to service my clients in the limited amount of sunlight that I have. I like your method and will most likely try it.

    Anybody else?
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The weekend thing is a great idea, however, consider this. When it rains, you are dead in the water all week.
    Try this...I don't know how far out your jobs are from your base, but here is how we do some. Plan ahead and get your cutting and gathering done first. The leaf piles can be picked up in the dark. Remember, it may be dark, but it's not all that late. In the first place, remember that you are NOT piling leaves into "piles", anyway. you will leave them in rows. Why? Because if you pile them into individual piles, you are wasting ALOT of time creating more work for yourself. You are spending time pushing leaves that inevitibally will have to go out anyway. Leave them in a row and pile them onto the tarp (if this is the method you're using) from there. When you get the section of leaves on the tarp, you pull the tarp down to the next section. THEN you will "clean" the area that the tarp was just at by pushing the scrap stuff toward the tarp and pile again. In other words, DON'T spend time knitpicking around edges of the tarp to get it clean when you have 60ft. of heavy leaf row to go. Otherwise, you are worrying about the peanuts while the elephants are stampeding away.
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    thats what i do, i do exactly as runner suggested, but after the leaves are in a row, i get out the old lawn tractor, lift the deck up some, and chop em up into the three plastic bin bagger attachment, go dump that into the truck and then go get some more...
  6. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    I wish i could do what runner said. But with school, i just have to haul ass until dark then come home and do homework (if i didn't do it in school!) I would prefer to spend my weekends mowing than picking up leaves. Mowing is like a vacation compared to that!! I need to stick with my original plan until i get my lisence to drive myself around. Also, this is the easiest on my parents too.
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    hahahh funny, hey mowing might be like a vacation, but fall cleanups can be good money makers, go out for the year with a bang buddy payup payup
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    That is definatly true, money wise, i couldn't go with out it. Also, by mowing on weekends, it gives my dad the weekend off too. Good Luck with your fall, i hope i have been of some help or at least a few laughs (sp) !!
  9. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Thanks for responding to my post everybody.

    I'm going to take all of your ideas and try to incorporate them into this upcoming leaf season. Hopefully this will allow me to be more efficient in the small amount of light that I'll have after I get out of my full-time job.

    - Runner
    Most of my clients are within a 10-15 minute drive from my full-time job. Good point about the rain, although if it is only sprinkling I would still go out and pick up leaves. I like your idea about loading the leaves onto a tarp, I'm going to give that a shot. Question: If you are solo how do you go about getting a tarp full of leaves into the back of your truck? I have a feeling I'm going to have to ask one of my friends for help and pay them hourly. I'm also hoping that if I keep the lawn clean every week that the amount of leaves I pick up won't be as overwhelming as if I picked them all up at the end of the season. Any other advice is most appreciated.

    - mcwlandscaping
    Looks like you got a pretty good business going for you. How old are you...15? Sounds like you are very goal oriented and driven, which is a great thing. I'm 26, just started my business last fall (only leaf pickup then, no lawn maintenance). I plowed for 20 clients through the winter (great winter) and just started with the lawn maintenance this spring. As I mentioned in my first post, the lawn maintenance part went for the most part smoothly, although I feel I most likely slightly under bid because of my lack of knowledge and experience. I'll be better prepared next year and my bids will be competitive. I really love working for myself and watching my business grow. I have high hopes for my business and I hope to be able to get to the point where it is my full-time job (hopefully in 2-3 years). By that time I'll have the tools, knowledge, experience, and hopefully the clients to make the jump. Good luck with your business. When you get your license you should look into plowing...good money there, and I happen to think it is a lot of fun.

    Again, thanks to all for the advice. Take care. :waving:
  10. southlin

    southlin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Well i was gonna reply, looks like these guys fixed u up. This is a great site.

    Like shootin fish in a barrel

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