Small Parking lot clean-up

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by upward lawn, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. upward lawn

    upward lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Looking for some advice from folks with experience in cleaning off small parking lots. We work a lot in a beach tourist community (barrier island) and have the opportunity to pick up several commercial accounts there. These are small strip shopping centers. They generally have a few small strips of grass, a number of shrub beds and small parking lots (20 - 40 cars).

    I'm good as far as having a handle on the grass/beds/mulch/pruning/etc. But what I don't have a handle on is the parking lot maintenance. The owner wants them cleaned off once per week. Naturally there is a lot of sand as well as some cigarette butts as well as some other trash.

    I'm looking to determine the best method/equipment to use. To considerations are that I need to keep the initial investment cost low and these are small lots. I have backpack blowers but I not sure they would be the best way to go here (other than blowing off grass clippings) as I need to REMOVE the sand and trash, no where to blow it to. I'm leaning toward a small vacuum style machine. I'm looking for recommendations on equipment to use and any other suggestions you might have regarding this service.
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Do you have a skid steer? How about a sweeper attachment
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  3. upward lawn

    upward lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Nope, no skid steer. Right now I just have a couple of Zero turn mowers, a walk behind mower and an assortment of blowers, trimmers, etc. Definitely don't have the money for a skid steer right now but that does seem like a good way to go if...........
  4. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,020

    You can use one of these:waving:

  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    I do small and large parking lots. On the small ones is usually done with brooms, blowers and dust pan buckets. I will say the best advice is just do it one time for free and you will get a feel for it. I would guess 1 guy .5 to 1 hour or 2 for 1/2 hour. The lots I take care of I also do the lawn care and bed maint, each one has some cigarrete stations, and then there is the dumping in the back with pallets and so on. These are not big money makers but they do pay the bills. Plus if they can call one company to do it all it will make you more than the mow and blow companys. They will call with other things to be done. For instance last weekend a car hit the front of the building and I went over and boarded it up. GOOD MONEY! Done this a few time in the past few years.
  6. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    Absolutley. I do a ton of extra work that keeps me busy and making money. Why call me? "We didn't know who to call.", is the most frequent reason I hear. I gladly do the work and turn down nothing.

    As far as the task at hand, I'm thinking backpack blowers, very early in the morning (before cars), blowing to one end of the lot(s), and sweeping up from there. Get yourself, nice, commercial-quality trash cans on dolly platforms. They'll easily roll around and not wear holes in the bottom of the cans. I have a couple 32gal from these guys.
  7. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    You have it, I do most of mine Monday mornings early. 2 times a week get them Wednesday or Thursdays.
  8. upward lawn

    upward lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Great feedback guys, thanks! Looks like blowers/brooms/trash cans should do the trick from what I'm reading. That's great as I already have those. The jobs include refreshing mulch, stone, monthly hedge trimming, weekly mowing, trimming, edging so this will be another "add-on" service to bring in some additional money. Plus I like the idea of being able to start early in the day (maybe at 6am in the summer), can't do residential that early.
  9. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Yes we start real early as in 3am to 5am in the dead of summer, nothing better than being done at noon on one of the 100 plus degree days! Might look into parking lot striping. I picked a striper up a few years back and it is a big plus. Several of the striping companys in Tulsa won't mess with 50 or less parking lots. I have some of them refer me, so I get a few together and hit them all in one evening.
  10. upward lawn

    upward lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I really like the paint striping idea, would be a great service to offer during the off season. These two properties just had their lots painted but they'll need it again and there are others. Might try adding that service next year.

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