Leaf collection in comfort.

Sometimes all it takes is an upgrade to your lawn care equipment to really make a change in your ability to perform a job as well as improve profits. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who decided to go bigger this year with his leaf collection method and the results really blew him away.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I added a tow behind lawn vac unit to my compact utility tractor this year in anticipation of leaf cleanups. The day I got the vac unit the weather was getting colder with wet flurries, but I wanted to try it out as soon as I got it. The sun was setting when I got everything hooked up and I mowed my entire lawn with the deck on and the results were spotless.

I have no idea how many gallons of leaves I collected but I have 16 mature maple trees on my property and the leaves were probably 4″ thick on the ground with 80% of them having fallen. I checked inside the unit and the product left is just as they advertise. It shreds the leaves into an almost powder. The manufacturer reports a 10 to 1 shredding. I would guess the unit is 1/4 full tops and that is over an acre cleaned.

Leaf Vac

Leaf Vac

It took me 45 seconds to dump those shredded leaves. I also bought the accessories to collect leaves 30 feet from the unit using an 8″ hose and another attachment that allows me to suck the shredded leaves and place them in a neat pile on the customers property.

Hauling leaves to a dump site for me is not an option due to cost and time. I also feel one can give the customer a perfect option and upsell by giving them compost by spring. Every customer I have has gardens of some sort.

I always have reasons for doing things. I am willing to bet I will pick up an additional 50+ annual lawn care contracts by performing such a high quality leaf cleanup service. I use hi lift mulching blades on all my equipment. The leaves are probably 60% shredded before they even hit the vacuum unit in back. By the time it does go through the vac the leaves are shredded to just powder.

Leaf Vac

Leaf Vac

The leaf collection unit is on a small trailer that is towed behind my tractor and it will hold 315 gallons of leaves. I have no idea how heavy that many leaves would be but the tractor it is attached to is four wheel drive all wheel steer with a diff lock front and rear. Weight should not matter. I do wonder is how tippy it will get though.

Now here is what I have been doing this fall season and man does it work well. Just for example I will collect your leaves for $65.00. If we haul them away it’s an additional $25.00 however if we dump them on your property, we will sell you an organic compost activator for $35.00 (it cost me $14.80). If you apply the product, you will have compost in the spring for your flowers. So far not one person has asked to have them hauled away.

This time of the year we have too much wind to be blowing leaves into a tarp or fence. That method just takes too much time.

I have 107 residential and commercial properties to perform fall cleanups on. This is all from no advertising at all other than my website, and sending an email to all the customers I worked for this past year. I am about at the limit of what I can handle for the rest of this year.

I did a five acre property and only had to dump twice. The job took me and a helper two hours and I charged $350.00. The customer gave us each a $50 dollar bill tip. The leaves were on average 5″ thick and we were all shocked at the positive results.

I am kicking myself for not buying such a unit last year. If you are looking to improve your operation and profitability, consider getting one of these tow behind leaf vacs for your mower. You’ll be glad you did.”

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