PDA

View Full Version : Next Years Leaf War...Need Input


mojob
11-17-2006, 11:34 AM
I have this one account that has kicked my a$$ this fall. Five acres with 18 buildings and wall to wall trees. There's a narrow strip of grass between the buildings and the parking lot and at times this fall it was under about four inches of leaves. I've been using my Walker to suck up the leaves and then dumping at different points around the parking lot and picking it up later. It's very time consuming because you have to mow really slow or it just clogs the chute. There's not enough grass area to disperse the leaves to mulch so I don't see any other way to deal with this. To speed things up I was thinking of installing one of those high dump options on the walker or just getting a leaf loader. I use an enclosed trailer so the idea of using the trailer as a ramp up to the back of my dump bed is out. Does anybody have a better idea? Will a leaf loader be strong enough to suck up chopped up leaves?

Ron's Lawncare
11-17-2006, 12:53 PM
Yes a leaf loader will suck up grass clippings, chopped leaves as long as you get at least a 16hp unit.

petekief
11-17-2006, 01:26 PM
if you could fit a cyclone rake and mower in your trailer would there be enough room on your truck for the mulched leaves - you could blow them from the bagger to the truck - they seem to be nice units and well thought of here?!?

smarino21
11-17-2006, 01:39 PM
get a leaf loader on a trucka n blo in one big pile

topsites
11-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Get a 10+ hp push blower.
That, or the Jrco leaf rake.

That way you can move piles of leaves until they're waist high.

grassaholic
11-17-2006, 02:13 PM
I'd have to say you need a leaf loader. I also have to agree that you need a 16 hp model or more. The more power you have, the less likely you are to clog the loader with wet leaves or grass. I run Walker mowers and use a 16 Hp Billy Goat loader to suck up piles of grass and leaves. You could mount the loader on the tailgate of your dump trailer and enclose it.

mojob
11-17-2006, 04:07 PM
The one thing I don't like about the leaf loader is the box you have to build for the truck. I have a 9 yard dump bed on my truck that has expanded metal (mesh) sides. Have you ever seen anyone use a flexable enclosure such as heavy canvas. I was thinking it could attach to the discharge chute on the loader and snap to the perimeter of the truck bed. This way I could continue to use my dumptruck for other things without too much hassle. What do you think? Also, you can't pull a trailer with a loader mounted on the back of the truck, can you?

Envy Lawn Service
11-18-2006, 01:51 AM
Personally, I suggest you get or fab a good leaf plow for the walker, get some 8001's and set your truck up with a leaf loader and box.

This way you can drop and plow to an access point. This way you push the majority of them, and the walker can suck up any escapees. Done quick, fast and in a hurry with no BSing around with them.

That's my current 2 cents anyways. I've always just mulched everything until just this fall, and what I have figured out is that time and labor wise, blowing and/or bagging is about like taking a knife to a gunfight when there is a serious amount of leaves to deal with.

hmalexan
11-18-2006, 02:36 AM
Personally, I suggest you get or fab a good leaf plow for the walker, get some 8001's and set your truck up with a leaf loader and box.

This way you can drop and plow to an access point. This way you push the majority of them, and the walker can suck up any escapees. Done quick, fast and in a hurry with no BSing around with them.

That's my current 2 cents anyways. I've always just mulched everything until just this fall, and what I have figured out is that time and labor wise, blowing and/or bagging is about like taking a knife to a gunfight when there is a serious amount of leaves to deal with.

Did you fab your leaf plow? I looked into buying one last year but decided not to. Just lowered the deck and moved them. Probally not the best thing in the world. They couldnt be that hard to make.

Envy Lawn Service
11-18-2006, 02:46 AM
Did you fab your leaf plow? I looked into buying one last year but decided not to. Just lowered the deck and moved them. Probally not the best thing in the world. They couldnt be that hard to make.

Nah... I've been doing the same thing actually.

I haven't had to use that method a lot to speed things up, and I really haven't had the time to fab anything yet.

hmalexan
11-18-2006, 03:23 AM
Do you know of any good specs out there? If I can recall JRCO was selling them last year for around $700. Would definatly be cheaper to fab our own.

David Haggerty
11-18-2006, 10:52 AM
I have used a small truck mounted loader and just extended the hose to where the leaves were. I used a 20' section of 4" corrugated flexible black poly. It's really cheap at any Loew's etc.
Really worked well, hardly any loss of suction over the added length. And I only had to handle the leaves once.

The only problem was the sound it made. Something about those corrugations made it howl like a tornado siren. Had to wear ear plugs and ear muffs just to stand the noise.
Funny, but that customer never mentioned leaves next year.

Tagg
11-19-2006, 09:43 PM
Try the CYCLONE Rake. It will work to vaccuum the leaves thru the mower deck, Load the leaves thru a 7" x 17' or 32' vaccuum hose or load from the mower deck hose which is a 8" hose about 6' long. it will also give you the capability to unload the hopper with the 7" x 17' hose and load a truck from the blower unit with I believe a 8" discharge hose. We run ours which is a 300 gallon unit with a 6 hp engine behind a Gravely 16-G tractor it does an EXCELLENT JOB in leaves of all formations. We had to even use it in leaves approx. 3' deep that where piled with a blower and unable to get moved any further along. We just picked up the mower deck to get the highest point available to get over the leaves and then go back over the area again to complete the loading process. This year Cyclone Rake has a 415 gallon unit with a 7 hp and JetPath technology which really appears to be a 45 degree turnout at the blower. Goto www.cyclonerake.com for info. I used it today to reload a double load pile of basically compost that had alot of grass clippings in it that was unloaded in a incorrect area 3 weeks ago, it was almost dirt, it composts that fast, it sucked it right up and unloaded to another area for the township leaf truck to collect. Sorry for the extra long post , but the Cyclone Rake is the only way , holds about 1/2 gallon of gas and runs for about 4 hours working. P.S. you can also fold the unit up to store between jobs inside of your trailer in minutes.:cool2: :cool2: :cool2:

Idealtim
11-19-2006, 11:05 PM
The obvious and simplest way to do this job to me is to go over the whole place with a different mower(that doesn't bag) a few times so the leaves are like confetti, then use the walker. Is there something I'm missing that prohibites this? 5 loads of the walker will turn into 1 or 2. It is a dramatic difference, and your chute won't clog. Hi lift for getting them in the truck.

mojob
11-20-2006, 01:01 AM
Hey Tagg, thanks for taking the time to reply, but that setup is basically the same as a walker. Idealtim, the problem I'm facing is the location of the leaves. The bulk of the leaves (at times this fall were 4-6" deep) are located right in front of the buildings on a narrow strip of grass. In between the buildings and the grass are shrub beds and then each building has about four walkways leading to the units. I think if I tried to mulch it up first the leaves would just go everywhere. Someone suggested a wb blower, but I think that would just cause a leaf explosion sending the leaves out into the parking lot in and around all the cars. The leaves that didn't go into the parking lot would end up in the holly bushes or in all the nooks and crannies around their front doors. I'm leaning toward the hi-dump option walker has and maybe fabricate some sort of leaf plow/rake for the front of the deck. Thanks for all the help so far.

hmalexan
11-20-2006, 07:51 PM
Try the CYCLONE Rake. It will work to vaccuum the leaves thru the mower deck, Load the leaves thru a 7" x 17' or 32' vaccuum hose or load from the mower deck hose which is a 8" hose about 6' long. it will also give you the capability to unload the hopper with the 7" x 17' hose and load a truck from the blower unit with I believe a 8" discharge hose. We run ours which is a 300 gallon unit with a 6 hp engine behind a Gravely 16-G tractor it does an EXCELLENT JOB in leaves of all formations. We had to even use it in leaves approx. 3' deep that where piled with a blower and unable to get moved any further along. We just picked up the mower deck to get the highest point available to get over the leaves and then go back over the area again to complete the loading process. This year Cyclone Rake has a 415 gallon unit with a 7 hp and JetPath technology which really appears to be a 45 degree turnout at the blower. Goto www.cyclonerake.com for info. I used it today to reload a double load pile of basically compost that had alot of grass clippings in it that was unloaded in a incorrect area 3 weeks ago, it was almost dirt, it composts that fast, it sucked it right up and unloaded to another area for the township leaf truck to collect. Sorry for the extra long post , but the Cyclone Rake is the only way , holds about 1/2 gallon of gas and runs for about 4 hours working. P.S. you can also fold the unit up to store between jobs inside of your trailer in minutes.:cool2: :cool2: :cool2:

How much money are we talking about?

LawnGuyFromTheFuture
11-20-2006, 08:31 PM
How much money are we talking about?
Anywhere from $1400 to $2100 for the commercial pro depending on upgrades and attachments.

michigan mulcher
11-25-2006, 07:59 PM
2 men with Redmax8001. Or if you can run a mulcher over the leaves and reduce them to chips, maybe 2xs over the leaves, then pick them up with your'e grasscather and I find that I can go over 5 times the distance before I have to dump. I use a tt60/mulch kit and can mulch piles 5' high and 200' long. The trick is to jump the deck up in the air. I then catch the fine chips with my tt60/accelarator bagger/leaf extender. On top of my deck is a JRCO 55 gallon tub that I can dump the leaf bagger in to save a trip to the dump site. As long as it is dry, you can mulch the leaves. I have even mulched leaves in the road.I have 1 customer that I blow all the leaves off the shrubs and ivy into a clearing in the woods and mulch them into about a 6" thick pile of golden mulch(oak leaves).I could never do that with wet muddy Norway Maple leaves but in this particular instance the conditions were perfect. Out of 52 customers I mulch about 30 and only if we have dry conditions, which is rare. With all the rain and wet snow we get, the fastest way to do leaves in tight areas is with a strong backpack blower and if you have even terrain a JRCO plow or homemade plow. In big open areas a push blower might be the most effecient way but you can also mow the leaves toward the target area as this further reduces the amount to collect. But in your'e case I think I would use 2 men with the Redmax 8000 backpacks. If you work side by side and together you can blow off shrubs, groundcover, and grass with amazing speed and can move 6' piles of dry leaves if you know how to do it. Also use a leaf plow, it saves a lot of time raking and dragging tarps.

If I was to do this job solo, I would set my deck on 3.5" or higher or lower depending on how thick the leaves were and the length of grass. The trick is too set it just high enough to let leaves go under the deck without plowing too much. However, the higher you set your'e deck, the less the leaves get mulched and you get the dreaded blowout on the sides. I then make a second pass over the leaves if there is a lot of them and set my deck a half inch lower. If there are thick piles of leaves I plow and gobble as I go. So the end result will be few leaves and in some areas will be thick with mulch and so thick that they completly covers the grass and there might even be a layer of matted up leaves underneath. I then go over it with my turf tracer and bagger and set my deck another 1/2" lower. I prefer 2.25" for that nice vacuumed look. The leaves that go into my catcher are very fine and dusty. You would be suprized at how far you can go without dumping. Just remember to have a clean air filter before doing the job.

yardmanlee
11-25-2006, 08:10 PM
fab you're own if you can !!! mine is 36" tall and 84 " wide
and it beats the hell out of blowing all day or dragging a tarp !!!!!

metro36
11-25-2006, 08:21 PM
fab you're own if you can !!! mine is 36" tall and 84 " wide
and it beats the hell out of blowing all day or dragging a tarp !!!!!
What machine pushes that thing around? What is it made out of?

edward hedrick
11-25-2006, 08:45 PM
I have a Walker with meg-mos, I also use the 3/4" screen in the box. I can pick leaves of the driveway. Ed

grassmanak
11-25-2006, 09:09 PM
id buy a leaf plow, then just push all the leaves to one end, you still have to bag some with the mower, but it will be a lot less.