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View Full Version : leaf clean ups this weekend


mikes landscaping
11-25-2007, 04:27 PM
Hey guys, we finally got arounmd to doing our cleanups this weekend, weve been so busy with school we havent had a chance. Heres what we did. Over the summer we purchased a used billy goat loader, which has a kawasaki engine on it, which i believe to be 11 horse or so. It was used hand had alot of wear but ran great and worked good. M ypartner has a 1997 f350 powerstroke, so we decided to put it on his truck. We picked up 3 sheets of OSB plywood from home cheapo for 6 bucks a sheet, and about 10 2x4's. we built a simple box on the truck using full sheets on the side and 3 quarters of one agiants the cab. he purchased a new tailagte for his truck lat year so we took that off and put the old one on, and put the loader on. we then took a leftover scrap from the ply wood and cut the circle out for the pipe in. we screwed this across the back of the truck so the pipe would sit inside it. We wrapped a tarp over the whole box. i bought a gromet kit and made new gromets in the tarp for extra strength. we laid a tarp down iside the box and tacked up high agianst the back wall.
The loader had a old hose on it, so at first we looked into getting anew one then realized it would cost as much as the machine, so we picked up a few roles of black gorilla tape and rewrapped the hose, hopefully giving us a little more suction. The unit worked great all weekend, and it wasnt to bad to unload the truck, we shoveled and pitchforked about half the truck out, then pulled the inside tarp out. Next years addition is hopefulyl an easy dumper lol. I forgot to mention we also put a piece of ferin on the outside along the 2x4's to slide our rakes into, that worked good scince we dont have a trailer yet lol. Overall the leaf loader saved us alot of time over last year when we were still bagging leaves. Just thought i'd share with you guys our new addition.

mikes landscaping
11-25-2007, 06:28 PM
any comments? ideas for improvement? thanks

supercuts
11-25-2007, 06:37 PM
yeah, you can buy my ezdump. works much better than shoveling chopped leaves.
http://newhaven.craigslist.org/pts/477792364.html

NNJLandman
11-25-2007, 07:39 PM
If you line a tarp around the inside, tie some rope around the four corners you can prolly just pull the leaves out. Might be easier.

Landmark
11-25-2007, 08:09 PM
Doesn't look like you have your boxed vented. Definitely need to as you will get better suction and a fuller box. Might consider using one of those tarps cover trees and shrubs during transport, kind of like a mesh rather than solid.

jeffex
11-25-2007, 08:24 PM
mulch the leaves first to reduce volume and you can do more jobs before you go to the dump. I could grind that pile of leaves into dust that would amount to 1 large bag. In fact I did several today with more leaves than that and the most bags I left at the curb was 5. But you guys look like hard workers and you do good work. You'll do just fine

jsaunders
11-25-2007, 08:24 PM
put a mesh tarp on the top and you will be able to go much faster+ you pack it in much better as well.

mikes landscaping
11-25-2007, 09:03 PM
Thanks alot for the ideas about venting, i think ill try that because im looking to get a little more power out of the machine. As for work, we try our best, the picture you see ther is before i finished cutting the front yard. Usually after we do the leaves, we cut the lawn. It was a little trick because the day we did this particular lawn first in the am, it was extremly cold and the ground was still frozen, so some leaves were frozen in the lawn lol, after we had finished the front, the back had thawed enough for us to get the leaves up.
-Pete

MOW ED
11-26-2007, 07:32 AM
mulch the leaves first to reduce volume and you can do more jobs before you go to the dump. I could grind that pile of leaves into dust that would amount to 1 large bag. In fact I did several today with more leaves than that and the most bags I left at the curb was 5. But you guys look like hard workers and you do good work. You'll do just fine

This post is 100% true. You have to try it to believe it.

Gators (or similar) and a mulch kit on the mowers and grind that to dust. You guys are doing lots of hard work and thats commendable but you can reduce your time and workload by 75 to 80 percent by grinding that stuff down on the lawn. Collect the high spots and be done. I don't bag anything bigger than a quarter and thats only at the high end properties. Its fun to use the vacuum but it is no fun to be shoveling that crap out of the box after you bust your hump all day. A dumper would be great but read jeffex's post again.

jeffex
11-26-2007, 07:51 AM
this is a thread on grinding http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=125671&highlight=leaf+grinding

mikes landscaping
11-26-2007, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the idwas about grinding, could you give me some more info, like some of you guys say gator blades, or stacked blades? what would work the best for us you think? we have a bunton 48" beltdrive with a bagger. also, doesnt the acidity of the oak leaves harm the turf? thanks
-Pete

jsaunders
11-26-2007, 06:11 PM
mike- gators can be bought at your local power equipment store. BUT not everyone can get away with grinding there leaves. We will bag everything until nov and around here there are just to many leaves to run a mower over- an easy couple of inches to 4-5 inches. I have a 23 hp leaf loader and it slows down the sucking if the leafs are already ground up. + if there are alot of grindings left over it iisn't good for the lawn. We always blow the leafs and just suck them up with the loader.
Joel

ed2hess
11-26-2007, 06:42 PM
mike- gators can be bought at your local power equipment store. BUT not everyone can get away with grinding there leaves. We will bag everything until nov and around here there are just to many leaves to run a mower over- an easy couple of inches to 4-5 inches. I have a 23 hp leaf loader and it slows down the sucking if the leafs are already ground up. + if there are alot of grindings left over it iisn't good for the lawn. We always blow the leafs and just suck them up with the loader.
Joel
Why does it slow down the sucking when they are ground....my scag
cougar and walker bagger units seems to pick them up just fine when ground. I only have 19hp on walker but cougar is 25hp. The kind of blades on the mulching unit don't make much difference with outlet closed.

jsaunders
11-26-2007, 07:13 PM
The leaf loader sucks the ground up leafs slower because of the extra weight.
When the leafs are ground up they have the consantancy of dirt.

jeffex
11-26-2007, 07:29 PM
take these suggestions for what they are . it works for me and if you want more info I'm glad to help. I have ground up leaves that are knee deep by pulling a wheelie with the w/b through them and reduced the pile to dust. I have been grinding for 16 yrs and I haven't had to replace one single lawn from leaf damage. I just thought that reducing volume would help save a few trips to the dump. I can't possibly tell you how your equipment works at sucking up mulched leaves but I think your smart enough to figure out a method that works for you. Just my experience. get gators at J-Thomas .com or your local dealer. i run doubles on my mulching mower in a X position .

mikes landscaping
11-26-2007, 09:51 PM
take these suggestions for what they are . it works for me and if you want more info I'm glad to help. I have ground up leaves that are knee deep by pulling a wheelie with the w/b through them and reduced the pile to dust. I have been grinding for 16 yrs and I haven't had to replace one single lawn from leaf damage. I just thought that reducing volume would help save a few trips to the dump. I can't possibly tell you how your equipment works at sucking up mulched leaves but I think your smart enough to figure out a method that works for you. Just my experience. get gators at J-Thomas .com or your local dealer. i run doubles on my mulching mower in a X position .

Alrite, thanks alot for the info, i appreciate the advice alot.
-Pete

SpudsM15
11-26-2007, 10:59 PM
We cannot get away with mulching the leaves into the turf with our contracts... We use the Lazer with a ultra-vac on the 1st and 3rd round sof our clean-ups to cut down on disposal costs ( which increased 50% in oct. thanks alot dump!) the 2nd round there are just to many leaves to use a mower so we blow the properties quickly to get the bulk of debris to the curb and losen up the debris that is stuck in the turf then hit it with the mowers to leave the properties **** and span...

alesia
11-27-2007, 06:53 PM
keep in mind that all that leaf grinding ca create the acidity in the lawn and soil to skyrocket. A good clean up is a great way to go. Keep up the good work the dump body and good box will come with all that hard work ur doin

mikes landscaping
11-27-2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks, i think im going to try the leaf grinding, and if it works for us then thank you jeffex lol if not, that what we have the leaf loader for, thanks alot guys.

Hartnett Lawn Care
11-27-2007, 08:24 PM
Hey Mike,

We are here in South County picking up leaves. Right now I load them in the back of my Ford F-150 and then use a 24 foot tarp to pull over them. I will use my 48" scag walk behind to grind down the leaves and conserve space. Some of the leaves I will put in tarps and tie with a bungee cord through the gromets to keep together...throw them on the trailer and then off to the farm to dump them.

Right now I can't invest in the Billy goat leaf loader...I am using my two sons and their friends as leaf loaders right now.

Hope to get some leaves done this week...the rain bogged us down.

Good luck with your work

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
11-27-2007, 08:46 PM
I only mulch my yard all leaf season...I mulch the customers yards very early in the fall....but when a customer wants the leaves removed, they want them removed not mulched....some customers dont like seeing the mulched leaves no matter how small they get munched to....I have given the customer the choice between mulched and hauled away and most go with the mulched early then want hauled away later....

jeffex
11-27-2007, 09:01 PM
I got a new customer I sold on leaf maintenance who's neighbor has another service. They showed up before I got there with the blow, tarp , and haul away in a trailer method. 2 guys working on the crew. I showed up and finished in about an hour and had 2 bags at the curb. Mulch and then a few passes with the bagger method. they were maybe 1/2 way done when I pulled away. I only hope they got big bucksfor their work. Now granted this was my second visit on the leafmaintenance plan so they may have had more leaves but they both stoped and stared as I pulled away.

MikeLT1Z28
11-27-2007, 11:21 PM
i've done it both ways, and grinding then making a final suction pass was what i normally did. the walker i have now seems to chop them up a lot better from the start so this year i've just done the non-grinding method. we still have lots of leaves on trees here though, so i may have to switch back if it gets too bad at once.

Landscape89
11-27-2007, 11:34 PM
Mikes Landscaping. With you being in school are you guys doing this part time? Im 18 and I do part time with my buddies who graduated High School with me in the Landscape Major. Good to see those Redmax BP's! :clapping:
Keep up the good work, and like me good luck with the rest of them and trying to beat the snow! :dizzy:

jeffex
11-28-2007, 07:04 AM
those walkers seem like very verstile machines. Mowing, leaf cleanup and with attachments they can move snow also. Nothing like your investment earning its keep year round. I imagine there is an additional investment to haul and dump the clippings though. I imagine the day when clippings will be used to make ethanol and there will be a local drop off center . then we will all be buying walkers that run on felx fuel or bio diesel. Can you hydraulicly lift the deck on a walker 1/2 way up to grind down large piles of leaves???

MOW ED
11-28-2007, 07:12 AM
Not to hi jack the thread but jeffex the Walker is a great machine for leaves. You can pin the front of the deck high and leave the back pinned low for larger piles. I usually take half passes at big piles and just chew away at the mounds. It really is a versatile piece of equipment. Not for everyone but I bet everyone would be able to use one in some way. I will always have one.

jeffex
11-28-2007, 07:34 AM
I was just over on their website. thats good to know about the tilt up feature. it seemed to me the collection bin would have to be emptied very fast unless you can reduce volume of leaves somewhat. I would imagine the walker with double blades[one being a gator] would be a leaf eating animal. Leaf piles are mostly air! grinding turns the pile into just what it is leaf dust.

mikes landscaping
11-29-2007, 04:11 PM
thanks harnett, which farm are you dumping at at this time? if you dont mind sharing lol. Yes, were trying to beat the snow and really crappy weather also lol, and with the shorter days its getting tough. We get lucky and maybe have an hour to work after school, but then the majority of our work is done on saturdays and if need be sundays. Nothing beats the Redmax for leafs lol the echos just cannot put out the power like the redmax. How do you guys make out?

ed2hess
11-29-2007, 11:51 PM
those walkers seem like very verstile machines. Mowing, leaf cleanup and with attachments they can move snow also. Nothing like your investment earning its keep year round. I imagine there is an additional investment to haul and dump the clippings though. I imagine the day when clippings will be used to make ethanol and there will be a local drop off center . then we will all be buying walkers that run on felx fuel or bio diesel. Can you hydraulicly lift the deck on a walker 1/2 way up to grind down large piles of leaves???

We grind them down with a mulching deck then use the Walker to pick up the pieces. It takes forever to pick them up without mulching.....many many bins full. We tried the direct pickup once using our Scag Cougar bagger and the Walker bagger and never did that again.

jeffex
11-30-2007, 07:16 AM
I just can't help wonder how much crews charge for the removal method. Next to one of my customers yesterday there was a 3 man crew with blowers , tarps and a nice stake body truck with an additional leaf colllection trailer. It was equiped with a leaf loader too. Don't get me wrong this is a SWEET setup. I would think they needed to get $300 -$500 to justify the crew and equipment. I do the neighbor for $100 and mulch the leaves in an hour to hour 15min. Where do you store a leaf trailer with loader the rest of the season. can you use the leaf loader to shoot mulch by putting the suction tube in the trailer full of mulch? attach a blow tube to the exit end to distribut mulch to remote beds? that would make it worth while the rest of the year. $1,000 loader and $3,000 dump trailer vs mulch kit $200 and grass gobbler $280 .Do they factor in the time and fee for the dump run. I'll be home opening my first beer while they are at the dump.