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tcalb2
02-19-2008, 04:59 PM
This is for all the solo setups out there. How do you do clean ups? What method do you use for hauling the leaves away? Tarps, Leaf loader, dump trailer Ö.
Iíve read almost all the posts about clean ups on this site and a few others I belong to. My problem is I used tarps this past fall and used ramps to load them into my dump truck. This proved to be pretty tough seeing as I would need to get a running start to even have a chance of getting the tarps into the back of the truck.

Iíve looked into the costs of running a leaf loader and their pretty high, I also looked into getting a ramp mounted on the front of my trailer so I could walk right into the dump bed. Does anyone have any suggestions.

tcalb2
02-19-2008, 08:08 PM
This is my current setup. I fill the front half of my trailer and then try to fill the dump. This isn't a current photo so the side boards weren't up on the dump yet.

PVLAND
02-19-2008, 08:19 PM
I'll use tarps, but I find it easier to blow all the leaves into a pile, chop them up with the mowed and empty the catcher into a can. Makes it easier to get into the truck and takes up less room. Only down side is that it does take more time.

PVLAND
02-19-2008, 08:20 PM
I'll use tarps, but I find it easier to blow all the leaves into a pile, chop them up with the mowed and empty the catcher into a can. Makes it easier to get into the truck and takes up less room. Only down side is that it does take more time.

gene gls
02-19-2008, 08:54 PM
This is for all the solo setups out there. How do you do clean ups? What method do you use for hauling the leaves away? Tarps, Leaf loader, dump trailer Ö.
Iíve read almost all the posts about clean ups on this site and a few others I belong to. My problem is I used tarps this past fall and used ramps to load them into my dump truck. This proved to be pretty tough seeing as I would need to get a running start to even have a chance of getting the tarps into the back of the truck.

Iíve looked into the costs of running a leaf loader and their pretty high, I also looked into getting a ramp mounted on the front of my trailer so I could walk right into the dump bed. Does anyone have any suggestions.

Either you buy the equipement to make your job easier, more competitive, and faster, or you struggle the old fashion way. You and your tarp just can't compete with a company that has machinery for cleanups.

tcalb2
02-19-2008, 10:07 PM
I understand your point. But with machinery comes expenses. I'm not looking to split hairs here I just don't know if there is any other way, before I go out and spend the thousands on a loader.

wski4fun
02-19-2008, 10:29 PM
If the jobs are out there then you should go for it. It will save you a ton of time and save the body. You can fit more in the truck and make less trips to the dump. With the time you save you can be picking up piles for the landscapers that don't have one and have it pay for itself. Any big jobs I had I called a buddy of mine and had him pick up my piles.Working by myself it helped out alot. I can cut many more lawns than I can clean up so it made sense for me. If you do get one, I would not get anything smaller than a 16hp. Smaller and it will be more apt to get bogged with wet leaves and sticks. Good Luck.

gene gls
02-19-2008, 11:04 PM
I understand your point. But with machinery comes expenses. I'm not looking to split hairs here I just don't know if there is any other way, before I go out and spend the thousands on a loader.

You got the dump truck, by the truck loader and be efficent at loading the leaves. Its sooooo much faster. My fall equipement consits of, 20HP GHS Walker with a Buffalo Turbine blower, Hustler S/Z with a bac-vac unit, 16HP Lesco truck loader and a Echo hand blower. I can move a lot of leaves in a very short time.

barefeetny
02-19-2008, 11:05 PM
hahaha

RUSH RUSH RUSH

i camly rake out my shrubs, run the big rake over stuff thats matted down
Blow/ rake everthing into tarp drag towards the street pictchfork into truck... if its windy pitchfork into Large can then into truck. i sometimes put a ramp on my rear tires
so i can just walk up


really have anyone have the concept of roii???????

for a solo to pay for one of them do you realize how much hes going to have to clean up
to actually make that profitible

the homeowners not paying you any more

how much time is that really going to save you.

looks like brand new your looking at 2 to 3000 dollars

Say he charges 200 dollars for the job
how much of that money is to load and remove them
Lets go high as a kite and say half

100 dollars

how much time will it take to load them by tarp pitchfork, can
how much time will you save

take that number and multiply by x yards to = 2000$...But wait now you have to feed it with gas, change the oil ect..... so even more yards need to be done

Whats my point... a solo don't need a 16 horse leave loader a 3 man crew ok a set of 3 man crews what a tool

As far as competeing... in what a leave loading contest...think your customer cares how there loaded? If you really want to lock the clean up market down as a solo well be my guest...I clean my customers and noone elses....

Tcalb I have almost the same setup and trust me its not bad... pm me if you have any more questions

Nate

KS_Grasscutter
02-19-2008, 11:14 PM
I don't know how the hell anyone gets anything done using tarps and rakes. What I do, is use the BP blower to blow out beds and around the house and stuff. Then go over it with the Dixon, to chop everything up, than suck up what's left with my Walker. Dump the Walker into Rubbermaid bins, dump those in the truck. Next year I am gonna have a dump insert or a flatbed dump for cleanups, and also, if things go EXTREMELY well in terms of picking up new customers, a Walker with the high dump.

F Y P M
02-19-2008, 11:16 PM
Nate you are exactly right. I run a 3 man crew and we get the big stuff with barrels and tarps throw it up on the truck then we mow suck and blow. I can throw a tarp on the truck quicker than a 16 hp leafloader. The only thing is the leafloader will give it one more grind.

grapeford
02-20-2008, 12:09 AM
I've been in this full time for over 20 years. Have had 3 truck loaders , am currently using a 13Hp Billygoat w/Honda engine, *(run 2 walkers) wouldn't even think about tackling leaves without one. 2 man crew can make a ton of money if you have the right equipment. labor saving devices are the key to making money. A buddy of mine has 4 guys at a property pulling tarps and loading leaves. He spends 8 hours*(the whole day) @ this property charging 35.00 per hour. He charges the homeowner a little over 1100.00 for the job. He's paying out close to $400.00 in labor *(approx) not to mention equipment, gas etc... I can guarantee, that myself and 1 helper can get that same job done in half the time, charge the same, and be off to the next adventure. Time is money, invest in equipment that will help you make money.

barefeetny
02-20-2008, 12:19 AM
READ THE FIRST POST HE IS A SOLO. i'm not debating that if you have a 3 man crew it wouldn't be a worthwild purchase

As for people backpack blow everything .you don't need a rake... when the rhoddenden is flush to the house, you need a rake or a death wish to blow them out...

when the leaves fall late like last year and get buried under the snow... have fun blowing them

i owner a walkbehind billy goat type blower and a backpack and a handheld... they all have a place...so does rakes, cans, tarps and pitchforks...

for my 40ish accounts.... twice per year.... it just will never pay.... It would take me ten years for it to pay for itself...plus you still have to drag a hose or get them to the street.....

Nate

KS_Grasscutter
02-20-2008, 12:27 AM
Being solo is even more reason to have specialized equipment like that IMO... Allows you to get a lot of stuff done, and come home and not be totally wore out every day. Anything that makes you more productive, esp. as a solo operator, directly makes you more money.

barefeetny
02-20-2008, 03:43 AM
I don't come home beat

because i don't rush

I started this buisness so i wouldn't have to rush
I spent 10 years working in an industy that was production rush rush

My success in this biz thank god does not require me to be fast

efficient yes

quality based yes

My buisness plan would give some people fits

I have fellow solo lcos that i refer mow and blow work to... it doesn't pay for me to do massive amounts of cleanups and yard maintenance... there is a local lco that does (i would guess) 500-700 accounts with crews running everywhere at once

I have about 4 days of total service accounts... looking to get just a few more in a couple of areas to fill the schedule a little..A day for the family leaves me two days a week to persue other more profitable/ rewarding work

I take a nice long lunch, i take my time and without ruffling any feathers make more then some people with twice the amount of customers.

BACK TO the original question... as a solo does a 2000-3000 dollar investment in equitment going to make a solo operator more efficent at clean-ups.. read up on ROII... ten years in production did teach me a few things

Faster -Yeah
more efficent-That depends
More profit-I would say probably no

I can only give advice on what i know... some solos in my area probably would say hell yeah.... For me its an extra splurge that has little purpose other then listing it in my lawnsite signature

I mean no disrespect and value others thoughts.... but it seems like people on lawnsite seem to think a peice of equiptment is the answer to everything

i have seen ZTRS reccomended to people with no experience, no accounts and 1/4 acre lots...

Nate

tcalb2
02-20-2008, 09:47 AM
I appreciate all the great points you guys have laid out here.

PORTER 05
02-20-2008, 10:03 AM
TCALB2 wat year is that chevy dump, it looks like a 89 it also looks like it has 4X4, i love that truck , any more pics of that , i have a 2X4 89 chevy , planning on getting another next season but in 4X4 ...you are pritty close to me ever think about selling it , PM me id most likely buy it!

tcalb2
02-20-2008, 10:51 AM
To be honest I think if you asked me that three days ago before I installed the fuel tank brackets I would have said yes. I was having problems with the engine getting fuel. There was a *hitty connection on the sending unit that had to be replaced. But I'll deffently keep it in mind I will probably be getting rid of it at the end of this season. If your still interested then. Oh yea its an 87 or 88 i'm not sure its got a newer 350 and its fuel injected.

tcalb2
02-20-2008, 10:52 AM
Porter 05- were you at the unilock seminar last year at their plant in mass?

grass_cuttin_fool
02-20-2008, 12:15 PM
Most of my properties I can leave the leaves there....for the ones I cant....I use a cyclone rake to remove the leaves and then the CR will convert to a loader....its smaller and slower but also it isnt as expensive either.....for around 2000 you can purchase the top of the line CR

wayne

J&R Landscaping
02-20-2008, 12:16 PM
I have a truck loader, and a couple back pack blowers. A couple rakes, a few tarps and some Patience and all is complete!:waving:

grass_cuttin_fool
02-20-2008, 12:55 PM
I couldnt repost the picture but here is the thread with my outfit in action

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=167443

wayne

tcalb2
02-26-2008, 08:07 PM
I'm getting some final words on financing for the loader. Which brand do you guys suggest. Giant vac, little wonder or billy goat. I'm looking to spend no more then 4k

gene gls
02-26-2008, 10:20 PM
I'm getting some final words on financing for the loader. Which brand do you guys suggest. Giant vac, little wonder or billy goat. I'm looking to spend no more then 4k

By one that has a liner in the blower housing because the housing wears out rather fast. The liner is easier and cheaper to replace. Good Luck, you will love it.

grass_cuttin_fool
02-26-2008, 11:14 PM
By one that has a liner in the blower housing because the housing wears out rather fast. The liner is easier and cheaper to replace. Good Luck, you will love it.

Gene....Ive been kicking around the idea of a loader also for some time...do you know which brands or models have the liner?

wayne

gene gls
02-27-2008, 12:01 AM
Gene....Ive been kicking around the idea of a loader also for some time...do you know which brands or models have the liner?

wayne

No, I'm not sure of the brands. I belive Billy Goat has a liner. Liner units are more expensive to buy but cheaper to maintain. I have a Lesco because that was the only brand available when mine crapped out. I have an extra housing on hand because they always wear a hole through when you don't have time to fuss with welding a patch.

nosparkplugs
02-27-2008, 02:11 AM
Walker MT20 GHS, or a Billy goat 16hp HTR debris loader, into one of our dump trailers 1 person crew for leaf clean-ups in general for us.

tcalb2
02-27-2008, 05:55 PM
I just got some prices gaint vac and billy goat are about the same. I'm not sure which once I'll end on. I'm appling for fiancing with sheffield as we speak. thanks guys. I'm going to ask about the liner when I go to the dealer this week.

tcalb2
02-27-2008, 07:50 PM
I just found out that giant vac has wearable liners, I'm not sure about billy goat. I'm probably going to go with giant vac. I have one of their de-thatchers thats 20 years old and its still kicking.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
02-27-2008, 09:09 PM
I just did tarps, blower, and a billy goat lawn vac with the hose attachment(works great on window wells and the other hard to reach places)...just bought a used 16hp billy goat loader and cant wait to do spring clean-ups with it!

PORTER 05
02-28-2008, 02:36 PM
TCALB2

YES I WOULD BE VERY INTERSETED IN BUYING IT

is it auto or standard??, and how many miles is on it...

if/when you plan on selling it give me a call.....
take this number down and give me a call if you ever think about getting rid of it, those older chevys in 4X4 are hard to find in good condition...

508-284-2316

thanks.

tcalb2
02-28-2008, 03:53 PM
Porter 05- Its a standard. 3 speed. 350 with fuel injection. It has 82k on it and I beleive this is a newer engine. It has a fisher convention 8 ft plow. Its all in good shape to be perfectly honest. I've replaced alot of stuff. i.e. fuel brackets, shocks, steering stabilizer shock etc. Its a work in progress. I'm currently getting the fuel injectors adjusted and putting a new fuel gauge in. It seems like it looses power when you put it under a load. I think it has something to do with it not getting enough fuel. I'll take your number down. If I get rid of it at the end of this season It will probably be around November.

PORTER 05
02-28-2008, 05:52 PM
thanks man , im lookng for somthing in automatic, so the other guys can drive it, some cant drive standard, and we plow alot of driveways and i dont think that would be such a good idea , but sweet truck any way, good luck with re-building it!

tcalb2
02-28-2008, 07:32 PM
Thanks, no problem. yea driving a 3 speed takes some getting used to. Sorry I couldn't help you out.