View Full Version : Dumping Grass?

John Deere
01-22-2000, 05:38 AM
For those of you out there that have to bag most of your lawns like us is there a system that you use that works better than going to the dump 3 times a day and scooping the grass off your trailer with a scoop shovel and rake? I have looked into a dump trailer , but they are very expensive and it would be difficult to back my Z-track's into them without a ramp gate. I guess I would just like all of your ideas and ways you get rid of grass efficiently. Thanks!!!

01-22-2000, 06:25 AM
There is a good discussion on this subject in the archives.

01-23-2000, 01:19 AM
Consider a dump insert for your pickup. A couple of them are at<br>http://www.truckcraft.net/page2.htm<br>http://www.highwayequipment.com/lawn.html<p>There are a number of other mfrs also.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN

Eric ELM
01-23-2000, 01:42 AM
John Deere, I got all my customers converted to not picking up by proving to them, that I could make their lawns look as good if not better by putting the clippings back in the lawn. Tell them the benifits of leaving the clippings on the turf. I have convinced a 97 year old and a 83 year old that my way will make their lawns look as good and guys of that age pretty much have their minds made up, which is hard to get them to change over. It's a lot less work and faster. I wrote an article on clippings that you might be interested in that can be found on my website. Since you seem to be a JD lover, check out my 10 year old JD 430 diesel. It's still making me money. :)<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>

01-23-2000, 10:21 AM
we use dump inserts in <br>our pick-ups<br>one e-z dump and one truck craft. the truch craft seems to be the best for us. (well made)

01-23-2000, 12:58 PM
Well as a starter in this business...and i bagged almost everything last year(which WILL change this year).I used a big tarp and just pulled it right out of the back of my truck.

01-23-2000, 06:19 PM
I am with Eric on this. In the 9 years I been in this business I have never bagged grass. Cutting at the correct height will leave a miniscule amount of clippings. These clippings are good organic fertilizer. Convincing some customers of this part isn't easy sometimes. Why take up space in landfills with grass clippings? If you have piles of grass clippings in the truck where do you put your equipment? Are people going to pay you to haul this stuff off? HOw are you going to get compensated for the time it takes to scoop it off the truck? When the heat here gets to 95+ I wouldn't want to be scooping dusty grass of a truck. Its okay If you are well compensated for the extra work. What hurts everyone else with this is if you are doing it as an extra for free. The everyone else epcts the same service. When they are barely paying you enough for cutting the grass. This doesn't answer your question. I just know I don't have the time to do it and make money. Just wondering how some of you do.

lawrence stone
01-23-2000, 08:54 PM
Make yourself a set of 4 ft tall greedy boards for your pick up and get one of those<br>truck unloaders that attach to your tailgate that you can hand crank.

01-24-2000, 12:13 AM
Here's an original idea. Put it in garbage bags and leave it by the curb like I do. Or just dump it by the curb, our city will pick it up. If i had to haul it somewhere I would be getting more than $35.00! We put all our clippings and shrub, limbs and whatever else by the curb. Our city brings a truck and trailer by with a knuckle boom with jaws that scoop down and pick it up. The cost is included in our garbage and water fee.<p>Homer

01-24-2000, 03:35 AM
No offense, but most of the above posts are pretty unprofessional or at least don't apply to many regions in the country. I would never consider leaving bags at a clients house. But then we market ourselves as an upscale professional company. So I guess it depends on what image you want to leave with. <p>As for mulching (or leaving clippings on the lawn) that too is a unprofessional. It's also not possible to make it look decent unless conditions are optimal. And if you live in a wet climate at all then it's not even practical 8 months out of the year. <p>Dumping mechanisms for trucks are a decent option but I've never seen them to be cost effective. Of course that depends on how often you are dumping. If you are going to the dump 3 times a day, then maybe it would be worth it. I dunno. More on that below.<p>We bag all our grass. It's just part of standard practice for 99% of the companies in our area. We also mow every week for most of the year. So what we are bagging is only 1 week's growth. We put the clippings in the bed of the truck (standard 8' long bed truck). If it gets to high I have the guys get up and jump on it to pack it down. We don't have rails on the truck and we rarely, if ever, need to dump more than once, at the end of the day. And we mow 20 houses a day on average. <p>I pay two guys about $9 an hour to take the truck to the yard debris recycling center at the end of every day. It takes them about 15 minutes (guess I am fortunate because the yard debris recycling plant is less than a mile away) to go dump the grass and get back. In essense, I pay about $5 in labor to do this every day. If I had a truck with a dump mechanism on it I bet it would take them only 10 minutes to do it. This would save me $1 or so a day in labor. But do I really want to spend a thousand or more on a dump mechanism so that I can save $1 or so a day???? No thanks. <p>We use rakes too. If you want to go faster, they sell &quot;pull forks&quot; which are basically long pitch forks with a 90į angle on the fork part. Kinda like a long-tined rake. They make things go a little faster. But around here they're $50 or more. And as much as my guys loose rakes, I don't want to invest $50 and see it get lost. So we stick with rakes. <p>One temporary option is yard debris recycling cans. These cans are provided by most trash companies (for an additional monthly charge) and they sit outside, like a big garbage can. Most houses in my area have them. I used to tell people that we didn't haul away grass and that they'd have to get a YD can if they didn't already have one. I'd tell them the money they save on our monthly price would make it worth it. Then every week we would mow and place the grass in the YD cans. After a while I realized that this was a little un professional. No big pro companies would ever think of this. So I changed to hauling it away for everyone. But it worked for the time being until I had big enough trucks and trailers to do it the right way.<p>Another option is to get rails put up on the sides of your truck. You can hold 2-3 times as much clippings with rails. I haven't needed to do this yet but if it came down to it, I'd rather do that than get a dumping mechanism or go to the dump 2-3 times a day. <p>Hope some of these ideas help. <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com

01-24-2000, 06:26 AM
Excuse the s____t out of me! It is common practice in my redneck of the woods, even at the higher end homes because our city does provide this service everyone sees this as typical! What our city won't let us do is take it to the chipping/mulch site if you are a commercial cutter! We would have to make a 20 mile round trip to the landfill. As for mulching, this is unproffesional? Since when, every lawn care publication you pick up has articles concerning mulching vs. bagging. Maybe it might be time to educate your upscale clients on the advantages of mulching, and in this environmentally friendly era we are living in today you would think thay would understand that landfills are filling up fast and leaving the mulch on the ground would benefit their lawn more than removing the clippings. If you are mowing every week and are using a decent mower you should have no problems mulching, and if the dumpsite is only a mile away whats the problem anyway. You are obviously charging the customer more for this service anyway. Sorry if I sound pissed but you got me on that image thing!<p>Homer (from podunkville)

01-24-2000, 09:08 AM
In my neck of the woods central CT its the exception to bag most co's mulch or leave the clippings where they are and go over the lawn with a blower to make sure there are no standing clumps.<p>BTW in CT state law forbids disposing of lawn debris with the trash you must either send it to a recycler, big bux or compost it yourself-peeyew, been there before with grass.<p>The only ones I see bagging are the guys with a grass pile on their lot or the kids on Saturday with papas Toro bagger.<p>Bill

01-24-2000, 09:37 AM
Charles(bowing down to the professional Mr. Lewis:). Our landfill is also 1/2 hour one way. They charge $22 per load for commercial dumping. In the city all debris has to be dumped at the curb for pickup. Have you not ever heard of change? As Homer said there have been many articles out on the benefits of mulching. If you cut every week even in rainy areas at the right height. There shouldn't be any clippings to speak of anyway.<br>We understand that different areas do things differently. But that doesn't mean that we can't all learn from each other to do it more efficient and profitable. Let me give you some advice. Being condecending to people will get you nowhere in life. Maybe on day we can all reach that pedestal where you sit. God I hope not.<br>

Tony S
01-24-2000, 09:53 AM
I have been using &quot;Load Handlers&quot; in my pickups for about 4 years. I must say, they are one of the best investments I made. For grass clippings they just can't be beat. They dump the grass in 30 seconds. I bought one when they first came out and at first was skeptical whether they would work. I have been using them ever since. For about $100. there a lot cheaper than buying a bed insert or dump truck. Check them out at<br>http://www.loadhandler.com/

01-24-2000, 10:03 AM
I must agree with Eric and Charles on the bagging issue. It is proven that leaving the clippings on a lawn reduces the need for fertilizer and increases the organic matter in the soil. I've been in this business full time for 13 years and I've yet to bag ony clippings and I've got a good list of satisfied clients. Most all of the university research is adamant on the &quot; do not bag &quot; policy. Not good for the environment(fills up landfills), or good for the lawn. Thanks, Lynn

lawrence stone
01-24-2000, 10:36 AM
Mr. Lewis if your crew only brings home 2 yards of clippings a day you should either<br>get bigger mowers and/or fire that crew.<p>My residential mowing crew consists of two men, two<br>44&quot; toro walkers w/toro bagging kits, and<br>two 21&quot; toro commercials.<p>If that crew p/u 100% of the clippings they<br>would collect about 6 cubic yards (full load in a 8&quot; box with 2&quot;h sides)of clippings every 2-3 hours.<p>I mow the fronts with a machine set up with<br>high lift blades and only bag when needed.<br>The secoond machine (44&quot;) has gator blades.

Eric ELM
01-24-2000, 11:56 AM
I have to agree with you Mr. Stone. It looks like Mr. Lewis is leaving a lot of clippings on the lawns and that is very unprofessional according to him. BTW JIM LEWIS, I guess you fit in the same category as us then. You said our posts are unprofessional; Iím not a professional poster. You seem to have a way with words that remind me of the guy that called us all LAME.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>

01-24-2000, 03:49 PM
I never bag my lawns except on the odd occasion when after cutting there are clumps. Then I will run the bagger over and just pick up a bit of grass to make it look neat.<br>I compost all my clipping/leaves and then sell it back to my customers as mulch or garden fertilizer. Even if I didn't keep my own stuff I live in the country and disposal is free at the dump, at local farmers fields and at various other peoples places. <br>As for unloading it all, I may not have as much debris as some but I have a ramp in the back of my truck so I just open the tailgate and push it out. In the fall, with the extra leaves I use 4' sides.<br>Dylan

01-24-2000, 04:52 PM
I stopped bagging grass about 2 years ago. When I leave a property after cutting I'm done. But if I bagged it, I'm not done until I dispose of the grass. I have 6 community properties, 3 which are well over 10 aces each. It would be crazy to even consider bagging these. Does that make me &quot;unprofessional&quot;? Bob

01-24-2000, 09:31 PM
i live in seattle,same sort of climate as mr.lewis - we even get more rain.i use my toro 2 cycle 21 with the mulch plug in and you can't even tell that you're mulching...even &quot;wet grass&quot;.that's the great thing about it...on my 36&quot;ransomes i have an ecoplate...same deal...i also do not apply more than .5 lb of n at a time (.5 * 8 =4lbs per year) also they don't even really have lawns in oregon they just think they do...if clippings are a headache maybe think about regulators the new types are much safer and better now with no yellowing...( i use PROXY, 2 weeks after you apply it you see an 87% reduction in clippings all for a couple bucks per 1000 feet- try it) as far as mr. lewis i have seen his earlier posts about how he admires PROGRASS and their work...mr.lewis prograss is progress spelled wrong and i make even more money when they have lawns near mine...if you like i'll buy your company and take you under my neoprene boots and show you the turfgrass industry in the pacific northwest or you can wait until i open another office in portland next year....hope you like your hondas!

01-24-2000, 11:22 PM
Back to name calling again guys, come on. We all have our opinions on this topic, some bag some mulch, it's our decision. Relax Spring is coming, we are all getting cabin fever. If I don't have any thing good to say I don't say anything.____________________in the end we all die.

01-25-2000, 08:16 AM
It seems to be old school thinking that the clippings must be picked up. Many homeowners see what they can do with their Sears tractor, and think that the same quality of cut will be provided be a lawn care company using larger commercial mowers. They don't understand that these mowers will give a much better cut than a homeowner type mower.<p>Remember the old push reel mowers? MOst that I have seen do not have baggers on them, some did. When the rotary mower came out, the bagger became popular. It stayed that way for a while till the mulchers started becoming more popular.<p>I will not say that mulching/discharging is the best choice for all lawns all the time. I agree that bagging is a real pain. Since it takes a bit of time to convert a commercial mower from bagging to mulching, I will usually use side discharge if I want to leave the clippings.<p>The magor drawback of side discharge is that many lawns have neatly mulched beds that will get covered in grass. Some areas are too tight to alter your mow pattern to avoid this. I will usually end up bagging those areas, to save on the clean up.<p>What I have been doing on all new accounts, and am in the process of converting my existing accounts is to do what is needed. Sometimes I will bag, sometimes I will leave the clippings. MOst people seem to like this, as they seem to know that leaving the clippings is good forf the lawn, and also the encoroment, but they also don't want to see a lawn that has an excess of clippings on it. <p>In thosse type of properties, I end up bagging maybe 30% of the time. My price is the same for each cut, and when I bid the lawn, I make a slight adjustment for this.<p>If I am bagging, some lawns have woods behind the house that the clippings can be dumped in. I love this. <p>I will usually use a small tarp to pile the clippings on, and as it gets full, I will drag it to the woods.<p>If there is no place on site to dump, I must haul them away. I really don't like this. There is a significant cost in disposing of them. We have two choices for dumping (legally). Both compost the yard waste. One charges $8 per cubic yard. The other place charges $30 per ton with a one ton minimum. IT depends on a couple of factors on where I will dump. My truck holds 7 yarda, so if I have a full load, I will usually go to the $30 place. If I only have a small load, I will go to the $8/yard place.<p>When I first started out many years ago, I used garbage bags, and would leave them at the customers house. This was a major hassle. The people would want their lawn cut the day before garbage pickup. This would wreak havoc with the schedule. If you did not get there before garbage day, they would complain, and often ask that if I was in the area on garbage day, if I could carry the bags to the curb. Some asked me to make the bags real light so that they could carry them eaisly.<p>The garbage haulers will still take grass clippings, but they will not take leaves in the fall. <p>I have a flatbed truck that I use for my mowing. I out a dump hoist on it. This was a big time saver. If the clippings sit in the truck for more than a day, they get hard to shovel off. With the dump, they just slide out. It has taken me close to an hour to unload a 7 yard truck by hand. Granted, this truck was PACKED tight. With the dump, maybe a minute. I don't miss unloading by hand at all.<p>The dump has come in handy in other aspects of green work. It is one of those things that I don't know how I survived without it.<p>PS. What are the disposal fees in your area of the country?

01-25-2000, 12:11 PM
Perspective, guys, PERSPECTIVE!! We are in the business of ornamental grounds maintenance. Ornamental turf is managed to look good from a distance. The distance of viewing depends on the setting. The lawn is generally the frame of the structure on the property. If the lawn looks shabby as you approach the proprety, the whole property looks shabby.<p> We are grooming a property to look good, and the SIZE of the property makes a big difference. In a large apartment complex, office park, or open suburban area, the size of the lawns easily permits mulching and tall mowing heights. But how long would you expect to keep the 1500 sqft urban office lawn if you mulched at 4.5&quot;? The large setting is viewed from a passing vehicle, while the little office is viewed by clients on foot - a major difference in perspective.<p>The finished look of bagging clippings does have a place in the whole field. I may be a dinosaur in the field, but our largest mower is a 21&quot; staggered wheel Lawnboy (hope Eric and Lazer aren't reading), and clippings are bagged. We limit work to under 8K, preferably half that or less. Most properties are in the city. There are a lot of people who still live and do business in cities, and they like nice lawns too. We have tried to mulch, but it doesn't look as good when you stand right on top of the lawn. On a few properties, I have been told by the client that our price is up to 50% higher than others, but they want us because of the appearance of the lawns. Apparently the lawns look good from a passing car too, because we frequently have people stop their cars and chase us down to ask about our service.<p>To all you new people, in the general market of lawn servicing, you can go many different routes. You can be large or small, use Dixies or Lazers or Lawnboys or don't even mow, landscape or fertilize or not, etc. Pick what you like to do, excel at it, and you will succeed. Always keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to learn, or you can turn success into disaster.<p>To all you older hands, do what you feel is right, but don't lose your perspective and keep an open mind. I have learned something from almost everyone who worked for me and from many competitors.<br> <br>Perhaps Chuck could create a mulching vs bagging forum, so some of the above posters have a place to argue. And what does the mulch vs bagging issue have to do with the original question of this thread? John Deere did not ask to be supported or chastised, but asked for help in unloading clippings. Some of dump mechanisms mentioned might be helpful. John, I have to vote you #1 agitator. You beat Eric and ICQ.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN<br>

01-29-2000, 06:42 PM
Mr Lewis<br>I saw your home page..every month you use A high nitrogen quick release fertilizer??<br>this is not a smart idea, no wonder you get them to agree to cut every week.also you should know better as a pro that it is much wiser and RESPONSIBLE to leave the clippings.<br>

01-29-2000, 06:56 PM

lawrence stone
01-29-2000, 10:41 PM
Dennis,<p>Jim Lewis is working a niche market. Most metro area older sections of homes built<br>from around 1950 thru 1970 were on smaller<br>lots. Most of the people who live in this homes are older folks and the homes are<br>bought and paid for=cash flow.<p>These type of residential customers are very<br>picky and Demand the turf be bagged.<p>In many cases there is just no place to throw<br>the clippings unless it is a landscaped bed.<p>His choice of the Honda 21's is perfect for<br>HIS needs. They are better for bagging than<br>Toros.<p>There is a company in my area that puts a three man crew to work 6 days a week providing services to this market.<p>If I were interested in making some headway<br>in that market I would look at the new hybred Toro/Exmark twin blade fixed deck 32&quot; walk behind with a standard size metal bagger.<p>http://www.toro.com/landscape/proline/gearfixedspecs.html

02-03-2000, 10:06 PM
in the pac.northwest we all mow all year long,i'm on my 3 cut this year and going to liquid iron from gran sulfates.CO2 content in soil is crucial

02-04-2005, 02:33 AM
Loadhandler or bag and curb em.

02-04-2005, 05:31 AM
Loadhandler or bag and curb em.
Chris...why are you responding to a thread 5 years old...just curious?

02-04-2005, 08:38 AM
Everyone in this business should have a dump truck -it serves as a dumpster on wheels. And with stricter curb side pick up laws it makes our day a lot easier. Whatever we come across can go right in the truck - grass, branches, leaves, soil, etc. and it gets dumped out when it starts to fill up.
Much easier than putting grass in a plastic bag or whatever.
Contractors here in central ny are responsible for taking all waste or debris they create with them.

02-04-2005, 02:18 PM
I would like to bring this post of hitory back to the site. Btw u still have that tthp for sale?

02-04-2005, 02:22 PM
Plus I wanted to see what others are doing because I have to bag 97% of my accounts.

02-04-2005, 02:57 PM
Wow, I was going to respond but I didn't realize this thread was so old!

02-04-2005, 04:08 PM
I would like to bring this post of hitory back to the site. Btw u still have that tthp for sale?No...not anymore...I am going to keep it and plan on going full time this year.

07-21-2005, 10:45 PM
i dont no about u guys i side discharge my clippings no room to haul them home and dump on my dump pile the only lawn i bag is my own personal one

07-21-2005, 11:08 PM
Well as a starter in this business...and i bagged almost everything last year(which WILL change this year).I used a big tarp and just pulled it right out of the back of my truck.

Out of 50-some lawns, I bag 2... As a rule I DON'T bag but I got suckered into it, so I'll live with it for a bit.

Yes lay down a big sturdy tarp, and chains might help to pull it off.

i use a 10-tine pitchfork myself and dump them on my own 1-acre lot. soon that will have to change, maybe i invest in a skid-steer loader or small tractor so i can get a recycling thing going... dang where is the money? better yet, no hauling, no bagging - there's the solution right there.

07-21-2005, 11:14 PM
No offense, but most of the above posts are pretty unprofessional. But then we market ourselves as an upscale professional company. So I guess it depends on what image you want to leave with.
We bag all our grass. We put the clippings in the bed of the truck (standard 8' long bed truck). If it gets to high I have the guys get up and jump on it to pack it down.

Wehell pardonnez moi but guys jumping up-down in a pick-up truck ain't what us southern hillbillies would call perfersionel neither, homeboy.

Jason Rose
07-22-2005, 12:09 AM
Yeah this is old... I was just thinking about this subject today though, not so much the dumping grass part, I already have a dump bed. Costly but worth it I suppose!

The topic that bugs me is all the people I see on here saying that they blow or much their clippings and all the time it saves. BULLS***! I am sorry you are fooling yourslef. Today I decided to not catch a couple of my larger props. What a mess. It was dry and close to if not 100 degrees, that was my only savior. If there was even a slight bit of dampness then blowing dosn't work.

Mind you this isn't my first season, I have been at this many years now, not a fool... I have tried not catching and mulching many times and over and over again I end up bagging. Why? Because the lawns look better all the time, there is little to NO mess on paved surfaces and in beds/rock. I can actually make nice straight lines and only have to cut around the perimeter of a property once. When trying to blow I'd have to go around at least twice and even then I'd have to be super careful to keep the grass from over shooting. Oh, and then there's this layer of clippings on top of the grass. wow, that's soooooo professional! Even cutting at 3.5 inches the grass here grows at a rate of about 2 to 5 inches a week. where does 2 to 5 inches of cut grass go? no where! it sits right on top of the lawn. So you cut it again you say... Brilliant! Now there's smaller clippings laying everywhere and you have just doubled your time spent on that lawn!

It takes me about 30 seconds to dump my catcher bags into the truck. Do that say, every 2,500 to 5,000 sq ft. of cutting. I figure I saved about 10 minutes today by not catching. MAYBE. I did catch about 1/4 of the two lawns (the front). I didn't want to have to spend extra time blowing off the huge driveways.

Next week I will resume bagging, I guess I just needed to give my other Z a little run time today.