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View Full Version : Todays load of grass, and I think I need more springs


Jason Rose
05-23-2008, 10:43 PM
With all the "why do you bag" talk around here I thought I'd post some pics of just how much grass I pull off of my lawns on a daily basis. Now the pictures here are from today, friday. All of my lawns today are small to medium in size, I can do 2 an hour, smallest one is a mere 2,000 sq. ft. the largest is about 15,000. most are in between there.

Most of fridays lawns are cut with the Walker. There's no way to discahrge or mulch any of these, which dosn't much matter to me, since I bag all the time anyway. The truck was empty when I started cutting today, and this is the results after today. Of course other days of the week I get a LOT more grass than this, tues. wed. and thurs. I have been dumping 2 times a day.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/26jason79/Trucks%20and%20mowers/2008grassloads007.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/26jason79/Trucks%20and%20mowers/2008grassloads008.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/26jason79/Trucks%20and%20mowers/2008grassloads010.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/26jason79/Trucks%20and%20mowers/2008grassloads012.jpg

And... This is what I get from spend $400 this winter to have 2 leaves added to each side of my spring packs, and the springs "re-arched". I ended up with the same sagging rear as I had before. I desperately need some progressive overloads of air bags!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/26jason79/Trucks%20and%20mowers/2008grassloads003.jpg

LawnNeedz
05-23-2008, 10:53 PM
Wow that is a ton of grass. Do you have a your own place to dump or do you have to pay to dump?

Jason Rose
05-23-2008, 11:07 PM
Don't have my "own" place to dump, but I have several places to go too. The one in the picture is a cow pasture, the cows LOVE me! It's kinda fun going out there a few times a week and watching the new calves appear and grow up over the summer. The owner of the cows is cool with it. I also have another plot that is owned by a guy I mow for. I dump in the tree rows on top of the poisin ivy. The 3rd choice is taking it to our landfill, where they have a compost area just for grass. It's free to dump there too. Thank god I have the choices too if I had to drive to the landfill every time to dump I'd probably go out of business. It's a pretty good trip out there, figure almost 1/2 hour round trip and the GAS it takes to get there and back!

LawnNeedz
05-23-2008, 11:13 PM
How do you load the grass into the truck? Do you have the high lift on the walker or do you load it from the ground?

ATouchofGrass
05-23-2008, 11:15 PM
Do you have the high dump for your walkers?

TheChiefsLawnCare
05-23-2008, 11:21 PM
Can i ask why you dont just use the Walker like you do and then when It fills up, use a garbage bag and then dump all the clippings into the bag and then leave the bag by the street and let the garbage people pick it up. Thats what I do, but i also cut in the city, I dont know if you can do that in the area that you live in.

KS_Grasscutter
05-23-2008, 11:27 PM
Can i ask why you dont just use the Walker like you do and then when It fills up, use a garbage bag and then dump all the clippings into the bag and then leave the bag by the street and let the garbage people pick it up. Thats what I do, but i also cut in the city, I dont know if you can do that in the area that you live in.

:confused::hammerhead:

-VERY unprofessional
-way more work
-our trash service has automated trucks that only pick up the trash dumpsters, and have a 3 bag limit on bags anyway
-related to the previous one, there would be WAY more then 3 bags
-there would be dead spots on the lawn from the bag sitting there for a week
-who wants half rotten grass sitting at there house for as much as a week?
-there are 30 other LCOs that would be more then happy to haul off the clippings that also would love to get more lawns

jrush
05-23-2008, 11:27 PM
I also bagged all my clippings recently, since the collection system is still on. I also filled the bed of the truck, I finished after my disposal place had closed, and then it rained the next day... I thought I would be frugal and wait until next time I was out there (day or 2) instead of making a special trip. Well, the smell that was coming from my truck was worse than pepper spray! I took the truck through the wash and it angered it! OMG what a rank horrible smell! Never again will clippings stay in there more than a few hours. To make it worse, I had my Dodge pick up, not the dump, so I had to pitchfork it out!:cry:

Jason Rose
05-23-2008, 11:29 PM
No high dump, I use the dump bins. They work great for me, but I'm tall and can lift them ofer the sides of the truck bed pretty easy. For shorter guys it's not as simple. I've given thought to the high dump, but the sides on the truck are already as hige as it will lift, and it wouldn't be able to pile the grass up high like I can by hand with the bins. It only takes me about 45 seconds to dump and be back mowing again.

Dump the grass into plastic bags??? I don't know how to respond to such insanity. I can't fathom how many bags it would take, plus I'd have NO customers left after leaving a dozen bags on each driveway to fermnet for up to a week. Not to mention, the trash pick-up here dosn't allow extra bags not in or on the dumpster, and... you have any idea how irrisponsible it is to put grass clippings into a landfill??? That's a huge waste of very valuable space.

TheChiefsLawnCare
05-23-2008, 11:50 PM
:confused::hammerhead:

-VERY unprofessional
-way more work
-our trash service has automated trucks that only pick up the trash dumpsters, and have a 3 bag limit on bags anyway
-related to the previous one, there would be WAY more then 3 bags
-there would be dead spots on the lawn from the bag sitting there for a week
-who wants half rotten grass sitting at there house for as much as a week?
-there are 30 other LCOs that would be more then happy to haul off the clippings that also would love to get more lawns

OOO we get trash pickup 2 days a wek and we have no limit so its not that bad. The bags sit out there for a day or two so its not that bad.

jrush
05-23-2008, 11:53 PM
My town will open the bags if they suspect any clippings...and leave them there with a warning sticker.

Jason Rose
05-23-2008, 11:59 PM
Now, talking about city pickup, our city does offer "compost" dumpsters for like an additional $7 a month. It's just a normal 95 gallon dumpster they put a big orange "lawn waste" sticker on. They are picked up by a seperate truck each week. Problem is, even is all my customers had them, many people would need several to fit the grass in each week. Then there's still the problem of them having to move them to the curb on trash day. People aren't hiring someone to do the lawn, only to still do half the work themselves.

TheChiefsLawnCare
05-24-2008, 12:33 AM
OOO, its way different in New Orleans then lol. The yards that we cut, you can do 3 or 4 in one walker and jus leave one bag and it jus sits out there for a day or 2 depending on when you come and cut the grass. I guess you must cut much bigger yards then I do. I dont actually cut in New Orleans cause I feel like keeping what I worked hard for, I cut in the outskirts of NO, much better area.

topsites
05-24-2008, 03:27 AM
I have to admit that's one of the first good ideas I have seen on how to properly tackle the bagging problem...
Yes I know that's just too simple, but I reckon that gives you an edge with the customers who must have it bagged.

Dump the grass into plastic bags??? I don't know how to respond to such insanity.

How about putting leaves in two or three full-size trash cans.
Then I have my share of stories on bagging leaves, too.
So then grass ain't so bad in comparison.

ResidentialOwner
05-24-2008, 03:45 AM
TheChiefsLawnCare after explaining himself does not seem "unprofessional" to me!

TheChiefsLawnCare
05-24-2008, 03:57 AM
TheChiefsLawnCare after explaining himself does not seem "unprofessional" to me!

Thank you, thats what all the guys round here do, I understand that in your area its different. Sure, if you had 12 bags from each house, then god no, you cant leave it, but when I bag i jus have one bag and it gets picked up in a day or two. City and i guess you do more rural area, sooo yes, of course its different.

MOW ED
05-24-2008, 06:43 AM
Wow Jason that is quite impressive. You have yourself a pretty good business built around the Walker. That is neat. It seems as if you have catching grass down to an art. I am just thinking that an army 6x6 might be the type of dumper you need with all that weight. Did you ever scale the truck when full like that? I know you aren't hauling gravel but if you are bending springs the other way you are getting some weight up there.
Looks good man!

Roger
05-24-2008, 06:49 AM
Every municipality is different in their approach to dealing with clippings from residential customers. In my area, the trash hauler will pick them up, ONLY IF they are put to the curb by the homeowner. They will not pick up bags left by a commercial cutter. Yes, they know ... The trash hauler covers the entire municipality over a five-day period. One man drives the truck and dumps the trash into the bin on the truck. So, he knows the area very well, who lives where, who has grass bags, etc. I have gotten to know him quite well, and we talk when we pass.

Some homeowners put out 15-20 bags each week. Some put out bags that are beyond the weight limit (don't know the amount), and he will just leave them lay.

I talked with him mid-week this past week. By noon, he had taken one 13 ton load to the dump, and by the end of the day, he expected to be taking another 15 tons. He said the typical day at this time of the season, he picks up 26-28 tons every day. At least some of that added weight is due to grass clippings. He works by himself, drives and loads. The company is a national company, who has the contract for this area, a contract negotiated by the officials in the municipality. There is no place for residents to take their own trash, so it is an "every house" kind of contract. Every resident pays a monthly fee to the municipal collector, and they, in turn, pay the national company. There is no "opt-out" kind of provision, everybody pays the same.

Somebody made a comment earlier about a bad thing for grass clippings to be taken to the dump. Actually, that is not a right assessment. I have read many articles that speak about the necessity of having highly compostable components included in the mix of trash. It helps in the development of gases and speeds the decomposition. In some landfills, the gas is piped off and used as a source of energy. Grass clippings are an ideal component for the purposes intended. I know it sounds counter-productive, taking up volume. But, the decomposition characteristics of the clippings are important.

I regret that my municipality does not have a way to handle clippings. I bag many of my lawns, at least in part. Each week I develop several cubic yards of clippings. I take them to a landscape supply yard, and they handle them as a decomposing/composting agent. The piles are turned and after a couple of years, the resulting material is mixed with shredded topsoil. A municipal-run dump site for compostable material was established many years ago, but people took advantage. They were bringing materials that were not allowed, and the policing of the dumping practices was too much to handle.

greengiant9963
05-24-2008, 07:14 AM
Wow. I thought the load of clippings I dumped yesterday was alot. I like the setup you have. Have you ever thought of making a heavy duty ramp that runs from the front of your trailer to you dump bed. and dump and go.There are a few guys around here that use this system and it works nice. Not knocking they way you are doing it now but just a idea.

meets1
05-24-2008, 08:52 AM
I place all the clippings on my trailer. I back up and unload. I use TORO and DFS bagger so I don't have to jump off, unload heavy bags of grass and so forth. The other day we weight on the scale at the local elevator - 7800 pds of grass on a 22ft trailer. The front dumps but the rest - well I went to the local nursery where I bought stock from and they always take clippings for compost and I unloaded the trailer with there NH Boomer and bucket. Way less time than shoveling by hand. That was our second load for the day on properties that were mowed within 5 days of last mowing.

lawnspecialties
05-24-2008, 09:53 AM
I feel like a shmuck. I don't bag, never bagged, and don't even have a bagger. :hammerhead:

Nice setup Jason.

KGR landscapeing
05-24-2008, 11:04 AM
OOO we get trash pickup 2 days a wek and we have no limit so its not that bad. The bags sit out there for a day or two so its not that bad.

HOw much grass can u pull of a lawn in the deep south?

ProStreetCamaro
05-24-2008, 12:13 PM
I feel like a shmuck. I don't bag, never bagged, and don't even have a bagger. :hammerhead:

Nice setup Jason.



Oh god no trust me there is no need to bag. If we bagged every lawn we have our truck would be full to the top on a daily basis. That creates alot of extra work and time spent plus extra fuel spent to haul it around then the cost to dump it.

If we suddenly had to bag everything I would sell everything and get out of this business and thats not a joke.

seabee1
05-24-2008, 12:54 PM
man that will keep the cow's busy for awhile look's like you need some new springs 22-797hd or some timbren load boosters ,they will help save the spring's and allow you to carry more weight than any amount of springs ,although air bags ride better :weightlifter:

meets1
05-24-2008, 08:56 PM
I am in Iowa, every yard but the cemetary and a 40 acre complex gets bagged. With 3-4 trucks running, usually dumping by mid morning. If we can hold off till noon that works good but this time of year is tough. Everyone here bags - do I think it is nessacry - NO, is it always good for the grass - NO but it is what people want, expect and pay for.

PROCUT1
05-24-2008, 09:27 PM
Its interesting how different it is in different areas. I have never seen anyone bag a residential lawn on a regular basis. Or commercial for that matter. The prices to get rid of yard waste are through the roof anyway. That truckload would cost $100 at a minimum to dump.

What are you guys getting for these houses you bag at?

Anytime that I did bag a lawn when it was requested, I charged 4 times the weekly charge. I cant imagine people are paying that on a regular basis.

Supper Grassy
05-24-2008, 09:36 PM
thats a lot of grass

how about taking daily pics of your truck for a week and then we can see how much you really dump

mattfromNY
05-24-2008, 09:44 PM
Oh god no trust me there is no need to bag. If we bagged every lawn we have our truck would be full to the top on a daily basis. That creates alot of extra work and time spent plus extra fuel spent to haul it around then the cost to dump it.

If we suddenly had to bag everything I would sell everything and get out of this business and thats not a joke.

X2!- I bagged two very small lawns yesterday and about shot myself. Never again, or big bucks for the extra work.

Roger
05-24-2008, 09:45 PM
...The one in the picture is a cow pasture, the cows LOVE me! ...

Are any of the clippings from lawns that have had chemical applications? If so, do the owners of the cows have any reservations regarding their cows eating those clippings?

STIHL GUY
05-24-2008, 09:56 PM
I used to bag but this year i have been mulching and the lawns look the same and i dont have to dump grass

Jason Rose
05-24-2008, 10:32 PM
thats a lot of grass

how about taking daily pics of your truck for a week and then we can see how much you really dump

I may try that... Though taking a camera with me, and then handling that camera with my green dirty hands is usually last on my list of things to do in the day. I've never taken any pictures of my customers lawns for the same reason. Plus I'd feel like a loon walking around someone's property with a camera... Maybe if I can con my buddy into helping all next week I'll have the little bit of extra time to actually take pics!

THe load in the picture was from friday, and I just happen to use the walker mainly on fridays and mondays. Tues, Wed, and Thurs I mainly use the 61" grasshopper. You want to talk volume of grass... Run that dude for a day and see what you pick up! I have 2 lawns in a golf community I do, ones about 65,000 sq ft and the other is about an acre. Between the two lawns I FILL the truck. I'm even cutting at 3.25" now and still get almost as much grass. It's time to fertilize them again too! It's just insane... There's no possible way you could not bag. Where would all the clippings go??? I've tried it, with several different mowers, Dixon, Exmark, Grasshopper, none are capable of cutting off 4 to 5 inches of growth and "making it dissapear" without bagging. Don't preach "you overfertilize" either, because I'm doing the applications, and I'm VERY in-tune to how much fert I'm putting down and when.

KS_Grasscutter
05-24-2008, 10:35 PM
Are any of the clippings from lawns that have had chemical applications? If so, do the owners of the cows have any reservations regarding their cows eating those clippings?

There can't be any more chemical apps on the lawns then what are on the alfalfa fields and pastures around here...

And to all the people making the idiotic "no need to bag" statements, well, quite frankly I think you are full of ****. Maybe before you start telling everyone how to run their businesses, you should come spend a day mowing out here and see what our conditions are like. It is normal to cut off 6" per week on every lawn. There is NO WAY to mulch that without triple cutting, at least, plus all the god awful mess that would be on the sidewalks and crap. How are you saving time, when you have to cut it 3 times, when one trip over it with a Walker (or ANY bagging mower) does the job, and leaves it looking nicer at that. It is by FAR the industry standard to bag here. There are NO large scale commercial cutters that don't bag on a regular basis in our area.