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View Full Version : anyone with a leaf vac system..i need some advice or tips!


bigw
08-16-2008, 01:06 AM
Anyone with any ideas i sure could use them, I am looking to get a leaf vac but am not sure how or what i am going to mount it too or even if i want to get a tow behind. I am going to buy one of 3 things, a dump truck, a dump trailer or a dump insert for my f250 pick up. My concern is i work alone so lifting off the vac inorder to dump the leaves with a dump trailer or dump truck might be hard. I really dont want to have to buy a dump truck though so im going crazy with what to do, any advice. I do know i plan to buy a billy goat with the most hp as i can afford once i figure which way to go. Thanks Dave.

Grits
08-16-2008, 02:56 AM
BIGW! Where you been? How is the biz treating you? Glad to see you are still around.

hackitdown
08-16-2008, 09:23 AM
Anyone with any ideas i sure could use them, I am looking to get a leaf vac but am not sure how or what i am going to mount it too or even if i want to get a tow behind. I am going to buy one of 3 things, a dump truck, a dump trailer or a dump insert for my f250 pick up. My concern is i work alone so lifting off the vac inorder to dump the leaves with a dump trailer or dump truck might be hard. I really dont want to have to buy a dump truck though so im going crazy with what to do, any advice. I do know i plan to buy a billy goat with the most hp as i can afford once i figure which way to go. Thanks Dave.

I have the same question about the leaf loader. I have a dump insert, which has been an excellent tool. But mounting the vac on the tailgate is a problem when it is time to dump. I ruled out the dump trailer because I will need to put the equipment back in my trailer...a tough job when it is full of leaves.

I have thought about mounting the vac on the trailer. When I go to dump, I'd have to drop the trailer, then dump the leaves.

Has anyone else done this?

J&R Landscaping
08-17-2008, 10:25 AM
I'd be going with a dump trailer. The dump insert will run you roughly $2000-$3000 depending on model. The problem is though, a 250 don't have enough payload to make it worth while. I was gonna get a truckcraft alluminum insert for my 06 f250. When it all boiled down though, I can haul more material on my 16" trailer then I would be able to legally carry in the truck. Get a 6x10 bri-mar. Their like 1800 or so lbs empty so you have a bit over 4 tons capacity. You can grab them for below 5 grand so its a pretty good deal IMO.

bigw
08-17-2008, 02:40 PM
I'd be going with a dump trailer. The dump insert will run you roughly $2000-$3000 depending on model. The problem is though, a 250 don't have enough payload to make it worth while. I was gonna get a truckcraft alluminum insert for my 06 f250. When it all boiled down though, I can haul more material on my 16" trailer then I would be able to legally carry in the truck. Get a 6x10 bri-mar. Their like 1800 or so lbs empty so you have a bit over 4 tons capacity. You can grab them for below 5 grand so its a pretty good deal IMO.

but how and where would i mount a leaf vac to the trailer without having to take it off every time i want to dump?

George Mason
08-17-2008, 02:54 PM
I am not sure we have the same thing you are talking about but it could work in principal. I have a large vacuum system on a large lawn tractor that I use, and we I started to take it out onto jobs I had to figure out something real quick for the customers that didn't want me to dump on their property, i.e. I had to get the leaves from the dump trailer to the back of my truck. I now use four rubbermaid garbage cans, placed in the trailer. They take a little space but the ease of opening the trailer, removing them and dumping them in the truck bed makes it well worth it. I hope this might help, it works nicely for me. Be sure to see my thread from today about a potential job I have, and see if you can help me out.

Good luck,

cowboytim
08-17-2008, 04:05 PM
mount the vac on your trailer thwn all you have to do is hook or unhook the hose. Been doing that for years works perfect

bigw
08-17-2008, 06:12 PM
mount the vac on your trailer thwn all you have to do is hook or unhook the hose. Been doing that for years works perfect

where on the trailer? they have the big box with the battery and pump in them on the tongue and if you mount it on the back then you have to lift it off right? maybe you have a picture of where you mounted yours?

J&R Landscaping
08-17-2008, 09:09 PM
You could hang it on the front of the trailer. You would probably be building wood sides for it. You could frame it on the hitch side of the trailer in the air toward the top. It shouldn't be to hard to brace it so its strong enough to support the 300 or so ounds of a 16 or 18hp unit.

CLARK LAWN
08-17-2008, 10:17 PM
if you are going to get an insert then you mount the vac on the front of the trailer with the discharge hose going into a box on the truck. or with a dump trailer put the vac in the front right corner and secure it to the floor. you will be able to dump with it still attached wont hurt it a bit used one like that for years

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 12:04 AM
where on the trailer? they have the big box with the battery and pump in them on the tongue and if you mount it on the back then you have to lift it off right? maybe you have a picture of where you mounted yours?

what you need is a gaint vac truck loader 16 horses power ... mount on the front of your trailer blow your leaves in your truck box . to un load you turn the swing arm away from the truck and suck it out with the hose .........:weightlifter:

bigw
08-18-2008, 12:15 AM
if you are going to get an insert then you mount the vac on the front of the trailer with the discharge hose going into a box on the truck. or with a dump trailer put the vac in the front right corner and secure it to the floor. you will be able to dump with it still attached wont hurt it a bit used one like that for years

Front right corner inside of the dump trailer?? That sounds like a fire hazard to me or am i missing something?

bigw
08-18-2008, 12:17 AM
what you need is a gaint vac truck loader 16 horses power ... mount on the front of your trailer blow your leaves in your truck box . to un load you turn the swing arm away from the truck and suck it out with the hose .........:weightlifter:

I dont have a truck box and am probably going to go with a dump tailer, i am looking for a way to attach the loader so i will be able to dump it without having to unload the loader everytime.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 12:26 AM
you build a box on your truck with a screen tarp on top for air .. you mount the vac on the front of your mowing trailer ..

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 12:28 AM
I dont have a truck box and am probably going to go with a dump tailer, i am looking for a way to attach the loader so i will be able to dump it without having to unload the loader everytime.

if you have a dump trailer how are you going to get your mowers and blowers to the job ?

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 12:31 AM
you can take you mowers and the vac with you all fall. you can get alot of leaves in the back of a truck with a box and you can un load with you mowing trailer .

Even Cut Lawn Care
08-18-2008, 01:38 PM
Here are the links to my setup...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=206754

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=206261

bigw
08-18-2008, 01:46 PM
if you have a dump trailer how are you going to get your mowers and blowers to the job ?

i wont be using my mowers and my blowers will go in the back of my pu, my regular trailer is a enclosed trailer. I am buying a dump trailer and will put a leaf box on that for fall clean ups.

hackitdown
08-18-2008, 04:26 PM
i wont be using my mowers and my blowers will go in the back of my pu, my regular trailer is a enclosed trailer. I am buying a dump trailer and will put a leaf box on that for fall clean ups.

No mowers?

I use my mower w/vac as a big part of the cleanup. It works quite well, and leaves a perfect finished look. Way easier than blowing out the stubborn leaves stuck in the grass.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 07:25 PM
No mowers?

I use my mower w/vac as a big part of the cleanup. It works quite well, and leaves a perfect finished look. Way easier than blowing out the stubborn leaves stuck in the grass.

that is what i was trying to tell him you need all stuff for a good clean up, to hard to move a 8 horse blower in the back of a truck ......

razor1
08-18-2008, 07:26 PM
"i wont be using my mowers and my blowers will go in the back of my pu"

bigw,
Sounds like "you're jumping in with both feet"! Have you ever done leaf removal(s) before? I've had dump trucks and truck loaders in the past but with most ztr's you can almost eliminate the need to haul leaves away if you stay on top of it. IMO, their usually isn't enough money in it to be doing all that hauling anyway. hackitdown is right, use your mowers. Good luck either way. :usflag:

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-18-2008, 07:29 PM
Here are the links to my setup...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=206754

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=206261

how do you get your mowers to the job if the grass needs mowed in the fall??

bigw
08-19-2008, 12:52 AM
how do you get your mowers to the job if the grass needs mowed in the fall??

Not everyone does fall clean ups every day while its still mowing season,im sure "like me" some will do their "actual leaf clean ups" on the week ends or after their done mowing for the day.
I dont consider chopping leaves into thousands of little pieces all over the lawn with a ztr a "clean up" i consider that lazy and wouldnt have the nerve to call it a good job.
I will blow my leaves to the road and then suck them up and take them away and then i will mow "IF" it is a customer that i already mow for but even then i will mow them on the next scheduled day, around here a fall clean up consist of removing the leaves from ones lawn and if you want it mowed that will be a seperate charge unless like i said its a customer you already have!
Now about the trailer and truck, first of all i have a 16ft enclosed trailer and i just bought a dump trailer which i will build a box on for my leaves,i do NOT want to use the bed of my truck, it already has my tool box and a bed liner in it and i dont want to remove them for the short leaf season just to mount some ugly leaf box in it. As far as moving an 8 horse blower"which i never said i even had" in the back of my pick up i have ramps and dont see that as a major problem even if i did. WOW now i remember why i have been staying away from this site, you ask a simple question and all you get is rediculed and smart @@@ comments and did i mention i have insurance and i dont low ball!!!

Even Cut Lawn Care
08-19-2008, 12:54 AM
Not everyone does fall clean ups every day while its still mowing season,im sure "like me" some will do their "actual leaf clean ups" on the week ends or after their done mowing for the day.
I dont consider chopping leaves into thousands of little pieces all over the lawn with a ztr a "clean up" i consider that lazy and wouldnt have the nerve to call it a good job.
I will blow my leaves to the road and then suck them up and take them away and then i will mow "IF" it is a customer that i already mow for but even then i will mow them on the next scheduled day, around here a fall clean up consist of removing the leaves from ones lawn and if you want it mowed that will be a seperate charge unless like i said its a customer you already have!
Now about the trailer and truck, first of all i have a 16ft enclosed trailer and i just bought a dump trailer which i will build a box on for my leaves,i do NOT want to use the bed of my truck, it already has my tool box and a bed liner in it and i dont want to remove them for the short leaf season just to mount some ugly leaf box in it. As far as moving an 8 horse blower"which i never said i even had" in the back of my pick up i have ramps and dont see that as a major problem even if i did. WOW now i remember why i have been staying away from this site, you ask a simple question and all you get is rediculed and smart @@@ comments and did i mention i have insurance and i dont low ball!!!


No joke! Its getting a pretty ridiculus

NINER
08-19-2008, 07:48 AM
Get A F350 Or Similiar With A Dump Body With A Overhang Over The Cab. Mount Your Leaf Vac On The Overhang Then You Can Take The Truck To The Leaf Pile Instead Of The Leaves To The Truck.

hackitdown
08-19-2008, 09:19 AM
Not everyone does fall clean ups every day while its still mowing season,im sure "like me" some will do their "actual leaf clean ups" on the week ends or after their done mowing for the day.
I dont consider chopping leaves into thousands of little pieces all over the lawn with a ztr a "clean up" i consider that lazy and wouldnt have the nerve to call it a good job.
I will blow my leaves to the road and then suck them up and take them away and then i will mow "IF" it is a customer that i already mow for but even then i will mow them on the next scheduled day, around here a fall clean up consist of removing the leaves from ones lawn and if you want it mowed that will be a seperate charge unless like i said its a customer you already have!
Now about the trailer and truck, first of all i have a 16ft enclosed trailer and i just bought a dump trailer which i will build a box on for my leaves,i do NOT want to use the bed of my truck, it already has my tool box and a bed liner in it and i dont want to remove them for the short leaf season just to mount some ugly leaf box in it. As far as moving an 8 horse blower"which i never said i even had" in the back of my pick up i have ramps and dont see that as a major problem even if i did. WOW now i remember why i have been staying away from this site, you ask a simple question and all you get is rediculed and smart @@@ comments and did i mention i have insurance and i dont low ball!!!

Sorry, I'm still stuck on the mower piece. I thnk you may be misinterpreting the use of a mower on a cleanup.

I don't suggest that you chop up leaves with a mower, that is hack. However, regardless of how much time you spend blowing with backpacks, I think you will find that there are lots of leaves stuck in the grass. I use blowers to remove 95% of the leaves, then use a mower with a vac system (fancy bagger) to remove the rest. The idea is to suck them up, not to chop them up. This method works well, is fast, and leaves a perfect end result...for me.

Not that I mentioned it before, but around here we use big WB blowers, nothing else will move the leaves quickly enough to make any money. We only use the BP blowers to clean out the beds and corners.

And as you correctly mention above, not all cleanup customers are mowing customers. Some customers call me only for a cleanup, and unfortunately, some leave the grass too long, and the leaves get stuck in there, it is terrible. Blowing the leaves will get most out, but I'll bet big money you will be wishing you had a mower on hand to finish the job, and make it look perfect.

Just trying to help.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-19-2008, 10:34 AM
Not everyone does fall clean ups every day while its still mowing season,im sure "like me" some will do their "actual leaf clean ups" on the week ends or after their done mowing for the day.
I dont consider chopping leaves into thousands of little pieces all over the lawn with a ztr a "clean up" i consider that lazy and wouldnt have the nerve to call it a good job.
I will blow my leaves to the road and then suck them up and take them away and then i will mow "IF" it is a customer that i already mow for but even then i will mow them on the next scheduled day, around here a fall clean up consist of removing the leaves from ones lawn and if you want it mowed that will be a seperate charge unless like i said its a customer you already have!
Now about the trailer and truck, first of all i have a 16ft enclosed trailer and i just bought a dump trailer which i will build a box on for my leaves,i do NOT want to use the bed of my truck, it already has my tool box and a bed liner in it and i dont want to remove them for the short leaf season just to mount some ugly leaf box in it. As far as moving an 8 horse blower"which i never said i even had" in the back of my pick up i have ramps and dont see that as a major problem even if i did. WOW now i remember why i have been staying away from this site, you ask a simple question and all you get is rediculed and smart @@@ comments and did i mention i have insurance and i dont low ball!!!

so you think in the fall you will clean off a yard on friday and go back on monday and the yard wont have leaves on it when you mow in the fall :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::l augh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

lawnwizards
08-19-2008, 11:20 AM
Not everyone does fall clean ups every day while its still mowing season,im sure "like me" some will do their "actual leaf clean ups" on the week ends or after their done mowing for the day.
I dont consider chopping leaves into thousands of little pieces all over the lawn with a ztr a "clean up" i consider that lazy and wouldnt have the nerve to call it a good job.
I will blow my leaves to the road and then suck them up and take them away and then i will mow "IF" it is a customer that i already mow for but even then i will mow them on the next scheduled day, around here a fall clean up consist of removing the leaves from ones lawn and if you want it mowed that will be a seperate charge unless like i said its a customer you already have!
Now about the trailer and truck, first of all i have a 16ft enclosed trailer and i just bought a dump trailer which i will build a box on for my leaves,i do NOT want to use the bed of my truck, it already has my tool box and a bed liner in it and i dont want to remove them for the short leaf season just to mount some ugly leaf box in it. As far as moving an 8 horse blower"which i never said i even had" in the back of my pick up i have ramps and dont see that as a major problem even if i did. WOW now i remember why i have been staying away from this site, you ask a simple question and all you get is rediculed and smart @@@ comments and did i mention i have insurance and i dont low ball!!!

no one is ridiculing you. you asked for advice or tips but its not the advice or tips you want to hear. you already have what you want to do in your mind and want someone to corroborate your idea. just do what you want and if it sucks, you'll learn. better then letting yourself get a headache by not hearing the replies you want. goodluck.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-19-2008, 11:23 AM
:laugh::laugh:no one is ridiculing you. you asked for advice or tips but its not the advice or tips you want to hear. you already have what you want to do in your mind and want someone to corroborate your idea. just do what you want and if it sucks, you'll learn. better then letting yourself get a headache by not hearing the replies you want. goodluck.

sounds like a plan to me :laugh:*trucewhiteflag*

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-19-2008, 11:27 AM
fall leaves are a new idea to him . been there done that ,you can do a yard and make it look great 3 hours later looks like it did before ............

Grits
08-19-2008, 12:54 PM
Same ole BigW! :) So what's up? You can't reply to my post asking how you have been? I'm just trying to be friendly.

bigw
08-19-2008, 03:03 PM
Same ole BigW! :) So what's up? You can't reply to my post asking how you have been? I'm just trying to be friendly.

Hey buddy sorry im doing great and yeah same ole me, hey i just wanted some ideas and i got this.

bigw
08-19-2008, 03:12 PM
so you think in the fall you will clean off a yard on friday and go back on monday and the yard wont have leaves on it when you mow in the fall :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::l augh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Who ever said that???? I am talking about a major clean up when all if not most of the leaves are off the trees, i am not talking about in the begining when the leaves are just starting to fall of course then i will be using my mower and expecting to find leaves when i go back the foillowing week.
I am talking about the houses that you dont mow that wait till all the leaves are on the ground to even call you for a fall clean up.

Dont think your talking to some knuckle head here you dope i am 4,000 $ away from breaking even in my first year of buisness and i didnt buy cheap equipment either and infact have one of the more professional and respected lawn care buisness in my community in just 1 season and besides im sure you were perfect in your first year right?

Grits
08-19-2008, 05:06 PM
Hey buddy sorry im doing great and yeah same ole me, hey i just wanted some ideas and i got this.

Glad to hear you are doing good (there was never any doubt that you would succeed if you wanted too). Ignore any comments that you don't like...much less stressful that way. :) I imagine you are pretty high-strung, though. If you have any more pics, post 'em. I always enjoyed the pics that you posted. I bet that equipment isn't quite as pretty now, eh? I would like to ask you some other questions about sales / marketing and stuff. I'll probably PM you later, so keep checking out the forum.

Grits
08-19-2008, 05:08 PM
Dont think your talking to some knuckle head here you dope i am 4,000 $ away from breaking even in my first year of buisness and i didnt buy cheap equipment either and infact have one of the more professional and respected lawn care buisness in my community in just 1 season and besides im sure you were perfect in your first year right?

:weightlifter:That is freaking AWESOME!!!! I am familiar with what equipment you bought and about how much you had to spend. So for you to be that close is extraordinary!!!! Congrats!

For those unfamiliar with BigW. He is way ahead of the game. He is not a typical newbie. I would have a hard time doubting him.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-19-2008, 06:17 PM
Who ever said that???? I am talking about a major clean up when all if not most of the leaves are off the trees, i am not talking about in the begining when the leaves are just starting to fall of course then i will be using my mower and expecting to find leaves when i go back the foillowing week.
I am talking about the houses that you dont mow that wait till all the leaves are on the ground to even call you for a fall clean up.

Dont think your talking to some knuckle head here you dope i am 4,000 $ away from breaking even in my first year of buisness and i didnt buy cheap equipment either and infact have one of the more professional and respected lawn care buisness in my community in just 1 season and besides im sure you were perfect in your first year right?

no not perfect at all just telling you what might help ..........mowing in the fall takes longer then spring , one day of spring mowing is about 2to 3 days in the fall if the yards are full of leaves and still growing and wet ...

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-19-2008, 06:18 PM
and the winter snow is coming

Roger
08-19-2008, 10:48 PM
.... I am talking about a major clean up when all if not most of the leaves are off the trees, i am not talking about in the begining when the leaves are just starting to fall ....


I am talking about the houses that you dont mow that wait till all the leaves are on the ground to even call you for a fall clean up.

...

On the first point, that was my approach the first couple of years. After that point, no "major cleanup" for me. I learned that approach was filled with trouble.

On the second point, those are not the customers to have if you wish to make money. I will NEVER do those cleanups. Again, I took those jobs the first couple of years, and not since.

Weather, specifically rain, plays a much more important role in leaf work than in grass mowing. You can map out a strategy, put plans in place, get the "right" equipment, and then weather will quickly send those plans into the trash bucket.

Cooter
08-20-2008, 05:51 AM
Mulching the leaves into smithereens like some mulch kits will do is not a hack job. It is easier and cheaper for everyone. No waste in landfills, unless you are composting. And it is actually good for the soil.

CustomKare
08-20-2008, 06:34 AM
Mount it on the front of your truck with pipe over your cab into the bed of the truck

Get a dump so you can do mulch jobs easier also.

Frue
08-20-2008, 07:13 AM
I have a a dump insert with a box. I also own 11 hp trac vac, with a swing away hooked to my bumper this system worked awesome. the 11 hp was plenty enough to get the job done. I do not have any pics yet but I will when I hook it up in oct. I did some huge jobs last year and had no issues.

hackitdown
08-20-2008, 08:34 AM
I am talking about the houses that you dont mow that wait till all the leaves are on the ground to even call you for a fall clean up.

I do lots of those. After leaf-blowing for hours, I use a mower with a collection system to complete the job. It is faster, easier, and give a better finished product. Just keep it in mind, you may want to try it.

Dont think your talking to some knuckle head here you dope i am 4,000 $ away from breaking even in my first year of buisness and i didnt buy cheap equipment either and infact have one of the more professional and respected lawn care buisness in my community in just 1 season and besides im sure you were perfect in your first year right?

Yikes. We are just offering an opinion on leaf-cleaning methods. Some of us have done it before.

bruno_rs
08-20-2008, 11:10 AM
where on the trailer? they have the big box with the battery and pump in them on the tongue and if you mount it on the back then you have to lift it off right? maybe you have a picture of where you mounted yours?

hey big, long time no hear. i have a dump insert which works perfectly for me. i mount the loader to the side of the box and only need to remove the hose when i dump.

since you are purchasing a dump trailer, i would mount it to the front of the trailer... by doing so, you will only need to remove the hose when dumping. i know you are mechanically inclined, therefore i would suggest fabricating a receiver type mount (above and/or away from the pump or battery).

having a dump trailer and being a 1 (or 2) man operation, there is no reason you couldn't put most, if not all, of your everyday equipment in the dump trailer! the key is use your space wisely... pack it tight, secure everything and hang backpacks, edgers, etc.

personally, i stay away from collecting leaves and debris whenever possible. i'm lucky enough to have customers where i can push the leaves/debris into wooded areas, on or around their property... therefore i don't use my vacuum all that often.

if i were you, i'd be looking into a "leaf plow", for the fall season. it's alittle pricey (approximately 450) but can be easily mounted to whatever walk behind and/or ztr you have and save ALOT of time and effort!! have to say it's one of the best investments i've made and would NEVER do a fall cleanup without one... cuts my time by at least 50% and most importantly, i'm not (at all) exhausted after a big cleanup.

congratulations on the success you're experiencing. i'm definately impressed because most lco's, i know, are experiencing just the opposite. keep up the good work! have a good one.

CLARK LAWN
08-20-2008, 12:20 PM
Front right corner inside of the dump trailer?? That sounds like a fire hazard to me or am i missing something?

build the box around the trailer but leave a 2'X2" square (or whetever size your vac is ) in the corner and put the discharge into the top of the box. i cant draw it on here but if you have a fax i can draw a pic and send it to you. thats how i mounted it on 2 separate trucks that had a stake body dump.

Greenery
08-20-2008, 03:43 PM
I think you should reconsider your idea about not bringing a mower with not only is it going to give the lawn a manicured look by getting ALL the leaves up but it will also greatly reduce the volume of leaves yoyr going to be loading which in turn reduces the amount of trips to the dump. In my opinion its not even something i would consider doing. And ive never seen a professional company doing a cleanup without one.

Frue
08-20-2008, 04:56 PM
Bigw you will need a mower on site I use mine to push the piles of leaves when they get to big to be blown. A dump trailer is a bad idea for you cannot get it into alot of places to get at the piles. so your options are. by a seperate truck pile up everything then come back later with the seperate truck and suck them up or hire someone to drive to every job.

I WOULD NOT BUY A DUMP TRAILER YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE IT UNLESS YOU ARE DOING MUNICIPALITIES. Small residentials it is useless.

razor1
08-21-2008, 10:51 AM
Mulching the leaves into smithereens like some mulch kits will do is not a hack job. It is easier and cheaper for everyone. No waste in landfills, unless you are composting. And it is actually good for the soil.


Mulch Leaves into Lawns, Studies Say By The Associated Press 11/22/2004 Mike Goatley is the kind of guy we couch potatoes appreciate most on football-rich fall afternoons. The Virginia Tech extension turf specialist preaches the gospel of "leave them alone" lawn leaf management.
Thereís nothing wrong with blowing, vacuuming or raking downed leaves - especially if youíre trying to spot errant golf balls or keep your grass from being matted down over winter. Disposal is the problem.
"One of the biggest things weíre trying to get away from is putting these things in bags and dumping them in a landfill," Goatley says. "At the same time, youíre improving the organic matter in your soil."
The technique has been used for years, he says. But "thereís quite a bit of data out there now (from Purdue, Michigan State and Cornell universities) indicating this is the way to manage those leaves."
In other words, crank up your mulching-capable lawn mower first when the leaves start piling up in autumn.
A Purdue University report details the responses of a perennial ryegrass lawn to the addition of as much as two tons of maple leaves per acre per application.
Mowing the leaves into fine pieces and filtering them through the turf doesnít degrade lawn color or quality, introduce diseases or weeds, the report says. Over time, the shredded leaves decompose, enriching the topmost soil layers.
Mower mulching also saves time and money that would be unnecessarily spent on bagging and dumping. Composting leaves directly into the turf doesnít mean you should stop fertilizing, however.
"I donít think leaf recycling is a substitute for a sound fertilizing program," Goatley says. "Mother Nature has already removed a lot of nitrogen from those leaves. The microbes needed to further break them down also need some nitrogen.
"Fall fertilization of cold-season grass definitely is the way to go. You can still reap some lawn care benefits with a November nitrogen application."
Applying shredded leaves to your lawn does not alter its underlying soil chemistry, researchers say.
"The deciduous leaves coming off trees have been shown to have a minimal effect on soil pH," Goatley says. "What could make a difference, though, is pine straw (layers of pine needles). Thatís acidic. The needles also donít break down very quickly."
Grass height depends upon the species, but two to three inches is good for this time of year.
"An advantage to maintaining your mowing schedule into the down time of winter is that the leaves continue filtering down," Goatley says. "You canít completely pulverize them, but they will settle down into the grass and become organic matter."
While you should always think safety when mowing your lawn, that goes double when leaf-mulching. Wear safety goggles and an air mask, Goatley says. Donít use your mower for branch-shredding or stump-grinding. Sharpen the mower blade and change the air filter more often when mulching thick layers of leaves.
"Walk the area and pick up whatever branches and debris have come off with the leaves," Goatley says. "The leaves should be on the dry side so they pulverize a little better, but then that means dust.
"You should also think about whoís out there, including pets. You canít have anyone or anything nearby while youíre running the risk of throwing sticks or any debris buried beneath the leaves."
Monday, November 22, 2004

hackitdown
08-21-2008, 09:14 PM
Mulch Leaves into Lawns, Studies Say By The Associated Press 11/22/2004 Mike Goatley is the kind of guy we couch potatoes appreciate most on football-rich fall afternoons. The Virginia Tech extension turf specialist preaches the gospel of "leave them alone" lawn leaf management.
Thereís nothing wrong with blowing, vacuuming or raking downed leaves - especially if youíre trying to spot errant golf balls or keep your grass from being matted down over winter. Disposal is the problem.
"One of the biggest things weíre trying to get away from is putting these things in bags and dumping them in a landfill," Goatley says. "At the same time, youíre improving the organic matter in your soil."
The technique has been used for years, he says. But "thereís quite a bit of data out there now (from Purdue, Michigan State and Cornell universities) indicating this is the way to manage those leaves."
In other words, crank up your mulching-capable lawn mower first when the leaves start piling up in autumn.
A Purdue University report details the responses of a perennial ryegrass lawn to the addition of as much as two tons of maple leaves per acre per application.
Mowing the leaves into fine pieces and filtering them through the turf doesnít degrade lawn color or quality, introduce diseases or weeds, the report says. Over time, the shredded leaves decompose, enriching the topmost soil layers.
Mower mulching also saves time and money that would be unnecessarily spent on bagging and dumping. Composting leaves directly into the turf doesnít mean you should stop fertilizing, however.
"I donít think leaf recycling is a substitute for a sound fertilizing program," Goatley says. "Mother Nature has already removed a lot of nitrogen from those leaves. The microbes needed to further break them down also need some nitrogen.
"Fall fertilization of cold-season grass definitely is the way to go. You can still reap some lawn care benefits with a November nitrogen application."
Applying shredded leaves to your lawn does not alter its underlying soil chemistry, researchers say.
"The deciduous leaves coming off trees have been shown to have a minimal effect on soil pH," Goatley says. "What could make a difference, though, is pine straw (layers of pine needles). Thatís acidic. The needles also donít break down very quickly."
Grass height depends upon the species, but two to three inches is good for this time of year.
"An advantage to maintaining your mowing schedule into the down time of winter is that the leaves continue filtering down," Goatley says. "You canít completely pulverize them, but they will settle down into the grass and become organic matter."
While you should always think safety when mowing your lawn, that goes double when leaf-mulching. Wear safety goggles and an air mask, Goatley says. Donít use your mower for branch-shredding or stump-grinding. Sharpen the mower blade and change the air filter more often when mulching thick layers of leaves.
"Walk the area and pick up whatever branches and debris have come off with the leaves," Goatley says. "The leaves should be on the dry side so they pulverize a little better, but then that means dust.
"You should also think about whoís out there, including pets. You canít have anyone or anything nearby while youíre running the risk of throwing sticks or any debris buried beneath the leaves."
Monday, November 22, 2004

If the intent of this post is to prove that all leaves can simply be mulched into the lawn...then please come here to Northern Mass for a day's work on November 20th or so. You can run your mower across a lawn all day long, and you will only create the most horrendous mess one could imagine.

Once again, it is a regional thing. We literally get leaves which are almost 12 inches deep. Mowing them/mulching them does not work. In my area, 95% of the leaves must be removed, then the rest can be vacuumed up, or mulched if need be.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 09:18 PM
you need gater blades and do it more often

RSL
08-21-2008, 09:20 PM
I Would Mount To Dump Truck With Bracket On Gate So U Can Also Pull Your Trailer With Equipment

hackitdown
08-21-2008, 09:28 PM
you need gater blades and do it more often

When my 23hp ZTR stalls because it won't move through 12 inches of leaves, I'll make sure I jack up the mower and install the Gators. That'll do it. Wish you told me last year.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 09:34 PM
When my 23hp ZTR stalls because it won't move through 12 inches of leaves, I'll make sure I jack up the mower and install the Gators. That'll do it. Wish you told me last year.

you need 2 mow the yard more often 12 inch in 4 days , thank god my yards dont have trees ....................................

hackitdown
08-21-2008, 09:38 PM
you need 2 mow the yard more often 12 inch in 4 days , thank god my yards dont have trees ....................................

The grass stops growing here Oct 1. The leaves fall from Oct 1 until mid November. We make lots of money doing cleanups for customers who mow there own lawns. They call us to rescue the lawn because it is under the leaves. We charge outrageous amounts of money for this service. Mowing weekly is not part of this solution.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 09:41 PM
The grass stops growing here Oct 1. The leaves fall from Oct 1 until mid November. We make lots of money doing cleanups for customers who mow there own lawns. They call us to rescue the lawn because it is under the leaves. We charge outrageous amounts of money for this service. Mowing weekly is not part of this solution.

well what i am saying is if you go suck them up weekly they are somre times faster and not as hard .............

Roger
08-21-2008, 09:41 PM
When I started, I was of the "clear them all" school. As seasons passed, and I tried mulching them, at least some of them. I learned different ways of dealing with them, focused on mulching and leaving them. Now, I have eliminated much of the blowing, tarping, and hauling to the dump.

I was concerned about after effects. Many of the properties are ones that I have worked for years, so I can see differences, if any. The places where heavy leaf mulching has been done for years is no less turf. If any change, the turf is better.

I have also learned that no single way is the right way. There are too many variables. I may be able to mulch them for three visits, but the next time, the cover is too heavy, or the leaves are too wet. Then it is time to get the blowers, tarps, and trailer so they can be hauled away. I don't stop working because of weather, unless it is raining. I also have learned to keep working at them, hoping I can maintain the pace of several visits each season for leaf work.

I would agree with the above report. But, as noted, the results can be regional. For somebody new at the trade, a good strategy for a particular area may take a few years to sort itself out.

bigw
08-21-2008, 09:42 PM
The grass stops growing here Oct 1. The leaves fall from Oct 1 until mid November. We make lots of money doing cleanups for customers who mow there own lawns. They call us to rescue the lawn because it is under the leaves. We charge outrageous amounts of money for this service. Mowing weekly is not part of this solution.

finally someone that understands that not all customers that want leaves cleaned up are looking for you to mow their lawn, i dont understand what part of "NOT MY MOWING CUSTOMERS" he doesnt understand!

bigw
08-21-2008, 09:44 PM
well what i am saying is if you go suck them up weekly they are somre times faster and not as hard .............

who the hell wants to keep going back to a "non mowing customers house over and over to do a leaf cleanup? NOT ME!! I come i clean i get paid bye bye!

razor1
08-21-2008, 10:50 PM
"If the intent of this post is to prove that all leaves can simply be mulched" hackitdown

Just wanted to let some people know that mulching can be an option under the right circumstances, kapish. :)

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 11:40 PM
who the hell wants to keep going back to a "non mowing customers house over and over to do a leaf cleanup? NOT ME!! I come i clean i get paid bye bye!

you dont want 2 get paid for weeks of work ?? we will see what you think in the winter when you are done ................................:cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool 2::cool2::cool2::cool2::cool2:

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-27-2008, 12:58 PM
you need to make sure the hose is long to reach all areas ..