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View Full Version : What would be the best way to go for the roof of a leaf box?


bigw
08-21-2008, 03:20 PM
Ok so im going to be building my leaf box for my dump trailer and i was wondering which type of roof and vent system i should use? I am considering different options but not sure which way to go.
My options right now are 1- a solid wood roof with cut outs for something like hardware cloth as vents or 2- just use a good mesh type tarp either bolted tight to the top a few inches over hang or simply bungee cords holding it on or does anyone have any better ideas and any advice on where and how big the vents should be?
I will be blowing leaves from front of trailer towards the rear where it dumps. I need to get this started soon so please if you really dont know the answers just dont reply because i dont know myself and dont want to do this wrong and have to redo the roof again. Thanks!

PS. yes i have done a search on here and still would like other opinions

bigw
08-21-2008, 03:54 PM
Another thought i had was to just use some 2x4's for brace's across the top and using a complete hardware fabric top...would that work? I guess i could lay a tarp over that if needed for rain?

ALC-GregH
08-21-2008, 04:24 PM
can you give us alittle more info? How tall are the sides, what is supporting the sides, is the back going to dump with the gate opening from the top, bottom or side? It sounds like your on the right track with what you have going.

Now for the "don't respond if you don't know part"

I would use a breathable top with 2x4's run side to side across the top, fastened so that they can be removed later, this will support the fabric you use AND allow you to use the trailer for other stuff where a open trailer is needed. I'm not sure you want to enclose it with a hard top though. Unless it's a dedicated trailer, I'd stick with tarps or a durable fabric similar to the stuff used on dump trucks to cover the load.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 05:44 PM
you dont know .....................

bigw
08-21-2008, 06:02 PM
can you give us alittle more info? How tall are the sides, what is supporting the sides, is the back going to dump with the gate opening from the top, bottom or side? It sounds like your on the right track with what you have going.

Now for the "don't respond if you don't know part"

I would use a breathable top with 2x4's run side to side across the top, fastened so that they can be removed later, this will support the fabric you use AND allow you to use the trailer for other stuff where a open trailer is needed. I'm not sure you want to enclose it with a hard top though. Unless it's a dedicated trailer, I'd stick with tarps or a durable fabric similar to the stuff used on dump trucks to cover the load.

ok its going to have 4-5 ft sides on top of the 2 ft high trailer sides making it a total of either 6-7 ft high made out of plywood " maybe pressure treated maybe not" it will be supported with 2x3 in the trailer side holes and probably 2x4's running from side to side across the top every 2 ft or so.
The rear door will probably be a one piece door with hinges up top so it swing open as it dumps or maybe plywood barn doors not sure which makes more sense yet...ok thats about all i have right now!

bigw
08-21-2008, 06:05 PM
you dont know .....................

I have ideas but no im not sure, i am not the leaf box expert but i thought for sure you were!:laugh:

CLARK LAWN
08-21-2008, 06:17 PM
i used metal grateing that i got from my mower dealer as for size the bigger the better. if it is to small it will blow the sides out (learned the hard way) a mesh tarp will work good to that way you can get in the box and pack the leaves down more.

hackitdown
08-21-2008, 09:08 PM
Would wire fencing work...like chicken wire? It is cheap.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-21-2008, 09:26 PM
they sell tarps for this that let air out like a vent but not to much dust because they can get dusty or leafy..........

bruno_rs
08-21-2008, 09:30 PM
Ok so im going to be building my leaf box for my dump trailer and i was wondering which type of roof and vent system i should use? I am considering different options but not sure which way to go.
My options right now are 1- a solid wood roof with cut outs for something like hardware cloth as vents or 2- just use a good mesh type tarp either bolted tight to the top a few inches over hang or simply bungee cords holding it on or does anyone have any better ideas and any advice on where and how big the vents should be?
I will be blowing leaves from front of trailer towards the rear where it dumps. I need to get this started soon so please if you really dont know the answers just dont reply because i dont know myself and dont want to do this wrong and have to redo the roof again. Thanks!

PS. yes i have done a search on here and still would like other opinions

hey big, if you're building a wood box i would definitely use pressure treated. DO NOT do a solid roof... that's where you need to vent! what i used on mine was 1/4 inch (square) mesh... available at any hardware store. if you prefer to use the mesh fabric, that's ok too. my top is 2/3's mesh and 1/3 plywood at the opposite side of the loader.

whatever gate you build, should be mostly mesh. by doing so, it's so much easier to know where the level of debris is. my gate is nothing more than a frame of 1x3's, routed/glued, angle brackets bolted from both sides (for added strength) and hinged at the top, to allow easy dumping.

i know you're mechanically inclined so, it should be fairly simple for you to build a box in an afternoon. mine was built over 10 years ago and therefore not too certain of the cost today. it took me an afternoon and cost 150+/-. my guess (today) would be 250?

i agree with many of the other guys (your leaf collection post)... using a mower w/collection system as the LAST piece of equipment on a lawn, is crucial, after the cleanup. i'm assuming you have a collection system for your ztr. if not, you may want to look into one... the end result is incredible and the finished product is like night and day!... (mower/no mower)

also, think about a leaf plow... jrco makes a nice one and the cost is approximately 450. i would NEVER do another cleanup without one... cuts my time in (just about) 1/2 and i can do any cleanup larger outfits do (with a crew), all day long! during the fall i break out my toro grounds master and put the leaf plow on it... having the front (deck) hydraulics helps, when pushing and/or piling leaves. most of my customers are on more than 3 acres and you should see the looks i get, working by myself. every season, at least 3-4 people stop me, ask for my help and they ALWAYS end up as new (regular) customers. no advertising necessary, i let my work speak for itself.

sounds like your really knocking em dead! keep up the hard work... it's gonna pay you back 10 fold!! have fun building the box and post some pics when you get a chance. have a good one.

Frue
08-21-2008, 09:42 PM
breatable tarp, dont say I didnt warn you about the trailer. What are you going to do when you have a huge pile of leaves in the back of the house and you cannot finangle the truck plus the dump trailer back there?

bigw
08-22-2008, 02:41 PM
breatable tarp, dont say I didnt warn you about the trailer. What are you going to do when you have a huge pile of leaves in the back of the house and you cannot finangle the truck plus the dump trailer back there?

1 either break out the push blower and blow them to the front or 2. blow them on a tarp and drag them to the front not really that big of a deal is it?

bigw
08-22-2008, 02:46 PM
hey big, if you're building a wood box i would definitely use pressure treated. DO NOT do a solid roof... that's where you need to vent! what i used on mine was 1/4 inch (square) mesh... available at any hardware store. if you prefer to use the mesh fabric, that's ok too. my top is 2/3's mesh and 1/3 plywood at the opposite side of the loader.

whatever gate you build, should be mostly mesh. by doing so, it's so much easier to know where the level of debris is. my gate is nothing more than a frame of 1x3's, routed/glued, angle brackets bolted from both sides (for added strength) and hinged at the top, to allow easy dumping.

i know you're mechanically inclined so, it should be fairly simple for you to build a box in an afternoon. mine was built over 10 years ago and therefore not too certain of the cost today. it took me an afternoon and cost 150+/-. my guess (today) would be 250?

i agree with many of the other guys (your leaf collection post)... using a mower w/collection system as the LAST piece of equipment on a lawn, is crucial, after the cleanup. i'm assuming you have a collection system for your ztr. if not, you may want to look into one... the end result is incredible and the finished product is like night and day!... (mower/no mower)

also, think about a leaf plow... jrco makes a nice one and the cost is approximately 450. i would NEVER do another cleanup without one... cuts my time in (just about) 1/2 and i can do any cleanup larger outfits do (with a crew), all day long! during the fall i break out my toro grounds master and put the leaf plow on it... having the front (deck) hydraulics helps, when pushing and/or piling leaves. most of my customers are on more than 3 acres and you should see the looks i get, working by myself. every season, at least 3-4 people stop me, ask for my help and they ALWAYS end up as new (regular) customers. no advertising necessary, i let my work speak for itself.

sounds like your really knocking em dead! keep up the hard work... it's gonna pay you back 10 fold!! have fun building the box and post some pics when you get a chance. have a good one.

when you say 1/4 inch mesh do you mean that hardware cloth? and could you send me a picture of your box,especially the gate side...vintagelawncare@comcast.net

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-22-2008, 03:35 PM
1 either break out the push blower and blow them to the front or 2. blow them on a tarp and drag them to the front not really that big of a deal is it?

you dont think it is a big deal 2 drag 20 tarps of wet leaves solo, tell me that in the winter :nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono:

bigw
08-22-2008, 03:43 PM
you dont think it is a big deal 2 drag 20 tarps of wet leaves solo, tell me that in the winter :nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono:

trust me ill be fine thanks for all your concern though...i mean where would i be with out you.

Frue
08-22-2008, 04:36 PM
they sell breathable charts at tractor supply they run about 70 bucks.

J.A.G LAWNCARE
08-22-2008, 05:01 PM
trust me ill be fine thanks for all your concern though...i mean where would i be with out you.

you happy with it ?

bruno_rs
08-22-2008, 06:15 PM
when you say 1/4 inch mesh do you mean that hardware cloth? and could you send me a picture of your box,especially the gate side...vintagelawncare@comcast.net

hey big, the 1/4 mesh i'm referring to can be purchased in any home depot or lowes, in the garden dept. it usually comes in rolls of 15-20 ft. farmers use it as screens to keep out varments and/or predators... it's alittle heavier in gage than chicken wire/mesh.

unfortunately, my box is down at my brothers place in south jersey... i'll see if someone down there can get a few pics. like i said earlier, it's a simple build for anyone who is mechanically inclined or good with wood. the gate is even easier/simpler to put together than the box itself.

i thought of your limited options transporting your equipment and collecting leaves, simultaneously. what i would do is; purchase stakes and deer (black plastic) protective mesh... the stuff you put over plants, to keep deer from munching. pick a spot on the property where it is easy access for your trailer and pile your leaves/debris there. once your done with the cleanup, fence it in and leave the piles for a day which you can dedicate to just loading. whatever the cost, build it into the cleanup. imo that is the best way to get around being a solo artist with a dump trailer.

i'm gonna say it again, BUY a leaf plow!!! if your doing a lot of cleanups (especially alone)... it will pay for itself the very 1st time you work with it. the plow makes cleanups a breeze. i'm 47 and work alone... i work all day everyday of the fall season and i'm not a freak of nature. i will do cleanups other lco's send crews out on and my time is just a little longer than theirs... the end result, the same or many times (mine is) better. i can't tell you how many new customers i pick up, every year, during my solo fall cleanups.

keep up the good work... your well on your way. have a good one.

LushGreenLawn
08-22-2008, 09:37 PM
you dont think it is a big deal 2 drag 20 tarps of wet leaves solo, tell me that in the winter :nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono::nono:

I've had to do this when I first started, and I did not have the funding to buy a leaf loader, so I had to throw them over the side of the trailer. I've done
20+ by myself. Do I want to do it again? No, but I could if I had to. Some of us had to start from scratch!

bigw
08-22-2008, 10:43 PM
hey big, the 1/4 mesh i'm referring to can be purchased in any home depot or lowes, in the garden dept. it usually comes in rolls of 15-20 ft. farmers use it as screens to keep out varments and/or predators... it's alittle heavier in gage than chicken wire/mesh.

unfortunately, my box is down at my brothers place in south jersey... i'll see if someone down there can get a few pics. like i said earlier, it's a simple build for anyone who is mechanically inclined or good with wood. the gate is even easier/simpler to put together than the box itself.

i thought of your limited options transporting your equipment and collecting leaves, simultaneously. what i would do is; purchase stakes and deer (black plastic) protective mesh... the stuff you put over plants, to keep deer from munching. pick a spot on the property where it is easy access for your trailer and pile your leaves/debris there. once your done with the cleanup, fence it in and leave the piles for a day which you can dedicate to just loading. whatever the cost, build it into the cleanup. imo that is the best way to get around being a solo artist with a dump trailer.

i'm gonna say it again, BUY a leaf plow!!! if your doing a lot of cleanups (especially alone)... it will pay for itself the very 1st time you work with it. the plow makes cleanups a breeze. i'm 47 and work alone... i work all day everyday of the fall season and i'm not a freak of nature. i will do cleanups other lco's send crews out on and my time is just a little longer than theirs... the end result, the same or many times (mine is) better. i can't tell you how many new customers i pick up, every year, during my solo fall cleanups.

keep up the good work... your well on your way. have a good one.

Well im 45 so no wonder we get along, i think alot of guys on here talk to me like im 18 and thats why i cant relate to them. As far as the plow goes you can bet as soon as i find the way and means to get the mower to the job i will get one.

In fact if the jobs are big enough and close enough to and have enough profit i may go do the cleanups during the day then go back and suck them up at the end and just cover them with old tarps etc..Thanks for all the help.

Frue
08-23-2008, 08:18 AM
Well im 45 so no wonder we get along, i think alot of guys on here talk to me like im 18 and thats why i cant relate to them. As far as the plow goes you can bet as soon as i find the way and means to get the mower to the job i will get one.

In fact if the jobs are big enough and close enough to and have enough profit i may go do the cleanups during the day then go back and suck them up at the end and just cover them with old tarps etc..Thanks for all the help.

I still use the mower as a plow take the deck down to a inch and push the piles. it may not do as good as a leaf plow but it moves the bulk of them.

bruno_rs
08-23-2008, 09:24 AM
Well im 45 so no wonder we get along, i think alot of guys on here talk to me like im 18 and thats why i cant relate to them. As far as the plow goes you can bet as soon as i find the way and means to get the mower to the job i will get one.

In fact if the jobs are big enough and close enough to and have enough profit i may go do the cleanups during the day then go back and suck them up at the end and just cover them with old tarps etc..Thanks for all the help.

hey big, that's the ticket! do the cleanups and then go back with the dump trailer and suck em up.

the reason i suggested stakes (metal are best) and the deer netting is, tarps will catch wind and become a kite releasing all you hard work, after it takes flight. there is a much lesser likelihood for the leaves to blow away if you use the netting secured to metal stakes.

customers will really appreciate the unique ingenuity. moreover, they will realize you're professional, willing to go the extra mile AND one who takes great pride in your work. the stakes and netting are not that expensive and naturally, the cost will be hidden into the cleanups.

when your cleanup season is over, put away the stakes and netting to use over and over for years to come. just like the leave plow, this will be a one time purchase which will make your life easier... physically AND financially! time is money.

i'll contact my brother sometime this weekend and see if he can't get some photos of my leaf box. when are you gonna start the build? don't get frustrated .... most likely your end result will be different from the plans. i'm sure you'll do well. don't sweat the small stuff. have a good one.

bruno_rs
08-23-2008, 10:32 AM
hey big, i was looking for some photos of leaf collection systems. you may want to check out a post by boston guy. go to search, type in "photos of a leaf box" and the 3rd post should be his.

bostons' trailer is imo how you should set yours up... using a heavy mess tarp and flex poles. it looks to be easier to assemble and/or take off, not to mention much lighter, last longer and cheaper than a wood box.

i think i recall reading the tarp, poles and hardware cost approximately 150... can't beat that with a stick! this way you have more $ to put toward your new leaf plow. moreover, storing the collection "lid" will be neatly tucked away in the corner or rafters of your shop and/or garage!. think about it.

i'm out of here... i check you later. have a good one.