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sms8921
06-13-2010, 12:44 PM
What do you guys have in your arsenal for leaf removal jobs? Does anyone use a cyclone rake? I am just wondering I know I need a good backpack blower but I am debating getting a cyclone rake they look like they really work good. thanks guys

Matt Hermann
06-13-2010, 12:54 PM
I've got 2 backpacks and a walk behind little wonder. If your looking to get something for your tractor, check out one of those pull behind leaf collectors, like there is a little wire brush that spins as it moves, and it picks up leafs. Alot cheaper than a cyclone rake imo.

Matt

FiveOJoe
06-13-2010, 01:01 PM
I have a Cyclone Rake XL. Love it. I use my Bobcat ZTR to pull it and, once you get use to the size of the unit and how it handles, it works fantastic. The unit hardcouples to the back of the Z so it swings when you turn (it's not articulated), and it's got a pretty big swing. Unit is built well, runs and starts well and really packs the leaves in tight. Makes a lot of dust and is really loud, but I can do an acre of really heavy leaf coverage in about 3 dumps. I know when it's getting full because the steering on the Z gets crazy from the tailwag. I just dump at the street, I don't have an unloader, and I don't use the bagger inserts. I did get the steel liner and the double wheels. Also the yellow hose upgrade.
Really like mine.
The best part is the company really stands behind them, 6 months no obligation to buy, fantastic customer service and a well built machine.

Total Grounds Maintenance
06-13-2010, 01:12 PM
I am too looking for something I can tow behind my ZT's. I don't know about those pull behing leaf collectors they kind of look cheesy. I need something that is compact enough to get into areas that a ZT will go, big enough to haul a boat load of leaves and can double as a tailgate loader too. This needs to be a commercial unit as it will run all day long. The cyclone rake says "home owners" so I don't think its industial grade.

I laugh when I see 20 + guys in a crew racking all day and loading/inloading on tarps LOL LOL It makes me want to ask the LCO why doesn't he/she just buy the right damn eqiupment for the jobs! With the right stuff you can shrink that crew down to 5. I see the same thing with snow removal and it makes me laugh.

FiveOJoe
06-13-2010, 01:24 PM
I am too looking for something I can tow behind my ZT's. I don't know about those pull behing leaf collectors they kind of look cheesy. I need something that is compact enough to get into areas that a ZT will go, big enough to haul a boat load of leaves and can double as a tailgate loader too. This needs to be a commercial unit as it will run all day long. The cyclone rake says "home owners" so I don't think its industial grade.

I laugh when I see 20 + guys in a crew racking all day and loading/inloading on tarps LOL LOL It makes me want to ask the LCO why doesn't he/she just buy the right damn eqiupment for the jobs! With the right stuff you can shrink that crew down to 5. I see the same thing with snow removal and it makes me laugh.

I don't use mine commercially, but I think it's built well enough and if you get the Vanguard 9hp I think it would hold up fairly well as long as the operator isn't an animal. I do a few different properties with mine and it's run some pretty hard hours. The warranty I have says Commercial, 1 year, homewoners, 3 years. If I was to use it commercially I think I would just dump near the truck and use a leaf loader for loading. The unloader doesn't look like it's strong point.

Bluffman
06-13-2010, 01:40 PM
I have a Trac-vac 655 pro. It uses 2, 44gal trash containers (16 bushells). I love mine. I looked hard at the Cyclone and have nothing bad to say about it but I wanted the flexibility to remove the containers and haul the stuff where I wanted. The Cyclone has to pretty much drive to where you want to dump and that was a deal breaker for my personal situation. At my own property, I dump in ravines out back and I can't drive right back to them to dump. Same story though, when it gets full, it tends to "steer" the mower a bit. then you know its time to dump. I also like the seperate engine so it doesn't load down the mower power as spindle driven units can do. But boy does it suck up leaves, grass and thatch from the Jrco rake.

Darryl G
06-13-2010, 02:04 PM
I use backback blowers, a walk behind leaf blower and the Ultravac on my ZTR. I have a 16HP leaf loader but never use it. It just seems like more work to me than it's worth for the accounts I have...having to get all the leaves out to the curb and then suck them up....I seem to do better grinding them up in place and picking them up with the mower. Bring the man to the mountain, not the mountain to the man sort of thing. Also have an Echo shredder/blower/vac thingy for window wells and corners and detail work. Don't use it much but nice to have.

TennisBum
06-13-2010, 08:44 PM
I run over them with my OCDC closed and mulch them into oblivion. Then I go back over with the bagger on. Works great. You leave alot of material on the ground, but it's not even noticable. It's also good for the yard. You pick up very little and what you do get is like gold for gardens and beds. It's also the fastest way I've delt with leaves.

TennisBum
06-13-2010, 08:53 PM
I forgot to mention, you don't need to buy a bunch of expensive, space hogging equipment. Just an OCDC and a bagger. Hopefully you already own these.

milkie62
06-13-2010, 10:24 PM
Mulching is all well and good in areas that it works in.Just try to mulch a fenced in yard of sugar maples from upstate NY or vermont----it ain't happenin'

FiveOJoe
06-13-2010, 10:26 PM
That would have to be some nuclear powered mulcher in my yard!

Total Grounds Maintenance
06-13-2010, 10:28 PM
The two 44 gal units look nice for smaller jobs. The trac-vac systems are nice but as with the cyclone you get the steering issues because of the units having a single axle. I think I may just build one using a 4x8 trailer and put an extra axle under it.

topsites
06-13-2010, 10:32 PM
Tell you the same thing I tell anyone who asks me about this and that or the
other piece of equipment for doing the leaves...

I've learned a lot of things in the last 8 years, among these I know of so many ways of doing leaves.
The bad news is that unfortunately, I find none of them are what I would call 'easy.'

There's hard ways of doing it and there's harder ways still, but the hardest part is just getting off the old butt,
fact is the only way leaves are getting done is once somebody gets to doing it, whichever way, pretty much.

On that note I'd recommend getting a decent tarp and a solid rake.

Coastal Lawn Maintenance
06-13-2010, 10:41 PM
i have a power flow bagger for the deere and back pack blowers and the 13 hp leaf loader, there are some accounts that i have that i can just mulch them but most of them would leave to much evidence and the customer like it when i leave them at the end of the year that the yard looks as good as a regular cut.

Total Grounds Maintenance
06-13-2010, 11:15 PM
Tell you the same thing I tell anyone who asks me about this and that or the
other piece of equipment for doing the leaves...

I've learned a lot of things in the last 8 years, among these I know of so many ways of doing leaves.
The bad news is that unfortunately, I find none of them are what I would call 'easy.'

There's hard ways of doing it and there's harder ways still, but the hardest part is just getting off the old butt,
fact is the only way leaves are getting done is once somebody gets to doing it, whichever way, pretty much.

On that note I'd recommend getting a decent tarp and a solid rake.

Yeah that's the reply I was afraid of. I have 1 account thats 11 acres 100 homes that literally "in the woods" so to speak. The street gutters alone cost me 2 extra guys once every 2 weeks. All huge cherry, locust and sycamore trees. Oh and lets not forget those great swamp maples. Just when one tree stops dropping crap the other decides to start.

sms8921
06-14-2010, 02:38 PM
im still trying to figure out what ocdc means? lol

Bluffman
06-14-2010, 03:03 PM
LOL! I thought I was an idiot...I have no clue what ocdc is either! Both the Trac-vac and the Cyclone have swivel wheels which rotate independently of each other 360 degrees. They aren't on an axle like on a trailer...the only "axle" is on each of the independent wheels just to clear up any confusion. It's true, the 44 gal containers fill quickly even though the impeller on the vac mulches the crap out of them. Like anything else, they have their place but the lawns do look like freshly vacuumed green carpet when I'm done!

coolluv
06-14-2010, 03:36 PM
Operator Controlled discharge shute.

Dave...

STIHL GUY
06-14-2010, 07:46 PM
i got a BR600 a 5HP WB blower, 16 leaf loader, tarp, rakes, leaf box.

Darryl G
06-14-2010, 10:02 PM
Operator Controlled discharge shute.

Dave...

that would be OCDS :p

mowerbrad
06-14-2010, 10:30 PM
I've got a BR600 and BR340 for my blowers. A couple tarps. A 14' trailer to fill up. And of course the new monster of a mower.

I had a 20hp billy goat leaf loader, but it didn't work for me since I'm solo....so I sold that.

Darryl G
06-14-2010, 10:33 PM
I've got a BR600 and BR340 for my blowers. A couple tarps. A 14' trailer to fill up. And of course the new monster of a mower.

I had a 20hp billy goat leaf loader, but it didn't work for me since I'm solo....so I sold that.

You need a new avitar of yourself on the Green Machine!

dgw
06-14-2010, 10:49 PM
mow em all into the middle with the gravely , suck up with the walker, dump em

and suck em up with a 16hp kohler trailer vac

Darryl G
06-14-2010, 11:05 PM
mow em all into the middle with the gravely , suck up with the walker, dump em

and suck em up with a 16hp kohler trailer vac

See, I find that a little silly. Pick them up with the mower just to dump them again to have to pick them up again. That's why I prefer to use a bagger with actual bags. Yes, you have to stop and get off the machine and grab and empty them, but it's my preferred method. I haul my mower in the dump trailer in the fall. Like Brad, I tried a Billy Goat leaf loader, but also being solo, it just didn't work for me.

dgw
06-14-2010, 11:09 PM
i see your point


but when i have a property that gets my about nine yards of leaves , my way works for me

a postage stamp ill suck em straight out the back of the walker

FiveOJoe
06-14-2010, 11:13 PM
Orange County Department of Corrections?

dgw
06-14-2010, 11:14 PM
Orange County Department of Corrections?

i thought it was a rock band

mowerbrad
06-14-2010, 11:36 PM
You need a new avitar of yourself on the Green Machine!

I'll have to work on that....I don't think I have one of me on the mower, but I know I have some pretty good pics of it.

ShooterK2
06-15-2010, 12:21 AM
OCDC.........sounds kinda like a new virus or something.........like H1N1. "Oh, she's sick with the OCDC again....."

Man, I need to get some sleep.........

Darryl G
06-15-2010, 01:26 AM
OCDC.........sounds kinda like a new virus or something.........like H1N1. "Oh, she's sick with the OCDC again....."

Man, I need to get some sleep.........

Actually aren't they a rock band?

Lawnut101
06-15-2010, 02:00 AM
I have a Trac-Vac system for my Bobcat. It works great, but doesn't hold much. But for the price I paid ($500), I can't complain. A new one is around $3k. I also have a backpack blower, and a Stihl BG-55 that we put a vacuum attachment on usually. This setup works good. Keeps a 2-3 man crew busy all the time. If I have a lot of leaves to haul, then I will rent a dump trailer. I am thinking about buying a leaf loader, but not sure about that yet.

Richard Martin
06-15-2010, 03:57 AM
Here is most of my gear.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/DSC00178.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/MVC-525F.jpg

It's a Stihl BR600, Dixie Chopper XP2800, Brinly LVS-33 with B&S 6.5 Intek I/C, Little Wonder 8 HP, Ferris HydroCut 36" with a GrassPacher catcher.

Not pictured is a Craftsman lawn sweeper.

I've also used a leaf plow, a self propelled yard vac (worthless to me) and a hand held leaf vac in the past.

Just like no 2 lawns are the same, no 2 leaf cleanups are the same. I use all of the above listed equipment in various combinations on different lawns.

There is nothing like having as much leaf cleanup equipment as you can afford.

hackitdown
06-15-2010, 06:17 AM
We do a lot of large lots. We use 2 BR600s to get stuff out of the corners and beds, and a Little Wonder Walk behind blower to clean big lawn areas. We push piles of leaves with a JRCO leaf rake. Then we finish up with a ZTR with a vac system.

mbrew
06-15-2010, 07:17 AM
...

I've also used a leaf plow, a self propelled yard vac (worthless to me) and a hand held leaf vac in the past....

I was thinking of buying one. Did it not work well, to small or...?

CTmower
06-15-2010, 12:08 PM
Scag TT 61" with Collection system
13hp Little Wonder push Blower
Echo 755T Backpack blowers
Billy Goat 18hp Truck Loader mounted onto the front of the truck
Boxed in EZ Dumper
Rakes

I am solo as well and after 3 years of tarping leaves onto my 14ft trailer I've decided to take the plung and buy the truck loader. Being solo I need all the help I can get and I think the loader will help me out tremendously.
Most yards I blow the front to the curb then use the mower for the sides and the back. After everything is picked up I go over the property once more with the mower to give it a final clean look.

Richard Martin
06-15-2010, 01:04 PM
I was thinking of buying one. Did it not work well, to small or...?

Too slow, too small and marginal results.

unit28
06-15-2010, 01:13 PM
no offense brother but I want to build me a garbage can collector for my mower too.
frigen sweet

Darryl G
06-15-2010, 06:01 PM
Scag TT 61" with Collection system
13hp Little Wonder push Blower
Echo 755T Backpack blowers
Billy Goat 18hp Truck Loader mounted onto the front of the truck
Boxed in EZ Dumper
Rakes

I am solo as well and after 3 years of tarping leaves onto my 14ft trailer I've decided to take the plung and buy the truck loader. Being solo I need all the help I can get and I think the loader will help me out tremendously.
Most yards I blow the front to the curb then use the mower for the sides and the back. After everything is picked up I go over the property once more with the mower to give it a final clean look.

I thought the same thing regarding the truck loader but after using it one season on my dump trailer I don't use it anymore. If I have a job which will clearly be more efficient with a truck loader, I just sub it out to a friend. I keep saying to myself that I'll put it on and chase piles after I'm done with my regular accounts, but by then the season if pretty much over. It might be different if i had a dump truck instead of a dump trailer though.

beegreenlandcare
06-15-2010, 10:19 PM
we run 2 EB7001 Backpack blowers
2 Lazers w/ collection systems
and a Dumper w/ an 11 ft box and 10 Hp leaf loader.
Gotta upgrade the leaf loader b/c it slows us down too much!
Otherwise we do sites that can be measured in Acres w/ ALOt of Oak Trees. A FULL day w/ 4 people and that one was onsite dump....:cry:

mowerbrad
06-15-2010, 10:41 PM
Scag TT 61" with Collection system
13hp Little Wonder push Blower
Echo 755T Backpack blowers
Billy Goat 18hp Truck Loader mounted onto the front of the truck
Boxed in EZ Dumper
Rakes

I am solo as well and after 3 years of tarping leaves onto my 14ft trailer I've decided to take the plung and buy the truck loader. Being solo I need all the help I can get and I think the loader will help me out tremendously.
Most yards I blow the front to the curb then use the mower for the sides and the back. After everything is picked up I go over the property once more with the mower to give it a final clean look.

I too thought the same thing when I bought my leaf loader. I had it all planned out (or so I thought)....I'd pile everything up at the curb and suck it all up and then follow up with a quick pass over the lawn with the ztr and bagging system. But I soon realized that the method would not work for me as well as I had thought. I needed to have a trailer to haul my ztr with and a container/trailer to tow my leaf loader. Since I did't have a dump box on my truck, I had to make two trips to the account....one with the leaf loader and one with the ztr trailer.

Now if you have a dump truck to hook the loader up to and a trailer to tow the mower and other equipment with, then you might have something.

I don't want to "rain on your parade"....just thought I'd chime in on the situation.

Darryl G
06-15-2010, 10:45 PM
I too thought the same thing when I bought my leaf loader. I had it all planned out (or so I thought)....I'd pile everything up at the curb and suck it all up and then follow up with a quick pass over the lawn with the ztr and bagging system. But I soon realized that the method would not work for me as well as I had thought. I needed to have a trailer to haul my ztr with and a container/trailer to tow my leaf loader. Since I did't have a dump box on my truck, I had to make two trips to the account....one with the leaf loader and one with the ztr trailer.

Now if you have a dump truck to hook the loader up to and a trailer to tow the mower and other equipment with, then you might have something.

I don't want to "rain on your parade"....just thought I'd chime in on the situation.

LOL, I think I just said the same thing but in my own way.

BTW, I have a like new 16HP Billy Goat loader if you're interested. Has maybe 4 hours on it although the hose has a few more, lent it to a friend, which I regret.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=304768&highlight=billy+goat

beegreenlandcare
06-18-2010, 08:46 AM
LOL, I think I just said the same thing but in my own way.

BTW, I have a like new 16HP Billy Goat loader if you're interested. Has maybe 4 hours on it although the hose has a few more, lent it to a friend, which I regret.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=304768&highlight=billy+goat

Hi <daryl. You really want to sell the Billy Goat?
I would be interested in it.
e-mail me @ mschattner at wi . rr. com

andyslawncare
06-19-2010, 12:25 AM
Exmark's Ultra Vacs do a good job...but a good machine is $10,000 and the vac is over $2,000... worth it in my eyes...

I plan on buying a vacuum/shredder unit this year or next year...If you have a boxed in trailer with one of them mounted on it, all you have to do is blow leaves in piles and hold the vacuum hose to it.

You need back pack blowers, and the parking lot style blowers on wheels will help a lot too.

costnercare
01-04-2014, 10:44 AM
I pickup leaves with my mowers. This way it mulches the leaves cuts the grass and save space on a tarp or bags. Time efficient and cost effective for customers. However on huge leaf jobs, this is not the best option. I am thinking about getting a leaf collector for my dump bed. I am wondering if that is worth it.??

rogerdodger
01-28-2014, 02:34 PM
For yrs I run around in circles and backed over leaves with the dischg blocked and lots of dust. Last yr I bought a DR VAC and with a few modifications I am well pleased with it. Two seasons and still pleased. I also used the wolfsnout and wouldnt mow or mulch without it now. Less dust with the Vac and no dust with the wolfsnout.

XC skier
01-28-2014, 08:00 PM
Check out my thread called "Here's how you make money blowing leaves".