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LawnMowerKing10
09-19-2010, 06:58 PM
Now that mowing has slowed down I am getting ready to start leaf removal soon. I was wondering what are some quick and effective way you guys handle leaves . I dont own a leaf loader . I will use 2 back pack blowers , a 36 with a grass catcher , and a tarp.

I was thinking about coming by to do leaf removal every 2 weeks . I would come by and clean out the beds and mow up the leaves on the lawn . I would charge double the mowing rate ?

Any help would be great !

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
09-19-2010, 07:04 PM
Where I'm at I'll be lucky if I have any work from my customers especially leaf removal. Usually it does not take us any longer for leaf removal than mowing. So I don't see us having to charge more. And if we did I defintly would not expect any customers to want it done then. I think the tarps work the best.
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mowerbrad
09-19-2010, 07:14 PM
I still try to do my accounts weekly in the fall. I'll blow out the beds really quick before I mow and then just bag the lawn. It works out very nicely for me because then I don't have to handle HUGE amounts of leaves all at once. I can just keep up on things and make sure that my lawns say clean each week.

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
09-19-2010, 07:17 PM
Man. I wish all of my customers were like yours. I think like you do but I guess mine are just to cheap.
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lawnprosteveo
09-19-2010, 08:39 PM
Now that mowing has slowed down I am getting ready to start leaf removal soon. I was wondering what are some quick and effective way you guys handle leaves . I dont own a leaf loader . I will use 2 back pack blowers , a 36 with a grass catcher , and a tarp.

I was thinking about coming by to do leaf removal every 2 weeks . I would come by and clean out the beds and mow up the leaves on the lawn . I would charge double the mowing rate ?

Any help would be great !Ive done leaves this way and for the most part it worked out very well. The only time it bit me in the butt is on properties with a ton of trees and leaves. Ive since switched to a leaf loader and tarps. I am considering taking a mower with to use along with the loader.

kilgoja
09-19-2010, 10:35 PM
yeah if you can... just keep mowing the lawn every 2 weeks or so...blowing out the beds and mulching/cutting/bagging the leaves up...if you stay on top of it you don't have to fool with tarps and loading them in trucks and stuff....i just keep mulching them back into the yard and it works fine

CLARK LAWN
09-19-2010, 11:14 PM
you guys that say you just keep mowing the lawns every week and just bag up the leaves must not have any real trees around you. i have yards that 5-6 days after we are there they are totally covered. there is no way i could clean them up with just a mower. some of them takes 3-4 hours every couple weeks to get done. i have a few that with the leaf loader i will fill the truck up twice each cleanup.

CLARK LAWN
09-19-2010, 11:21 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=250089http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=250089

this lawn was done every 15-20 days from mid oct. till begining of dec. pile was that size every time.

kilgoja
09-19-2010, 11:25 PM
yeah i guess there are some yards like that....most yards around here have very few trees in them....maybe 2-3 at most....there are some that have alot but it's not common around here....most houses have smaller trees in their yards that have small leaves on them or big pine trees...some oaks and such here or there

look at this house...no trees in it at all...just all yard lol

http://i55.tinypic.com/b51kw2.jpg

CLARK LAWN
09-19-2010, 11:27 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poland-OH/Clark-Lawn-Maintenance/237688236205?v=photos&ref=ts#!/photo.php?pid=4769400&id=237688236205&ref=fbx_album

another pic of leaves 3-4 times we do this lawn and the piles are always that big. no way you could do it with just a mower.

kilgoja
09-19-2010, 11:33 PM
things are just different up north i guess...around here it's more open with not so many trees...most of the trees are in the woods behind the houses...when they make neighborhoods they clear out most all of the trees...might leave one or two in a yard...for example my parents have a yard that is 5 acres...they only have 2 trees in it....but behind the house is solid trees (woods)..i'll try to get some pics of yards around here sometime and post them up

Richard Martin
09-20-2010, 05:44 AM
things are just different up north i guess...around here it's more open with not so many trees...most of the trees are in the woods behind the houses...when they make neighborhoods they clear out most all of the trees...might leave one or two in a yard...for example my parents have a yard that is 5 acres...they only have 2 trees in it....but behind the house is solid trees (woods)..i'll try to get some pics of yards around here sometime and post them up

It's not really any different up north. Although there are some subdivisions where they did/do try to leave a lot of trees, most subdivisions are clear cut before the houses are built. The BIGGEST difference is how old the subdivisions are. Up north a lot of subdivisions were put in a long time ago. When people move into new subdivisions they tend to plant trees and other things. After 30, 40 and 50 years those subdivisions become reforested. Where you are the subdivisions are much, much newer. Less than 10 years old by looking at that one house. There hasn't been enough time to reforest it yet.

Charles
09-20-2010, 07:23 AM
Lots of big trees in Upstate SC. Many jobs can take 3 hours + Mulching, blowing or bagging. One big dusty PIA. I will be glad when leaf season is over.
I use a 36 bushel bagger pulled with a small tractor/mower

CLARK LAWN
09-20-2010, 08:00 AM
It's not really any different up north. Although there are some subdivisions where they did/do try to leave a lot of trees, most subdivisions are clear cut before the houses are built. The BIGGEST difference is how old the subdivisions are. Up north a lot of subdivisions were put in a long time ago. When people move into new subdivisions they tend to plant trees and other things. After 30, 40 and 50 years those subdivisions become reforested. Where you are the subdivisions are much, much newer. Less than 10 years old by looking at that one house. There hasn't been enough time to reforest it yet.

ya i live in a very old area we have many houses well over 100 years old some almost 200years. my parents house was built in 1884 and the nieghbors was built in 1846. the development that those pics are from was built for the most part between 1890 and 1910. lots of large well established trees.

ZAQLandscaping
09-20-2010, 08:01 AM
I just bought a 8hp leaf vac and just added a hose to use it as a leaf loader. I pick up the leaves with the 54in walk behind w/ bagger and then use the craftsman tractor to pull a small trailer that i dump the leaves into so i can bring them to the big trailer and load them with the leaf vac.

kilgoja
09-20-2010, 12:29 PM
well yeah that house in the pic is in a newer neighborhood for sure...there are older houses here but just not as many trees...we had a tornado come through here this year and it took a ton of trees out as well...they had to rebuild 100s of houses

kilgoja
09-20-2010, 02:14 PM
well there are some older houses here like on the main roads kindof....they are small houses with small yards mostly...like 1/8 of an acre and they have trees all in the yard...might pay you $15-$20 to cut their grass...i avoid these kindof houses..most of these people cut their own grass anyways with a 21" push mower...you just wouldn't make any money cutting yards like this unless you had a bunch of customers all down the street together...i dunno i haven't gotten any calls from houses like this yet...most of my yards i cut are 1/2 acre - 1 acre in size with 2 or 3 trees in the yard and pay $40-$75 to cut their yards

MOW ED
09-23-2010, 05:53 PM
Read up on mulching my friend. Get a set of gators and have at it. I have many trees and do lots of cleans here and I mulch everything for 80% of the time. After that they can be picked up with the Walker or whatever you choose but blowing and tarping can take time. I can't afford to stay on any property for long. I visit every week and mulch as much as I can get away with. I have excellent disease free lawns every year. There is much written about it in the archives. Have fun.

kylecal91
09-26-2010, 03:20 PM
I'm in the same category as some of you guys I could fill my trailer two or three times on one job plus most of my customers don't want me to come more then three times a season so I have a ton of leaves. I just bought a 16hp Billy goat loader this year that should help.
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stan the man
09-26-2010, 03:51 PM
most of my clean up take 2 to 3 days of work and i do have some day of work

BrunoT
09-29-2010, 05:55 PM
I agree that not every situation can be handled with mulching. Show up to a neglected place with a season's worth of leaves on it and you're not going to make it look pristine with a mulching mower. You might make a good dent, however. (but who has expectations of a pristine lawn when they let leaves sit for several weeks on it?)

But there are routine situations where the mulching mower will do great. Even if you have to make a 2nd pass over a lawn it will still take less time (and more importantly effort) than bagging or blowing/tarping them. I think a big issue out there is that many mowers simply do not mulch leaves well. They lack vaccum or the ability to turn them to dust. Of 3 brands I own, only the Exmark works well enough to handle leaves like this. So if you think it doesn't work, maybe you have not found the right mulching machine yet. Mowing height may also be an issue. If you have to mow the lawn at 3.5-4" you may not have the suction needed to mulch them.

In the past, due to the lack of a high capacity bagging system, I have had to handle large accumulations with only a lazer z and mulching kit. It certainly isn't a one pass thing, but given dry conditions and several passes, it can be almost miraculous how they seem to disappear. You can still see leaf fragments and even a few matted whole leaves, sometimes more than you'd like, but when that happens you grab the blower and quickly disperse the matted areas and go over it one more time with the mulching deck.

I think ideally you'd mulch one pass then collect on a last pass on high end properties and get the best mix of time/results. Mulching first can help you pack in more leaves before emptying, as bagger systems alone may not reduce the volume enough. Unfortunately not everyone has the equipment budget or trailer space for two different machines to do this. The idea of making the first pass w/o a mulching kit isn't bad at all, but I want a mulching deck around for the lawns where I don't need to bag at all.

I have mulched piles waist high when I've had to. I always worry it will not work, but with enough time I leave satisfied at the result. I think a real key in all this are mowers that really have the vaccum power to mulch well and when bagging suck even fragments up. My experience is that not many can do this. They cut grass fine, but you need a mower deck that will pull leaves up out of wet soil.

wildstarblazer
09-29-2010, 09:31 PM
I agree with that. I will be using a recycler mulch kit this year. Not just a baffle over the chute. The recycler kit is supposed to resend everything back through the blades to shred them up better.
I never bag anything but thats just me. If you spread the thicker piles out first before you mow it will help. But if you blow it all into a big pile first mulching will never work.

kylecal91
09-30-2010, 10:08 AM
I would like to see some photos of the lawns you guys do leaf removal for. The places I remove leaves at have so many trees you usually don't get any direct sunlight and if you don't clean the leaves up at least every other week the grass will start to die (what little most of them have) I'm talking serious woods here where you can't even see the ground unless you clean the leaves up 2 times a week or more.