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trimmerman151
10-23-2010, 08:57 AM
We just got a walker bagger with a 48 inch deck for leaf removal and possibly for mowing all our properties next year. I went to a yard yesterday to do trial and error to see how long it would take it was a normal 12 to 15 min. yard for my toro with 60 inch deck it took an hour and a half. Between the pine needle's clogging the chute and the deck and the 12 times I emptied the hopper I thought I would go crazy. In the meantime the other guy blowing out the mulch beds stood around for 30 min. waiting on me. this is my first year doing leaf removal any suggestions would be great.

oldclawn
10-23-2010, 09:59 AM
More experience is the only way you are going to learn.

If its an older Walker the blower fan may be a little worn which affects suction and how much it shreds. If it's a small engine that will also have a negative affect.Go slow--let the machine do its work. Explore other ways to mulch it down a little first.

Patriot Services
10-23-2010, 10:28 AM
If the fan housing is dented it can cut down on efficiency too. Try different blade combos. Gators tend to shred leaves and needles into confetti. Please tell me you aren't charging mowing prices for leaf removal. Where are you dumping, could your guy be loading while you cutting? Someday I will get the biggest diesel engine they offer with the lift and dump hopper.
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Mowingman
10-23-2010, 10:32 AM
When doing leaf cleanups with my Walker, I just dump[ed the leaves directly onto my landscape trailer. As soon as the hopper filled, I would the mower backwards up the trailer ramp/gate. My helper stayed on the trailer. He would quickly dump the hopper and
I would drive off the trailer and to where I left off. Meanwhile, he wold use a scoop shovel to keep the leaves heaped into the front of the trailer. When needed, he would take a blower and blow leaves out of beds and corners so I could get to them.
we could load that trailer in no time and finish a good size yard in just an hour while our competitors at nearby houses were still struggling along with their 21" machines.
I remember dumping 4200 lbs. of leaves at the local landfill one time. We collected them with the Walker in about 4 hours.

cheapcuts1
10-23-2010, 10:33 AM
If the fan housing is dented it can cut down on efficiency too. Try different blade combos. Gators tend to shred leaves and needles into confetti. Please tell me you aren't charging mowing prices for leaf removal. Where are you dumping, could your guy be loading while you cutting? Someday I will get the biggest diesel engine they offer with the lift and dump hopper.
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Gators on another mower first ,then suck up with walker ?Or gators on the on the walker mower one shot deal ?

Patriot Services
10-23-2010, 10:41 AM
Gators on walker. Although if you have extra help and mower. Pre mulching not a bad idea if the leaves and needles are thick . Leaves take some experimenting.
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trimmerman151
10-23-2010, 01:15 PM
its a used mower with a diesel motor. it does really good except with pine needles maybe I was going too fast. as for pricing we are charging 50 percent more than the mowing price for now haw do you guys price leaf removal?

oldclawn
10-23-2010, 01:54 PM
40 to 55 per man hour for anything over your mowing time! Value your time and equipment and remember you got to eat in january too!
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Patriot Services
10-23-2010, 01:55 PM
Really depends, wet thick with lots of beds to blow or rake out. 1/4 ac usually get 350.
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trimmerman151
10-24-2010, 09:47 AM
do you guys go back once a week or every two weeks or just remove them one time?

DAR57
10-24-2010, 09:49 AM
Where are you guys finding "gators" for thr GHS on Walkers?

Patriot Services
10-24-2010, 09:49 AM
Depends on customer. Some want to wait until every last leaf drops, some want several times. Important point is it will still cost same in end.
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Patriot Services
10-24-2010, 10:29 AM
No off the shelf gators. I modified a generic brand. Deck needs a little clearencing too.
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BrunoT
10-24-2010, 10:07 PM
Keep in mind that often when you're doing leaf cleanup there is no remaining grass to mow, as it's shut down by then. So your volume collected might be far less than when doing grass mixed in with needles, etc.

You also can't really compare chop/drop discharge mowing with collecting. I assume your midmount would require a similar amount of time if also bagging.

If you are collecting you really have to make sure to charge extra for it. I prefer mulching when possible, as its much faster even when making 2-3 passes, as it eliminates emptying and dumping issues. But in situations where you have to bag, the Walker seems to be the unit for it.

Also you are probably used to the faster chop/drop mowing with the big 60" unit and I'd assume it will clog more if you mow too fast.

There are also some options for dumping faster, as well.

If it's an old unit it might be underpowered or have technical issues with how it fills, as mentioned by others.

I would definitely make a quick pass to reduce the needle/leaf volume if they're heavy at all. If you have another mower available you can use that or do the "let it fill up and clog and mulch with the walker that way" approach. Then do a final cleanup pass collecting.

The hard part is getting the Walker. But I would definitely consider having one an asset come this time of year.

Bob_n_weave
10-24-2010, 10:26 PM
40 to 55 per man hour for anything over your mowing time! Value your time and equipment and remember you got to eat in january too!
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$40 - $60 per man hour is what we charge. Lots of people think you will do it for same price as mowing :walking: Pay me, or grab yourself a rake and have a nice weekend.

I mulch with my Grandstand and my buddy picks up the crumbs with his Walker and dumps in trailor. Every jobs gets a $40 dump fee added.

Southern Pride
10-25-2010, 12:51 AM
Well first, you can't ever expect leaf removal to be as quick as a yard cut. Don't ever price them the same unless (like I do) come weekly or bi weekly, blow first and mulch the leaves all in the yard (no trimming or edging required). This is only if leaf fall is moderate. I'm guessing this yard of yours was pretty thick? I mean it sounds like maybe you just had a bad game plan coming in let your guy spend 10 minutes getting every leaf into the yard before you start, then as you go have him spreading them out maybe or something? I still don't fully understand though. Of course a cleanup should take ATLEAST twice as long as a cut and you always price 2-3 times as much as a cut for the leaves. Pics would be nice.

MOW ED
10-25-2010, 07:58 PM
Get some Atomics for the Toro and go over everything first. I have made a chute blocker for mine and it works great. Most weeks I can just mulch the leaves to dust and towards the end I will use the Walker to finish the lawns off. If you are going to use the Walker exclusively you have to slow down, lower the deck and make sure you clean the screen in the hopper EVERY time you dump. Keep the chute free of mud also. You need the airflow thru the machine to keep from clogging. It is an awesome machine and you just have to get the feel for what it does. It isn't a rocket ship and pine needles are a bear on any machine. Its trail and error but you will get it.
I can't (won't) help with pricing. My business is probably nothing like yous and I wouldn't want you to lose jobs by using my pricing.