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View Full Version : fall cleanups with vacuums..what do you have?


adforester
07-29-2011, 09:37 PM
I went from doing 2 cleanups last fall and am looking at around 12-16 cleanups this fall hopefully. minimum building lots here in town are two acres but most of the grassland is under 1 acre.
That being said i'm looking at buying a machine to help me with fall cleanups. Around 6 or so people will want the leaves taken away so I am looking at
getting a leaf vacuum.

What size vacuum do you have and what would you say a good starter vacuum size would be for someone with a f350 with a dump insert?

what about the push billy goat vacuums? seems like you'd be at it all day without a vacuum thats under 16 hp???

MowHouston
07-29-2011, 09:53 PM
I have a dirt devil that I got from Walmart for $89. I have to change the bag out pretty often but it gets the job done for my tire kicking craigslist customers.

adforester
07-29-2011, 10:01 PM
hahaha
ya i don't have any craigslist customers, average willing home owner is willing to spend around $350 for cleanup and maybe a little more for disposal. Alot of my customers I just blow the leaves into the woods but there are more and more customers that want disposal of leaves and rightly so.

I used to blow the leaves on a tarp and put them into my pickup truck with a box but would have to take multiple trips due to lack of compactibility and shredding.

One landscaper I know does the tarp trick and drags it into his truck with a ladder, but I don't have a big dually dump, just a dump insert truck here...

cuttin-to-the-Max
07-29-2011, 11:18 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=167014&stc=1&d=1257643240

We manage to figure it out...Billy Goats all day... NEVER gonna get a little wonder again.

WorldsStrongestLandscaper
07-30-2011, 01:17 AM
I just love how newbies say oh I have 20 lawns for fall cleanup. And I get 350 each =7000$ so let's spend 4000 on a brand new vacuum (or 2000 on a used and throw it away next yr) after fuel and monthly expenses and new back packs and a helper( cuz by getting a loader I can already see their lazy which leads me to believe they are gonna pay a guy) At the end after building a box u are left with 500-1000$ profit. Makes no sense. Just tarp it onto a trailer or sub it out. That's what we did when we started for years and those fing 500lb tarps that everyone bi$#%es about??? I was pulling them up hills when I was 12 yrs old. Don't be a chump. Landscapers are supposed to look like conan the barbarian or Rambo not Artie Lang or Paul blart mall cop. Put your back into it. U have all December to recover!!!
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cuttin-to-the-Max
07-30-2011, 03:13 AM
I just love how newbies say oh I have 20 lawns for fall cleanup. And I get 350 each =7000$ so let's spend 4000 on a brand new vacuum (or 2000 on a used and throw it away next yr) after fuel and monthly expenses and new back packs and a helper( cuz by getting a loader I can already see their lazy which leads me to believe they are gonna pay a guy) At the end after building a box u are left with 500-1000$ profit. Makes no sense........................................
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You have a point there but when you have a loader....AS MUCH AS I HATE TO DO IT, You can do leaf pile pickups...Only thing is you have no clue what people have raked into that pile until its stuck/in the impeller of the Vac. Which would give these guys some more money...ALSO when you have a loader it takes the stress out of clean ups because in my case I have the guys blow out the beds then i just zip around on my mower collecting then and dumping them at the loader. TRIPLE+ SHREDDED = More space in truck. which means less trips to the dump..

Which means more money.....possibly

Honestly my setup paid for its self before fall was over that year.
Just saw one on CL for 1800 Looks good it was a Billy goat.

adforester
07-30-2011, 05:05 PM
Oh put the leaves on a trailer? Last price I got for a dump trailer was 4500.

Oh and about me being lazy, ya I've worked labor my whole life masonry, treework, gardenung, and to say
The least I don't mind using machines. I bet you use a 21 inch mower for all your yards conan the barbarian.
Yes I agree it doesn't make sense money wise yet but I want to look professional to my clients and having my own business
Getting started out you dont make much profit your first years, did you?
I really don't make much in a year maybe 24000 but I have a new f350 with dump insert
And want a vacuum because my back hurts most days due to an injury I had when I was a young kid.
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adforester
07-30-2011, 05:17 PM
Hey I had 1 lawn last year to now but you know I didn't use a 21 knapsack
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XLS
07-30-2011, 05:32 PM
adforester_ what sucks is your thought process fact is NO ONE here will tell you different then i am about to .
you thoink your back hurt the cheap tarp way of doing leaves then just wait untill you une the hose all day . granted i doubt you have that kind of work volume but what do i know .
No one has ever paid 2000.00 for tarps and never have they sucked a brick into a impeller on one neither so when you get a vac for the first time i hope your piles are clean leaves.
with no more jobs then your talking i would bet a walker mower and a 10" x10' tarp and a 2nd guy helping will be faster then your vac if you figure out a process.
if all i had was 7000.00 in cleanups i would pay some one $4000.00 and keep the profit and never touch the leaves .
we go through a vac every year . this year we are moving up to a trailer tow billygoat and i bet it will be dead by spring ...... it is just money spend it wisely and a vaccume at your volume is as stupid as buying a new mowers to mow 10 lawns a week or to save time .

get you a 16" trailer throw some 4" walls on it and mow the leaves and bag them and tie the tarps and haul them off . you can get about 100 walker dumps on a trailer this way for about $50.00 in tarps and $100.00 in plywood.

adforester
07-30-2011, 05:47 PM
My scag bagged is 7 bushels and when the leaves get thick it doesn't come close to picking them up lol
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WorldsStrongestLandscaper
07-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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WorldsStrongestLandscaper
07-30-2011, 08:59 PM
Yea I admit it when I was 12 I did use 2 21" mowers You got me. I'm not saying go buy a dump trailer( there u go being lazy again just proves my point). And I hope u own at least a 16' double axel open trailer , cuz that's what I meant!!! Put up 5 pieces of plywood and just pull it up the ramps and leave the tarp full. Grab a new fresh one and do it again and again till it's filled. Then just back up to the spot and pull each one off !!! Presto I'll be stronger and richer. FYI I just bought a backup 25 hp kohler giant vac as a third for " just incase I suck up an unsuspecting log or brick and bend the shaft. Good luck. Not aiming at u just everyone who thinks as u do. Btw. Back problems suck. Get that looked at cuz it will haunt u in this business. Check out my web page from 2004. NeighborsCare.com. That pic was taken when I bought my first ever new trucks. I was 24. I'm 31 with 8 trucks(plowing mostly)now running 3-4 crews mowing 150+ lawns weekly and (myself) landscape/ hardscape and own a million in equipment which is all pd for . Yeah so my opinion counts brotha. So leave Arnold outa this!!!
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Kelly's Landscaping
07-30-2011, 09:27 PM
You asked what I use I have 2 giant vac 20 hp loaders and they weigh about 700 pounds each so know what your getting into before you go that size. The advantage is the hose size 12 inches clogs a 1000% less then 10 inches. Course you could go with a 16 or 18 inch hose but now your talking about 99hp. The units I use are about $5000 each. Now you asked what size to buy here is something to think on if you replace worn parts these things last forever one of mine is 9 years old. Iv replaced the impeller like 2 or 3 times and the liner 2 times had to have the engine rebuilt once as well. So keep that in mind before you buy this your going to have it a long time so don't settle or your regret it.

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
07-30-2011, 10:05 PM
Get a vac. You will not regret it in the long run. This has been the case for us.
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cuttin-to-the-Max
07-31-2011, 12:22 AM
Get a vac. You will not regret it in the long run. This has been the case for us.
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hell yeah no doubt i have a 23 hp billy goat that i traded in a lemon mower for 4 yrs ago.... best investment for fall clean ups i have made next to buying my Ultra vac!

The ultra vac gets all the leaves, dumps them in the street or on the driveway(if the house is on a busy street) the we vac. them up with the loader... tripple shredded! LOVE IT!

XLS
07-31-2011, 09:03 AM
i love getting dust buggers too it means more money and less trips to dump

we all agree that a truck or trailerloader if big enough is the way to do leaves I justdot believe the OP is making the best of hisdollar at this point i feel he needs more accounts before a large investment is needed now if he finds a deal he would be foolish to not get a vac sooner but a smaller truck unit woud be sufficient for now. we have took Agri-fab chipper vac` at1200.00 and made pickup truck loaders for some of our crews and they work good on a budget ..if you have a truck box 6` tall you can expect to take 3 loads off on a 3/4acre turf area with 18 mature oaks and 7 more boardering from the neigbor`s if you do 2 cleanups a year.......if you bag and dump it will get better
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adforester
07-31-2011, 12:16 PM
anyone use one of these?
http://www.billygoat.com/site/intro.aspx?pid=71

adforester
07-31-2011, 12:17 PM
http://www.beavervalleysupply.com/sectionb/billygoat/kvvac.jpg

adforester
07-31-2011, 12:28 PM
Last year i was doing weekly cleanups for $75 for around 2 months plus mowing charges, seems like this gadget might fit the bill, but with only a 26" deck it seems small

adforester
07-31-2011, 12:30 PM
how many cleanups do you all do for fall cleanup per a yard?

i offer weekly and end of season

WorldsStrongestLandscaper
07-31-2011, 01:02 PM
For homeowners yes but for commercial They are only good down south. Up here we have too many leaves. For that price 2000 about not worth it Used they are prob getting rid of them cuz they suck. Oak leaves will fill it up quick. Just stick to the tarps and barrels. And u said only about 6 lawns must be vacuumed. Don't buy a vac. Not with even 20 lawns. Like someone said the hose is just as bad a killer on your back as tarps.
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XLS
07-31-2011, 01:05 PM
we mow weekly through christmas....or it goes dormant
on top of that it takes about 2 weeks to cycle through every one we start as needed on november 1st and stay on a 2 week cycle untill new years.then we go to monthly cleanups untill february when we kick off the15th back to weekly mowing services .as a whole we handle about1 million cubic foot of tripple shreaded leaves total and we dont have dump trucks trailersand only have a few vacs.
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adforester
07-31-2011, 04:06 PM
so your all saying tarp the leaves, but im not sure your hearing me say that i only have a f350 srw dump insert with a box on it. I also do have a 7x12' trailer that I could put sides on.

XLS
07-31-2011, 05:57 PM
you dont read well i understand that now .

If you have a 7x12 trailer you can get about 12-14 tarps (10'x10') of mulched up and shredded leaves with out walls. The same as 30 dumps of a 9.5 bushel box . if you need more room then that you are not doing your leaves on the right schedule I have a 6.5"x 12'dove tail trailer and you can get a walker and 8 bags on it with no walls and on a 2 week visit with 20 trees on a 1/2 acre it is all on one trailer.

truth is business is about balancing wants and needs with the facts of costand demand . we all can be in debt to do a job but what did we gain ??? a sore back blistered palms and pocket change.
If i was your personal business advisor i would suggest this .
go out and sell leaf cleanups ( name a price yo ufeel should make $$ and stand by it this year) if you get 20 people saying yes then you may reconsider a vac but you cant base growth on a mayby or just in case . IF YOU DONT HAVE THE CLIENT BASE DONT THINK FOR A SECOND A NEW TOY WILL GET IT FOR YOU!!

XLS
07-31-2011, 06:04 PM
We also have crews with walkers and 14' trailers ....we place a 4" high box on the front and you can get alot of leaves in it . It is all about baby steps . try a new method untill you find one that is BENEFICIAL to your business dont do something becasue everyone else does .

I tell all of my customers if they get a walk up estimate and they are asked what they pay ....it is a trick to low cut us and likely a failed attempt to take their lawn and be gone next season and if they ask just say $25.00

so you follow me and you believe we are cheap-o or they cant compete either way they are gone fast . So Dont believe what you hear and only believe half what you see.

Do what is best for your business and dont ask people who dont care your best intrest.

rywnygc
07-31-2011, 06:24 PM
you dont read well i understand that now.

Awesome...

Snyder's Lawn Inc
07-31-2011, 06:26 PM
http://www.beavervalleysupply.com/sectionb/billygoat/kvvac.jpg

Oak leaves fills that up fast what I do is I run my mower with chute block and mulch them in rows then run the billy goat vac them up
I can get more on the trailer

adforester
07-31-2011, 06:29 PM
well i'm not in this for short term i'm in this for the long haul, that's why i want to get good equipment.

i don't know why but using an open trailer to haul leaves just seems trailer trashy to me lol. but we all do what we have to.

--my business will and has grown, no if and or buts about it thats why i just want to start out with an easier (be it "lazy" way). Trust me being over a vacuum all day
is much better for the back than dragging heavy tarps out of a trailer.

rywnygc
07-31-2011, 06:34 PM
well i'm not in this for short term i'm in this for the long haul, that's why i want to get good equipment.

i don't know why but using an open trailer to haul leaves just seems trailer trashy to me lol. but we all do what we have to.

Well then, you go buy a 4k piece of equipment you dont need. I on the other hand will be using a BR600 magnum, tarps, mowers and OSB board on my trailer. This years cost... about 70 bucks for the OSB board. Savings?...Just ask my kids on Christmas.

adforester
07-31-2011, 06:47 PM
anyone do solo fall cleanups?
i was thinking with a leaf vacuum it would make it easier to do them without help. But dragging tarps I would need help and I figured it would cost $100 day for help 3 days a week for 1 1/2 months cleanup that's $1800 OR the price of a 16 hp leaf vacuum, see where i'm going with this?

XLS
07-31-2011, 06:48 PM
It is amazing how many come on here asking for help but know it all and wont listen

we use painted 1/2"plywood and its good for about 5 years (long hauler here too) for $120.00 or less i dont care the investment at this point
I like all the big looking small guy who knew it all we can usually buy everything they have within 3 years on E-bay.

adforester
07-31-2011, 06:49 PM
i dont read well wtf?:laugh:

rywnygc
07-31-2011, 06:54 PM
I like all the big looking small guy who knew it all we can usually buy everything they have within 3 years on E-bay.

Thats why I'm debt free.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
07-31-2011, 06:56 PM
well i'm not in this for short term i'm in this for the long haul, that's why i want to get good equipment.

i don't know why but using an open trailer to haul leaves just seems trailer trashy to me lol. but we all do what we have to.

--my business will and has grown, no if and or buts about it thats why i just want to start out with an easier (be it "lazy" way). Trust me being over a vacuum all day
is much better for the back than dragging heavy tarps out of a trailer.

Yes dragging tarps does suck use to do it that way
My billy goat and mulching leaves in a row cuts the time in half and the lawn is cleaner
Making same amount per job but only taking me half the time
Yes I have more invested
But I always say to make money you have to spend it

XLS
07-31-2011, 07:07 PM
anyone do solo fall cleanups?
i was thinking with a leaf vacuum it would make it easier to do them without help. But dragging tarps I would need help and I figured it would cost $100 day for help 3 days a week for 1 1/2 months cleanup that's $1800 OR the price of a 16 hp leaf vacuum, see where i'm going with this?

If by easier you mean you mowed/mulched for 2 hours then remowed with a bagger for 1.5 hours to turn around and spend 1 hour more sucking them up and choking on dust to go home and have to remove 450+ lbs off the truck to dump it (long day) I would raather make it where i could mow them up and dump them directly into the trailer OR tarp .it saves alot of additional steps and time over the day plus the extral purchase cost , fuel and maintenance of the vac. Are you a sisy ??? a 10'x10' of tripple muclched leaves pulled up and tied cros way to form a bag is about 80 lbs tops NO one here is dragging a 20x18' tarp of leaves sorry ........................ buy 20 $5.00 tarps and just lay them out and mow and bag.

I dont care where you are in the U.S. you can find a TARP PULLER for way less then $100 a day . we get them at $50.00-$60.00 all americans just so it dont get brought up

XLS
07-31-2011, 07:26 PM
here is a simple tip every time you cross a lawn full of leaves its time your not picking them up . everytime you dump leaves out on the ground is time lost
you need to work on your efficancies . We use walkers so we get blades cutting them then we get the blower shreeding them some ......... every time they back the mower on the trailer it saves Xamount of time off the vac.
we have crews doing tarps faster then the guys who simply dump on the trailer and then fill the top half of the trailers with the vacs becasue the 2 mean 1 is on a walker and they have 5 tarps on the mower . they mow a spot and get a dump they step off and lay tht tarp down dump on the spot and mow on the get a 2nd dump and then the 2nd guy ties it up and drags it to the trailer side then the process is repeated no walker crossing the lawn when the mower guy gets done the 2nd guy has the trees and beds cleaned out and they are done . they load the walker on the back and then they togather toss the tarps right on the trailer . in 5 minutes they have loaded ALL the leaves on a job ( no blower on the F-ing plannet will load leaves that fast.) you will burry the mower if it stacks that way then just tie it down and roll .

In the past i have had crews using dump boxes 8'wide x8'tall x16 ' long being loaded by 2 12"-or 14" hosed vacs ......... and they can throw them on faster . we no longer do that kind truck setup because its not as effecient as you think on a large scale

We currently only have 1 large leaf loading rig and it is larger then absolutely anything i have ever seen anywhere But what its loading up behind is about 5 times larger then anything on the market and i have only seen people using round roll hay balers that was where we are with leaves.

adforester
07-31-2011, 07:47 PM
bagging leaves doesn't work up here in MA. I mean most of the guys i see bring the mowers with them to the job site as do I but you can only bag with the mower the thinnest and sparcest of leaf amounts, once theres more than a few leaves on the ground going under the mower it doesn't pick em up or clogs the 8" chute quickly. is that what your talking about?

Kelly's Landscaping
07-31-2011, 08:09 PM
You regretting asking for advice yet I'm next door and can tell you the whole bag while mowing thing up here is a complete joke. As far as being quicker ehehehehe please the volume of leaves up here makes that impossible. There is a reason we run 18 hp self propelled fradan blowers or why we use jrco leaf plows on the lazers. You can move more leaves in a single plow shot then you can vac in 10-15 walker loads and that's a fact (got enough people up here that use them to know their capability's). The reason we vac is to condense the leaves so it fits in a truck and were not talking small piles sometimes before we vac we have 200-400 yards of leaves to pick up. Now you can do your leaf clean ups how ever you like but there's a big difference from a 2-3 man hour southern clean up to some homes up here that take the entire day with a 5 or 6 man crew.

Around the 3rd week of Oct here we start charging for bagging leaves with our lawn cuts by the end of the 4th week our typical 20-30 lawns a day per crew drops to less then 5 and we have to admit defeat. It becomes cost prohibitive to vac the leaves with the mowers at that point we have a about 7-14 days to get ready for full time clean ups and out come the blowers. And the reason for that is the mowers aren't worth using when you can not even get a single pass done before your 44 gal barrel is full.

cuttin-to-the-Max
07-31-2011, 09:54 PM
so your all saying tarp the leaves, but im not sure your hearing me say that i only have a f350 srw dump insert with a box on it. I also do have a 7x12' trailer that I could put sides on.

Ok im gonna make it real easy... Since you're in it for the long hall go get a BG 16-23HP loader.as usual bigger the better. TRY TO FIND ONE USED!!!! Leaf loaders are hard to beat the hell out of...because they are such a seasonal item. And build a box on your truck that is removable.... sides on your trailer is gonna be hard with a loader because its gonna make it hard to fit your mower in there.

Only reason why we put the loader on the trailer was because it was bigger (Fits 10+ resi's) We try to squeeze as many as we can get in there. Also because we do clean ups until we start plowing. Last year we did a clean up at 5PM and were plowing the next morning at 6AM 5-7" of snow. In our case its too hard to take the box off our dump truck in that short transition from cleanups to snow... And There is NO way we could plow with the box on so once we mover out of the glass factory shop with the over head lift we had to change things up!
I'll post a pic of squeezing 10+ cleanup in the box later

cuttin-to-the-Max
07-31-2011, 10:13 PM
when you dont vent your box properly....you end up on top of it!

XLS
08-01-2011, 01:13 AM
you guys are fing dumb......trees are trees and we arein the south yes butthe leaf jobs we do range from 1 tre on a lawn to 30-40 oaks on 4 acres.....we do massive leaves down here . if all we did was vac with walkers we would never get done.we are invested fully in leaves ad make more in a 2 month period then we do all year mowing.
we have 2 man crews in 8" of leaves doing 1 job a day......filling 1800 cuft of trailer a day. thisis abouta guy spending 5k ona loader to bill7k of work

they load a 52` tracter trailer everyday of our leaf season with our leaf only crew so i know mass leaves.but our normal crews just work smarter then a 5k investment
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XLS
08-01-2011, 01:22 AM
we use plows as well and use a machine that makes walkers look like a toy the dedicated leaf only crew only does 3 acre plus jobs and does them in 1hour 30 minutes

what they do in a hour would take most 4 or 5 hours
that is why we designed the system...... we went from 4 walkers on a 1acre lot to 1 machine. in 3 of its dumps it would fill a truck box......and the 3 men on the team does 40 acres a day of heavy leaves. then at the end of the year a mowing crew with walkers simply pick up theleft overs
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XLS
08-01-2011, 09:36 AM
i will see if i can find pics of a one job leaf piles that they dump for the trucks to haul
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adforester
08-01-2011, 06:23 PM
Some of you are saying that 2500 on a leaf vacuum is too much money for someone who only has
7000 worth of cleanup but remember that the leaf vacuum should last 5 years and if I were
To hire helpers it would cost me 1800 just for one season!
Also I don't or can't seem to find any hard workers up here in Massachusetts, how do you all
Find your help?
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TJ Property
08-01-2011, 07:59 PM
I picked up a 18 hp vac last year in mint shape for 1500 dollars just shop around they are out there. IMO work smarter not harder. If your in the business for the long run it is a smart/coast efficient investment.

XLS
08-01-2011, 09:02 PM
if it last 5 years your not growing much is any....... we burn them up every year and a half.. most will trade up for bogger in 3 years....so you either will not use it much or you wont buy a big vac for that cost. either way good luck
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adforester
08-01-2011, 09:21 PM
what is the life expectancy of a leaf vacuum?

I have a scag freedom z and have had it 2 years and have less than 100 hours on it but have made money with it so far to keep me and my girlfriend supported, I imagine my mower will last 10 years atleast.

XLS how long does your mowers vs vacuums last? are they two different beasts?

XLS
08-02-2011, 12:16 AM
i love it ................ how many acres of grass do you cut exactly??? 10 years right keep dreaming unless your mowing 50 hours of mowing does not support anything so you may have the kids fooled but your off son .

if i was living in your world they would last 5 years max in my world i aim to replace them EVERY YEAR and then i simply reinvest as needed to keep them going
we have walkers 10-13 years old pushing 9k hours total . but it comes at a cost of replacing engines ect.
we would be lucky if a mower went 3 years with out major repairs we log anywhere form 700 -1500 hours a year on each of about 40 mowers and it is a engine every 3rd year at best

Our vaccums last them about 250-300 hours before dirt ingestion kills the rings /cylinders so get hour meters on your equipment and challenge the times i give you . and if your not mowing more then 50 hours a year then your joking or full of it
if your claiming a business of mowing that is . and if your doing other work then i suspect your making money to support the girlfriend off of that work not the mowing

XLS
08-02-2011, 12:29 AM
I am calling kid alert and B.S you have had it for 2 years ................it says 2010 freedom z in your info ...... it is just 2011 right and yeah i know you got it early i know

Kelly's Landscaping
08-02-2011, 12:38 AM
wow 100 hours in 2 years I put that on in about a month my oldest mower has 4550 hours atm so to put that in your usage it would last about 90-100 years. But on the plus side your probably good for life with that light use.

XLS
08-02-2011, 12:44 AM
thats how i see it to kelly's we bought some new mowers like 2 weeks ago and they are getting close to 100 hours on them now

Kelly's Landscaping
08-02-2011, 01:00 AM
Yea we run ours 3 days a week sounds like your running them 5-6 Id love to do that but then how would all the rest of that fun crap that goes with owning a business get done.

XLS
08-02-2011, 01:32 AM
yep i know how that goes . I spend more time in the office or field estimating and looking at new prospects then actually riding a mower the crews run 5 days a week and if its wet the may pull 2nd shifts at times to get everything done but generally its 7 am untill dark or finished. We got light on the mowers so now they can mow untill they are content lol

adforester
08-02-2011, 11:30 AM
lol I have had it for two seasons, last season and this one...
I have one property that takes me 2 hours by myself and I charge $160 a week, that's $640 a month just for one lawn and for me that's a good check plus the 11 other lawns

adforester
08-02-2011, 11:31 AM
I went to a powerr equipment shop and asked about the swing away gates for leaf vacuums and the guy said that for 1ton dumps they don't swing away enough, but i only have a srw dump insert so I imagine it would work?
anyhone have a swing away mount on a 1ton that works?

Kelly's Landscaping
08-02-2011, 09:26 PM
I went to a powerr equipment shop and asked about the swing away gates for leaf vacuums and the guy said that for 1ton dumps they don't swing away enough, but i only have a srw dump insert so I imagine it would work?
anyhone have a swing away mount on a 1ton that works?

They make them in two styles one for pick ups and one for dump trucks the difference is the arm is a bit longer on the dump truck to clear it when it dumps. So do this look the brand vac your interested in up on the internet and get to know the models your at the mercy of the dealers if you don't have a clue what your talking about so educate yourself first.

cannondale23
08-09-2011, 10:05 PM
in my opinion buy a bagger system for the freedom z, split up the fall clean up into three service points, if you're only looking at 16 to 20 fall clean ups, then mulch and see if some customers have a mulch pile in the yard...end of story

fredie
08-11-2011, 09:41 AM
Hi, new to this site, lots of info as I am starting a lawncare business, live in manitoba canada, could I just start out using a lawn sweeper? Or should I bit the bullet and invest in a leaf collecting system?

Kelly's Landscaping
08-24-2011, 01:08 AM
A few pics from last fall with our 20hp giant vac we made into a swing away on the leaf box

Kelly's Landscaping
08-24-2011, 01:12 AM
And yes we really do have big trees here and no there is no way to mulch it when you produce this volume. The real sad part was this was only the front year on this house the back yard we got to blow into the woods or we would have had 3 truck loads on this house.

Kelly's Landscaping
08-24-2011, 01:13 AM
What you don't see in those picks is the width of that pile it was 2 1/2 times as wide as the truck and these picks were taken after we sucked off the first 50 feet of the pile.

adforester
08-24-2011, 01:58 PM
For those of you who have BIG properties like yours (*Kelly Landscaping*) do you do weekly cleanups before you cant keep up with the leaf volume falling or do you do one cleanup when all the leaves have fallen? (talking about the big properties, its easy enpough on small properties to keep up somewhat

XLS
08-24-2011, 04:55 PM
We do a minimum of 3 on our big ones once they fall hard. Our biggest single home for leaves has 100 full grown oak trees that fall on 3.5 acres of a 5 acre lawn. In the past it would take a crew of 5 a minimum of a day and a half per visit. The tools was a 16, dump trailer with 4` walls 2 walkers for the bagging 2 60" SD mmowers and 1 man blowing off all the tree bases. generally it would require 3 +dumps in his field per visit.They would dump the walkers 200 times to finish them
now with a dump trailer, backpack blower and vac and 1 mower to push a 3 man team finishes in a 12 hour day by starting in the back and pushing it all to the vac. cant beat that for speed
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Kelly's Landscaping
08-24-2011, 10:54 PM
We bag the leaves through Oct until it becomes economically untenable. You know when you max out your dump truck with leaves in 2-3 lawns you know its time to call off mowing and wait till the rest fall and do real clean ups. We also don't solicit clean ups nor do we give estimates for them we do 90-110 fall clean ups every year.

adforester
08-25-2011, 09:09 AM
Yyou don't give estimates? ...so you just tell them a price?
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Darryl G
08-25-2011, 09:20 AM
If only 6 lawns need leaves hauled I'd just haul them in bulk or sub out the vac work. That's what I do and I have a leaf vac, lol.

adforester
08-25-2011, 11:04 AM
Let's say you have a lawn you charge 150 a cut, how much extra would you typically charge for bagging?
On a 50 cut I charge 75 for bagging until final cleanup
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cuttin-to-the-Max
08-25-2011, 01:55 PM
Let's say you have a lawn you charge 150 a cut, how much extra would you typically charge for bagging?
On a 50 cut I charge 75 for bagging until final cleanup
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I never bag until i start cleanups.... like right now in MI leaves are starting to fall i usually cut it just as i would and if i can nicely pile all of the leaves under a tree i will. I put the bagger on usually after i come back from vacation...
-the last cut is the last week of october.
-Vacation for me
-Put the baggers and leaf rig on and its clean up time
-SNOWWWWW!

Kelly's Landscaping
08-25-2011, 02:05 PM
No we charge by the hour if they agree to that we do the clean up if not we don't. I'm booked solid in fall I do not have time too waste coming to your house for estimates. We also do not take on any clean ups for non lawn customers winter storms can shut us down at any time wouldn't be fair to do a one time clean up and leave a loyal client hanging.

Prices are not based on lawn cut prices they have nothing to do with one another. We have 25-30 dollar cuts that may be 100-150 dollar fall clean ups but we also have some in that cost range that are 400-500 dollar fall clean ups. We have many that are in 1000 dollar range lawn size isn't the big factor nor is leaf quantity as many mistakenly think. It's the terrain and the objects its the over grown shrubs in the beds touching the house or its the tulip seeds in the grass bringing blowing off to a crawl.

JDiepstra
08-25-2011, 06:22 PM
Well i read the first three pages and am amazed noone said forget the vac and get a mulch kit on a good mower. I have an ultra vac with a quick dump hopper for my 60" lazer and i dont even use it.

cuttin-to-the-Max
08-25-2011, 07:49 PM
Well i read the first three pages and am amazed noone said forget the vac and get a mulch kit on a good mower. I have an ultra vac with a quick dump hopper for my 60" lazer and i dont even use it.

Actually You're right! Thats what i have The ultra vac with the quick dump.

But as i said before This is A Fall clean up! Since i dont bag until november.
That goes around and gets all the leaves (while the guys re blowing leaves out of the beds) Then dumps it in the street by the leaf-loader. Then the leaf loader sucks them up..... Definitely get more jobs squeezed into the truck this way.

JDiepstra
08-25-2011, 08:01 PM
Actually You're right! Thats what i have The ultra vac with the quick dump.

But as i said before This is A Fall clean up! Since i dont bag until november.
That goes around and gets all the leaves (while the guys re blowing leaves out of the beds) Then dumps it in the street by the leaf-loader. Then the leaf loader sucks them up..... Definitely get more jobs squeezed into the truck this way.

Id say I mulch 95% of my fall cleanups. I hit each lawn twice in November. I haul very little. But hey let everyone do it however they want :)

rdharris
08-28-2011, 03:11 PM
I also have a 60" ultra vac with the quick dump bagger. Would adding a mulching kit eliminate the need for a bagger in the early weeks of leaf removal? ( when grass is still growing as the leaves begin to fall )

JDiepstra
08-28-2011, 03:15 PM
I also have a 60" ultra vac with the quick dump bagger. Would adding a mulching kit eliminate the need for a bagger in the early weeks of leaf removal? ( when grass is still growing as the leaves begin to fall )

Absolutely. You will be amazed how many leaves you can mulch into dust. It is important that if you are mulching a lot of leaves that they be pretty dry. Otherwise they will turn into a mess. Make sure you are using mulching blades and not high lift or gators or something else. The more leaves you get under the deck at once, the better it cuts them up.