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naturescape
11-07-2002, 01:47 PM
I have a lot of experience mulching leaves with different mowers. I have mulched leaves EXCLUSIVELY since 1987, sometimes in areas with VERY heavy leaf accumulation.

Mulching leaves isn't going to upset the balance of the soil. The leaves ARE the soil, in a different form. Just don't bring the mulch from one location to a completely different location, then I could imagine a soil Ph balance problem.

I have found no one mower/setup can do everything effectively. A mulch kit works fine on dry leaves, but not when they are fairly wet.

The best way to mulch in ANY conditions is to first use a mower with a mulching plate (sometimes a couple passes), then go over the area without a mulching plate to uniformly spread the mulch. This means carrying 2 mowers, one set up to mulch, the other to discharge.

The only way around this is to use something like the Director from York, then you can easily switch back and forth from mulching to discharge. Unfortunately, this isn't available for many mowers (including my 48" Turf Tracer!). So, I want to fabricate a hinged mulch plate for my mower, something I'll have done before Spring.

Envy Lawn Service
11-07-2002, 09:58 PM
The quick change is one thing I must say I like about the ol' lawn tractor. It has a twin blade 42" deck that is designed where it doesn't need extra baffles or individual blade chambers to do a great job mulching. It only takes a few seconds to stop, pull the discarge block off plate and stick on the discharge deflector. Wham bam, your side discharging or mulching.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-07-2002, 10:11 PM
So now we're at carring 2 mowers and making 5-6 passes....

Man yall keep making me want to try mulching even more!!!!

Screw all that 1-----Pass with a vac.

Envy Lawn Service
11-07-2002, 11:00 PM
LGF,

I should have some serious pics for ya tomorrow night! We got some serious wind and a lot of leaves are on the ground. Hopefully some of my one-pass pics will be small enough to post here this time!

HarryD
11-08-2002, 12:33 AM
3 pass's is not a big deal to me if i dont have to carry away a truck load of leaves from one job

LAWNGODFATHER
11-08-2002, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by HarryD
3 pass's is not a big deal to me if i dont have to carry away a truck load of leaves from one job

I think you missed my point... I get paid a lot more to haul them leaves away.

naturescape
11-08-2002, 02:54 AM
So now we're at carring 2 mowers and making 5-6 passes....

I didn't say 5 - 6 passes. Usually 2 does the trick. My point in saying carrying 2 mowers was that would come in handy when encountering the very worst, wet conditions. I only carry one mower, but it would be nice to be able to easily convert it from mulching to side-discharge.

Scotlawncare
11-08-2002, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
I think you missed my point... I get paid a lot more to haul them leaves away.

ok LGF, but some of us don't have the extra $$$$$$ for the larger trucks with dump beds or trailers with 4ft sides for holding alot of leaves plus mowers. purchasing another mower at 2k-2500 is cheaper than another truck, ie 3/4 ton 10k used to 30k new and another trailer 2500 plus vac for trailer to pic up from curb.

I like the idea of a few extra passes to put more nutrients back into the soil rather than spend the extra time and money for the truck, trailer, and to go to the dump and shovel all those piles of leaves out of my trailer. this is one reason i DON'T bag grass

Scot

Toroguy
11-08-2002, 06:17 PM
I like the idea of using a back up mower for extreme cases. I encountered one lot that needed LGF's vac, I did get it all mulched but had to stop in the middle and spread out the mess with the leaf blower. An initial pass with a mower without a mulch kit or one with a adjustable baffle described above would have helped.

There is no doubt that a vacuumed lawn looks better upon completion. The difference to me is the cost-storage space and the cost to my customers. After the leaf mulch breaks down I see no difference of the appearance between a vacuumed lawn and one that was mulched.

Making money is part of this business, thats why they call it money. I know alot of people who make a lot more money than me, however they continue to spend more as their incomes increase. My total expenses would make a college student jealous-this philosophy does not require a large income and satisfies the net income, after tax, after bills, after Burger King. Thats why I mulch:)

bubble boy
11-08-2002, 06:19 PM
whether one has the money or not is missing the point. if you can charge up the rear to pick up and dump, why do the repeat cutting?

by charging the proper amount you'll find you have the $ to pay for the truck. like anything else, you gotta spend it to make it.

naturescape
11-08-2002, 06:25 PM
After the leaf mulch breaks down I see no difference of the appeara

That may be true, but wait until Spring. The lawn that has leaves properly mulched into it will look superior. And if you take care of the same account year after year and always mulch, those are the strongest, healthiest lawns around. I know that from experience.

HarryD
11-08-2002, 07:36 PM
i charge the same if i mulch or haul them away so no biggie to me

LAWNGODFATHER
11-08-2002, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by naturescape
After the leaf mulch breaks down I see no difference of the appeara

That may be true, but wait until Spring. The lawn that has leaves properly mulched into it will look superior. And if you take care of the same account year after year and always mulch, those are the strongest, healthiest lawns around. I know that from experience.

Your kidding right?

So do your fertilize these accounts?

Mine look thick lush and dark green and I didn't mulch the leaves into it, I am glad they don't look superior.

Bubble Boy had caught the point, I didn't buy those pieces of equipment because I mulched leaves, I bought them cause I was able to obtain a BOAT load more money from the way I have been doing it. I didn't always offer hauling the leaves of.

I can still charge $30 an hour with that stuff and still turn a decent profit, but I like my I will quote it again in bold print supersized $75 a man hour

roscioli
11-08-2002, 10:16 PM
you can charge $30/ hour and make a decent profit? how much did you pay for that rig? seems like its price/life would be a very high ratio to me, that charging 30/hour- 10 help - 5 admin - cost of equip would leave you with nothing

LAWNGODFATHER
11-08-2002, 10:26 PM
DID YOU MISS SOME THING?

Did you not read "I" can can charge that but you reluctently left the part that I friggin charge $75 a man hour out.

YOU PEAOPLE ARE FRIGGIN' HOPELESS FORGET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And BTW $5 an hour for admin, where did you come up with that f'n cost from?

So if I had 20 guys working my admin would be $100 an hour right?

Read the above line that is in all caps again..............

fastrunner
11-08-2002, 10:40 PM
Hey lawngodfather, Take that waste of space heavy *** track vac off and put a mulch kit on. Cant make money spending all day at one job, and filling up your truck on that one job also. Mulching is a one step process. Sucking them up with a vacuum is a two step,, your sucking them up, then you have to get off and dump them,, i have had other people tell me to tarp leaves,, which is a three step process,, blow into pile, rake on tarp, then dump.. No good. The less steps,, the better.. Besides mulching is better for the turf, puts nutrients back into the soil.. I found that out in one of my classes we performed a test in. you will find that making four passes going 8-10 mph in a Z mulcing is about three times as fast as making one pass with a Z sucking them up going 4 mph and dumping every 5 minutes.. Hope you get the point. see ya.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-08-2002, 10:46 PM
Are you that damn dumb too?

I DON'T HAVE A Trac Vac.

I have Peco Vac's you dump from the seat.

DID YOU ALSO MISS THAT I CHARGE BY THE HOUR SO HOW THE F*** DO I NOT MAKE ANY MONEY?

You go a head and make your 4-5 passes and I stick to my $75 a man hour.

Toroguy
11-08-2002, 10:58 PM
We are discussing leaves...not insulting each others family. Lets continue serving our customers.

Lawrence Stones Toro was the nicest lawn mower on this site...:laugh:

bubble boy
11-08-2002, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by fastrunner
Cant make money spending all day at one job, and filling up your truck on that one job also. Mulching is a one step process...the less steps,, the better...

first off, you can make money all day at one job if you know how to properly estimate. in fact with no drive time for the guys i can make even more.


second mulching two or three times is a two or three step process. and at the speeds required to prevent blowout and properly dust the 2 inches of leaves you obviously cut, i could beat you with the gobbler.

Yard
11-08-2002, 11:43 PM
Nature Scape- I agree that mulching is good for putting nutrients back into the soil, but I still find it hard to believe that a lawn with heavy leaf cover can be mulched enough to satisfy the customer.

I looked at your web site and I think it's great the concern you have for the environment, I wish more people did(but thats a whole different story). What I don't agree with is that you don't charge any extra to mulch your customer's leaves. You deserve to get paid for your time ,you are providing an extra service and you should be paid for it.

Envy Lawn Service
11-09-2002, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by Yard
I still find it hard to believe that a lawn with heavy leaf cover can be mulched enough to satisfy the customer.

What I don't agree with is that you don't charge any extra to mulch your customer's leaves. You deserve to get paid for your time ,you are providing an extra service and you should be paid for it.

Sometimes you can amaze yourself with how much leaves you can make disappear. But as with removal, the more leaves, the more work.

My leaf mulching works out well for me. I do a good job of it and preferrit. Nothing wrong with that! I keep up with things on a weekly basis. I mulch anyways so I charge only the mowing rate if there are just a few leaves. Anything more and I charge double mowing rate for up to 2 passes. Anything over that is on a "per pass" basis. I think that's fair.

EXAMPLE

Mowing $50
Mowing + leaf mulching $50-75
Mowing + 1 extra leaf mulching pass $100
Mowing +2 extra leaf mulching passes $150
No mowing needed leaf mulching $50-75
2 pass leaf mulching $100

HarryD
11-09-2002, 02:11 AM
why so bitter lawngodfather we could care less about how long it takes each of us to bag or mulch . you like to bag others like to mulch whats the big deal :confused:

so are you telling us that when the leaves start falling you bag all your customers weeking till there done and charge them $75 a man hour to do so

The Mowerdude
11-09-2002, 06:17 AM
Well, with all due respect to everyone on this thread, I have to back LGF up 100%.

Personally I don't really care how my competitors solve their customer's leaf problems. I started vaccing and hauling because there were so many people here wanting it. Up to that point I had been mulching like everyone else. But with every LCO that had any kind of cheesy mower out there mulching, I had no way of seperating my service. And to make matters worse,

and I know you've all got this in your area,

one LCO would do a good job mulching, but 20 wouldn't. There were many, many dissatisfied customers looking for an alternative. And I stepped in at just the right time.

Now, all of that being said, I can also say that I've done it both ways. I've mulched for years and I've vacced and hauled for years. And I'm here to tell you, with vaccing, my customers are happier, my wallet is happier and my back is happier because it's faster and easier.

If there's one drawback it would be of course, the cash outlay for the equipment. But that money spent has come back in truckloads. :D (I made a pun)

Yall say whatever you want and you can do it however you want. I can truly say that I've been there and done that. I'll never go back to mulching. I just can't handle the cut in pay.

David Haggerty
11-09-2002, 06:45 AM
A mulch kit came with the Toro 580-D I bought last summer.
But none of my customers have enough leaves to even bother to bolt it on.:(
Dave

MOW ED
11-09-2002, 07:08 AM
I started vaccing and hauling because there were so many people here wanting it.

That is the TRUEST statement here.

I don't care about anything else, if there is a market for the service then you would be foolish not to provide it.
Where I am there is a very small market here for leaf removal from the property because the city picks them up. I am honest with the customer and tell them that they can save $$$if I can just dump them on the curb. I have yet to remove a load to the compost site this year.

Only 2 local big companies vac and haul away. I can't justify the expense for my operation because there is not a market for it.

You have to do what people want. Local conditions dictate what your business has to do to remain competitive and make a profit.

We have said too MULCH on this topic!:D

naturescape
11-09-2002, 10:00 AM
After the leaf mulch breaks down I see no difference of the appeara

That may be true, but wait until Spring. The lawn that has leaves properly mulched into it will look superior. And if you take care of the same account year after year and always mulch, those are the strongest, healthiest lawns around. I know that from experience.

Your kidding right?
So do your fertilize these accounts?

I do fertilize most of my accounts, I make great money doing it. BUT, to be honest, I have a few lawns that I have been cutting for 16 years that do not have any fertilizer OR irrigation applied that are as stong, healthy and beautiful as any other lawns on the street.

HOWEVER, it does take a few years to obtain that healthy of a lawn from proper cutting and leaf mulching ONLY.

naturescape
11-09-2002, 10:05 AM
I looked at your web site and I think it's great the concern you have for the environment, I wish more people did(but thats a whole different story). What I don't agree with is that you don't charge any extra to mulch your customer's leaves. You deserve to get paid for your time ,you are providing an extra service and you should be paid for it.

I don't need to charge extra for leaf mulching, that's the beauty of it! In late fall, lawns don't require edging or (usually) even trimming, so I skip those steps and mulch instead. I charge for the price of a regular cut, and mow/mulch every week. Result is I make even more money per hour at this time of the year on average.

fastrunner
11-09-2002, 03:21 PM
LGF
Track-vac, ultra vac, peco vac, **** vac, whatever. I can tell that you never tried mulching with you anger and all. Cause everyone that has tried mulching will never bag that crap again.

naturescape
11-09-2002, 03:47 PM
LGF
Track-vac, ultra vac, peco vac, **** vac, whatever. I can tell that you never tried mulching with you anger and all. Cause everyone that has tried mulching will never bag that crap again.

Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on LGF. Can you imagine spending the money for all that junk (vacs etc.) and then end up simply mulching everything anyway?

I love it when all my competitors spend so much time and effort bagging or blowing off clippings/leaves. It makes me feel that much better about the way I do things.

One thing is for sure, the easiest way for a neophyte to take care of Fall leaves is to blow or bag the leaves. Just about anybody can do that. I did things that way myself 17 years ago. It takes a little knowledge and effort to mulch large quantities of leaves and leave a nice looking lawn. That's why I started this post, to explain to beginners the benefits of mulching.

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 04:01 PM
Lawngodfeather has purchased inneficient, unnecessary equipment that he has spent alot of $$$ running & it is difficult for him to admit a less expensive method is better.

I read with some amusement his amateurish attempts at mulching. It is an art that takes practice & experimentation with blades, cut patterns & customer education.

I use to run a big ol' Hi-Way 20hp leaf loader & dump body. I have since sold it, mulch everything, & profits & time save have increased drastically.

Lawngodfeather's argument that he makes more by hauling is absurd. He charges for hauling? So I build that into my muching price & I don't have to haul. It's almost like saying the kid who cuts an acre with a 21" gets paid more than a pro who cuts it with a ZTR.

Believe me the guys who are still bagging & vacing are only doing it because they have invested big $$$ in unproductive equip..

LAWNGODFATHER
11-09-2002, 04:39 PM
This isn't even worth commenting on anymore.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-09-2002, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by fastrunner
LGF
Track-vac, ultra vac, peco vac, **** vac, whatever. I can tell that you never tried mulching with you anger and all. Cause everyone that has tried mulching will never bag that crap again.

You read so well, I used to mulch leaves, people don't want that.

It looks like CHIT!!!

LAWNGODFATHER
11-09-2002, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by naturescape
[B].

One thing is for sure, the easiest way for a neophyte to take care of Fall leaves is to blow or bag the leaves. Just about anybody can do that. I did things that way myself 17 years ago. It takes a little knowledge and effort to mulch large quantities of leaves and leave a nice looking lawn. That's why I started this post, to explain to beginners the benefits of mulching.

What ever that means.

It takes knowledge and effort to mulch leaves.

Ok we have to buy mulch kits, carry 2 mowers to mulch leaves, run over the lawn 6 thousand times to make them vanish.

And then you say you just keep cutting weekly.

Lets put this in persepctive here, and this is my last comment on leaf removal on this forum so don't bother asking me about it.

I did $172,000 in leaf removal last year.

BTW this aint no mine is bigger than yours, this was showing you the money.

That's it I am done on leaf removal help......................................

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 04:54 PM
After reading your amateurish methods for leaf mulching it is no wonder it looked terrible Lawngodfeather.

Since this post was only a few days ago I wonder when "used to mulch leaves" actually was.

Here are some before & after pics from the archives from a true professional Eric Elm, who unlike Lawngodfeather was able to admit his expensive bagging purchases were unnecessary & shared useful & not detrimental information on this site.

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 04:56 PM
After mulching.

& by the way you can charge as much for mulching. Lawngodfeather is like a kid with a 21" mower cutting an acre who wants to know why he doesn't get more than a guy with a ZTR.

John from OH
11-09-2002, 05:02 PM
$172,000 is impressive. How long is your leaf clean up season and how many employees do you have? That's almost 2300 billable hours for leaf clean up.

Expert Lawns
11-09-2002, 05:11 PM
are you gonna get up on the roof and clean off the roof and eavestroves? may be some extra cash for ya there. have you ever done that before? if so, what do you charge?

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 05:16 PM
John from Oh.,

After reading many of Lawngodfeathers posts we can safely assume his numbers are made up.

Or when he says $172, 000 he is giving us a gross which actually has no relation to real profits.

I can tell you my profits have nearly doubled since selling my leaf loader/vac system.

One reason is that we are able to sign more yearly mowing contracts because leaf clean-up is no longer a big deal.

Lawn Sharks
11-09-2002, 06:22 PM
This is a bit off topic but I too commend NatureScape for his enviormental approach. I do the same and get more clients because of it. Too many landscapers run around willy nilly with Dursban and Roundup. Think of the children that may play on that lawn. I use only organic fertilizers and no other chemicals and find my business thrives because of it. It is the trend of the future.


Keth

TLS
11-09-2002, 06:43 PM
If you already have a big truck loader, there, IMHO, is no real need for a ZTR bagger system. Sure they're nice to have, but the FASTEST system of leaf removal I've ever seen is by....

1) Blow out all roofs, gutters, and beds with backpack blower.

2) Blow numerous (depending on size of lawn) areas into a pile of leaves with push type blower (Almost everyone has one, or SHOULD have one).

3) Suck up "X" many piles with truck loader.

4) Mow lawn with ZTR with (here is the option) either a mulch plate/kit or Vac system to clean up entire project and chop up/suck up any remaining leaves you may have missed.

This should leave you with the LEAST amount of MAN hours and the LEAST amount of dumping by your ZTR vac system. In most cases only one or two dumps instead of 10 to 20 !


Now this is ONLY if you have a TRUCK LOADER. The truck loader will be your most EXPENSIVE piece of equipment used JUST for leaves. The PUSH blower will be quicker moving large quantities of leaves rather then chasing around piles with a ZTR vac through 14" of leaves.


Saw a local townships leaf rig on Friday. It had a 2 FOOT diameter intake hose supported by a large swing arm support system, 4 cylinder Diesel (100+HP?) engine, being pulled by a large fully enclosed dump body. This thing could suck up small children! Kinda scarey, but this thing means business. Our tax dollars at work!

Sure made a 16-20hp leaf loader seem kinda.....UMMMM .....small :eek:

1grnlwn
11-09-2002, 07:17 PM
Well I do both and think that it depends on the property. If you have all the equip. it would be foolish to mulch. I have track vac and it is huge, it will suck the bugers out of your nose at 30 paces. And no mulcher will leave a yard as clean and as green as this baby. I use it for my lakeside props 30000 and up that have a place to dump. I don't have truck or loader. My poor customers get mulching and my cheap customers get a mow and go. Ztrs are hard on turf and 5 passes on tree soil and damp to boot does a lot of dammage. One thing for certain i hate leaves and I will till I can make as much as LGF. Oh and I have no place to dump except back yard. I did a back yard that had leaves a foot deep mulching would have been a joke. Depends on density of grass to. I lile to mulch where I can and I do charge for the time it takes. nough said!

Mark

Joel B.
11-09-2002, 07:18 PM
LGF: Why are you so rude?

1grnlwn
11-09-2002, 07:23 PM
In LGF's defense he has not been involved in a closed thread in a long time. LOL Joel , do you have a bumper sticker that says (MEAN PEOPLE SUCK)?

Mark

fastrunner
11-09-2002, 08:13 PM
LGF,
If you were mulching the leaves and they look like CHIT, then you just told all of us here that you dont know the tricks and all the experimenting that you have to do with blades, ect. good luck in the future, hopefully some day you will realize that mulching is the only way to go. Oh, and by the way, if you were tring to make up a profit on leaf cleanups for the year to so call impress us, you be a little bit more realistic... we arnt DUMB! 172,000 in leaf clean-up, Man you are GOD himself if you make that just in leaves!:eek:

lawn dawg
11-09-2002, 09:22 PM
Mark,
Maybe the sticker should read:
"Mean People Vac"
:dizzy:

1grnlwn
11-09-2002, 09:32 PM
Indead they do! Indead they do!

cantoo
11-09-2002, 09:40 PM
I do whatever the customers want and will pay for. Yesterday we did a property after the "pro" cutters left. They mulched the lawn areas and did a decent job, but never did the beds or around the trees. We were using the Walker on the property next door and after they left he came over and asked if we would do his lawn. I thought about it for a second then thought so what a job is a job, now he wants a grass cutting price from us. The mulcher might lose out on his job as there are three houses in a row. Sometimes you have to do what is needed to get the job. I also have a mid mount but don't even bother using it this time of year. Leaves today were 12" to 18" deep and the grass is so light form the trees nowhere to hide the mulched leaves.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-09-2002, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by Expert Lawns
are you gonna get up on the roof and clean off the roof and eavestroves? may be some extra cash for ya there. have you ever done that before? if so, what do you charge?

Those aren't his pics.

Envy Lawn Service
11-09-2002, 09:57 PM
This "is" mine

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words :D

Envy Lawn Service
11-09-2002, 09:59 PM
I say do it however you do it well. Thats most important. Who are we to tell another man how to run his business???

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 10:09 PM
No offense to Lawngodfeather, but I've been reading alot of back threads & his input is not only childish but generally degrading.

Seems to be on some sort of cyber ego-trip, unwilling to exchange ideas in a adult manner.

In regards to bagging being the customers preference I've found that since switching to mulching not one customer has complained.
I never informed them I was no longer bagging & I believe either none of them noticed or just didn't care.

Envy Lawn Service
11-09-2002, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by ULTIMATE LAWN
In regards to bagging being the customers preference I've found that since switching to mulching not one customer has complained.
I never informed them I was no longer bagging & I believe either none of them noticed or just didn't care.

It's not until spring that you notice the difference. All that stuff has had time to work itself into the soil and the turf will show a difference then.

Most customers "think" they want the leaves removed until I mulch them once for them. When they realize it looks as good as removal they could care less anymore. But as I said, when spring rolls around and they see results, most won't allow anything but mulching.

joehar
11-09-2002, 10:59 PM
heck,just blow them out in the street and make a pass over them in the truck!!:D they do that here in mempho town.

Green Pastures
11-09-2002, 11:16 PM
My, how this thread has degraded to another "mines bigger that your's is" type deal.

I'm agreeing or disagreeing with anyone. The fact is there is room for everybody.

I have customers who will not stand for mulching any time of the year, let alone leaf season. They insist on bagging. So I price accordingly. That's how I afford a $11K Walker.

The Mowerdude
11-09-2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by ULTIMATE LAWN
In regards to bagging being the customers preference I've found that since switching to mulching not one customer has complained.
I never informed them I was no longer bagging & I believe either none of them noticed or just didn't care.

Let me make sure that I understand you.

Originally, your customers were paying you to bag but now you're mulching and the customers haven't noticed. So my question is: "Do they think they're paying to have their yards bagged? But since you're not bagging why haven't you told them that you're giving them something different than what they have trusted you to do?"

greenman
11-09-2002, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by joehar
heck,just blow them out in the street and make a pass over them in the truck!!:D they do that here in mempho town.

"They" wouldn't be Hoss, would it?:D ;)

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-09-2002, 11:35 PM
Mowerdude, they pay me to clean-up the leaves. They don't know or don't care how I do it. After our last visit to a prop., when the leaves are all down you can't tell if the leaves were hauled or mulched & the rare time they asked me about the leaf dust in their lawn I tell them I am providing free fertilizer.

Haven't changed my prices since the days when I was leaf loading, tarping, bagging.

Turtle II
11-10-2002, 12:25 AM
Envy,

That pic of before & after, or the side by side compairison pic I should say,,,,,,,,looks really great!!!!!!!!!

How many passes did you have to make to do that??? How much time did it take to do what is pictured there???

Hope everyone is doing well.......

Turtle II
eastern, NC

The Mowerdude
11-10-2002, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by ULTIMATE LAWN
...the rare time they asked me about the leaf dust in their lawn I tell them I am providing free fertilizer.

Do you have a problem with stating the simple truth? Why can you not simply tell your customers that you decided to mulch the leaves up and leave the leaf dust on the lawn?

The Mowerdude
11-10-2002, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by ULTIMATE LAWN
Here are some before & after pics from the archives from a true professional Eric Elm, who unlike Lawngodfeather was able to admit his expensive bagging purchases were unnecessary & shared useful & not detrimental information on this site.

I've got some more questions for you. At the time that I'm typing this out, you only are showing 12 posts. So what name did you USED to go by? I ask because with only 12 posts to your credit, you certainly come in here with guns blazing and have way too much background knowledge on topics such as Eric's opinions on vac systems, for a newb. You're REAL name doesn't begin with the letter "L" does it?

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-10-2002, 06:12 AM
Mowerdude, When I tell them I am providing free fertilizer if they ask about the dust I am not trying to hide the fact that we mulched.

The Mowerdude
11-10-2002, 07:26 AM
But you're not actually going and getting an "official" bag of fert, are you? I mean the leaf dust IS your "free" fertilizer?

:p And as to the 2nd set of questions?

David Haggerty
11-10-2002, 08:10 AM
If people didn't plant those maple trees, there'd be no leaf problem. The leaves would just get mulched up with the mowers.

Maple leaves all fall at once, and with just a sprinkle of rain form a soggy moldy mat on the ground. It suffocates any competing vegetation. When that happens you have to get it off of the lawn. Mulching wet leaves is not an option.

That's probably what LGF is dealing with. I've seen pictures of that park in St. Louis, and it looks like lots of maple trees to me.


Red oaks have lots of leaves, but they're brittle, and mulch pretty well. My favorite tree is the pin oak. They're nicely proportioned if you prune off the bottom limbs. And it's hard to find a bushel of leaves off of these trees. They just blow away one leaf at a time.



As for those people who want to "let all the leaves fall" before doing anything about them... I class them with the people who want to let the grass get up to their ankles before having it mowed! Too cheap to have their lawn properly cared for.

Dave

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-10-2002, 10:47 AM
David, we have many Maple & 100 yr. old Oak trees. The Maple do not exactly fall all at once but depending on the fall climate they will fall quickly & there is always one visit to a prop. where the leaf covering is excessively thick.

A thick wet covering of leaves will make bagging, blowing or mulching more time consuming. To remedy this with the mulching method you need to have a mower with a hight hp to deck size ratio. For example I have reinforced the deck on my 48" TTHP & mounted a 23hp engine. With double gator blades & the metal baffle I fabricated this monster can turn even the thickest wet covering to dust.

Generally you will not need this type of power & I can rely on my stock mowers for 90% of the mulching.

The people, like Lawngodfeather, who claim it cannot be done have not put any effort into achieving the results that are possible, mainly because they have invested so much in vacs & bagging systems. These systems do work but I will never regret selling my loader & Walker & switching to mulching.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-10-2002, 01:01 PM
You keep saying people like me never or don't put the effort into mulching and that is about as far as the truth as to you are not someone who has been banned from here before.

So in your little bit a reseach did you read that I used to mulch the leaves? NO

I guess when you were sopposedly reading my pat posts, like the "no way" thread you didn't get the fact that I started the thread because "everyone" made mulching sound like it was a 1 pass and they just vanished deal, and it is far from that and far from the truth.

I know what it takes and what you have to do to mulch leaves up. You don't need any special mower parts other than a box stock mower to mulch leaves so don't send this BS that you have have this or that. It still takes more than 1 pass to do it.

So while you sit here and stereo type me for making real money while doing leaf removal, why don't you figure out how 6 employees' and me can make what I did doing leaf removals in 9-10 weeks. Lets see who many brain cells you actually have.

And by the way I do mulch some lawns, but why waste my time when I get PAID a hell of a lot more to vac them.

Maybe now you and a some other might get the point Mowerdude and I have been trying to make.

BTW it doesn't cost that much more for a big cav and a mower vac. You keep making it sound like they are $100, 000 and they are not.

Also you just showed us that you have to spend almost the same money in your mower to mulch leaves.

kutnkru
11-10-2002, 01:24 PM
This season has been a mishmosh of feelings about the mulching/bagging issue.

Since I am set up for both it seems that I have been able to mulch about 80% of the properties without having me look at them dissatisfied.

The rest seem to have the leaves come down so fast from the odd weather patterns here, That I merely bagged up a half tarps load to keep myself happy with the overall apperance after mulching the debris several times.

Next season however, I dont think that I will be using the truckloader for much more than non-clients who have HUGE piles at their curbs that wish to have them removed before the Town finally gets there -LOL!!!

kutnkru
11-10-2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
... You don't need any special mower parts other than a box stock mower to mulch leaves so don't send this BS that you have have this or that. ...C'mon Mike!!!

You mean to tell me that a Landscaper Supply Mower can do what the others out there can???

Seems to me it depends on the box as to the productivity!

HAHAHAHA!!!!

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-10-2002, 01:31 PM
Lawngodfeather, you showed us how you tried to mulch in a previous thread. Rookie attempt at best.

There is nothing wrong with loading. In fact Kutnkru is right, there is a big market for it in our area for collecting piles from other LCO's who still bag & don't have a loader.

For my own props. mulching is the way to go & I can directly compare the loader/vac set-up to the mulching routine I use now.

KLMlawn
11-10-2002, 01:32 PM
Unbelievable ... it just seems as everyone has gotten sand in their panties over this leaf mulching concept.
I do mulch, just as many of you others here do as well, but I am sorry, I have to agree with LGF when it comes to leaf drops in the 40% plus ranges ... they just can't efficently be mulched, they have to be picked up and remeoved and you must charge accordingly.
Although I really can't see how you can do an average of $17,000 a week on leaves ( yes I did the math, about 37 hours per man at the rate you charge LGF) but still, I could just do leaves in your area pay the men and bum the rest of the year and let someone else mow the lawns and be happy ....
Really guys, this is getting to be a bit much with the critisim about everyone elses methods ... we are all supposed to be proffesionals ....

The Mowerdude
11-10-2002, 03:13 PM
Ultimate

You still haven't answered the "other" question.

Have you been banned from this site, and now are back here under a different name?

If you refuse to answer this question, the only asumption that we can make is that you have indeed been banned.

KLMlawn
11-10-2002, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by The Mowerdude
Ultimate

You still haven't answered the "other" question.

Have you been banned from this site, and now are back here under a different name?

If you refuse to answer this question, the only asumption that we can make is that you have indeed been banned.

Gee, do ya think it is L. "Rock" ...???

lasher66
11-10-2002, 05:53 PM
I have a hard time charging my customers for a fall cleanup and then they look out their window and see me just going over the leaves with my mower. Also , it is a pain in the but trying to mulch with yards that have obstacles or lots of trees because you have to keep blowing the leaves away from them to mulch them. And some of my yards are just full of leaves and just way to many to even think about running over with a lawnmower. I think mulching leaves strictly depends on the yard. I cut a lot of lawns in new developments and those people would kill me if they seen me trying to mulch that many leaves when their neighbors lawn looks perfectly clean. I say blow or vac the leaves even if it takes longer. When the customer sees a huge mountain of leaves in the street (city picks them up here) they know they got their money worth for the cleanup.

Lasher

bubble boy
11-10-2002, 05:58 PM
i actually think the opposite-the new developments have young trees, not much leaf cover so mulching more possible.

older developments, that have mature maples, still trying to make it work.

as for what they see, i don't care - as long as they don't see leaves.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-10-2002, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by URETHRA LAWN
Lawngodfather, you showed us how you tried to mulch in a previous thread. Rookie attempt at best.

There is nothing wrong with loading. In fact Kutnkru is right, there is a big market for it in our area for collecting piles from other LCO's who still bag & don't have a loader.

Rookie is far from it.

Like I said before, you cannot do it in one pass like "EVERYONE" including "you" kept pushing.

For the ones who are listening, just call Mowerdude and I "Jerry McGwire", we are trying to "show you the money"

Happy mulching.:alien:

lasher66
11-10-2002, 06:33 PM
Do you charge your customer for a full cleanup when you do this mulching? Just wondering.

Lasher

joehar
11-10-2002, 06:33 PM
heck,just blow em in the neighbors beds if they aint home.

kutnkru
11-10-2002, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by joehar
heck,just blow em in the neighbors beds if they aint home. I think this takes the ol' "Cant We All Just Get Along" phrase a little TOO far!!!:angry:

Theres no place for sexual orientation in a LEAF THREAD!!!

HAHAHAHA!!!

roscioli
11-10-2002, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
DID YOU MISS SOME THING?

Did you not read "I" can can charge that but you reluctently left the part that I friggin charge $75 a man hour out.

YOU PEAOPLE ARE FRIGGIN' HOPELESS FORGET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And BTW $5 an hour for admin, where did you come up with that f'n cost from?

So if I had 20 guys working my admin would be $100 an hour right?

Read the above line that is in all caps again..............

LGF- Up until now I have had a flake of respect for you, but boy, you just killed that. I AM NOT RESPONDING TO THE FACT THAT YOU "FRIGGIN" CHARGE $75, I am responding to the fact that you said that you CAN charge $30, because I DONT BELIEVE THAT AT $30 YOU WOULD MAKE A PROFIT. What you said is that at $30/man hour you would still make a profit (whether you meant to say that is yet to be determined), and I do not believe that you would be able to pay for your rig.
I have not read any other responses yet, but I guess I will to see if you explained a little more.
Might I also ask (publicly this time because I did not get a response when I asked privately) why you are allowed to have an EXMARK banner in your post when the rules explicitly state otherwise?

Envy Lawn Service
11-10-2002, 08:13 PM
I'm going to say this and don't anybody get all whizzed off at me!!

LEAF MULCHING CAN BE DONE IN ONE PASS!
Of course not every deck has the right mulching properties. Not every deck has very low blow out properties and so on. So what works for one person may not for another. Also the amount of time and passes depends on conditions just as it does with collection.

NOTHING WORKS PERFECTLY IN ALL CONDITIONS
Case in point > A friend of mine has a Simplicity 38" Lawn Tractor. He has on a fully baffled mulch kit and factory mulch blades. It has zero blow out and would mulch a forrest bed literally. But when it comes to sappy spring grass, the deck clogs up.
Another > Here it was very dry all summer, then it got wet this fall. So the result is leathery leaves that are a little harder to mulch.

MAPLES MULCH FINE
I find that the only difference is that maple leaves tend to fall when they are less brittle and hard. So that means most fall right around the base of the tree rather than spreading as much. An oak for example will often hold leaves until they are completely dry and brown. The wind kinda just breaks them off. They fall dry hard and are more likely to scatter and be less dense. Also too, maples tend to have more leaves because people keep them trimmed and thick.

MOST CLIENT COULD CARE LESS
All they care about is the end result. That's not to say I haven't had a 1st year customer see me mulching leaves and ask "what are you doing?" I just explain how it's beneficial to the turf, good for the environment and ultimately costs them less. I explain that there is extra overhead involved to buying, maintaining and operating equipment that's only used a very small portion of the season. And in most situations it takes more time to collect. So the increased cost is only passed on to the consumer and the lawn is robbed of some good organics. So after I finish they see how good it looks and think hey, I really got more than what I paid for. The leaves are gone and I got a good organic application.

I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE COLLECTION IS MORE PRODUCTIVE
Now that's not to say that it isn't in some cases. I'm not saying everyone should mulch either. I'm sure there are some markets that require collection in certain areas too. I just figure in my situation, muching is more productive overall for me in my market. I think I get paid OK, the profit margin has to be just a bit higher with the reduced overhead and I'm sure my clients would rather that I continue to mulch than increase rates to collect and add one more fertilize app to the season.

WHO CARES WHICH WAY YOU DO IT
If you are productive enough, happy with profits, like doing it a certain way, and the customer is satisfied...what does it matter?
Just don't mulch it for way less than a collection. Any dummy knows that drives the market down!!!

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-10-2002, 08:49 PM
Roscioli, personally I would take all of Lawngodfeathers posts with a grain of salt. He likes to embelish to further his own cyber-self-importance.

We have seen what the late great Eric Elm can achieve by mulching & we have seen a pic of Lawngodfeathers rookie attempts.

While there is a place for loading & bagging it is definately dwindling as a necessary service. Further customer & LCO education can only reduce this practice even more.

1grnlwn
11-10-2002, 08:59 PM
While there is a place for loading & bagging it is definately dwindling as a necessary service. Further customer & LCO education can only reduce this practice even more.

This is a pretty silly coment, since most jamokes on this site bag grass all year long. So basically you are just trying to cause trouble. This is a subjective subject that will not be resolved. Moderator do your duty and close this dog!

1MajorTom
11-10-2002, 09:08 PM
Quote: This is a subjective subject that will not be resolved.


Amen.