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PerfectEarth
10-18-2012, 08:41 PM
It's not finished yet, but I know how everyone loves leaf set-ups!!

I didn't want to tie up the dump trailer with a big box this year, so for a longer term solution I bit the bullet and am having this made for the back of the F550 dump bed. It can double as a chip box also... Should be done tomorrow and I will post pics with the vac.

7' tall, a bit over 7' wide and nearly 10' long. Will sit in the dump bed with a bit of play and room for the corner D-rings.

All aluminum construction, 2" tube outer frame, 1x2 supports, will tie four corners down to the D-rings in the dump bed. Half of the top will be vented in the center... Wanted something that we could slide in and out. But it's looking that this will be fairly heavy anyway but at least it's one piece and not a ton of screwed in lumber!!

Got a brand new 18 hp Billy Goat to hang on the tailgate and will remove it at the shop with the Dingo before dumping... or at least that's the plan!

Darryl G
10-18-2012, 08:52 PM
Looks great! Are you going to be driving that truck with the box on it? I can just picture an employee deciding to hit up the drive-thru for a cup of coffee. I'd also be worried about messing it up putting it on and taking it off too. I'm sure it's a pretty good investment you're making in it. What will the height of the rig be with it on? Like 11 feet?

PerfectEarth
10-18-2012, 09:41 PM
Darryl- It's about 10' 6" total height when it's in the back of the dump bed. Nothing too bad. I'll be driving it!

Structurally, it's strong! But you're right- we already discussed the rigors of taking it in and out and what that might do over time. These guys do really nice work. I'm not too concerned about it shifting.

Darryl G
10-18-2012, 09:54 PM
Ok, promise me you'll be careful, lol.

shovelracer
10-18-2012, 09:59 PM
What that dome you got going in the back?

P.Services
10-18-2012, 10:09 PM
what is that running you?


i was going to make one three years ago like yours but i decided to just make a nice looking one out of 2x4's and ply wood and paint it black. Looks decent and it was less then 100 bucks. I planned on only using it one year and now some how its on year number 3 after sitting out in the weather un-covered year round. This is its last year seeing its getting soft and weak. Next year i should have a new plan.

Darryl G
10-18-2012, 10:13 PM
You seen these? Price is up there.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=363434&highlight=leaf+box

PerfectEarth
10-18-2012, 10:46 PM
What that dome you got going in the back?

That's not our shop! ha. It's being made at a business that does awnings (aluminum frames and fabric awnings for commercial buildings, etc...)

what is that running you?


i was going to make one three years ago like yours but i decided to just make a nice looking one out of 2x4's and ply wood and paint it black. Looks decent and it was less then 100 bucks. I planned on only using it one year and now some how its on year number 3 after sitting out in the weather un-covered year round. This is its last year seeing its getting soft and weak. Next year i should have a new plan.

Yea, I have the dump trailer leaf box lumber sitting at the shop, half way out in the weather! I could have gone that route again, I just HATE assembling it and taking it down, tying up the trailer for a long time in Nov and Dec.... This way we can use the trailer for other things and have a self contained leaf set-up and still pull the trailer with mowers. Dumping will sorta be a pain, but we'll work it out.

It will run 3000.00 for the custom box. That still less than one of those Truckcraft boxes (which are nice, btw)

P.Services
10-18-2012, 11:01 PM
Mine stays rigid and we take it on and off with the excavator, goes on the back of a f-450. Kinda shaky as your getting it on but once its on its strong.


You should put a little 24x24 top door in it so you can get inside and "jump it"

How it works. Boss man usually yells "jump it" last to yell "not it" has to climb inside and jump up and down like a kid packing the leaves down so we can fit more in the box. ( if this is a new guy its tradition to start the leaf vac and blow leaves while he does it)

PerfectEarth
10-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Mine stays rigid and we take it on and off with the excavator, goes on the back of a f-450. Kinda shaky as your getting it on but once its on its strong.


You should put a little 24x24 top door in it so you can get inside and "jump it"

How it works. Boss man usually yells "jump it" last to yell "not it" has to climb inside and jump up and down like a kid packing the leaves down so we can fit more in the box. ( if this is a new guy its tradition to start the leaf vac and blow leaves while he does it)

HA, no... No "jump it" gonna happen here. That's what the road is for! Between jobs, the stack of leaves always settles a bit. ;)

I wish I was at my old shop (well, not really...) because there was a Lull onsite that could lift this thing in and out. We shall see. Excited to pick this thing up and put it all together.

cuttin-to-the-Max
10-19-2012, 12:06 AM
Why didnt you just get the BG Leaf loader with the mini trailer? Thats what we have... Dont even have to plate it... Beats unloading and loading that SOB every day...

I dont know how particular you are about your trucks but with all that moving the leaf loader on and off seems like a lot or room for mistakes... Such as scratches and stuff..

PerfectEarth
10-19-2012, 12:19 AM
Why didnt you just get the BG Leaf loader with the mini trailer? Thats what we have... Dont even have to plate it... Beats unloading and loading that SOB every day...

I dont know how particular you are about your trucks but with all that moving the leaf loader on and off seems like a lot or room for mistakes... Such as scratches and stuff..

We won't be loading and unloading it everyday- we just want the option to do so, if we are not doing leaves and need the dump truck for a couple days doing something else.

The trailer model BG vac is well over 5,000 bucks... and you have to tow it! I wanted ONE leaf rig with box, vac, trailer and mowers.

I am not worried about the truck and the dump body. It is not new anymore! As for the vac, the Dingo will easily lift it on and off the truck tailgate.

I know I'm going to have some fine tuning to do with all this...

jrs.landscaping
10-19-2012, 08:13 AM
I'm jealous, for three years I've wanted to have something made like that. Now we use an old army box with barn doors, and a bunch of slapped together pieces. 3k is a great deal, and like you said if you get a tow behind unit where do you put your mowers? Looks good can't wait to see what it looks like finished.

MDLawn
10-19-2012, 01:45 PM
Very cool. Its amazing how sometimes a custom one off can be less than a fully assembled unit like the truckcraft one. Maybe it wont be the same but I'm sure it will function well for years to come. Plus saving money allowed you to upgrade your BG loader then, possibly?

cuttin-to-the-Max
10-19-2012, 04:01 PM
We won't be loading and unloading it everyday- we just want the option to do so, if we are not doing leaves and need the dump truck for a couple days doing something else.

The trailer model BG vac is well over 5,000 bucks... and you have to tow it! I wanted ONE leaf rig with box, vac, trailer and mowers.


Yeah we traded is a bad mower for a 26HP billy goat havent looked back since! Came with the trailer.

I'm jealous, for three years I've wanted to have something made like that. Now we use an old army box with barn doors, and a bunch of slapped together pieces. 3k is a great deal, and like you said if you get a tow behind unit where do you put your mowers? Looks good can't wait to see what it looks like finished.

We bring 2 trucks to each job... Yeah we spend a bit more in gas but... we try to cram in as many as possible and try to do cleanups that are in the same area opposed to traveling all over the county.

P.Services
10-20-2012, 11:08 PM
i would make your self 2 heavy duty saw horses out of 2x6's or 2x4's at the same height as the truck. I bet two guys can push it in and out and wont even need to use a machine.

PerfectEarth
10-24-2012, 09:21 PM
Finally picked the box up today. Also had some MUCH better fork pockets welded onto the bottom of the silly Billy Goat fork pockets (I have no idea why they make them so narrow!) so lifting will be much easier without the vac tipping.

It's nice. The did a great job on it and we can't wait to use it tomorrow. Hope the venting works well. It should, there's a lot of it.

Here's a bunch of pics-

PerfectEarth
10-24-2012, 09:24 PM
Some more pics........

MDLawn
10-24-2012, 09:39 PM
Very nice. Looks like money well spent.
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Darryl G
10-24-2012, 11:46 PM
Sweet!

Don't forget to have a fire extinguisher handy!!!!!

I think you're gonna wish you had a bigger vac though. Yes it will work, but units that size aren't all that fast.

P.Services
10-24-2012, 11:51 PM
i was thinking he needs a bigger vac also. get a 18hp minimum

Darryl G
10-24-2012, 11:56 PM
I think that is the 18..does look smaller on that rig though.

P.Services
10-25-2012, 12:35 AM
yeah i think your right. I run a 18 all day and its really not bad. I thought his was a little baby 8hp kiddy unit.

PerfectEarth
10-25-2012, 07:45 AM
That is the 18 hp... it's big enough! The other vac I've used for the past few years was an 18.

I've seen the 13/14 hp units run and they are WAY undersized on a big pile of leaves. No comparison.

Groomer
10-25-2012, 09:50 AM
Hats off to the builder-looks like top notch work from here!

cuttin-to-the-Max
10-25-2012, 04:33 PM
Thats gotta be one of the best looking rigs i've ever seen...

Raymond S.
10-25-2012, 09:00 PM
Nice box. We built ours a couple gets ago almost identical but used thin wall steel tubing. Metal was put on the outside. Rear door identical to yours. Ours fits even to the outside of our dump bed. Is there a vent on there? I disnt see one? Good luck.
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MDLawn
10-25-2012, 09:45 PM
Vent is on the roof, shown in a bunch of the pics. Not trying to answer for you PE just thought I'd throw it out there.
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PerfectEarth
10-25-2012, 09:52 PM
Hats off to the builder-looks like top notch work from here!

They did a great job. Worked totally off what we described... no detailed drawing or anything. The owner of the shop that built it came up with ideas as he went along. Like the inset screening- it looks so great and performs perfectly!

Thats gotta be one of the best looking rigs i've ever seen...

Thanks!

Nice box. We built ours a couple gets ago almost identical but used thin wall steel tubing. Metal was put on the outside. Rear door identical to yours. Ours fits even to the outside of our dump bed. Is there a vent on there? I disnt see one? Good luck.
Posted via Mobile Device

Yea, look at the pics- I took a few of the top screening. They constructed it so you can remove a few screws and take out the screen panels to replace the screening if needed.

I have some pics from today. Juts got home- long day of mowing and leaves.

PerfectEarth
10-25-2012, 10:06 PM
We made 12 stops today, vac ran at 4 of them with HUGE piles.

The box is half way full after today. It works perfectly- venting is ideal, the leaves are evenly distributed in the box (which I think is a good sign), and NO leaks. We should have had a piece of plexiglass installed in the back door so we can check our leaf levels. Can still probably have on put on.

Groomer
10-26-2012, 12:12 PM
Seems to be working out great. Whats the box weigh?

PerfectEarth
10-26-2012, 04:23 PM
Seems to be working out great. Whats the box weigh?

Good question.... dunno for sure. probably 500 ish

CTmower
10-26-2012, 10:04 PM
Sweeeeet setup.. Not sure if anyones recommended anything to you yet but I'd suggest getting one more extension piece on the debris loader to be able to load as close to the top of the box as possible. As of right now you'll only be able to fill your box maybe 85-90% full because the exhaust port enters the box a little low. I started mine off at 3/4 height and quickly learned it needed to be as high as possible to get the most out of your box.

PerfectEarth
10-27-2012, 09:21 AM
Sweeeeet setup.. Not sure if anyones recommended anything to you yet but I'd suggest getting one more extension piece on the debris loader to be able to load as close to the top of the box as possible. As of right now you'll only be able to fill your box maybe 85-90% full because the exhaust port enters the box a little low. I started mine off at 3/4 height and quickly learned it needed to be as high as possible to get the most out of your box.

Hadn't really thought about that... one more piece might be too tall (?) I'd have to measure.

After running it for two days, it's loading great. I don't think in the past I've loaded a leaf box to 100% full! The exhaust pipe on the old dump trailer box was really low- and it filled up fine (just left a little void near where the vac blows in)

The Piranha blade really does a nice job on this Billy Goat. We jammed a ton of leaves into this thing before dumping yesterday (it dumped great btw)

LawnMan19
10-28-2012, 08:41 AM
Awesome box, looks very well built.:weightlifter:

Mahoney3223
10-28-2012, 08:24 PM
I'll tell you what, I have the same Billy Goat Loader with the tailgate mount and we fabbed up a mount off our Boss Plow Mount so the vac mounts in the front and we don't have to worry about taking the loader on and off to dump. I highly suggest it. Your set up is very nice and with it on the front you wouldn't have to risk an accident to that leaf vac.

PerfectEarth
10-28-2012, 08:30 PM
I'll tell you what, I have the same Billy Goat Loader with the tailgate mount and we fabbed up a mount off our Boss Plow Mount so the vac mounts in the front and we don't have to worry about taking the loader on and off to dump. I highly suggest it. Your set up is very nice and with it on the front you wouldn't have to risk an accident to that leaf vac.

Thanks for the tip. I've seen those setups on LS before... I don't at all like the front mounts. I'm quite happy with how it is situated on the tailgate- and now that we've done the "remove and dump" process, it takes very little time.. mostly thanks to the fork pockets we had welded on. It's not bad at all getting it off and back on.

We'll almost always have a trailer on the back of the truck while doing leaves. And if you see in the pic, we have a ratchet strap that lightly "tugs" the vac back towards the box, which really helps to relieve the bounce and sag of the vac on the back, due to it's weight.

ANA Proscapes
10-29-2012, 04:50 PM
Very nice setup, but I would upgrade the straps that hold the box in to a heavy duty strap or chain it in. It will move around once it gets full.
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M&S_Lawncare
09-02-2013, 11:08 PM
Any updates or issues since your last posts over a year ago??

I have same truck and thinking about similar set-up but wanted to see what you would change Etc if anything.

PerfectEarth
09-02-2013, 11:30 PM
Any updates or issues since your last posts over a year ago??

I have same truck and thinking about similar set-up but wanted to see what you would change Etc if anything.

No updates on the leaf rig! Just been staring at the box sitting in the shop lot all year long, making no money!! haha!

I can't wait for the leaves to start flying soon. Same set-up this year, no changes planned. I would maybe have the back door hinges a bit better built... and now that I'm thinking of it - perhaps some better options/tie-down points on the box to secure it even better in the truck.

Mahoney3223
09-07-2013, 06:42 PM
Mount your vac on the front of your leaf rig! I love ours

t608
09-10-2013, 10:12 PM
Hey, Very nice setup!

I just ordered a billygoat 18hp with the tailgate hanger. I noticed the billygoat
is bolted to the hanger. So You can't fit the forks into the pockets with the hanger on? I'm planning on using the forks from my kubota to lift billy on and off the truck, but was hoping I could just slide my forks right in.

Finally picked the box up today. Also had some MUCH better fork pockets welded onto the bottom of the silly Billy Goat fork pockets (I have no idea why they make them so narrow!) so lifting will be much easier without the vac tipping.

It's nice. The did a great job on it and we can't wait to use it tomorrow. Hope the venting works well. It should, there's a lot of it.

Here's a bunch of pics-

underESTIMATED
09-29-2013, 10:14 PM
I bet the aluminum cost $1500 alone!

Very nice detailed pics!

bigoldodge
10-04-2013, 10:23 AM
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JFGLN
10-05-2013, 11:13 AM
I mount my loader on the front of the trailer.

underESTIMATED
10-17-2013, 07:14 PM
Any idea what gauge thickness that screen is? It's obviously holding up?

PerfectEarth
10-19-2013, 05:13 PM
No front of the truck here, guys. Not a fan of those set-ups personally.

Anyway, box is about to go back on soon. Been sitting in the shop lot for a year, unused! lol... like a snow plow or powerseeder. 2 months of use then put it away!

It looks the same as last year, just sitting out in the weather. I do not know the thickness or gauge of the screen. Sorry... All I know is that it's perfect for venting.

Groomer
10-19-2013, 08:02 PM
side note question, Perf.

This year seem to be a more "normal" year via leaf volume, with ample rain and better temps vs. last year's scorching drought.
But, the ash borer has done some serious damage, and we have properties where once major leaf cleanup has really been affected-as in mulch what's there and go, no pickup required.
Have you guy's seen this yet?

gallihergreen
10-20-2013, 10:00 PM
That's a real nice set-up! Would look even better with some logos on the sides of the box.
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David W
11-12-2013, 05:51 PM
Hey perf...I talked to you a few weeks ago when we were building our box. Thanks again for the info you passed on. Everything is working beautifully on our set up. On a side note :) Do you have any extra yellow hose off the exhaust going into your box? I need like a 1' piece to extend ours into our box and don't feel like paying for the 6' or 8' extension.

AOB410
11-12-2013, 09:58 PM
What a nice leave rig... Something to be very proud of.

mag360
11-15-2013, 09:58 AM
Nice rig. These bg loaders really seem to get more leaves in each load with the piranha blade and serrated impellers. If the box and hinges are strong enough or can be strengthened it sure would be nice to hang the vac right on the back door so you never even have to think about it when dumping - it will just swing out with gravity.

We have a trailer unit and mounted another one on the front of one of the mower trailers so there's only one step to getting ready to dump.