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View Full Version : Fall Cleanup Productivity?!


TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 09:37 PM
Hi guys, I saved all summer and went all in for a leaf loader and a walk-behind blower. I see instant production with the walk-behind blower over backpack's (money well spent). Now the leaf loader (18hp Little Wonder) I have mixed feelings over tarps. I guess time will tell with the loader as I get to some of my customers I have done before. I really thought I could do the you rake em' I take em' and be gone in 20 minutes but as I get to using the loader it is taking more time then I intended....Any tips or tricks on making leaf rows so I can just drive along instead of piling it all in one spot and trying to break though monter piles. Seen some people put up snow fencing but I see that putting another 30 mins dinking around. Thanks for any advice. :usflag:

http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/rigtogo002.jpg

corey4671
10-21-2012, 09:46 PM
Do yourself a favor and get rid of that blue tarp. Find you a mesh tarp like this one
http://www.tractorsupply.com/jobsmart-reg-mesh-tarp-12-ft-x-16-ft--3000407

orangemower
10-21-2012, 09:46 PM
Not sure I would have posted a pic of my stuff to the world if it looked like that. That trailer is a real winner.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 09:58 PM
Thanks Corey, I actually spent a couple hours tonite and ditched the tarp, boxed it off and put chicken wire vents on top. Thanks Orangemower, I started out with a push mower 3 years ago and paid cash for all my equipment, next year when I get a lazer it will definitely be time to upgrade. In the meantime I am very proud to be this far along.

:usflag:

P.Services
10-21-2012, 09:58 PM
you guys have no idea what harrison is like!!! hahahaha this is probably the most AMAZING LEGIT rig in this town!!




Should have posted this a few days ago and we would have had you do our cabin on sand lake, just down from the tit club. Next year you can do it.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the support P.Services. I am going out to Boathouse Lake to do a cleanup in the morning, I would be more then happy to get you on the list next year.

P.Services
10-21-2012, 10:15 PM
like the other guy said get rid of that blue tarp and get a mesh tarp.

P.Services
10-21-2012, 10:17 PM
try the old pallet standing up with a little chain on it. Load the leaves and then when your ready to unload back up to a tree and wrap the chain around it and drive forward to pull out the pallet and all the leaves.

Thats doing it Harrison style right there boy!!!

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 10:17 PM
I actually started out in the Fenton area 15 years ago mowing for Mansour Developments, Georgetown Park and Sub off Torrey & Lahring. Then went on to Good ol' Grandscapes and White Pine, got bored with the work and became a mason for 5 years, then the bottom fell out in fenton. Moved up here to get out of the rat race, obviously no work up here so I had to create my own.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 10:19 PM
Dang P.Services, you got me pegged....can unload in about 2 mins...lol

P.Services
10-21-2012, 10:19 PM
small world isnt it!



i hear the drug running biz is good up there, homeland security just raid a house this weekend didnt they?

SDLandscapes VT
10-21-2012, 10:26 PM
a leaf plow will be essential

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 10:27 PM
If they did I haven't heard about it, wouldn't doubt it, every couple weeks they got a meth lab bust somewhere in the county.

THEGOLDPRO
10-21-2012, 10:28 PM
Sounds like a great place to live.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 10:30 PM
I seen the leaf plow and looks like a nice investment, I went for the leaf loader first and just bought the BillyGoat friday.

P.Services
10-21-2012, 10:33 PM
I have a ez dump with a custom built aluminum leaf box that would complete your set up. $3,000 and you have a dump truck.

yeah i hear the meth labs are springing up all over the place.

newguy123
10-21-2012, 10:44 PM
Not sure I would have posted a pic of my stuff to the world if it looked like that. That trailer is a real winner.

Easy buddy...the guy's trying. Maybe it's all paid off and he's got low overhead...whatever works.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:01 PM
I would love a dump insert one day, my 1/2 ton is maxed out. All in due time. Thanks newguy, all these guys had to start out somewhere to. I see so many brand new rigs sitting idle, I have no clue how they are making it.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:03 PM
...unless they were born into money, ass deep in debt or started saving when they were 12

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:07 PM
How are these guys making nice rows of leaves, I have a cemetery I maintain for the township. I want to be able to blow everything to the road in the middle in a nice row and drive along and suck it up turn around and do the other half the same way. Trying to get away with as minimal raking as possible.

THEGOLDPRO
10-21-2012, 11:09 PM
Just blow them into rows its not that hard.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:13 PM
This 10hp Billy goat throws them 20ft.....almost impossible to control, that's where a leaf plow would be nice to help move the bulk to the truck I guess. Thanks guys, I appreciate any positive input.

THEGOLDPRO
10-21-2012, 11:17 PM
so get it close then use a backpack blower to control the leaves into a row.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:17 PM
I am trying to avoid this, this year. Same pay 10x the work.

http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/billbaillodfall005.jpg

http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/spielesfall014.jpg

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:19 PM
I was so greatful for the work last year, just got way over my head.

C Jovingo Landscaping
10-21-2012, 11:23 PM
This 10hp Billy goat throws them 20ft.....almost impossible to control, that's where a leaf plow would be nice to help move the bulk to the truck I guess. Thanks guys, I appreciate any positive input.

There should be a lever on that billy goat called a throttle! Lol! Just messin with you. When I get leaves to area I want them, I back the throttle down to get the pile tighter. If these rows you speak of are nice clean rows, I'm sure there was raking involved.
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TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:23 PM
I am gonna have to do something goldpro....trying to be a one man operation, time is never on my side though.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:27 PM
Ok jovingo....I didn't have time to stop and watch these guys, but when I drove by at 8am they already had half the place done with nice clean rows all ready to be sucked up, didn't know if these guys were doing something special or what. All I seen was 2 little wonders and they weren't working together.

TempleLawnCare
10-21-2012, 11:29 PM
I will find my tricks to it I guess, went from backpacks, rakes, and tarps to this setup. Before I would just take a yard and do piles, never had the ability to move mass leaves or a way to suck them up.

C Jovingo Landscaping
10-21-2012, 11:54 PM
Do you sees these guys all the time? Stop & talk to them. Compliment their work & ask "How do you get them rows so nice & clean?" When I worked for LCO when I was younger we used to do rows at the road but the road side of the row was a mess. Had to rake them tight but backpack would be better.

I don't have leaf loader yet so I don't have a method yet. Maybe next season! Will be watching this for pointers on making rows. I just round them up in center of lawn, go in a circle grinding them with discharge pointing out from pile, then throw my mower basket on & change direction sucking them up, then stripe the lawn after. If there is a ton of leaves I grind then round them back up with blower then tarp to the truck.
Posted via Mobile Device

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 12:05 AM
No unfortunately they were city workers so I missed my oppurtunity. They must of had a guy going along raking it up. If I find a trick I will post it, best 2 ideas so far is a snow fence and a leaf plow, I am just finding alot of labor feeding the loader when it is all packed tight.....and of corse I can't get dry weather so I guess that is factoring in to. The leaf loader has no problems with wet leaves and pine needles though, the performance is amazing. I will find my tricks with it as well.

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 12:19 AM
I guess I can't complain to much, usually I am begging a friend to lend a hand. I took a 2man job that would usually take 7-8hrs and did it in 5 by myself. Now with it mulching 13:1 I can fit 2-3 yards worth in my truck and saving a ton in gas.

C Jovingo Landscaping
10-22-2012, 12:26 AM
The method the company I used to work for used for feeding loader with wet leaves was flip rake upside down & use handle to pull leaves from the pile. There was 3 of us, 1 would stand with a foot on the tube feeding it with the rake handle & other 2 guys would feed the leaves to the guy feeding the tube with rake handles. We used the rake handle more than the actual rake, basically used the rake end to gather loose leaves as the pile got smaller.
Posted via Mobile Device

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 12:35 AM
You just gave me a good idea so I don't have to stand on tube handle while trying to feed it, I will try staking it down. I been feeding it with hard and lawn rake to. Clears out an area faster then I can move heavy tube around.

Darryl G
10-22-2012, 01:00 AM
I tend to feed with the tube on the ground and bring the leaves to it also. That way I can pick any sticks out too. Seems less tiring to me. I don't use a leaf rake though, I use a 24 inch aluminum landscape rake or an 18 inch garden rake if they're heavy and wet.

I don't understand what the problem is with you not being able to get the leaves in rows though. Just move them as a front rather than a pile and as someone said, throttle down a bit when you get near the curb. You can also adjust the angle of the discharge chute on your machine. Are you moving them as a pile and then trying to spread them back out or something?

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 01:13 AM
I can get them piled up pretty good and within a 10ft area of the truck without a big mess and as I went along I kept using blower to tidy up pile and bring it closer. I think I just need to slow my roll, appreciate what I got and figure out my new system. I am so use to manual labor, I guess I was expecting some magic fall cleanup genie to appear once I bought this loader and blower.....lol

Darryl G
10-22-2012, 01:37 AM
Personally I think using a leaf loader solo is a pain and prefer to just grind and bag with my mower on those jobs I have to haul on, which isn't that many. To me it's like bringing the mountain to the man instead of bringing the man to the mountain. You have to get all the leaves from the back yard to where you can suck them up, and then you have to suck them up. With a riding mower and vacuum bagger you just pick them up where they are. Luckily I don't have that many jobs I have to haul leaves from...most just get blown and/or dumped to the woods.

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 01:54 AM
I appreciate everyone's advice tonite, will let you know how I pan out tommorow.

orangemower
10-22-2012, 08:32 AM
I would love a dump insert one day, my 1/2 ton is maxed out. All in due time. Thanks newguy, all these guys had to start out somewhere to. I see so many brand new rigs sitting idle, I have no clue how they are making it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure you take care of your customers. The overall appearance looks rough by all means. Not saying you're a slob or anything. I started my business with a business plan that was well thought out. Because I did this, it allowed me to comfortably finance most everything to get started. In 5 years I managed to pay off everything AND support a family. It was rough the first few years but I'm now much more comfortable.

A business plan would give you a clue as to how they are making it. :usflag:

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the insite orange, your right a business plan would probably help a ton. I set goals for myself every year and that's about it. I do appreciate the criticism though, from a customers prospective my contraption may not look so curb appealing.

On a second note I went by the city workers and they had been working on it for awhile....of corse someone does rake it and another man blowing the piles nice and neat for the city vacuum truck.

Lastly, I was much more productive today. I started in the front yards and blew them out first, vacuumed that up, then brought the back yard forward. This seemed to eliminate the unmovable piles and allow me to bring everthing closer to the truck. I was able to double my production today over yesterday.

Thanks again for everyone's input

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 04:25 PM
I can see the leaf loader paying off in saving me liquid gold as well. I got 2 yards worth in there as to where I probably would have had to dump inbetween jobs. Simply amazing how tight it packs em in there.

Darryl G
10-22-2012, 07:08 PM
If you get an immovable wall of leaves with your Billy Goat, you can aim your chute low and then move it up and down and punch a hole through it a lot of times and then funnel the rest of the leaves through the hole. I sometimes leave my "Goat" stationary and feed it with my backpack blower to get through fences and holes in hedge rows or to pitch them into the woods, etc. Just be sure to blow the air intake clear if it clogs up with leaves.

I've even been known to run my Goat, a backpack and a handheld blower at the same time or even two backpack blowers with or without the Goat (when nobody is looking). I was running two backpacks at the same time on my property over the weekend, my Husky 580 and a Shindaiwa EB-630...that's around 1,500 cfm!! It's a bit of a workout wearing 50 pounds of blowers though.

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 07:34 PM
It does have some punch power for sure, everything is wet so I bet on a dry day this thing will crank. I did use it stationary today as I fired up the backpack blower with a rake in the other hand, works great on fence lines, flower beds, etc.....

Only thing I found that first using the Goat that it doesn't get every last bit as I would with a backpack on, so I been going back over an area as I clear out the majority, that way my quality is not suffering. But wow it moves stick, acorns......anything that's not bolted down.....lol

That's funny running 2 backpack's......do whatever it takes to get the job done right and efficiently.

Darryl G
10-22-2012, 07:41 PM
Yeah, well I'm a little nuts, lol. Having a backpack blower on your chest actually evens out your weight distribution, kind of how carrying a bucket in each hand is easier than carrying just one. The only problem is you have to bend the blower tube back kind of hard (I take one tube off) and it can get tiring. That and you get some exhaust in your face.

You can adjust the range of the chute on your Billy Goat with the cable adjuster down near the chute you know. I have mine so that it blows down and scours pretty well when I hold it all the way down.

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 07:44 PM
I have done 4 jobs with Goat since purchase on friday. In my eyes it has paid for half itself so far.

TempleLawnCare
10-22-2012, 10:15 PM
Ah very cool, I will have to try adjusting it down a tad. Do you charge extra for blowing out parking lots, usually I just clean up my mess and have never worried about what the traffic has brought in. I can see including it as an "extras" option on a couple of my contracts.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 08:05 AM
I only have one factory parking lot and I keep the whole thing blown clear and I include it in the price. I don't get as picky with the pavement as I do on my residential accounts though. Blowing parking lots is what those blowers do best. I hate using mine on lawns.

32vld
10-23-2012, 08:37 AM
If you get an immovable wall of leaves with your Billy Goat, you can aim your chute low and then move it up and down and punch a hole through it a lot of times and then funnel the rest of the leaves through the hole. I sometimes leave my "Goat" stationary and feed it with my backpack blower to get through fences and holes in hedge rows or to pitch them into the woods, etc. Just be sure to blow the air intake clear if it clogs up with leaves.

I've even been known to run my Goat, a backpack and a handheld blower at the same time or even two backpack blowers with or without the Goat (when nobody is looking). I was running two backpacks at the same time on my property over the weekend, my Husky 580 and a Shindaiwa EB-630...that's around 1,500 cfm!! It's a bit of a workout wearing 50 pounds of blowers though.

Where's the link to the youtube video?

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 08:44 AM
I almost bought a 580 on friday before I found that billy goat for the same price. I have a 150 and it cranks over my solo 423 which is rated at 5hp. My local dealer said he started the week out with ten and had four left.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:07 AM
Where's the link to the youtube video?

I thought about having my son grab the camera and filming it but I knew he was too involved in online war games, lol.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:13 AM
I prefer my 580 to using a wheel blower on lawns. Wheel blowers wear me out on soft turf and sloping terrain and I'm not a big fan of walkng backwards. I know the newer Billy Goats have larger wheels which should help. The wheel blower definitely blows harder, but when you tally up the control and fatigue factors, the 580 comes close to being a wheel blower replacement in my opinion.

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 09:28 AM
Only reason this machine was so cheap and had low hours is he bought a force13 a year after the one I got. Mine is last year for metal casing I guess. He said the case was already cracking on the force13 and his only reason for keeping it was the bigger tires. Fatigue is definitely an issue so far on hills, but it definitely beats rakes and tarps. I already see double production, so at what point am I just spoiled.....lol..... Maybe I will keep my eye open for a 580 over winter, sure someone will pawn or post one.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:39 AM
One thing to keep an eye on with your unit. The front wheel braket is only attached with a couple of sheet metal screws through the housing. One of my screws rattled out, causing the wheel to bend the housing up. I sunk some addiitonal self tapping screws in mine after beating it back into shape...mostly back into shape anyway, lol.

Not sure what engine you have on yours. I've had significant problems with the 10HP Briggs engine on mine. It spit out an exhaust valve seat and then bent the rods somehow 2 years later. I replaced the head. My dealer says the 10HP engine is pretty much crap. I looked into replacing mine with a Honda but that was pretty pricey...would be better off just buying a new unit.

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 09:49 AM
Nice, thanks for the info.....it does have the 10hp briggs on it..you'd think they'd have it figured out by now. Any tips on prolonging the life of the motor? Same with leaf loader, I wasn't impressed it has briggs 18hp vanguard. Both seem to run fine and I always idle everything down and let it run for a minute before shut down, same on start up, I let them run a couple minutes before putting under full load.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:58 AM
The Vanguard is a good engine...shouldn't have any trouble with that.

On the 10HP Briggs, make sure you check the oil often and keep it clean....the sump doesn't hold much at all so even a little low could cause a problem. My dealer bumped the rpms down 100 on mine...I think he said from 3600 to 3500 rpms, but I could be wrong. They are known for head problems according to my dealer. He said something about the cylinder wall compostiion too but I forget the details...basically handle with care is the message I got.

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 10:06 AM
Glad to hear the vanguard is a good motor, it seems it would be, twin cylinder, starts and runs so smooth. I will just have to get in the routine if checking the oil more often.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 06:15 PM
I just wanted to make a correction on the Billy Goat. The front wheel bracket is bolted onto the front plate of the housing that has the air intake with four bolts...that's not the problem. The problem I had was that I lost one screw that secures that plate to the main housing, making the wheel bend that plate. So I sunk addional screws to keep it better secured to the main housing.

RSK Property Maintenance
10-23-2012, 09:05 PM
9hp honda or nothing for a wheeled blower, that's what i have on my little wonder and its a beast, it wasn't cheap though. also the billy goat has a model that is self propelled. But the little wonder is more just by having the remote mount air deflector not on a spring like the billy goats do. i can leave in an infinite number of positions not just a few like the billy goats. i think i payed an extra 300 or 400 hundred for the honda motor over the subaru but its hands down worth it.

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:23 PM
I don't think the Billy Goat self-propelled units have a reverse. What good is having it self propelled only half of the time? The Optimax self-propelled blowers look sweet, with both forward and reverse! I can't see myself buying one though, not at this point anyway.

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 09:35 PM
Self propelled sounds nice, and I even looked at a couple blower buggies. Problem I see is alot of backing up and loss of control. This goat was actually suspose to have the honda motor and when I got there to pick it up it had the briggs, if the machine wasn't next to new I would have walked away. I have a 5 acre cemetery I am doing in the morning for the first time.....wish me luck, ha

Darryl G
10-23-2012, 09:45 PM
There's actually another option besides the blower buggy for mounting a wheel blower on a mower. It was designed for the Little Wonders but the manufacturer says it will work with the Billy Goat Quiet Blows too. The blower actually hitches directly to a hitch mount attached to the mower that hold it up in the air...no wheels. They never got back to me whether it would work with my mower though. It's about $200. It's called the Wonder Hitch.

TempleLawnCare
10-23-2012, 09:49 PM
yea I actually came across their sponsor on the left of the page earlier....alot cheaper then the jrco.......seen a guy had a jrco for $175 on here earlier but he was in georgia I think.

corey4671
10-24-2012, 07:35 AM
I have a wonder hitch. Works great but it takes weight off the rear of the mower and tends to make it hard to back up sometimes
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TempleLawnCare
10-24-2012, 07:51 AM
All I have is a belt-driven metro.......would probably work nice on a hydro walk-behind...or I could just go in circles all day.....lol

RSK Property Maintenance
10-24-2012, 10:09 AM
There's actually another option besides the blower buggy for mounting a wheel blower on a mower. It was designed for the Little Wonders but the manufacturer says it will work with the Billy Goat Quiet Blows too. The blower actually hitches directly to a hitch mount attached to the mower that hold it up in the air...no wheels. They never got back to me whether it would work with my mower though. It's about $200. It's called the Wonder Hitch.

too high off the ground....same reason i chose the little wonder over a billy goat, the chute is lower to the ground, which does a better job cleaning, vs a billy goat has the air pushing down at the ground first.

TempleLawnCare
10-24-2012, 04:38 PM
Ya that does look a little high off the ground.

Daryl, I adjusted the chute down a couple turns and while I was there, sure as **** the front bolts needed a couple turns, thanks for the heads up. You woulda been proud today, had the goat going, back pack on and a rake, feeding the loader.....talk about burning the candle at both ends...but wow I was making huge progress. Got over half the cemetery done and it was no where near the nightmare I thought it was going to be.

Darryl G
10-24-2012, 07:36 PM
Glad it's working out for you. Yeah, hardware tends to loosen a lot on mine...anything that isn't a Nylock.

I find the handheld chute control really handy but wish you could lock it into more than one postion...you kind of have to compromise on the adjustment between it scouring when locked into position, being able to point down a slope and being able to point it up to blow over a wall or not blast a car in a parking lot with sand. I couldn't figure out how to lock mine at first....had to put my face under there and take a look to see how it worked.

TempleLawnCare
10-24-2012, 07:39 PM
Yea...I haven't figure out how to lock it, took a pull strap with me......lol

Darryl G
10-24-2012, 09:46 PM
Lol...well it only locks in one postion, which is like in the middle of it's range....how do i explain this....squeeze it and then pull it like you were trying to pull it off it's pivot from the end of the handle. It will lock in place. Not like anything I've ever used before.

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 09:34 AM
Don't know if you saw this thread...common problem with these engines. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=390589

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 01:27 PM
I seen that this morning, it's depressing.....I'll definitely be watching his post and my machine.

:usflag:

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 01:34 PM
what about checking the valve clearance and tightening as needed, I use to do it on my honda 400ex all the time, find tdc and bam.....

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 03:30 PM
Ha recheck that post Daryl...fml...sure enough I broke a pushrod today....forgot to turn the gas on....then backfired when I tried to restart it

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 07:06 PM
Bummer....POS engines! When mine spit out the exhaust valve I had let it run out of gas, which of course makes it run lean. My mechanic said don't let it run out of gas. Never had such a fragile engine!

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 07:32 PM
ya real bummer, didn't even get a week out of it....price of buying used, shoulda went with the Husky 580 and gotten a warranty. oh well, lesson learned yet again. already looking into a replacement motor......hopefully I can get this through the fall. Just have to make sure the output shaft is the same and will line up
http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?item=28-1694&catname=engines

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 07:48 PM
I thought about getting a Honda the last time my Briggs f'd up but just put a new head on instead. I really don't use it much and it's needed 2 engine repairs. I won't tell you what else went on the unit...might jinx you....but if it starts going clang-clang-clang and vibrating like crazy turn it off, lol.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 07:55 PM
What would a long-term solution be, I already feel crippled without it. Doctor this up with a new head, sell it and then......

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 08:06 PM
Just start stocking push rods, lol.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 08:08 PM
they got 3 in stock and they are 45 miles away......planned on getting all 3.....what a nightmare.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 09:21 PM
that honda motor would be a nice upgrade......it's sink 600 into something like that or 1400 into a new force13

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 09:39 PM
Supposedly the new heads for the Briggs are updated and better. Notice I didn't say good, just better, lol. That was my choice as the rest of the engine seemed fine. Head was around $150.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 09:45 PM
yea i was checking that out on their website was gonna ask you if new head was any good, going to see if they have it in the morning. I doubt I can get away with a $6 fix.....

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 09:52 PM
doing some cross checking the impeller is the same on the 13hp honda and 10hp briggs

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 09:54 PM
From what I gather it's a heat problem which is worse running lean, as in running out of gas like you and I both did. I haven't really used my blower enough since repairing it last year to give testament on the head. In fact I hardly use it at all now that I got my 580. I stopped even loading it last year. I've been loading it this year but it hasn't come off the trailer yet. I did use it on my yard for a little while the other day.

I think the best you can do for now is keep the oil full and clean and maybe throttle it down a little rather than full bore, assuming you get it running again with a new rod.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 10:00 PM
Yea and I re-learned a valuable lesson.....go with your instincts, it was a craigslist sale, guy said honda over phone, got the and was a b&s, gave benefit of the doubt cause my leaf loader has a briggs on it.....and 2nd lesson, if I just would have taken the air cleaner off in the parking lot, I probably wouldnt have bought it.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 10:05 PM
Here is the honda replacement motor......ouch but 3 more hp and it's a honda!

http://www.sprayerdepot.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=GX390K1QA2&source=Froogle&gclid=CLTs0MXLnbMCFUQw4AodUBsAag

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 10:15 PM
Yeah, that's why mine just got a new head on it! I would have had my dealer install the engine.....well actually it's a rental yard owned by a friend of mine...and by the time I was done I'd probably be close to $1,000, in which case I'd be better off just buying a new unit. And for a piece of equipment I don't use much, even before I got my 580, the band-aid new head approach seemed like my best option.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 10:25 PM
here's my downside of a new unit, they are all plastic, i kinda like the idea of a metal housing, and have heard of casings cracking.....little wonder's are nice but don't offer the movable chute like the goats.....either way wish me luck in the morning, hopefully I can be back by 9am and up and going by 11am........gonna change the oil, filter, plug....my luck there goes another 20 into it.

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 11:02 PM
Actually the new Little Wonders do have a moveable chute. Well, there's a moveable deflector mounted in the chute. http://littlewonder.com/lw-blowers.asp

Filter? As in oil filter? Mine doesn't have one.

BTW, did you figure out how to lock the chute in place?

Looks like tomorrow I have to get ready for the freakin "Frankenstorm" that's headed my way. I have to pick up a load of stone in case I need to build a berm in front of my garage doors again. I could use some anyway for my driveway. My garage floor is at 6.2 feet above sea level on a tidal river and there's way more stuff down there than I feel like moving or even have room for. I would have had at least a foot of water in it if I hadn't sealed the doors with plastic sheating and built a berm during Hurricane Irene...well tropical storm by the time it hit us.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 11:10 PM
No, it needs an air filter bad, probably another reason it broke a pushrod. I always change oil and filter in new machines before I use them, just grabbed this and went with it.

Goodluck tommorow, flooding is no good. Sounds like you got a plan, keep me posted.

I found this motor, worse case scenario...it's about 2 hours away though.
http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/for/3302311533.html

Darryl G
10-25-2012, 11:23 PM
Yeah, well....in fact mine needed a filter when it bent the rod too, lol. It had tipped over on my trailer and flooded the filter with gas and then that caused it to plug up. Most engines are more forgiving though!!!!

I gotta take out the trash and get some sleep...good luck to you too.

TempleLawnCare
10-25-2012, 11:26 PM
Sounds like I just found the perfect formula for disaster today then......

TempleLawnCare
10-26-2012, 05:08 PM
I got lucky, I was able to put in a new pushrod, tighten the valves, changed the oil, and air filter.......seems good to go. Will keep my eye open for a honda replacement.

thecuttingedgelawn
10-29-2012, 11:24 PM
Not sure I would have posted a pic of my stuff to the world if it looked like that. That trailer is a real winner.


I don't know or care what kind of equipment you have Orange mower but there is no need to criticize people and their equipment. Everyone has to start somewhere and some aren't as privileged as others as to the type/condition/brand of equipment they run. I started out with a 50" Craftsman ZTR and and it wasen't as good as my Ferris or Exmark but it got lots of jobs done and sufficed until I was able to get a better mower. (and it still goes, so we use it as our farm campground mower and it still runs good) Would I advise someone to buy one? Not reall, unless that's all they can afford. A person that starts small, with rougher equipment than they would like, once they grow and are able to afford better equipment, they are able to look back and realize that what they have now is from all their sweat and hard work. VERY SATISFYING! Just think before you type. Thanks

TempleLawnCare
10-29-2012, 11:43 PM
The main thing is, it is profitable and it's paid for. It's all quality equipment. I buy as I grow. http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/bailodspringcleanup027.jpg

TempleLawnCare
10-29-2012, 11:44 PM
.....and I am not rolling down the road like this anymore....lol

thecuttingedgelawn
10-30-2012, 12:32 AM
That's the way to roll! = Buy as you grow and having everything paid for. As do I and its a nice feeling!

Darryl G
10-30-2012, 12:44 AM
The main thing is, it is profitable and it's paid for. It's all quality equipment. I buy as I grow. http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/bailodspringcleanup027.jpg

You got rid of that setup...man that's the best setup of all. By the time you get to the dump there's nothing left to unload!:laugh:

Puddle of Oil
10-30-2012, 10:32 AM
Lol, I was thinking the same thing.

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 10:37 AM
It isn't as fun either......lol...... Now that I am all boxed in, it's kinda weird not worrying about leaves or tarps flying.

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 10:48 AM
I hauled 4 loads off that job. From spring to fall I sure have came along way. Went from 1 good backpack to 2, boxed in my trailer, bought the leaf loader, then I boxed my truck in and found a walk-behind blower. I can't wait to see what next year will bring!
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/bailodspringcleanup030.jpg
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/100_3181.jpg

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 10:54 AM
Actually my list is up to 17 cleanups now, maybe after I square away a couple personal things I can start looking at my second mower before spring.

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 11:07 AM
Oh ya I got a nice old tiller this year to. It's from the 40's. It's a Milwaukee, with a 8hp Wisconsin motor. It's a beast and has allowed me to do lawn repair's, food plots, and flower beds.
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/plowfield001.jpg
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/plowfield007.jpg
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/MEJR16W412.jpg

Puddle of Oil
10-30-2012, 11:08 AM
How much is your average leaf job?

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 11:17 AM
On average about $150. Just depends on property size, how many years has it been since last cleanup, how many trees on property, pines, can I dump on property, can I blow into the woods...etc...I got $600 to do this 1 acre job in the pic, but It hadn't been touched in like 4 years. Took me 2 days and 4 loads....so about $100 bucks in gas & oil....Not bad, I am sure someone else would have charged more. I believe I am charging very fair prices for the area I am in.

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 11:44 AM
I am shooting for a nice used lazer, might settle for a turf tracer. I do know a back-up mower would be nice and for the day when I am ready to run 2 guys.
http://flint.craigslist.org/grd/3371508246.html
http://lansing.craigslist.org/grd/3325245729.html

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 12:37 PM
That lazer is a beauty....almost and I mean almost to the fullest, makes me wanna go to the credit union and use my suburban as a secured loan. If I had $1000 to put down and only had to finance $2500 we might be talking. Payments would be about $75/mo could have it paid off in a year, my production would increase and I would be on the path to rebuilding my credit.....hmm the more I type the better it sounds....lol

Eurosport
10-30-2012, 07:00 PM
Just a couple of pointers for you from what I've found works over the years.

If you are working solo then rows are not going to work for you since in order to pick them up you need a driver and hose guy. We used to do the rows but really found it didn't save much time (almost wasted more time).

I used to plow piles with our zero turn but found it was just way too compacted to suck up properly. Now if the pile is too big/far from the truck we just tarp it out using 10X12 tarps if hand pulling or a 15X20 tarp if the tractor can pull it.

A couple of years ago I was trying to move a pile of wet leaves down a customers front hill/yard when I saw they had a 30 inch plastic snow plow shovel and used that. Now all of our trucks have at least one with them for fall. Its amazing that such a cheap tool can be almost more useful than a rake. We use it to load the bulk of the pile onto tarps to avoid weakening the rakes, to push piles once they are too big for the blowers and especially when feeding the leaf loader. You get so much more power out of the shovel versus rakes.

Another thing that ties into the shovel is we try to use the pavement (driveway/curb) as much as possible to avoid friction. If possible we will either blow to the driveway and push the piles with the shovel or make a row along the curb and push it into a pile.

Hope this could help:drinkup:

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the advice euro, much appreciated. I have used a snow shovel to load tarps before, kinda slipped my mind with all this fancy new equipment...lol..I gave up on the leaf rows for the simple fact of the time you are talking about. I will have to grab my snow shovel next time out. Thanks again for the tips.

:drinkup:

TempleLawnCare
10-30-2012, 07:15 PM
might have to try dragging a few tarps with my exmark...

TempleLawnCare
11-02-2012, 04:13 PM
ok guys so i bent another pushrod and now there is gas in the oil and the plug shows it is running lean........put new pushrod in and set the valves, why is there gas in the oil?

Darryl G
11-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Gas in oil probably from the float bouncing around while trailering it. I turn the fuel off on all of my machines before transporting them.

You need to richen up the carb mixture. Running lean will be running hot.

Nice engine, eh?

Darryl G
11-03-2012, 11:13 AM
Like I mentioned earlier, when I was in a similar situation to you I decided to just change the head out to the updated one. Mine hasn't screwed up yet. I haven't used it a lot or pushed it very hard but it's been trouble free since March 2011. Putting a Honda on it was expensive, to the point where it might make more sense to just buy a new unit, and I just didn't want to have to do that.

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 12:10 PM
richened it up and put a little mix gas in there, popped a rod in 2 hrs.....called on the replacement head and they act like i am stupid, said 90 bucks but it's not updated, asked about the intek pro and he said it's the same motor as what i have for 460 with a fancy sticker on it.....i found replacement head on briggs website for 150 and it says updated replacement.......

:confused:

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 12:59 PM
You seen the magnitude of cleanups I do. I need something to get me through the next month. If I go drop $600 on a 580 am I going to be disappointed? I have a 150 that does wonders, am I still going to be productive, I know I am going to be losing time but it is better then down time.

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 01:02 PM
on sale for $529.....open till 7pm tonite

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 04:52 PM
All I can say is f*#k that thing till I get a gx390 for it. I had no choice but to go get the 580......and all I can say is WOW!.....wish I would've bought that 2 weeks ago instead of the billy goat, now I am 2 weeks behind due to weather and mechanical issues. $1200 in the hole basically. Fortunately though the work is there and more keeps coming in.

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 06:45 PM
Ready to roll out at 7am tommorow!
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/new580bts002.jpg
http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx76/john8is1/lawn%20care/new580bts001.jpg

:cool2:

TriCountyLawn
11-03-2012, 07:26 PM
How well does the little wonder shred the leaves ?

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 07:31 PM
It does descent, definitely not the 12:1 they advertise. It does break them down nice though and really packs em in there. I have been getting 2-3 avg.sized yards worth in there before I have to dump. I will try to snap a pic tommorow to give you an idea.

TempleLawnCare
11-03-2012, 07:35 PM
I just go balls out using it to....got a backpack on and rake and snow shovel handy. I wasn't impressed at first but it has really started saving me time, labor, and fatigue.

Darryl G
11-04-2012, 07:13 PM
I'm thinking the $90 head might be a remanufactured part, which probably isn't a good way to go.

The 580 has pretty awesome power. It shines better in some areas than others. I mostly use my 580 and reserve the Billy Goat for when I'm pushing large winrows or trying to get leaves through a slot. My 580 seemed a bit tight at first...throttle response was so-so and it didn't have that extra "holy crap" full throttle blast that it does now. Mine has been 100% reliable since I got it last October. Give it 5 tanks of gas or so to really come to it's fully strength and try to avoid extended periods of full throttle use at first...you really don't need full throttle most of the time anyway.

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 07:18 PM
That thing is so powerful, my arm hurts from trying to keep it down. Then my loader is total opposite....wore out from keeping it off the ground. Granted it is not my billy goat but I think it will really be beneficial on my lake houses. On another note I found a gx390 for 250. I can't pass it up, hoping to go get it first thing in the am.

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 07:22 PM
"Fingers crossed" I am up to 22 houses this week, found descent help for a week, would be nice to have both goat and 580 going. I got my grueling cemetery done, so now on to residentials. Hopefully I can knock everything out this week and pursue some more work.

http://centralmich.craigslist.org/grq/3376761256.html

Darryl G
11-04-2012, 07:54 PM
Have you tried the flat high velocity nozzle yet? I find it almost unuseable because it torques the tube so hard.

I have to drop my normal cleanups for a day or two to remove a mountain of storm debris that washed up on a lawn. Mostly marsh grasses but all sorts of junk mixed in as well as some big lawns and pilings...love running my saws in waterlogged filthy logs...not!!!

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 08:06 PM
Yea that flat thing will wear you out before a tank of gas!....works great with acorns though. If this thing gains more power as it is broke in, I will be amazed. So for shits n giggles I had on the 580 and put the 150 on my chest..didn't have them running, but suprisingly it was comfortable.

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 08:10 PM
Storm cleanup does not sound fun!

Darryl G
11-04-2012, 08:19 PM
Fire them both up...wimp, lol. The one on your chest counter balances you. I don't run 2 backpack blowers often but when time is short and I just need to get it done it does work....just a few too many fumes in my face for my liking. Now if I had a backpack blower on each my chest and my back while running my Billy Goat on the ground, do you think I could strap my handheld to my leg as well...hmmm...something to try tomorrow.....

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 08:58 PM
.....people might pay just to see the show if ya did that.....lol

TempleLawnCare
11-04-2012, 09:04 PM
Thanks to a very good friend he is going to pick the motor up in the morning and bring it up to me around noon. I will have it tore down before I head to my first job so all I have to do is install the motor. Ought to be sittin pretty then.

TempleLawnCare
11-05-2012, 07:29 PM
The goat has a gx390 on it now, and I am about as productive as you can get. Landed 2 more houses today and knocked 3 off the list. It's gratifying when your hard work, sacrifices, blood, sweat, and tears starts coming together and paying off.

TempleLawnCare
11-06-2012, 10:39 PM
Working my way down the list, I got these two, and two more just like these done today. Filled my truck 3 times today.

:weightlifter:

TempleLawnCare
11-06-2012, 10:50 PM
Been working sun up till sundown.

Darryl G
11-07-2012, 01:14 PM
Ummm...you missed a few :p

TempleLawnCare
11-07-2012, 08:24 PM
Yea that ditch is a summer project....lol

Thinking about selling the goat, and getting a 2nd 580

I can't see how someone would ***** about weight and noise over productivity....Get some worktunes from 3m and grow a pair of nuts......lol....I don't run anything without ear protection.

Darryl G
11-07-2012, 08:29 PM
I like having my "Goat" for those times when I need to move leaves through a slot like a fence or hedge row or just blast them into the woods or over a wall. Otherwise it sits on the trailer.

TempleLawnCare
11-07-2012, 08:43 PM
Yea it's paid for and I do have them few big properties it's been nice on. Maybe next spring I will invest in another 580. I am just glad it wasn't a poor investment after the goat let me down. Hope all is well with your storm cleanups. Knocked four more out today and 3 of those use to take me 2 days to do. It's to the point of the leaf loader keeping up now.

:drinkup:

Darryl G
11-07-2012, 09:08 PM
Well...snowing like crazy now. I mowed a back lawn this morning that I ran out of light for yesterday and got another cleanup done in rain, snow and sleet. The neighbors must have thought I was nuts. I called it a day when I finished up that one in heavy wet snow at 11:30 am. Looks like no work tomorrow...heavy rain and wind all day.

I finished my heavy debris cleanup on the waterfront yesterday. Had my tractor with front-end loader out on that one to speed it up...makes a nice wheelbarrow. It's down a steep sandy slope that I don't dare risk taking my truck and dump trailer down so I use the tractor to run up to the dump trailer. I can get my truck down there ok but then I can only hold 1/3 as much as the trailer and have to unload by hand. So now it's down to final fall cleanups/storm cleanups but mostly just a lot of sticks and twigs. Today I actually used one of them things that's on a stick and you use it to scratch the ground with to gather sticks ..my Grandfather used to use one to do his cleanups...forget what you call them, lol.

Oh yeah, are you finding that your 580 is even more powerful now that it's broken in?

TempleLawnCare
11-07-2012, 09:40 PM
I am glad your making progress though, I have done my share in the snow.

Nice...a scratchin' stick..got one rickety one left I use to feed the loader.

It seems to be throwing them a little further and has more punch to get the pine needles up now. It's amazingly efficient on gas to.

TempleLawnCare
11-09-2012, 07:10 PM
Billy Goat is up for sale, asking $800 firm. Should be worth it with all these intek's taking dumps right now.

Darryl G
11-09-2012, 07:23 PM
Did you put it up on the equipment marketplace here? So you gonna get another backpack instead?

Most of the snow has melted and the leaves are drying out. I'm gonna give cleanups another try tomorrow. I took today off to do the bills and banking and to look at a tree job I'm going to have to sub out. I was planning to work today but by the time I finished everything else it was 3pm, lol.

P.S. - I just spotted your ad

TempleLawnCare
11-09-2012, 07:36 PM
Yep I just can't beat the prodution of the 580 with the Goat. Now that that thing has had about 10 gallons ran through it, she is just ripping through yards, I cannot keep up with the leaf loader......I seen that snow on the news the other morning....that's crazy, I feel for all those people with no power......and what makes me sick is I have not seen one ad on tv to send help, money, food, yatta yatta....but if it happend in a another country we'd be rallying around the flag pole.....

:usflag:

TempleLawnCare
11-09-2012, 07:39 PM
....or I should have said the leaf loader can't keep up....I blasted through a couple yards and have to go back and suck it up......got rain coming so I figured better to have it off the yard and less labor later

Darryl G
11-09-2012, 08:11 PM
Yeah...do the getting while the getting is good is what I say. I have tarped leaf piles before until they could be sucked up to keep them from getting wet.

Interesting point about nobody soliciting for help for the vicitms of Hurricane Sandy, I haven't heard anything either. It's not on the order of Katrina or anything but there's some pretty major damage. Jersey got hit way worse than we did here in CT though. There are still people without power down there. Our power company just sent a fleet of trucks down to help.

Here's the town beach...pics were "stolen" from a friend's Facebook page. That's how much sand was in the road and how much got eroded from around the snack bar. The next town over from me has a dump site for storm debris like they did for Hurricane Irene last year, but this year there's a huge amount of demo debris too, not just stuff from trees. One of my customers owns a drywall business and says his phone has been ringing off the hook.

TempleLawnCare
11-09-2012, 08:28 PM
That's crazy, looks like all them nice homes faired out pretty well though.

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 07:44 PM
This is how a local competitor left this lawn, I got called in to save the day. I earned another customer for the spring in the process.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.456123184433625.100769.103373109708636&type=1&l=94a079f54b

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 07:46 PM
Here is another one I did today.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.456119461100664.100768.103373109708636&type=1&l=9acc72dc7e

Darryl G
11-14-2012, 08:11 PM
Here is another one I did today.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.456119461100664.100768.103373109708636&type=1&l=9acc72dc7e

Montrous! Yeah there are a lot of leaves there and good sized place, but monstrous? lol. At least there's not much for beds and detail work.

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 08:20 PM
Yea not quite as monstrous as the cemetery, or the place I am heading tommorow. I am just happy to be making progress and able to land and service new customers in the process.

willretire@40
11-14-2012, 08:44 PM
Temple are you getting most of your leaf clean ups from craigslist?

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 08:50 PM
No, mostly from word of mouth and the Chamber of Commerce. I do advertise on craigslist and have gotten some very loyal customers.

willretire@40
11-14-2012, 08:53 PM
No, mostly from word of mouth and the Chamber of Commerce. I do advertise on craigslist and have gotten some very loyal customers.


Seems like you are getting a lot of jobs off of those couple things. Good job.

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 08:54 PM
I also have yard signs and cards all over town as well. Next year I am taking out a 1/4 page ad in the local Chamber directory and contemplating the direct door mailings.

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 08:56 PM
Thank you, I am wraping up my third season and finally feel like I am establishing credibility and getting somewhere. I also worked for my local township and got a couple jobs off that. When people see you working hard, they want to help out.

willretire@40
11-14-2012, 09:00 PM
Yeah leaves are just really getting bad here and finishing up mowing this week. So I am really trying to get some leaf customers. Gave out some estimates to my current clients today.

Got my dump trailer last week and got the box and 14 hp loader mounted and I have a 14hp wheel blower and a br600. Will be buying 2 huskys 580 within the next week. Now I need a ton of leaf jobs. Signs going up this weekend and putting together a craigslist ad and emailing all my current and past clients.

We do not get snow much here so I can do leaves until the end of the year at least.

TempleLawnCare
11-14-2012, 09:10 PM
I would like to look into a dump trailer at some point, that's the only thing keeping me from doing another yard a day is the fact I have to dump 3-4 times a day. I would like to sell my 13hp wheel blower and get another husky 580. I would like to hear your honest opinon of the husky after being a stihl owner.

Sounds like your on the right track. Good luck.

GARRETTWOOD
11-14-2012, 09:17 PM
Trac Vac 16 HpV-twin great machine
Posted via Mobile Device

TempleLawnCare
11-15-2012, 12:05 AM
Here is my CL ad, I haven't updated it in awhile though.
http://centralmich.craigslist.org/bfs/3291651466.html

TempleLawnCare
04-19-2013, 03:25 PM
......crawling out of my cave for the winter, lol

Just sold my billy goat with the 13hp and my Husky 150 for another Husqvarna 580, got the bfs this time, the man offered it to me for $480 or $525 for bts, so I couldn't refuse.

Now I just need to get my leaf box mounted back on, change the oil in the leaf loader and hopefully I am ready to rock!!.....oh ya and pray mother nature co-operates :)

Darryl G
04-19-2013, 06:48 PM
You run a leaf loader in the spring? That's a great deal on the 580.

TempleLawnCare
04-19-2013, 07:37 PM
Yea I was very happy I got $550 back out of the billy goat and $150 out of the smaller backpack, so I was able to get some new hand tools and pay on some bills. Yea I plan on running my leaf loader till the end of may. I always get monstrousity spring cleanups.

Darryl G
04-19-2013, 10:01 PM
I usually only do spring cleanups on my regulars so would have little use for a leaf loader this time of year. I left all of my accounts in pretty good shape in the fall, not that some leaves didn't blow onto them.

I did get a call from a guy that chose someone else over me for the fall cleanup, a guy that never showed up. This has been going on for 4 or 5 years with this guy. He calls me for a price for fall cleanup and plowing, hires someone else and then calls me when they don't show. I did end up doing it one year, but mostly he's just a waste of my time, so I did something I don't usually do...didn't bother to call him back.