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View Full Version : Mulching Leaves?????


Gene $immons
10-30-2004, 10:24 AM
I see where a lot of guys don't know what to do with leaves. One of the common suggestions is to "mulch" them. This only makes a mess. Muhching does a good job of reducing the size of the leaves, but what if you have a foot of leaves covering the whole yard? What if the leaves are wet? What if the backyard is 150 yards from your truck?

Here is what we do.

First off, Major leaf removal is not a job for 1 man, especially if you have lots to do everyday. Get a crew or some part-timers to help you if you don't already have employees.

Putting leaves in trash bags is a joke. Most of the lawns we do would require 500 bags.

We don't have any sort of street cleaners like some communities, we have to haul it all off. I have a Ford F350 with a flat bed and a dump which can dump over 50 tons. Kinda funny that the dump hoist can dump more than the truck can even carry.

OUR METHOD

Start off by 2 or 3 guys doing nothing but blowing leaves for the first 30 minutes or so. Get them to several piles around the property. If you have another guy, he can help with a rake. Once this is done, we lay out a large tarp. blue plastic kind, and put the piles on the tarp. Two guys can drag the tarp to the truck. A Big truck works best. A dump truck is better. A trailer means that you will have to scoop them out again later.

We finish the job with 2 guys running billigoats on the cement areas and 2 guys mowing the lawn.

A dig dump tuuck is almost a must, if you want to be in this business and really be able to do some work, find a way to buy one.

Landfill is another problem. I bought a 5 acre piece of junk land just for a mini landfill. You can always ask your customers if they have a piece of land like this, then offer them a trade out. Driving to the landfill for me was taking up way too much time.

Some of our leaf removals will fill up the truck in no time.

bushtrimmer
10-30-2004, 01:13 PM
Be careful composting leaves. The EPA severely frowns on leaf compost run off into creeks and rivers. They require the water be contained, which promotes mosquitoes. Go figure.

AL Inc
10-30-2004, 01:15 PM
You have a hoist in your F350 that will lift 50 tons? That is 100,000 pounds.

mbricker
10-30-2004, 01:40 PM
Gene, you have bought a piece of land just for disposing of your lawn waste? I have thought of doing the same thing, but you have to admit that is somewhat extreme.

And in the vast majority of urban and suburban areas of the country, the cost of land makes that all but impossible.

But I have thought if a group of lawn companies in one locale would band together, they could do that. And make and sell compost.

Has anyone on Lawnsite done this?

tiedeman
10-30-2004, 01:59 PM
I have only two customers where I mulch the leaves. It might take me longer to mulch them compared to picking them up, but it actually saves me time in the long run in regards to disposal of the leaves

bobbygedd
10-30-2004, 04:28 PM
in this area, city ordinances prohibit the dumping of anything whatsover on your own property.

gogetter
10-31-2004, 12:25 AM
Get them to several piles around the property. Once this is done, we lay out a large tarp. blue plastic kind, and put the piles on the tarp. Two guys can drag the tarp to the truck.

Have you looked into a leaf plow for one of your mowers? Dragging tarps woops my azz!. I just bought a leaf plow and am looking forward to trying it out in a couple weeks.
Just a thought.

Gene $immons
10-31-2004, 02:15 PM
Mbricker - the land I bought is a total piece of wasteland. nothing will ever be developed on it. I got it for around $10,000. It is locatred in between the two main communities where i do most of my busineess so the location is perfect. I am planning on construction of a "storage unit" on it this winter.

Gogetter - that idea sounds cool. I also hate dragging tarps, I would definately like to see a leaf plow in action.

tiedeman
10-31-2004, 03:07 PM
Have you looked into a leaf plow for one of your mowers? Dragging tarps woops my azz!. I just bought a leaf plow and am looking forward to trying it out in a couple weeks.
Just a thought.

I am going to be getting one for next year. I was doing a leaf removal, basically blowing the leaves with my billy goat 10hp blower into the woods, and the piles got so big I have to get the mower out and just start pushing the piles with the front of the mower

gogetter
10-31-2004, 09:28 PM
I'll try to remember to take my camera and get some action shots when I use the plow.
I'll give an honest review after trying it out for a few weeks. I'm certainly hoping it works as well as others have said.

tiedman, I've seen guys here say they just use their ZTR's to push piles, but I only have walkbehinds with hot mufflers sitting right out front there! Hmm, I guess that would be another way to get rid of the leaves! Fire! ;-)

mdb landscaping
10-31-2004, 09:36 PM
we rent half a very large field from a farmer for next to nothing to compost our leaves. in the fall we just make windrows, and throughout the season we stir them around. at the end of the year, we push them to the back to a large pile which is essientially all compost. we then put it through a large thomas screening plant we bought. we then take all the construction debris from patio and driveway digouts and put that through the screener. we then mix the topsoil from that and the compost we screened and that gives us what we like to call "black gold". i swear it grows grass in like 3 days. as far as brush is concerned, we just pile it all up, and get a burn permit twice a year and burn it. works awesome.