View Full Version : Cost vs. benefit on truck loader

11-01-2004, 06:12 PM
I am trying to make a decision on whether or not to buy a leaf loader. I can get a new billy goat truck loader (the middle sized one) for about $2500.

Currently I have ten of my 50 accounts wanting bi-monthly leaf cleanup. These are standard residential sized yards and I charge $50 per hour (me and a helper).

This is my second job...I'm a firefighter, on 24 and off 48...so I dont really like the idea of blowing all that money on something that I only anticipate using 2 to 3 months per year.

Also considered putting a mulch kit on my 36" Toro wb and just mulch the leaves.

Any opinions on this would be greatly helpful... :dizzy: :help:

11-01-2004, 06:54 PM
What is the hp of the leaf loader. I have a Billy Goat 16 hp, and wouldn't want any less hp. They save a lot of time loading, and they shred the leaves so that you can fit probably 3 times as much in the truck (if not more)
Also, at least in my area, $50 is not enough for 2 men per hour.

11-01-2004, 07:55 PM
Highly recommend a leaf loader... definately worth it.

If the $2500 is too much for right now, look into used ones... I picked one up in the spring for $1000.

11-01-2004, 07:57 PM
Really depends on the truck that you'll be using. I started out my first year with a leaf loader, Lesco 16hp on a F-150 w/ 8' full size bed. I built the sides up tall enough to walk in with out ducking and I go go almost a day without dumping it. The next year I bought a F-350 w/12' flatbed. Last year I had 5' sides not nearly enough. This year I am going w/ 8' sides over 300yds capacity, hopefully that should do it. Looking back though, the F-150 was necessary at the time but not profitable

11-01-2004, 08:10 PM
If your going to get a loader... get the 16hp models with the 10" tubes.... anything less I would see as a waste of money... the billy goats vary in price by couple hundred bucks the bigger the better....
I got a s-10 and it packs it in there good 12 to 1...

This pile is about 4 1/2 tall 15'x10 1 load

11-01-2004, 08:11 PM

Leaf loader worth it's weight in gold as far as I'm concerned. I have a 16hp LW -- makes short work of leaves.

Also -- nice avatar. Try this one though, better resolution. :) Or, you can steal my new one!!!

11-01-2004, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the advice and the avatar. I gotta confess.. I stole your old avatar! Go Sox!!

11-01-2004, 10:19 PM
I gotta confess.. I stole your old avatar! Go Sox!!

I knew ya did. I could tell by the poor resolution. It was all I could find. The new one is a little better.


11-01-2004, 11:22 PM
I'm with DFOR, $50 for 2 men per hour ($25 per man hour) IS NOT ENOUGH! We charge $45 per man hour for leaves & feel that is too low! TOO HARD OF WORK FOR $25 an hour! We make over $60 per man hour on mowing!


11-02-2004, 02:00 AM
The fact that my leaf loader did not bring in a whole lotta revenue, and that it was nearly $3000 sitting around in my shop for 50 weeks of the year, led me to sell mine this year. Most of my leaf work is in areas where the city picks up. The outlying areas where it was most usefull, people weren't willing to pay accordingly to do removals. If the city gets rid of the leaf pick up service like it wants to next year, I will get a new loader and make another go of it, but right now it wasn't profitable. Sold it and didn't look back.

11-02-2004, 02:15 AM
I'm with MTD and Grassbusterslawn on this one. People in this area are too cheap to pay what leaf removal is worth. I don't do very many leaf removal jobs unless it's for existing customers or people they refer to me. There's just no sense in spending that much money to stare at it sitting around taking up much needed space.

Mark McC
11-02-2004, 06:46 AM
I think there's money in leaf removal, but if the city or cities that you work in offer leaf pick-up, why bother with the loader?

11-02-2004, 12:17 PM
All the area's around me offer leaf pickup(townships) that is...but you have to put the leaves in those stupid bags.... which takes a bunch of time and is killer on the back...
24 bones to unload my truck hour round trip... so figure 80 bucks for a trip...It a hec of alot less labor on my part...