Originally Posted by Chris Feenan
The things that slow me down on leaf cleanups are :
1) Blowing leaves out of giant shrubs, overgrown beds, corners, etc
2) Getting leaves out of huge pachysandra/myrtle/english ivy beds, Huge.
All 3 of these things would be aided, in my opinion, if I could put down the blowers sometimes and pick up a loader intake hose. Suck them out of those overgrown beds,corners and ground cover beds instead of waiting for the blower to finally tease the last few out, only to have the wind blow them back in.
Next year, I will mount a 12-18 hp loader on a wheeled cart. I will use extra long intake and exhaust hoses (20 ft each ?). The exhaust hose will plug into a 6 x 8 mesh tent stretched over plastic pipe frame. Laborers will put the tent together in 5 minutes or less when we arrive on the job. It will be set on top of a 8x10 tarp. When that tarp is full, it will be dragged to the curb and the tent will be set on top of another tarp .
We leave the leaves on the curb and the town comes by every 2 weeks to suck them up with huge loaders. But customers don't want them sitting there too long because we have a lot of Oaks with leaves as big as your boot, and about as thick as cardboard. They blow all over the place if they sit there too long. But, chopped up by a mower, or loader, they sit tight and wait for the town loader trucks.
This portable loader idea may sound crazy, but I will give it a try. If it sucks at sucking, I'll sell it, and I am only out the cost of a mesh tarp and some PVC pipe. Yesterday, I spent 4 hrs, alone (laborers laid off for winter) trying to blow leaves out of pachysandra and myrtle beds. Five of them, each about 6-800 sq ft (20 ft wide X 30 ft long) You tease them out, and get them airborne, but you are just teasing the same leaf out a few feet later. A 10 inch loader hose would have had that done in less than an hour.
guess it depends on how picky you and your client are. I take the blowers through the mulch beds and shrubs at a "regular pace" and whatever comes out, comes out. the rest stays and will eventually decompose.
I don't have any clients that insist on every last leaf being gone. there's always a few left in the beds or in and around the shrubs. there gone by spring.