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Old 09-19-2006, 01:26 PM
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MGB Guy MGB Guy is offline
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Leaf removal- tarps vs. ztr with vac?

I have always mulched and shot leaves into the woods on my yards with the woods, and put them on a tarp on those yards without. But do you all find it easier/quicker to use tarps and maybe get an extra helper, or to buy the vac? I'm debating on buying one, but I didn't know if it was save me time. I have to rake/blow the leaves up on the yards with a lot of trees in or to get the sticks up anyways, so I'm just curious if traditional/cheap way is better or not. Any opinions?
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:56 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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I think the biggest advantage of using a vac is just the amount of leaves you can haul away in one trip. time wise as far as actually getting the leave up I think the vacs take longer, but your time spent driving to dump leaves ads up really quick. I think a truck loader would be the way to go, but it's just a guess. I lived in a town where the city removed all the leaves from the curb so I havn't done that many leaf jobs since the home owner could just blow everything to the curb.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:01 PM
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Brendan Smith Brendan Smith is offline
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i just mulch them all. that being said, the # of hardwoods around here is pretty low, mostly all pines.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:12 PM
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John Gamba John Gamba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGB Guy
I have always mulched and shot leaves into the woods on my yards with the woods, and put them on a tarp on those yards without. But do you all find it easier/quicker to use tarps and maybe get an extra helper, or to buy the vac? I'm debating on buying one, but I didn't know if it was save me time. I have to rake/blow the leaves up on the yards with a lot of trees in or to get the sticks up anyways, so I'm just curious if traditional/cheap way is better or not. Any opinions?
Take a BIG tarp load it up and drag it with the rider to the truck vac.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:12 PM
mbricker mbricker is offline
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Sorry, but this is another of those questions that does not have a simple one-size-fits-all answer.

Where I am, the leaves start to fall a few at a time while the grass continues to grow. The first few "leaf removals" are actually late season mowings with some leaves getting mulched, or sucked up into a bagger.

On the lawns where the trees finally reach a point of BOOM! and the leaves all come down in just a few days, it gets really impractical to expect a mower to be efficient in getting the leaves up. I'm talking about a layer of leaves several inches thick. Grab your tarps, rakes, and most powerful blowers and move those leaves in bulk into the trailer. I have had some lawns that filled up my 18' trailer with 4' high mesh sides, and the equipment had to wait in the back yard while I went to unload the leaves. Reducing the volume of those leaves by picking them up with the Z would actually take more time than the trip to unload the non-chopped-up leaves. For the same reason, I have never bought a vacuum leaf loader. Because I believe the time to move the leaves through it would be considerably more than the time to drag tarps onto the trailer.

But if the lawn is small enough that even a thick layer of leaves is only going to fill up the bin on the Grasshopper 3 or 4 times, that is the way I go. And sometimes it makes sense to sweep the heaviest concentrations of leaves onto a tarp and drag that into the trailer, before going over the lawn with the Z.

So you see, it boils down to judging each job based on your experience of what has worked best in the past, rather than seeking one answer you can apply to every lawn.

BTW, I really envy you guys who live where the cities will come along the curb and suck up the leaves that you have blown off the lawn into the street. The best we have here, is that the city sends a lawn waste recycling truck that picks up BAGGED lawn waste. Only helpful to a commercial operator on very small lawns.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:22 PM
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John Gamba John Gamba is offline
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[QUOTE=mbricker]
On the lawns where the trees finally reach a point of BOOM! and the leaves all come down in just a few days, it gets really impractical to expect a mower to be efficient in getting the leaves up. I'm talking about a layer of leaves several inches thick. Grab your tarps, rakes, and most powerful blowers and move those leaves in bulk into the trailer. I have had some lawns that filled up my 18' trailer with 4' high mesh sides, QUOTE]


Get a leaf loader. it chops them up.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2006, 04:59 PM
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Idealtim Idealtim is offline
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I know for a fact that some vacs reduce the mass of leaves 1:12. Weight is still the same though.
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:29 PM
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John Gamba John Gamba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealtim
I know for a fact that some vacs reduce the mass of leaves 1:12. Weight is still the same though.

So do leaf loaders
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2006, 05:39 PM
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MGB Guy MGB Guy is offline
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The vac that I am looking at dumps from the seat. Most of my yards have the woods next to them and the customers say just blow/them/dump them in the woods. I have some big 2 acre yards as well that have a tree here and a tree there. Just mulching or blowing still the best way? Just curious. And as far as you guys that just mulch them, do you get away with charging extra for going over the leaves a couple times each mow, or do you charge the same. Thanks for all input.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2006, 07:32 PM
Harvest Harvest is offline
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i just mulch them BUT there are not that many leaves here just oaks and they are only on the older homes mostly and i cut newer homes for the most part with young trees and less leaves
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