Bagging Thatch

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfinator, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. turfinator

    turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for a faster method of bagging. In the spring for 2 1/2 weeks staight all we do is power raking. Ninety percent of our jobs are residential. Every home creates between 5 to 15 large bags of thatch that we have to bag. This is incredibly time consuming but the only other method I can think of would involve a truck or trailer mounted vac to remove the thatch. We currently bag and leave it curbside for city pick up. Is ther any type of vac that is capable of discharging into a bag? Thanks
     
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I know there is a Bluebird has a model that has a bagger attatched to the dethatching unit, but not sure if they make a disposable bag liner for it. What kind of dethatcher are you using?

    MATT
     
  3. turfinator

    turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Im currently using Bluebird rakes with the bags on board. The problem is that they fill quickly. We normally dump the bags from the rakes curbside and then bag the thatch in large garbage bags when the job is done. This is very time consuming. What Im trying to find (or make) would be similiar to the way a shop vac operates. I would like to have it set up with a large drum (bag inside) and motor on top. Attached to the intake would be a large diameter hose for suction. Ive seen the leaf vac units and just wonder if something like that can be modified in a way for a specific use such as this without spending thousands of dollars.
    Any ideas???? on moving alot of thatch quickly into garbage bags?:confused:
     
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    If it were me, I'd buy the truck loader. It would definately save time on these power rake jobs, plus you could use it in the spring and fall for regular leaf clean ups.
    Besides, I think it's kinda unprofessional to leave bags behind at the customers curb. But that's just my opinion.
     
  5. Rodney Johns

    Rodney Johns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    The truck loader is a good sugestion....
    I personally use the Walker mowers. With the dethatching attachment you can kill 2 birds with one stone even. Back onto a trailer and dump all of the thatch into a big pile.
    It is the easiest for one man operation especially.
     
  6. I use a Bluebird F-20 model 520 rake. (No catcher) I then vac with my Billy Goat and dump the bags into 55 gallon drum liners. Dirty work but its real fast and easy. You can buy the bags for about 7-10 cents each. I built a holder for the bags from a 2 wheel truck and 55 gallon drum lid holder. Cost about $40. I bought 3 extra bags for the Billy Goat so I'm not stopping too often. 90% of the lawns I do can be vacuumed with just the four bags and can be done in about an hour. The Billy Goat reduces volume to about 1/2 to 1/4 of just raking. Its well worth the cost of 2 pieces of equipment,($1600 for both) I cut my time in half this way and the customers love that vacuumed look.
     
  7. pyrocare

    pyrocare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I have a Walker right now and since I haven't really tried to get power rake jobs, anything that I do I just rent the rake (pass the rental fee on to the custumer) and vaccum with the Walker. I was wonder how good the dethaching attachment for the Walker works compared to the BlueBird power rake?:confused: :confused:
     
  8. turfinator

    turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    The BlueBird's do a fantastic job on raking and with the bag it really does pick up everything. I find if you use the bagger model a vac for the lawn isnt required. (It does that good of a job) As I mentioned earlier the real problem is garbage bagging the huge amount of thatch these things pick up. We did one large residential last year that created a mountain of thatch 6 feet high and about 15 -20 feet long. Even with 2 guys per yard it takes awhile. As far as it being "kinda unprofessional to leave bags behind at the customers curb" it is the norm for this city. We have one landfill site available for a population of 670,000 people. To access the "dump" would take 1 hour min. per trip per day. I have never had any complaints about leaving bags and try to plan jobs as close to garbage pick up days as possiblefor that area. So my quest for a quicker bagger continues.........
     
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Walker mower with the oversized catch. Expensive, but man does it do the trick!

    MATT
     
  10. turfinator

    turfinator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    The BlueBirds do a fantastic job too. I just want to somehow move the thatch mountain from the curbside to bags mechanically. Im sure I would have the same problem even if I was using the Walker.
     

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