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Burlap for clean-up

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Action Lawn, May 26, 2005.

  1. Action Lawn

    Action Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Have any of you used burlap or canvas for debris clean-up during landscape bed maint? Or how about for grass clippings? We are going to start 2 landscape crews on this program in june. Later we may include mowing crews with this if it works. But here are my questions: What size burlap squares do you use? How many men does it take to load the bundles in a truck? How long do the squares last? I am trying to predict the pitfalls or problems & I am hoping someone has had some experience with this and can give some advice. Thanks.
  2. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,924

    Its pretty popular here....I have yet to try it....think I will....
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I found 7X7 polypropelene (sp?) tarps from a landscape supply in CA several years ago. I think I bought 10 of them for about $2.00 each. After heavy use in the grass season, some use during leaf season, I think four of them are still in the box. And, one of them I destroyed when it got too close to the muffler on my w/b.

    Bottom line: they are a lifesaver for me. For example, today we were working two jobs, residential customers, side by side. One of them permitted us to dump clippings in a bed at the rear of her property - clippings from her yard, and the one neighbor. We spread out four of the tarps, started dumping. From one lawn, we quickly generated 12 bags from the Toro Proline 21", 4 bags from the other one, and also 6 Grass Gobblers full. Over about one hour, we had all the clippings in the bag, one the tarps and down to the pile. I have a BullRider on my w/b so when the tarp has 6 or so Toro Proline bags (or 3 Gobblers), I am able to put two corners of the tarp on the BR platform, stand on it, and drive away. Sure, I can drag them by hand, and often do. Or, put 4 bags, 2 Gobblers, gather all four corners, and swing it over the shoulder for carrying. Or, tie all four corners together for a "package" to haul away, to be dumped someplace else.

    The huge advantage is the tare weight, next to nothing. And, the stuff under the arm for carrying while driving the w/b, easily fit several into an 18 gallon tub for transport. None of these features are true of a 33 gallon trash barrel.

    In the Fall, we use 8X10s for leaf cleanup -- either for dragging to a pile, or carrying over the shoulder to the trailer for hauling away. The 8X10s also drag behind the BR well.

    I discarded the burlap idea because of longevity. These while ones take a real beating and still are in pretty good shape. Dragging them may cause some damage. Never drag over concrete! Or, drag them over rocks, stumps, or other obstacles that will tear them. Burlap will rot when wet - the polypropelene will not rot.

    One more commet -- 7X7 works best for me for grass. They are too small for leaves, unless wet. And, 8X10s are too large for grass, clipping debris is too heavy.
  4. GLC51

    GLC51 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    I've never used burlap but I have used plastic tarps for years. I find the 6' x 8' work best for me. There are a lot of cheap tarps out there that won't last any time at all. Look for a 14 x 14 weave heavy duty one they will take a lot more abuse they should have reinforced corners and a cord sewn in the outside edge, I think the last one I picked up was $6. If you get bigger ones you want to keep loading them up and then they are too heavy, although that would be OK for dry leaves in the fall. I work on residential properties and a lot of them have gates so size is an issue. I run a thick synthetic rope through the gromets on the the one end long enough so that I can sling it over my shoulder and drag it. Works great for piling up branches and twigs after wind storms etc. Also if you don't load it up too much when you get it to the truck just grab the two sides and dump it in the truck. I work solo but it would be easier with two. I've been able to get two years out of them, then the holes start to get too big. If you do drag them over the driveway etc. they will wear out pretty fast. My 2 cents

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