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How to make leaf removals quicker and more profitable?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smallstripesnc, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    My list is a lot longer than that. I may not use it all on every job but it gives me the flexibility to do it the most efficient way for each property for each visit.

    I bring:

    36 inch plastic rake
    24 inch steel spring rake, long handle
    24 inch steel spring rake, short handle
    Plastic grain shovel
    18 inch level head rake (like a garden rake but different)
    2 Green Barrels
    2 Heavy duty nylon tarps
    Shindaiwa EB 630 backpack blower
    Husqvarna 580 backpack blower
    Echo shredder vac
    Husqvarna 124L trimmer
    Husqvarna 323L trimmer
    Husqvarna 136 chain saw (we had a hurricane)
    48 inch walk behind with catcher (blow to woods properties only)
    10 HP Billy Goat Wheel blower (blow to woods properties only)
    52 inch ZTR with rear bagger
    6.5 x 12 open trailer (blow to woods properties only)
    7 x 12 dump trailer (when hauling leaves only)

    Cross bed tool box with everything but the kitchen sink

    If I have certain properties on my list for the day I may add or subtract to my list, but most of what I listed is with me at all times this time of year. Sometimes I bring my tine rake dethatcher too, sometimes my power broom, sometimes my power pole pruner. Keep in mind that a lot of my properties are 2+ acres and there can be "surprises" when you show up, especially in the aftermath of a hurricane, so I like to be prepared.
     
  2. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,486

    We do 95% by blowing into the woods. Large lots around here. We have a 3 man team using:

    3 BP blowers (BR600s and a Redmax 8500)
    2 9HP Little Wonder walk-behind blowers
    2 52" ztrs with baggers, and one JRCO plow
    tarp and 3 rakes

    Pretty simple setup, but we rip through the cleanups. We mostly do the weekly cleanup system, and never let the leaves build up. It works well for our regular mowing customers, and it keeps us working in October. But we do get calls for cleanups from customers that let leaves pile up, those can take 3 to 6 hours. This year the sticks were awful.
     
  3. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    Has anyone tried the jrco w/b leaf blower rack that fits on the front of a ztr?
    Just curious to how practical it is.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    You can do a search here on the Blower Buggy. The reviews I've read here are mixed. Some complain that it changes the dynamics of the steering too much on a Z with the weight in front the way it is...traction and handling problems. Others seem to like but not love it.
     
  5. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    Thanks Darryl, I recently saw one on Craigslist it looked like a good idea but I have never seen one in use. The steering issue makes sense to why I haven't seen any.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. krzys555

    krzys555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    the blower buggy review

    it does what it says it will do.
    on straight level ground with smaller 9 hp ground blowers.
    we use it on a z960 on a few properties.

    we have tried using a 16 hp, and 9 hp fradan blowers.
    it works great with the 9 hp. little loss of traction but not much
    the 16 hp it very heavy and makes the loss of traction even greater.
    dont try going up a hill backwards beacuse you will slide.
    make sure you strap the mower in on all 3 wheels.

    it is a little ackward at first. and does not do as good of a job as if you where walking behind it.

    overall does a good job for larger open properties. sucks for changing direction of pushing the leaves
     
  7. Look's Great

    Look's Great LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I blow leaves out of corners, lanscaping,ect out onto lawn then mulch leaves with gator blades pushing muched leaves in one direction. when i get to the end of the lawn, I blow the very fine mulched leaves into a pile and take a scoop shovel and shovel into truck bed.
     
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    Bingo this is a winner you don't need to read anymore input this works. It is beyond me why guys would want to push leaves for long distances with blowers and now leaf plows:dizzy:
     
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    there's one HUGE reason why guys use other methods. it's called the client.

    not every client wants mowers on there property unless the grass actually needs cuts, others don't like the underlying brownish look the lawn has from the pulverized leaves that you can't remove.

    not to mention mowing in one direction is a waste of time. every other pass your doing nothing. you'd be more productive to do a circle instead of taking everything from one side to the other.

    but in the end everyone has there method for whatever reason. and in the end they both achieve the same end result for the most part. so really what's it to you if guys wanna use blowers and leaf plows instead of mulching them with a mower?
     
  10. maelawncare

    maelawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

    And the fact that people are in different areas.

    Some towns have more leaves than others. Completely depends on what wooded areas where there hundreds of years ago before people started building houses. Also weather the developments there tore out all the trees when they built houses.

    Around here most properties have too many oak trees. There is no possible way to mulch all the leaves into the lawn. You would wind up with .5" of mulched up leaves over the entire property. And that would kill the lawn, plus make it a lot more acidic.

    Also a lot of people around here dont want you to blow the leaves into the woods. They want them hauled away so they dont collect and blow back in the lawn. So doing that isn't an option.
     

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