Huge job, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Logsdonlawncare, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Logsdonlawncare

    Logsdonlawncare LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 23

    Ok i just went and looked at a job at a compost facility. This guy has mountains of compost. Its the best dirt youve ever seen, but there are shredded pieces of plastic mixed in, and i mean alot! Anyway he wants to spread the piles out 2-3" deep and have me just keep going over it with a rake of some sort to remove the plastic. This would be constant work for until it snows, then they shut down.

    So does anyone have any ideas on what to use?

    I own a 48" scag ztr, an old ford jubilee tractor, but am willing to buy new equipment for this job.

    The only problem i see is that it is extremely dirty and dusty. I mean i pulled in the place with my windows down and had to stop in my tracks because i couldnt see through the dust inside my cab. LOL Im not sure how a mower would hold up in this enviroment, any ideas?

    Thanks a ton everyone, you guys are great!!

    Todd L.
  2. Four C. Landscaping

    Four C. Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    When you say shredded how big are the pieces?could you screen out the pieces with a home made screen of some kind like the screener they use for loam?Even plastic will break down after a wile so small pieces should be acceptable to your customer especially if you are planting grass.Hope this helps. Good luck. payup
  3. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    How big are the pieces of plastic? Maybe you could put a screen over a top dresser and load with a skid steer. Could use one of the large construction type screens but if dust is a problem....
  4. Logsdonlawncare

    Logsdonlawncare LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 23

    well pieces range from 1"x1" up to 2"x24", its all shredded up and decomposed. I also do have an older new holland skid loader, it has aux. hookups but i dont have the hoses ran.
    Thanks for the help, keep it coming everyone
  5. Logsdonlawncare

    Logsdonlawncare LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 23

    The guy told me his options are to take it all to the landfill (if it cant be screened out), sell it (for top dollar, this is some good dirt), or make the property (10 acres) crop land.

    Ive done some reading on the net and found some pull behind rakes, im leaning towards a 3pt for my ford tractor, any opionions on that? Also what would you charge per hour, its gonna be a all day every day kinda thing until it snows. Ill try to get some pics next time im there, so you guys can get a grasp of what im talking about.

    thanks again
  6. fcl01

    fcl01 LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Posts: 249

    it the piles are that big and he wants it spread over ten acres, it sounds like thousands of cu. yds. of dirt. dont even bother with your equip., you need to rent a good size dozer and remember to buy the insurence if the dust is that bad.

    we work with a cheap and pretty good excavating company, if you know any excavators, sub it out and settle for 5%-10% and dont do anything but watch.
  7. Logsdonlawncare

    Logsdonlawncare LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 23

    He is going to use a dozer to spread, the plan is for him to spread it 2-3" thick and me to run over it with a rake of some kind to get the plastic out. Then he will scoop it back up again and bring another bucket load to clean.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    If you're really hard up for work then do this job. Otherwise tell the guy to hire some "Cans" to pick it out by hand. We call this busy work. It just gives you something to do.
  9. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    As close as the rake tines would have to be to get such small pieces they would clog just as soon as you picked up enough to block most of them and you'd just be dragging compost with you into another pile. There is a large compost operation near hear that I've bought compost from. They just live with it. I don't see any way to get this out without a mechanical screen that you load it into and it separates it, or as someone suggested, mexicans hand picking. have you ever seen a seed cleaner, used by farmers to clean seed before it goes into a bin? Rotating screen on a slope, weed seed falls out bottom, larger grain continues up to auger. Something like this in reverse, fines (compost) falls out bottom, plastic rides the screen up and falls out end onto pile.

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