I know it's early, but....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lasko's Lawn Service, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Lasko's Lawn Service

    Lasko's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    I'm a solo operation and I'm looking into doing some larger residential leaf cleanups this fall. I've got acccess to a dump truck, have a 1/2 ton pickup, a 10 foot landscape trailer, a BR600, and Scag Tiger Cub. My question is would it be better for me to buy a Billy Goat to suck leaves up into a dump truck and the Scag factory lawn collection system OR should I buy sortof a two for one machine like a DR tow behind leaf vacuum that also has a hose that I can then suck the leaf piles up with into the truck/dump? I'll be doing some 1-2 acres properties that might have leaves as much as 6 inches deep in spots. I know people who own BG are really pleased with them but would I be further ahead by buying just one piece of equipment that does both jobs? Any help, suggestions, comments would be super appreciated.
     
  2. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Posts: 912

  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I use my bob-cat mower with the collection system on it for all of my clean-ups. It works great as long as the leaves aren't piled up too deep, then it starts to fill too quickly and clog easy. As a solo guy I think just using the mower and maybe tarping some leaves would be your best bet. Those leave loaders are nice (especially with 2-3 guys, one on the vac and 1-2 with blowers) but they are very expensive and may not be your best bet as a solo guy. If you can justify purchasing the Billy Goat unit then feel free. I don't have any experience with them but from what I hear and see they work very nice. Those DR vacs and cyclone rakes are more geared toward homeowners. You'll find that for what you need they won't be any more efficient than mowing and tarping.
     
  4. Lasko's Lawn Service

    Lasko's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    Mowerbrad,
    How much can your collection system hold before you are unloading it? I would think that those collection systems would be pretty pricey as well. Thanks for your suggestions.
     
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    My collection system holds 12 bushels. It has the fan on the side that is run off of the mower deck which helps to reduce the leaf size and compact them into the bags. I also use the gator blades with this to help reduce the size even more. I bought my collection system new for around $1800+tax.
     
  6. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    When it comes to leaves, you have to reduce the volume. Bagging whole leaves is a waste of time and material. If the Scag has a side discharge, grind everything into a central pile (Or piles) and bag the stuff using 30-gallon bags, an open-ended barrel and a pitchfork. It will take roughly 1.5 hours per acre. Clean it up with the backpack blower and take a long lunch.
    Billy Goats might be handy for cleaning up confetti after a wedding, but when it comes to heavy leaf loads, you want to leave the place LOOKING spotless but as full of leaf dust as you can make it. Grind it 'til you can't find it. :)
     
  7. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    When i was up north, i used to blow all the leaves out of the landscape beds, mulch, mulch, mulch them up then suck them up with the bagging system. I had the Trac-Vac on the 52 in Turf Tiger and boy did that do wonders with the leaves!
     
  8. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    Recently had a Toro Z 320 48" come apart on me in a big way. Fractured the deck and almost had the gearbox come out when a blade broke in half. That thing was a leaf-gobblin' mofo but a maintenance nightmare. Picked up a 52" Z-Master with the bagging kit, and really hope that the clean-up capability is comparable to "Ol' Falzapart".
     
  9. t j lawn care

    t j lawn care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    I bought a billy goat loader with a 18 hp Briggs, and I would not be without it. I installed it on a 1/2 ton pickup truck. The 1/2 ton truck is too light, so I purchased a 3/4 ton truck and installed a dump insert, hope this will increase the business and save my back. Used a blower to blow in piles and drove truck to suck them up. Were I couldn't get a truck to them, I raked into a tarp and pulled them to the truck.
     
  10. scchamblee

    scchamblee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    I put a mulching kit on my 797 and just cut the yards every two weeks thru december or so. Keeps money coming in and plus I hate a rake!!!

    I charge the same and that time of year I dont have to trim so it works out pretty good.
     

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