Leaf Dumping! Ideas & Questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ECHOTURF, Nov 16, 2001.


    ECHOTURF LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Posts: 40

    How is everyone getting leaves off their trailers at the dumpsites?

    In my situation I carry up to 2.5 tons of leaves per load and rake every single one off by hand. Keep in mind these things are mulched up 3 times before hitting the trailer....It takes about 30 minutes to get unloaded and 25 minutes of that time I don't have to waste.

    Currently I use the STEEL GARDEN RAKE+PULL+PUSH method at it takes way too long!!! I have a dovetail trailer, which does not tilt like the smaller trailers do.

    I have a couple ideas but would like to hear what everyone else is doing to save their BACKS.

    OPTION ONE: Weld in a track on both sides of the trailer and weld up a push system with a winch. In other words I would put the winch up front on the tongue, run the cable under the trailer to the back on a roller or pulley which in turn would pull the “Push Bar” out with the load. Unlock the winch and push the “Push Bar” back to the front of the trailer.

    OPTION TWO: Make an insert out of square steel frame, put down some type of light weight smooth surface on it (1/4" Plexi-Glass?) and attach a lift system to the front of it. In other words make a lightweight lift system within the trailer to dump leaves or grass clippings.

    I don't want to get into dump trailers because of the cost and I only need a dump system for leaves and grass clippings. I do very little with landscaping so the need for say an EZ Loader is out of the question. I was also thinking about subbing out a company to collect the leaf or grass piles......?

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    P.S. If you want leaves, I have about 6 - 8 tons per year and live in the Appleton area of WI.


    Rich & Michelle - IDEAL GREEN LAWN CARE
    Menasha, WI
  2. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Ever use a Load Handler in the back of your truck? They work pretty well, unless you stomp the leaves and grass behind the wheel wells. I would sub out the leaf pickup before I would make any major modifications to my trailer. Where do you put your equipment with all the leaf material? I know of guys who will put an old tire on a rim at the back of the cab of the truck, and put all your grass and junk in the bed. Then when they go to dump, they will rope or chain to the rim, and tie off on something sturdy, and drive away, pulling the tire out, and nearly all the material. Trouble is finding a very sturdy object, ie tree, front loader, and also the risk if the rope or chain should break.
    I feel your pain! ;)

  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Welcome to Lawnsite.
    I know what you mean about having leafs as I am a short boat trip up the Fox river in De Pere.
    I have this problem with thatch in the spring and it is as heavy as the chopped up leafs. I throw them all on a big tarp on my trailer (14') and when I get to the dump I take the sides off the trailer and let it fall. When it is at a manageable weight I pull the tarp over and the rest follows.
    I have heard of but not seen where a guy could take a heavy reinforced tarp and connect a rope to it and once at the dump the rope is brought over the top of the load and out the back of the trailer (gate down of course). The rope has to be tied to a suitable anchor. The gate can be rested on some 2x4's. Simply drive forward and hope the reinforced tarp doesn't rip as it pulls the load out.

    Sounds good in theory and if you could get a heavy canvas tarp and reinforce it to allow for the load I guess it might work.

    Its good to see people from my area getting on Lawnsite. Talk to ya later.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Expanding a bit on ED's tarp idea. Before my dump trailer, I would lay a tarp on floor of trailer, put as many leaves as I could pull off on tarp. Then another tarp and more leaves, then a third tarp and more leaves. Three hard pulls and trailer was empty. Lot quicker than trying to break up the mass of packed debris with any tool. My tarps were cut from old trailer tarps from a steel hauler - heavy duty stuff. Used eyelets to attach rope for pulling. Rope at tarp end in front of trailer must be tied to close that end up - otherwise tarp will just slip out from between leaf layers, like my first try at this. LOL!! Live and learn.
  5. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    i immediately thought the same thing shady brook thought. maybe just mount one on the trailer.
  6. TotalLawn

    TotalLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    I have a 3/4' piece of plywood, with a sorta wall on the front, in the back of my flatbed. The place I go hook up to a chain that is ran through the wood at the back and pull it out.

    Something like this:

    l \
    l \
  7. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I used to do it just like Jim said Tarps in Layers. This fall I added Goodrichs' idea of the chain and have dragged the tarps off by connecting the roped tarps to another piece of machinery at the dumpsite and then slowly pulling forward.

    Before that it was pushing the debris off with pitch forks, parking at inclines, using dump beds and the like whenever available.

  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I don't have too bad of luck with pitchforks (5 tine). I always end up shoveling an "alley" down the side, then I am able to take bigger bites and push/slide the debris off. Plan ahead, and always put wood and longer sticks in the back, so they go off first. Nothing worse than having that stuff all tanged up.
  9. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Takes 5-7 minutes to blow two tons off a truck provided it is dry.

    Dry, mulched leaves OK, wet mulched leaves, bad news.

  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I like Option #1 with a electric boat wench ;->

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