Any Solo Operators use a Leaf Loader?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by recycledsole, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,137

    RSK yea I saw your dads dump in the fall rigs thread that thing is useful. If I could only have one truck it would be the 4x4 NPR type with two bodies the dump and vanscape. That will never happen though. Right now none of my clean ups have to hauled off. But they are big properties that can't be pushed to the curb because it's too far or there wouldn't be enough curb space to fit them all if they weren't chopped up by the vac. Did you get the clamshell or the three bin on the cheetah?? Even with all the leaves I do I only have one where I could use a bagger. I'm in the woods with little to no grass and lots of rocks.
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  2. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    i went with the triple bagger it holds more, and it cost more too....oh well.
  3. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    thanks everyone for the responses.

    casey, so you have your leaf loader mounted onto a cart? and you can move it around the property? what kind of cart? I am guessing it is not sufficent to tow behind your truck, but it fits inside your trailer? I am not sure what you mean about lift like hell, but i am guessing you mean lifting the 225+ LB leaf loader?
    Thanks alot i appreciate it

  4. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,137

    It's a furniture mover type cart. 12 inches tall by 2 1/2 wide I'd say. The only time I use it is for on and off the trailer. I only have a half ton truck so once it's loaded, I can't fit the cart under it anymore. If you had a 3/4 or larger it would fit and work perfect. That is what the guy I bought it from did. That way you can just tilt it back and get it started in the hitch then slide it in. I use lots of anti seize in the hitch. Without it, it's too impossible.
    RSK - I thought the clamshell bagger was more expensive but held more. I haven't really looked at it. Is it aggregating to unload the three bin vs. just dumping it from the seat with the clamshell?
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  5. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,137

    Yes, I do have to lift the leaf loader by myself. I only have to lift the front end to get it started in the hitch. Then I get behind it, push it, and slide the rest in the hitch. It's not ideal, but what I have to work with now. Probably not the safest either. My wife doesn't like it...
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  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    Hello RSK,
    thanks for the info. So you mostly just run the leaves over with a bagger on the mower and dump the bag into your truck? I can see that working good for regular accounts, but being kind of difficult for a lawn that is covered deep in leaves that hasnt been maintenanced in a month or more.
    I have a exmark metro 36" walk behind with a 2.2cubic ft grass gobbler. I dont know if you know if that would work well, i guess i have to some experiments.
    i cant believe you are making 300 or 400 for 1 hour. that is awesome. is this like a 1/4 lot or bigger?
    thanks alot man. good luck

  7. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    thank you casey, i appreciate it

  8. CTmower

    CTmower LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 324

    Solo op here.
    I mount my leaf loader on the front of my truck using a front mount receiver. I tow my enclosed trailer to the job with all equipment necessary. At the job site I disconnect the trailer and I can move my truck into whatever position necessary to make collecting the leaves the easiest. Sometimes I have one huge pile, sometimes I'll have 2 or 3 smaller piles throughout the property, and other times I have the leaves lining the curb where I suck up about 10-12 feet worth of leaves, move the truck forward, and proceed to suck up the rest until the job is done.
    In my honest opinion there is no other efficient way for a solo op to do it. You can put the loader on your trailer but then that limits you as to where you can put your piles and maneuver your truck. You could purchase a loader with a separate tow behind trailer but then that requires you to drop off main trailer and pick up loader trailer which is non efficient.
  9. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yeah I don't see loading a ton of leaves, most I've ever hauled is a thousand pounds and most of my loads are in the 400-700 pound range, the loading is best done EARLY when the leaves are still dry, the later it gets in the season the harder the jobs become... Get a smaller tarp, or don't load it as full.
    Of course now it takes more trips to the trailer...

    The problem is a trailer such as what you folks speak of costs 6 or 7 thousand dollars, especially considering I need almost a full ton truck to pull it and it requires tires and more maintenance too. With my regular trailer, if I take 1,000 loads in the next 20 years I just got paid 10 dollars a load for NOT using a dump trailer.

    To keep the leaves from flying off I secure tarps to the trailer with spring clips, thou I like the ratchet straps idea a lot too.

    To unload...

    Before I load the trailer I lay stretch a chain from front down center to the back of the trailer, it has hooks on both ends, the front hook I clip onto the front of the trailer... Just like the guy who lays down a tarp but all I lay down is a length of chain right smack down center of the trailer... Then, I load the leaves.

    When I get to the dump site I find a BIG log to back up against.
    Then I grab a 16 or so foot strap from back of truck and hook that to the front hook of the chain I laid out earlier, pull that over top and to the back... When I get to the back I have another 8 foot chain I loop around the log and hook to both the strap and the laid down chain.

    Then I get in my truck and drive it forward.
    Blammo, the entire load comes off.

    You'd think the chain would just slice through the center of that load of leaves and pull almost nothing off.
    But oddly enough with the exception of a few leaves that scrape the sides of the trailer the whole load comes off in one try, all it takes is two minutes with a blower to get what little is left behind.

    Then I collect chains and strap and get on down the road.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  10. tomsyardcare

    tomsyardcare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I use a Vanguard leaf loader 16 hp I bought at Lesco about 7-8 rs ago. It has a swing mount that attaches to the trailer hitch When I go to dump( the leaves that is ha!) I undo a pin and swing the leaf sucker off to the passenger side, dump truck and swing LL back and secure pin pretty easy one man operation well worth the $$ I paid

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