Big leaf bag? Anyone ever try it?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by smallstripesnc, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Hello everyone,

    I have just about had it with leaf removal. I got a call from an old craigslist ad and the guy is on .25 of an acre and wanted his leaves removed. The catch was he only wanted "something for nothing". I told him I start at $45 and from the looks of it I would charge upwards of $120 or so. He about fell over dead when I told him that.

    I said I'll do it for $45 (since its so late in the season and probably my last job until spring and I needed the cash). He didn't even want to pay $45 and talked me down to $40. I told him I would do it. Especially since he is about 4 minutes from my place. I know I got screwed but I needed the cash.

    Now this is how I usually approach a leaf removal job.

    STEP 1:
    Blow all leaves from beds/edge of lawn and into piles. This part normally doesn't take too long.

    STEP 2:
    Then I use my hands to put them into trash bags. (TAKES FOREVER!)

    STEP 3:
    Go over property with my 22" Toro personal pace and bag the remains. (DOESNT TAKE LONG)

    Well this method takes about 3 hours or so.

    A guy that was doing leaf removal across the street stopped me and was asking me about how I do it and told me about this "big leaf bag" and told me about how much easier it made leaf removal showed me how well it worked. Its for small walk behind mowers (rear discharge or side discharge) and I'm considering it.

    I know its late in the season now so it would be for next year but it seems like a really good option.

    I plan on getting the new Toro timemaster 30 and this bag will work with that mower as well as my current one.

    Any opinions on this?

    The website is www.abletotech.com
     
  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,791

    seems like that bag would get heavy and you'd have to keep down force on the mower to keep the front wheels down. worth a try.

    How comical was that video? They made dumping the mower bags and raking look like the most difficult job in the world!! This late in the season you'd be better off staying like you are. Check out uline.com for some huge garbage bags for holding leaves and dump as you go.

    really all what you like.
     
  3. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Messages: 1,041

    I would think the leaves would have to be nice and dry otherwize the whole rig would be too heavy.

    Since you are using a personal pace try this, set the rear wells in the nexxt to lowest setting and the front in the next to highest, close the side shut mow back and forth over the leaves till they are mainly tiny pieces, put the regular bagger on and bag and dump. Even with the toro you will get a cubic yard of leaves (27 cubic feet) of leaves down to about 3 cubic feet of mulch.
     
  4. Leaf_Swimmer

    Leaf_Swimmer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    It's hard to find a lot of reviews on this product, but it seems like a great idea for some big jobs. I'm going to try it.

    My specific need is this:
    1/2 acre yard with many huge trees over 4 stories tall dividing the lawn into small irregular patches, so I have to use a small-nimble 21-inch mower to get around obstacles and irregularities.

    For reasons irrelevant to this thread,
    I need to remove the leaves in bags,
    so the bagging is my chief issue,
    and quite a lot of raking, is a secondary concern,
    (fair dues given: the blower helps a lot.)

    Last year's yield was 68 tightly packed bags.
    That was a lot of labor.

    The Big-Leaf-Bag (I think I'll get version2), attacks my concerns in two ways. 1) it leverages my existing mower to mulch the leaves, which makes them smaller (I think I've read it's a 17:1 reduction).
    2) the larger bag (and it's airflow) should allow nearly 3x collection-volume of my factory-standard bag, and (I'm banking on) better air-flow to allow it to fill with less clogging and better packing.

    So the BLBV2 definitely appears to be a multiplier.

    Other concerns:
    Pricey:
    It is pricey for what it is (a bag!), but not necessarily pricey for what it DOES. For big leaf-collection jobs, this tool is a simple, effective multiplier that could easily surpass it's worth.

    Weight/Tipping:
    Dry leaves (mulched) weigh substantially less than cut grass. I think dry mulched leaves should not cause the mower to tip from the weight in the bag.

    Mulching:
    The AbleToTech.com videos don't seem to talk about the mulching part.
    The way I understand it, there are 3 types of blades. Mulching, Non-Mulching, and Hybrid. Further divide that into 2 more sub-categories, sharpened and not sharpened.
    (You do sharpen your blade, right?)
    Obviously a nice, sharp, mulcher/hybrid blade will optimize the performance of mower+BLB.

    Might also want to experiment with different heights.
    (I really wish there was a mower that could adjust height on the fly.)

    I'm no expert on blade-sharpening, but I can say that i simply tip my mower enough that I could get under it (without spilling gas or oil!), and took a file to the blade, identified the cutting edges, and filed it till sharp to the touch. I have a hybrid blade, and it definitely mulches the leaves to bits.

    I'll post again after I get and try the BLBv2.

    I hope this post is helpful.
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,915

    Mulching is the way to go for those cheapskates that want their leaves gone for a cut-rate, money-losing price.
    Sharp blade, triple mow, blow remains onto big tarp, (or load the pile onto tarp with snow shovel). Drag to trailer.
    Tie the corners of the tarp together with cord, (add some extra rope as needed.)
    Roll it onto the trailer--haul the tiny pieces of leaf residue away.
    If he wants to dispose of it on site, fine, arrange a spot to leave the residue. Let him bag it or haul into the woods.
    With luck you can get about 3 to 4 big tarps, (3 to 4 "leaf balls") onto your trailer. Don't make them too big, 5 feet diameter tops, unless you are unusually strong.

    Be sure to have literature for him that shows how leaf residue is not harmful and actually contributes to the tilth, fertility and organic contents of the soil.

    Be sure to have some "Organic Rake or dethatcher " bacterial/beneficial fungi on hand to help decompose the leaf residue--if he wants to pay extra for it.
    Probably does not work--but maybe.

    http://www.greenergreengrass.com/Dethatcher_p/thatch.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    kawasaki guy likes this.
  6. Mow-Daddy.com

    Mow-Daddy.com LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,020

    Telling them Gby is the way to deal with cheapskate .
     
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,728

    Bad idea my walker fills up so fast that it isn't practical to use it. So that setup would be worse.
     

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