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Cost vs. benefit on truck loader

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnprosteveo, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I am trying to make a decision on whether or not to buy a leaf loader. I can get a new billy goat truck loader (the middle sized one) for about $2500.

    Currently I have ten of my 50 accounts wanting bi-monthly leaf cleanup. These are standard residential sized yards and I charge $50 per hour (me and a helper).

    This is my second job...I'm a firefighter, on 24 and off 48...so I dont really like the idea of blowing all that money on something that I only anticipate using 2 to 3 months per year.

    Also considered putting a mulch kit on my 36" Toro wb and just mulch the leaves.

    Any opinions on this would be greatly helpful... :dizzy: :help:
  2. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    What is the hp of the leaf loader. I have a Billy Goat 16 hp, and wouldn't want any less hp. They save a lot of time loading, and they shred the leaves so that you can fit probably 3 times as much in the truck (if not more)
    Also, at least in my area, $50 is not enough for 2 men per hour.
  3. myoder

    myoder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    Highly recommend a leaf loader... definately worth it.

    If the $2500 is too much for right now, look into used ones... I picked one up in the spring for $1000.
  4. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Really depends on the truck that you'll be using. I started out my first year with a leaf loader, Lesco 16hp on a F-150 w/ 8' full size bed. I built the sides up tall enough to walk in with out ducking and I go go almost a day without dumping it. The next year I bought a F-350 w/12' flatbed. Last year I had 5' sides not nearly enough. This year I am going w/ 8' sides over 300yds capacity, hopefully that should do it. Looking back though, the F-150 was necessary at the time but not profitable
  5. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    If your going to get a loader... get the 16hp models with the 10" tubes.... anything less I would see as a waste of money... the billy goats vary in price by couple hundred bucks the bigger the better....
    I got a s-10 and it packs it in there good 12 to 1...

    This pile is about 4 1/2 tall 15'x10 1 load

  6. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702


    Leaf loader worth it's weight in gold as far as I'm concerned. I have a 16hp LW -- makes short work of leaves.

    Also -- nice avatar. Try this one though, better resolution. :) Or, you can steal my new one!!!

  7. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Thanks for the advice and the avatar. I gotta confess.. I stole your old avatar! Go Sox!!
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    I knew ya did. I could tell by the poor resolution. It was all I could find. The new one is a little better.

  9. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    I'm with DFOR, $50 for 2 men per hour ($25 per man hour) IS NOT ENOUGH! We charge $45 per man hour for leaves & feel that is too low! TOO HARD OF WORK FOR $25 an hour! We make over $60 per man hour on mowing!

  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The fact that my leaf loader did not bring in a whole lotta revenue, and that it was nearly $3000 sitting around in my shop for 50 weeks of the year, led me to sell mine this year. Most of my leaf work is in areas where the city picks up. The outlying areas where it was most usefull, people weren't willing to pay accordingly to do removals. If the city gets rid of the leaf pick up service like it wants to next year, I will get a new loader and make another go of it, but right now it wasn't profitable. Sold it and didn't look back.

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