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Efficient ways to do leaf cleanups?

Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
I am a teenager who operates a lawn care business in my neighborhood. As fall approaches I am looking into doing some leaf cleanups. Right now I’ve got a hustler XONEi, a BR800 and a smaller redmax backpack. I am wondering what the most effective way is to remove leaves. Most of the yards I would be taking care of are woody one acre yards... some even on very steep inclines. I am usually able to just dump the leaves somewhere on the property. I have tried tarp, blower and takes but it is so ineffective that I would have to charge nearly my annual mowing charge just to remove the leaves. I’m wondering if with my current equipment if there is a better way to do it. I would be open to buy some new equipment, but I wouldn’t be excited about dropping $3000 on a bagger.
 

rclawn

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Kansas City
I used to use the blower to blow all leaves off the fence and other obstacles. Then mow with mulching blades, making passes aiming the chute towards the middle where the tarp is. And drag tarp with mower to trailer.

But I always hated leaves, you would be better off doing mulch or something.
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
A bagger is by far the most way to do an acre yard. You’ll get more done by yourself with a bagger than 4 guys could do with backpack blowers. And that’s in good conditions. If the wind is blowing the wrong way which it usually is the blower guys might as well go home. Maybe a huge blower would be okay but backpack blowers don’t have the power to move big piles very far. Personally I hate removing leafs and being cold and wet doesn’t make the job any better.
 
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Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
I used to use the blower to blow all leaves off the fence and other obstacles. Then mow with mulching blades, making passes aiming the chute towards the middle where the tarp is. And drag tarp with mower to trailer.

But I always hated leaves, you would be better off doing mulch or something.
A bagger is by far the most way to do an acre yard. Anything else is about a joke. Maybe a huge blower would be okay but backpack blowers don’t have the power to move big piles very far. Personally I hate removing leafs and being cold and wet doesn’t make the job any better.
I sure get it, I hate moving leaves too. But if I can find something that pays $25 an hour during a slow time of year I’ll do it! I’ll try out that tarp method if I do decide to do cleanups. What do all of you think of a cyclone rake?
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
I sure get it, I hate moving leaves too. But if I can find something that pays $25 an hour during a slow time of year I’ll do it! I’ll try out that tarp method if I do decide to do cleanups. What do all of you think of a cyclone rake?
I’m not a fan. The bag swells around the frame and makes dumping a real hassle. I think the new ones are wider at the back. Maybe they’re better. One that rides on the back of the mower and self dumps is way better.
 

Toro44

LawnSite Member
We use stander mowers with accelerator baggers and a dump trailer. One guy blows leaves out of bed and away from obstacles the other is bagging them. The trick is letting the bag fill, then running them all over to mulch them, then go back over them and bag them. It really reduces the amount of bags. Leaf removal is expensive, but the alternative in a homeowners mind is a rake and a lot of bags.
 

MNLawns

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
MN
We mainly just blow everything. We get paid hourly $80/mh
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
We use stander mowers with accelerator baggers and a dump trailer. One guy blows leaves out of bed and away from obstacles the other is bagging them. The trick is letting the bag fill, then running them all over to mulch them, then go back over them and bag them. It really reduces the amount of bags. Leaf removal is expensive, but the alternative in a homeowners mind is a rake and a lot of bags.
I usually haul 2 mowers especially to big jobs. I take the not bagger and much less clumsy mower through and mulch everything and put them in windrows and then take the bagger mower through. Having the leafs chopped up and having most of the grass cut significantly reduces the volume of the leafs. Another benefit is I can probably sufficiently mulch half of them further reducing the volume.
 

Hvlc

LawnSite Member
I use a variety of stuff depending on the property

Agrifab trailer vac behind my hustler
Bagger on my 54” John deere
Giant leaf bag on smaller tractor
Giant bag on my ybravo
Variety of vacs(little wonder, billy goat,etc)
Blowers

leaf paws are awesome too

I use giant mulch bags then empty them into my dump trailer


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