first leaf season, this the fastest way?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by jvgkaty, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. jvgkaty

    jvgkaty LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    right now i am blowing all leaves from beds, driveway etc into grass. then im mowing over them with my walk behind until whats left is in a pile in the center. then im attaching bag to walk behind and picking them up. i know there is other equipment out there for this but thats not an option right now. so hows my technique? any other things i could be doing? thanks
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yes, the fastest way is the way you are doing it, I like your method... And it may sound like I'm being a smartass but I'm not, there is simply no other way to do leaves other than getting in there and doing them, there might be a better way but with leaves the hard way is the easy way, only over the years do we get the experience we need to get it done even faster but it just takes time...

    So learn from it, best you can.
    It will help you next year.
    And the year after, and so on.
    That's been my experience.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Experience, experience, experience ... I've been doing this for 17 years, and keep changing the "how" all the time. I shudder at how I was doing some tasks, even a few years ago. I always look for more efficient ways, and often find them. I did things this season I have never done before, and was more productive.

    You have a start, but most likely, in five years, you will look back, "Was I really doing that?"

    Normally, I am a very structured, disciplined individual. I do things the same way, time after time, looking to be more productive this time than the last. However, with leaves, I abandon some of that thinking, and never do the same property the same way twice. Each visit has something unique that means the strategy is different.
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Thats the way I do them, blow them all to the middle pass then bag.
    Unless you have a nice bag system for a Z then just bag straight out.
  5. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,529

    You will change your method every year.... It s the strangest thing!! I ve been at it for 13 years and every year a bit different. YOu are doing welll
  6. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    For what equipment you have, you're doing it about as efficient as possible.
  7. CutterCutter

    CutterCutter LawnSite Member
    from WV
    Messages: 76

    It's true that new methods will occur to LCO's as time goes by. Seems to be especially true with leaves.

    If there's a bunch of leaves in beds I'll rake them into the yard and run over them with my riding mower with the mulch plug attached. I'll get what's left in the beds, curbs, etc. with my handheld Husqvarna leaf vaccum. The leaf vaccum eliminates the problem of wind blowing leaves around after they have been raked.

    Had a job the other day where a good method was to rake into pile, lift from the pile into a large plastic garbage can, press down to compact, then place can onto back of truck, drive truck to other side of building and dump contents into dumpster. Worked like a charm.
  8. gszczepanik

    gszczepanik LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Surprised to hear so many making so little money. I am a new company with 2012 being the first full-time year in business, but I am not new to landscaping and property care. Last year, operating part-time, I blew leaves, tarped, and trailered the leaves away. I put plywood sides on my 18 foot trailer and regularly filled it to the brim. It was tough work, unloading was aweful, and the whole process inefficient and minimally profitable. This year I invested in an 18 hp leaf loader, as well as a walk behind blower. Both of which are invaluable. I can't imagine running without them ever again. My set-up is simple but efficient and effective. My '08 Toyota Tundra has a painted plywood box on the back with a loose piece of plywood and a chain in the back for unloading. My leaf loader has a 25 foot full size tube for increased range, and is mounted on wheels for the rare times I cannot get my trailer into a convenient spot. I can wheel it out and park it right next to the truck, or in some cases I will put the leaf loader near a fence or other barrier and just suck/blow the leaves to the final resting spot. With the walk behind leaf blower I can easily blow a sizable pile of leaves anywhere I want, be it 20 feet or across an entire yard. Once I suck them up into the truck, as long as I have a fixed point (like a big oak tree), I attach the chain to it and drive forward. The plywood catches 90% of the debris and pulls it right out of the truck. A dump truck would be ideal but my Toyota is a heck of a lot less expensive. This set-up works well, and generally leaves me the bulk of my 18' trailer for equipment, rather then having a second truck and trailer at the site. As for pricing, if I am not getting at least $80 to $100 per hr for 2 guys then I am not happy. We're hauling butt though and my guys are incentivized based on productivity.
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Your comments seem contradictory.

    This was my problem -- trailer for leaves, or equipment....?

    Much of what you say sounds like a great program.
  10. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Agreed. A walk behind is inefficient, but your method is probably the best for its use. We use a ZTR with ultra vac and work very efficiently with it, but also had to invest about 15k in the machine with it's bells and whistles. Its always a good idea to carry lots of tarps when you are able to dump debris on site--even during a haul away, we'll fill up tarps with mulched clippings until moderately heavy, and stack them on top of each other on the trailer for quick unloading. We can fit a lot of clippings and tarp loads in our covered trailers.

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