How I Do Leaf Cleanups

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by corey4671, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Probably about an hour and 45 minutes. The helper is the son of friend. He helps me on occasion when I need an extra pair of hands when he's out of school. We had been out all day trimming shrubs and he was on cleanup detail. We did a couple of leaf jobs as well. I had piled these leaves in the video a few days earlier and when we got in at the end of the day I sucked the leaves up while there was still some daylight and had the trailer hooked up.
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  2. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    These leaves were dry as a bone and fluffy so they were easy to move. I have a 30 leaf rake from Lowes that works great
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  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    If it works for you that's fine. I'm just saying I think it's a lot easier to use a solid rake to move leaves. You can move a good sized pile with one stroke of a 36 inch aluminum landscape rake. I use ones with rounded teeth so I don't dig into the turf.
  4. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I have two of the rakes you're talking about. They're wide rakes for grading dirt and such. I might try it out next clean up.

    Thing is, for me, I bag them up with the mower. I ride around on the mower looking dumb for the first 15-20 minutes backing over the lawn in a random patten to bust up the leaves some. Then I start to bag them. I found that if I back over them, it doesn't really bag them that much until you move forward. It just windrows them in a pile. Makes it easy to get more in the bags.

    Corey, I asked about the time frame to contain all the leaves you were blowing around into a pile because I did a clean up a couple weeks ago about that same size. It took me just over 2hrs start to finish but I had them already loaded so I wouldn't need to come back. Plus you had someone helping you.

    I'm on the fence as to whether or not bagging them as you go versus blowing them into a pile and then loading them. I think it's a wash to be honest.
  5. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    Time wise I think it would be a bit faster using blowers vs baggers if the lawn and leaves are some what maintained. And depending on the bagging system. But I would think if you get in long grass you wouldn't get all the leaves out and still need to run a bagger over it after.
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  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I do the same. It can be a bit hazardous to the mower though if you have lawns with rocks and stumps sticking out than can be hidden by the leaves. Same thing with all the sticks that are down now from Hurricane Sandy...cost me a deck belt recently...stick got up in the pulley area and snapped it :( It also can be a problem if the leaves are wet. I think a leaf vac does better on wet leaves than a mower does. I sometimes dry the leaves a bit...hit them with the blower a couple of times to turn them and let them dry a little.

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,271

    Yeah I bag my clippings 100% of the time with High lift blades on the mowers at all times anyways, so I simply use the big mower and would just run over the lawn with a thin layer of leaves and the mower bags them up nicely.. That's how I do it, everyone has their own way of doing things, I try and choose the quickest, most efficient way possible when doing everything...
  8. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Keep in mind that if mulching leaves is a viable option, that is what I do. If there are woods to blow them to, that is what I do. The video was done for Homeowner Joe or Jane who just doesn't want to mess with leaves period. I have it posted on my website, Facebook and use it through my text marketing. This is not to say that I pile up leaves and haul them off of every single yard. As a matter of fact the one yard I have that pays me the most money gets mulched every week while the leaves are falling simply because it's a large open lawn where I have room to spread the leaves around.
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  9. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I use a QDS Ultra vac on 23 hp exmark. Dump 7 compacted bushels from seat. If you used one, you would only have to blow around the foundation, trees, and beds; add a leaf plow to the equation for heavy accumulation, and you could probably cut your time in half and fit more in a trailer load and have more energy at the end of the day. Just dump near where you will load them. Using it in reverse, as already stated helps chop large leaves down for easier collection. Also consider a front caster wheel on the blower and a front end mount to a ZTR. Mow, blow, and collect at the time time. If you used the QDS system, your pile would be 1/3 the size and would compost quicker. On large properties, we lay out several tarps for ease of dumping time the move the tarps with the mower to wherever we need them to be to save energy. All of our leaf jobs are 2 men 1 mower and full detail service.

    We don't use a loader, but dump on tarps and stack the tarps on top of each other in the front of the covered trailer for removal or have a compost area on site to move tarp loads to--this saves us fuel by not needing 2 visits or 2 trucks on site. This is the most efficient methods that I've discovered for handling leaves.

    I like the text ad; its very unique!
  10. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I love your video's.

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