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How much will a large truck bed hold?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by allstar, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I am going to be doing leaf removal/fall cleanups using an Exmark Lazer Z w/Ultravac.I have a 16'X7' trailer and will be working solo,at least for awhile.I was thinking about sectioning off part of my trailer and putting the leaves in there or just putting them in the truck bed.Most of my jobs are probably going to be small to mid-sized residentials.How quickly would the truck bed of a F-250 or F-350 fill up?Would it hold one medium sized yard worth of leaves?I would think that emptying the back of a truck would be easier than the front half of a sectioned-off trailer.I could just drop off my trailer at my house,then go to the dump.Either way I'll probably be making alot of trips but can't think of any other way since I'm working alone.Can anybody help me with this?Thanks. Jim
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    Are the leaves going to be mulched??? if not, the bed will load up pretty quick, and you will spend alot of time raindancing in the bed to pack them down.
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I did a 12K sq ft property last year with about 5 full size trees and it filled my long bed up and there was no more room. I bidded some jobs where I was going to have to dump 4 or 5 times, needless to say that the customer was going to have to pay for my time to do this and I did not get the jobs.
  4. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    unless the leaves are going to be mulched, dont bother with the truck bed, although, since you are using a lazer with an ultra vac, I assume that they will be mulched. In that case, if its a "long bed" You should be able to fit in a mid sized or a few small residentials.

    good luck,
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Ok. Here's a solution to help you (and be practicle). The more they are mulched up, the better. But first, let's talk truck. A great way to go, is to build yourself some plywood sides to double your capacity of material you can haul. Simply rid one sheet, and you have 2 ft. sides added, and match the front. Do your measuring, and use some 2x4 (or 2x2 - 2x4 ripped in half, whichever matches your stakepockets). Make some corner braces out of some of the 2x you have left over. If you like, you can also turn this valuable outside space into advertisement area for Fall cleanups.
    Now, how to use it. For you, to get the maximum amount in ther, you can do it a couple of different ways. Some people mow it first without the vac, then go back and vacuum it all up. This helps the breakdown immensely. However, another way you could do it, if you think you're going to run into a borderline situation of not being able to fit all your material on the truck, would be to just dump all your leaves at the curb - close to the truck. Then, when you get your last vac full, leave the stuff in the bags, and back over your piles, turning them into dust. From here, you can empty your bags into the truck and either vacuum up the finely ground material, or just tarp it and put it into the truck. Also, just a hint; when you already have some material in the back of your truck, and you're emptying the bags, you will be loading your truck from the back at the tailgate, so just get into the habit of throwing all three bags into the back, then climb up in so you can empty them. Don't do the "leaning over the gate" thing to empty them, as it causes strain on your back, and you have to eventually get in and push all the material forward, anyway. I hope this helps, and good luck with it.
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Yeah I would definitely recommend building up the sides on your truck. Also as stated mulching would make a huge difference. I have learned not to go by the size of the property, but by how many leaves. We use a 14' dump with 6 1/2' sides (24 yds of leaves full) and we pack the sucker out in a day. Sometimes on only 2 houses. :cool:

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