How to make leaf removals quicker and more profitable?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smallstripesnc, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    I use a stand on.

    if not thick enought transport position does mulch them enough for the second pass. on most yards I can get all the leaves in the catcher on the second pass without having to empty the catcher until the end.

    so I make the first pass then empty the catcher then make a second pass empty the catcher and I'm gone.
  2. maelawncare

    maelawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Ditto. For me when I was solo, backpack blower and leaf plow is what I did. Clean out beds and blow the leaves into big straight lines. Then push to road and bag what is left. Then vac up into the trailer and go.
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    I am pretty sure the giant vac 16 hp are a 10 inch hose. I own 2 20hp vacs and those are 12 inch hoses and the difference is quite amazing on a 10 inch hose the opening is 78.5 sq inches but on a 12 which is just 2 inches larger its a staggering 113 sq inches. And of course that makes for a lot fewer clogs

    Dream would be to get the monsters with the 18 inch hose and 254.34 sq inches

    We seldom use rakes on out piles its one guy backing up the truck and one guy on the hose. Now if its wet and heavy the guy in the truck will end up out side helping to break up the leaf pile. But if its dry or even just moist the 20 hp vac will eat through that like its not even there.

    Now when use to go to a dealer up state he was telling me a story about a company they sold a 25 hp version too. And when they were done with a pile for some reason they got distracted and left the vac on full rpm. Any ways they heard a big impact on the impeller a few mins later and thought little of it until the home owner came out looking for her poodle.
  4. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    The interesting thing in this thread is the guys making money doing leaf cleanups have a strict system in place revolving around what works best for them and their route. This goes to show you there is no 'perfect way' and is heavily dependent on numerous factors.
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yup, I have no question you know what you're doing Kelly.

    I do use the wheel blower once I'm out in fairly level open areas, for pitching into the woods and through gates and such. But since I got my Husky 580 I use it a lot less. The power is pretty amazing and the control almost makes up for having less power than the wheel blower. Granted I only have a 10HP unit. I get a cleaner blow with the backpack too, and I can move the pile from the front as well. Generally what I do is sweep the heavy accumulations forward and then scour up to the "pile", push it ahead a bit and repeat. This can be done without a lot of footwork. Often I just stand in one spot and swing an arc with the tube, since I tend to move my leaves as a front rather than a pile anyway. Probably 80% of my accounts are "blow to woods" jobs.

    What's driving me nuts this year is the number of sticks mixed in from the hurricane. Being down on the shore too I'm sure you know what I mean. I got 4 barrels of sticks off a 5,000 sq ft account yesterday and that was without anything big down..damn Norway Maples shed like crazy! In fact my son is out back with about a dozen friends burning them now...little bonfire party before he goes back to college tomorrow.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Bingo! Do we have any prizes we can award? :laugh:
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    Yea the sticks are killing us this year I even find trees knocked over on lawns we go to, and have to find out if they want us to remove them. I running 3 trucks this season I have a 89 gmc 3500 with a 16 yard box and a 20 hp swing away. The employees ride in that I am driving a 2011 crew cab ram 4500 and I have a 15 yard box on that and a tow behind 20 hp vac. And my partner is driving a 2012 crew ram 4500 and he towing our 16 ft trailer and we use his truck for sticks and we have to empty it every single day. What I love about the twin boxes is just because our box is 3/4 full and its late doesn't mean we have to head home with an hour of light left we can usually find another clean up. Also on weekends it helps a lot in the past we would often max out the leaf truck on Saturday but our dump closed at 3 and if we missed we were screwed for Sunday.
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'm lucky to be able to dump leaves and sticks out back at my place. I haul big brush loads to the dump, but the small ones I don't mind bringing home. I have a number of different piles depending on exactly what it is. The ground up leaves from my mowers composts pretty quickly and wifey loves it for the veggie garden.
  9. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 731

    How do yall go about cleaning out the beds and borders that are full of vines, and english ivy? I've been looking at backpack blowers lately, and that seems to be everyones answer for the most part. I had an old blower vac that I am currently using, but I hate it.

    Do the back pack blowers clear the leaves out of viney beds and get them out into the yard? If so, i can mow them up from there, and deal with them i think.
  10. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    A back pack makes the job easier but it is still work getting them out of the ground cover. The back pack gets the deep ones out better than a handeheld & really shines when blowing leaves that are on top of ground cover as you are getting them out. My technique for ground cover is alternating between moving the blower tube in a small circular motion & moving the tip up & down. Both circular & up/down are fast motions not slow, it seems to agitate the leaves up out of the cover
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