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How to move a debris pile ...? (pics included)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Roger, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    The season is rounded down, but I had one customer that asked me about loading out a debris pile from his backyard. It was a pile accumulating from leaves, grass clippings, ornamental grass, hosta cuttings, dead plants, Christmas tree, and branches/limbs that had fallen from trees in the yard. It was all mixed together. This made it difficult to handle.

    The pile had to be loaded out to my trailer, parked on the street, about 220 feet away. There is no way to reach the pile with pickup/trailer. Also, the path of travel was steeply sloped in some places, but not a major uphill travel on the outward direction. The entire pile was about 5 cu yds.

    My question: What is the best way to get this pile out to the trailer?

    I know it sounds pretty corny to ask the question. However, having wood and leaves mixed together made it neither a leaf pile to move, nor made it a pile of sticks to drag to the trailer. Some of the leaves had been there for a couple of years.

    I used an old chain saw to cut through the pile to make length manageable for loading into a wheelbarrow. My primary loading tool was a 4-tined pitchfork. I could push the wheelbarrow to the trailer for dumping, of forking out onto the pile on the trailer. The wood branches varied from 1" diamter, to 6-7" diameter. Some were partially rotten, some very sound wood.

    The chain in the saw dulled quickly, making cutting the wood difficult. The short lengths were able to be forked, or manually loaded to the wheelbarrow.

    Is there a better way? I spent over six hours loading out today. I keep thinking there must be an easier way.

    I have more pics if needed.





  2. Mr. Big

    Mr. Big LawnSite Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 31

    I would use a mini skid steer like Toro Dingo with a bucket.

    You'd be home in time for lunch.
  3. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    I have to agree with Mr. Big and I hope you've priced this right. I'd rent a skid steer or bob cat type of loader. Or......try to find someone ( a friend in this business) with a loader and a dump truck or trailer, then split the job. (Costs and profits) This stuff won't be easy to off load either.

    That path and a wheelborrow will make an old man out of you or worse get you hurt.
  4. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    That sucked, didn't it!!!
    I would have got my 4-wheeler and hooked up the biggest trailer that would fit in that area and loaded it up. That way I wouldn't have to pay for equipment rental. But the mini skid steer idea is the way to go.
  5. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    1 qt Gulf lighter fluid. 1 Bic lighter, Voila! :)
  6. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I built a 4 in 1 for my bucket.
    I made it custom to my needs. Deere makes 2 types, and I built mine to do both. I need to take a picture of it, the next time I have it hooked on.
    4 pins, and its off.

    I could have that complete pile gone in about 3 minutes.
  7. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Seriously, about 2 trips, and it would have been gone.
    Reach in, grab it, drive it out, dump.
  8. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    I would have handled it somewhat like you did. Chainsaw and all. Sticks and debris mixed can be a bear.
    I have a garden tractor with a trailer with extended sides and I use it for this kind of stuff. A skid loader would work very well but then you have rental cost. I'm too lazy to use a wheel barrow for this kind of job.
    Just from the pics I'd probably do it for $350.00 plus dump fee. Hard to tell from just pics though.
    Usually I walk away from this kind of stuff unless there is a hole in my schedule. I get a few every year where, "We already raked the leaves into a pile so it should be easy for you to carry away.". Usually they pile the leaves on top of a pile of branches and other debris.

    There are people, hillbillies, who would do it for $100.00 or less.
  9. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    lay a trap on the ground, put trash on tarp ..and PULL by hand, or using 4wheeler, or mower
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    This sounds like the best approach to me ... depending on whether there is a local ordinance restricting open burning !!

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