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Huge pile of leaves

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiggazee, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. tiggazee

    tiggazee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Whats up all. 22, 2nd year doing this. Will you guys please tell a newbie the best way to get a huge pile of leaves up with little equipment. The pile of leaves are about 15 feet by 20 feet and about 3 feet high. The equipment I have includes .... trash bags and a trash can. HaHa. No fancy equipment for this yet. Does any body know any tricks or anything?
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    What is the disposition of the leaves? Do you need to haul away? Put at the curb?
  3. Cuttinitclose

    Cuttinitclose LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,015

    Start baggin!

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    all depends what you need to do with the leaves, if your disposing of them on site we sometimes usea big ass tarp and drag em, if were hauling away we use our leaf truck and suck em up.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    what i do is mulch the pile down with the mowers rake onto a tarp and will pull the tarp on the trailer. just yesterday i had a pile like that at my house and mulched them up and then ran the bagger over the pile and only got 3 bagger fulls

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    i used to do that, but mulching big piles of leaves destroys your blades.
  7. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I am solo and just have my truck until I find a trailer I like.

    I have found some 9x9 green tarps at home depot that have rope all the way around them. $10 a piece

    Just pile as much leaves on the tarp as you can and grab the exposed rope at the corners and pull them up. It will cinch the tarp up around the leaves keeping them nice and neat. Then I used a small Tarp bungee. The ones with the ball on one end to tie up the rope and I just drag them to the truck.
    I have a couple wood ramps that I space apart and just drag the tarp of leaves up into the bed of the truck. If I have enough tarps for the job I'll just keep the leaves in the tarp but flip it upside down until i have all the tarps on the truck. Then I put one big tarp over the whole load and go to the dump!

    A lot better than bagging into trash bags or mulching!
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    You can't have much overhead with that set-up. Trash bags and a can are pretty basic and time consuming tools.

    How did these leaves end up in a measurable pile? At this point I would say you either invest in equipment (basic as a tarp up to a renting something that will pick this up) or you start shoving them into bags.

    I have to say that this pile should bave been mulched to dust when it originally fell but you don't have that luxury. Gators or atomics on a Z would make this go away in 5 to 10 minutes tops. You have a few hours or BS ahead of you. Good Luck.
  9. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    There's a guy here with a huge leaf trailer. We mulch and blow the stuff into pile(s) with the mowers near the curb and pay him to come remove them. We give him a time and he's always there on time.

    This is all this guy does besides blow mulch so far a lawn service goes. We also use him on large commercial mulch change outs. Once we have the beds ready and he shows up the job is done very quickly. He also owns a small track hoe and blade which we use for some landscaping alterations. Guy is maybe 60 or so and lost a leg in Vietnam. He's made a ton of money just doing these few things.

    As he's no "threat" to anyone, most of the other large guys also use him.

    We cannot remove leaves on our own and still make the margins we want. It's much more profitable for us to do it this way.

    Most customers have a "debris pile" in the back somewhere where leaves (mulched) get stashed if they want them picked up. Maybe 90% are just mulched and integrated back into the lawn as it cost them nothing extra IF they're getting regular service.

    Back in the day though..... I bagged em and toted them off. The problem is that someone comes along with the right equipment and he can blow you out of the water on price and still make more profit than you can. Here, leaf cleanup is just not that big a business for everyone to buy the equipment and have it sit all year.

    The guy I mentioned makes most of his money on orchard clean-ups. We have a hundred or so Pecan orchards down here, both large and small. Leaves foul up the harvesting equipment..He uses a modified "beach sweeper" to pick those up.

    His work is steady for about 4 months a year and then just jobs here and there the rest of the year but the guy is very well off... he makes a killing because he's so efficient.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,452

    One trick we learned is to take a trimmer(with guard off) and go right into the center of the pile and trim away. It will reduce the pile pretty darn quick and when you work from the center nothing can get away. Then mulch the rest of them up. Customer always like to rake them into piles and we could run mowers thru without either spreading them or.....use the trimmer trick.

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