I just came up with an amazing idea! (but I guarantee I'm not the first)

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Armsden&Son, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Ladies and Gentleman,
    Good evening... I know it's the wrong season for leaf cleanup talk but ideas have no sense of time so here it goes.... Currently running my own business but my old boss(mentor) and I always used to rack our brains thinking of a better way to do fall cleanups... We were always using Walkers and Tarps as we didn't have a leaf loader. We were constantly stomping down the leaves in the dump bed compressing them(Stomp Party!) Why didn't we use a loader? We felt it was just an extra step in the process.. Why bring all the leaves to the curb and dump them for the loader operator?... Why not just put them in the dump with tarps and barrells straight from the yard? Now, don't get me wrong.. we probably had this mentality because we couldn't afford a leaf loader! haha... I mean, I have seen crews knocking out jobs with leaf loaders... I know they are efficient(2-3 guys bringing/blowing/plowing the leaves to the front and another guy loading)..However, I am currently a 1 man show and there is no way in heck that I am going to spend 2 hours gathering leaves, just to spend another hour sucking them into the bed/box.
    I am a true believer in tarping the heavy stuff, then using my walker to grab all the rest.. But here's the question... Any tarp that is big enough to be worth tarping leaves in the first place is inevitably too heavy and too cumbersome for me to get into my truck by myself(2003 f350 superduty 10ft. dump bed) And believe me, I have tried everything... Ropes through the grommets, pulling the tarp up a ramp into the bed.. Nothing has worked as efficiently as I want.
    But then today...... Lightbulb! Why not just install one of those little winch operated crane/jibs? I could mount it on a little stand in the very back of my dump bed, make sure I have the boom length to be able to lift a tarp and clear my tailgate, and finally, just throw some carabiners or something else through the grommets on a heavy duty tarp and BOOM! Problem Solved! I think it would be usefull for other things as well... Stumps/ trees/bigger stones/equipment/materials/random junk that people always inevitably ask you to take("I know that you are my landscaper but can't I just pay you to get rid of these old washers and dryers and ovens that have been behind my garage since 1986")
    So, come on folks..... hit me with it! Have you had the same idea? The same problem? Do you have this set-up currently? If you do, got pictures? Do you think I'm an idiot? Won't work? Thank you in advance for your consideration and feedback..
  2. Woodman1

    Woodman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333


    Great minds...
    I was just looking at leaf boxes that I have saved pictures of.
    I think that this would work really well. I built something VERY similar for a customer who was paralized a number of years ago. It had to be able to lift his wheel chair above his bedrail and then turn it into his bed of his truck. I don't have any pics, but I know there have to be tons of them by now for that purpose. (Don't tell any of them what you are thinking about doing with it or they will add an extra 15% because thats not what it was intended to do!!!!
  3. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    Sounds like a good idea to me. You've got plenty of time at this point to rig it up and fine tune it before we're back to the leaf cleanup season.

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    seems like a lot of money to spend on a winch. How much are those things. couple thousand for a decent one that will lift 500-1000 lbs of wet leaves?
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,259

    I would just get a leaf loader, there is a reason every medium to large company uses them, they are the most efficient way of doing the job.
  6. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    You know, I was thinking big bucks too but I have seen a "Vestil Winch Crane" online for only 400.00!!!!!! This one will lift 1000 with the boom fully extended.... Now, understand that it's not just a winch but a crane/with boom as well... The winch is hand operated which is most likely why it is cheaper... And it's more about the fact that a fully loaded tarp is cumbersome rather than heavy you know? I mean, I'm not claiming I could lift a grand by myself but i could absolutely crank that handle by myself..... jump up in the bed.... swing that boom over... unhook 2 of the grommets... done!
    P.S.. Hey there Zechstoker, I used to live in Pacific Beach, Sandiego.... I used to see a lot of crews out there using Walkers... Is that the case around Modesto?
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,259

  8. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 928

    How do you mount those I wonder?
  9. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Thanks so much for the replies so far everyone! And thanks for the link there knox gsl... That is actually the exact one that I was looking at... I definitely know that a good leaf loader is mucho efficient, even with only 2 guys... However, I plan on running solo for the next couple of years and I can't stand the thought of doing it that way... I mean, am I crazy? Hear me out here though...... Here is my line of thought.... To me, it doesn't make any sense to rake/plow/tarp all the leaves towards the truck first, then sit there loading them with the vaccum... (of course if you have 2 guys or more, 1 guys can stay at the truck vacumming while the other(s) keep bringing him leaves) But with just me, it seems that it would be plenty more efficient to be loading the truck as I go.... For instance.... Say it's something like a half acre property, you got some big maples... big oaks.. I could bang out something like 5 big tarp loads(carabiners through the grommets will allow me to tow the tarp with my Walker as well as hook up to the hook on the crane) Real quick back and forth... hooking up, winching and unloading into the bed. Then, whatever is left will be no match for the old Walker Diesel GHS 52 in. (i really, really love her) hahaha..
    Good question there dstifel..... There is this guy Todd in my neck of the woods that runs a hydraulic shop and he is a genius welder( i know, i know, I'm learning ok? So what if my beads look like a blob of melted chocolate!) And I was thinking instead of mounting to the actual bed of my dump, maybe having him weld up a little platform/stand on the side of the dump bed.... as far back as possible. This way it wouldnt' be in the way in the dump and I could also get the necessary height and boom length to swing a huge a$$ tarp full of leaves(money) into it.. Shoot, I wonder if DOT would have a problem with that...
  10. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    It's "Walker City" around here once all these guys start receiving their tax returns. I distinctly recall last year... seemed like everytime I saw someone's enclosed trailer with the gate down, there was always a Walker in there.

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