Leaf Loader Boxes...

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by BlackCloudDiesel, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. BlackCloudDiesel

    BlackCloudDiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I just bought a 150hp Tarco leaf loader, to tow behind my medium duty dump truck this fall. Thought about adding taller sides, and a roof to my existing dump box. Or I also thought about building a complete box that sits in my dump bed if I take the tail gate off. Just wondering if I can get some pics and/or suggestions about building a box that works well.

    I know I need lots of vents too... expanded metal mesh sides and roof instead of plywood? Dump box is 14' long, with 3' high sides. I'd like to add another 5 or 6 feet to the height of the sides?

    What do you guys do when you have to go dump? Is hooking up the leaf loader hard when it comes to getting everything lined up perfectly so the chute is flush with the back door of the truck?

    Thanks in Advance!
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    I think you can write of plywood with that beast. I use 20 hp vacs and they split 2x4s and cause tons of issues with plywood every fall I think with what you bought you want a custom made metal box.

    As for height you would want the box at-least 6 feet but more does tend to look a little scary also what do the bridges look like where your at. We have tons of low railroad bridges here some as low as 9ft 8 and for that reason we keep our boxes at 10 it allows us to go under most of them.

    Now on to the unit its a tow behind so is the intake hose on the side or in the back. If its on the side you just drive along the pile. But if its in the back you gotta back up to the pile which is a pain in the ass. I was running 2 vacs last year one was a swing away gave me some nice maneuverability the other was a tow behind. My solution for the jack knife issue was rather cute I created 2 heavy chains that could be attached when I wanted to back up and I added 2 heavy U shaped spots on the T of the hitch set up so I could chain them and prevent the vac from freely turning when I backed up. There was also the pain of setting the discharge shoot up each time we found it was only something we did on large piles if it was a small lawn we used the swing away and it would have the pile sucked up before we could even have the other truck ready to start.
  3. BlackCloudDiesel

    BlackCloudDiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I'll take some pics of the leaf loader and the Sterling dump truck today. The leaf loader doesn't have a "hose" that mounts into the back of the truck. It has a 18" wide metal tube, that would in theory slide into the back of my taller dump box.

    The vac that I have looks like an older version of the Tarco "Windy 2008" series leaf loader. Mine has a large intake hose, but the exhaust is a metal tube not a hose like the one on their website.


  4. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 681

    Build your box as big as you can. And where the loader shoots into the back of the dump cut a square hole 2'x2'. Now go to tractor supply or use old conveyor belting and use that to overhang each side of your square about 6". Now this will leave you with an area to get the hose in that will reduce the amount of blowout when sucking. Once your box gets near full you will have to idle down the loader.

    I run a 90hp odb and love it. Use a over the road mesh tarp for the roof, Place plywood towards the back end of the dump body on the under side of the tarp, the force of the material being blown in will eat right through the tarp, the plywood prevents that. The tarp will do all the breathing you need, only dry oak leaves will have a fine powder come out, steal mesh lets out way to much material.

    On roof height, Play it safe. Find the max height you can go without having any problems and just live with it even if its not the most capacity by DOT standard. (ie, lowest bridge in town, buildings you service that have a low overhang) The employees will somehow forget and cause far more problems than making an extra dump run.

    I've never had any problems backing up, just put some plow markers on the back sticking out as you may have seen done with tree chippers. Makes it easy.

    Backcloud, feel free to pm me if you would like I have some time today and can give you a ring and give you a ton of tips and tricks or answer questions.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  5. EA Quinn

    EA Quinn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    We have that same model debris loader and the key to getting it just right is to have plenty of venting in the top. We have had to rebuild the top to our can twice because the first top blew right apart (that was plywood and metal grate). The new top we put on is strictly metal galvanized mesh grates with one piece of solid metal towards the cab. We find when the leaves are dry we can only run at 1/2-3/4 throttle. Its a great machine, and I am sure you will be very happy with it. I would recommend building the biggest box possible with as much venting as possible.

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