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Leaf Loader Question?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by greengiant9963, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. greengiant9963

    greengiant9963 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 762

    Looking to possibly add a leaf loader to the equipment list for next season. I know they handle leaves well but how are they with sucking up grass. Would it clog easy? We bag around 60% of are lawns and thought it would be alot easier to suck the grass up and blow it into the dump rather than lug heavy bags over the side of the ezdump. We have a dump from the seat on one of the Z's now for leaves. Any opinions would be appreciated. Looking at around a 18 horse power unit.
  2. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,338

    This is where the Quote: "The bigger the better" really comes into play.
    I say buy the biggest one your budget can handle. I will say an 18 is going to get you buy but if you get a 23 or even a 26HP you will enjoy picking up grass and leaves.

    I started off with a 18 LW loader...Im my opinion IT Was horrible/ sucked< No pun intended.

    Now that we have the 26 we have never looked back. :weightlifter:

    Its great because the bigger HP the more versatile it is. With the 26 you can suck up grass and leaves with little to no effort. Also you can even offer a service of picking up curb side piles...Only problem with this is HO's like to mix sticks, garbage, and other crap into the pile.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah, but you have to figure in the cost of the gloves you lost while trying to remove a stick from the intake chute, lol.
  4. lakesregionscapes

    lakesregionscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Our 16hp Lesco doesn't do very well with straight green grass clippings, but it does get them on board with a bit of fluffing with a foot or rake - mix in a few dry leaves and there is no problem at all. It needs a little more surface area to get a hold of a bit of debris than the average blade of grass offers; some leaves in the mix seem to make all the difference. We have a process for twiggy messes too: as soon as it starts to stick, suck up a glob of leaves and "presto" it's all clear.
  5. greengiant9963

    greengiant9963 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 762

    Just bumping up this thread. Going to try and find a good used leaf loader this winter. All the mowers have dump from seat baggers so really trying to find a quick way to get the grass from the mower to the dump on the truck. Are there any company's on here that use leaf loaders year round for grass and leafs?
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Green grass does not pick up very easy. I had a 16 HP unit. I used a manure fork and pitched it on.
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,685

    Intake hose is what you want to look at not the hp. A 10 inch intake hose which is the norm on 13-18hp units has an opening of 78 sq inches. You move up to a 12 inch intake and that jumps massively to 113 sq inches. The bigger your intake the less you will clog. Now if you want to go crazy get one with an 18 inch intake those 254 sq inches can eat a person.
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Intake hose diameter is designed in relation to HP and air flow. The standard hose length is 10' . If one was going to load grass all season, they should have a short hose for a more direct flow to eliminate dead space in the pipe where the grass settles. This is going to create another problem, they are going to have to have a box on the truck to blow into.
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,685

    Sounds as if your confusing length of hose which I never commented on with diameter which I have a lot of experience on. And for the record my 10 foot long 12 inch hose on my 20 hp giant vac eats grass clippings with 0 trouble. When we finish the clean up and give the final cut the trac vac barrels are dumped into the pile of leaves next to the truck loader which eats through our 44 gallon barrel of grass in 5-10 seconds.
  10. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I'm not confused with any part of your post. I have many years experience with lawn care and truck loaders. What I do know is there is dead air space in 10' long loader hoses that are 16 HP and under. I simply stated that if someone was going to use a loader to suck up green grass on an every day biases it would be to their benefit to use a shorter hose to eliminate the dead air space of a long hose. How short of a hose would depend on how their loader is set up. I'm glade to hear that you are happy with your 20 HP loader. How long is your intake hose. A 20 HP loader is over kill for the average lawn care set up

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