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Leaf Season?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Hardcore5657, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Hardcore5657

    Hardcore5657 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I no its months away but do I spend $3000 on a grasshopper vac system (which my dealer would install on my bobcat procat) or spend a $1000 on a couple of the new redmax 8500's? What should I do is the vac system worth 3G? Or just use tarps and back pack blowers??
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Tarps????? What the hell are those. I'm not sure what the Grasshopper system is but if its anything like a truck mounted leaf/debris vac it will save hours and hours of time loading leaves!! When we bought our BillyGoat loader we paid around 2800 bucks and I bet it save that much in labor in 2 fall clean up seasons.
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,657

    So your asking if you should have a collection system on your mower and somehow think that will do all your clean up for you. I don't think NJ is that different from CT fall clean up wise. And up here there is a lot more to it then bagging a lawn that doesn't even work once the leaves fall your fill the mower up so quickly your never get done on some lawns. We use the collection systems on the mowers to give a finish look after we have blown off the lawn. And that is done with back packs and ground blowers as well as leaf plows and tarps in fenced in areas the plow cant go. Then if it goes in the woods great but if you need to take it your gona want a truck loader and a leaf box. Lot to think about you can spend 15k or perhaps just a back pack and a tarp and a rake. So figure out how you want to handle the clean ups first then buy what you think you will need.
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    Ultimately you will need both. But I used to do cleanups without a mower collection system, I just used blowers/tarps. Then mowed after with Walk-behind mower with a steel bagger as a final sweep.

    You can do cleanups in the Northeast without the vac system, but you can't do them without blowers.
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I'm right in between this. I have a power bagger for my Scag. It takes longer to get them all chopped up bagging for sure. My next buy will be a leaf loader and material to build a large box. :)

    Previously posted pic.
  6. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,337

    If you don't have a leaf loader you're wasting tons of money! I traded a old broken mower for it 5yrs ago and haven't regretted it since!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If you have the proper equipment, a leaf loader does work great...but it does require you to have the right stuff to make it work efficiently. Having a dump trailer or dump insert, a good walk behind leaf blower, back pack blower, etc., is just about required to make having a leaf loader efficient.

    I use a power bagger on my Deere (14 bushel model) and it works fine for me. Even through the fall I clean up my properties once a week, it makes it so much easier on me. I've done it this way for years and never had a problem. Its a little tougher on lawns that the customer waits all season to call you to come clean up the leaves but then you just charge accordingly.

    I've owned a 20hp leaf loader before and it just didn't work for me, mainly because I didn't have the right equipment put together to make it worth my while. I used it for a season and sold it off over the winter.
  8. alanauer

    alanauer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Grasshopper has two hoppers, 15 and 25 cu. ft. I have the larger one. It works, but:

    You pull a lever from the seat and it opens the rear door. But I still have to pull the collected material out by hand, and it's not easy to hold the heavy door open while doing this.

    You need a place to dump the collection. With other brands you can lift the hopper way up and dump it into a pickup.

    As big as it is, it still fills up faster than you expect (it chops the leaves only a little bit). It's hard to tell when it's getting full. It gets heavy, and the traction of ZTs is limited at best.

    How sure is the dealer that a Grasshopper collector will fit a Bobcat? It has to match st the deck, at two attachments for the collection tube, and both the main connector and two swing-limiting belts for the towing.

    The hopper is heavy and there are no grab handles to wrestle it on or off, and no stand to hold it when it's off.
  9. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    buy both. Tarps suck.

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