Leaf Vacuums worth the Investment?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ottawa Lawn and Yard, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Mowing monkey.

    Mowing monkey. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    Probably more like 50 feet in the worst conditions. Whatever it is it’s still way faster than blowing that volume of leafs. And you’d probably get more reduction putting them through the mower first. I could go 1 lap on this yard with my bagger.

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  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I charge ala carte for residential clients most of the time, I'm running 2 pieces of equipment, hooked together, so I figure 50% added to a cut. It also depends on leaf coverage. If a person waits for all of them to fall in January, 5x the price of a cut, maybe more. Wet leaves are hard on equipment and HEAVY.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Ottawa Lawn and Yard

    Ottawa Lawn and Yard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    That's good to know, you definetely have the appropriate equipment. I should add a percentage of my cuts for a leaf job as well. Thanks again tobylou8, I appreciate your feedback
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Ottawa Lawn and Yard

    Ottawa Lawn and Yard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks RigglePLC, I appreciate your feedback, and you're quite creative LOL
     
  5. G-Jacobsen

    G-Jacobsen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    I have used the billy goat lawn vacuums and whe I was a one man operation I thought they would help me. They are great when you can blow dry leaves out to the street and suck them up. They do not work well with little sticks and debris because they clog easily and uneven terrain isn't ideal either even with a self propelled. Wet leaves, no good. The bags are usually large and heavy to deal with once full. For the amount that you can rake onto a tarp and throw in the trailer is 4 times faster IMO. Just don't get too large of a tarp or you will struggle to lift it. I haven't had a mower bagger setup because we don't have enough large yards in New Mexico and I never bought a ride on mower but that seems to be the way to go.
     
    No gloves likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Ottawa Lawn and Yard

    Ottawa Lawn and Yard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks G-Jacobsen, I appreciate the fact that you actually have a lot of experience using the Billy Goat, I agree with you the mower bagger is the way to go but sometimes you just can't, either if the property is to small or cant' get through the gates ect. Do you have a rate you charge for taking the leaves away and dumping them?
     
  7. G-Jacobsen

    G-Jacobsen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Well it depends on the convenience center location, cost per load etc. You have to factor in the time to go to the dump, whether you unload by hand or have a dump trailer, and cost per load based on your trailer size. For example, my 12x8x3 dump trailer costs 10.5 per load, Ill spend between 20-30 minutes on average, with drive time maybe 45 minutes. I would say do the $10.5+hourly rate($50x.75)=$48. So around $50 to haul and dump including dump fees. That could go up depending on your location and factors.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ottawa Lawn and Yard

    Ottawa Lawn and Yard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I'm in the middle of purchasing a 6x10 trailer, i don't need one that size but for the price I'm jumping on it. One of my clients took the leaves out to the city dump himself and he only paind $15 for an 800lb load, i'm not sure if that's accurate or not, but it was alot. I would def need a second set of hands if I were to go the Tarp route, but it does sound like it would be a little faster than the leaf vacuums. I appreciate how you break down the cost per load and travel time. One last question, do you still use the Billy Goat?, i'm torn between the Billy Goat, DR or Troy Built. Thank you once again.
     
  9. CJ's Mowing Service

    CJ's Mowing Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    Did my first job with it today. Did pretty well. I’d imagine a Billy Goat Or something similar with a larger engine (this is 159cc) May do a little better, but it worked fine for me. I had hoped to bag it, but found it a pain to try to get bagged, so just dumped it in the back of the truck. Threw some sticks in the chipper part, chewed them right up. Vacuum hose is a little odd...I took it off until I needed it. It did really well. It is not self propelled, so in a thick lawn or on hills it could get tough.

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  10. OP
    OP
    Ottawa Lawn and Yard

    Ottawa Lawn and Yard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    WOW!! that's pretty amazing, let me know how it works if the leaves are a little wet. I was just looking into the DR models today, they seem pretty nice. The job you did look very nice as well.BTW, that's an amazing machine.
     

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