Streamlining Spring Cleans

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jmk007, Feb 21, 2000.

  1. jmk007

    jmk007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I'm currently putting together my budget and equipment list for this season. I need to find the right equipment to speed the spring & fall cleans along while saving my back! I have some pretty nasty lawns to clean (Large and lots of leaves). I'm leaning towards getting a large lawn tractor to pull a big trac-vac bagger. (This lawn tractor would have double duty as I would use it to prep seed beds (tiller) in new housing developments so I can seed or sod. Along with this tractor and trac-vac I was thinking about getting a leaf loader for my truck (Loading leaves into the truck by hand really wears a guy out!). I saw one in landscapers supply mag. for around 1500.00 bucks. Is anyone using something similar? In the past, we have used 2, 48&quot; Toro mowers with grass gobblers attached and I just can't go another season with that back-breaking method. I'm currently bidding on some large commercial properties (1.5 - 3.5 acres) and if I use my current equipment I'll never be competitve! In my situation, considering what I will use the tractor for, would you consider this set-up appropriate or are there better and equally economical avenues? If this seems like a good equipment consideration, are there any products to be wary of? What do some of you other small to medium businesses do to keep competitive with this labor intensive task? Thanks for your input.<br>
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Here is our strategy on heavy leaf lawns.<br>1. blow out all leaves, all of them from everywhere.<br>2. Mulch all the leaves as much as possible, sometimes, depending on the type of leaf, that is enough, if not we used my little lawn tractor to vacuum the rest up.<br>3. Blow again anything that got kicked around .<br>4. Run over lawn again with bagger.<p>We have gotten pretty good at fall work, having a machine that mulches good is a big plus.<br>I have just recently purchased a Trac-Vac and installed it on my Scag Super Z, I wish I had bought it earlier in the season when I really needed it but I'll have it next year!<p>We never bag whole leaves, too big and bulky.<br>I'm sure you have a good backpack blower, if not you must invest in one. My Stihl BR400 will blow large piles of wet leaves out of corners and out into the yard. <p>I wouldn't invest in a tractor with a pull behind unit for bagging grass, I would invest in a 72&quot; deck that will cut your time considerably and with (3) 2' blades swinging under there it does a terrific job of reducing the leaves to mush.<p>Homer
  3. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    I have found a power broom an absolute must for spring cleanup, gets all the acorns, maple seeds, sand, etc out of the lawn. <p>The Sweepster, MB, and other cheap brands are not worth the 2000 or so they get for them, so I rent a hydrostatic machine (cant remember the brand, but it runs 6k or so) a week every spring to do the real dirty lawns. $350 a week. The rest get a blow mow and go treatment.<p>Bill<p>----------<br>&quot;...half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.&quot; R.L.<br>
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,857

    My easy vac 36 bushel bagger has been great over the past 3 year that I have owned it. it runs a 8hp comm/indust Briggs and straton engine. Sounds like a airplane. Along with the tractor It is a powerful vaccume. Will vac all acorns, leaves, and large rocks etc if you are not careful.
  5. Millertime34

    Millertime34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Charles, Is it the one that looks like a clam? I am thinking of getting that one this spring because it looks to dump very quickly. Are the leaves pretty compacted into these things. Also, will my 23 hp Lazer pull it around with no problem after it is full or should I use a good sized lawn tractor. Thanks<p>----------<br>Bryan..Heartland Lawn Care<br>
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,857

    Millertime, mine doesn't look like a clam. Looks more like a rectangle with a screen vent on top and back. I had to make a screen and attach it on the inside to increase the deflection downward so the leaves would not come out of the opening in the front top. works well this way. But if you didn't have an opening it would explode lol. It does have a small hood on top covering the screen. The leaves and grass do compact in mine more so because I pull it with a 22-1/2 hp deisel 4 cylinder kubota. I just relese the dump and let it hit the ground a couple of times to jar it loose and some comes out. Then I use a hoe to hoe the rest out. I think with a 36 bushel you will need more like a commercial belly more type to pull it. Lazers are not really made for this type of equipment.
  7. Millertime34

    Millertime34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I didn't really think we should use the Lazer. We have a 1999 Cub Cadet belly mount with a 22 hp Kohler and a 54&quot; deck. We were thinking of trading it for another Lazer but we'll probably keep it for a back-up and also for pulling a trac vac or Easy vac in spring and fall. We live in northern Minnesota so leaves are abundant.<p>----------<br>Bryan..Heartland Lawn Care<br>
  8. richard

    richard Banned
    Messages: 74

    i love my Billy can leave lines on turf and pull up schmeg real nice. For bed debris i blow it onto the hard surface and vac it up, it mulches everything up so it can be hidden in the landscape as &quot;back corner shade mulch&quot; mix in some nitrate and it's gone real fast. it leaves real nice lines in the late fall and you don't stress your turf with late mowing it just soaks up the K .

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