Tips on Leaf Removal

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Many already know this, but I just tried it; putting tarp down ( say a 5x8 piece) and rake the leaves onto that, then make a funnel shape and pour/push into garbage container. Although this is primitive, it seems a lot eaiser on your back than to bend over and over again and again like 5-7 times per pile, when u could just do one big dump with the tarp method.

    Anyone else have any tips?
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    That tarp size is way to small and why would you put leaves on a tarp and then pour them into a trash can? We use 9x12 tarps. We blow until we can't then rake leaves onto tarp and drag them to the burn pile, switch ends of tarp and drag over pile.
  3. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    if your gonna use a tarp get a mesh tarp the wind or blower doesn't catch it as much blow to pile on tarp drag to leaf loader and suck into truck!
  4. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    A "burn pile". How many places allow that in a big city?

    If you're dumping into a trailer or another form of holding bin, the tarp method is fast, just throw it in. Some people will attach tarp to container so you just have to heave into it.

    Others will use tailgate leaf vacuums to go into the container. Some areas of the continent have tons of leaves so that's a good method.

    We use a combination of blower to push all the leave onto a road or parking lot where we pick it up with a little wonder vaccuum. The bag comes off easily and it's dumped into a very large garbage can with a garbage bag attached. Take the garbage bag when full, twist is closed and replace...repeat process. We don't as a rule ever use a rake because the blower is so much faster.

    I'm sure there are other methods depending on the size of the property.

    Oh, another method we use if the area is large, we'll use a sweeper with a hopper pulled by a tractor. The blower will get the leaves out of the bushes, medians, boulevard areas and put them in the large field where the tractor does it's job. This method is provides a superior pick up of debris on the lawn due to the sweeper actually touching the ground thus collecting pine needles, acorns etc...etc... nice touch to a property. Leaves a super clean lawn.

    Of course the guys with the z's will say they can do it faster, but the z cannot touch the ground and sweep it so it's a distant second in the "done very well" category allthough if the customer is not picky it may work on lower end properties... :laugh:

  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    In indiana u cannot burn leaves. Even if u could, most of my customers have no burn pile. I pour the leaves into a trash bag which is in the can. I may however try the scag. I wish my customers had places I could legally burn the leaves. I'd have to have a garbage truck or giant trash bin to hold the kinda tarp full of leaves like you're talkin' about.
  6. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    The easiest way I have found to do leaves is to blow everything onto the lawn then run them over with your mower and bag, the chopped leaves take up alot less room and the process is much faster and easier on your back.
  7. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    I agree with Wells. That is the method I'm going to try this year. Blow the leaves on the lawn with the backpack blower into a pile or piles, then go over it with the walkbehind mower with the bag attached. Use 55 gallon bags that you get from Sam's Club and a bag liner to put them in. When the bag is full, replace and repeat process. On larger lawns, I don't plan on bagging them, just use the mulch kit on the Z. Charge at least $60/hr.
  8. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I don't bag any of my lawns. Starting first of October I put the mulch kit on and I start mulching. I always blow the landscaping off first and then I mulch the whole lawn. My customers are always happy. I don't stop till almost Thanksgiving.
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Around here you can legally burn leaves on the street during fall within city limits. Around the lake everyone has burn piles for burning leaves and branches that fall from trees. If a customer request that we don't burn then we use a commercial lawn vac and suck the leaves up with the vac and load them into truck and take them away. They tried to ban leaf burning here but it didn't pass not even close. If we couldn't burn leaves at some places around the lake where they have 1/2 acre lots with over 25 large trees you would need a semi to haul them away. We alway's bring a water tank with us when burning to keep fire under control. I'm not sure if I would do fall cleanups if we couldn't burn some places have way to many leaves.
  10. verant

    verant LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    hey, i found awesome 12'by12' tarps at fleet farm. the edges have a drawstrings in them, so when you rake all the leaves on them or blow you can bring up the four corners of the drawstring and tie them together and lift it and dump into trailer, or wherever you put them. I use the tarps for areas where i have to hand rack and can't use my ztr to bag them

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