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What would be the best way to go for the roof of a leaf box?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigw, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    Ok so im going to be building my leaf box for my dump trailer and i was wondering which type of roof and vent system i should use? I am considering different options but not sure which way to go.
    My options right now are 1- a solid wood roof with cut outs for something like hardware cloth as vents or 2- just use a good mesh type tarp either bolted tight to the top a few inches over hang or simply bungee cords holding it on or does anyone have any better ideas and any advice on where and how big the vents should be?
    I will be blowing leaves from front of trailer towards the rear where it dumps. I need to get this started soon so please if you really dont know the answers just dont reply because i dont know myself and dont want to do this wrong and have to redo the roof again. Thanks!

    PS. yes i have done a search on here and still would like other opinions
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    Another thought i had was to just use some 2x4's for brace's across the top and using a complete hardware fabric top...would that work? I guess i could lay a tarp over that if needed for rain?
  3. ALC-GregH

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

    can you give us alittle more info? How tall are the sides, what is supporting the sides, is the back going to dump with the gate opening from the top, bottom or side? It sounds like your on the right track with what you have going.

    Now for the "don't respond if you don't know part"

    I would use a breathable top with 2x4's run side to side across the top, fastened so that they can be removed later, this will support the fabric you use AND allow you to use the trailer for other stuff where a open trailer is needed. I'm not sure you want to enclose it with a hard top though. Unless it's a dedicated trailer, I'd stick with tarps or a durable fabric similar to the stuff used on dump trucks to cover the load.

    J.A.G LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    you dont know .....................
  5. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    ok its going to have 4-5 ft sides on top of the 2 ft high trailer sides making it a total of either 6-7 ft high made out of plywood " maybe pressure treated maybe not" it will be supported with 2x3 in the trailer side holes and probably 2x4's running from side to side across the top every 2 ft or so.
    The rear door will probably be a one piece door with hinges up top so it swing open as it dumps or maybe plywood barn doors not sure which makes more sense yet...ok thats about all i have right now!
  6. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    I have ideas but no im not sure, i am not the leaf box expert but i thought for sure you were!:laugh:

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    i used metal grateing that i got from my mower dealer as for size the bigger the better. if it is to small it will blow the sides out (learned the hard way) a mesh tarp will work good to that way you can get in the box and pack the leaves down more.
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    Would wire fencing work...like chicken wire? It is cheap.

    J.A.G LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    they sell tarps for this that let air out like a vent but not to much dust because they can get dusty or leafy..........
  10. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey big, if you're building a wood box i would definitely use pressure treated. DO NOT do a solid roof... that's where you need to vent! what i used on mine was 1/4 inch (square) mesh... available at any hardware store. if you prefer to use the mesh fabric, that's ok too. my top is 2/3's mesh and 1/3 plywood at the opposite side of the loader.

    whatever gate you build, should be mostly mesh. by doing so, it's so much easier to know where the level of debris is. my gate is nothing more than a frame of 1x3's, routed/glued, angle brackets bolted from both sides (for added strength) and hinged at the top, to allow easy dumping.

    i know you're mechanically inclined so, it should be fairly simple for you to build a box in an afternoon. mine was built over 10 years ago and therefore not too certain of the cost today. it took me an afternoon and cost 150+/-. my guess (today) would be 250?

    i agree with many of the other guys (your leaf collection post)... using a mower w/collection system as the LAST piece of equipment on a lawn, is crucial, after the cleanup. i'm assuming you have a collection system for your ztr. if not, you may want to look into one... the end result is incredible and the finished product is like night and day!... (mower/no mower)

    also, think about a leaf plow... jrco makes a nice one and the cost is approximately 450. i would NEVER do another cleanup without one... cuts my time in (just about) 1/2 and i can do any cleanup larger outfits do (with a crew), all day long! during the fall i break out my toro grounds master and put the leaf plow on it... having the front (deck) hydraulics helps, when pushing and/or piling leaves. most of my customers are on more than 3 acres and you should see the looks i get, working by myself. every season, at least 3-4 people stop me, ask for my help and they ALWAYS end up as new (regular) customers. no advertising necessary, i let my work speak for itself.

    sounds like your really knocking em dead! keep up the hard work... it's gonna pay you back 10 fold!! have fun building the box and post some pics when you get a chance. have a good one.

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