Leaf management. Tons of leaves! What do you do?
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
Like Tree25Likes

Thread: Leaf management. Tons of leaves! What do you do?

  1. Top | #1
    IndianaJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Last Online
    09-16-2019 @ 06:08 PM
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,448
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 198 Times in 151 Posts

    Leaf management. Tons of leaves! What do you do?

    Hi all.
    Short version and long to follow.

    So, basically, the short version is:
    Are the Trac-Vac style collection systems (separate engine/blower) worth the small investment?
    What do you guys who pile up leaves do with them down the road?

    Long version:
    A bit of background.
    I grew up in town, where the city picked up leaves, as long as you got them to the curb. Thats not all that difficult, no matter how big your lot in town.
    Well, I lived in town. I spent quite a lot of time, probably as much as at home, at my Grandfathers, out in the country.
    He had 2 acres. I used to think he had a lot of trees, but now that I have a ton of trees, he didnt have much at all, lol.
    Anyway, Ive used my current 318, which used to be his, since it was new mowing and cleaning up leaves in the Fall at his place. It always worked ok, but not great. The 318 has a 50" deck, and powerflow with JRCO cart bagger (about the same as the MCS from Deere).
    Anyway, it would pick up the leaves, but doesnt do much to chop them up. This lead to a lot of emptying of the cart. Out there, we just dumped them in the little stream, on the outside of a bend, where it was eroding. This, and the grass dumped there, helped keep it from getting worse. Oddly, it actually built that part back up fairly well after years of doing that.
    Anyway, point being, at that place, it worked just ok. It left a lot of small stuff behind, but got the majority.
    Fast forward about 15 years, and where we are now, in the middle of a 10 acre woods, 5.5 of which is ours, we have a small yard. Normally, its not a problem. Heck, I could push mow it if I had an hour or so. Trouble is, in the Fall, the leaves are crazy.
    I have to be out every other day or they are too heavy to even think about picking up with the tractor.
    My current issue is this.
    Even at every other day or so, sometimes the leaves are so thick, the deck ends up pushing them, as it doesnt have good suction with the powerflow attached. Without it, its a monster. It leaves nothing under the deck. With it, it leaves (pun not intended) quite a bit of small chunks.
    It also doesnt pack well, because its not really chopping anything up, just throwing them into the cart.
    Because it doesnt pick up well, I cant go over the drive or other large gravel areas around the house. Those I use my blower on and just push them into the woods.
    This creates basically a large "ridge" around the edge where they get piled up.
    Along my drive, this ridge is about a foot tall, even in Summer due to this. I try to take the loader and push them back a bit, but the woods is pretty thick in places so that can be difficult.

    Now, the thing is, even when I dump them, I have to eventually relocate them to burn them. This isnt too big a deal, but what I keep thinking is, if I had a Trac-Vac style collection system, they generally chop the leaves as they go through the "blower" into the hopper. Ive seen these fairly cheap locally.
    My other thought, just last night after seeing a smaller version, is that maybe I should get one for my Exmark. It is lighter than the 318, and isnt wearing Tru-Powers on the rear to tear up the soft ground. It also does better with deep leaves than the 318, maybe due to the deck design, not sure why.
    I could smooth out the trail somewhat, but that doesnt help the burning issues. I suspect I could get the Exmark back there and out easily enough...its more the problem of massive amounts of leaves that need to be dealt with over time.
    My thought on the Trac-vac type system is that I could likely pick up leaves off the gravel areas too, instead of just blowing them into a ridge as is happening now.

    Anyway, Id still have to dump the hopper and then move them later with the loader or something, as my trail to the burn pile isnt smooth enough to get my Exmark back there.
    The reason I dont take the 318 and JRCO back there is because I already have a big pile of leaves on it now, and its been wet/damp so much that I cant burn them yet.
    This is also something I need suggestions for.
    Levi, OxPath and BigJim55 like this.
    Jim B.

    318, 49 Thrower, 2 80 Carts, 17AT cart, 54 Blade, 12" Brinly Plow, 30 Hydraulic Tiller w/extension & Briney 3-Pt hitch, 50 deck w/JRCO Cart Bagger.
    2025R, 120R loader w/Kens Bolt On Hooks, 260B backhoe w/8" & 16" buckets, Titan 36" forks, Imatch hitch, Weight Bracket/Hitch.

    Exmark Lazer Z HP 52"
    Husqvarna 550XP, 562XP, 55 Rancher

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. Top | #2
    Titleist1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:53 PM
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    2,164
    Thanks
    164
    Thanked 194 Times in 163 Posts
    We live in the middle of a state forest and have about 1 acre to clear the leaves off including the driveway/parking area. They can get deep. After raking, blowing and tarping leaves for the first 20+ years, I picked up a used trac vac a few years ago. Its the best thing I bought in a LOOOOOONG time!

    It cost $200 which was the price of the replacement Honda engine he put on it and i put another $200 in it having somebody make a new beam support system under the engine.

    It works in the grass and gravel driveway. Sure I have to dump the cart about 5 times but between the deck and the trac vac chopper, it chops them up real good and after turning the pile a few times through the year, it composts into real nice soil after about 2 years. I hated raking and blowing leaves so this is a huge improvement in my chore list. I just rotate where i put the pile for the year and pull dirt off the composted piles. The only raking i do now is to pull leaves from the flower beds where the vac hose can't reach. Instead of waiting for them all to drop as I used to, I do about three or four rounds of leaf vac'ing on different weekends so they don't get too deep. I don't mind the extra time on the tractor.
    IndianaJim, Levi, OxPath and 1 others like this.
    332 GT w/ 50" deck, trac vac
    LT178 w/ 38" deck

    I heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have a vintage JD smoker!!!

    The EPA just loves me.

  4. Top | #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:09 PM
    Location
    US
    Posts
    86
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    I bought an Agrifab sweeper that works well. I made a few modifications, instead of the lever you have to reach back and pull I use a long rope. I put a large screw eye on mower arm rest, rope through it to a 6" wood handle. So easy to back up dumping leaves just pull handle.
    You have to set height adjustment carefully otherwise wheels skid. Works great for grass clippings also, I cut into long rows.


    Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
    North585 and Levi like this.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. Top | #4
    WifeSaidOK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:55 PM
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    895
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 90 Times in 71 Posts
    I bought a Cyclone Rake a few years ago and tow it around with my LA135. It was not cheap, around $2k with attachments. But so, so worth it. It saves a ton of time.
    2016 1025R TLB (Marshawn) with Piranha tooth bar
    HLA 42" Forks
    Frontier LR2060L Landscape rake
    2019 X370 mowing machine with snowblower attachment
    County Line 3 point log splitter (Mr. Splitty)
    Cyclone Rake super sucker
    Stihl MS-271 chain saw
    Stihl KM-56 Kombi powerhead, string trimmer, pole saw, articulating hedge trimmer
    Stihl BR430 backpack blower
    1998 Yamaha 4-stroke golf car (Tedy Bruschi)

  7. Top | #5
    JDSwan87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 07:56 PM
    Location
    Temperance, MI
    Posts
    1,460
    Thanks
    905
    Thanked 258 Times in 172 Posts
    I have an Agri-Fab pull behind leaf sucker. Mine also has the chipper attachment. I have leaf duty for 2 acres of grass. 30 trees put off a lot of leaves, I have to suck leaves about every 3-5 days for the month of peak drop. I have to empty the hopper about 3x each day I use it. Absolutely love it, 2nd best lawn money I've ever spent, 1st best money is my GX345 for the power steering. I don't dump it, I use a hard take to empty it. Dumping it just doesn't work well for me...

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  8. Top | #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 11:50 AM
    Location
    East Central Indiana
    Posts
    1,469
    Thanks
    92
    Thanked 240 Times in 172 Posts
    I have had a Trac Vac that I bought new close to 20 years ago. I would not be with out it. I believe it was worth the money then & still do. Although this year my be the first year that I will not use it.
    That is because the leaves been falling slowly over the last 3 weeks & it looks like it may be a few weeks more before they finish. I have just been mulching them this fall.

    Check craigslist for used ones.
    Kioti CK3510SE HST, Kioti KL4030 Loader, John Deere 655 Tiller, Frontier LR2072 Landscape Rake, Virnig V50 Pallet Forks, Woods GB60 Box Blade
    John Deere X739 AWS 4X4, 60HC Auto Connect Deck, Front grader blade.
    John Deere 825i Gator

    John Deere Tractors I have owned in the past.
    425 AWS, 455, 4400, 2210, 4710, 2320, 2720, X475, 1026R, 4120, 2025R

  9. Top | #7
    buckteeth445's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Last Online
    03-10-2019 @ 04:44 PM
    Location
    US
    Posts
    825
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 66 Times in 59 Posts
    My Ferris ZT mower mulches 1í piles of leafs to nothing in 1-2 passes. Not to mention itís great for the soil.

    You need a professional grade mower with a very high blade speed such as a 7 Iron or ICD to obliterate leafs and sticks. My old 7 Iron 60D would do slightly better than the Ferris.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. Top | #8
    Ortimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Last Online
    Today @ 08:00 AM
    Location
    SW Oregon
    Posts
    140
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 18 Times in 16 Posts
    I bought gator mulching blades for my zero turn mower, and like magic the leaves disappear. It amazes me how well those blades work.
    JD 5052R
    JD 5100M
    JD 835M XUV
    JD 650G Dozer
    Kubota KX-057
    Kubota ZD1211

  11. Top | #9
    IndianaJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Last Online
    09-16-2019 @ 06:08 PM
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,448
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 198 Times in 151 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by buckteeth445 View Post
    My Ferris ZT mower mulches 1í piles of leafs to nothing in 1-2 passes. Not to mention itís great for the soil.

    You need a professional grade mower with a very high blade speed such as a 7 Iron or ICD to obliterate leafs and sticks. My old 7 Iron 60D would do slightly better than the Ferris.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have a professional zero turn.
    But you arent turning these leaves into nothing. 5.5 acres, heavily wooded. Quite a large number blow from the woods onto the lawn.
    And leaves actually arent all that great for your soil. In large numbers, they will turn it acidic, which some grasses dont tolerate.
    Soil tests will tell you more about your individual situation, but here, my soil is acidic enough without the help.
    Jim B.

    318, 49 Thrower, 2 80 Carts, 17AT cart, 54 Blade, 12" Brinly Plow, 30 Hydraulic Tiller w/extension & Briney 3-Pt hitch, 50 deck w/JRCO Cart Bagger.
    2025R, 120R loader w/Kens Bolt On Hooks, 260B backhoe w/8" & 16" buckets, Titan 36" forks, Imatch hitch, Weight Bracket/Hitch.

    Exmark Lazer Z HP 52"
    Husqvarna 550XP, 562XP, 55 Rancher

  12. Top | #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 11:50 AM
    Location
    East Central Indiana
    Posts
    1,469
    Thanks
    92
    Thanked 240 Times in 172 Posts
    Here is a video that Tractor Time With Tim posted today about the TeraKing TKV20 material collection system.
    If I did not already have a Trac Vac 880, I would look hard at one of these units.
    It is a lot more compact than the tow behind Trac Vac, plus you do not have to get off of the tractor to dump it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z36gHPS3_E8
    Tractor Tim likes this.
    Kioti CK3510SE HST, Kioti KL4030 Loader, John Deere 655 Tiller, Frontier LR2072 Landscape Rake, Virnig V50 Pallet Forks, Woods GB60 Box Blade
    John Deere X739 AWS 4X4, 60HC Auto Connect Deck, Front grader blade.
    John Deere 825i Gator

    John Deere Tractors I have owned in the past.
    425 AWS, 455, 4400, 2210, 4710, 2320, 2720, X475, 1026R, 4120, 2025R

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to ChrisR For This Useful Post:

    Tractor Tim†(11-11-2018)

  14. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts