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Transfer of grass clippings from ride on mower

This season, I hope to use my ride on mower with collector. In order to make it efficient, I need to consider how to transfer clippings from the collector to one ton bags. I have thought about reversing up onto car ramps with the bag underneath and drop it down. Or, drop onto a tarp and pick it up and place into bag. I would be interested in what others do. 

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  • Tarp sounds more realistic but not ideal either. Car ramps maybe accident waiting to happen unless some way of properly securing them. Plus most are not heavy duty enough for that frequent use. Unless lawn's a bowling green, mulch cutting can be nearly as good, and feeds the lawn. If doing that, maybe run a pedestrian mower along the sensitive edges, and finer more domesticated areas instead, where co-lateral splatter be an issue. Mulch cutting the rest equals time saved. Or collect occasionally and mulch cut some of the time

  • Hi, used to do a similar thing for a customer using his small hayter rider. Had a sheet of builders damp proof plastic to open the rear collector onto and then tip the cuttings into strong plastic sacks. Bear in mind that you don't want to fill a big dumpy bag with grass cuttings though you'll never move it. 

  • Would you be on your own or a two man operation?
    the tarp idea sounds good and you could probably het a handful of them set up so that you can tie them up easily and use them as the bag.

    for us as a 2 man team we take a side of the lawnmower each and pull the bag up as we open the box. It usually works pretty well. The key is to be slow opening the bag of the lawnmower and pull the bag up as far as you can between the lawnmower bag and the back plate before opening the bag fully

  • tarp or sheet worked for me only thing if its breezy wheigh the corners down to stop it folding up 

    • Thanks, everyone. I think the tarp and then folding it up to create a bag is an excellent idea - so obvious. 

  • PRO

    I think it all depends how big the lawn is and wheter you are disposing of clippings on or off site - and how much you can charge if taking offsite.

    We weekly mow a large set of lawns (just under an acre). This is cut with our Kubota Zero turn set up to mulch. Once on clients insistentence we pedestrian mowed and collected the cuttings - he soon decided again having it done like that every week when we pointed out that four full builders bags of cuttings per week would add eighty pounds per week to his mowing bill (an extra £320 per month or approx £3000 per year)

    Something to consider...

    • PRO

      If it's for every cut handling one ton bags sounds like hard work unless cut grass is shared between then , you can get the half ton bags from lordsman which are tough and stack neatly in situ . Mulching is easier but your lawns could be ornamental and justify nice stripes . 

      If it's the odd lawn I would get the grass down and increase frequency of visits so you are not having to take too much off .

      Have tried it with tarps emptying huge volumes of grass from ride on cylinder mowers but could never budge the thing once finished .

      • for grass clippings and other small stuff i tend to use green 272 litre heavy duty-ish re-usable garden bags which have handles, even half to 2/3 full of grass these are heavy enough. Dumpy bags are better suited to bulkier yet not heavy branch type of debris, to my mind. If I were doing the tarp thing I would use a medium thickness one, the flimsy blue type would end up ripping after a while. Rather than rolling it up when full I would use scissor action grabs to get the majority of the grass into bags then at the end roll the tarp up with what grass is left inside, swiss roll fashion, and put it in a dumpy bag

  • I only collect grass on the three small hand mowing jobs that I do. All other work, which is the vast majority, is large scale ride on work and all of it is always mulched. I have no means of collecting with my two ride on machines in any case. Mulching is so much more efficient, no getting off the machine, no bulk bags to handle and no vast quantities of clippings to dispose of.

    So I would strongly recommend mulching. If done properly, the finish is at least as good as collection. As to what Billybop mentioned about ‘overspray’ around the edges, there is simple technique to avoid this.

    On the first run around the perimeter, leave a strip of a few inches around the outer edge, maybe six inches. This avoids the clippings taking the path of least resistance and blowing out onto the hard standing. Then just go over again this time mowing right to the edge.

    I do work where the original specification was ‘grass collection’. For example, two of these specified collection jobs are work I do for Chatsworth estate. Not only can no one tell any difference but it’s only in recent years since I have been mowing that the residents have been delighted with the standard of finish, whereas before when the previous contractor was ‘collecting’, they were less than impressed.

    Here are some examples of mulching – The first one is mowed fortnightly, the second one every three weeks, which shows how effective mulching is even when the cuts are less frequent.

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    • PRO

      Vic 100% agree. I used a 25hp lawnflite 42 inch collector for years and used the tarp on the grass I'd mow first then dump on the tarp and literally at the end just hand collect bag into ton bags but my tip fees have escalated recently after losing my grass tip site on a farmers dung pile.
      So I chose to spend  £12k on a John Deere x590 mulched with 3 bag collector. After learning to double cut on mulch only not collecting the finish is as vic states, no one can tell the difference. The difference been the mulch feeds the grass and looks healthier. But a hard cut collected can look scalped or bald but the mulch covers that. The x590 is powerful and the deck made for mulching so I offer to mulch all jobs and if clients not satisfied will return to collections but they will have to pay extra for disposal of green waste. It's way quicker and only once last year did wet grass clump but the hot summer made mowing very quick 

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