The autumn season is riddled with the shedding of leaves. Leaves go from fresh evergreen to golden yellow, and trees shed their leaves once they change color. These leaves sometimes make a mess on our lawns and drives. This is why lawn care crews use a good truck leaf box connected to a leaf loader system.
A truck leaf box is a collection area constructed to collect and house the leaves and acquired by a leaf loader system. Without the leaf box leaf vacuums would simply redistribute leaves from one location in a yard to another. The leaf box allows for their efficient removal from a property.
A truck leaf box and truck leaf loader is an essential tool to use when it’s time to clear leaves for many professional outfits. However, how much do you really know about them? There are several components that make them one of the most efficient ways to do any leaf cleanup job. Let’s find out what they are.
What Is A Truck Leaf Box?
Cleaning leaves from the environment can take a lot of effort. In situations where you have a huge pile of leaves, you need a place to collect the leaves to help with the job. Most of us know that all it takes is a few gusts of wind and all of our hard work could be spread back over the lawn in an instant. This is where a truck leaf box comes in.
A truck leaf box is a container attached to the back of a truck for disposing of leaves. It is not always hooked to the back of a pickup truck. Sometimes it is either built onto or attached to a trailer of some type. Either solution is designed for collecting leaves with a vacuum system.
Another good option is to hook the leaf box to a dump trailer in order to easily get all of the leaves out. These are special trailers that are designed to tip up and backwards.
After sucking up the leaves with a leaf catcher or vacuum system, it normally empties them into a leaf box. The leaf box is a large container made of wood or metal attached to the back of a truck or trailer for discarding leaves. If your truck or trailer is not equipped with a dump feature, you can still modify it to carry leaves.
How Do You Build A Truck Leaf Box?
If you only own a trailer but not a leaf box, there are simple ways to convert your trailer for dual purposes. If you only own a truck, but not a leaf box, you can modify your trailer for dual purposes.
Some of the supplies and tools you will need are:
- 5/8″ treated plywood sheets (the number of them depends on your trailer or truck size)
- 2×4 posts (preferably treated wood)
- 2×2 posts (preferably treated wood)
- 2″ treated screws
- Circular saw
- Tape Measure
Leaf Box Construction Step 1:
Measure your posts and plywood sheets and cut them to the correct lengths. Best practice is to “dry fit” all of the pieces before attaching the sheets to the posts.
If your truck or trailer does not have post holders built in, it can be possible to still attach 2×4 posts using ties and clamps. This will take some ingenuity on your part, but I have seen it done effectively.
Once you have all the pieces cut and are sure they will fit together you can move onto the next step.
Leaf Box Construction Step 2:
Now secure the height and stability of the posts to the truck bed or trailer. Driving a screw into the post to limit the depth at which it can sink into the holder on the bed or trailer can ensure no damage is done to electrical systems and the height of all posts are the same.
These protruding interior screws will function nicely as a ledge to sit the bottom of the plywood sheet on making it easier to secure them to the posts. It also adds to the overall stability of the box.
Leaf Box Construction Step 3:
In this step you will be securing the plywood sheet walls to the posts to encapsulate the box. Begin with the side walls of the box, securing them on the inside of the posts with 2″ treated screws.
Then proceed to the ends of the box. This will create a tight butt joint at the corners and keep those wayward leaves and mulched particles inside the box.
Depending on your trailer door or gate areas, you could have to use 2×2 posts or simply secure plywood sections to a lift gate. Securing to a lift gate can be easily done with ties, claps, or even a 2×4 on the exterior of the gate as a nailing/screwing rail to attach the interior plywood to.
Leaf Box Construction Step 4:
This portion is optional and is not always a part of a DIY leaf box construction. Cross supports can be screwed from the tops of one side of posts to the other across the width of the trailer or truck bed.
The advantage of this is twofold:
- It increases the stability of the sides as the weight of leaves can become heavier than many first believe.
- Additional netting can be added to the top to allow for larger loads of leaves to be collected. These supports add stability to a top net option.
If you plan on filling the box to the top with either leaves or leaf mulch, top supports and netting is a good idea.
Getting a factory-made leaf box can be a good option if you can afford it. A top of the line example of a good leaf box is the Titan Leaf Solution Leaf Box. Though, these are mainly for heavy work trucks and can be overkill for the average homeowner or lawn crew.
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Titan Leaf Solution Leaf Box
The Titan leaf box is a component that it made to work with the Titan Leaf System and can fit into a heavy duty truck or a trailer. It is installed onto the leaf collection unit or a dump body.
To protect the operators from harm, the control of the manual door latch is located at the driver’s side. This way, the operator can stay away from traffic when working with it.
The manufacturer understands that different people have different needs. Thus, you can customize the leaf box to serve any purpose.
Many features and benefits of this leaf box make it a great buy. Below are some of the features and benefits.
Features and Benefits
- Each door has its lifting eye.
- It has 12 gauge located at the front and rear sides.
- The manual door leash is controlled from the driver’s side.
- It has 4 lifting or tie-down lugs.
- It has a nozzle seal made of rubber and a nozzle support roller.
- The short floor design allows for body overhang.
- The metal roof can be expanded by half an inch.
- It has 3 door hinges, 1-inch pins with offset hinges.
There are 4 models available with unique or similar specifications. They all have similar benefits and features.
The TLB12 is the largest model of Titan leaf box. It weighs 1,800 lbs, with a capacity of 15 cubic yards. It is 68 inches high, 72 inches wide, and 11 feet long.
Next to the TLB12 is the TLB10. It is slightly smaller than the TLB12, the width and height remain the same. It has a capacity of 12.5 cubic yards, weighs 1,600 lbs, and is 10 feet long.
This is another model of the Titan leaf box. It is smaller in size when compared against the TLB10 and TLB12. But the height and width do not change.
It is 9 feet long, has a capacity of 11.3 cubic yards, and weighs 1,500 lbs.
The TLB8 model is the smallest of them all. It is 8 feet long, has a capacity of 10 cubic yards, and weighs 1,400 lbs. The weight and height do not change.
What Is a Truck Leaf Loader?
Out of necessity, a leaf or debris loader was invented. Constantly bending over just to fill up a truck with leaves is not exactly a fun thing to do.
A leaf loader makes this process faster and easier. The leaf loader is fixed behind the truck or attached to it for sucking up leaves. It often comes in the form of a vacuum hose. The air pressure forces the leaves into the truck through the hose when you turn it on.
Some leaf loaders do more than just pick up leaves. They pick up leaves, curbside, mulch, and blow them into a dump truck. With the leaf loader, your work time is reduced.
The mulching process reduces the size of the leaves by an incredible value of one-tenth. This means that a larger portion of leaves can conveniently fit into the dump truck. The more leaves a truck can carry, the lesser time it takes to get it done.
A good truck leaf loader can fill a minimum of 3 trucks per hour. You should expect a minimum of 70,000 pounds of leaves at this rate.
In addition to all the many benefits of the truck loader, it is easy to use. Leaf loaders that have an enclosed heat cab are even better. They run smoothly in any weather condition and protect the operator from unfriendly weather.
This type of loader has no difficulty picking up leaves from wherever they are. Not even ice can stand as a barrier.
The good thing is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to acquire this machine. But if you do, consider it to be worth the price. There are different great types of leaf trucks available to choose from. The price depends on the functions, model, and seller.
A smaller, less advanced loader might be all you need for residential purposes. However, you might need something more sophisticated if you own a business.
The price ranges from as low as $200 to as high as $6000. Already used loaders are more affordable than the new ones, which are more advanced in function.
On the other hand, new ones are more reliable and often come with a warranty. Some examples of a leaf loader are the Billy Goat leaf loader, Lesco Leaf Vac Vacuum loader, and more.
Final Touches On Truck Leaf Boxes And Leaf Loader Systems…
A leaf box and vacuum system is not the only way to dispose of leaves, but is the main way lawn care and landscaping crews both privately owned or government run do these jobs. It is much more efficient than other options especially if the leaves need to be hauled offsite.
Of course you could have composting options like areas or beds that mulched leaves are put, but that is not always a viable solution depending on the particular property. Definitely for city crews, this is not an option.
If you are wanting to make your own leaf box, it is not that difficult a job. It just takes some planning and a few tools.
If you are looking to speed up your leaf collection process, a leaf vacuum system and a leaf box are more than likely your best bet.
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