10 things to know about ‘The Claw’

As any Sacramentan knows, leaf season means Claw season.

We receive a lot of questions about the City’s favorite leaf-loaders this time of year. With that in mind, we created this list of 10 things to know about The Claw.

1. How many Claws are there?

There are 17 Claws that service the entire City, picking up about 54 million pounds of leaves each leaf season.

2. How much can a Claw lift?

The Claw can lift about 1,500 pounds.

3. What are The Claws’ names?

They don’t have official names, but some of them are informally known as Sutter, Hornet, Solon, Bing, Jay, Cap, Claude, Chomp and Bob.

4. How often do The Claws work?

Crews work up to six days a week, rain or shine, including holidays. All streets had at least one collection between Nov. 1-10. As leaf drop volume grows, and if wind and rainstorms occur, it can take crews up to two weeks to rotate through the entire city.

Customers can use this “Collection Calendar” to see an estimation of their upcoming collection date.

5. How long have The Claws been around?

Legend has it that The Claw has existed in some form or fashion since 210 B.C.E., though we have it on official record that the Sacramento Claw has been around since the 1960s.

6. What’s a Claw’s favorite food?

Toasted maple leaves with a green grass smoothie.

7. How wide can a Claw open its jaws?

Claw jaws can open 7.9 feet wide but leaf piles should be no more than four feet wide (and 9 feet long and 4 feet deep.) Tree limbs must be cut to 3 feet or less in length.

8. How fast can a Claw go?

Claws has a top speed of 18 mph.

9. How much does a Claw weigh?

It is impolite to ask a Claw its weight. Just kidding! The Claw is proud of it’s formidable size and it’s weight: 14,000 pounds.

10. Where do The Claw live?

Claws love to hang out at our Sacramento Recycling & Solid Waste facility on Meadowview Drive, and a few nest at the North Area Corporation Yard on Del Paso Road.

Annual leaf collection service began Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 27, 2019. The Recycling and Solid Waste division dispatches 10 to 15 crews using the Claw and rear loader trucks to scoop a lot of yard waste during leaf season.