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View Full Version : my review of the 13hp billy goat force blower


clydesdale
11-24-2006, 05:37 PM
It pushes beautifully on the lawn. It is not hard to push at all, even though it is 13hp. I pushed it on the ugliest of hills. If you think it is too heavy, you are probably in the wrong business. It is a little tippier than my giant vac, but totally manageable. It is extremely powerful and quiet. The chute can point way down or way up in the air.
Next year they will have the directable chute- this will be the cat's pajamas.
As long as the plastic holds up, which as long as you dont drop it off the truck it should, this is an awesome blower. I cut my blowing time WAY down. This machine is flat out awesome and much easier to use than the 11hp giant vac that it is now replacing.
Time will tell about reliablility and longevity, but the performance is flat out awesome.

metro36
11-24-2006, 05:43 PM
Sounds like it is a good machine. I would love to have one and I probally will next season. Good luck with the machine.

BSDeality
11-24-2006, 06:52 PM
very close to how I would review my 13hp force too. I would rate it "very tippy" though. I have twice rolled it over this season on steep hills. it doesn't take much for it to get hung up and roll over. Both times I've managed to hang onto it and spin it on the front wheel and get it right'ed before the low oil pressure cut-off kicks in. I too have definitely cut my time down. If you do charge by the hour you have to raise your rates to "make it back". I charge by the job, so I was very happy to cut my blower time down significantly this year.

Roger
11-24-2006, 06:56 PM
How much does the BG 13hp Force blower weigh? What brand of engine?

When the comment about tippy is made, are you referring to side-to-side? Is the wheelbase narrower than other blowers? Or, is the weight of the engine more than other blowers, and, sitting high, makes the unit less stable side-to-side?

ed2hess
11-24-2006, 07:12 PM
I guess they realize that they made a mistake by taking the hand operated chute off, that is a very nice feature.

clydesdale
11-24-2006, 07:44 PM
I am patiently waiting my prototype chute control. They have been planning it all along and the current force has the proper connections on the housing so that it can be retrofitted. It is tippy because the motor and housing are higher off the ground than typical. It is really no big issue as long as the operator is aware of it. Once I realize it, I was ready for it. It has a honda 13hp and weighs 161lb

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
11-24-2006, 08:14 PM
Guess i will wait to get the problems fixed,staying with the max but working longer on leaves.

Roger
11-24-2006, 09:50 PM
Whew! 161 pounds! I have an 8hp Lesco, at 128 pounds. On soft turf (much of that this FAll with so much rain), and up slopes, it is a real load to handle. Add another 33 pounds, and I guess I am in the category of "being in the wrong business." I know I am on the lower scale of strength and size (5-9, 165#, and 65 years old), and I'm not sure I would replace the 128# machine with a 161# machine. On some of the steeper slopes, I put a pull rope on my blower, so that somebody else can help pull it up the slopes. Yes, that is real hard work, and can really sap the strength, but it is the quickest way to move the leaves.

Strongmd
11-25-2006, 06:50 AM
I have 6 lil' wonders with 9hp hondas, but I'm liking this billy goat and think I'm going to give one a whirl next fall, assuming it has the controllable chute, that is KEY!!!

Question, you guys seem to be buying the 13hp. Is the 13 that much better than the 9? I would think that if it was only a tiny bit better, I'd stay with the 9hp, to keep the weight down, no?

rodfather
11-25-2006, 07:01 AM
I Is the 13 that much better than the 9? I would think that if it was only a tiny bit better, I'd stay with the 9hp, to keep the weight down, no?

more air volume

clydesdale
11-25-2006, 10:39 AM
I bought the 9 and returned it 10 minutes later. It was the same as my 11hp giant vac that is 16 years old. I wanted a step up. The 13hp is a step up. I think the real reason is that the outlet is 5 inch and the 9hp comes with 4 inch. Therefore 25% larger chute and it results in much more air. Unfortunately, the price goes up 50%. Is it worth it? Well if I had crews, no. I would get them 9hp models. But when you work alone, the equipment is more than key.
As far as pushing it, it is way easier to push than my 11hp giant vac, which i believe weighs more. THe design makes it easier to push. It feels much lighter than it is. The larger front wheel goes through the grass, no problem.
Like i said before, the only thing I worry about is how strong the housing is. Don't drop it off the truck. Other than that, I think this machine is flat out winner. By mulching and using this machine, I gave myself a 33% wage hike this season.

clydesdale
11-25-2006, 10:42 AM
One more thing, as far as the rope on the blower trick. I can't see that being safe or easy. Why not just get a backpack and leave the blower wheeled blower at the top of the hill. For example, I angle the force blower chute to run along down the hill. I leave it on high at the top of the hill. I then use the backpack to feed leaves into the air stream. It works flat out awesome. This is a hill that you cannot cut with a mower, you have to trim and you have to be real careful that you dont slip. If you can use a blower on a rope, you have plenty of beef to push the 13hp force.

Roger
11-25-2006, 09:06 PM
I have used the "blow the leaves into the more powerful air stream of the wheeled blower" trick myself, using a hand blower. However, if the setting isn't very level, the vibration may well send the wheel blower into the next property! Having it running WOT without an operator to control at the top of a slope might not not work well in some situations.

clydesdale
11-25-2006, 11:02 PM
ahhhh......

clydesdale
11-25-2006, 11:03 PM
ahhhhh.... I bought the parking brake kit for my force blower.

capecodjon
12-03-2010, 10:21 AM
My boss purchased one of these last week.
I love the power, easy to push, but the handle that changes chute position is worthless IMHO. I have been blowing leaves for 10 years now and never do I need to alternate back and forth quickly between chute positions. One setting at a time seems best based on grade, job. On ours the cable kept coming out at the handle because the default position is pointing up, and the chute doesn't stay put when set tight. I can tighten that wheel and still move the chute easily because the spring tension pulls the chute up. The default position should be pointing at a more downward angle. The upward position is rarely useful. Also the chute should stay put when set.

Clydesdale, I work like you, using the big blower to set a breeze and the backpack to push them along. I told my boss that the Billy Goat does more good parked in one spot, moved every so often, than having some yahoo push it around solo. In the old days, I would suffer alone with a backpack while the foreman worked ahead with a walk-behind blower. For 5 years now I am the foreman and the big blower stays behind all work, never stranding some guy in the bushes w/o firepower.
Good news to hear of a brake option. Those should be standard in my opinion. I can't tell you how many times I've chased Little Wonders that went rolling, wrenched my knee trying to catch one once. I have nightmares about losing a blower into a BMW, or having one explode after rolling down a hill.
Can you give a link to that brake kit?

I think Billy Goat needs to lose that chute handle, install a standard brake and have the chute more firm when set.
One more thing, they have this little rubber elbow that attaches to the chute but stays in a bracket atop the machine for storage. Trust me, that little elbow will fall from its holder in about 3 seconds and get blown to Timbuktu if you're not careful. On day 1 of our Billy Goat we had to go searching for that part.
All in all it's a great machine, though.

clydesdale
12-03-2010, 01:19 PM
Here is a link to the accessories. You will see the parking brake, just click it and you shall see. It is a necessity for working on hills. I absolutely love the adjustable chute. You may just have to dial it in a little bit. I do remember having to adjust it so that it would shoot low enough to blast impacted leaves. I love be able to wheel by flower beds without destroying the mulch. It is still my favorite machine.
http://www.billygoat.com/site/intro.aspx?pid=49

Mowbizz
12-03-2010, 05:00 PM
I think Billy Goat needs to lose that chute handle, install a standard brake and have the chute more firm when set.
One more thing, they have this little rubber elbow that attaches to the chute but stays in a bracket atop the machine for storage. Trust me, that little elbow will fall from its holder in about 3 seconds and get blown to Timbuktu if you're not careful. On day 1 of our Billy Goat we had to go searching for that part.
All in all it's a great machine, though.

Hmmm...must be something wrong with your "elbow holder"
My elbow (for blowing frontwards) is snug and secure in its holder...and mine is not rubber, it's plastic just like the main chute. I like the idea of the brake too...gonna add one of those for next season.

Gmgbo
12-03-2010, 06:27 PM
My drive cable has snapped 4 times

clydesdale
12-03-2010, 09:11 PM
What is a drive cable? Throttle cable?

Forever Green Landscaping
12-03-2010, 10:14 PM
Has anyone used or heard any reviews on the self propelled units? Can you drive forward and backward?

Gmgbo
12-03-2010, 10:42 PM
Mine is self propelled, the cable to engage the drive keeps breaking, its less then a month old. The dealer blamed my help, so I used it myself, broke the drive engage cable and the throttle cable. You can only drive it forward.

My fradan 18hp self propelled forward and reverse was awsome, until the motor blew at 2 years old

dave_14385
11-18-2012, 12:28 AM
My drive cable has snapped 4 times

My drive cable brakes about 1 or 2 times every year. I just buy cable at the hardware store and make new ones with new end stops. PS. But I use the same cable housing. I really do like this blower as well.