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View Full Version : Cleanup-major time waster


freshprince94
12-06-2009, 08:30 PM
Over the course of this year, I have been trying to shave off as much time as possible when I'm mowing. I've gotten to the point where I can edge as fast as I can walk, I'm pretty fast but accurate with the line trimmer, and I mow at 5th gear using a Velke so that doesn't take much time. But I have been noticing that the only place I can't shave off time is blowing at the end of the job. Im noticing it adds about 15 minutes to a 25 minute lawn. Here in Florida the grass grows fast so theres a lot of crap, it's thick and sometimes wet, and theres always the issue of getting crap in the edge. I use a Stihl BR-380 which doesn't have a lot of power and have the opportunity to buy a demo unit BR600 (barely used) at $399. I am probably going for it, but does anyone have the same problem I do?

mowerbrad
12-06-2009, 08:38 PM
I just recently went from a br340 to a br600 but mainly for leaves. But compared to my 340 the 600 makes quick work out of "would-be" long work with the 340. You will definately shave off some time with the new blower, but I can't say for sure how much time you will save. Either way, I would get the 600, you will thank yourself after the first day you use it.

a clear difference lawn
12-06-2009, 08:41 PM
I do 60 properties in and around the Windermere area so I am very familiar with what you are talking about. My solution is to use two handheld blowers at the same time. I can walk the middle of a sidewalk with high st. augustine edges and blow out both edges simultaneously. Along the curb I use one blower to push the debris along and the other blower to force it over the curb. I can direct the debris across wide driveways and also blow of back porches much more quickly. The use of two handhelds cut my cleanup time in half. There are threads on this site about people using a handheld and a bakpack simultaneously. Maybe you should give it a try. Get yourself a handheld to compliment your backpack and you will save some time -- I guarantee it. Just a suggestion and good luck to a fellow Orlando guy.

brucec32
12-06-2009, 09:58 PM
Besides leaf season I don't think I spend much more than 5-8 min blowing at the end of a mowing on lawns that average about 35 min total. But I use a mulching deck much of the time, an OCDC on others, and am careful to control where clippings are going. I lived in S. Florida and had a St Aug/Bahia lawn myself. I don't recall the cleanup being that big a deal.

I'd try the blower upgrade.

SNAPPER MAN
12-06-2009, 10:08 PM
Try bagging the grass, if you do this there won't be a mess to clean up. If you spend 15 minutes just blowing off the sidewalk and driveway than you are making to much of a mess. Another thing you could try is mow in a circle discharging toward the center so grass doesn't get in the street and on the concrete.

WalkerMike98
12-06-2009, 10:42 PM
The 380 is like using a fan compared to the br600. This is where your time is lost.

grassman177
12-06-2009, 10:50 PM
i give you kudos for trying to make good time, remember what i tell everyone that works for me, you can only go so fast as to do a great job or you will loose customers

South Florida Lawns
12-06-2009, 10:52 PM
The 380 is like using a fan compared to the br600. This is where your time is lost.

Yes I went from the BR340 to 600's and I saved a bunch of time per yard. Deff worth it. Used 380's go for $100-$130 at my dealer, you could sell it or keep as backup.

Richard Martin
12-07-2009, 04:06 AM
I have that same problem with edges here. Even with a BR600 I was finding that the clippings would just get down into the edge and could be difficult to get out. I like to leave it nice and clean looking but that was costing me a few extra minutes depending on how much concrete there was. My cure was to lean the edger over a little so I got a wider "trench". I'd like to leave a nice and really tight trench but I also have to get the job done. No one has noticed, at least they haven't said anything, so I'm going with it for now.

ed2hess
12-07-2009, 04:49 PM
I assume you use a trimmer for the edges right.....if not that is one source of excess debris We use small blowers on St Augustine and never never take that much time. We mulch with output closed so nothing much to blow off. We sometimes use handheld Echo blowers often simply because it is easier.

STIHL GUY
12-07-2009, 09:49 PM
I just recently went from a br340 to a br600 but mainly for leaves. But compared to my 340 the 600 makes quick work out of "would-be" long work with the 340. You will definately shave off some time with the new blower, but I can't say for sure how much time you will save. Either way, I would get the 600, you will thank yourself after the first day you use it.

i recently made the same upgrade and am amazed at the difference in volume of leaves i can blow

Kriptkeeper
12-07-2009, 10:38 PM
You could always get yourself a Twindstorm like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZs6BGi7PEk

unkownfl
12-07-2009, 11:33 PM
OK first off I see your in my area, so I don't know how I feel about helping you out. Just kidding man just don't be a low balling scum making our pay checks suffer. What I do is start at the street and work my way up towards the house. I blow everything towards the driveway and then up it. Then I go down the sidewalk from the end, and I blow towards the driveway again. Once I have everything in the driveway I go up to the door and blow towards the driveway again. Now everything is in the driveway, and now I blow it into one side of the yard which ever makes it easier with the way the wind is going. Now I only have to blow against the grass once. I have a BR600 and a Husqvarna BT150. I can tell you this I never use the br600 it's just flat out to heavy. I really think my bt150 is over kill. I'm going to try a handheld husqvarna 125 if I ever get to Lowes. I feel pretty confident I could do the job in the same time with it vs the bigger backpack blowers.

For the one that suggested using a trimmer good luck with that here. You will be reloading string every yard.

Someone had a good suggestion. If your are able to buy a mulching kit, or even a block off plate you will save tremendous amounts of time.

topsites
12-08-2009, 01:51 AM
Right off the start I do 1-2 perimeter runs with the mower chute facing IN, that really reduces clean up time.

ToroLandscaper
12-08-2009, 04:08 AM
The BR600 will definitely cut your time. The 380 is hardly comparable to the 600.

Green Industry Pro
12-29-2009, 06:28 PM
You could always get yourself a Twindstorm like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZs6BGi7PEk
Ive sen the vids and been to the site.I thought it was still in development.How can you purchase em?

MileHigh
12-29-2009, 07:07 PM
This is the reason why I absolutely can't stand when "people" say that a certain blower is overkill for blowing off sidewalks...that's ridiculous...

How can it be overkill but save you precious time?

I have a EBZ8001, and I never think it's overkill for anything.

MileHigh
12-29-2009, 07:09 PM
My solution is to use two handheld blowers at the same time.

:hammerhead:

:dizzy:

;)

Richard Martin
12-29-2009, 07:18 PM
This is the reason why I absolutely can't stand when "people" say that a certain blower is overkill for blowing off sidewalks...that's ridiculous...

That's usually the people that can't afford a big blower or those too cheap to buy a big blower. It's a rare day when someone says they use a handheld instead of their big blower although it does happen.

bighaydenslawn
12-29-2009, 07:32 PM
Right off the start I do 1-2 perimeter runs with the mower chute facing IN, that really reduces clean up time.

I do this as well. I have lawns anywhere from 30 min. to 2 hours and I never spend more than 7-8 min. cleaning up at the end with a Stihl handheld using this method. I always make a perimeter by the street, sidewalk, flowerbeds, house, everything.

lawnboy dan
12-29-2009, 08:19 PM
i find the 600 to be overkill for mowing blowoffs=not to mention its short lifespan-better to save it for leaf cleanups.

OrganicsMaine
12-29-2009, 09:12 PM
What about edging after the front lawn has been mowed? I may have missed something here, but if there is only one of you, mow the lawn, then edge. If there are two of you trim the place first, then edge after the front lawn has been mowed. Again, sorry if I missed something, but this would eliminate anything building up in the edge line.

Richard Martin
12-30-2009, 04:12 AM
i find the 600 to be overkill for mowing blowoffs=not to mention its short lifespan-better to save it for leaf cleanups.

See, see, I told you there were people that did it.

lawnboy dan
12-30-2009, 08:16 AM
yes richard -but at least i own one and find it to be a valuable tool for leaf cleanup where extra power is needed-its NOT needed for side wALK clipping blow-offs. the 600 is unreliable and tempermental at best and i save mine for the job it does best-leaf cleanup. by biz is sucessful enough that i can buy the right tool for the right job

Richard Martin
12-30-2009, 10:16 AM
yes richard -but at least i own one and find it to be a valuable tool for leaf cleanup where extra power is needed-its NOT needed for side wALK clipping blow-offs. the 600 is unreliable and tempermental at best and i save mine for the job it does best-leaf cleanup. by biz is sucessful enough that i can buy the right tool for the right job

I wasn't try to be critical. I'm sorry if you read it that way. I also have a Stihl BG85 myself but it sits on the shelf at home. I've tried using it but I've found my reliable BR600 to be much more suited to getting stuck grass off of driveways and sidewalks.

You can see my BR85 in this pic.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/th_DSCN0198.jpg (http://s208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/?action=view&current=DSCN0198.flv)

jvanvliet
12-30-2009, 11:09 AM
Shindiawa EB802

Air speed at nozzle 211 mph (94.3 m/s)

Air volume at nozzle 762 CFM (1295 m≥/h)

Hurricane force winds at your fingertips...

jvanvliet
12-30-2009, 11:14 AM
Stihl BR600

AIR SPEED 201 mph

AIR VOLUME 712 cfm

Not bad but not the best

JayD
12-30-2009, 01:13 PM
That's usually the people that can't afford a big blower or those too cheap to buy a big blower. It's a rare day when someone says they use a handheld instead of their big blower although it does happen.

Richard........when you say big blower here, are you talking about a back pack blower?

MileHigh
12-30-2009, 01:55 PM
It's really as simple as this...

Buy the biggest baddest backpack you can find and be done with it...you will then have a tool that can handle all of the projects.

What's the point in wasting money on a weak blower? not only wasting money..but wasting time.

I don't see what's so hard here....

Richard Martin
12-30-2009, 02:22 PM
Richard........when you say big blower here, are you talking about a back pack blower?

Yes. Backpack blower.

JayD
12-30-2009, 02:44 PM
Yes. Backpack blower.

OK, I see. That leads me to another question. Do most of you have back pack blowers and use them daily?

I have trying to talk myself into buying one for the last three years now. I did make it a point to look at and test them at the show in Oct in KY, and when we did, they looked to me like they were just so heavy and awkward to use and I was afraid that my trimmer guy would not want to bother with it...

Tell me, am I wrong? or are they really buying and using them...

Richard Martin
12-30-2009, 03:05 PM
I use mine at every job. Day after day. Year after year.

Be careful the first time you lean over to pick something up while wearing a backpack though. I ended up on the ground. :laugh:

JayD
12-30-2009, 03:42 PM
I use mine at every job. Day after day. Year after year.

Be careful the first time you lean over to pick something up while wearing a backpack though. I ended up on the ground. :laugh:

LOL........now that is really funny.......could see this in front of customers lol...
But thanks for the info, I guess I will be giving them another look this spring then. What do you guys recommend.....

Richard Martin
12-30-2009, 04:01 PM
Any of the big names will do. I recommend a brand that has more than one dealer in your town. I bought 2 Ferris 36 walkbehinds and then the only dealer in town closed up. I can still get parts but I have to mail order them from another dealer.

The only real way to know which blower is right for you is to try them out. See if they feel good on your back. See if you like the way they start. See if you like the way they blow. Most of the big blowers all have about the same power.

lawnboy dan
12-30-2009, 06:15 PM
funny-my bg 85 sits on the shelf too-lol. not because it isnt a powerfull hand blower -but cause its so darn hard to start! makes short work of gutter cleanouts .

Roger
12-31-2009, 10:37 AM
OK, I see. That leads me to another question. Do most of you have back pack blowers and use them daily?

I have trying to talk myself into buying one for the last three years now. .....

Same situation. I have had a couple of Sthil BG85, and have not found the ned of a backpack, OR, didn't think I've needed a backpack. I believe my handheld works just fine for lawn debris on walks, drives, etc while mowing.

I can see some use of a backpack during leaf cleanup. I have help sometimes, and they use the handheld, and I use the rake in tough situations (e.g. ground cover). I also have an 8hp wheeled blower for leaves. If I had a backpack, I would not be using the wheeled blower, and visa versa. In other words, when I would see myself with a backpack, I would be better off using the wheeled blower.

Yes, there were a few times when I wanted a second blower this Fall. I promised myself I will not start another Fall leaf season without another BG85. There are times when two would help productivity.

I suppose the other thing, I'm tired of having more "stuff." More equipment means more places needed to store, haul, and maintain. Would having a backpack be more productive? Sure, in some places. In enough places to justify having one? I don't know. I would buy one in a heartbeat if I thought I would be more productive in the end (including bother of storing, hauling, maintaining, etc.). But, I would not consider having a backpack for routine mowing operations in cleanup -- too much machine, less flexible in use.

Maybe I'm missing something, but having a backpack has been on my mind for several years. I've not been convinced yet. In reading all these posts, I am in the minority.

lawnboy dan
12-31-2009, 07:37 PM
the bg 85 is strong enough to let you get away with not having a backpac-but once you see what a sthil br600 or redmax 8000 or big shindy 8 series will do-you would want one

freshprince94
01-10-2010, 02:32 PM
Bought my BR 600 today, can't wait to use it. The thing looks like a beast, definitely more rugged than my BR-380.

JayD
01-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Bought my BR 600 today, can't wait to use it. The thing looks like a beast, definitely more rugged than my BR-380.

Aw, mannnn....Every body is getting one of those.....I was waiting to get mine this spring.....No sense in paying for it now and cant use it till spring. But I am getting one.

This is whats on my list to to buy this year:

BR 600
another edge-it
either another new W/B exmark. this time either a 48" or a 36" I have a 52"
OR...the new stand on by exmark, I think they call it the "vantange" 52"

Oldtimer
01-10-2010, 04:28 PM
I do 60 properties in and around the Windermere area so I am very familiar with what you are talking about. My solution is to use two handheld blowers at the same time. I can walk the middle of a sidewalk with high st. augustine edges and blow out both edges simultaneously. Along the curb I use one blower to push the debris along and the other blower to force it over the curb. I can direct the debris across wide driveways and also blow of back porches much more quickly. The use of two handhelds cut my cleanup time in half. There are threads on this site about people using a handheld and a bakpack simultaneously. Maybe you should give it a try. Get yourself a handheld to compliment your backpack and you will save some time -- I guarantee it. Just a suggestion and good luck to a fellow Orlando guy. __________________

A CLEAR DIFFERENCE has the best solution. It looks strange but works better than a backpack unless you need a lot of power and then a parking lot blower is the answer.

Don't start knocking this solution until you have tried it.


Oldtimer
Been there, done that

hackitdown
01-10-2010, 06:49 PM
I use BR600s. Using a handheld in order to save wear and tear on a backpack would be counterproductive for us. We always use the tool that gets us back to the truck the quickest. We blow off walks, decks, patios, beds and the driveway. I don't measure the blowing time, but we rarely spend more than 25 minutes on any lawn, so blowing can't be more than 4 or 5 minutes.

I have never had any reliability problem with either of 2 BR600s.

Like Topsites, we also do 2 passes firing the clippings inward. Discharge control is HUGE for neatness and productivity. And we bag the lawns that don't have room for proper discharge.

Oh yeah...the Ravens suck.

freshprince94
01-10-2010, 06:57 PM
Aw, mannnn....Every body is getting one of those.....I was waiting to get mine this spring.....No sense in paying for it now and cant use it till spring. But I am getting one.

This is whats on my list to to buy this year:

BR 600
another edge-it
either another new W/B exmark. this time either a 48" or a 36" I have a 52"
OR...the new stand on by exmark, I think they call it the "vantange" 52"

I bought it now because they were going new for $439 on a sale. It's not the Magnum but it still works fine. Used it on two accounts today. The thing is a beast and cuts down on my mowing time by a lot.

freshprince94
01-10-2010, 06:58 PM
I use BR600s. Using a handheld in order to save wear and tear on a backpack would be counterproductive for us. We always use the tool that gets us back to the truck the quickest. We blow off walks, decks, patios, beds and the driveway. I don't measure the blowing time, but we rarely spend more than 25 minutes on any lawn, so blowing can't be more than 4 or 5 minutes.

I have never had any reliability problem with either of 2 BR600s.

Like Topsites, we also do 2 passes firing the clippings inward. Discharge control is HUGE for neatness and productivity. And we bag the lawns that don't have room for proper discharge.

Oh yeah...the Ravens suck.

Well the Ravens did beat the Patriots today...but I'm not a Ravens fan. I'm a Steelers guy.

mictrik
02-23-2010, 11:00 AM
I am a homeowner and I bought a large backpack blower. I cant understand why someone would want to limit themselves with regard to power. You have a throttle to lower power for sensitive areas like mulched beds and end of the day I spend less time doing my lawn then my neighbors. The more powerful blowers are a great help in the fall and i also use it in the winter to blow accumulated sand from the street out of my driveway. A very useful almost indispensable tool for the house in my opinion. Had I gone with a less powerful blower the usefulness of the unit would be limited.

indy2tall
02-23-2010, 05:49 PM
OK, I see. That leads me to another question. Do most of you have back pack blowers and use them daily?

Jay I have had one (Stihl BR600) for 3 years now and I use it everyday during mowing season. Can't imagine working without it. It's got a ton of power and it is a lot quieter than the other brands. Plus all you do is hit the primer bulb 2 times and it starts on the first pull EVERY time!

JayD
02-23-2010, 07:42 PM
Yeah, I have pretty much made up my mind that I will be buying one this spring. I also want to pick up another new mower too, either another walk behind or the new stander coming out this spring from exmark. Oh, and another edget too.