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View Full Version : Advise on Leaf Vacuums/truck loaders


NonStop
10-09-2010, 07:18 PM
I am about to drop some coin on a leaf vacuum and have narrowed it down to the Giant-Vac with the 18hp Vangaurd engine or the same size BillyGoat. They both have 10" hoses and I will be mounting on the front of my dump trailer (I don't want the swing away mount).

I want to hear some reviews on these machines before I drop $3500...

I'm leaning towards the BillyGoat because it is a couple hundred less and I like green more than red.

gene gls
10-09-2010, 08:37 PM
Billy Goat has a liner in the blower housing to protect housing from wearing through. Cheaper to replace a liner than a whole blower housing.

NonStop
10-09-2010, 10:11 PM
Great info, thanks! I always see housings with dents from gravel, etc and was wondering if there was a difference.

Thanks!

gasracer
10-12-2010, 01:04 PM
I use a Toro Vacuum bagger on my ZTR with gator blades on it. I still have to dispose of it but is already shredded when I dump it.. I also use the the bagger for grass during mowing season.

P.Services
10-12-2010, 02:01 PM
I have the giant vac. I went with it because at the time it was the only 18hp with electric start. I wouldn't trade that for anything.
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bradseabridge
10-12-2010, 02:35 PM
I have a 9 horse tailgate mount giant vac with an 8in hose. I mounted it to the front of my trailer, being a one man show it works good for me and I can handle everything bymyself, a 18horse would be nice but would suck the leaves up faster than I can rake them to the hose after it kills one section of the pile. I may put a 13horse engine on it this season just to see what happens, but probably not. It works for me because I don't take on more leaf work than I can handle, so I don't need the 18 horse vacs.

NonStop
10-25-2010, 07:51 PM
Ok, so lets discuss mounting it on the front of my dump trailer above the control box, verses on the back with a swing away. I am pretty sure I will mount it to the front, but I do feel like I can get the back of the trailer closer to piles easier than the front of the trailer.

What about covers? After spending this money, I'd like to keep this thing covered when not in use. It will be mounted pretty much all winter and exposed to the elements. Anything better than a trash bag or blue tarp?

bradseabridge
10-25-2010, 08:46 PM
camo tarp!

PerfectEarth
10-25-2010, 09:05 PM
There are other decent pics of my leaf trailer in my pic thread...just search "Perfect Earth" in thread titles and you can see a few examples of my dump/vac setup.

Just assembled it again today and filled it up in 2 hours!

I'll post this pic from a few years ago- it's the same as today. I mount the Billy Goat 18 hp on the swing barn gate of the trailer. It's heavy on the door- and that worried me- BUT, I use the two ratchet straps and tie the weight to box. It's a huge help. To dump, I just undo the straps, swing the gate and vac away, strap that to the trailer, and the plywood gate swings away. Perfect dump everytime.

I have used a setup on the control box and I like mine 10x better. Access to piles is so much easier.

I park my trailer under the pole barn at the shop to keep the rain off. I find the Billy Goat it very bitchy... If it gets rained on, I have to blow out all the fuel lines and dump the gas. With any vac, keep it CLEAN! I take the tank off and get all the grime and dust out about every week. Filter gets hit daily.

NonStop
10-25-2010, 09:57 PM
Thats a nice set up. I really think access to piles may be the only reason I might switch to a rear mount. No offense, but I don't really like the look of the straps, however, I understand their function and may do the same thing.

BTW, is that marine plywood on your box? Looks nice.

PerfectEarth
10-25-2010, 10:15 PM
I don't like the straps either! The gate would really suffer if they weren't there though...

Just normal plywood. 3/4 inch!

In that pic, I do not have my landscape tarp over the box. The middle of the top is open for venting. Bungeed tight, then staple gunned around the opening.

NonStop
10-27-2010, 08:19 AM
I wish they made a special cover for the units when not in service and when traveling. I might have to make a special one myself.

Can't decide on whether to mount it in the front or back! Anyone else have theirs on the front of the trailer with feedback?

Lawn & Order LLC
10-27-2010, 09:34 AM
There are other decent pics of my leaf trailer in my pic thread...just search "Perfect Earth" in thread titles and you can see a few examples of my dump/vac setup.

Just assembled it again today and filled it up in 2 hours!

I'll post this pic from a few years ago- it's the same as today. I mount the Billy Goat 18 hp on the swing barn gate of the trailer. It's heavy on the door- and that worried me- BUT, I use the two ratchet straps and tie the weight to box. It's a huge help. To dump, I just undo the straps, swing the gate and vac away, strap that to the trailer, and the plywood gate swings away. Perfect dump everytime.

I have used a setup on the control box and I like mine 10x better. Access to piles is so much easier.

I park my trailer under the pole barn at the shop to keep the rain off. I find the Billy Goat it very bitchy... If it gets rained on, I have to blow out all the fuel lines and dump the gas. With any vac, keep it CLEAN! I take the tank off and get all the grime and dust out about every week. Filter gets hit daily.

SO, do you have to unhook all that when you go dump, I can see if you dump 3x a month but if your doing a dump a day, that can get old. I have seen the loader in front of the trailer and it staying on when you go dump but im sure the trailering gets hairy with clearance so i dont know what position is best, front or rear. I am guessing you have someone to help take that off when you go dump ??

Darryl G
10-27-2010, 11:05 AM
I used to run the exact same setup with my 7 x 12 Bri-Mar trailer but my loader is the 16HP Billy Goat. Same unit but they changed the motor. I dind't run any straps and the gate handled it just fine. They're pretty sturdy.

A friend of mine has his mouted on the front of the trailer and I've worked with him and I can't stand it there. I feel pinned in and clastorphobic working in the space between the truck and trailer. To me it's like working in a closet.

You just swing the gate open with the unit still on and tie it back to dump.

Just noticed how short your vertical piece is. I thought they came stock with a taller one like mine.

bradseabridge
10-27-2010, 12:56 PM
You should get a brace made that bolts onto the frame of your trailer under the door for the loader to sit on. That's what I would do, probably only cost you $50 or so.

PerfectEarth
10-27-2010, 07:57 PM
SO, do you have to unhook all that when you go dump, I can see if you dump 3x a month but if your doing a dump a day, that can get old. I have seen the loader in front of the trailer and it staying on when you go dump but im sure the trailering gets hairy with clearance so i dont know what position is best, front or rear. I am guessing you have someone to help take that off when you go dump ??

As Darryl said, you just swing the gate back to the side, with the vac on it, and I ratchet strap it to the side of the trailer to dump. Don't have to take the vac off. Dumping takes 4-5 minutes.

NonStop
10-27-2010, 08:17 PM
I too was wondering about the short "up-pipe" to the discharge. The lenght of the stock one was going to be an issue when I mounted in the front because I have to mount the unit high enough to clear the lid when I open it to get to the dump controls.

The swing away mounted to the trailer (not the barn door) might be the way to go. Might have to fab something up.

Anyone got close ups of what they have fabbed?

STIHL GUY
10-27-2010, 08:27 PM
I wish they made a special cover for the units when not in service and when traveling. I might have to make a special one myself.

Can't decide on whether to mount it in the front or back! Anyone else have theirs on the front of the trailer with feedback?

i have seen one guy with a cover for his but i dont know if it was specially made for him or not

Darryl G
10-27-2010, 08:41 PM
I think you're concerns about mounting on the barn door are unfounded...well exaggerated anyway. It's not gonna bend or break it. It can't really go anywhere. You could always put a latch of some sort on the top between the two doors to tie them together and give it a bit more lateral strength. Those doors are a heck of a lot heavier duty than a pickup truck trail gate, which is what those units are designed to hang on. I had mine there with no problem, not that I used it extensively.

Greenguy1
10-28-2010, 07:45 AM
2 things to increase the efficiency of that trailer... 1- add 1.5 inch black poly pipe as hoops to increase height for larger capacity.. can easily gain 3-4 ft and 2- raise discharge shoot. More capacity, less trips to dump = more profit$$$$

NonStop
10-28-2010, 07:50 AM
One of the doors on my dumper is already tweeked a little (bought it used), but it does have a deadbolt style lock at the top of the two doors to tie them together. So you might be right.

However, I have a buddy that runs a business that had the weight of this vac twist his door to where it is hard to close. Different trailer than mine, but it is an example of it happening.

I thought about my removal jobs and most of them have us blowing the leaves to the ditch in front of the property and then removing. In this case it won't matter if it is front or back mounted.

Are there really that many instances where you can't back up 12 more feet (length of my trailer box), or blow the pile another 12 feet? I guess it depends on the property...

Darryl G
10-28-2010, 08:57 AM
Ok on the door. I guess better safe than sorry. One of mine is actually tweaked a bit too but that's from dumping without having it pinned back...dumping in the dark and I could swear I pinned it back but then heard a creak.

It's really just a matter of working in a confined work area to me when it's mounted up front. I'd much rather have it in back. Hard to explain but I just have that confined/pinned in feeling working with it in front. I need FREEDOM! lol

NonStop
10-31-2010, 08:18 AM
I hear ya.

If I were to get a 20' hose so I could reach more piles, how much suction power would I loose with the BillyGoat 18hp? Any?

Mr. Mow it all
11-01-2010, 12:42 PM
I have a 15 footer and didnt loose any suction

EverestLandscape
11-02-2010, 09:18 AM
hey Non stop. I realize this post is from 2007 and Im sure you have a loader by now but to address the cover, i went to the local car interior place and he custom made a cover for $150. He also made all the covers for the crap on the service truck too. hope this helps

EverestLandscape
11-02-2010, 09:33 AM
nevermind i read the post date wrong haha. Ill tell you about ours and hopefully it will help you. We have two billy goat vacs. One is on the tounge of a dump trailer that i pull with my personal pick up and we use that for curbside pick up only. The other is on the ez-dumper of the other pickup and that goes to the houses we do the actuall clean-up at too. Having it on the tounge of the dump trailer is nice because when you get to the dump you have to do nothing but open the doors in the back and dump it. I mounted it so the hose is on the passenger side to make it easier. One of them I bought as a left over from the dealer, 18HP elec. start, etc, etc. for $2,350. The other one I bought used complete with 15' hose for $250 with a blown motor, bought another 18HP motor for $1,008 and slapped it on there. Love the a8hp motor...very good power. I will say the one I bought used is most likely 10 years old and it's built much, much better and tougher than the new one. The other thing I did is took both vacs to the local metal fab shop and the guy welded 1/4" steel all around the housing so if a rock gets sucked up it doesn't come shooting out the side like a bullet. Well worth the money in my opinion. Hope this helps you at all.

NonStop
11-02-2010, 07:34 PM
[QUOTE=EverestLandscape;3776230]One is on the tounge of a dump trailer that i pull with my personal pick up and we use that for curbside pick up only. The other is on the ez-dumper of the other pickup and that goes to the houses we do the actuall clean-up at too. Having it on the tounge of the dump trailer is nice because when you get to the dump you have to do nothing but open the doors in the back and dump it. I mounted it so the hose is on the passenger side to make it easier. One of them I bought as a left over from the dealer, 18HP elec. start, etc, etc. for $2,350. QUOTE]

Good feedback. I am now leaning (again) towards putting it on the front. I definitely mount it so the hose is on the passenger side so I can stop/park on the correct side of the road.

I'll check with a local guy about the covers, and good advice on the extra metal around the shoot.

Green Grass In VA
11-02-2010, 09:24 PM
Hey nonstop give me a call or text me 804-304-4130 i have a 18hp billygoat with swing away tailgate hitch im selling bought it brand new last year and didnt use it alot. If you want im sure i can meet you so you can check it out.

NonStop
11-03-2010, 08:03 PM
Sorry, but I've already got mine ordered. Should be here Monday. I was looking at used ones, but didn't see that you had one for sale. I kinda wanted the warranty as well.

PM me what price you are asking. I might know someone that wants it, or I might be stupid and buy yours for a 2nd loader.

bradseabridge
11-03-2010, 10:38 PM
omg people, IT'S CHUTE!!!!!!

NonStop
11-04-2010, 07:47 AM
Oh, duh. my bad. I knew something didn't look right when I typing it. Too much of a hurry...

riverwalklandscaping
11-04-2010, 07:52 PM
Ditto on mounting it on the back of the trailer. I would never want to work off the middle like someone said all claustrophobic in between the truck and trailer. It's much easier to get to piles with it on the back. It's heavy on your door, but I had some extra mounting brackets mounted right to the trailer so that the weight is not so bad, I pull 2 pins and it comes right off. 2 pins and it's back on. I don't have to take it off to dump tho, I just swing it right out of the way, and I have a hook on the trailer that just holds it when it dumps.

NonStop
11-04-2010, 07:59 PM
Nice. What type of tarp over the top do you have?

Did you make the swing away mount or buy it?

gene gls
11-04-2010, 08:17 PM
Ditto on mounting it on the back of the trailer. I would never want to work off the middle like someone said all claustrophobic in between the truck and trailer. It's much easier to get to piles with it on the back. It's heavy on your door, but I had some extra mounting brackets mounted right to the trailer so that the weight is not so bad, I pull 2 pins and it comes right off. 2 pins and it's back on. I don't have to take it off to dump tho, I just swing it right out of the way, and I have a hook on the trailer that just holds it when it dumps.

If you had arched hoops to hold up your tarp and had your loader pipe at the top of your door, you would be able to get a full load to the top of your sides.

riverwalklandscaping
11-05-2010, 11:11 AM
The tarp was a temporary thing, I now have a nice clean looking mesh dump truck tarp over the top that allows it to vent. Also, I can fill the trailer full with the loader pipe where it is, less a tiny spot around the very end of the loader pipe. I like to dump the leaves at the end of everyday so the cold at night doesn't freeze them to the inside of the trailer. I have never gotten close to filling the trailer in a day as the leaves are run through 3 sets of blades by the time they are in the trailer generally (mower, vac system, truck loader) and the trailer holds ~20 yards.

And the swing away setup was custom fabricated.. i will take some pictures at some point if i can remember

LR3
11-05-2010, 05:01 PM
I wish they made a special cover for the units when not in service and when traveling. I might have to make a special one myself.

Can't decide on whether to mount it in the front or back! Anyone else have theirs on the front of the trailer with feedback?

I use a weber gas grill cover. The more you spend on one the thicker and more durable they are.

NonStop
11-06-2010, 08:17 AM
I use a weber gas grill cover. The more you spend on one the thicker and more durable they are.

Thats a good idea!

Anyone with pictures of their loaders on the front of their trailers?

NonStop
11-09-2010, 07:39 AM
Finally opened the box on this guy last night. Will be mounting this week and in service next week.

Any last minute advice on where to mount? Still haven't decided....:rolleyes:

ruftstrebor1
11-09-2010, 08:28 AM
Looks purty! Take pics.

Mr. Mow it all
11-10-2010, 05:26 PM
wow! That looks ..........Expensive! howthehell much was that?

Greenboy24
11-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Make sure you keep the impellar tight. The new design on these unfortunately is just terrible. They "cheaped" it up to keep the price point similar to years past but really cut some drastic corners in the design phase which makes both usability and some functionality a real PITA. at the factory they do not tighten the impaller up on the crankshaft they leave significant space if it comes loose at all and it will a little just becasue of the vibrating the space allows it to really move. then the crankshaft breaks off....had it happen aftetr only 10 hrs (not a comforting sound) and know a few other people who had the same thing with the new design.

I had a 2008 model and never had any problems it was MUCH better designed then their new ones. I really don't know what they were thinking. Regret upgrading to this one. They replaced it under warranty and we machined the impeller so it fits tight now but I will be selling it come spring.

NonStop
11-16-2010, 01:48 PM
Oh boy, I hope it was just a batch. I will keep it checked since you've mentioned it.

I actually have it mounted (went with a rear mount) with a custom piece that I had fabbed up. I didn't want it tilting when I dumped, so a special hinge mounted to the trailer chassis was made. It needs some beefing up due to the leverage of the 300lb machine on a long arm, but I will have pics of it once it is perfected and painted.

grassman330
10-11-2011, 03:13 PM
I am about to drop some coin on a leaf vacuum and have narrowed it down to the Giant-Vac with the 18hp Vangaurd engine or the same size BillyGoat. They both have 10" hoses and I will be mounting on the front of my dump trailer (I don't want the swing away mount).

I want to hear some reviews on these machines before I drop $3500...

I'm leaning towards the BillyGoat because it is a couple hundred less and I like green more than red.

definantely the giant vac. i have a giant vac tow behind which is atleast 25 years old and still works(original engine also)