View Full Version : Anyone actually use leaf blowers to do cleanups?

11-05-2002, 08:29 PM
Seems like everyone only uses mowers either with vacs or special blade setups to mulch but surely someone still uses blowers? Obviously mowers are faster on larger props and reduce debris volume, and trim the grass, and mulching can sometimes be just as effective under the right conditions, but on small lawns isn't it just as quick and easy to use a blower (backpack blower)? Especially if curb pickup is provided by the city... Does it work to mulch over the leaves once with mower then blow into piles?
Seems around here there isn't enough need for a good catcher but mulching isn't always best either and with a walk behind options are limited for catchers as well.... arggghhhh!!!!
But I do have a new idea for a catcher for a walk behind, a new better design that no one has thought of so maybe if it works I will patent and sell it.

11-05-2002, 08:39 PM
I still use blowers and a truck vac, no rakes though.
I maintain high end, and they pay well to have several cleanups done a season. We have a pretty good system which works well.

I dont think I could ever 'get away' with just mulching the leaves.

I found it too had to blow the leaves if you cut first (pieces too small) , therefore we blow first, then cut/bag.

11-05-2002, 09:02 PM
Other than blowing out beds and such, I use the blower to blow small slopes or strips (like between street and sidewalk) onto the lawn before I mulch.

mdb landscaping
11-05-2002, 09:24 PM
i hardly ever seen anybody mowing up the leaves. all the guys around here, myself included, blow out the beds with back packs, use the big blowers to blow into piles or woods, and then vac up any piles if necessary. then a mower with a vac will mow the yard to get a nice finished look removeing any missed leaves.

11-05-2002, 10:10 PM
First of all you need to blow out the beds before you mow, then run over the debris with the mower(either mulching or bagging), but be sure not to blow the debris back into the beds. I've often seen guys lay out a big tarp onto the lawn, then use a blowers to blow the leaves on the tarp, and dump the tarp full of leaves onto the trailer... hope this helps! :)

Cooper Landscaping
11-05-2002, 10:19 PM
I used to until this year- i bought a cyclone rake and have done 4 cleanups with it so far...3 of which today. It suckedup leaves that were frozen to the ground and later as it got warmer it sucked up the soaking wet leaves no problem. I never would have been able to do this with blowers. I do bring my little wonder with me but the only blower i actually use is the stihl br420 and thats only to move the leaves on the sides in towards the middle. With the properties i do, the vacuum is SO much better. Last 2 years we used tarps and blowers and this is so much easier. My little wonder is almost useless now! lol o well

11-06-2002, 03:02 AM
Cooper, what kind of mower are you pulling it with? A commercial mower?
I just looked at thier site and they show it attached to homeowner style lawn tractors.
Just curious. Thanks.

11-06-2002, 06:37 AM
I use the blower on larger properties. They're useful for clearing out beds and such. I blow everything across the yard into one or two big piles onto a tarp and away I go. The downside is that if its windy, it blows them back unless you throttle down..

On smaller properties, I use the blower to clean out the edges, beds, etc, blow everything into the center and vacumn it with the mower. My clients have been happy with this detail.

That said, only about half of my clients requested clean ups this season. The leaves have been late dropping yet its been hovering around 35 degrees all through October. Some like to do it themselves for the exercise.

11-06-2002, 08:25 AM
We use our blowers to blow the leaves off the grass and onto the driveway or road then get it up with the riding mower. The blower get the leaves out of the small areas and makes the yard a lot nicer looking than to run over it with the mower.

11-06-2002, 08:25 AM
No, no no no, what I meant was, do you use blowers to clean off the whole yard, not just flower beds? I mean like not even fire up the mower at all (well maybe to clean it up after blowing everything off)???

11-06-2002, 08:50 AM
We have a couple that we use just leaf blowers on. One that comes to mind has a riding rink (for horses) too on the property. Only way to get them out is with our 8hp Little Wonders.

And a few others that are completely surrounded by woods. It's quicker to blow the leaves into the woods then spending half the day vacing them all up. At the end of the season, we will run the vacs on these properties just to get the stragglers.

11-06-2002, 10:53 AM
Some cleanups I can blow the leaves into the woods. Others, I'm able to blow them to the street for the town to suck up. Since we've had alot of rain, looks like I won't be doing much mulching with the Toro. 2 months ago I was praying for rain. Now I'm hoping it dries out.

11-06-2002, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by BushHogBoy
No, no no no, what I meant was, do you use blowers to clean off the whole yard, not just flower beds? I mean like not even fire up the mower at all (well maybe to clean it up after blowing everything off)???

yes, yes, yes. my market would rather pay me $200 bucks to pick up leaves once rather than mulch them four times for $120.

the customer gets what he wants to pay for.


Bob Minney
11-06-2002, 11:29 AM
Anyone actually use leaf blowers to do cleanups?


little green guy
11-06-2002, 11:36 AM
We use backpacks and push blowers to blow out the bed and the whole yard then we use the rider with the ultra vac to cut and grab any debris that got blown back or whatever.

dr grass
11-06-2002, 11:42 AM
we blow out the beds and around the house and trees with the back packs. the little wonder comes in handy where there is a big section to be blown into a feild or woods. the rest is vaccuumed up in heavy sections. the lighter sections get the gator blade treatment. ive never seen the point in blowing the leaves onto a tarp and hauling them away. takes up too much time!

shep :blob4:

Bill Davis
11-06-2002, 12:34 PM
im using my little wonder now and although it is heavy it will blow the leaves like nothing i have ever had. The Sthil's get used to clean beds and get in tight spots.

Cooper Landscaping
11-06-2002, 09:22 PM
go getter-
im pullin it with a deere gt225 it is a tractor althoguh you can get a longer hose and it will fit a commercial mower also

11-06-2002, 09:50 PM
We only use back packs, leaf plow, and front mounted leaf loaders. We clean up 7 cemeteries and about 40 residential. We tried the pull around blowers but, especially in the cemeteries, they were not productive, too many headstones to pull around. Wasted too much time moving the big blower around. Cemeteries are from 2 acres to 14 acres. Residentials range from 2 acres to 4 acres. Clients around here do not want any type of mulching done. If we did that, they'd come out and ask "when you gonna be back to get the leaves off the grass and haul them away?" Took some pics last week of the trucks, just haven't gotten them off the camera to post them...hopefully soon though.

11-06-2002, 10:02 PM
I have a couple lawns we just use the back packs for the entire lawn.

My vac's are not the only way we do leaves, but they do more than their share.

We also use BP to blow out areas the vac's wont get in.

11-06-2002, 10:12 PM
I mainly blow them all into a pile with my backpack then I put a sheet of ply-wood from the ground to the tail gate of my pickup and load them up there with a rake.....I know this sounds crazy but this is how it has to work for me this year due to the fact that my leaf-loader completely fell apart this spring and I never got around to fixing it. On bigger yards, though, I hook up a bagger to the 36" Proline and suck them up.

I'm not the best clean-up person,,,one reason is because everyone around my area likes to pick up their own leaves and get rid of them themselves.

I am thinking of building a new loader this winter..don't have time to do it now...anyone have any ideas?

11-06-2002, 11:20 PM
I have this one house with about 6k worth of green space. Most of that is the back yard. I use an old McCulloch blower on this one due to the yard is surrounded on three sides by dense brush and trees, has a free standing garage, and a tramploine in the middle of it.

The only way to really do this lawn right is to blow. The people there don't mind if I blow it all into the brush or up against the sides of the garage due to they let the grandkids bag it up (gives them something to do I guess). It doesn't take that long, and it's one of the easiest lawns I work on. :blob3:

Heller Landscaping
11-06-2002, 11:50 PM
We blow heavy piles apart to mulch or bag better. If there are woods on the property we will just blow them right back where they came from. We use back pack blowers. We used to use hand held blowers but finally upgraded to b\p this year. They are great.:)

11-07-2002, 10:17 PM
On the ones that insist on the curbside service, I will blow the leaves in the back onto a tarp,then dump them to the curb and blow the entire front yard with a bp to the curb ,if its not too big of a lawn.

11-07-2002, 10:47 PM
Thanks for the responses guys, I got a Kawasaki KRB400A b/p blower yesterday used, it's great, used it to do a cleanup on a half acre yard, moderate coverage over about 2/3 of it, some of that was heavy. The way I did it was to divide up sections of the lawn and blow in squares until they were in piles in the middle of each section. Then I took our Wheel Horse GT and 6x12 open trailer (has 1x12's bolted to the iron sides) next to each pile and took a rake and picked up a bunch at a time and put it in the trailer. I got two and a half trailer loads from this, with it heaped up about 3' high in the bed at the highest point. Lotta leaves! Then I took them and dumped in my garden to mulch. Oh this was at my neighbor's house. I think it took maybe 2 hours. I would have rather mulched them with the mower and then used the catcher on it but I had to try the blower. On a small lawn in town with curb pickup I still think a blower might be competitive with a mower/catcher combo. Then take a mower and catcher to cleanup real quickly. I dunno... This weekend I'm going to grandma's house, she has about an acre of super heavy leaves, I mean a $h!tlo@d of leaves! I will take my camera and try to put something in the pics to show the depth. I think my plan is either
1) blow everything and tarp to burn in the field, then take mower and catcher to cleanup (which is useless as fast as they fall!)
2) mulch once or twice with mower then use bagger on it, dump and burn.
Either way, it will take a while and be painful. Luggin the blower around yesterday for an hour and a half was heavy at 18 lbs. dry weight (add 2 liters of fuel), lighter than a Stihl BR340 with more power/airflow too. B/P's are nicer than handhelds and you don't notice the weight too bad if you keep moving but man thats alot of weight back there! The Kawasaki is my first experience with a b/p blower, I love it. It is alot like a RedMax it looks like. If anyone has a handheld, get a backpack blower, I promise you won't regret it! This blows at least 30% more air than a handheld and doesn't hurt your arms after a while (your shoulders will be sore after a half hour or more though) but it's worth it. This Kawasaki is just alittle bigger than a Stihl BR340 that I was looking at getting till I got this FYI.
Oh well maybe a handheld might be alittle more convenient for blowing sidewalks and drives at small places in town during mowing season but if you could just have one it's a BP blower! Makes you feel like a rocket man the first time you strap it on! lol.