View Full Version : Little Wonder leaf vac/shredder

10-02-2012, 08:20 PM
im dreading leaf removal at a new place i got this year. i could probably suffer through it with my helper and use the old tarp method or i could buck up and spend the money on a leaf vac mounted to my dump trailer. The 14hp is $2,499. $249.00 for the truck mount, then tax and freight. id be right around $3,000 for that one. It has an 8'' hose. The 16hp, 10'' hose, with a few other differences is $2,999, and again $249 for truck mount, then include tax and frieght. probably be around $3500. Now sure which to buy? if the upgrade is worth the extra coin.

it sucks cause i really only need this for 1 commercial complex i have. the other commercial places its not really that needed although id use it if i had it. residentials are cheap and do themelves and leave em at the road all half @ssed like or would be easy enough i could get away with tarp method for the ones i got. town picks up leaves around here

im trying to justify this as a future investment as well with more commercial places in sight i would probably want one eventually. its just now i only got 1 place id really like to have it. very on the fence here.


Mr. Force™, Billy Goat Industries
10-03-2012, 11:09 AM
I'm biased towards Billy Goat, but I'll give you my 2 cents. If you're really trying to avoid retail watch Craigslist (be careful though) or check with rental companies to see what they offer. They normally have wheeled blowers and vacuums. Rarely do they have Debris Loaders but it does happen. Another option is subbing it out to another landscaper you trust.

10-03-2012, 04:38 PM
ive definatly considered all the options youve mentioned. i cant find one to rent. only the walk behind leaf vacs. nothing as of yet on craigslist been checking past few days within a couple hours of my house. although there was one tow behind unit a couple hours away for 2500 but it really didnt tickle my fancy. not when i can get a new one truck mounted for around that. Any landscapers i know personally dont have a loader vac either. Unless some local guys on here wana chime in!! i searched out some other companies but havent landed on one yet that can accomodate me. probably cost me an arm and a leg knowing the prices around here. i just drove by a dump truck with a tow behind loader on the way home. made me jelous. i was at my propery in question today and leaves are already coming down good. in the next few weeks its guna be a mess. i gotta figure something out soon. i can definately afford the blower system new. ive been saving my business money all year and barely paying myself anything. the place i called talked me out of the billy goat. said the LW was better. but who knows. i gotta do some more calling around today

10-03-2012, 04:51 PM
I have heard good things about a LW from a guy who use them. I hear the reduction really makes for tight loads.

10-03-2012, 05:51 PM
a miracle may have just taken place. i will know more tomorrow.

The unit i'm going to look at is a LESCO. how are these? he said its a v-twin motor. but couldnt remember many specs. said he bought it 2 or 3 years ago for his company, the crew used it for an hour, and never again since. said its on a pallet up on a shelf and is basically brand new. and to come make an offer. seemed like a nice guy. I can save a good buck if this pans out.

10-03-2012, 06:03 PM
Nice, that sounds better then taking the plunge on something new. Ive used the lesco loader and it worked just fine.

10-03-2012, 09:07 PM
yea i agree. was pretty lucky i stumbled on this. good thing i made all those phone calls today. ill post up how it goes tomorrow

10-03-2012, 09:14 PM
How did you manage to track it down ?

Darryl G
10-03-2012, 09:14 PM
A barely used unit would be nice...might have to mess with the carb a little depending on how it was stored.

I'll be putting my Billy Goat 16Hp up for sale as soon as I dig it out of it's corner and make sure it operates properly, but Southern CT would be a haul for you.

10-04-2012, 12:06 AM
im good with carbs been messin with them since i can remember. so that wont be an issue. hopefully it starts up with some fresh fuel though. CT is a drive. and im not a big road tripper. I actually paid a friend to drive 5 hours to pickup a motorcycle for me this summer. yea, its that bad.

How I found out about it was i was calling around all the different dealers today getting prices on the brands they carry. calling rental places. just calling everybody i could pretty much. i phoned a small outfit nearby that sells mower stuff, said he could probably order me one but then said last summer a guy came in and left his # saying if anybody was interested in buying a leaf loader that he had one forsale. I was skeptical that it would still be available, or if he'd even answer the phone for that matter but nonetheless i got the guys number and rang him up. He answered right away, said he still had it. said it was like brand new and almost never used since they bought it 2-3 yrs ago. said he forgot what they paid for it, doesnt know what its worth, not sure of exact model..just that it has the big v-twin motor. who knows what size it is til i get there. but said to just come check it out and make an offer. i would have headed out immediately but had a dinner to go to an hour later. so i'll be out there tomorrow to check it out. i'll let ya know how it goes

Darryl G
10-04-2012, 12:49 AM
Mine only has a few hours on it too...just doesn't work with my operation. I have a dump trailer like you and work solo in fall. Basically I have to pick between having the mower or the vac with me and I'd rather have the mower. I load my Lazer into the dump trailer, grind the leaves up and bag them, dump them in the front of trailer and mower in back. Getting all the leaves to my trailer from back yards was just too much of a pain, and it's not like using the loader isn't work. You either have to manhandle the nozzle or lay it down and feed it with a rake. And by the time I finish with my regular lawncare customers I don't have time to chase piles. If I had a dump truck it would work out better for me.

10-04-2012, 02:26 AM
i hear ya man. i can see how youd have to pick between one or the other. id probably pick the mower too. but if you saw the layout of the place i really need this for youd understand more why i need it. i have a part-timer. who just so happens to be my friend. so i use him on bigger jobs. ive used him all year with me when i was real busy and he has his own dump trailer which came in handy on a massive mulch job i had this summer. so ill have him tow my landscape trailer with mowers and baggers and ill tow the dump with the leave vac. last year i tied a big tarp and dragged it with my scag v-ride rather than physically having to drag it. works great. this loader wouldnt be for every job of mine. but i think it can have its place. getting a good deal on one will definately make me feel better about making the purchase.i was really borderline on buying one new. probably would have. but wouldnt have been to happy about it lol. and still who knows how this unit tomorrow will look. these commercial places i have are like a bunch of little units with postage stamp lawns and driveways all over. it would be simple to blow leaves to the roadway and drive through with the sucker. i cant hog around on the mower and mince them up i just dont see it working at this place. i just picture making an even bigger mess to clean up. im gettin the complex next door next yr and its the same deal there. and adding anothe place down the road. all same kind of layouts. this would be great for those places. i doubt id use this at even 1 of my residential accounts ever.

10-04-2012, 08:18 AM
We've run Lesco 16hp vacs for the last 9 years, Briggs v-twin - we'd be getting another one if they still had the 16hp; it's a really good unit. Only thing to watch very closely for is don't let leaves accumulate on the deck around the motor; seems obvious, but we've caught fire a couple of times... the backboard on our truck lets strays float back out and they land all over the unit, so we keep an eye on it and just blow it off if they start to gather.
We're looking at the 18/20hp but the weight is getting high for heaving that beast up onto the tailgate 2-3 times a day - we fill our 10 yd dump bed (stuffed and packed) up to 3 times a day in full swing and take the vac off onsite. If you can get the swing-away setup you'll avoid that issue. We have the "over-the-gate" setup so we can still haul a full trailer of equipment too. Two best investments in our business; the dump truck and the leaf vac. Love 'em.
BTW our mower dealer has dropped Little Wonder vacs because of a non resolved issue with bad balance on the impeller/fan which was making the units vibrate to pieces, literally.

Darryl G
10-04-2012, 09:04 AM
I had my unit hung on the barn door of my dump trailer and just strapped it back to dump. A friend of mine has his mounted on the tongue of his dump trailer. That seems to work well, but I feel claustrophobic working while pinned into that little area between the truck and trailer.

Mr. Force™, Billy Goat Industries
10-04-2012, 10:32 AM
The LESCO unit you mention was made by Salsco.

10-04-2012, 10:45 AM
my dump trailer has barn doors so i will mount it to one of those so it swings back when i dump as well. fingers crossed this unit is solid and a good price today!

10-04-2012, 09:28 PM
So i went and looked at it today. he started it up and man this thing has some power. its a 16hp Vanguard. All the hoses are in great shape. These are just cell pics i took quick with my crappy phone and the hoses were at the other end of his big ass shop. I also got a trailer mounted bracket. probably a few hundred bucks for that new. He said he wanted $1500 for it all. I asked if he could do $1300 cash, and he said you got a deal! So im pretty stoked I got a good deal on a nice unit and i can stop stressing about these damn leaves!!



Darryl G
10-04-2012, 09:32 PM
Thief!!! Grats...you got a hell of a deal dude. $1,500 was more than fair. $1,300 is a grand larceny, lol.

10-04-2012, 09:43 PM
Hell yeah man, you stole it!

10-04-2012, 10:11 PM
thanks guys. i'll post up some better pics in a thread i got in pic section tomorrow with the rest of the pieces for it. It was pretty lucky for me how all this went down. Im glad i called so many places yesterday and got a lead on this. cause he wasnt advertising it forsale in any classifieds. Spending $1300 for one of these is more than I could have asked for. especially one so nice.

Darryl G
10-04-2012, 10:53 PM
And if that hitch you mentioned is a swing-away hitch they're more like $500+. So is it safe to assume that you won't be coming down to buy mine? LOL

10-04-2012, 11:54 PM
lol i wont be heading to CT anytime soon!! but im sure theres some desperate landscaper out your way who would be dying to take it off your hands!

The mount is not the swing away. it bolts to the tongue of a trailer and holds the machine. its like a 3 foot tall table stand for it. ill post pics of it tomorrow. im not sure if ill be using it as it or modifying it to bolt to my tailgate of my trailer. They had it mounted on a trailer shooting into the back of a dump truck. i could mount it on the tongue, flip the blower to shoot back into my trailer and operate the hose from between my truck/trailer but i dont know yet. i already had the setup in mind to hang it off the gate.

Darryl G
10-05-2012, 12:14 AM
One problem with it on the tongue, other than having to work between the truck and trailer in a confined, area is that you always have a 90 degree bend in the hose and it tends to clog up more. If you have it on the back of the trailer, you can work with it straighter and not worry about slamming the hose into your truck when you shake it to clear clogs. To me it's just awkward having it on the tongue, but I know a lot of guys do. You may also have to mount it high to clear the box which I presume is on the tongue with the battery and hydraulics in it.

10-05-2012, 07:31 PM
the mount will have to be modified a bit. with where my trailer box is its slightly off in alignment. and thats welded to the frame from factory so ill have to do something. spacers would probably do it. or ill hack it up good and make it to work on the gate. i got it in my truck now tarped as it jus started raining but ill snap a pic the whole setup tomorrow. just got home now and its already getting dark outside