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Old 10-27-2013, 09:39 AM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Location: Central NY
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Fall cleanup: Do yard vacs work?

I do about 10-15 spring and fall cleanups a year so about 30 total. One part of the job always requires blowing out the beds of clipping and debris and then raking them up and putting them in a wheel barrow and dumping it into the truck or dump trailer.

I hate raking and loading into a barrow! It is the slowest part of our operation!

Do any of you use a yard vac like a billy goat or craftsmen yard vac? I see they have small chippers as well but I am really more interested in the vacuum part of the deal. I am wondering if we blow out the beds after pruning and trimming and then one guy just follows vacuuming up debris?

I see them around here for 175 dollars used and I see a few a season.

Give me your experiences with these units. Waste of time?

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Old 10-27-2013, 10:04 AM
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Sprinkler Buddy Sprinkler Buddy is offline
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Location: Florida
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See if a dealer has one to demo for a day, I would venture to say "waste of time". If they worked well, everyone would have one for that price.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:03 AM
Jaybrown Jaybrown is offline
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Location: Toronto Ontario
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Fall cleanup: Do yard vacs work?

A lawn mower works better because it sucks u the leaves but mulches them into smaller pieces The bags are just about the same size. Turf master and timemasters work really well
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:38 AM
skorum03 skorum03 is offline
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Location: Hudson, WI
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I just use my vacuum system on my mower. I work solo and sometimes with my brother so the beds get blown out into the yard. I just mow the yard like I normally would and bag everything. I don't have a leaf vac system on my truck, nor do I have a dump trailer with a leaf box so we make do with what we've got right now. If there are leaves in a back yard that I can't get at with the mower, then its a pile on a tarp and drag it out front. This system works just fine for us.

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:26 PM
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Eric's Lawnservice Eric's Lawnservice is offline
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Location: Charlotte N.C.
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I am a one man operation, I bought one of the older Billy goat lawn vac's. I did not make anything easier at all. In my opinion there a waste of money. The bag fills quickly, it's hard to dump the bag, it really doesn't do well except for on smooth surfaces. I am all about trying to become more efficient at leaf removals. So I came up with a solution with some scrap parts left over from a previous problem I solved. This machine is has its place. I use it for gated back yards, or small piles of leaves or debris. It sucks everything up into a 55gal. bag. It's ugly but it's better than wrestling a tarp through a 36" gate or bagging by hand (ohh' look dog poo!) Some customers I can leave the bags for the city pick up the rest I stack in the back of my truck until I get home. If I have a large amount of leaves I will take my trailer.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:47 PM
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Glenn Lawn Care Glenn Lawn Care is online now
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Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
Posts: 2,651
I have a billy goat lawn vac that works well for spring and fall clean ups. It holds quite a bit of debris but the only thing is that the machine itself is slow. It works good for sucking up shrub trimmings.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:31 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
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Not having a box truck or leaf loader I went the Billy Goat SP lawn vac.

It is better then raking, mulches so I use less bags. Down side so so on acorns, poor job on gum balls. However the dried out black gum balls are lighter then the green ones so it is a little better on them.

Accessory vac tube works good until the bag gets half full then the vac tube plugs up. Vac tub will plug up if you try to pick up too much leaves at once.

If I got busier an needed a second lawn vac a may test out the DR brand.

Also like the idea of getting a trac vac that I can pull behind my rider. It uses a 55 gal pail that I can put in a leaf liner. Pail full, lift out the liner tie, stack at the curb.

Though with more customers wanting weekly leaf clean ups I may just blow out the beds onto the lawns, then use my mowers with bags.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:30 PM
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integrityman integrityman is online now
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Get a mulch kit for your commercial mower and let that be that. They work really really well.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:01 AM
mpriester mpriester is offline
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Location: Dunbar, Pa.
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i use the bagging system on the mower. I'll trim it first, blow everything out and then mow. works really well this way and the customers are happy.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:52 AM
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LandFakers LandFakers is offline
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Location: CT
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Blow out beds, trim, than bag yard with mower. Killing a few birds with a stone
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