DR lawn vac vs. Cyclone rake- who's better?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mobilefleet, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. mobilefleet

    mobilefleet LawnSite Member
    from atl
    Posts: 17

    Well I finally ordered a cyclone rake to pick up lawn clippings and leaves, tired of manual labor with the old rake. But I had a very hard time between choosing between these two. DR sent me a video and info packet, the video shows a couple of times the DR and how it is "dustless" when doing the job and showed a "competitor" which was obviously the Cyclone rake (with the name blacked out) with the top flap throwing dust everywhere. One thing that bothered me about the DR was that the collector bin is huge and blocks your vision when backing up, plus being made of poly plastic makes me think it will warp in the sun, like I have had a regular bagger bin system do on my riding lawn mower. The Cyclone appears to be made from a nylon mesh material. Was the DR ad being dramatic about how the cyclone will throw dust everywhere? Need opinions on if I made a good choice. I did notice that the DR video seems to cut away quickly to another scene when it appears that their own machine is dusty while mowing and picking up grass!
     
  2. macaw

    macaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    This will be my 6th year using the CycloneRake. When the leaves are dry it will throw dust but it will pick up wet leaves just as good as dry ones. I don't see how anything can pick up dry leaves without making dust. PM me if you want anymore info.
     
  3. Cutter LLC

    Cutter LLC LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 100

    About my 5th year with the cyclone rake and yeah it's dusty, but you go around the property in a rotation unlike striping. It's soo long that the dust that comes out of the rear of the unit is soo far away you really aren't that affected. One piece of advise is to take it slow at first. This unit can be very cumbersome, large, and hard to maneuver. I hope you went with the commercial series with the wheel upgrades as well as the better hoses. I like the fact it folds up and doesn't take up a ton of space in the shop. The exhaust hose is about worthless and it should either be dumped or bagged depending on your operation. One more piece of advice is that plastic piece that fits on your discharge chute is junk. Replace it with the trac vac's metal chute designed for your specific mower cost is about 125$.

    JMHO
     
  4. jeffv

    jeffv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Go with the Cyclone Rake. I have the DR and I'm sending it back.
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Cutter,
    So it is wise to NOT get their discharge chute and just order one from trac-vac? Is their any extra things you have to do to get the trac-vac chute to work with the Cyclone's hose setup? Also, the double wheel IS that much more worth it to purchase?
    I was told that the exhaust hose truly is NOT a feasible choice, and that the same results can be had with just hooking up the vac hose to do the same thing. Do you have the external vac hose? Is THAT worth it? Also, did you get the heavy duty hoses? I thought they were kind of expensive on their site UNTIL I did some research and shopped around for that stuff. Actually, their prices are right in the ballpark, and even cheaper than some suppliers. Thanks.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Cutter,
    I just checked on both sites and saw that while the Cyclone has a 7" hose for the discharge chute, the TracVac uses an 8" hose. Do we have to do a little fabrication to make it work, or what?
     
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I guess I am the only person that hated the cyclone rake with a passion. If you are doing a large wide open area it would be ok. If you are using it in a residentual yard with a lot of bushes and yard decor forget it! When I hooked it to my 133 it was over 12 feet long, try pulling that thing thru a yard with lots of obstacles. I liked to tore up everything in the yard with it and also low hanging limbs will tear the hose loose from the top of the cyclone rake. I will say they have excellent customer service and I got my money back even though well pass their 30 day guarantee. Also it took me all day to put the dang thing together and I'm fairly mech. inclined. I cant say anything about the DR being I never used one. I will take my mulch kit any day over this thing or if I am forced to bag my exmark with the dump from the seat beats the heck out of the rake. I really never understood bagging leaves as my mulch kit will turn them into dust. I have managed to convert several folk with SCBS syndrome over to me mulching and they say they cant tell the difference than bagging.
     
  8. Cutter LLC

    Cutter LLC LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 100

    Sorry for not posting Runner. I did upgrade to the commercial hoses and it fits like a charm on the trac vac chute. I got this idea from a dealer local to me and they called the factory directly with the problem and dimensions of the hoses. I did not have to mess with it I'll walk out to the shop now and try my new 7.1 mega pixl cannon and try to get snap a shot be patient please. That plastic chute broke on me twice (my fault) and I said that's it. I don't ever leave track marks with the double wheels and I think they could be beneficial. I blow out of beds, obstacles, and around trees then jump on the CR to deliver and final suck up. I get about 200-300$ for a 1/2 to 3/4 acre yard and it takes me solo about 4hrs to complete. 2 a day keeps the leaves away.
     
  9. mobilefleet

    mobilefleet LawnSite Member
    from atl
    Posts: 17

    Well i got my cyclone rake today and put it together and tried it on my yard, 2.5 acres fescue in the Georgia heat. The site claims it can pick up wet leaves and grass and also doesn't clog. I found this to be false. Although I've been so busy it has been about 2-3 weeks since I mowed my yard. I had to stop several times and unclog the discharge chute at the mower deck, probably because there was so much volume of grass going through it in the high grass, so I'll give the unit the benefit of the doubt. I've estimated that you have to stop and dump about 3 times per acre during a normal 7-10 day run of time between cutting your yard, and if you wait longer you will dump more as it will fill up quickly. I have the pro series, 285 gallon capacity. Overall I am satisfied enough to keep it, it did a fairly good job. I know that NO vac will pick up foot high grass that is wet without some issues. I heard bad things about the DR although it has more capacity, it just looks too cumbersome and clumsy to pull behind your mower. For the $1200 I spent it looks as if it will save me lots of raking in the heat, so it's worth it for me.
     
  10. Cutter LLC

    Cutter LLC LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 100

    Put on gators and do an initial cut then hook on the cyclone rake and cut the chute should not clog as much. Also, if you didn't cut that plastic chute perfect suction will be lost.
     

Share This Page