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Fall cleanup: Do yard vacs work?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Steiner, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    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?


    -Chris

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  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,187

    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.
     
  3. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    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
     
  4. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    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.

    YardBros Outdoors
    www.yardbros.com
     
  5. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    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. :drinkup:

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  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    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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  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    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.
     
  8. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,710

    Get a mulch kit for your commercial mower and let that be that. They work really really well.
     
  9. mpriester

    mpriester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    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.
     
  10. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,227

    Blow out beds, trim, than bag yard with mower. Killing a few birds with a stone
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