Vacuum system

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by CNE, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    I saw a vacuum system at a Toro dealer that utilizes single or dual Rubbermaid trash cans to collect the debris. It has a seperate engine and a vacuum head on top of the unit. That is a great idea. Take several cans with you and when one gets full, take it off and put on an empty one. With a regular bagger, you still have to dump it into cans or something. This way it's already bagged when it comes off the catcher. You can also use it to suck up piles that are already raked by pulling the hose off the mower. Does Exmark offer one of these systems and how much? The dealer told me the same unit would fit my Z. I would love to have the dual can unit.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    CNE,

    Unfortunately we don't offer this type of catcher. When developing the UltraVac we looked at these designs and felt that the added cost, maintenance and repairs of the separate engine set up did not justify this type of design. The cans are a pretty good idea but if you really wanted to it might be easier to simply but trash bag liners in the mesh bags we use on the UltraVac.

    With our system you can not rake the leaves into piles and then suck them up. My question is why rake them. Most operators will just run over everything with the mower and vac and such all of that up and then rake out only the beds which the mower can usually handle.

    The UltraVac design also uses the impellor as a fan instead of a vacuum because it tends to be more efficient. Think of it like this. If you stand in front of a fan you feel the air blow across you face and so forth. Now go stand behind it. Do you feel a great deal of air movement? Probably not. A fan like the impellor on a "vac" system pushes air better than it pulls it. The key is to get everything to the blower and let it then do all the work. With a rear mounted impellor you must rely on the airflow of the deck to carry everything to the blower before it can really do its best work.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    All valid points witht he exception of the added cost. It's no more than the Exmark bagger. I wasn't considering raking leaves and then sucking them up, just bringing up a point. I'm not sure which system I will buy at this point. How much trouble is it to take off the blower head when not in use? The vac system is a seperate unit with only the hose attatching to the deck and a hitch pin. Thanks for the response and I still love my Exmark.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    CNE,

    It only takes about 30 seconds to remove the blower/tube from the deck. I'd recommend stopping by your local Exmark dealer and taking a look at the vac system. I think you may understand what I mean by the "added cost" of the engine after you look at the design, construction and quality of the UltraVac.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. SHOW ME STATE RIDER

    SHOW ME STATE RIDER LawnSite Member
    from MO
    Posts: 63

    I have a 52z with a bluebird collections system with 8hp b/s industrial engine. came with the mower. Works great but a hassle to keep dumping by hand. The new collections system lets you dump while your still sitting. The system worked in the beginning when we had to manuely dump them in the back of the truck. Know getting a dump trailer and a 16hp billy goat sucker. This way you can just drive up to the trailer and dump instead of getting of, turning the motor off(if you didn't you would get a faceful of mulch,dust and leaves in ths mouth hair eyes everywhere) going behind the mower opening the top , dumping one can at a time into the pickup bed.Buying the new ultravac with a new 60 z 27 kolher this year, been passing to many leave jobs up. Not anymore
     
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    I have used a 2 pale 8hp 60 gal bluebird system on the lazer.

    I have used the 3-cloth bag ultra vac system on the lazer.

    I currently own a 1 pale 44 gal 6 hp trac vac system on my current lazer.

    All 3 are around 1800-2000 and all 3-bag grass. The bluebird had a lousy seal on the barrels and would always blow out we had to rivet in a heavy liner and it reduced that but it still would happen at times. The plus side was the barrels were not so heavy as to require super human effort to get them in the truck. The original motor was shot in side of a one year you can expect that with all the choices the life expectancy will be shorter then the mower by a large amount small motors don’t last like big ones and they will be working hard.

    The ultra vac had a great seal over the barrels and they weren’t too big either. What I disliked about the ultra vac barrels was they are cloth and give you nothing to push on when handing it to a guy in the back of a dump body. The latch worked very well pipe was a good size also. Negatives were it takes its power off the blade belt so when you are bogging down in some thick tall grass and need the most blade tip speed you can get that’s when you will have the least. Plus you would then want the suction to remain constant as well that too will slip since the blade belt had slowed. Taking off the pipe was not very difficult but it was harder then the other 2 plus you could not bungee it to top of the deck for when you may need it again and your not near the truck. Un clogging jams was the worst of the 3 since you can not have the blades running when your not on the machine also you can not have the shoot off and still have the belt on the fan all clogs have to be done manually with no assistance from the vac system. The unit was the shortest of all 3 and that was a nice plus but it was also the widest of all 3 and increases the chance of hitting things as you turn.

    The trac vac that I use now has a 44 gal pale and it can see 100-200 pounds when the grass is wet. Thankfully I can lift that over my head but most of my men cannot. As described with the ultra vac it to has a great latch system and it doesn’t suffer from blow outs on the seal unless its overly dusty in fall clean ups and the screen clogs. The unit holds the least of the 3 but it is also the quickest of the 3 to change out the buckets. It is the tallest unit of the 3. Unclogging is easier then with the ultra vac. And the shoot where it meets the deck like the blue bird is skinnier so it fits in narrower places. As I said the motors will go the one I have now has a 6 hp Kohler which seems to be running fine. On the other hand the shoot is going to eventually take some hits from obstacles maybe you have to swerve to miss a guy and hit some concrete stairs. The thing with that is its like an 80 dollar part if you do mangle it I am guessing the ultra vac that houses the fan would be a lot more sort of like replacing a motor.

    If your cutting 2-3 inches off a lawn then I would say all 3 will work great for you. In my case I often sign lawns up that are 1-2 feet tall and from my experience the clogs would be unbearable in such a case. One thing of note one of the reasons the ultra vac is so expensive is the fancy weights that I would like to own cost around 300 or so. So that adds a lot to the price of the system despite it not having its own engine.
     

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