What To Do About Walk Behind Vacuums

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tidy Ho, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Tidy Ho

    Tidy Ho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I have been reading numerous posts about different kinds of walk behind commercial vacuums. The problem is that I read mixed reviews. So far in my research I have found billy goat and little wonder to be the best. However that does not exhaust the possibility of other vacs that might be better. I am very interested in purchasing a vacuum that can be used both on pavement and on lawns. In addition I want to use the hose attachment to clean up after pruning. Obviously I want to get the biggest bang for the buck. Please if anyone could assist in figuring out what most effective vac would be for the money I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks...Tim
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,327

    I bought a big Troy Bilt a few years ago that was 9 hp or more....those units aren't worth much except for a homeowner to play around with....much easier to use backback and mower to pick up stuff.
     
  3. screensnot

    screensnot LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 86

    My buddy has 2 Billy Goat vacs. He uses them for fall cleanups. I helped him with several cleanups last year.

    First he'd blow (he had 3 eb8510 - awesome blowers), then he'd mow with a Super-Z w/ BacVac, then blow again. At that point, the yard would look great. But then he'd pull out the Goats and suck that lawn spotless.

    The lawn would be immaculate! The stripes these things laid down were spectacular to say the least We had some fun getting creative with them. I wish I had pics.

    Neighbors were running out to stop us, wanting us to do their house too.

    He had a good year for fall cleanups, I think. And I'm sure his two Goats played a big part in that.
     
  4. screensnot

    screensnot LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 86

    I don't know the model of my friends Billy Goats, but they were about 5 or 6hp and about 24" wide.

    They had zippered bags, and he had lots of trouble with the zippers. I don't remember what he paid for replacement bags and having zippers repaired, but he bitched about it a lot. If you get one with a zippered bag, be prepared with a spare, or know of a dealer with one in stock. If or when you do screw up a zipper, go to a furniture upholsterer to get it fixed, while you use the spare.
     
  5. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Zippered are are NOT WORTH the hassle. You'll be screaming or pleading for divine intervention. One thing, don't carry a hammer while fighting the zipper, you're bound to rearrange the machine...lol :laugh: :laugh:

    The little wonder seems to be best for raw suction power. We do parking lot sweeping/lawncare/landscape. I just used the little wonder in a yard where we took out a 60' poplar. After all the cutting, the vacuum had little problem cleaning the yard spotless. Today, we did a parking lot, and I use it to get the large stuff like leaves, debris etc... if I'm in a real pinch, it picks up roadchip easily but I'll stay away if I can, too heavy for bag.

    There are some weaknesses like the closing mechanism to tighten the bag in place or the height adjustment which seems to have been designed by a 5 year old :laugh: but overall price and suction, you can't beat it.

    Did I say there are NO ZIPPERS... :) :)

    I almost forgot to mention, there is a shroud over the bag so the dust gets redirected to your feet, great feature.

    Now if they could put a filter for dust...hum...
     
  6. Tidy Ho

    Tidy Ho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2



    -The little wonder sounds pretty good. What model do you have? How much did it cost? Does it have or come with a hose attachment? Thanks...-
     
  7. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,657

    I bought a little Wonder and returned it. One of the problems was that the only had a non self propelled and we were doing power raking. Dealer told me people like to push it on the grass but that was BS it was deadly hard. Even if it was self propelled, the exhaust goes straight down. This has the effect of blowing everything around and making a mess. That alone would also keep me from buying one. I also heard their strap to hook the bag on stretches and stops and working that must be why a plastic spacer was included in the sale.

    Another thing about the lil wonder, was the front scoop. On grass if you wanted good suction it had to be low but then it would catch and come out of it's holding mechanism. Lowering and raising the front scoop was a painful thing as well. You had to spin butter fly nuts and it was only on one side I ended up holding the other side with a rope.

    I would never buy a little wonder again.

    This spring I will get the Billy Goat because it is similar to the Bear Cat that I have. You just pull a lever to adjust scoop height, tires that are made for lawns, and the dust bag disperses the exhaust in all directions.
     
  8. Mr. Force® Billy Goat Industries

    Mr. Force® Billy Goat Industries LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    If anyone has a Billy Goat KD series and has had trouble with zippers drop me a PM. We are currently looking for feedback from commercial landscapers on a prototype bag we are working on that does not have zippers.
     
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I dunno, I think the best thing to do time-wise would be to blow everything to the curb and suck it up with a truck loader.
     
  10. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    It's the non propelled one. Like Viking says though, there are issues with it.

    Yes, the height adjustment was probably designed by the part time janitor at the little wonder factory and the strap that holds the bag is a friggin joke, but still, it's way better than the Billy goat I paid $4500 for that doesn't suck AT ALL...lol.

    I'll live with the gimpy strap and height adjustment. This fall, when I have a moment to myself I'll fix those two problems... the height adjustment could be easily fixed with wheels on the front housing. That would keep it at a relative distance to the ground. The strap, that should be pretty easy to fix once in the shop. I've been so busy, it's work 7 days a week, and my days off, I CANT STAY in the shop...need some RnR.

    I paid $1,200 Canadian. About $1,100 US.
     

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