Are leaf vacs worth the money?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by S.C.G Landscaping, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. S.C.G Landscaping

    S.C.G Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Ive been contemplating buying a leaf vac to put on my trailer to blow leafs into my truck. Right now i have my eye on an 18hp billy goat. I'm just unsure if it is worth spending the money on and whether or not it will save me time on fall clean ups. Any comments wuld be appreciated.
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Are you asking about leaf vac's or leaf loaders? From your description it seems your talking about leaf loaders. Leaf loaders work great if you have room to take leaves with your when your done, they make loading up very easy and fast. If your talking about leaf vac's , save your money and buy a good backpack you will be happier.
  3. thomsoutdoor

    thomsoutdoor LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,444

    I have a Vacuum attached to one of my mowers and its mainly for show. I had a Vacuum , loader, attached to a trailer which I got rid of. I good back pack blower and the art of mulching you can do away with vacuuming and hauling away a ton of leaves.
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Billy Goat truck loaders are a very good brand. Last I knew, they had replaceable blower linnings. Most units you have to weld or replace the housing when it wears a hole in it.
  5. scalpit77

    scalpit77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Yes, they are worth the money, and yes they will save you time during leaf season.
  6. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Depends a lot on what your customers want. Most of my customers want the leaves removed from their yard. I have a Billy Goat loader mounted on the front my dump truck, with a Briggs and Stratton engine that just won't die. Even on some customer's yards where they say I can dump in the woods in the back of the property, many times it saves me time to remove the leaves using the dump truck.

    Leaf loaders are very basic machines. You've got the engine, impellor, and impellor housing. When looking at different brands, you want a thick, heavy duty impellor (or fan). The housing should be made of heavy steel, and having replaceable lining(s) are a big plus. See if the dealer can include a replacement impellor, or at least one at a discount, when you buy. With any kind of regular use, you are going to have to replace the impellor eventually. If it is aftermarket, MAKE SURE the impellor is at least as heavy duty as the original. Many aftermarket impellors are made of thinner, cheaper steel and they just don't last.

    Another lawn service company in my area has had trouble with the Kohler engines, but that was a few years ago so hopefully they are better now.

    It is a lot of money to buy a new loader, and it may take a few years to "pay it off", but I think in the long run they are definitely worth it.
  7. avjohnson

    avjohnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Hey SGC I'm from you're area and I was wondering this exact same thing. You must be my long-lost twin?
  8. S.C.G Landscaping

    S.C.G Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    anythings possible avjohnson. Thanks everyone for all your input on the subject, i think will buy a leaf loader before this fall
  9. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    think about a 25HP loader. I found with anything under a twenty is just not enough. Also after you turn the machine off, blow off the truck so when you start the truck up all that dust isn't being sucked in. You may also want to put lights on it or the back of the truck to give a little more time at the end of the day. You will love the thing and wonder how you ever did leaves without it.
  10. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,961

    DITTO !!!............

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