Backpack blowers also gutters

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Got Grass?, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    Just wondering what everyone uses for backpack blowers?

    I have a Homelite (lol, I know). Was gave to me by a friend that I cut. I think it's a Home Depot one. It worked fine for blowing grass and a couple small cleanups. I somehow managed to strap it on the trailer wrong and the Plastic choke (the kind you turn, not up-n-down) broke, so now I need a pliers to start the damn thing.
    I also have a older crapsman I occasional use when it wants to start.

    Yeah I know thay are both pretty bad, thats why I'm asking.

    I'm not looking for lift-off and can't invest to much at this time so what would you guys recomend for basic grass blowing and a few smaller cleanups? Brand? CFM's?

    Also do any of you have experience with thoes Blower/Vac's? any of them good?

    Do any of you do gutter cleaning for add-on-work? A lot of my older customers have asked me. How do you clean them? I just blow out mine, and the roof. Works well but then you have to clean up below.
    Would a Blower/Vac work for me? Sucking wet leaves and such out?

  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    a stihl is about $350-$400, i dont know if thats in your price range, but its a strong, durable, dependable machine, and will last forever. I dont do gutters, but many want me to.
  3. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,150

    Do you really need a back-pack? I like the Redmax hand-held myself.
    They run about $200 bucks. I dont like doing gutters but older
    customers always seem to request this service. I use a hand-held
    for this work and blow them out. I try to do gutters at final fall
    & spring clean-ups. I don't like getting on a roof with a back-pack.
    I use my back-pack with both feet on the ground. Wouldn't want to fall
    with thing strapped on my back ooouch!!!!

  4. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    I also have a Homelite Backpack blower and it has served me well for two seasons go ahead and laugh. :D

    Anyway, about the broken choke shaft:

    I backed up against a shed last summer and snapped mine off too (red plastic type). There is a hardware store close by that sells and services Homelite (at least until he runs out of stock and parts...thanks Home Depot) and he had replacement choke shafts that are made of brass with black nylon levers. He replaced it in about 5 minutes and charged me a whopping $3.88. :)

    I know that the "plier trick" is aggravating (especially during warm-up) so maybe you can find a hardware store (with a real repair guy) in your area to fix it.

    Good luck!
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    get a good pro backpack. if you need that much power.
    for going on roofs i personally want a good hand held
    poulan pro has one that puts out 200mph air.or at least enough
    to blow out any gutter . with this one you also have the option of vac the stuff out if its no way to blow (car below) etc.
    if you get this be aware that the air blades are nylon and tend to suffer when you vac small twiggs etc. later
  6. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    Im really happy with my Br 65 I think thats what it is. Its a hand-held blower made by STIHL. Lots of power. I think it does great on leaves I use to have a little homelight blower. It was ok wouldn't ever go back though. Now that I think of it I wasted alot of time with that blower. I dont think I would ever use the vac but almost all handlhelds have that attachment that I know of.
  7. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    I didnt relize that it was that easy to replace the choke. I'll try and fine a repair guy I think one of the small places might. Do you know if the choke just turns out or not? Would be nice to get it working w/o pliers again, especially turning round plactic. Yesterday I couldnt get the damn thing started, Eventually I relized there wasnt enough gas init.

    If I can get the brass choke that wont brake off I might just keep it and get a cheep (but decent) Blower/Vac.
    how much is that pro one? altho I dont like the plactic possibly breaking off with the twigs.
    Does the RedMax have the Vac option?

    I think it would come in handy with the gutters (no junk in beds, bushes, cars) and a few jobs.
    I have like this one house (weird design & ugly) where the roof comes to the ground and the garage door is set back 10ft under the massivly sloped roof. beds on both sides, 2ft of grass along the drive. So shooting grass into that area is unavoidable and blowing is a pain. uphill, in corners. Only house arround like it. Wish I had a digi cam to show.
  8. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540


    To repair the broken choke shaft:

    1)Remove air filter cover and foam element.

    2)Remove the two nuts that are inside the air filter housing. These 2 nuts are threaded to studs that hold the air filter housing and carburator on the engine.

    3)Pull off the air filter housing. You have to do this in order to proceed to the next step.

    4)With a pair of needle-nose pliers pull the choke "butterfly" out of the shaft. The shaft is slotted to accept the butterfly. The butterfly actually holds the shaft in place. Pull it straight out of the carb.

    5)Push or pull shaft out of the carburator in the direction of where the lever was broken off. CAUTION: There is a detent ball and spring that sits in a hole that is bored inside the hole that the shaft is in. This ball and spring presses against notches in the shaft itself...this is what makes the choke lever feel "tight" when it is in it's 3 positions instead of just turning freely. Be careful when removing the shaft as this ball and spring tend to pop out of its hole once you pull the shaft past them. You don't want to lose them but they are easy to put back in if they do pop out. :)

    6)Assemble in reverse order.

    Below is a quick diagram I put together ...I hope it helps you understand the directions above.


  9. jdseven

    jdseven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I do gutters with my sears handheld blower and they make an attachment which will reach up to 10 ft so no ladder needed. It only takes a few min and if you do it often the downspout stay clear.
  10. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    Redd Maxx 6200 !!!! can't beat them unless you got a 7200! but thats my .02 cents

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