Billy Goat and similar Vacuums. Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gil, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. gil

    gil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I am doing cleanups in medium size lots. 3-5000 sf. Currently I use my Rake/Tarp/Blower and my F250. Would any of those leaf vacuums made my life easier?
  2. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    It depends on how you do things. A leaf vacuum works well with how I operate. Most of my customers want the leaves removed from their property, and our town doesn't have municipal pickup, so I have to bring the leaves to the dump. I have an OLD BillyGoat 11hp vac mounted on the front of my F350 dump truck. Honestly, 11hp is probably the smallest you should think about. 14 or 16hp are a good size for a small operation. Of course larger ones are "better", but depending on your size, the cost of them may be prohibitive.

    Vacuums reduce/compress the leaves, so where you might fill a truck with one yard's worth of leaves just raking and blowing, using a vacuum you might be able to get two - three yards worth of leaves into the same truck.

    Don't know if this helps you!
  3. flam41

    flam41 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    Billy goats are awsome.
    I use the vaccumes. one 5.5 hp selfpropeled w/ hose attatchment. the other a basic 4.4 push.
    1- when you do for service calls & grass dosent need mowing , but leaves need to bepicked up the goats suck better than mulching.
    2- the reduction value is major, like tvov said. it is great not to have to dump after only a couple of yards.
    3- I am the onlt lco in town w/ goats or any vaccumes & I have had several people stop to look/talk aboult them. I have gotten some jobs this was, which turn into full service= machines are worth it for the dog & pony show value some people like.
    When there is exsess leaves or clippings ( evan inn summer time) I like to kick debries to street & suck up rather than blowing. Very neat & clean & goes back to the extra things my company does & helps set us apart.

    only thing is if you are going to use in lawn you need self propel. on hardscapes the push is graet.
    It gets dusty, but we are not white collar employees- enjoy the filth!
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I don't know much about the vacuums but the other guy is right, Billygoats ARE awesome... I have the 10hp pushblower, you have NO idea how much AIR that thing puts out, it MOVES a big pile of leaves 20 feet out in seconds flat, taking rocks, sticks, acorn nuts, pine cones and other debris with it (and trashcans if you're not careful). Far as it not being self-propelled, once you FEEL the power, exhilaration always takes over my mind and I'm so lost in feeling GOOD that I forget how heavy the beast is, literally for the next hour or so, I'm way out there in the 'zone.'
    I wouldn't consider anything less than an 8hp for a blower myself, again, dunno much about vacuums...
  5. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    LOL LOL This is, for better or worse, very true!
  6. flam41

    flam41 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    ONe guy was all excited he wanted me to come suck up pine needels like I was leaves. they form a mat & dont suck up well. I told him I couldnt suck up but I'd come rake the 10 years worth for 800$$$. that didn't fly to well w/ him.
  7. TGramstorff

    TGramstorff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I have a 20hp Giant Vac leaf vacuum. Its on its own trailer and will suck up just about anything. Its great. I can suck up wet leaves, needles, anything.

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