Does Anyone Use the Handheld Blower/Vac/Mulchers for Cleanup?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by billyebrown, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. billyebrown

    billyebrown LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    This is my first fall in this business and I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle leaves without a large amount of expense. I have a 48in Exmark Walk behind and I thought I could use it to mulch/accumulate the leaves then come back with the Handheld Vac/Mulch and take care of the rest.

    Is this a bad idea? Should I go with the bagger for the w/b instead? Are there any other options to consider? I currently only have a 2 or 3 properties where leaves are an issue.

  2. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    the hand helds are pretty slow . I would only use it in places where you cant go with your mowers like flower beds and such
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    billyebrown - I've got the Echo ES-2400 Shred N Vac (recently acquired). I tried to vac some wet leaves with it yesterday. You can forget about using it for picking up piles - it would take forever. I bought mine for beds and corners like HarryD said. Get a bagger or use a tarp instead.
  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    I use an EFCO some for cleanups. mainly to clean out window wells, and other areas were the leaves are trappd and don't blow out easily. It's nice to go back and clean up straglers on a windy day, or to vac up along the curb right before driving off.
    I agree it's not for large volumes of leaves.
  5. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309


    I have a 48" exmark metro with the bag. I will say this, that exmark bag fills up too fast but it is faster at picking up leaves than a handheld blower vac. If it was me, i would buy the bag and a stihl or redmax backpack blower for moving leaves around the yard and out of the beds.

    stihl 420mag cost is about 400
    redmax 7001 cost is about 450-460.

    The redmax is more powerful esp for leaves. one thing you can do is use the block off plate from the mulch kit only, run over the leaves, remove the plate and put on the bag to be able to use less bags. leaves will be cut smaller thus second time with bag will make them even smaller so if it doesn't pick them all up it will much them into the ground. Be ready for a mess when emptying the bag. for one person it sucks.

  6. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Those blower/vacs have their place. They're handy for vacuuming around hard to reach or sensitive areas. They're also handy around beds with pine needles when you don't want to blow all the needles away. As for piles, a few years ago before I got into the commercial biz I used mine with an extended hose and ran it to a large trash can with mesh on top. It worked pretty good for 3 large maples on my property.
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    The backpack blowers are a great investment overall. You have to spend the money. There are many uses for the blower besides leaf cleans but this is where they are a huge time and energy saver.
    My first year I was under the same impression about using the bag vac which was effective but incredably SLOW. It also was labor intensive to constantly empty the bag. I find that if there is something I need to vacuum with a bag is something not worth messing with. Your properties may be different. As Tony said, they have their place.

    With the volume of leaves I deal with there is no substitute for a large backpack blower. You might not need one so big but go and try one at the dealer to see if it will work for you.

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