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If you had your choice of lawn vacuums.............

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Kooz, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Kooz

    Kooz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I am thinking about adding leaf cleanup for my customers. I have found three on Craig's list. All three vacuum, chip, and shred, and all three are self propelled One is a Craftsman 6.5 hp., one is a Yardman 5.5 hp, and the third is a Troy Bilt. All are advertised at $300.00. All are almost new condition. I want to start out small to see what the leaf market is in my area. Any opinions? Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  2. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Be interesting to see what users of these units say.
    I can't see them being much of a asset unless the leaves were mulched first with the mower.
    Collection and capability seems limited and slow.
  3. pieperlc

    pieperlc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 545

    I don't know what you're looking to get out of these machines, but I would strongly urge you not to buy one. A vac system on your mower will clean a lawn much faster. On real small tight areas, a rake will be a much better investment.
  4. Ruben Rocha

    Ruben Rocha LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    I have a craftsman model self propelled.
    Works fine for hard surfaces.
    Does not do well on turf/uneven surfaces.
    The hose is almost a waste of time
    and you can't go very far before you need to empty the bag.
    The chipper is a waste of time.
    But it does come with a blower attachment chute which works really nice to round up stuff but you could do the same with a backpack blower.
  5. Kooz

    Kooz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for your input! Would I be better off buying something bigger. There is a Mighty Mite leaf vac /chipper 8 hp 5 speed with a cast iron sleeve. Asking price is $450.00
  6. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Isn't that what a bagger for the lawn mower does. My Kabota almost makes mulch--well it does out of dry leaves.
  7. Kooz

    Kooz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    The only problem is the my metal grass catcher for my MTD 48" doesn't hold a lot of yard clippings even with my gator blades. Seems like I emptying it every 5 minutes.
  8. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    D none of the above. When you are talking about these types of machines you are wasting money if it is not a Billy Goat or a Little Wonder. Personally I have the Little Wonder HPV and granted I don't use it that much, but when I do it's AWESOME. It has it's own little spot on the front of the trailer and there are many times I'm glad I have it with me.
  9. atouchofnature

    atouchofnature LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I have a Troy Bilt that works very well for leaves. It leaves something to be desired for picking up small twigs/sticks. It works fairly well for shrub clippings. It works very well for picking up grass clippings.

    I don't do much leaf cleanup at all, so have not seen a need, personally, for a higher end machine. In past years, I used a leaf blower, rake & bags to clean up leaves, so this thing has been really nice. Mine is not self propelled, and you have to walk a bit slow with it to do a thorough job, so I couldn't imagine using it for a large lawn, but it makes fairly short work of my typical 1/4 acre or less lawns.

    It has a hose attachment for cleaning leaves out of beds, behind the AC unit etc. The hose does not have nearly as much suction power as the unit does when used as a walk behind unit, making it very slow to clean up those areas.

    If you are interested in price comparison, I bought mine from a homeowner who had used it to cleanup after an ice storm. She had used it just the one time on her own small lawn, and it had been in her garage since. I paid $300 and she showed me her receipt showing that she had paid just short of $600 for it. For the money spent, I am satisfied.
  10. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809


    You aren't getting anything worthwhile for a few hunderd bucks, waste of money.

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