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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by americanother7, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. americanother7

    americanother7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I am trying to figure out the easiest way to clean up these stubborn leaves. I bought a blower vac, it doesn't work very well. I plan to buy a hand-propelled mower vac, priced at nearly $1100. I should make this money back and then some, my question is...has anyone used one of these before, and should I purchase this. It is a 21" or maybe a 22" vac, it has four wheels, it looks like a mower.

    I have considered blowing the leaves onto a tarp and dumping them into my truck.
    Also, I have considered (depending on the customer) buying gator blades for my 48" ferris, and running over the leaves a few times to mulch them up, I know that mulching the leaves can be somewhat bad for the soil, because it changes the ph levels, but it would be fairly easy.

    Does anyone think that I should consider one or more of these options, if not what do you suggest.

  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Do a search on Lawn Vacs. So far, the consensus seems to be that they are not very effective. Some of the things I've read are, they don't pick up very well, they fill up to fast, time consuming to empty, cover you in dust, etc.

    However, Little Wonder has just come out with one. And their other products are quality, so we'll see. My local dealer has one and I'd like to see it in action.

    The only other one that looks interesting to me is made by Bear Cat. And that's because it has "beater blades" to help lift out stubborn leaves and break up smaller twigs to reduce clogging.
    I've not used one, or know anyone that has, but the concept makes sense. Rather then just suction to lift leaves, having something mechanical to get them up, combined with suction makes more sense to me.
    Looks fairly easy to empty and dust is directed down, away from operator.
    I'd like to see this one in action too, but don't know of any local dealers for Bear Cat.

    If you do decide to get a lawn vac, keep us posted.
  3. spenfire

    spenfire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I used to blow and rake leaves into piles throughout the yard and then tarp them to the trailer. This year I will be doing it a little different. At the beginning of the mowing season, I bought a John Deere Z Trak mower and love it. I will be attaching a vacuum/mulching system that I just got from DR Lawn Company along a handheld or backpack blower to blow the leaves out of the landscape. Less raking the better is my philosophy. ( The brochure on the DR Lawn and Leaf vac says that it creates minimal dust.) We'll see!!
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I'm curious what you paid for the DR? And what made you choose that particular brand?
  5. spenfire

    spenfire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I paid around $1,000 for the lawn and leaf vacuum. The reason I choose the DR over other brands is that the "container" is made out of a heavy duty plastic which won't rust or rip like some of the other brands out there. Another reason I choose not to go with the fabric type is because the fabric is how the "container" breathes on one particular brand and what happens when that clogs up with dirt and debris?
    DR's website is www.drpower.com/leafvac. I'll let you know how it works as soon as I use it. Good luck this fall gogetter.
  6. ALAN_50501

    ALAN_50501 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    i have something like this but a cub cadet and its got an 8 horse self propelled with 7 speeds it does a really good job.....its vaccum chipper shreder..its got a big bag on it so you dont have to dump alot on some yards you may just have to dump it one time it makes leaves into small mulch it works good for me

  7. Lawn Services Plus

    Lawn Services Plus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    just installed a spindle drive bagger on my scag tiger cub.
    works well on grass will find out how well on the leaves soon.I was told it works great on leaf clean up.Time will tell.. :rolleyes:
  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    One of my customers has a Toro yard vac, sounds like what you are talking about. From what he and I have talked about, you basically have to use it at least once every week (more often when the leaves are really coming down), so that the leaves don't get "stuck" in the grass. His yard looks great, but he is constantly vacuuming it. I don't see how it would really work for a lawn business.

    Before we got the leaf vacuums and mower collection systems, we would blow into piles and tarp the leaves, either onto trucks or into the woods.
  9. Throgmorton

    Throgmorton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I have a 60" Bobcat. I put gator blades on and have a quikchute OCDC. Just bought an accelerator aluminum bagger. I blow all the leaves from corners and beds, mow everything into a windrow, close the OCDC and back over the windrow of leaves. This mulches them up really fine. I then will put the bagger on and collect what's left. Seems complicated, but I'm a part-time solo operator and I have plenty of time. All this extra equipment is used for grass catching too.

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