Little Wonder walk behind blower for running track

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by fastweig, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. fastweig

    fastweig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    We just build a new sports complex for our Jr. High School with football field and 8-lane running track. We are having a hell of a time keeping the track clean. Lots if small pebbles and other debris blown in as well as mower clippings. I'm about to purchase a Little Wonder walk behind blower with the 11.7 HP Honda engine. Our facility guy saw there is a self-propelled version and of course wants that model. It's almost 1K more and while I'm sure it's helpful on grass and hills I'm not sure if it's necessary for a smooth surface running track. I'm trying to be a good steward of booster club's money and as the track coach I'll get out there and push it myself if I have to. Does anyone have experience with these blowers and can give an opinion for our use case?
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 18,578

    I own a BillyGoat. Same engine and self propelled. On a flat, hard surface the self propel is not needed plus it is slow. Best advice is to do a demo if possible. You will know in about 30 seconds if you want self propelled or not.
    Walker56 likes this.
  3. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,397

    I agree, you don't need the self propelled blower. Might check if a rotary broom is available for whatever mower you are using. More of a pain to set up but much faster on sand & pebbles.
  4. Renob

    Renob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I have a billy goat walk behind that I strap to the back of my John Deere Gator and pull around the track... much easier than walking!
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,923

    That’s a quarter mile of track , 8 lanes wide
    You’re going to be Jesse Owens’s training coach after pushing that for one season.
    Get the self propelled one.
    If it were me , I would have gotten a mower that takes a buffalo turbine blower to handle the track....

    All that money spent on a new facility and people keep trying to skimp on maintain it

    That’s why so many facilities run down hill fast
    knox gsl likes this.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,923

    If you’re going to blow pebbles you’re moving slow anyway
    It’s not like kicking leaves off grass
  7. Renob

    Renob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    My school just spent almost a million on new turf football field and new track surface. All I got to take care of the turf was a 150 lawn sweeper from Lowe’s and the same old billy goat blower that’s probably 15 years old
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,942

    I have had self propelled blowers, not worth the money or complexity. Half the time you are pulling it backwards, and it is no help there. It is only helpful when going uphill. Like was said above, the travel speed is very slow. On hard level ground (like a track) pushing is really easy if the tires are full.

    Spend the extra $$ to get more HP.
  9. OP

    fastweig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Original poster here. Thanks for all the input. We ended up the Little Wonder non-propelled with 11.7 HP Honda.
    Response to some of the comments:
    That's clever and I never considered that.
    It's really not that bad. We have a facility guy but I've used it more than he has as I kinda look forward to it. It rolls very easy on the track so it's just a matter of walking a mile or two. Hell I've even trotted at a slow jog behind it for a quick blowing.

    We are a small Catholic school with not a lot of money. We had a single benefactor build and donate a 2+ million dollar sports complex to the school along with utilities, etc. Great blessing but also great responsibility. Not trying to skimp but I hate asking fore more if the booster club can handle some reasonable things.
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,923

    That’s my point
    Someone has million to spend on a facility but never 50-100 grand on maintenance equipment

    It’s like winning a car in a raffle and not being able to afford to pay tax on it

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