suggestions on clean up equipment..debris, leaves, etc

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DoninVa, May 14, 2007.

  1. DoninVa

    DoninVa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey guys...I live here, And am a homeowner taking care of the property by myself. 3 acres of heavily treed, mulch bedded, and grass grown areas with hilly terrain. Spent the last 2 years raking, tarping, wheelbarrowing, etc, until now. Just came back from the Doctor with a Torn Rotator Cuff, and the Doc said I need to take it a little easier when doing my landscaping work. (guess it was those 200lb tarps full of debris over my shoulder one too many times) :hammerhead:

    Anyway...I am running a 60" Exmark Lazer Z without a bagger. Mulch beds are a big clean up area. I am looking for suggestions on what to use for a clean up routin where I don't end up at the Doctors. I have seen Track Vacs/Cyclones, etc. What would you use, as an attachment to the Lazer, to vaccum up and grind up Bed Debris. I have seen this on Craigslist for sale, but not sure if this setup would work well for my needs, and/or if I can set it up for my Lazer.

    any help or suggestions are appreciated.

  2. fargoboy

    fargoboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    nice website. Having done everything you have done 15 years ago. Speeding tickets, 1837 Farmhouse restored to a Bed and Breakfast and a 1936 Packard coupe, I'll save you a little time. Hire someone to do it for you. The trac vac will do the leaves and weeds but won't do the brushy things. But is an excellent investment for the money. The mulch mule is the ticket but you need a bigger tractor to haul it around. The orginal mules were smaller. Also some of the orginal sundance tub grinders were good machines for what you wanted.

    Think about utilizing perennials instead of having such large mulch areas. I tell people to drive around with their ZTR's for a couple of weeks and don't trim anything. All the areas that you can't do with the z spray with roundup and treat with a pre-emergent weed control. Then start planting those areas with plant material that likes acid things like leaves. In your area I would suggest rodeo's, azaleas, wintercreeper. That way, you don't have to go into those areas to clean them out except for sticks and maybe once or twice a year for prunning. The same amount of money spent on one yard of mulch buys a lot of pre-emergent weed control without the headaches of spreading it. Go to trade magizines like AmericanNurserymen to see what nurseries are trying to unload now. When you buy all of it, these bigger nurseries will deal.

    Things that I have learned:

    Old houses:I taught Norm. Never Ever Build Anything using Larch wood. Don't try to save it, rip it out and start over. Tell everyone that it was destroyed in the Great War. Never use the old doors. It is far easier to let your child chew on the old woodwork then it is to get rid of old paint legally. There is a good reason why there are no more Pilgrims left. I'm going to have to charge you a little extra.

    Old cars: Packards are nice but they aren't Rolls

    Speeding tickets: Cops very rarely give tickets to crying men.
  3. DoninVa

    DoninVa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks for the reply......and excellent tips....

    The ZTR is great, and is working very well. I am actually turning some of the beds into grassy areas where its easier to cut than to clean up each year, and adding plants to other areas where its just not feasable to get the ZTR in. The previous owner was a master gardner, so she did some nice work adding plants etc, but I cuss her with the cleanup in the fall. If it was all grass, where I could pick up the leaves during the mowing process, would be great. But raking out the beds onto tarps, pulling the tarps to the pile, and the pile being a mile high is getting really old. That mulch mule looks like one bad piece of machinary, but may be a little overkill. When looking at Vacuums, does the HP translate to "sucking power" or is it in the impeller?

    for example:

    The cyclone rake commercial pro has a 7hp motor where as the Trac Vac has an 11hp motor. I would think the Trac Vac has more suction than the Cyclone, but not sure. Is my assumption correct?

    Thanks again for any suggestions....

  4. fargoboy

    fargoboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    nope, suction power is based upon depth of suction blade, diameter of hose, and length of hose. With all small engines, they all basically turn(RPM's) the same. Horsepower enters into it when the material hits the fan and then how far you want to throw it. You also have to take into consideration the material that you are sucking up such as dirt and rocks. This causes wear on the blade, the blade housing, and the hoses. Sure you have a thick blade on the machine like a Giant Vac and a beefy vacum but this is heavy and couple that with a couple hundred pounds of wet grass and leaves and you are trying to tow it with a mower that is designed to mow grass not tow things, suddenly the wheel motors aren't lasting like they are suppose to. Problems. Did I mention going down a hill with 1,000 lb wagon of leaves pushing your 500 lb mower and you want to stop at the pile. Keep in mind that the slower you go with the mower, there is a shredding action going on between the mower and the vacum so you get a lot more leaves into the wagon then the old tarp. You will find that the Trac Vac is the best bang for the buck. Get a list of dealers, then find out who has a similar setup and talk to those owners. Or trade it all in and get a Kubota 7200 with a high lift grasscatcher. If you have a lot a leaves, you want a grasscatcher cable of dumping into a six ft high compost pile.
  5. jcb287

    jcb287 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I use a Cyclone Rake behind a 60" Lazer and it works very well.Plus using Gator blades along with it will help a lot with reduction of the material also.I just can't say enough about the CR,it has been a very good investment.:)

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