Well, you know me from lawn site so you can say you knew a guy who used a 6 hp with a 8 inch suction line. I can imagine the high hp units are amazing. Nearly double the cfm on average over the 18 hp models except for a couple brands. I think the value comes to how your using it. I'm a solo operator, it sits on site with me and I blow or push everything to it. It's much faster than mulching then tarping or using my mower bagger when it comes to shredding and loading. If I had crews blowing everything to the street and leaving it for the vac truck that's going around sucking and dumping leaves all day the 37 hp would be a no brainer.
The 18 hp is effective tho. For me its significantly increased the volume I can haul off while reducing the time it takes me to do so. That being said I'll keep watching facebook market place....if I see a 1 year old 37 hp that someone bought and didn't need and sells it for 1/2 price like the 18 hp model I just got....I'll buy it asap before someone else does.
I did confirm, mines a 2018 model. Was used 1 season, fall 2018. The second owner didn't need it and hardly used it fall 2019 and sold it to me for $2500 which is what he gave for it.
i got the 18hp bg with electric start this year. did really well for us we only had about 30 cleanups but it paid for itself. clogs every now and then when its wet. keeping the hose and straight as you can definitely helps. however the 12:1 ratio is more like half that when the leafs are wet. regardless is provided us another avenue of revenue and did a pretty good job.
I had that happen a couple times. I'm going to take my painter's extension pole and put a hook on the end for pulling or pushing clogs out. So far no clogs on the discharge side.
I noticed on reduction if to much goes thru to fast it just blows thru and doesn't chop up as good. On jobs I know I have room I dont care and load as fast as possible but if I need effective reduction I'm feeding it slower so the teeth can do its job.
This year I could get a billy goat loader or a DFS bagger for the 994r. I'm leaning towards the bagger and then just backing in and dumping into the trailer with plywood sides. on the front three sides. Then run a tarp over the top for travelling. Wish they made a high hydraulic dump for it so I could dump it into something tall and stack.
The 18hp Billy Goat was more than sufficient for me. I could see the difference from the 16hp Lesco I had been using. Granted the Lesco was probably getting tired. But for a solo guy like myself it doesn’t make sense to tow some giant 35hp vac. My entire set up is on one trailer. Even with the vac mounted I can still bring both zero turns (after removing the vac system off one), an 11h Giant Vac blower, and a couple backpack blowers. It’s all about hourly rate. I charge what I need and I had my best season in history last year. Granted the weather was absolutely ideal from the first week of April till mid November. But to me, I don’t find anything bigger to be cost effective. Not in my particular situation.