Walkbehind lawn vacuums

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by zlssefi, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. zlssefi

    zlssefi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Has anyone on here used the walk behind lawn vacuums? Like a billygoat, troybilt, or little wonder? I have a property that i need to do a FCU on and it has a back yard which is heavy with leaves, a ton of stone beds and no good access. If you have used them what have your experiences been? Are they worth the money? and tell me any pros and cons about them. Thanks!
  2. Chris Feenan

    Chris Feenan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Cons -

    It will probably suck up some gravel, depending on how big the gravel is. The intake will get clogged if there are a lot of twigs or thick leaf stems in the mix. Oak leaves will also sometimes start a clog because they are thick and don't grind up as easily.They are of limited usefulness on a leaf cleanup. Useful, just limited. I am often glad I have it on the trailer, but it doesn't do much of the heavy lifting. Blowers, rakes and tarps do the bulk of the work and the Billy Goat sometimes helps clean up the mess.

    Pros -

    Depends somewhat on how you are going to get rid of the debris. They will reduce the volume of the debris somewhat, taking up less space on your tarp, trailer or leaf bags. If you are blowing to the woods, debris reduction doesn't matter. Often I will blow leaves out of beds to the driveway or sidewalks. After removing much of that debris, the Billy Goat is good for sweeping the hard surfaces clean. The hose intake is useful for spot cleaning when you don't want to blow a small number of leaves around. Sucks leaves out of window wells quickly. I think customers like it because they see a guy vacuming their lawn - seems like you are being fastidious about your work. Conversely, they are not always impressed when they see you pick them up with a zero turn and vac bagger because they think they are paying a lot for a guy to just mow the lawn. They ignore all the blowing and raking that proceeds the Z work.
  3. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Spot on.

    I could see these vacs as being useful towards the end of a cleanup after the bulk of the leaves were already gone. They might be a nice tool for a meticulous homeowner, but not in a commercial setting where time is money. I can use my ocdc and block the chute on my Grandstand and run over an entire yard mulching up the leaves. Then throw the accelerator bagger on and bag up the shredded leaf particles in a fraction of the time it would take me using a lawn vac.
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  4. TruSomethingOrOther

    TruSomethingOrOther LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    I have the Billy Goat SV50H lawn vac (older model). What everyone has said thus far is accurate, but I don't think it's been given the proper credit. What if the back yard is fenced in and all you can fit is the Billy Goat or a 21" mower?

    I have had requests to suck up a massive amount of acorns before and it worked awesome. The lawn vac does that final touch to get what all other methods missed. Customers also appreciate your ability as well to vac the curb / street.
  5. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    the capacities are not nearly large enough. I bought a DR leaf vac a few weeks ago and turned around and sold it within a week. It sucked great, just filled up in about 4 feet and had to empty. took forever. a rake and tarp are 100x faster
  6. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,737

    I purchased the Gravely APV a few months ago. If your in an area where you can blow everything into a driveway or road then vac it up, it works rather well. The gravely shreds leaves into small pieces and will fill the bag quickly. It will not pick up acorns or small branches but everything else will be gone. The vac hose clogs way to easy. When used in the yard it will vac up 95% of the leaves on the first pass (if they are dry). The bag is ackward to dump into leaf bags but not to bad once you get use to it. Shreded leaves in bags obviously take up less room so it is a plus if you are using a small trailer. Would I Purchase another one? Probably but I will know better after I see how much use I get out of this one. A push mower and bagger perform about the same but the bag won't fill quite as quick.
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,737

    I have a gravel area around my pond that gets covered in leaves. I don't like to blow the leaves because half of them will end up in the pond. I take the filter out of my garage wet/dry vac and vacuum the leaves up. keep the hose end a couple inches off the gravel. Works well and it's fast.

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