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ultimatehick

lawn sweeper

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ultimatehick
I was looking at lawn sweepers and i was woundering if they are worth buying for picking up leaves. I was lookin at them and man it doesnt look like there is alot of room there for leaves to go after they are picked up. Also i was woundering if they are really worth getting for leaves because i have like 15 people that want me to pick up there leaves and i want to try to get away with some thing that is cheap.

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mowerman1193
I have one that has paid for itself several times over by now.It works great,but it does fill up very fast.I learned that if I mulch the leaves up first you can get more in it,but it will leave behind some of the small peices down into the grass.I have heard of some that will say they dont work very well at all,but I am not sure they had it adjusted right. Some things to consider are:The highth of your hitch(I have a Wheel Horse Garden Tractor that it works great on,but some smaller lawn tractor's that I have used it on the hitch was lower to the ground and the basket(bin)would rub the ground. Ground speed and the highth of adjustment make a big difference in how it will work.I think any tractor will do a good job it its adjusted right. You might try to do a search on this site about them.I think there was a discusion about them awhile back that had some good information about them. mowerman1193

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dlsven
I have one and it works well on leaves and twigs. There are a couple of things that I don't like about it. One is that if you need to haul the leaves somewhere to dump them and you raise the sweeper brushes so you don't sweep gravel, etc while going to the dump site, then you have to get off the tractor to readjust the brushes when you get back to sweeping. Another is the fact that you can't travel over very uneven ground to the dump site because there isn't very much clearance even at the highest setting and the brushes keep turning so they will wind up anything they can around themselves. And as you thought, they fill up fast but still I think that they do a good job and they are the cheapest way to go that I've found.

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ultimatehick
ok thanx for all of your help but now i am just woundering how big of a hole will it put in my pocket. So basically how much will a good one cost that would hold up to all of the lawns that i have to do.

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PatRarick
I have a Simplicity vacuum and a 42" Agri-fab sweeper. Both have their place. I purchased the sweeper eight years ago and used it extensively for three years, until I got the vac. It still sees about 50 hours of use each year. I paid just about $200 for it and it has served well. Prior to storage each fall, I remove the wheels and clean the old grease from the drives and replace with new grease. Still shows very little wear. There are better and heavier units on the market, but for the price, I am well satisfied. A new one will run about $250 to $275 today, less for the smaller ones. Pat

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powerking_one
Ben, I had an Agri-Fab 38" tow behind which I sold to make room for the Landlord 2110. It was like new, 16 years old and used it 3 or 4 times. It worked OK, but as others stated, it fills up fast; guess that's one reason I quit using it. To price it used, I compared it to a new one (~~ $285.00). It sold quickly for $145.00. Now my leaf picker-upper of choice is an old Monkey Wards "Billy-Goat" type leaf vac I picked up for $50.00. Mulching/chopping reduction ratio is very good; picks up everything; works better than the sweeper. Of course for serious ton-o-leaves pickup, nothing beats the widest rake you can find, a 30'x20' or so blue poly tarp, and drag 'em back into the woods or mulch pile. Leaving you now, Tom(PK)

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Cheap_Dave
put an ad in the paper wanted lawn sweeper, thats how i got mine ( actually i asked for garden tractors and attachments in need of repair preferred, will haul away free) got one for me and one for my brother, needing no work, also picked up a backup one (neighbor has it) on the side of the road (trash day). they work a little too good (they don't pick up acorns though) the misses tows it behid the tractor and runs it over to the compost pile and unloads it while yours truly places it on the pile (or shreds it). Try it it works... good luck Cheap Dave

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upstatemike
My Son horse traded a couple of go kart tires for an old Craftsman sweeper 2 years ago. He studded the tires 'cause it would slip on wet grass. (aerates too) I haven't had to rake since then, with the exception of cutting in the flower beds and around the trees. He just drives it over to the bank, dumps it, and I push them over on occasion. MJD

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Marion_Kerr
Watch estate auctions and the paper. You can buy used ones at reasonable prices. As far as the "traveling to the dump area", here is what I did with mine (I have a large sized one). Just under and attached to the drawbar, ahead of the brush housing I mounted a 3" home-made pipe roller (2 pieces on one axle through center with middle of axle exposed for lift assemply) just a bit shorter than the wheel base. I mounted it with a lift lever assemply from an old Simpicity Broadmoor so, when I wanted to go dump, I used the lever and the roller came down lifting the wheels and brush up off the ground. It traveled on the roller and back wheels to and from dump area without the wheels/brush turning. Works great. Have been using it this way for 15 years. Keep the sweeper inside when not in use. Will last many more years!

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papamerkle
The last 3 years I 've been mulching instead of picking up leaves. I have owned a Simplicity grass catching system for 15 years. It's cheap fertilizer for my yards. 2 loads from my bagger trailer will fill my 4x8 trailer. With the mulching system there is a lot less work.

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Dutch
Ben,
quote:
Originally posted by ultimatehick: ... i have like 15 people that want me to pick up there leaves and i want to try to get away with some thing that is cheap.
Are these people customers? If you're going to get paid, why not get a vacuum collection system? You can do the job right with a lot less work.

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papamerkle
Things to consider when picking up leaves: Pros: 1. Good exercise. 2. You can charge more because there is more work involved. Cons: 1. Takes huge amount of time. 2. What are you going to do with the leaves after you pick them up? My town does not pick up leaves. I have to take them to a compost facility. My compost facility is only open 3 days a week. 3. If you used a vacuum collection system you will have another motor to take care of. 4. If you work days you don't have much time after work due to sun setting(2-3 hours weekdays). I have pick up leaves and mulch leaves for 8 homeowners. I give the homeowner the prices to do the job either way. My estimate is 3-4 times more to pick-up leaves vs mulching. I tell the homeowner to look at my yard before they make a choice. My grass looks better now since I mulch leaves. My yard has 9 maple trees ranging in size from 20 feet to 40 feet tall. All my neighbors are mulching this year.

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Dutch
Yes Kirk, I was referring to the PTO vac (no separate engine to maintain). I usually mulch, except when the leaves are really heavy in the fall. If I mulch then, the lawn is completely covered with a brown blanket. The vac does a few other things worth mentioning. 1) It greatly reduces the leaf volume (20-40 sweeper loads of leaves will fit into the cart). 2) Piles of reduced vacuumed leaves will not blow around after being dumped. 3) Reduced vacuumed leaves decompose much faster than whole leaves. 4) It picks up pine needles, cones, acorns, nuts, and other difficult debris. 5) The roving nozzle will vacuum along fence lines, from flower beds, in corners. 6) The roving nozzle can also be used to transfer leaves from the cart into a truck for offsite disposal. I just added a front mounted EZ Rake that I bought from Sandy Lake. It makes thatching and thatch pick up a one pass operation. The EZ Rake is also great for loosening wet matted leaves. It fluffs them up before the vacuum passes over.

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thedaddycat
Dutch, You have a Sweepster and I recall you mentioned using it for many jobs around the yard. How does it compair to the EZ Rake for thatching, and how well does it handle pine needles, acorns and other tree debris? Does the EZ Rake and vac system work out better?

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Dutch
Kirk, The Sweepster is my favorite year ‘round implement for sweeping blacktop, bare ground, and snow removal. It also dethatches, but it must be set up “just right” and you must pay close attention or you will sweep the entire lawn away. Whatever is swept up by the Sweepster is windrowed, so collection by hand (ugh) is easier. The Revitalizer also does a very job, but since it is mounted on the rear of the tractor, dethatching and vacuuming is a two step process. I now use the Revitalizer only for seeding. I like the EZ Rake for two reasons. It has 100 spring tines that really lifts the thatch, pine needles, and matted leaves. Plus, it is mounted on the front of the tractor. One pass and thatch is removed, grass is mowed, and lawn is vacuumed. (You know how I like to see my equipment work to the max…… front, center, and rear PTOs all going at the same time)

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Guest
Herb, Very nice setup, man do i need that. As usual, im jealous, no, envious,, very envious. Our problem is clippings, i bet we rake 7 or 8 times a summer, about a shortbox load everytime, can hardly stay ahead of it, grows night and day. Sounds like i need a dethatcher and a vac/collector system. Pat, If you read this, do you have a pic of the vac, what tractor do you use it on? Doug

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Woodydel
I've been tempted to buy one of these. Everything seems just right. Easy to dump, can automatically bag the leaves and backing up is absolutely easy without jack knifing like a trailer does. Cyclone Rake [url]http://www.cyclonerake.com/[/url]

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PatRarick
Doug, My vac is an older Simplicity that drove off the transmission side of the BGB. I added a jackshaft and used it on my HB-212. This year I mounted it on my 914 that was just repowered with an 18 horse Vanguard. Mine is put away for the winter, so I can't get a picture without digging everything out. The vac itself looks just like Herb's in the photo above. I built my own trailer with a 52 bushel capacity, and have the axle mounted almost to the rear of the trailer. Made it pretty easy to back up without jack knifing. Pat

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papamerkle
Doug M. A mulching kit on your mower will take care of your grass clippings. My vac system came with a motor on it. Vac systems are great if you have time and space to deposit what comes out of the trailer. Dutch Nice setup. I like to find a EZ Rake someday.

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