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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Garden and Landscape

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Lawn Sweeper

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rpelleschi
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 56 Spotsylvania, Va
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2005-11-27          119904


Gentlemen, Does anyone have experience with a "lawn sweeper"? I am looking for the leaf solution. I see Home Depot has a JD 42" lawn sweeper for sale. Do they work well for picking up leaves? I also need to buy a large riding mower. I have about 3 acres to cut now. I wanted the Zero turn, but they are quite spendy. Any sugestions as far as a lawn tractor?
Thanks

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2005-11-27          119909


I have a lawn sweeper but never tried it on leaves. Around here people are starting to favor the high end blowers on wheels that you push - about 5-6 hp for moving lots of leaves.

For mowing I purchased a JD LT190 this year - I understand they have new models now. But they are as pricey as a 0 turn. For a less expensive alternative I would consider a Husqvarna XP series with Yamaha engine. ....

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ksmmoto
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 41 Central Lower Michigan
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2005-11-27          119919


I have a Agri-Fab Lawn Sweeper that I bought in 1994. It works well on leaves, but fills up very, very fast. After many trips to dump in the garden, I started making piles in the yard and using a 10' X 12' tarp with rope to take the leaves to the garden. Just tie the tarp to the back of your riding mower and rake the leaves on.

After several years I built a mulch plate to cover the discharge on my mower. Then I mowed the leaves while pulling the sweeper and it picked up the remains. This worked well, but did leave a lot of small peices.

Now I have a Agri-Fab Chip/Vac that chips the leaves and blows them into a hopper wagon.

I still use the sweeper in the summer on grass clippings, it is faster than hooking up the Chip/Vac. I spread the clippings around the base of my trees.

ksmmoto ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2005-11-27          119922


I purchased the homeower Bushhog zero turn last year. At 52" cut, it is faster than 72" deck on a CUT with HST. The zero turn is not good on wet grass especially on a slope. It also cut down on trimming. Look carefully at the zero turns. There is some cheap built ones out there, but not necessarily with cheapest price. Look at spindles and deck strength. I like my Husky trimmer but not their homeowner z turn. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2005-11-27          119943


My wife has a JD lawn sweeper she uses mainly for leaves. It does pretty well if you pick up the leaves on almost a daily basis before they sink into the grass. After a rain matts the leaves down it just doesn't do too well, so then she mows it first to get the leaves loose from the grass. I don't think she has ever picked up grass clippings with it, she mows so often that there just aren't enough clippings to even see. Frank. ....

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rpelleschi
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 56 Spotsylvania, Va
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2005-11-28          119958


After reading ksmotto's reply it does not sound like the lawn sweeper would be a good solution for the amount of leaves that I will be dealing with. ks did mention a leaf vac/chipper. I think I have seen these at TSC and Lowes. Are they the pull behind carts with a hose that attaches to the discharge of your mower. I think they have another engine to mulch the leave. I seen the $1200 tag and kept moving. However this is going to be a annual event for some time. Do they work well? Worth the money?
Thanks for the input on the zero turn mowers. Cutting my grass time in half is appealing. It looks as though the lawn and leaf solution is going to be expencive though. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2005-11-28          119961


In zero turns have seen but did not consider one with grass catcher so have not thought with them. But we use to cut a yard with about 50 pines and some very large oaks. We used a snapper high vac mower with grass catcher. Slow compare to some other mowers but the yard looked vacumned, which it was. It did not matter if leaves or needles, it picked them up. The high vac model had a couple of feactures that really helped, it had extra lifts that bolted onto the blade to create extra lift and a deck that was rolled under having the blade to run above the lower edge. It did a lot of mulching the leaves, cut pine straw some but was still very useable for flower beds.

Again, it cuts slow and the bagging capacity is low, well for the amount we cut it was. But very low maintance mowers for us. Yes we wore out one and bought another. ....

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Lawn Sweeper

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2005-11-28          119962


I found that a lawn sweeper fills very fast and cannot handle large amounts of leaves at a time. You need to sweep every few days. In some of my yards I use a blower and put the leaves in piles and haul it away on tarps as was mentioned. I also use a lawntractor with 46" deck and 3 bag vacuum. Again if you mow frequently this works and chops the leaves up into finer particules. At the farm I just blow them into the field. I've also used in estate rake at times with some success. The big problem is always with too many at a time. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-11-28          119969


I have a little experience cleaning up leaves. ;->

There is only two options, one, get a VERY large collector, or one you can empty quite often, or condense the material being collected.

We have to do both in our case.

We use PTO driven blower to gather the leaves, then an Olathe tow-behind self-powered collector which holds about 12 cubic yards of shredded leaves. It has a hydraulic high dump that allows it too dump directly into a truck, dumpster, etc. or just pile them for composting.

For a homeowner with lots of leaves I usually suggest a mower with a bagger option. Even without Gator or other mulching blades it usually reduces the volume pretty good.

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2005-11-28          119980


In reading and telling what I have done it got me to thinking why past tense and not present. There is another solution to leaves, a chainsaw. You can use this option in either of two methods,slowly or all at once way.
Some of this is meant to be humorous but it does work. If you don't beleive it try it. However, you may find some thinning works wonders. We have a few trees in our yard but the wind now is able to remove our leaves for us. Something that helps that is having a good cut lawn so the leaves will blow and not get hung up in the grass. In cutting where there are leaves I always cut with them being thrown back into cut path and that helps a lot even without a mulching kit. My only experience with a mulching kit was not an option I cared for. ....

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ksmmoto
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 41 Central Lower Michigan
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2005-11-28          120032


rpelleschi, the Argi-Fab Chip/Vac is what's at TSC. I have the larger model with 8 hp Tecumseh and chipper built in. It does work well.

I have the remote vacuum hose kit also and have used that in the flower beds and around trees. Works ok, but plugs easy.

Just bought a Husqvarna Commercial Backpack Blower that really works well for moving the leaves out where I just mow them with the Chip/Vac.

It is expensive but sure saves tons of time.

ksmmoto ....

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bmeyer
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 175 Central Wisconsin
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2005-12-03          120328


Anybody have experience with the DR Chipper/Vac? I, too, hate the task of picking up leaves and want to find the easy way out. We've mulched and vacummed with our Ariens rider but it still is alot. We cut about 2 cares with loads of trees around. I ordered the DR video and it sure looks promising. ....

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rpelleschi
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 56 Spotsylvania, Va
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2005-12-04          120351


I am torn between a conventional lawn tractor and a Zero turn. Can anyone shed some light on this dilema? I want to purchase in January if possible. I have approx 3 acres with lots of trees around the edge and a few good size oaks in the yard. Will the pull behind chip/vac work on a zero turn? I've been reading up on both and am still torn. The lawn sweeper is not an option for leaf pickup, from all I've gathered it does not have the capacity to handle the volume of leaves I'm going to have. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2005-12-05          120422


I (and my wife) have used a 33 inch mower, CUT with a 72 inch RFM and zero turn to cut yard from 1 1/2 acres with few trees to 2 acres with oaks and pine trees.
If you are after grass cutting the zero turn is the way to go period. The z turn is hard or dangerous to use on wet hill sides that others handle okay. Your front wheels do no steering and will not prevent side slipping on a slope. You are steering and driving with the two rear wheels only. So, turning cuts down on pulling up a hill, add wet and you may not make it.
I have a 52 inch Z turn and can cut our two acre yard with about 50 trees or shrubs in it in 30 minutes or so less than the hyrdostat trans CUT with the 72 (20 inch bigger) RFM. Also cutting closer to tress and such. I found a lot of variance in quality of Z turns. Mine was $4400, not considered that comppany's professional model but has deck and spindles that matches many professional models.
Yes, z turns are the most fun in grass cutting out there. My only complaint, my wife has decided she can operate the z turn and does very well, putting me back on the CUT or trimmer. I have found changing the blade difficult on the z turn. You will need ramps or floor jack to get deck up enough.

....

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