Tech-ish... leaf vacuums

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
So I got leaves. A shit pot full of them. Usually I spend my time raking them onto a huge tarp and then dragging them back into the woods or to the curb for the town to suck up. My FIL has a homemade leaf vacuum and I think I want one too. So in true cheapo form I plan to build my own. Anyone have experience with this?

I've got spare engines sitting around collecting dust and could put a 5hp to work. I just need a fan/blower. I've seen some homemade ones but I don't how in the hell I'd ever balance it. Marketplace and Craigslist haven't resulted anything on the cheap. Most are already put together units and are smaller than I need (capacity wise).

Anybody got any hot leads on fans?
 

shawn

running dog lackey of the oppressor class
Administrator
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
Negative. Just came here to say I use the bagger on the mower to suck them up. It's not ideal. You've really got to mow first then come back with the bagger to reduce the clogs and increase the unloading interval. I've considered getting one of those huge tubes that hooks to the discharge chute, but never have.
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
Negative. Just came here to say I use the bagger on the mower to suck them up. It's not ideal. You've really got to mow first then come back with the bagger to reduce the clogs and increase the unloading interval. I've considered getting one of those huge tubes that hooks to the discharge chute, but never have.
I've got a bagger but it can hardly hold two passes on my lawn. I figure I could use the discharge chute and tie it into the leaf vacuum.
 

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD
Does it have/need a shredder in there?
Id think you'd want to to keep the volume from becoming rediculous.

Im lucky enough that my leave just get shredded and mulched w the grass.
 

89wrangler

Not a new member
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Location
Bostic,NC
I used to rake/blow leaves into rows, the drag with a 10x20’ tarp. It sucked....I bought one of the above used to give it a try because I really wasn’t sure if it would work or not. If I had known what I know now, I would have bought one (new or used) years ago. @RatLabGuy, yes they have shredders that mulch the leaves. @McCracken, I have at least as many leaves as you in my yard, tractor trailer load if raked and dragged to woods line.
As far as building one, seems buying one would be the way to go vs trying to build the enclosed dump trailer, mount motor, buy and install mulch blade, then buy pickup tube and mounting system.
I installed mine on my 60” zero turn. Had to modify the pickup mount and have to watch my speed. Once I figured that out, it will eat the shit out of the leaves! I will get a clog at the mower deck every now and again due to trying to go too fast, but I have gotten better at that. Also real wet leaves are no fun. Dryer the better. I can also tell after using it a lot, when it is full by the way the mower is spitting excess out of the deck.
I normally burn the leaves after I have raked or mulched. Racked leaves will burn way faster of course than the mulched ones so I make more smaller piles and then burn. First time I had a Huge pile and it took two days to burn. Live and learn. I am getting ready to mount mine and start the fall pick up, which I do not dread like I used to.
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
Does it have/need a shredder in there?
Id think you'd want to to keep the volume from becoming rediculous.

Im lucky enough that my leave just get shredded and mulched w the grass.
I'm not that concerned with that. I've seen the impellers with the teeth to help chop it up but to me that would be gravy. I just want to cruise around sucking up leaves and dumping them out.
 

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD
I'm not that concerned with that. I've seen the impellers with the teeth to help chop it up but to me that would be gravy. I just want to cruise around sucking up leaves and dumping them out.
but there is limited space in that leaf tank. Chopped leaves take up less space, so fewer trip to dump it.
I'd think w/o one you'd be constantly emptying it.

plus chopped leaves decompose faster.
 

orange150

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Falls Church, VA
I don’t have much to add other than the fact that I have a Billy Goat leaf vacuum and sticks are it’s mortal enemy.
I’m not sure if bigger versions can handle sticks and twigs, but something to think about.
 

Ron

Dum Spiro Spero
Moderator
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Location
Sharon, SC

shawn

running dog lackey of the oppressor class
Administrator
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
Just use a big tarp.

This shows the concept, but the guy rambles too much.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

You can buy premade things like that. They're made out of a sunbrella-style mesh.
 

moldman05

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Location
Rocky Mount NC
Steam powered leaf vacuum. Suck up the leaves and burn them to power the vacuum. A little bit of smoke and ashes .
 

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD
Steam powered leaf vacuum. Suck up the leaves and burn them to power the vacuum. A little bit of smoke and ashes .
or, skip the alternative power, and just light a fire in the little trailer that behind the mower, so you just burn them as you go along
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
Hooked mine up today for the first time this season. I topped it off with gas and it started on the third pull. I have a nice Stihl backpack leaf blower, but it used to take me 3-4 hours to blow all the leaves, then another 1.5 hours to mow. Now I get up the leaves and mow at the same time and it only takes about 1.5 hours. the lawn vaccum is heavy. My old Craftsman 16 hp riding mower would struggle a bit to pull it up hills. My new Husky 24hp mower pulls it like a diesel.

PXL_20201018_174151964.jpg
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
So I may have scored a blower fan from work (I guess there are benefits to tearing down parts of the facility to make way for new). The issue is that it may be a touch large for the application. The inlet is probably 8", as is the exit. A 15HP motor drove this fan at one time. The biggest engine I have is 5HP. I'm going to have to make an adapter for the shaft so that it can fit but I kind of figured I would have to. For the engineer types, is it possible to maintain decent velocity by narrowing the inlet and outlet since the HP would be smaller and thus the fan be spinning at a lower rpm? I feel this is a common sense question but I just want to make sure.
 

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD
So I may have scored a blower fan from work (I guess there are benefits to tearing down parts of the facility to make way for new). The issue is that it may be a touch large for the application. The inlet is probably 8", as is the exit. A 15HP motor drove this fan at one time. The biggest engine I have is 5HP. I'm going to have to make an adapter for the shaft so that it can fit but I kind of figured I would have to. For the engineer types, is it possible to maintain decent velocity by narrowing the inlet and outlet since the HP would be smaller and thus the fan be spinning at a lower rpm? I feel this is a common sense question but I just want to make sure.
I have a whole Simplicity riding ower w/ a 12.5HP motor you can HAVE if you want it for this.
Just have to make a trek to get it ;-)
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
My dad has a Peco 20x trailer vac, with all the crap to hook it to his ZTR. It does well, but 2 complaints: With the ZTR, you can turn too far and pull the hose loose; and the trailer isnt big enough.

So i suggest using as big of a trailer as you can pull.
 

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD

RatLabGuy

You look like a monkey and smell like one too
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Churchville, MD
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