Tech-ish... leaf vacuums

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by McCracken, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. McCracken

    McCracken Logan Can't See This

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    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?
     
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  2. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

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    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.
     
  3. McCracken

    McCracken Logan Can't See This

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    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.
     
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  4. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

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  5. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

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    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.
     
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  6. 89wrangler

    89wrangler Not a new member

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    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.
     
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  7. McCracken

    McCracken Logan Can't See This

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    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.
     
  8. 83oldyoda4x4

    83oldyoda4x4 Well-Known Member

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    NC
    Since upgrading my backpack leaf blower this year, i don't see me going back to a bagger or atleast will be using it less.
     
  9. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Churchville, MD
    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.
     
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  10. orange150

    orange150 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  11. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

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    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    Just use a big tarp.


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

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Ron

    Ron Dum Spiro Spero Moderator

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    Sharon, SC
    That's gotta be a bitch to dump
     
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  13. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

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    You can buy premade things like that. They're made out of a sunbrella-style mesh.
     
  14. moldman05

    moldman05 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 27, 2006
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    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 .
     
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  15. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

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    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
     
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  16. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

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    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
     
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  17. McCracken

    McCracken Logan Can't See This

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    Location:
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    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.
     
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  18. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

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  19. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

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    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 ;-)
     
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  20. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

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    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.
     
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  21. awheelterd

    awheelterd Well-Known Member

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    johnston co./ ncsu
    Build something like this and you solve the trailer/dumping problem.
     
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  22. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

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    That video is about 11 minutes longer than it needs to be
     
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  23. NCJeeplover

    NCJeeplover Well-Known Member

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    This is the case for 80% of youtube. The x1.5 speed is the greatest feature ever!
     
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  24. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

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  25. RatLabGuy

    RatLabGuy You look like a monkey and smell like one too

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    that only makes it 7 minutes too long.
     
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