Opinions please. What's the best massive leaf cleanup system?
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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Opinions please. What's the best massive leaf cleanup system?

    Now it's my turn to get some opinions from you smart people!
    I have a massive amount of leaves to harvest every fall. 12 large oak and hickory trees. I've been looking at the various leaf vacs. Cyclone, agra fab ect. I also have a chance to purchase an LA140 that has been at the shop for over 2yrs that has a bagger minus the lower chute. It has a 48 deck without a power flow. My question is, do you all think i should go with the LA140 with bagger or suck it up and buy a tow behind vac. How well will a 48 deck without a power flow pick up dry leaves?

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    From the videos I have watched,,, tow behind!!
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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Or I guess another option is a tow behind sweeper. I have ALOT of acorns too. I know the bagger and vac wont pick those up. I've raked and filled my 10p cart 5x already with just acorns. Lol

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    X748SE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CADplans View Post
    From the videos I have watched,,, tow behind!!
    DITTO - Tow behind!

    I think that your bagger will fill up very quickly.

    Even though I have the largest CR I sometime think that even that fills up too quickly.

    Roger

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    Two options for acorns,,,
    1) a BR600 Stihl blower
    2) a herd of deer,,,




    I have option 1),,, but,,,
    I use option 2),,


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    I use my D160 with the Deere bagger and it works ok. The disadvantage of this setup is that it doesn't really shred the leaves very well so the bags fill up fairly quick. I park my utility trailer in the yard, bag the leaves and dump the bags into that so I don't have to run back and forth so often. If I do run into a bunch of wet leaves it will plug up sometimes - not a big deal to clear.

    The single biggest issue I have with this setup is that Deere, in their infinite wisdom, put the stupid gas fill cap smack in the center of the machine in the back there so it's impossible to fill the thing with the bagger on without doing some super-human gymnastics or rigging up some funky contraption. I ended up buying 2' of clear plastic tubing that I can connect to my gas can spout to reach the filler neck.

    And yeah, the bagger will leave 90% of the acorns behind. I rake those up after the leaves are cleared.
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    Doc,

    We had tons of leaves on the lawn, on the driveways and on the paths in the wooded areas of our last small acreage in the Portland, OR area. We used a bagger on the X304 that had a 42 inch deck, a mulching deck on the 322 and later on the x495 for the pathways which already had cedar chips, and for the wide open spaces and the gravel driveways we used the MC519 and Power flow on the other 322 and before that on the 318, although the x304 did a lot of that as well.

    Baggers without power flow assist on the Deere decks work but are somewhat marginal for some kinds of leaves/needles. Although it was a much less quality mower, the deck on the Husqvarna riding mower seemed to have more "lift" when collecting and bagging needles and broken leaves from being driven on by the vehicle traffic.

    Emptying the bags on any mower is much more tedious than the larger bins in the tow-able collection systems or even the MC 519 so be sure to consider that aspect as well...

    Chuck
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    I had the same dilemma, or at least a similar one. I used my LA135 and bagger, but could only get 1 or 2 laps around the yard before I had to go dump the bags. Then I bought the Cyclone Rake XL. It makes a world of difference. For example, today I had to dump it twice, where with just the bagger I would have had to dump at least 6 times. Not to mention clogging. My bagger would have clogged multiple times, today not once. I did my 1 acre lawn, and my buddy's 1 acre lawn next door in 4 hours today. Trust me, you want a Cyclone Rake (or similar).
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    I used to have a 345 with 54" deck and the mc519 material collection system. It did a great job pulling the leaves off the lawn. I was cutting about 4 acres of lawn on a 6 acre property. The lawn was surrounded with mature trees and I also had a magnificent Sycamore in the yard that dropped dinner plate sized leaves. The system digested everything well, but I took many trips to the mulch pile to dump the full cart. I would speculate the cart held the equivalent of what the two bag systems would. The tow behind systems all seem to hold a very good volume and I'm certain they pull significantly more vacuum.

    I have lots of leaves also now and have been blowing my money on so many other things that I cant afford a collection system right now. Stuck blowing them with a back pack and stuffing them in my 18 cart for another season.
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    Xcopterdoc: my lawn is 1.5 acres of maple, oak, pine and cottonwood trees. The cotton wood trees are gigantic. I use an Agri-fab leaf vac with built in wood chipper. I absolutely LOVE it, it's hands down the best money I've spent for yard maintenance (used $600). I have a fenced in area and I use my BR600 to blow all the fenced in area out into the open so I can get at it. I would HIGHLY recommend the Agri-fab unit to anyone. The only down side is it's long and I have to make wide circles around my trees. Otherwise, it sucks up 99% of the leaves.

    I prefer to suck leaves in the morning while there is still a slight dew on them, this nearly eliminates dust. Also, you will need a tractor with a heavy duty hydro drive because after 1.5 hours of pulling the leaf vac around, my Cubby (LTX1050) is not happy and the hydro drive is louder than normal.
    Before:


    After:


    NOTE: 5 loads sucked up all the leaves above...
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    Last edited by JDSwan87; 11-05-2016 at 07:32 PM.
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