Blade for leaf removal
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    Blade for leaf removal

    So for my thin grass I got a set of hi-lift blades to put on my 60D. They did a better job than the standard blades for mowing but now we're in the leaf time of the year. I picked up a used trac-vac a few weeks ago for collecting the leaves. Used it today and it does a great job picking up everything but when I dump the trailer especially when I get into more leaves and less grass the leaves don't seem to be very well chopped up. Now i'm wondering if the high lift blades may not be the best choice taking care of leaves with the vac. Wonder if a set of mulching blades would have enough push to blow the leaves out into the vacuum chute but chop them up better than the high lifts.

    Anyone have experience doing this?

    Thanks,
    Dean

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    HydroHarold's Avatar
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    I have "Gator" mulching blades on my GX335/48C and OEM blades on my 1026r/54D. I get decent results bagging with the Gators but have no bagger for the big tractor. The OEM's work fine for chopping leaves with my "blocked off chute/mulching system" on the 54D. I'd give what you got a go and see how it will work with the vac...

    The MAIN THING mulching/bagging is doing it when the leaves are mostly DRY and Wide Open Throttle (PTO Speed).
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    I have been using a Trac Vac for about 18 years. I have used it with regular blades & gator blades. I could not tell any difference in the leaves in the trailer. If the leaves are not dry, they will not break up. If they are dry, they will crumble into small pieces. If you want to chop them up, get Gator blades & mow with the opening on you mower deck blocked of, then go back & pick them up with the Trac Vac. If you do this you will have a lot less to vac up.

    This is how I blocked mine off.
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    RandyM's Avatar
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    Dean you are confusing me, (though easily done) but why are you concerned with shredding the leaves if you are picking them up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisR View Post
    I have been using a Trac Vac for about 18 years. I have used it with regular blades & gator blades. I could not tell any difference in the leaves in the trailer. If the leaves are not dry, they will not break up. If they are dry, they will crumble into small pieces. If you want to chop them up, get Gator blades & mow with the opening on you mower deck blocked of, then go back & pick them up with the Trac Vac. If you do this you will have a lot less to vac up.

    This is how I blocked mine off.
    To reinforce what Chris is saying, about 12-15 years ago I was pulling my homemade vacuum unit over my yard sucking up leaves & clippings. A friend I was storing three of his garden tractors and a bunch of attachments came out to help. I had been mowing and vacuuming and filling up my cart every 8-10 minutes. Buddy had Gator Blades on his 50 inch deck. When he'd get to a place with lots and lots of leaves the Gators were PULVERISING them into dust! By the time I went over the places he mowed I'd get a few leaves, whatever was left but I could run 18-20 minutes to get a load and cover a L-O-T more ground, which was the goal of the work we were doing.

    I would not worry about mulching the leaves at all with your Trac-Vac. Mulched they take up less volume in the cart, but if you burn, or compost, or just dump them in a hole or ditch to rot away, whole leaves or tiny pieces of leaves don't make much difference. On my 2+ acres with 80+ trees I was getting 40-50 loads in my 42" x32" x36" cart. Reducing that number a bit, to say 30-40 loads saved me a lot of time and gas.

    I was using a standard mower blade that had a small wing at 35-40 degree angle about 4-5 inches long. I welded a small blade to the top of that wing so it would move much more air and material into my vac. Worked great, it would suck leaves under the mower deck from 4 to 6 inches away from the front edge of the deck.
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    cheesetrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyM View Post
    Dean you are confusing me, (though easily done) but why are you concerned with shredding the leaves if you are picking them up?
    The finer you can chop them up the less space they take up. They also tend to break down quicker.


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    Blade for leaf removal

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanB View Post
    So for my thin grass I got a set of hi-lift blades to put on my 60D. They did a better job than the standard blades for mowing but now we're in the leaf time of the year. I picked up a used trac-vac a few weeks ago for collecting the leaves. Used it today and it does a great job picking up everything but when I dump the trailer especially when I get into more leaves and less grass the leaves don't seem to be very well chopped up. Now i'm wondering if the high lift blades may not be the best choice taking care of leaves with the vac. Wonder if a set of mulching blades would have enough push to blow the leaves out into the vacuum chute but chop them up better than the high lifts.

    Anyone have experience doing this?

    Thanks,
    Dean
    I've used both the standard side discharge blades and the mulching blades to bag leaves. The mulching blades chop the leaves up really well and allow the powerflow blower to pack the bags full and heavy. My leaf blower/vac turns leaves to dust. It's electric however and can't reach everywhere.

    No matter which blades you use be prepared for some blowout of leaves from the right front of the deck. There is no guard to prevent this unless you make something yourself.

    The mulch blades also don't lift grass up as well. Because of this I'm actually looking at a set of Gator G6 blades for next mowing season.


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    Last edited by cheesetrain; 10-16-2016 at 12:23 PM.
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    The problem i'm trying to solve for is the trailer on the Trac Vac fills up pretty quick when it's just leaves because with the high lift blades the get picked up and thrown right out. Almost don't look like they got hit by the blades at all. I've got 5 acres of mostly leaves and it's an awful lot of trips to empty. Looking for better blades to fill the trailer instead of have it full of air and a few leaves.
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    cheesetrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanB View Post
    The problem i'm trying to solve for is the trailer on the Trac Vac fills up pretty quick when it's just leaves because with the high lift blades the get picked up and thrown right out. Almost don't look like they got hit by the blades at all. I've got 5 acres of mostly leaves and it's an awful lot of trips to empty. Looking for better blades to fill the trailer instead of have it full of air and a few leaves.
    You could try mulching blades without the mulch baffles. Either the John Deere mulch blades or the Gator blades would work for that.


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    You say you bought a used Trac-Vac. Have you checked the condition of the impeller blade. I have a Trac-Vac and it grinds up the leaves pretty good. Maybe the impeller is worn down enough that it is allowing a good deal of whole leaves pass through.
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