If you own a very big lawn, you will know what a backbreaking chore manual lawn sweeping is. It is not only physically strenuous, but also takes up a lot of your productive time. So, what do you do? Hire professionals for this task on a regular basis and pay through your nose or buy your very own leaf and lawn vacuum.
The latter option is certainly a better one. The initial investment for such a contraption may seem daunting, but it is guaranteed to give you years of service, adding to your comfort and convenience.
- 1 Lawn sweepers and vacuums
- 2 Types of lawn sweepers
- 3 Advantages of pull-behind lawn vacuums
- 4 Tips for using tow-behind leaf and lawn vacuums
- 5 Popular brands
Lawn sweepers and vacuums
A leaf and lawn sweeper is a multipurpose contraption that not only helps in removing fallen leaves and other debris off your lawn, but also helps clear dust and dirt from your patio, sidewalk and driveway. Equipped with brushes, connected to a rotating shaft, it combs through the lawn, collecting fallen leaves and other debris.
In a vacuum sweeper, the vacuum action collects the debris in the hopper, which can then be emptied wherever desired.
Types of lawn sweepers
The yard sweeping equipment is primarily of four types:
Power vacuum sweeper
This type of yard sweeper runs on either electricity or gas to create suction and is ideal for cleaning fairly large areas. It also comes with a shredding device that reduces the volume of the debris, thereby easing disposal. Some of them are self-propelled models and while others are push behind ones that you can move at a comfortable walking speed, picking up larger volumes of debris. On the downside, they are bulky and difficult to maneuver. They also vibrate a lot, and emit noise and dust, making sweeping less of a relaxing experience.
A push lawn sweeper is akin to rotary lawn mower and is meant only for light use. It efficiently clears small amounts of debris, without emitting any noise or discharging noxious fumes. Usually the cleaning mechanism consists of stiff brushes connected to a rotating shaft. Ease of maintenance is its biggest plus point. All it requires is lubrication of its bearings and it lasts for a long time. It requires maintenance only once a year. On the downside, this sweeper is unsuitable for large areas and steep terrains. It is also not efficient for wet or heavy clumps of debris. Its collection bag is much smaller, requiring frequent emptying.
A pull-behind vacuum sweeper is a larger type of push sweeper. It is the most efficient of the lot, cleaning large tracts of lawn and has a larger capacity to hold leaves and debris. It is quick, saves time and is fun to use. What’s more, it is incredibly efficient. Simply attach it to a tractor or a ride-on mower and enjoy its hyper-efficient cleaning.
A pull-behind lawn vacuum uses the power of vacuum to suck dry leaves, clippings and other debris into the hopper. Since, it is a tow-behind cleaner; it comes with a large hopper having a huge capacity, ranging from 20 to 25 cubic feet.
Advantages of pull-behind lawn vacuums
Of all these kinds of sweepers, a tow-behind vacuum sweeper has been adjudged the best for clearing very large areas. Here’s why:
- Most efficient in collecting not only leaves, but also managing pines, twigs and other lawn debris.
- Automatically collects leaves and other materials into the hopper, obviating the need for raking and collecting them.
- Not only does it collect the leaves and other debris in the hopper, it also unloads neatly at designated place, such as a compost pit, without spilling.
- Once the sweeper clears the debris from the lawn, it becomes easier for the lawn mower to mow the grass, thereby increasing its life span.
Tips for using tow-behind leaf and lawn vacuums
Following the under mentioned tips will increase the life span and efficiency of the vacuum sweeper:
- Use it regularly: Regularly using your machine will help make your job of lawn cleaning easier, since less debris makes sweeping more efficient in the shortest possible time.
- Use it only on a dry lawn: Using this machine on a wet lawn decreases its efficiency, especially in picking up wet leaves. So, ensure that your lawn is completely dry before operating this machine.
- Avoid high-speed sweeping: Find out the suitable speed to tow your sweeper to facilitate clean pick up of the leaves and debris. High-speed sweeping may make it miss out on debris. Operating at low speed makes the sweeping more thorough and reduces the risk of damage.
- Empty hopper frequently: Although your hopper comes with a sizeable capacity, it is prudent to empty it frequently, rather than wait for it to fill up to the brim, since it gets weighed down.
The leading brands of leaf and lawn vacuum sweeper are Agri-Fab, Ohio Steel, Brinly, Cub Cadet, Cyclone and DR. Of these, two of the best ones are Cyclone and DR. Let’s compare the two:
Cyclone Rake lawn and leaf vacuum
Cyclone Rake has five models – Cyclone Rake Z10, Cyclone Rake XL, Cyclone Rake Commercial PRO, Cyclone Rake Commander and Cyclone Rake Classic. Features of Cyclone Rake Z10, its basic model are:
- JetPath vacuum system: Its 10-inch diameter vacuum system provides three times more debris flow area than others do. It also obviates the chance of debris getting stuck along the vacuum path.
- 10 HP Vanguard engine: This Briggs & Stratton engine provides more power to deliver 13 percent more airflow. These engines are rated for 2000 hours.
- Super-Flow Miracle Impeller: This is the largest impeller that is capable of generating a high degree of vacuum, but at the same time flexes to prevent jams or damage.
- Huge capacity: Its hopper has a huge 415-gallon capacity that can hold debris an equivalent to 44 bushels.
- Easy storage: The collector unit of Z-10 folds up flat and can be hanged on the wall for easy storage.
DR leaf and lawn vacuum
DR vacuum comes in four models – PILOT-200 tow-behind, PREMIER-200 tow-behind, PRO-321 tow-behind and PRO XL-321 tow-behind. Some features of its basic model, PILOT-200 are:
- Hose with optimal diameter: It boasts of an eight-inch diameter hose that is ideal for the purpose, since a narrow hose clogs frequently and a wider one loses compression and suction power.
- DR OHV Engine: Uses an efficient DR OHV engine with 19.6 ft-lbs gross torque. It has both manual and electric starting options.
- Shark Teeth Steel Impeller: It efficiently reduces the mulched material it receives from the spinning blade before passing it to the collector.
- Capacity: Its collector has a 200-gallon capacity that unloads in two easy steps.
- Easy storage: The collector top can be removed and folded. In addition, its engine too rolls into its own built-in trolley, making it space-efficient.
Both the brands – Cyclone and DR – have their pros and cons.
Whichever tow-behind leaf and lawn vacuum you opt for, it is certain to influence the looks of your lawn, making it your pride and neighbors’ envy!