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  1. #1
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    Bobcat CT 235

    Default PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    I live where there are lots of drainage ditches to be cleaned out, to keep land from staying soggy after rains. I have raked them by hand on the road , and burned them out on my property many times. I am thinking of building a large vacumn for my tractor if I can,t find a resonably priced factory, or shop built unit.
    Is there anyone out there with experience with tractor mounted vacumns?
    oldguy

    Bobcat 235

  2. #2
    Gold Member TerryR's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    I bought a Track Vac Model 854 pto leaf vac several years ago for that very application. I wanted a PTO-driven unit because I really didn't want another engine to maintain, though I don't think that saved much money, if any. It has a decent sized trailer that collects the leaves, and seems pretty well built.

    It is designed to work with a belly-mounted mower, vacuuming from the discharge chute. That doesn't work for ditch work. I got the remote pickup, which is a length of 6" hose that connects to the 8" hose that is supposed to connect to the mower deck, with a handle on the free end.

    In my case, the ditches are very irregular and have lots of rocks, and the vac will pick up fist-sized rocks, which are no doubt not good for the impeller. So the pickup needs be handled manually, and with some care. My idea of a boom arrangement to hold the pickup seems doomed.

    I found that dragging the combined length of 6 and 8" hose was heavy, awkward, and inclined to clog at the joint. So I bought another length of the 6" hose and a coupler, and cut the 8" hose down to just enough to mount the adapter. That works much better, though twigs still cause some clogging.

    Without the mower deck the leaves are not cut as fine as they would be with it, but if dry are pretty fine, and pack well into the trailer. The leaf pile makes great garden additive after about 2 years - a nice bonus.

    One annoyance is the vac unit doesn't have any sort of skids or legs to support it when it's dismounted, and the bottom is irregularly shaped so it doesn't sit flat on the ground. While you can man-handle it, it's just heavy and large enough to be awkward. My solution to that was to build a small dolly that lets me roll it into a corner of the shed.

    My previous solution was a backpack blower, and I find this way better.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PTO driven vacumn for tractor-vac-2-jpg   PTO driven vacumn for tractor-vac-1-jpg  

  3. #3
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    Thanks Terry R . I appreciate the input. Trac Vac was not on my radar and they do have some equipment that looks like it might work.
    oldguy

    Bobcat 235

  4. #4
    Gold Member TerryR's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    You're welcome, Mike.

    I dealt directly with UTECO Inc., in Richmond, who are the distributors for my area, since there is no active Trac Vac dealer in my town. They gave me good advice, and then brought the unit to a local dealer in town, who hasn't dealt with TracVac, but does handle other products they distribute. So technically I bought it from the local dealer.

    One recommendation they made, which seems like a good one, is to get the optional liner for the impeller housing, since I'm vacuuming in ditches with lots of gravel in them. It's a plastic (?) belt inside the housing that keeps the small stones from denting the housing and taking off the paint.

    Terry

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    to protect the fan blade, from rocks to twigs to other.....

    hose (intake) -> 55 gallon bucket to small enclosed trailer (air tight if possible) -> hose to fan blade -> air out of fan blade.

    the *hose (intake) and hose (outtake) on container, should be positioned high. and force stuff to take a 180 degrees to get into the hose (outtake). this well let heavy stuff and most other stuff fall down into the 55 gallon to small enclosed trailer. and not make it into the outtake hose.

    there are 2 current threads going on in the last 1 to 5 days, for DIY vacs / leaf vacuums.
    Ryan

  6. #6
    Gold Member TerryR's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    Has anyone actually tired this, boggen? I think the barrel would fill with leaves in a few minutes leaving just a small passage open that's inclinded to clog.

    Terry

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    no idea if anyone has tried 55 gallon drums. folks have done the small size 4' x 4' enclosed trailer before. there have been riding lawn mowers that have 2 drums basically errr small size trash cans on the back of riding lawn mower to catch grass.

    build a enclosed container or like that works for you. to capture the debris you are vacuuming. no need for a 8' wide 16' enclosed trailer. and no sense wasting cash on a 13 gallon trash can. find something in the middle that works for what you want.

    the goal of placing your drum or trash can or enclosed trailer or what not. between inlet on the hose, and between the fan blade, is to protect the fan blade. and keep twigs to rocks from getting jammed up in the fan blade. Other words, the container acts like a "pre filter" to remove large size heavy debris.

    in another way of stating it, look at a regular shop vac. the inlet hose goes right into the container. and then the fan sucks air out of the container. and not inlet hose -> fan -> container.

    the container you end up using needs to be large enough. to allow the velocity (how fast the air is moving, like MPH (mile per hour) but more likely measured in Feet per second) of the air to slow down enough. to allow stuff to settle / sink out of the air current.
    Ryan

  8. #8
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    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Fortner View Post
    I live where there are lots of drainage ditches to be cleaned out, to keep land from staying soggy after rains. I have raked them by hand on the road , and burned them out on my property many times. I am thinking of building a large vacumn for my tractor if I can,t find a resonably priced factory, or shop built unit.
    Is there anyone out there with experience with tractor mounted vacuums?


    You would be much better off purchasing a Cyclone Rake to do the job.

    The cyclone rake can use long lengths of suction hose and it also has a hand held nozzle option for loading the basket. The other thing is the basket folds up and hangs on the wall and the engine has its own set of casters to move it around and store it wherever you want to store it.

    As long as the leaves are dry or nearly dry the cyclone rake will handle the leaves for you.



    The Issue with ditches is water and soggy leaves and debris and the only way to sucessfully remove them is with the commercial truck mo0unted vacuums as the standard impeller type of suction impellers cannot create enough of a pressure gradient to suck up the wet leaves and debris.

  9. #9
    Gold Member TerryR's Avatar
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    Default Re: PTO driven vacumn for tractor

    I think Cyclone Rake was one of those I looked at when I bought my TracVac. I disqualified it mainly because there doesn't seem to be a PTO-driven model, and I had no interest in yet another engine to maintain.

    My other concern is with the size of the container - it looks a lot smaller than the one with on the TracVac, which is none too large in my experience. But that would depend on the size of the property and volume of leaves, and of course the steel trailer takes up real space for storage.

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