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  1. #1
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota B3030 loaded!

    Default trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    Hi gang,

    I've got a side discharge mowing deck on order to replace my rear discharge unit. As such I'm ready to declare war on grass clippings and leaves.

    Tractor - 18HP New Holland TC18 small compact (not sub) w/ 54" MMM.

    Yard - 1 acre of actual grass with 3 dozen mature apple and other trees "in lawn" plus bordering "forest".

    Uses - Suck up leaves, apples (I've heard I will make apple sauce if I can pick up the apples), and once in a while grass. I try to mulch the grass, but occasionally it gets away from me - esecially with spring rains or if I go on vacation.

    Up for consideration trac vac Model 662 "three point hitch" model w/ pony moter. On their website they claim that the unit mounts to the "stabilizer arms" so as not to interfere with the MMM raising and lowering. I've got to give them a call to clarify as their online manual mentions nothing about installation

    Cost $1,895 MSRP (2006) w/ 6.5HP Briggs
    PRO model w/ Kohler and improved impeller is $2,195 (2006)

    Capacity - 20 ft^3
    8" intake tube, ?? impeller diameter
    Pros - less engineering/fabrication required, manuverable,
    Cons - low capacity, low power, ??? How long to hook unit up - disables three point use when attached, very manual dumping - you lift buckets.

    Behind curtain #2 Billy Goat Truck Loader attached to country manufacturing trailer. I already have the trailer complete with hydraulic dump. I'd have to fabricate a "leaf box" for it and figure out a way to mount the unit (which is on a skid). I'm considering a high box for the trailer anyway as my new chipper has a discharge chute.

    Cost $2,000 for 11HP Briggs
    $2,400 for 13HP Honda

    Capacity 128ft^3
    8" intake tube, 14.24" impeller, 2013 cubic feet per minute
    Pros, High power (Honda available), 5X capacity, relatively quick hookup - place vac unit on trailer & go, power dumping, smaller storage footprint in shed
    Cons, Higher cost, some engineering/fabrication required (can use trac vac "boot" to adapt to mower deck), less manuverable.

    So, long story short, which approach would you use? Anybody running the trac vac 662 care to comment on performance? I'm not interested in one of their tow behind models, as I already have a trailer & no room to store another.

    Here's a shot of my backyard



    and the trailer

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Hazmat

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2007
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    107
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    Eastern LI, NY

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    What do you plan on doing with the leaves you suck up? If I were you I'd be looking for a 3 point blower to blow everything into the woods.
    -Rich

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2005
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    254

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    For the size lawn your talking about and the number of trees (and how bad the leaves are) - I would also look at the 580. If the leaves are really bad - you don't want to be emptying the bins every 3 minutes. I think the 580 has about twice the capacity vs. the 662. It's a trade-off however - What I like about the 662 is how tight it fits to the back of the tractor (plus the fact you can use the trash bins for trash the rest of the year vice storing a much larger trailer).

    Joe

  4. #4
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    I've got a walk behind little wonder blower w/ 8HP briggs motor (freebie that my father in law handed down).

    My current leaf management strategy is to shred them up as best I can with gator blades & then blow & tarp the holdouts. I compost whatever I manage to collect.
    Hazmat

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Eastern LI, NY

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    How long do you wait between blow-outs? If I were you, blow before cutting into piles and then tarp the piles.

  6. #6
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    michigan
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    jd 1070

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    I'm using a Woods brand trailer vacuum that I hook up to my 72" or 48" mowers for leaves or grass. In order to make it more effective and get more suction, I converted it to a 12" inlet hose by altering the impeller inlet frame. Still only using a 3.5hp Briggs but the 12" hose makes all the pickup you could want. I even sucked 1/2 a brick up once and it didn't even burp. The impeller chops leaves, grass, twigs, nuts, dog toys, pop bottles, etc into a fine mulch that won't burn, it just smolders. Makes great mulch or compost. I suggest getting the biggest trailer/ carrier you can because you want to keep the machine moving. Making pit stops to empty it frequently is a waste of gas, time and sweat. The Woods unit was a trailer type frame but I added a front caster wheel so It just gets pushed and pulled. The hitch doesn't support the tongue load. Once I ran over some embers from the previous day's attempt to burn some leaves and the load caught fire. The blower made it a wonderful blash furnace ! Sort of burn on the fly. My Woods cargo hold is 4' by 4' by 5' and holds about an acre of leaves and grass. Combined with the high suction mower deck blades, its the best yard tool I have and the most satisfying to use.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    In the palm of Michigan's Lower Peninsula
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    Kioti CK30HST, KL130 FEL, turf tires

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    I've used the 580 tow behind trac-vac system for roughly 18 years. I also have a two bagger that mounts on the back of the rider similar to the trac-vac 662. The two rubbemaid cans would hold slightly more than my two bagger. I never use the two bagger for leaves because it fills up incredibly fast.

    I think you would find your current trailer a bit large and cumbersome unless you had mostly open fields. Have you hooked your trailer up and drove around your yard, like your were mowing?

    I would also consider a 60" mower deck so it hangs out past the tractor tires for trimming purposes.

    I have an apple tree and have never managed to suck up apples with the trac-vac. ....although my dad drove over a 3" rock and the trac-vac picked it up no problem.

    With the amount of apple trees you have, you might look into what they use on golf courses to pick up golf balls.....just may work for apples.

    Don
    Last edited by TBDonnelly; 04-15-2007 at 11:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    I called trac vac today. They make a lift kit (pdf) to allow use of MMM and vac at the same time. My closest dealer is a lawn & garden type shop, not real familiar with compact tractors. I've got a call into the local kubota dealer who also sells trac vac to see if they have any experience with the 662.

    I'm really torn between the units. I suppose the deciding factor will be how fast I could hook up the 662. I don't have room to store another trailer (the existing one is outside).

    I don't plan on bagging my lawn often, just if I get behind in the mowing schedule. I realize that I'm not going to be towing my dump trailer around all my apple trees. I won't have to bag grass clippings there anyway - the lawn doesn't get enough sun. I figure if I get behind on the mowing, I'd blow the grass into a windrow and then suck up the excess with the vacuum rig. I'm definitely not trying to capture all the grass clippings (hey it's free fertilizer).

    For leaf pickup, I can use my blower to move the leaves out of the trees for collection with the vac.

    I've got to say, I'm kind of surpised that nobody here is running a 662 unit (maybe that should tell me something)
    Hazmat

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    In the palm of Michigan's Lower Peninsula
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    Kioti CK30HST, KL130 FEL, turf tires

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    Another option. The cyclone rake. It takes the least amount of space to store as it folds up and hangs flat against a wall. Made in West Haven Ct.

    The Cyclone Rake lawn vacuum, from Woodland Power Products

    Don
    Last edited by TBDonnelly; 04-16-2007 at 03:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    Peoria IL
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: trac vac 662 or "truck loader" with existing dump wagon for leaf & grass pickup?

    id be seriously concerned about the loss of manuverablity around all those trees with such a huge trailer behind you
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

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