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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Somerset County, Western PA
    Tractor
    CC 7265

    Default Leaf Vacuum

    I'm looking for a source of parts and perhaps a knowledgeable reader may point me in the right direction. I want to build a leaf vacuum. I haven't made up my mind whether I want a PTO driven one or a stand alone one that I can mount to a hitch assembly on my truck (I have a 16hp engine from an old lawn tractor).

    Iíve seen the end product at www.trac-vac.com (click on the PTO vacs or the truck loader ones). The part Iím looking for is the air turbine that actually provides the vacuum, leaf reduction (to a degree), and the exhaust to the container.

    Has anyone done this or have any pointers?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    78
    Location
    Richmond Va (Varina)
    Tractor
    BX1800

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    I picked up a Craftsman/MTD 5 hp chipper/shredder last year that I have been kicking around the idea of making vacuum out of. Maybe you can find one of these cheap and use the turbine for your project.
    Doug

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    33
    Location
    michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota B2150HST

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    Dutchman,

    I'v been looking for a turbine too for about 2 years with no luck. I refuse to pay 1000 plus dollars for a TracVac or similar vacuum product when I can make one for less than half.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,168
    Location
    New Hebron, MS
    Tractor
    MF 1455v 4wd, 1040FEL

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    Dutchman,

    Woodworking shops use large vac systems to capture wood chips, etc. produced by the saws, planers, and other tools. There are several producers of the "fans" to create this vacuum, but I have a 3hp unit I purchased from Grizzly. These units typically use 6 inch pipe for pickup, but larger sizes are available. You might browse some of these forums and find something.
    http://talk.woodmagazine.com/woodtalkindex.html
    http://forums.taunton.com/tp-knots/
    http://theoak.com/wwwbb.html

    Hope this is helpful.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    17,339
    Location
    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    HI,
    I HAVE A TRAC-VAC. WHEN MY BLADES ON THE TURBINE WEAR OUT, I GO TO THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR AND BUY A REPLACEMENT . YOU CAN ORDER THE TURBINE HOUSING ALSO. IT BOLTS UP TO A 5 HP BRIGGS, BUT COULD BE ADAPTED TO FIT OTHER ENGINES. THE SHAFT ON THE TURBINE IS 3/4 IN. YOU CAN ALSO GET PLASTIC IMPELLERS . THE TURBINE INLET AND OUTLET, ARE USUALLY 6 IN, OR 8 IN . YOU CAN EITHER BLOW INTO A PICKUP BED OR A COVERED WAGON. OR A 55 GAL BARREL LIKE MY TRAC-VAC. ON A LEAFY YARD, IT FILLS UP REALLY FAST. HOPE THIS HELPS.

    J.J.

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    1,450
    Location
    New York
    Tractor
    jd4100, Cub Cadet 3204 & Cub 125

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    This looks nice as well....you can empty by reversing flow

    http://www.cyclonerake.com/index.html

    The Commercial unit is $1295...I think you would be hard pressed to build something as nice as this for less...
    Of course I could be wrong [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    I purchased one a three years ago. It works well as a vacuum, but it doesn't empty as easy as they advertise. One problem is that the zipper jams and the snaps that hold the bag to the chute pull off and no replacements are available.. Another problem is that the grass clipping will jam the top plastic screen and their solution to this is to supply a toilet brush so you can clean it each time you empty it. If mine is any indication of the quality control that they put into them, I would say "STAY AWAY!". Under warranty, the bag had to be replace twice, threaded parts were not produced properly and wouldn't thread together and the bag falls off the chassis when you dump. They have since fixed this by adding a brace, but they don't feel that any manufacturing design flaws should trigger a recall. As I have said, when it works, it works well, but it has had more than its share of manufacturing and design defects that I have to deal with. The discharge chute to bag mounting snaps that I need are no longer available. Most companies will have parts for a unit that is 3 years old, but not Cyclone Rake. There way of dealing with manufacturing and design defects is to ask you to pay $ for any design upgrades after you paid $1200 for the unit..... Their warranty is one year, however considering the problems with mine, I wouldn't suggest you buy one.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    1,450
    Location
    New York
    Tractor
    jd4100, Cub Cadet 3204 & Cub 125

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    Hi Junkman,

    I have no doubt you had a real bad exprience with the CR..
    You actually are the first negative comment I heard.
    Thanks for the heads up, I wont be purchasing this type of unit this year. I have my hands full with the other investments and space. But if not CR whats another brand to look at??

    Ducati996

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    576
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    NH TC35D4

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    I've been thinking if I could modify one of these
    that we have to be more of a vac/shredder with the hoses and a collection box/trailer.

    I would have to remove the big chute and create a flange for the 6" hose to connect. And seal/plug the little limb chute, and modify the outflow flange.

    To bad they don't have a conversion kit....that I've seen... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

    As it is, it blows the shredded leaves all over the place and if you put the little bag on it to collect the leaves, it fills up in about 2 minutes. Also, the leaves tend to clog in the chute if you don't feed them in just right. We haven't used it for 2 seasons now, because it's so user unfriendly.

    We use out backpack blower to pile the leaves up in 4-5 areas then use the this thing to shred them up. It does a good job, but it's not as easy as a hose/shredder/box system would work.

    gary

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Leaf Vacuum

    If you were to purchase one of the newer models, I doubt that you would be having the problems that I have because they finally have addressed all the short comings of the previous designs. What I find discouraging is the fact that the manufacturer doesn't seem to think it important enough to send corrective information and updated parts to the purchasers of their products that have had continual problems because of the poor design. The changes were done to address failures, not improvements to make them better. Failure by design should = no charge for replacement parts in my opinion... I also can understand that they can't warranty a product for life, but this isn't replacement of a part that has worn out, but was a defective design from the beginning. It is not like the machine is 10 years old. When they replaced parts under warranty, they were the same defective design and they failed just like the original. Then they redesigned the entire part, but want to charge for the replacement of what is defective from the beginning. I don't think that this is the way to do business and develop a good customer relations for future sales. Possibly they feel that if you bought one, that you will never buy another. If the way that they treat past customers is any example of how they will treat future customers, then I still say "stay away!".

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