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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Mantua, OH
    Tractor
    Speedex for plowing, a Toro 12-38 for mowing

    Default leaf/grass collection possibilities

    Have any of you 400 series owners attached a leaf vacuum to your mower deck? I have my wife convinced that we need this machine, but I have a heavily wooded lot with tons (literally) of leaves. She does most of the mowing and agreed to a new tractor, as long as it can suck up the leaves. I have been looking at the Cyclone Rake or the trak-vac. Is there room on the 60" deck to hook up an 8" hose? I checked out the pics at the PT site and I appears that there is enough room, but it's hard to say for sure. Do I understand correctly that the mower discharge is to the rear? I would be able to fabricate an adapter from the deck to the hose, as long as there is room. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,896
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    Mike:
    It sounds as if you and your wife are committed to the idea of a leaf vacuum, so my response to your post may not be welcome. I don't know whether a vacuum can be easily attached to the rear-discharge mower. On my 1845, however, with the 72" deck, I have found that it mulches everything so well that I don't have anything left to pick up. I haven't used it for heavy leaf fall yet, but in high grass, brush and the leaves so far, after you mow, the residue is very fine and not unsightly. I suspect that for anything but a golf-course quality lawn, you won't find a vacuum necessary, and leaving the mulched leaves on the soil may mean that you don't need to fertilize as much.
    Having said that, of course, cutting a hole in the deck and attaching a vacuum sounds like a great project. John Coxon and I have been experimenting with different blade designs under the 72" deck, but I have to confess I am not sure where the best place to cut a hole might be. The rear discharge is fairly wide, but we have found that raising the rear of the mower or removing the rear rubber skirt have considerable effect on the cut quality, by relieving the rear discharge pressure when we use high-lift blades. I assume that lowering the rear or extending the rear skirt would similarly partially seal the discharge and raise the pressure so a vacuum would really scavange underneath. MossRoad or one of the other 60" deck operator should be able to post a photo of the top rear of the deck for you.
    I know Bubenberg does a lot of fall cleanup on a professional basis, and I hope will chime in.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    406
    Location
    Dexter, MI
    Tractor
    BX-2200

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    If you’re into modifying your equipment, you may be able to pick up a used Ingersoll/Case lawn hydra-vac and some how adapt it to fit onto the 60” deck. The Ingersoll vac is hydraulically driven on 8.5-9.5 g/min, which is about the same as the PT’s PTO output. Therefore, it could be put in series with the mower. I currently own an Ingersoll and use the hydra-vac with a 60” mower. With fall clean up it works best at mulching & pickup if you only take only a 4’ bite into the dry leaves at a time. If I go too fast with the 60” mower, I find myself spending a lot time unplugging the unit. I also spend a lot of time running back and forth to my garden mulch pile. It doesn’t take long to fill a trailer with leaves and grass.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    945
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    PT425, Kubota L2050, 3 hydrostatic Exmark mowers. Z21D Kubota ZTR, 2 Kunz acrease wing mowers, 1 rough cut kunz mower, one vintage grasshopper ztr, one vintage gravely ztr, various large garden tracto

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    we have toyed with that idea of collecting of the rear discharge 6" finish mower. this idea takes to many modifications. so we are taking one of our acrease 60" side discharge mowers in tow with a trac vac 55 bushel trailer 8 hp vent. this rig is good for wide open areas but clogging up under wet leaf and grass conditions due to the length of the hose from the acrease to the trac vac is a big problem.

    one idea is to get a walk behind mower and run the tube over the cab like some of the european inventions have done. the only thing i am afraid of is the heat problem around the rear ot the pt 425.

    we have had fires with our clam shell device on our exmark ztr, when too much debris got near the kohler unprotected muffler.

    i hope someone can come up with an idea to circumvent the clogging and heat problem.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    262
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    I have a 8hp giant vac leaf BLOWER with quick attatch plate on it. I think it works faster and better than a vac. We used a john deere 54inch with a 8hp vac system before we got our tractor, it was slower and filled up quickly. I keep hoping to find a large blower with a blown motor so I can hook up a hydralic motor to it. The blower also works when the leaves are wet unlike some vac systems.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    945
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    PT425, Kubota L2050, 3 hydrostatic Exmark mowers. Z21D Kubota ZTR, 2 Kunz acrease wing mowers, 1 rough cut kunz mower, one vintage grasshopper ztr, one vintage gravely ztr, various large garden tracto

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    do you blow your leaves into the woods now? or what is your method of collection?

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    23,465
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    I don't see it as an easy project. The collection tube would have to go up over the canopy and would be extremely long. I have used a bagger on other equipment and have to agree with the others that it fills up too fast or the tube gets clogged easily. I now use a hand held blower to put the leaves into windrows, then push them down the row with a hand rake turned upside down. The end of the row happens to be in the woods, where they stay forever [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] I am contemplating making a basket to hold my hand blower that will mount onto my spare quick attach plate. This will allow me to drive my hand blower parallel to the ground and lower than I can hold it manually. Should save my back. I'll drive my PT and windrow the leaves as I usually do. Then I'll use my large bucket to push them down the windrows into the woods.

    I like the idea of using a larger blower powered by hydraulics. Oh no!!! Another project idea [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    I'm still in the hunt for a chipper/shredder donor machine to convert to hydraulics as well.

    Schultz... as far as using a hydraulically powered vac in line with the 60" mower, I don't know if the PT425 would have enough power to operate both at the same time. What HP is the Ingersoll unit that you are familiar with? That sounds interesting. I'd like more info. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Mantua, OH
    Tractor
    Speedex for plowing, a Toro 12-38 for mowing

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    Our current method of collection is to hand rake and blow with a Giant Vac blower onto a large tarp, then drag the tarp with my "vintage" Speedex to the mulch pile. Unfortunately I don't have a woods to just blow them to. I'll probably get the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cyclonerake.com/>Cyclone Rake</A> for our Toro mower for now and see what I can rig up after I get the PT. I have a sloped lot with some hills and the trac vac doesn't seem stable enough. I'm looking at the bigger CR with the 6 Hp sucker. Thanks for the input.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    262
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    I blow them into the woods.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    945
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    PT425, Kubota L2050, 3 hydrostatic Exmark mowers. Z21D Kubota ZTR, 2 Kunz acrease wing mowers, 1 rough cut kunz mower, one vintage grasshopper ztr, one vintage gravely ztr, various large garden tracto

    Default Re: leaf/grass collection possibilities

    thanks rich, i wish i could do that but most of my customers want it hauled of the property, oh well!

    good luck

    hrl

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