MCS for 4400

   / MCS for 4400 #11  
I have been using lawn vacs since 1983 but never the PTO style. Made my own 42 bushel trailer with tandem axles and hydraulic dump. It has a unique pivoted tongue that supports the vacuum. I have owned both Trac-Vac and EZ-Vac (now Bluebird International) 8 hp units and found both to work well. The Trac-Vac uses 8" hose and the EZ-Vac uses a 7 inch hose. The EZ-Vac has a built in shredder that reduces the material to a mulch, and that is why I have it now. Some points to consider based on my experiences: (1) Vacs don't work well with wet grass. (2) You definitely have to drive slowly when vacuuming tall grass or heavy leaves to keep from choking up the hose. (3) Vacuums take a lot of power and you need to keep the RPMs up most of the time. (4) The keys to easy unloading are: (a) don't cram the trailer completely full--unload before it packs tightly and (b) have a trailer that dumps at a very steep angle--preferably 45 degrees or more. Trac-Vac trailers are designed with a taper that widens from front going back to the rear to help the load slide out more easily. This is described in their advertising literature as well as on their Website. I have not actually used one and thus cannot offer an opinion on how well it works.

Some photos of my system follow. The Tractor is a Steiner 430 powered by a 25 hp Kubota gasoline engine. The mower deck is 60 inches and equipped with high lift blades. They not only lift the grass more than standard blades but impart a high velocity to the material as it enters the hose. The vacuum unit is EZ Vac Chipper-Shredder powered by an 8 hp engine.

On the steep slopes (up to 28 degrees in some places I take the trailer), I need all the power I can get. I have just sold this Steiner and will be taking delivery of a new 31 hp Ventrac 4200 and 72 inch deck later this week. Will post photos of that setup later.
 

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   / MCS for 4400 #12  
Dumping. Dump angle is 48 degrees. Entire rear cover removed.
 

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   / MCS for 4400 #13  
Up 28 degree slope.
 

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   / MCS for 4400 #14  
Turning left on steep up-slope. This really takes power.
 

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   / MCS for 4400 #15  
can someone give me a list of reasons for a MCS?
trailer vs 3pt attached?

i am wondering if i would be in the market for such a critter.

thanks in advance!
 
   / MCS for 4400 #16  
I have the hydro dump MCS on my JD 955. I think the unit is the same sold today. I have been satisfied with the unit but it isn't perfect. The locks on the vac top bleed off and let air and leaves escape. There is a cut off valve but it can be a pain. The original vac hose split out of warranty but JD replaced it free anyway. New hose let go with a piece wire used to reinforce the hose. JD trimmed the hose, says it was too long. After getting the kinks out I must say I have been pleased with the unit. The price sounds about right but I am not current on prices.
 
   / MCS for 4400 #17  
DPR,

Thanks. It looks simple enough and I like the idea of not having to mess with another motor. Gives me more to think about, especially with the financial outlay I'll be completing when the tractor comes.

Bill
 
   / MCS for 4400 #18  
Jack,

Nice setup and very nice looking acerage. How do you maintain the yard? Appears to be an excellent lawn and I'm guessing that you fertilize regularly? If you can, share more about development of the yard.

Was the trailer/vac unit a kit of some kind? Please supply more details, including costs and where you purchased the materials. You say it is an 8hp chipper/shredder -- do you use it for small chipping jobs, as well? More info please. Thanks.

Bill
 
   / MCS for 4400 #19  
Thanks for the nice coments on the lawn. I fertilize 4 times per year, apply pre-emergence weed control spray in the fall, grub control in late spring, and aerate once a year.

The trailer started out as a Country Manufacturing 1 Ton tandem axle unit. I strengthened it significantly and widened the wheel stance to increase stability on the hills. Don't really know how much I have invested in it. The pivot hitch is my own design and allows for improved manuverability (see photo). The heart of the system is an EZVac vacuum that has an internal shredder and a set of chipper knives. I use the chipper to grind up fallen limbs and sticks as I mow, but I do not use it to tackle large tree cleanup projects. When I bought it, the price was around $2000 without a trailer. The unit is now sold under the name BlueBird (www.bluebird-intl.com) It is listed under the section on chipper-shredders. However, there is a mistake in the specs--they show the hose diameter as 6 inches, but it really is 7 inches.
 

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   / MCS for 4400 #20  
Thanks. I'm afraid you're beyond my ability level, but your creation is impressive and looks as though it does a terrific job for you. Since you're in Il, I'm assuming you don't do any watering or irrigation. We plan on some "natural" areas, but intend on mowing about half of our 8 acres and we would like to improve the quality of the grass as time/cost permits.

Bill
 
 
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