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As already mentioned in my last thread this subject; the time for Fall and raking leaves is fast approaching and here in a few places. Here is some information on the Agri-Fab line of leaf vaccums.

5 HP Soft Top Mow-N-Vac Model 45-0327

<img src="http://www.agri-fab.com/assets/productslarge/45_03_D7.jpg">

5 HP Mow-N-Vac Model 501885

<img src="http://www.agri-fab.com/assets/productslarge/501885IN.jpg">

8 HP Mow-n-Vac Model 502492

<img src="http://www.agri-fab.com/assets/productslarge/5024_104.jpg">

Remote Hose Kit

<img src="http://www.agri-fab.com/2005/600/45-0253.jpg">

Pricing varies but Amazon.com has the 8 HP Chip-N-Vac on sale for $1349. This should at least give you a price ballpark estimate.

Agri-Fab 8 HP Mow-N-Vac with Chipper-Shredder
 

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If any of you have any experience with or knowledge on these vaccums, please post your, comments, reviews, or pro's & cons here in this thread. This will be a big help to those who are comparison shopping or considering a leaf vaccum. Thanks!
 

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(This post was originally in the Cyclone Rake post and moved here, so you may havwe alrady read this one.)

I guess since I unloaded on the CR like I did, I need to unload some on the agrifab unit as well, at least with quirks I have found on mine and seen on others.

Don't assume that the 8 hp chipper is gonna chew up those 3" (rated capacity) limbs. (Might do a straight balsa or straight soft pine green limb, without any smaller limbs coming off it) It is gonna struggle and jam and give up. Its true capacity is more in the line of 1" diam max and preferably green limbs.........nice and straight. Trying to shove limbs from pruneing azaleas and such is a real nightmare as to clogging up. It does fine on limbs from a crepe myrtle (usually pretty straight and not overly hard) Even a handfull of the large pine cones usually results in a clog..........and it got to the point I used to spend more time unclogging or working to try and force stuff into that extremely narrow chute I no longer use the chipper portion for anything anymore. There is absolutely no difference in suction on the 5 hp as compared to the 8 hp either.....both are esentially the same in the aspect of shredding and sucking up debris.

The boot that seals between the disharge chute and the hard top is prone to wear. This is because of slop in the tongue to axle mount. The tongue can cock or twist and since the unit is heavier on one side of the fan and motor assembly it naturally cocks the discharge chute so it discharged debri against one side of the sealing boot more than the other. It wears that boot out from th inside out. I solved my problem by making a set of bronze bushings to take any slop out of the tongue so it does not twist, as well as installing a heavy extension spring from the motors mount bracket to the corner of the trailer box, which applies constant tension on the discharge chute opposite the heavy side. It can stay in position when you tilt to dump so its pretty well not necessary to disconnect it for dumping.

The screens on the discharge vents do little to nothing to curb dust........I sealed all the joints in the trailer, the dishcarge chute to metal fan housing, as well as between both halves of the blower housing with Polyurethane sealant. Before it uised to dribble a trail of chopped up debri, now it all goes into the trailer. You also need to put filler bolts and nuts in allholes that are not used, and on mine there was quite a few. Its also worth your time to invest in lockwashers in case that high paid assembler for thebig box stores decided to throw away the lock washers. I really don;t know if any are used, but mine always vibrated loose during some use, so I installed lock washers under everything.

As for holding down the vents dust........I have a piece of sunshade type cloth that hangs from the outer edge of the vent, and exctends down to about the trailers bed level. It does not stop the dust, but keeps it lower to the ground and it really helps with it blowing out 4 feet up in the air and coming back up and on you in the tractor. I can now vac without having my back and the tractor esentially covered in dust.

Buy the true Agri Fab unit and leave the Sears / Crapsman model in the store........It has propreitary motor and you will be stuck having to buy odds and ends from sears.. Been there done that when my original motor blew up..SOme say that they do not have propreitary motors now others say it is, but to me its certainly not worth the chance........

I made a holder for a rake and broom on mine. I welded a small L shaped bracket to the end of a thinwalled piece of steel tube so that when you install it on the lip (about 1 1/2" wide) where the hardbody enclosure fits on the typical steel trailer, it elevates one end of the tube up about 1 1/2". This keeps dirt etc out by allowing it to fallout the lower end and also keeps rake etc from vibrating out. Face it, you usually need a rake and broom when cleaning up the place, and its nice to have them where you need them during use, and thats on the machine.

And last of all (that I can think of right now anyhow) and it applies to all vac machines except for Trac Vac is the universal plastic boot just sucks. Yes, they work but if you buy a trac vac boot you will be amazed at just how well it will work better, and as to removing and installing, no tools are required, just pull a simple pin. You can even leave the mower decks deflection chute in place. The trac vacs discharge boot is custom made to each brand of mower deck and provides a smooth transition from deck into the debri hose, without any dead spots or areas to collect debri and cause blockage. You can call trac vac and tell em what mower deck you have, and they will make it for you. They told me 10 days to 2 weeks, and I had it in about 10 days time, and it fits like a glove. The trac vac boots are made of heavy gauge steel, the others are molded plastic. You can get them in 6, 7 and 8" hose sizes. Average prices run $70 to 100 bucks per boot, but its not much more than what a boot for the others cost and considering the difference in use and eae of remove and install its worth the extra money. If you did happen to damaage it, it being made of steel is easily fixed, the others are not.

To me a unit made to collapse or fold down etc has just that many more points that have play or flex in them and in time its going to get rickety.....I prefer a non collapsible type, and as ridgid as possible.Heck with as thin of gauge metal most things are made of today you need all the ridgidity you can get if y ou expect it to last.
 

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It looks like they are using Techumseh(spelling?) motors as well ..I do like the picure that includes the Cub Cadet 3000 series however!!

Duc
 

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From what I read Agri fab is now usin Briggs & Stratton motors. All the 5 hp models at the lowes I have seen were all the Intek line of Briggs motors.....Sears Crapsman would probably still spec their units out with the Tec motors, but can't say for sure. What surprises me is why something that is supposed to be as good as a CR is using those el cheapo Tec engines.............has to do with profit markup, can't be any other reason, or they got one hell of a deal on a warehouse full of tec motors for a song.
 

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Originally posted by ducati996
The last link chief posted from Amazon shows Techumseh....
Lowes machines have B & S. I called Agri Fab this morning, and "inquired on parts" and then asked if they used any particular engines or did they have optional engines .The reply was they use both, but it all depends on the end retailers request as to engine brands.........with Tec being the most asked for from the retailers. Now this info was gotten from an associate I was connected to on the phone during an inquiry on parts..........take it for what its worth........may be 100% correct or it may be a guess on the associates part and he really did not have a clue........But I have seen the vac carts with both brands of engines.
 

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I have the 5HP mow n vac and kick myself in the butt everytime I see a stick on the ground. I wish I had splurged on the chip n vac instead. I have a dedicated chipper shredder, but the chip n vac would be able to eliminate one step.

Don't get me wrong, I do love my Mow n Vac and it has saved me hours of work each time I use it (i have 100's of trees). For instance, friday night I dumped 15 loads of leaves with the mow n vac. Can you imagine doing that with a typical bagger setup??

My mow n vac was the type with the steel side panels and plastic top. After three seasons (on season 4), have not seen any rust or perforations at all. Not even close to one.

Mine is also a techumseh 5HP.
 

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You can vac and shred the exact same materials as the 8 hp V-C-S model will. I personally would rather a stand alone chipper with a bigger throat, as the one on ther AF unit is pretty darn narrow. All I do is picku p the big stuff and anything lfrom say 3/4" on down is just run over and chopped up with the mower blades and finished with the flail knives in the AF unit. Your 5 hp should also have those knives in it to do the shredding.

I had my knives on the chipper crack, and I noticed this when I had the motor off it when I threw a rod last year. Kind of bad feeling seeing cracks right through the mounting holes. What they wanted for new chipper blades IMHO was outrageouos, as what they are and how they are made is dead simple......I can actually buy bigger getter knives for a commercail grade chipper cheaper than what AF / Sears wanted for these knives, so I made my own, and so far they have held up great for the amount of use it has been given, but its rare for me to chip anymore as its easier to pick up the limbs and sticks and burn it than stand there trying to force it down that narrow throat the call an infeed hopper......A real joke.......

I do on occasion fire it up and let th wife feed in a bunch of pine tree limbs (fresh and green just cut) so she can get some mulch for her odds and ends, but for general use, nopw IMHO certainly not worth it and the extra $$$
 

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I just find that I still get a good amount of sticks and twigs that are always on my yard and still need to be chipped up. I would guess 95% are 3/4" and smaller. But I mow my lawn fairly high and alot of times, the mower blades don't pick the sticks to suck them into the mow n vac for chipping. Alot of time, I pile them up and feed them into my standalone chipper when the pile gets big enough to start it up. Just having it on the Mow n Vac would be a convenience for me, but it probably wouldn't be my only chipper as the throat is pretty small.
 

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The opening is about 3". I stuff whatever I can into mine. Fresh, green limbs go much easier as they are somewhat pliable.

For serious shredding, I use the mackissic on my tractor.
 
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