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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting to a point in my life where raking leaves is getting to be more of a chore than exercise. I requested the video and information on the cyclone rake about two weeks ago. I received it last week and viewed the tape and read the brochure. It seems like a very good unit; a little expensive, but I could use it to take care of my mother-in-laws yard also.

My question is: do any of you out there have this product and how would you rate it (problems, longevity, quality, etc.)? Would you recommend something else that you feel is better?

Some statistics: my property is 1 1/2 acres is size; mostly wooded (oak, maple, and pine). actual grass area is about 100' X 100'. mother-in-laws lot is about 75' X 150' (all grass; 2 trees). I have a Simplicity Prestige with 50" deck; no bagger or mulching blades.
 

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I have a home brew as well as an Agri Fab unit myself. I had considered the Cyclone Rake, whgen I initially looked at the Agri Fab unit at our local Lowes. To me it just was not worth that money, and personally I have a hard time believing the CR is worth what they are asking either. I have neighbors that have a CR, and have had to repair their bag numerous times, and they will tell you real quick, as easy as it is to knowck down and store, it gets old fast doing it. I can see their point. It has good suction but I do not think its any better than the comparable horsepower model of an Agri Fab or Trac vac. As for the design, its good at being able to back up easy, but most mowers today have a RIO and its a pain. I have finally figured out how to run my unit and not have to back up except for 3 places, so backing a trailer type or a CR is not an issue for me.

I am keeping 5+ acres cleaned up, and my Agri Fab is doing a great job, and new one will cost a lot less than a CR will, and shuld last just as long. I did eventually buy an Agri Fab unit (craftsman brand made by Agri Fab) only because of the price I got it for, as it was like new but hardly used and it was cheaper than you could buy a half decent push mower for, so I bought it. A little improvements here and there and I now swear by this unit, but only with some improvements. I would think the life expectancy of the Agri Fab unit would be a lot shorter if the improvements are not made. I can't say that about the CR as I have not really had one to play with and use like I have the AF unit, but to me its hard to beat all metal and no zippers or velcro.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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We went with a Craftsman Lawn Sweeper

My wife and I have a fairly good size yard and the leaves were a becoming a 4 to 6 hour chore every few days. I was considering a Cyclone Rake. Would still like to have one. But could not justify the expence. Went to Sears and bought one of those lawn sweepers on sale for 189.00 It is 38 inches wide and I pull it with a Dixon riding mower. I was amazed of how well it did in sweeping up leaves. It usually takes about 2 passes to get 95 percent of the leaves. You can unload without getting off the mower. I back it up to a tarp I have laying on the ground, and unload it onto the trap. Then lift the 4 corners of the tarp and unload it my trailer.

We went from 4 to 6 hours to 1 hour for our leaf raking.

I also read about the vac cart the other poster posted about. Very impressed with his system.

Cliff
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback chipmaker and cliff. You're both right about the price of the cyclone rake. I don't think a lawn sweeper will do what I need as the amount of leaves and acorns are over-whelming. My wife has already made the statement "we won't be raking leaves next year" and told me to find something that will meet our needs. I'm leaning towards the Agri-Fab mow-n-vac right now for alot of the reasons that chipmaker mentioned.

In the past I have raked and burned leaves. Some years because of the weather we don't get to burn them. The leaves that have accumulated aren't decomposing fast enough where I dump them on my property so I need to: mulch, or burn, or bag them and take them somewhere. The deer help out with the acorns, but don't care for the leaves at all. Last year we had so much snow the deer were digging in the leaf pile I made to get the acorns.
 

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If you have get the Mow n Vac, get the hand wand attachment. Worth its weight in gold in my opinion. It is great especially around stone walls and fences.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would definitley get the hand wand; I have LOTS of areas to use that accessory. I'm assuming you have an Agri-Fab mow-n-vac; did you get the 5 HP or 8 HP model? Do you use standard blades on your mower deck or did you get mulching blades? I notice you are also in the northeast section of the country; do have acorns to deal with?

Thanx for the feedback
 

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can some one please give me an idea of reduction rate conpared to just blowing the leaves up to the street? Also how well can I expect it to work on acorns?

Thanks,

Adam
 

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Well I don;t know the reduction ration after its picked up and shredded etc, but I have quite a few "bales" of stuff I picked up this year that I emptied before the trailers content was too high to slide out when tilted, and they are, heavy, solidly packed and have withstood some goats playing on them as well as some rainy weather. There really is no comparison with just blowing leaves and actually sucking them up and shredding the in the process and blowing them into an enclosed trailer.

They do not make any blades for my deck other thanmulching type and regular lift, and with my deck just clearing the ground I can suck up 95% of my accorns just fine, along with any other items. No high lift blades or mulch blades on a 54in 3 blade deck. I would assume high lift may help out even better if they are made for your deck, but I wuld not sweat it if they were not available. I even manage to suck up hickory nuts as well. IIRC the 5 hp also shredds materials, the 8 hp is just larger and has a IMHO a chipper of 3" which should be called a twig shredder, as it is working awfully hard to chip up much of anything especially if its dry or seasoned past 1 1/2" and perfectly straight. It does handle saplings that are green just fine up to 2" or less but then again they need to be straight and have little to no limbs of any size. If you are i need of a chipper I would suggest renting one of the ommercial variety or get a dedicated chipper, and forget about the chipper on the 8 hp model for anything other than small twigs. The 8 hp does not have any more suction than the 5 hp model does either. I also reccomend the extensin wand. I made my own out of a piece of 4" material that looks like the stuff they use for the Cyclone rake that I scrounged about 50' of for free. I made an adapter out of PVC and sheetmetal and use a piece of 4" PVC with a handle made of 1/2" round stock on it, and it works fine up to about 25' max length. I have already sucked a 400 gal livestock waterer out with mine just fooling around. Really cleans up the impeller blades and washes the insides of the trailer nice and clean. I further reduced mine down to 2" and its great for cleaning out my chickens nest boxes.




I also found that the tighter you fit a universal type deck boot the better it is as well. MIne worke with what I had to work with as I used a previously used adapter that was fit to another deck on another brand tractor, so I did not have all the material I would have liked to be aable to fit it to the deck, but the Deck adapter from Trac Vac solved all that.........and then some! If you can spend the extra $$ order a Trac Vac deck adapter thats made specifically for your deck, no dead spots or areas to allow debri to accumulate, no wear on the deck finish and its removed n 2 seconds with a single pin, and since its made of steel it is repairable better than those plastic adapters are.
 

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I had also looked into a CR before I eaven got a tractor. With all the trees my land has, I would need it. I did a lot of reacerch on it, and it seems like most everyone was happy with the CR, and had had good custermer service from the conpany, but that they were real pricy. The Trac Vac's looked the best to me though. More dealers, and seemed real well built. I did not end up with eather though. I ended up getting an Ingersoll tractor, and they have a hydro powerd vac/bagger that is AWSOME. Found a nice used one, and I am a happy camper.
 

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I have the 5hp model. I also use gator blades on my setup. I have been really pleased with my Mow n Vac. It saves me a ton of time.

I do have acorns, hickory nuts and also black walnuts on my property and it handles those trees with no major issues. The nuts really have a pleasant aroma as they are mashed by the impeller.

It also picks up pine cones, small sticks, thatch(after a dethathching). I have even used it to pick up a pile of woodchips from my chipper and then I just backed it where I wanted to spread them and I was done!

I bought mine at Lowes about two years ago for $728. I brought in a print out from northerntools website where they were cheaper than Lowes advertised price. They matched the price and gave me the additional 10% off. A great deal. From what I have heard, Lowes will no longer honor website deals, but that has not been confirmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanx for all the good info; come spring I WILL have an AgriFab mow-n-vac in my yard. I know Tractor Supply and Lowes carries them; will figure out which one will give the best deal and get it. Thanx again gang.
 
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