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post #1 of 24 Old 10-21-2009, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Since leaf season is upon us, and at the suggestion of our good friend Volfandt, I will attempt to review the features, likes and dislikes of this machine for anyone contemplating a purchase.

I used to tow it with a Craftsman DYT4000 which handled it very well, although when the collection box was full you could feel the weight pulling on the tractor, particularly on side slopes. It is attached to the tractor with the Kubota boot and a hose adapter from DR. Towing behind the BX you don't even know it is there unless you sideswipe a tree. This can easily happen if you are not careful turning. The smaller models like mine have large caster wheels and a fixed hitch. This makes it easy to back up but the box swings out in the opposite direction on forward turns. I have brushed a few trees with no damage to the unit. My 5.5 hp machine does not have a chipper but they are available. The engine starts with 1 pull every time. The lifetime warranteed mulching blade does a great job with leaves, grass, small twigs, acorns, needles, etc. The engine is mounted to the frame(trailer) with knobs that can be removed. Then the engine can be lifted off and rolled around on small casters. Very handy for storage. All of the box panels(heavy abs plastic) can also be removed by means of small rubber bungee clips. The trailer can then be stored upright.

Compared to a standard 3 bin bagger I would say the box holds about 20x as many leaves in mulched form. That equates to 19 times not having to get off the machine to empty bins. Leaves enter the box through a cyclonic input chamber which stops them from coming out of the top. The exception is when the box is packed full and there is no where else for them to go. A full indicator would be a nice touch.

The box can be released from the front of the trailer for dumping. As long as the casters are facing forward, the box will stop when it rests against the tires, but if the casters are facing rear the box will flip completely down on its back. It's a bear to lift back up when it's full. I tied ropes between the frame and box which stops that from happening now, and I have found that because the trailer is connected to the 3PH I don't have to release the box at all. Just raise the 3PH and the entire vac tilts back as far as necessary.

There are several other manufacturers out there but I only have personal experience with this machine for about 4 years now and I really do like it.
Pay no attention to the dirt in the photos as this is a working machine.



DR's boot to hose adapter.

Cyclonic chamber keeps leaves and dust inside.

Strong rubber bungee clips work well.

Pneumatic caster wheels with turf tires.

Engine removal knobs. No tools required.

I added the trailer jack for ease of moving

If I missed anything or there are questions, fire away or PM me. Al

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-21-2009, 05:28 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Nice review. I've never had a DR but I had the JD MC519 collection system and if a person has an area to dump the DR/cart forget about the double and tripple baggers, go with a cart. slkpk

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post #3 of 24 Old 10-21-2009, 11:51 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Nice rig. I didn't see any dirt.
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-22-2009, 05:34 AM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Does the DR really keep the dust from being blown around? slkpk

1964 JD RF110 Restored
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-22-2009, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

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Originally Posted by jay ray View Post
Nice rig. I didn't see any dirt.
Maybe I'm a little too fussy.

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-22-2009, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

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Originally Posted by slkpk View Post
Does the DR really keep the dust from being blown around? slkpk
It really does. I don't know what happens to all the trapped air in the box but the only time dust comes out is when you hit a tree. It comes out where the panels come together, but that rarely happens.

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #7 of 24 Old 10-25-2009, 12:16 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

How does the DR vac do when the leaves are wet?
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-25-2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Nice review AP!

If I had a place to dump the leaves, I would own one! I have to put everything into a 20 yard roll off dumpster at a collection site.

Thank you for writing of your experience, and for posting the pictures!

Mark

Fargo, ND

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post #9 of 24 Old 10-25-2009, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

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Originally Posted by limpit View Post
How does the DR vac do when the leaves are wet?
It sucks up wet leaves pretty well. Like anything else you have to slow down some when wet to keep the hose from plugging up. I try to let them dry out before vacuuming as much as possible.

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #10 of 24 Old 10-25-2009, 04:07 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

I think I am going to make the investment in a 9.0 premier.
In fall I spend more time emptying my 9 bushel bagger than I do actually sucking up the leaves and I think one of these will make short work of things.

Thanks you for the awesome pics and information.
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post #11 of 24 Old 10-25-2009, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

That is why I bought it to begin with. I actually counted getting off and on to empty the 3 bin bagger 43 times in about 2 1/2 hours. That was the turning point and it made my decision easy.

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-01-2009, 09:43 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

As a stand alone unit, Does this have enough suction to pick up leaves out of flower beds?
With 3 acres of Oak trees, the leaves in the flower beds, at the fence etc. are a pain unless you use the blower.
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

Yes it does. An optional 16 ft. hose is available for just that purpose. It works very well. I usually wait until all the leaves are down and do the shrubs last.

Al

Kubota BX1860, 48" fine cut mulching MMM, FEL w/ bucket hooks, BXpanded tooth bar, snow thrower, cab, Heavy Hitch
TroyBilt LTX 15.5, snow thrower, cab (sold)
TroyBilt LTX 13, (given away)
Craftsman DYT 4000 Special Edition, 21 HP Briggs Twin (sold)
DR Lawn Vacuum. Review here
1978 Craftsman 7 1/2 HP snow blower (backup machine-never use it)

"You will find out what that extra part was for as soon as you throw it away"
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-06-2012, 08:52 PM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

You seem to have the generation before I bought mine in 2010....most noticeable is that your hose clamp grippers are much more user friendly that the hose clamps with a thumb tag in newer models - makes for very painful and laborious removal of the hoses now. Newer models only dump at the rear (again needing laborious unscrewing of two rubber knobs. Newer models did away with the casters. So ok, here is my story....I asked for a refund after 2 years and mentioned pursuing a remedy legally and they said 'they love a good fight!......

DR Equipment 8 HP Lawn and Leaf Vac
In 2010, my first unit (which was later replaced free of charge) blew through 10 rubber engine couplers that prevent the engine from being damaged when there was a clog. Nothing was clogging the machine but 10 rubber gears were shredded and I replaced them.
For 2011 and 2012, the replacement machine experienced 5 rubber coupler failures but this was a big improvement over the original machine. In addition I have experienced the following issues with this machine:
1) Oil dipstick shakes loose and allows oil to spew from engine – needs to be monitored closely.
2) 4 large bolts holding the frame of the unit to the hitch have sheared off twice – I was finally able to find strong enough bolts from local hardware store to prevent them from shearing. (grade 8 bolts)
3) The universal deck adaptor is of such a shape that even slightly moist grass and leaves create clogs in the output chute just off the deck. This does require shutting off your tractor due to closeness to mower blades. The adaptor seems to collect the grass and leaves at a large area at the bottom and they quickly have to launch up and out to a 45 degree angle that gets to be too steep when they are heavy and therefore backup and create a clog. (this piece does seem very different from pic above - above seems better)
4) The black plastic thumb-pad screws to allow putting on and off 6 inch collection hose seem to only last 10 to 20 uses and when they break off you will need to have a pair of pliers to address the next, most important, issue.
5) Finally and most significantly, the 8hp lawn and leaf vac is very particular about wanting dry leaves with no twigs or sticks (sticks become twigs under a turning mower deck!) due to 1) the internally ribbed hose that enters a 90 angle plastic chute at the rear of the ‘box’ catching twigs in the hose or the 90 angle chute itself being a tough turn for the twigs and/or 2) the coupler between the hose and the 90 degree plastic angle warping outward within the 6 inch flex hose causing a greater surface area for twigs to grab on and clog the hose. I found myself getting about 15-20 feet of travel while using the product before I had to dismount, undo the hose at the rear of the box and unclog the hose, reattach the hose and get going again.

I have a 3 acre yard and I have found the product to be unusable in my particular situation.
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-29-2013, 11:36 AM
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Re: DR Lawn Vacuum Review

I just got my Kubota BX1870 with the 48"mower. I have the a DR Lawn vac that I used with my Cub Cadet. I went to purchase the boot for my Kubota and the dealer was not sure what I needed. the boot is about $ 240.00 but the kit he recommended is over $ 800.00. Even he thought that was a mistake. I am waiting for a response from Kubota but in the meantime, got any ideas.

I may have to drag the Cub back out to do the leaves.

Thanks!
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