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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pick up my parents leaves every fall and trying to come up with a better leaf solution where I don't have to keep getting off my tractor to empty. They live in a woods so there are a LOT of leaves.

Has anyone used a John Deere lawn sweeper for leaves? How well does it work? Well be pulling it with my X738.

Thanks much,
Dan
 

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Been 8-10 years now. We chose a Sears Craftsman 44" high speed lawn sweeper. Account the brushes turned at a 8-1 axle turn ratio vs. lots are 5-1 ratio.
Has done quite well and still does. Been well worth the cost and the hassle assembling it. We use the heck out of it.
No matter which brand of those things you may choose, bear\keep in mind their hoppers can fill up quickly and need dumped frequently.
 

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I have used a Craftsman High Speed that JDDOTTIE uses. Have been very pleased. I've owned 3 of them over the last 20 plus years. The extra ratio makes a big difference. It will put most anything in the bag that you can run over. I know that is hard on the equipment some time but I bought it to work. It picks up grass clippings, pine straw, acorns(sounds like a machine gun), small limbs, pine cones, dog crap(much better if it is dry), and most anything else I've needed to do. I bought the first one for my father and did a lot of research and comparison and decided on the Craftsman. I'm not particularly a big fan of their yard implements but highly suggest you look at one. And yes, you can pull it with a JD.
 

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My neighbor has a sweeper, but when you said your parents live in the woods, then you were talking about my neighborhood. The neighbor does well until the leaves are wet or too deep. A couple of years ago I was down the street cleaning up leaves at a widow’s house. When I came back home, the neighbor had blown leaves into a huge pile to one side of his driveway where there’s a large purple (?) maple. Piles was like 18” high x 10’ wide x 20’ long, plus leaves around the other side and back of his house. He must have been there most of an hour before I swung into his yard. I had it all cleaned up in about a half hour. He was more than greatful.

I started using my Cyclone rake several years ago after using my Scotts L17.542 with 2 bag bagger when I emptied everytime I crossed the neighbor’s 100’ wide yards. Talk about getting on n off. I was so sore it hurt to think. I’m not a great physical specimen, but not bad for my age. Now I stop once or twice per half acre lot. Last year however, I had 12 loads on my daughte-in-law’s large lawn with some steep sections. I’ve been so impressed that last year I bought another one from an MTF member for my son. My friend had the large Z10 Cyclone Rake that I used on his yard one fall and I was sold. He too lives deep in the woods.

Sweepers aren’t bad, just limited a little by conditions (volume of leaves, dampness, amount of sticks). They are way better than raking and blowing.
 

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I second RT3360's recommend on the Cyclone Rakes. Not cheap, but they are very well built, and definitely get the job done, especially if you will be facing annual yard clean up for the foreseeable future. I just moved from my 1 acre lawn surrounded by mature trees, Oaks, Poplars, Hickory, and a dozen other varieties. Cutting and cleaning a large volume of leaves every week or less depending on the leaf fall rate. On the 1 acre, I'd have to empty the bin about 6 times, maybe 7 if the leaves were really deep. By that I mean deep enough that the mower deck would plow them along. What helped is that the mower deck's blades chopped up the leaves, then the Cyclone Rake's impeller also helped, but those are not designed to shred or chop. My point is that after running through both the deck and C Rake, they were probably an average of 1/2" size pieces. A lot can be packed into the CR bin this way. Sticks and bits of bark were no issue at all and it seldom up. The bin just tilts to dump, very easy.

If I had piles of leaves, I just remove the intake hose, lay it on the ground by the pile and just rake the pile toward the end and they'd just disappear up the chute. Even rain soaked, soggy leaves are handled.

As I could unload at the rear of the lot, I'd just dump the cart, in one big pile for the day, then use the intake hose to suck up the pile and turn the outlet chute 90 degrees and blow the pile over a hedge and into the woods behind. Someone once mentioned an additional hose for this outlet, but the velocity of the blower got them over my hedge just fine.

My new place has almost 4 acres of lawn and many trees here and there. I think I will back pack blower them in combo with the ZT, to get them into piles, then use the CR to suck up the piles and dump into my woods. An entirely new adventure for me in my late 60s, but looking forward to it!!
 

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Since you brought up the CR, which model do you have?

Do they solve the problem of deck blowout that the Edge decks (probably others too) have with the Power Flow?
 

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Since you brought up the CR, which model do you have?

Do they solve the problem of deck blowout that the Edge decks (probably others too) have with the Power Flow?
I have a Commander Pro which is their Commander with the yellow high grade discharge hose. The PO had it on a Kubota zero turn. I initially used it on my Scotts L17.542 which is Deere’s entry level machine sold at Home Depot, similar to an X300. I like the size for getting between trees and not loaded, it pushed me around (only on the ditch bank out front). The Cyclone would suck leaves in 2” outside the 42” deck. Unfortunately, the 54HC deck has the blowout issue a little. Kind of hard to tell in very dry leaves, because the X738 exhaust can blow leaves to the right, but the deck blowout I think can be helped with the anti-blowout kit. It’s just never been bad enough that I think I need to spend the extra $$$. The Cyclone may improve the blowout some because of total airflow. There’s a picture in my signature below if you want a look see. I’ve made several modifications to work with my X738 (custom hitch plate, extended discharge hose). I did very little to use it on my Scotts. On the X738 the only thing somewhat big on it was to change from single wheels to duals. Singles tend to tear up bare sand.

My friend’s Z10 (415 gal) holds about 1/3 more than mine (285 gal), but I don’t stop more than twice on a lot my size.
 

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I have a 50" Ohio steel sweeper and while it works good it likes the lawn pretty flat. It will miss some if you have some uneven areas or gulleys. And they do fill up real fast. Even this one being on the bigger side. Made very well and folds up pretty good for storage.
 

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I have the orange 44" Agri-Fab sweeper and works great for picking up almost anything in it's path. The hopper is large enough where you don't have to empty too often. I had to replace the brushes this year and used it several times already to pick up dry grass and twigs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thread Title: 42" or 44" JD Lawn Sweeper for Leaves

Post back if you do purchase one. Surely, some tips will be posted.
For those of you with lawn sweepers....Do they have a transport mode where you can pull them without engaging the sweeper? If so can you go in transport mode without getting off the tractor?

Dan
 

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Sweepers run when they are moving. I pull the hopper up when I don't want anything to go in it.
 
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For those of you with lawn sweepers....Do they have a transport mode where you can pull them without engaging the sweeper? If so can you go in transport mode without getting off the tractor?

Dan
I don’t have one, but here’s a good discussion that says NO transport mode other than raise it high.
 
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I will jump on the cyclone rake. I have 3 mature maples, and another one that is taller than our house and still needs to widen out. I picked one up last year when they had a sale.
I disassembled to store, but you will need a spot to store the engine. It is at least on wheels. Only complaint is the wheels, it can damage wet spots in the yard.
 

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I've got an older JD branded sweeper made by Brinley. It works fine for me in the very early part of the leaf season, but is just overwhelmed with serious leaves I get here.

2513094


I switch to my TracVac as soon as the leaves start to come down in earnest. And by earnest, I mean hundreds of cubic yards of leaves each week.

2513095


I like the sweeper for two important reasons
  1. It is compact to store relative to the TracVac
  2. It does a nice job on cleaning up the lawn clippings if I've left the grass get too tall.
It is very inefficient at the big leaf cleaning exercises. Although I can dump from my seat, I spend more time transporting to a dump site and dumping than actually sweeping.

To answer an early question, mine does not have a transport mode. It does have a brush height adjustment that can be done from the seat if one has a super flexible back and an arm about 8" longer than mine. Adjusted all the way up, the brush still spins, but it is spinning above the leaves and debris. I don't use it for that. And a final note, I've worn out the gears twice now and had to replace them. First time I made the mistake of buying new gears from local JD dealer. Second time I bought them online from brinley. Curiously, the smaller metal gear wears, not the large fiber gear wheel.

2513098
 

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I pick up my parents leaves every fall and trying to come up with a better leaf solution where I don't have to keep getting off my tractor to empty. They live in a woods so there are a LOT of leaves.

Has anyone used a John Deere lawn sweeper for leaves? How well does it work? Well be pulling it with my X738.

Thanks much,
Dan
Something not mentioned other than in passing is that a lawn vacuum system usually breaks up leaves more than a sweeper (not much at all), plus they hold a lot more volume. The vacuum itself doesn’t chop up the leaves, but I have maples where when leaves are dry, it broke them into 1/2” square sized pieces. Some chopping happens with the deck blades, especially if you use gator blades, but I don’t find I need it. If leaves are damp, they pack in tighter and there’s less dust. Even with dry leaves, it packs fairly tight.
 

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For those of you with lawn sweepers....Do they have a transport mode where you can pull them without engaging the sweeper? If so can you go in transport mode without getting off the tractor?

Dan
Transport with the Ohio steel clone Have to get off the Tractor and Pull a Pin and Raise it Up re Insert pin Don't want to engage Pavement with the Brushes as they will bend did have to Bend Brush head back into shape. I wish Ingersoll was still around They Had One of the Best & rugged leaf sweepers which used a two height brush system. I still have a MC519 Power flow which hasn't been used since I Bought a leaf sweeper again But I don't Have the leaves I use to as I don't Have as many trees at my newer house. Plus the wind usually takes Care of the leaves and there on the neighbors Property before I can get to them I use the sweeper more for Grass Pick Up when I mulch and it was to high to Mulch or I de-thatch and have a Lot of Grass residue (y)
 
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