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I've been thinking about converting my Cub Cadet 3000 series 54" snow plow blade into a leaf plow. I have a hydraulic Swisher bucket on it now and could easily fit the arms to mount my snow plow blade. I thought about taking a piece of pipe and mounting double hay tines ~2" apart on it to grab leaves and casters to allow it to follow the ground. Maybe side wings on the blade with tines below it as well.

Anyone done anything like this?
 

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Yes, I tried that. the tines got stuck in the ground or the debris slipped under. But I was trying to get it to slip up into a basket, which might have been over ambitious. Anyway, the results were disappointing and the thing was useless.

I tried to make it into a rotating machine with those tines to throw leaves and twigs into the basket; that didn't work either but I intend to have another try one of these days.

The leaves and twigs [in my case, there is a lot of twigs] just don't do what I thought they'd do. They stick to the tines, the ground, each other.

If you have homogeneous dry leaves, you might have more success than I did.
 

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Steve, I just use the 54 in blade, have to use the float position (not sure your machine has this) so it follows the ground, I set the feet on the blade down so it doesn't "dig". It will leave some trails in the ground from the feet at times but otherwise pushes leaves very well and doesn't destroy the yard.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I tried that. the tines got stuck in the ground or the debris slipped under. But I was trying to get it to slip up into a basket, which might have been over ambitious. Anyway, the results were disappointing and the thing was useless.

I tried to make it into a rotating machine with those tines to throw leaves and twigs into the basket; that didn't work either but I intend to have another try one of these days.

The leaves and twigs [in my case, there is a lot of twigs] just don't do what I thought they'd do. They stick to the tines, the ground, each other.

If you have homogeneous dry leaves, you might have more success than I did.
Thanks for the reply. Looking at some other home built leaf plows some have used plastic lawn edging at the bottom as a squeegee to hold the leaves. Uneven ground may be my downfall as far as holding them in place long enough to get them where I want them.
I know we like to be inventive, but those lawn sweepers you can buy work very well, at least mine does.

I've considered one of these. My situation is a bit different than a residential lawn though. I have need to push heavy layers down into hollers to clear my shooting lanes in the woods. Think 1ft deep of matted wet leaves.

I dont need to dispose of leaves as I can just push them away from the house down in my fields or in the hollers.
 

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Steve, I just use the 54 in blade, have to use the float position (not sure your machine has this) so it follows the ground, I set the feet on the blade down so it doesn't "dig". It will leave some trails in the ground from the feet at times but otherwise pushes leaves very well and doesn't destroy the yard.

Nice! I can rig mechanical float with a small chain length on the cylinder. I had fair results with my loader bucket over the weekend but kept hanging up on roots. Thinking about casters and plastic lawn edging on the bottom of the blade to float over the roots
 

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Some of the commercial leaf pushers use expanded metal as the blade with a framework shaped in a broad "U", much like wings on a snowplow. I built a mock-up of one a couple of years ago using 2X2 wood for the frame. It did work quite well, just didn't have the $ to build it with all metal. The trick is to have it slide an inch or so above the ground on skis instead of right on the ground. Once you begin pushing a pile of leaves, the pile itself does all the scraping right down to the ground.
 

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Some of the commercial leaf pushers use expanded metal as the blade with a framework shaped in a broad "U", much like wings on a snowplow. I built a mock-up of one a couple of years ago using 2X2 wood for the frame. It did work quite well, just didn't have the $ to build it with all metal. The trick is to have it slide an inch or so above the ground on skis instead of right on the ground. Once you begin pushing a pile of leaves, the pile itself does all the scraping right down to the ground.
I think I can use casters to set the height and hopefully the lawn edging will let me set it low enough to hold the leaves but skim the roots.
 

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I made a crude "rake" for the plow on my SS-12 Suburban--I used a length of street sign square tubing,that has holes punched on all 4 sides about an inch apart..

All I did was drill 2 3/8" holes in the plow blade,bolt the tubing to it,and used a bunch of 6+" timber spikes for tines,I bought a 5 gallon pail with lots of them cheap at the flea market..then I bolted a length of 1/4" x 1" flat stock over the heads of the spikes to hold them in place..

It worked better than I thought it would,but in reality,the plow alone does almost as good--as noted above,keeping some "lift" on the plow so it isn't dragging on the ground,it'll glide right over the grass and most obstructions without snagging,and you can move a ton of leaves in a few minutes --cannot say that for the spikes,despite them only sticking out maybe 1" from the bottom of the plow blade,they will snag on every tree root or other item like a rock,etc..but it works great fro gathering up pine needles as long as there's no roots under them,the blade tends to skim right over them..

Sorry the photo isn't too great..only one I have of it..
 

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I made a crude "rake" for the plow on my SS-12 Suburban--I used a length of street sign square tubing,that has holes punched on all 4 sides about an inch apart..

All I did was drill 2 3/8" holes in the plow blade,bolt the tubing to it,and used a bunch of 6+" timber spikes for tines,I bought a 5 gallon pail with lots of them cheap at the flea market..then I bolted a length of 1/4" x 1" flat stock over the heads of the spikes to hold them in place..

It worked better than I thought it would,but in reality,the plow alone does almost as good--as noted above,keeping some "lift" on the plow so it isn't dragging on the ground,it'll glide right over the grass and most obstructions without snagging,and you can move a ton of leaves in a few minutes --cannot say that for the spikes,despite them only sticking out maybe 1" from the bottom of the plow blade,they will snag on every tree root or other item like a rock,etc..but it works great fro gathering up pine needles as long as there's no roots under them,the blade tends to skim right over them..

Sorry the photo isn't too great..only one I have of it..
This was what I was originally thinking about with using hay rake teeth. Sounds like the roots would be a royal pain with them sticking down.
 
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Steve, Your talented enough to maybe build something similar to this leaf plow made for ZTR's that I found on this website. Or maybe attach a billy goat leaf blower to the back of your tractor.

https://www.jrcoinc.com/commercial_attachments/leaf-plow.html
I've looked at those for inspiration and you pic made my mind go into fab mode. I may build one out of chain link fence top rail I have lying around with heavy steel wire rabbit mesh or chain link tack welded around the perimeter. Garden plastic edging at the bottom. That would be quick and easy and cost me nothing. Thanks for the pic.
 

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I've been tempted to mount a squirrel cage blower off a hot air furnace on my tractor.power it off the tractor's 12 HP engine,mounted up front like a snowblower..

I had it rigged up with its own 5 HP engine (welded a motor mount right to the blower housing) and it was mounted on an old push mower deck,used it several years--but I got too tired too fast to push it around for long,it was pretty heavy..and the deck rotted out where the wheels bolted on,so I took it apart..

It did blow leaves very well though,even wet ones,it would leave the lawn spotless--I made a screen to cover the air intake on the blower to keep leaves from getting inside it,and had to block off the outlet about 1/3 to let the engine get up to the right rpms,once I did that it was like a tornado coming out of it..
 

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I used my blade last summer to push grass clipping into a pile. The grass was over 2 feet tall when I started mowing. The first pass with the blade was not so good. Grass would roll under the blade. The second pass removed just about everything cut. A brush in front to lift and loosen maybe the ticket to one pass removal. Not sure that would be the case with leaves.
 

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I often wondered if using steel conduit, used in wiring, might make a good frame with a little wire mesh to push leaves. Light weight to allow it to skim along the turf and allow manual lifting etc., but strong enough to push a pile of leaves without collapsing. Perhaps a "skid bar" of some material, maybe PVC bent up like a sled runner on each side, could be used to prevent digging in or catching on anything. Only thing I'd worry about is a stump or other immovable object busting the whole thing apart.

CAUTION: This is theory only, I have not built or attempted to build this. :tango_face_surprise
 
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