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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.:bonk: 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. :swow: 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.:D

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.:thThumbsU
Pay no attention to the dirt in the photos as this is a working machine.:biglaugh:



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 :smilie_fl
 

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

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Discussion Starter #5

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Discussion Starter #6
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.:)
 

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I'd rather be threshing!
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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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. :)
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.:smilie_fl
 

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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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Discussion Starter #13
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. :fing32:
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #16
First, congrats on your new Kubota! I am using the standard Kubota deck boot for the 48" mower. You may need to extend the 8" hose so it reaches the boot. You will also need the adapter in the photo below to go from 8" hose to the boot. Alternatively, DR has a boot that can be custom fit to any mower by cutting it, but the Kubota boot is a perfect fit. You cerainly don't need an $800 kit. Here is a photo of the setup and a larger shot of my avatar:
 

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Thanks for your quick response. I intended to purchase the boot and whatever misc, I needed but the dealer did not seem to know and suggested the kit.

Gene Neault
 

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I see the prior answer as best is to call DR and get their universal boot adaptor. The one I had did not have the little window (but I bet that window gets all slimy, cloudy, grassy and dirty.) You will spend way less than $800, likely $200, and if you have a strong dremel with circular saw blade or saw toothed knife it will be easy to cut to size. (I was the guy that switched over to the Cyclone Rake Z10 after a very bad product and customer service experience with DR - In my mind, the Rake's 10 inch tube is far superior to the 6 inch tube design of the DR - I have NEVER had a clog with the Z-10)
 

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I read your post about the Rake. I have had the DR for several years and used it on my Cub Cadet. It could use some improvements but it has given me decent service. Anything is better than a hand rake.

I would prefer the Kubota boot, because it is made for the mower. My problem is figuring out what hardware I need to attach it to the mower deck. The dealer can order the boot for me but was not sure of what hardware is required. He recommended the kit which is of course a little pricey. If I cannot figure it out I can use the DR generic boot.

Thanks for your response, I have only had the BX for a few weeks but am excited about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Kubota boot should come with all the necessary hardware to install it. It's simply two pins and two brackets. The pins go through the boot, into the deck brackets and have cables attached to prevent losing them (they have never come off mine). The pins are secured with clevis pins. The boot goes on and comes off in less than a minute.

My previous picture on the left shows the setup in detail.
 
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