How to buy - blowers, vacs and sweepers

Handheld, walk-behind, ride-on, mounted and trailed machines with different power options are available for all jobs across a range of sites, Sally Drury explains.

Vertitop 1200 for synthetic turf - image: Charterhouse Turf Machinery
Vertitop 1200 for synthetic turf - image: Charterhouse Turf Machinery

There is always a mess to clean up. It might be the clippings after mowing along a pavement edge, cutting hedges or following tree work. For local authorities there is the litter in the town centre after a busy Saturday afternoon and autumn brings its own problems with the need to eliminate wet, slippery leaves before a member of the public has an accident. The debris after a football match or outdoor concert can mean there are cans, bottles, crisp packets and burger boxes to remove. Back at the depot there are muddy deposits, spilt vegetation and perhaps woodchips or compost to clear away.

The variety of tools and machinery available for blowing or vacuuming leaves and debris or sweeping and collecting litter is vast. Each type has its own advantages. Handheld and backpack blowers are ideal for quick jobs in small areas, like pushing back grass clippings into the lawn, tidying around picnic sites or blowing leaves into a hedge bottom or woodland edge. Handheld blowers are also good for drying picnic benches after a rain shower.

Where there is a need to collect the debris or litter in small areas, many handheld blowers can be quickly converted to a vacuum by adding a collection bag. Where noise is an issue — around a school, hospital or residential home — battery handheld and backpack blowers can provide a solution.

For larger areas such as car parks, precincts and town squares, there are walk-behind vacuums and blowers capable of dealing with any mess. In some situations, notably country estates and parks, attachments added to a two-wheel tractor may be just the job for removing leaves, debris and litter. A power broom fitted to a two-wheeler can often serve other purposes. Many make a good job of clearing snow from pathways and drives.

With long stretches of clearing to do, and all where there is some distance to travel between sites, the ride-on sweepers and vacuums come into their own. Some will have extra features such as the ability to empty litter bins en route.

Sports grounds, parkland and green open spaces often demand bigger, more powerful machinery. Making use of the site’s own tractor, the range of mounted and trailed sweeper/collectors and vacuums gives plenty of choice when it comes to capacities and dimensions for access. Sweeper/collectors with large hoppers usually come with scarifying or flail mowing options, making them multipurpose, cost-effective, year-round machines. Then there is a choice of low, ground or high tipping for emptying the hopper into trailers or skips.

We must not forget that synthetic turf surfaces also require brushing and cleaning. Specialist equipment is available to move infill and keep pile standing or for extracting infill and cleaning it before returning it to the carpet.

New battery tools

Battery blowers took off in 2016 with a number of new products and upgrades. Offering ease of use, low noise, no fumes and, importantly, low vibration levels, battery kit is gaining ground in parks, gardens, and golf courses as well as with local authorities and contractors. This year Hackney Council’s parks and green spaces team switched to Makita’s DUB362 leaf blower (left). It delivers more air volume than the four-stroke blower and weighs just 4.1kg.

Pellenc, supplied in the UK by Etesia, has released the second-generation Airion battery powered blower. Boasting more power, accuracy and comfort, the Airion 2 can be used near noise-sensitive areas such as hospitals despite having a thrust of 17.5 newtons. The blower weighs 2.55kg and is waterproof to IP54 standards.

Also new from Pellenc is the Cleanion. Designed to remove moss, debris or snow from natural and synthetic grass or hard surfaces, it is a battery powered brush with adjustable speed and direction as well as variable speed control. The brushing pressure is indicated on an LCD screen.

More battery blowers were introduced for the 2016 season with the Husqvarna 536LiBX, which features cruise control and connects to Husky’s backpack batteries. In the handheld family, Husqvarna added the 436LiB with intuitive keypad and boasting low vibration levels.

Honda joined the cordless scene earlier this year with a range of tools that includes a blower capable of running for 31 minutes with a 4.0Ah battery and generating an air speed of 41m/s. The blower has three settings — low, medium and turbo.

The following guide covers major manufacturers of blowers, vacuums and sweepers by category along with their contact details.

Handheld blowers
Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden
Bosch Garden
Cobra (Henton & Chattell)
Danarm Machinery
Echo Tools
EGO Power+
Emak (UK)
FGM Claymore
Honda Lawn & Garden
Husqvarna
Hyundai UK
Makita (UK)
Midland Power Distributors UK
Overton UK
Pellenc (Etesia)
Rochford Garden Machinery
Stihl

Handheld vacuums
Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden
Bosch Garden
Cobra (Henton & Chattell)
Echo Tools
Emak (UK)
FGM Claymore
Husqvarna
Hyundai UK
Makita (UK)
Midland Power Distributors UK
Overton UK
Rochford Garden Machinery
Stihl

Backpack blowers
Danarm Machinery
Echo Tools
Emak (UK)
FGM Claymore
Husqvarna
Hyundai UK
Makita (UK)
Midland Power Distributors UK
Pellenc (Etesia)
Rochford Garden Machinery
Stihl

Wheeled, walk-behind vacs
Billy Goat (Henton & Chattell)
Cramer UK
Euromec
FGM Claymore
Hako Machines
Kersten UK
Midland Power Distributors UK
Overton
Schiller Groundscare
STM Simon Tullett Machinery
Sweepfast

Walk-behind sweepers and power brooms
Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden
Kersten UK
Midland Power Distributors UK
PSD Groundscare
Sthil

Wheeled, walk-behind blowers
Billy Goat (Henton & Chattell)
Kersten UK
Schiller Groundscare
STM Simon Tullett Machinery
Sweepfast
Ride-on sweepers 
and vacuums
Aebi-Schmidt
Bunce (Ashbury)
Cramer UK
Euromec
Hako Machines
Johnston Sweepers
Tennant

Sweepers, vacs and brooms for two-wheeled tractors
Agri-Werke
CTM — Conservation Technology & Machinery
Grillo AgriGarden
Groundscare Products/Turf Teq
Kersten UK
Rapid Tractors
Sweepfast
Tracmaster

Tractor-mounted power brooms
Bunce (Ashbury)
Campey turf Care Systems
Charterhouse Turf Machinery
Tomlin
Wessex International
Tractor-mounted or 
trailed sweepers/collectors
Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden
Campey Turf Care Systems
Kersten UK
Kilworth Machinery
Logic GB
Midland Power Distributors UK
SCH (Supplies)
Sisis
Sweepfast
The Grass Group
Tomlin, DW
Vanmac
Wessex International
Wiedenmann UK

Flail/scarifier/collectors
Amazone Groundcare
Campey Turf Care Systems
Charterhouse Turf Machinery
Kilworth Machinery
Major Equipment
Ryetec Industrial Equipment
The Grass Group
Vanmac
Wessex International
Wiedenmann UK


Tractor-mounted or trailed vacuums
Aebi-Schmidt
Campey Turfcare Systems
Richmonds Groundcare
Predator
SCH Supplies
Schiller Groundscare
STM Simon Tullett Machinery
The Grass Group
Wiedenmann
Wessex International
Vanmac

Tractor-mounted blowers
Bargam
Campey Turf Care Systems
Kersten UK
Lloyds & Co (Letchworth)
Ransomes Jacobsen
SCH (Supplies)
Schiller Groundscare
The Grass Group
Wiedenmann UK

Brushes, sweepers and vacuums for synthetic surfaces
Double A Trading Co
Campey Turf Care Systems
Charterhouse Turf Machinery
Kersten UK
SCH (Supplies)
Sisis
Wiedenmann UK

CONTACTS Aebi-Schmidt 01733 363393; Agri-Werke 00 49 6298 390; Amazone Groundcare 01302 751200; Bargam (Gambetti UK) 01361 883418; Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden 01869 363636; Billy Goat (Henton & Chattell) 0115 986 2161; Bosch Lawn & Garden 0344 7360 109; Bunce (Ashbury) 01793 710212; Campey Turf Care Systems 01260 224568; Charterhouse Turf Machinery 01428 661222; Cobra (Henton & Chattell) 0115 986 2161; CTM 01748 886622; Cramer UK 01489 550993; Danarm Machinery 01453 835577; Double A Trading Co 01334 657602; Echo Tools 0800 597 7777; Ego Power+ 0115 986 2161; Emak UK 01543 687660; Euromec 01858 434011; FGM Claymore 01789 490177; Grillo AgriGarden 01889 569149; Groundscare Products/Turf Teq 0118 981 1313; Hako Machines 01788825602; Henton & Chattell 0115 986 2161; Honda Lawn & Garden 0845 200 8000; Husqvarna 0844 243 5263; Hyundai 01646 687880; Johnston Sweepers 01306 884722; Kersten 0118 986 9253; Kilworth Machinery 01530 412690; Lloyds & Co (Letchworth) 01462 683031; Logic GB 01434 606661; Makita (UK) 01908 211678; Major Equipment 01524 850501; Midland Power Distributors UK 01905 763027; Overton UK 01522 690011; Pellenc (Etesia UK) 01295 680120; Predator 0845 402 1756; PSD Groundscare 08450 773 773; Ransomes Jacobsen 01473 270000; Rapid Tractors 01283 814442; Richmonds Groundscare 0845 458 2599; Rochford Garden Machinery 01963 828000; Ryetec Industrial Equipment 01944 768232; SCH (Supplies) 01473 328272; Schiller Grounds Care 0161 474 1525; Simon Tullett Machinery Co 01789 488450; Sisis 01332 825000; Stihl 01276 20202; SweepFast 01675 470770; Tennant 0800 111 4402; The Grass Group 01638 720123; Tomlin, DW 01205 870535; Tracmaster 01444 247689; Vanmac 00 31 33 456 4550; Wessex International 01264 848610; Wiedenmann UK 0141 814 3366 


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