Buyers' guide - Blowers, vacs & sweepers

Having the right machine to clear away debris can save you a lot of time and effort, Sally Drury explains.

Votex VT420: compact vacuum sweeper features exceptionally high tipping container - image: Campey Turfcare
Votex VT420: compact vacuum sweeper features exceptionally high tipping container - image: Campey Turfcare

The time-consuming job of sweeping or raking leaves and debris is largely a thing of the past. A number of blowers, blower/vac, vacuums and sweeping machines is available as a economical way of clearing fallen leaves, clippings and rubbish from small or large areas. But which type is best?

A Each type has its advantages. Handheld and backpack blowers are ideal for clearing small areas, pushing grass clippings into the verge or lawn and tidying around picnic sites. They are even good at drying picnic benches after a rain shower. Where there is a need to collect litter from such areas, many companies offer a blower that quickly converts to a handheld vacuum.

If you are looking to reduce the noise, there are battery-powered blowers.
For larger areas such as car parks, schools and precincts, there are walk-behind blowers and vacuums as well as sweepers and collectors for use with two-wheel tractor units and other implement carriers. Ride-on models can cover larger areas.

Tackling litter and leaves on large turf is made easy with a towed blower or with one of the large choice of trailed collectors. The latter often come with options to scarify or mow and their capacity and high-tip features make the job more efficient.

Are there any new models of walk-behind machine?

Plenty. This autumn sees Cramer UK introduce the LS 4000SW pushed commercial vacuum, featuring the top-of-the-range Silent Wings turbine combined with a 3.4hp Honda GX 160 engine. It is said to run with less noise, while still maintaining full suction power even at low revs. The turbine is made from special Qst 690 steel, which is lighter than conventional turbine wheels so relieves the engine and increases its lifespan.

A working width of 80cm and a 240-litre collection bag, which is easily emptied via a drawer release system, make this machine suitable for schools, airports, churches, universities, parks and shopping precincts. Litter, general rubbish and debris, plus leaf and plant litter, can be cleared quickly and easily. Price, including VAT, is £1,999.

Schiller has developed a new Little Wonder hydrostatic Advanced Performance Vacuum based on its top-loading commercial vacuum. Suitable for use in industrial and residential areas, it offers users the same effortless power of hydrostatic drive for infinitely variable, clutch-less speed selection up to 4mph, but features a new 6.5hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine. Much
of the machine is made in 12-gauge steel with a powder-coated finish. The nylon bag has a capacity of 282 litres.

In terms of sweepers, the new Cramer KM HVR models have working widths from 1m to 1.2m and a brush diameter of 40cm so allow for the moving of big quantities of dirt and even snow. These machines have forward and reverse hydrostatic drive for manoeuvrability and speed control for brush rotation as well as travel. In the 1m format, it costs £3,399. Add a sulky seat and the price is £3,999. The 1.2m format with seat costs £4,199. All prices include VAT.

What new models are available for clearing leaves and debris off sports pitches?

Following the launch of the Trilo S3 and S4 models last year, this autumn sees the The Grass Group introduce four new units — S8, S12, S16 and S20 — extending the range from 4cu m capacity to 20cu m. Modular build means options such as axle set-up, implements, hitch options and hose configurations can easily be incorporated to suit needs.

The Votex VT420 compact vacuum sweeper has an exceptionally high tipping container of 4.2cu m capacity. Weight is still low and the trailer is suited to compact tractors from 45hp. Working width is a generous 1.7m and by transferring the weight to counter undulation it can adapt to difficult terrain. Options include wander hose, brush, scarifier and flail rotor. UK distributor is Campey Turf Care.

With a specially designed impeller to create what is believed to be the most powerful blower capacity available, the Votex B40 and B60 tractor-mounted blowers are also supplied in the UK by Campey Turf Care. Both have a 180° hydraulically operated swivelling nozzle, making it versatile on roads, sports fields and golf courses. The B40 is suited to tractors of 40hp or more.

The B60, requiring a tractor of 60hp plus, has an enhanced power train.

See table of blower and vacuum machines with features and supplier information.

Contacts

Agri-Werke 00 49 6298 390 Amazone 01302 751200 Barrus, EP, Lawn & Garden 0845 894 1594 Bosch Lawn & Garden 0344 7360 109 Bunce (Ashbury) 01793 710212 Campey Turf Care Systems 01260 224568 Charterhouse Turf Machinery 01428 661222 Conservation Technology & Machinery (CTM) 01748 886622 Cramer UK 01489 550993 Danarm Machinery 01453 835577 Echo Power Tools 0800 597 7777 Emak UK 01543 687660 Etesia UK 01295 680120 Eurogreen 01903 700678 Euromech 01858 434011 FGM Claymore 01789 490177 Gambetti UK 01361 883418 Grillo AgriGarden 01889 569149 Groundscare Products/Turf Teq 0118 981 1313 Hako Machines 01788 823535 Henton & Chattell 0115 986 2161 Honda Lawn & Garden 01753 590500 Husqvarna 0844 243 5263 Hyundai 01646 663848 Johnston Sweepers 01858 434011 Kersten 0118 986 9253 Kilworth Machinery 01530 412690 Lloyds & Co (Letchworth) 01462 683031 Logic GB 01434 606661 Makita (UK) 01908 211678 Overton UK 01522 690011 PSD Groundscare 08450 773773 Ransomes Jacobsen 01473 270000 Rapid Tractors 01283 814442 RECO 01480 401501 Rochford Garden Machinery 01963 828000 Ryetec Industrial Equipment 01944 768232 Sanli UK 01235 861640 SCH (Supplies) 01473 328272 Schillier Grounds Care 0161 474 1525 Simon Tullett Machinery Co 01789 488450 Sisis 01332 825000 Stihl 01276 20202 SweepFast 0121 747 9255 Tennant 0800 111 4402 The Grass Group 01638 720123 Tracmaster 01444 247689 Wessex International 01264 345870 Wiedenmann UK 0141 814 3366


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