Collection Systems. Leaf vacuum for mower
Ferris lawn mowers are built for productivity and our offering of compatible attachments takes that notion another step further. With time-saving offerings from Turbo-Pro, Fast-Vac, and other partners there is a helpful attachment for your Ferris mower. If you have any questions on fit, assembly, or use your local Ferris dealer will be more than happy to help.
The TURBO-Pro System is a lightweight blower assembly ideal for use with compact models in all cutting conditions throughout the entire season.
This go-to system for landscapers acts as a lawn vacuum for a clean finish. It quickly mounts to the deck with tool-less stainless steel hardware. It is ideal for use in all conditions found throughout the season.
The rugged impeller utilizes industrial-grade bearings, generating phenomenal air flow for use in heavy and wet cutting conditions. Its spindle-driven vertical turbo is narrower, allowing you to get in and out of tight places.
The TURBO-Pro makes collecting leaves and debris a breeze. This grass collector system utilizes oversized drive and idler pulleys combined with a long drive belt for cool running and maximum belt life. The curved blade impeller reduces impeller speed and noise while maximizing air velocity. This commercial mower system mounts to the deck with a fabricated heavy-duty steel plate. The blower housing is protected with a 1″ heavy-gauge tubular bumper. No tools are required after the unit has been installed to switch from grass bagging to non-bagging. The TURBO-Pro is a lightweight blower assembly and is ideal for use with compact lawnmowers.
Blower Dimensions: Width: 19-inches | Weight: 56 lbs. | Impeller Fin: 2-inches
Durable composite impeller housing with reinforced metal plate for high contact debris areas
Heavy-duty oversized drive and idler pulleys combined with a long drive belt allow for cool running and maximum belt life
Curved steel blade impeller reduces noise
After initial installation, the quick attach design can be mounted or removed with no tools in a few minutes
DR Power Pilot XT SP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum Review
Fall—that wonderful time of year when the weather cools down, the scent of baking fills the air, and the leaves change color… right before they cover your lawn. Whether that sounds like your story or you’re like us and have a year-round battle with oak leaves, cleanup is a pain. We got our hands on the DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum to see if we can enjoy our outdoor living spaces with a bit less hassle.
DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum Performance
DR uses a 173cc overhead valve engine that produces 4.3 HP and 6.6 ft-lbs of torque for the powerplant. This model includes an electric start with a recoil pull start as a backup.
The starting switch is on the left side of the engine. The choke is right next to that. For manual starting, push the switch to the middle position and then pull the cord. For an electric start, push it to the right and release it when you hear the engine come to life.
Charging Note: When you need to charge the battery, don’t exceed 2 amps. You’ll get a longer life out of it since smaller batteries don’t reacy as well to fast charging.
You activate the self-propelled drive using a single lever on the right side. The speed varies from 0 to 2 MPH based on how hard you pull it. It would be nice to have a bit more top-end speed for transport to and from your collection area. However, the 2 MPH top speed is appropriate to ensure you’re collecting leaves effectively.
A steel impeller takes care of creating airflow and mulching leaves down at a 10:1 ratio. DR is so confident in the quality of the impeller that it has a lifetime warranty.
The primary function of leaf vacuuming is highly dependent on the snout height. You want it to be close to the top of the leaves you’re collecting. For thick broad leaves, you have a maximum height of 4 inches. If you’re like us and collecting smaller oak leaves, you can drop it all the way to 1 inch.
Sometimes, you need to start high on your first pass and then drop down for a second to get everything up. Just make sure you don’t have the snout so low that you’re pushing the leaves instead of collecting them.
Leaf vacuum trailer
To adjust the height, there’s a single-point adjustment on the right front wheel. Unlike a lawn mower, it only adjusts the front of the machine. That’s not a big deal since it’s about the collection snout height at the front and not the evenness of a mower blade.
For the oak leaves we collected, the vacuum does its best work on freshly fallen leaves that haven’t worked their way into the grass too far. On our Bahai and St. Augustine, the cut is typically 3 – 3 1/2 inches and oak leaves work in where they’re tougher to pick up with vacuum force alone. Short grass species will make it easier and collection is fantastic on bare ground.
Of course, broad leaves tend to stay on top of the grass until they break down, making them easier all the way around. However, try to collect them when they’re dry to get the best results.
The DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum also has a bonus chipping function. The chute on the right has chipping knives supporting it that can handle debris up to 1.5 inches in diameter. As you’re vacuuming the lawn, it’s a really handy addition so you can easily deal with the small branches you come across rather than going back to get them after you’re done with the leaves. Conveniently, there’s no presence bar as you find on lawn mowers, so the engine keeps running while your hands are off the machine and using the chipper.
Like the leaves, the chipping debris enters the collection bag.
DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum Design Notes
EZ Bagger Leaf Collection System
DR’s bagging system is a big deal thanks to how easy it is to change them out. Using a standard 3 cubic foot collection bag, you lift the EZ Bagger cover, pull the top of the bag around the frame, crimp it in, and close the cover. It takes less than a minute.
For full bags, just unfold the top of the bag from the frame, roll the top shut, and put it out by the compost pile or road for pickup.
The machine comes with a preinstalled bag caddie that holds up to 10 bags. You can also install a second one on the opposite side to carry 20 total bags and keep your workflow going longer.
Many lawn mowers have two or three handle positions, but DR’s design gives you more. With a working height of 32 to 42 inches, you only need to loosen the knob on each side, find the height you like, and tighten the knobs back down.
You can also rotate the handle down to get it out of the way when you’re changing bags or upright for more convenient storage.
Vacuum Where You Can’t Drive
Even though we didn’t get a chance to use it, there’s an optional 7-foot hose kit you can purchase to reach leaves in flower beds and other areas you don’t want to drive the vacuum into. It installs in the center of the collection snout. Just remove the rubberized cover, install the hose, and you’re ready to go.
DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum Price
There are two versions of this leaf vacuum to choose from. The Pilot XTSP we’re reviewing has a list price of 1499.99 and is on sale at the time we’re writing for 1299.99.
If you don’t need the self-propelled drive and can forgo the electric start and chipper features, you can get the push version for 1099.99 (999.99 at the time of writing).
Either way, there’s a 2-year residential warranty on the machine and the engine.
The Bottom Line
The DR Power Pilot XTSP Leaf and Lawn Vacuum has a more affordable price tag than the higher horsepower models in DR’s lineup. Its leaf collection is very effective, particularly with broad leaves. Even smaller leaves are on the menu when you’re vacuuming shorter grass, bare ground, and hard surfaces. While some properties may benefit from DR’s more powerful models, the value, performance, and features of the Pilot XTSP and its push-drive counterpart are attractive options to make your leaf collection more convenient.
- Model: DR Power Pilot XTSP
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Starting: Electric (12V, 2.3Ah battery)
- Oil: SAE 30W HD
- Engine: 173cc DR OHV
- Capacity: 3 cubic feet (~50 pounds)
- Chipper Capacity: 1.5 inches
- Intake Height: 1 – 4 inches
- Wheels: 10 x 2-inch rear, 8 x 2-inch front
- Dry Weight: 120 pounds
FrontMount PowerVac Collection Systems
With a PowerVac Collection System for your Grasshopper zero-turn mower, you’re getting the most powerful, maneuverable and efficient leaf-collecting, grass-catching and debris-removing equipment available for turf. Built on more than 50 years of airflow research, PowerVac Collection Systems deliver a professional, finished look every time you mow.
Every PowerVac features a deck-driven vacuum that will make a clean sweep through virtually any lawn debris, removing wet grass and high-moisture leaves, pine straw, dethatching debris, small sticks, seed pods and acorns, paper, litter and tough weeds. Simply adjust your mowing speed to your conditions for one-pass perfection every time.
The force of the cutting blades discharges clippings and debris directly into the trash-ingesting steel impeller. The vac-driven impeller reduces and compacts debris in the vacuum collector, so you’ll enjoy clog-free performance, even in wet, lush conditions, to leave a manicured look that will turn even the pickiest neighbors green with envy. Collectors are rear-mounted to retain the mower‘s zero-turn maneuverability.
Grasshopper’s exclusive Quik-D-Tatch Vac system allows quick conversion to side discharge or Down Discharge mulching in seconds without tools, and can be reinstalled just as easily, making PowerVac perfect for commercial operators servicing multiple accounts.
Explore the range of collector sizes and configurations available for your FrontMount PowerVac collection system.
PowerVac Mesh Bag Collectors
Twin or triple 4-cu. ft. (113.5 L) reinforced PowerVac mesh bags easily slide in and out to empty grass clippings, leaves and debris collected while mowing. Bags are made from UV-tolerant, commercial-grade, rip- and tear-resistant mesh fabric, and feature lift-up covers and protective steel side shields to guard bags from abrasions.
Model 8F. Features twin 4-cu.-ft. (113.5 L) slide-in mesh bags and a reinforced fabric top for an 8-cu.-ft. total capacity, and is compatible with 600 and 700 Series Grasshopper FrontMount zero-turn mowers.
Model 8HT. Features twin 4-cu.-ft. (113.5 L) slide-in mesh bags and a hinged fabricated metal top for an 8-cu.-ft. total capacity, and is compatible with 600 and 700 Series Grasshopper FrontMount zero-turn mowers.
Model 12F. Features triple 4-cu.-ft. (113.5 L) slide-in mesh bags with a reinforced fabric top for a 12-cu.-ft. total capacity, and is compatible with all Grasshopper FrontMount zero-turn mowers.
Model 12HT. Features triple 4-cu.-ft. (113.5 L) slide-in mesh bags with a hinged fabricated metal top for a 12-cu.-ft. total capacity, and is compatible with all Grasshopper FrontMount zero-turn mowers.
PowerVac Metal Hopper Collectors
Metal PowerVac hoppers feature tapered bottoms to compact collected debris and speed emptying. Metal hoppers can be emptied from the operator’s seat with power- or lever-actuated controls for productive, uninterrupted mowing and removal of grass, leaves and debris.
Model 15B. Features a 15-cu.-ft. (424.8 L) capacity metal hopper with a lever actuator for easy emptying. Compatible with all 600, 700 and 900 Series FrontMount(tm) zero-turn mowers.
Model 25. Features a fixed-mount, 25-cu.-ft. (708 L) capacity metal hopper with a lever actuator for easy emptying. Compatible with all Grasshopper 700 and 900 Series FrontMount zero-turn mowers.
Model 15B HighLift Metal Hopper Collector
The HighLift 15B allows operators to raise and extend the collector behind the power unit to empty the hopper onto a truck bed or over trailer sidewalls and other elevated spaces without leaving the operator’s seat.
The 15-cu.-ft. HighLift 15B collector offers infinitely variable emptying positions up to a maximum clearance height of 72 inches and extends up to 34 inches behind the power unit, controlled by a joystick mounted to the right steering lever. The two-part, upper and lower hose system forms a debris-free seal when collecting and easily separates when lifting the hopper.
The fully fabricated hopper features a tapered bottom that compacts debris for continued productivity with fewer stops, while specially designed Debris Xpel arms inside the hopper facilitate easy discharge of compacted debris.
Remote Vac /h3>
PTO-driven Remote Vac mounts in place of the deck on FrontMount power units for easy cleanup in hard-to-reach areas. A flexible, 12-foot, 6-inch-diameter hose with a hand-held swiveling nozzle rotates 360 degrees to vacuum leaves and debris for easier handling, depositing them into the PowerVac collector.
Lawn mowing robots are here, but face the same challenges as robot vacuums
If there’s a memory about my childhood that sticks out more than others, it has to be the summers filled with doing lawn work for my parents. Since I was a perfectionist, I made sure to do everything right — from using a weed wacker to get those perfect edges, to emptying the cut grass into bags for collection. Well, I haven’t needed to do any sort of lawn work in my adult life primarily because I’ve lived in apartments. But it hasn’t stopped me from wondering about how this chore could be automated.
Enter today’s lawn mowing robots, which to me seems like the kind of thing that could’ve been my savior growing up. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been able to check out a Husqvarna lawn mower robot in action. Just like its robot vacuum counterparts, these lawn mowing robots are here to save us from the heavy lifting of cutting the lawn — but at the same time, have the same challenges that robot vacuums have and continue to face. Sure, it’s swell that a robot is doing all of the dirty work, but it still needs a watchful eye.
Cutting grass for hours on end
What struck me first about the Husqvarna Automower 430XH is how ridiculously quiet it is with mowing. Since it’s battery powered, you don’t get the traditional roar of gas-powered mowers. Secondly, the robot can take hours upon hours to finish cutting the grass, which may seem obnoxious, but in reality, the pacing is intentional. That’s because the Husqvarna Automower 430XH is meant to do its job daily, rather than the typical once-a-week job I’m used to expecting.
This routine is beneficial in two ways: The grass never gets too tall and the clippings are entirely nonexistent. There’s no need for it to collect the clippings and discard it elsewhere, so the mulched clippings act as fertilizer. I’m all for minimal interactions, so for the Husqvarna Automower 430XH to do all the cutting means more free time for me to do something else. However, it’s really important to be around nearby while the robot is working — just in case something happens.
Hung up on obstacles
Unlike robot vacuums, today’s lawn mowing robots have the entire outside world to call its home. The last thing anyone wants to happen is for it to suddenly run away, off your property. Luckily there’s a safeguard in place that keeps the Husqvarna Automower 430XH from going rogue and slipping away. Through the use of boundary wires, which in this case have been installed below ground, it helps to establish the boundaries of the lawn. On top of that, the Husqvarna Automower 430XH leverages GPS to notify you through the app if it’s outside of its geofenced area.
While the boundary wires help to guide the robot lawn mower, there are still times when it can be hung up due to obstacles in the yard. Furthermore, there’s no way to properly designate specific zones in the lawn — so you could just send the robot to cut an exact area of the lawn. You can’t do this with the Husqvarna Automower, which goes on its merry way cutting grass.
Best Leaf Collection System. STOP raking leaves and check this machine out first
Indoors, robot vacuums are able to distinguish boundaries because of the closed space and how lidar (light detection and ranging) technology has been perfected to enable them to map out rooms. At the moment, boundary wires are necessary to help lawn mowing robots establish where to cut. With various on board safety sensors, it’s supposed to do its best to avoid obstacles. In reality, however, it still proves challenging for the pricey lawn mowing bot. Watching it get stuck on small things is frustrating, especially when each occurrence requires human interaction to resolve.
The promise of getting better with time
There’s no denying that there are still growing pains to iron out with today’s lawn mowing robots. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic about the idea of yet another robot in my life that does a chore for me. But similar to robot vacuums, it’ll take time before these automatic mowers become self-sufficient and efficient with the job. We’re not there just yet, mostly because of the challenges of tackling navigation in open spaces.
There are plenty of useful features and technologies employed already with the Husqvarna Automower 430XH, like theft protection by alarm/PIN code, automatic charging, lift and tilt sensors that stops it entirely if the mower is lifted, and a weatherproof construction to protect it from rain. But at the end of the day, I crave convenience — something that just works and doesn’t require a lot of interaction. Similar to how robot vacuums became more efficient at vacuuming with the help of room mapping technologies, artificial intelligence, and cameras, the same can be said about the future of lawn mowing robots.
Considering that the Husqvarna Automower 430XH comes in at 2,500, you’ll need to have a lot of patience making sure it gets the job done. But at the very least, I’m not roped into doing all of the mowing — now that’s an appealing prospect for me.