Whether you face the sudden, annual dump of leaves from deciduous trees or the year-round drizzle from evergreens, task-specific leaf clean-up tools decrease the amount of time and effort required to gather and pick-up fallen foliage. These tools range from traditional, manually-operated hand tools to heavy-duty, professional landscaping equipment. With an idea of the types of leaf clean-up tools available, you can choose tools that suit the size of your yard.
Whether metal or bamboo, the traditional leaf rake has a simple design that has remained primarily unchanged for generations. Leaf rakes consist of two parts: a straight, broom-like handle and a fan-shaped set of tines. Leaf rake tines usually are made of metal or a natural material, such as bamboo. The long, flexible tines of a leaf rake grab and gather lightweight materials, such as fallen leaves and twigs. As a landscaper pulls the leaf rake across the ground, the tines catch leaves, but allow larger, heavier items, such as rocks, to slip through their openings.
The leaf blower allows a landscaper to direct a powerful gust of air toward fallen leaves, which pushes and consolidates the leaves into easily picked-up piles. Leaf blowers consist of two basic parts: an electric or gas-powered motor and a rigid, tubular air hose. Whereas the strap-mounted motor of professional-grade blowers rides atop a landscaper's back, the smaller motor of light-duty blowers forms an integral, hand-held unit with its air hose.
In contrast to the blowing action of the leaf blower, the leaf vacuum generates powerful suction. Like leaf blowers, the basic components of leaf vacuums are a motor and tubular hose. However, leaf vacuums feature built-in storage containers, usually canvas bags or plastic boxes. The vacuum sucks fallen leaves from the ground and immediately transfers them to the storage container. Many leaf vacuums not only suck and store leaves, but also grind and mulch the leaves as they pass through the machine's body.
Tow-behind Leaf Collection Equipment
Tow-behind leaf collection equipment attaches to the rear of garden tractors and riding lawnmowers. These leaf collectors use vacuum power, rake-like tines or a brushing mechanism to gather leaves. Typically mounted to a lightweight, single-axle trailer, the largest component of tow-behind leaf collectors is a box-like storage compartment. Vacuum-powered collectors often simultaneously suck and mulch leaves through a large vacuum tube that runs from the side or front of the storage compartment to the underside of the tractor or lawnmower.
Professional Leaf Collection Equipment
Professional landscapers often use ride-atop leaf collection equipment to maintain expansive areas. These ride-on collectors function look like riding lawnmowers and function like portable leaf vacuums. The cockpit of these leaf collectors typically mounts to the top of a four-wheeled chassis. A leaf collection container rests behind the cockpit and vacuum equipment attaches to the underside of the vehicle. As a landscaper drives the ride-atop leaf collector across a surface, the vacuum equipment sucks, grinds and stores fallen leaves.
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