Lawn sweeper

Anyone ever try one of these gadgets? Any success with it?
http://www.tiny.cc/Og4m9
(If this link doesn't work for some reason, try brookstone.com, search for lawn sweeper)
Thanks in advance!
Jo Ann
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My neighbor has something like it that he pulls behind his riding mower. He hates it.
Since you have to empty that sweeper, what were you thinking of doing with what it collects?
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Jo Ann...
I had one similar to the pictured one that I towed behind my tractor/mower. My grass was lush enough that when the "basket" was full it would weigh maybe 40 pounds and drag on the lawn. Then I would have to dump by hand. I did use the clippings to mulch in the garden which was most excelent, otherwise you will have a disposal problem.
When used on dried leaves the "basket" would be full and only have about 5 pounds of leaves in it. I can not remember how it worked on wet leaves.
So I would say for a small lawn of 5000 SFor so it will work fine and pushing by hand would be reasonable.
John Chenango Forks NY

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Jo Ann wrote:

Brookstone doesn't sell even one item that's useful and reasonably priced. Such a lawn rake would only be useful for a very small area, like no more than 5,000 sqft, and for such small lawns I'm positive that contraption couldn't out perform an ordinary leaf rake
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I wondered how I would get all the leaves under my dogwood trees with that lawn sweeper. A rake does the job--fast, easy, and quiet. For the rest of the lawn I have a gas-powered backpack-style blower which also sweeps the walks, driveway, garage, and deck.
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I remember my dad bought one of those sweepers from Sears (looked exactly like your picture but had "Craftsman" across the front) when I was a kid. This sweeper is not a new idea. We had a HUGE lawn and my three brothers and I had the task of twice weekly lawn care closely supervised by Dad from the upper deck barking fatherly instructions and encouragement over the top of his newspaper. Dad had two push mowers and the lawn sweeper thing. The sweeper was great when manually pushed by a hulking young jock to sweep up the clippings left by the other two guys pushing lawn mowers. My job was neatly clipping all the edges with huge grass clippers I had to use both hands to squeeze. Leaves were always raked, the sweeper wouldn't do the job, the four of us kids, all supplied with rakes, were highly effective. Apparently the push mowers, grass clippers, rakes and lawn sweeper ceased to operate soon after the last kid left home......a John Deere riding mower with all the bells and whistles to mow, suck up clippings and leaves and push snow (all the shovels must have been worn out) miraculously appeared, as did a gas powered edger/trimmer.
In summation, those sweeper things work great for lawn clippings, they don't do squat to pick up leaves and you should probably have an endless supply of unpaid child labor to operate any manual equipment to be truly efficient.
Val
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LOL! Great story, Val. Thanks for the input. Doesn't sound like the gadget for me.
Am mildly curious about why others think that what I plan to do with whatever it collects has any effect on whether the lawn sweeper works....
Jo Ann
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I would understand Joe's comment as more of logistical problem. Once you get it full of whatever.....where does it go? Where being more of , how the hell far are you going to have to haul that catcher that's about 4 times the size of a standard mower's grass catcher. Would you be able to lift it and carry it?
I'd suggest you start doing some research on a nice chipper shredder, you can dump the raked leaves in that. I had an electric one that worked perfectly for what I needed. I wasn't clearing brush and grinding tree trunks. It chewed up all my shrub and fruit tree pruning and dead head clean up, ground up what was cleaned up from my veggie garden in the fall and did a great job shredding the raked piles of leaves. I had some 50 pound onion sacks, just fastened those to the chute the shredded stuff blew out of and then when it was full I'd pile them in the wheelbarrow and go dump the stuff in the compost or spread it straight on the garden. Easy to use, instant mulch, quicker compost, lots more bang for the buck IMO. Plus I had a really long, heavy duty extension cord so I could just wheel my chipper/shredder to pretty much anywhere handy I was working.
Val
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I asked because obviously, you have to empty the thing. If you said "I'm gonna use it to feed a big compost pile", I would've suggested getting a bagging mower instead, because the mower will chop the stuff up and you'll get faster composting. It would also have to be emptied, so the sweeper and the mower are equal in that regard. The chopped stuff would also work better as mulch, compared to whole leaves which are more likely to blow away.
If you said "I'm gonna bag the stuff and put it on the curb", I would've suggested that you just mow the leaves without a bagging attachment on the mower. That works quite well, except in extreme situations where there are way too many leaves, or they're wet, etc.
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I appreciate the additional input but truly, my only concern/question was whether these sweepers work at all, irrespective of what can/ should/might be done with whatever they sweep up. Sounds like they work really well, since the over-riding concern is that the full bag would be difficult to handle and the contents would still need to be reduced (chipped, shredded, mowed) in some way.
Jo Ann
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On 10/12/07 9:01 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@bubbleator.drizzle.com,

Great chuckle! Amazing what doesn't work when the free labor moves out. C
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Jo Ann wrote:

I had a similar contraption, not sure who made it but it did the job quickly. Another poster stated it didn't work well for leaves, but all I used it for was fall clean up and it did the job great...acorns too. I think it was more work with it emptying it and taking the leaves off to their final destination than it was making a pass or two across the lawn filling it up.
Lar
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we had a Craftsman push one when i was a kid, which was only used for leaves & we had a pull-behind one for a lawn tractor a few years ago. the push model worked better. they aren't hard to empty, just tip it over. if an 8 year old kid can do it, an adult should be able to manage ;) the caveat is that the leaves do need to be dry. if it's been raining the sweeper has difficulties with wet leaves. the pull behind one we have mostly sits behind the shed & the chickens lay eggs under it now... lee
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