Larger lawn scarification equipment

At the moment we have Eliet 401s and 501s scarifiers and a 60cm efco which is a bit of a beast. We also have a mccullough push garden / leaf vacuum which is getting on a bit, but refuses to die.

So with smaller lawns, say upto 400sqm, we use the Eliets, make a pass, rake / blow and bag up; then repeat as needed.

For larger lawns, we tend to use the McCullough to collect the scarify waste. Occassionally we'll use our 42" Kubota ride-on, but that struggles with wet waste.

With domestic clients there is always a gate access trade-off; many times a 48" ride on will not fit. Plus people are looking for a good finish and so rough tractor markings are a no go.

For me, an ideal machine size wise would be a westwood/countax ride on, 30cm mowing deck, powered collector and swap out the collector for the scarifier attachment as needed. However, this is not a commercial machine and though it won't have heavy use, longevity is an issue. Also, I'm getting comments from people around the power of the engine not being up to driving the scarifier, and the scarifer not being robust / slipping belts.

So, what do people do and any experience of the westood scarifiers?

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    • PRO
      For the money they are not bad I bought mine only 6 months ago
  • PRO

    Thinking laterally but only fufiling 2 out of 3 of your criteria what about an Etesia Bahia 80 - good cut, good wet weather/leaf collection, quite a large grass box and importantly designed to fit through a gate....?

    No powered collector or scarifier attachements but to clear leaves/scarified material and/or cut grass maybe a good option?

    Can be loaded into a Transit/Viaro sized van.

  • PRO

    Yes good thinking re Etesia Bahia - we thought that too and got one on demo; was very optimistic. Didn't pickup the scarify waste very well...

    Closest I'm thinking at moment is to get a used Westwood/Countax with a twin engine, take off  the wide cutting deck and replace with the 30" deck and buy the scarifier attachment. Have a striping mower, scarifier and waste collector. May only last a couple of seasons before major bearing replacments.

  • PRO

    For the larger lawns, we use the compact tractor and power take off powered Amazone Grass Hopper hydraulic tip flail scarifier - similar to ; -  this obviously collects the arisings in the hopper - but is only useful in cases of good access. Produces outstanding results though (I will find some photos!)

    For larger domestic lawns, we use our Wolf scarifiers and either a rotary mower with the deck set high or a Billy Goat for collecting the arsings - I note that the Billy Goat Gary showed a picture of has the 'hard surface wheel kit' fitted which can compromise its collection ability on the grass.

    Always used to be skeptical about whether the Billy Goats would collect the waste effectively until the day a customer assisted us doing his large scarifying task by following us along with his self propelled Billy Goat - converted now!  

    • PRO

      Just goes to show - never too old to learn ;-)

      Maybe why we found the nozzle/ground adjustment so "touchy".

      What's the difference Adam ?

      • PRO
        Maybe it disrupts the airflow?
      • PRO

        Apolgy due - a closer look at the picture shows I was only partially correct...... I thought the machine pictured was a 'conventional' billy goat that had had the larger front wheels removed and the smaller 'hard surface' castor kit fitted, which makes the machines much better at travelling around concrete carparks/ yards etc but means they can sink in and rut turf. Several factories we deal with have equipped their billy goats with the castor kit for litter/leaf collection around the car parks - they never use them off hard terrain though.

        What is pictured by Gary looks like a VQ wide area vacuum, a machine which I have no experience with. I have used several variants of the equal sized wheel machines and found them satisfactory at collecting most things - as with rotary mowers keeping the bag clean helps (as well as using the correct bag for the application - there are several different bags for the newer machines - the 'wrong bag' often clogs very quickly. 

  • one of the gardens I do about 3000 M2 of lawn have a countax Honda twin cylinder and a scarifer attachment  seams to work well and put the sweeper back on picks up ok but have the cutting blades running it is used normally only once a week but that is all year round picking leaves up towing the trailer and a couple of times a year cutting a half hectare paddock it only gets serviced every second year but it seems to be quiet reliable

  • PRO

    Bit of an older thread but wondered what the outcome was for the larger lawns and clearing up scarification waste? I have a few lawns 1000m2+ that could really use some form of mechanical clean up to speed things up. Did the Countax/Westwood option pan out? For the cheaper option, what was the McCullough machine used? Many thanks.

  • PRO

    The Countax/Westwood attachment works well with dry arisings.

    The Windy / McCullough was ok with damp arisings - tidy cheap machine, though not sure it's available any more :

    Closest alternative looks to be the Al-Ko at around £600.

    Nothing found for damp arisings so far other than back-pack blow and rake. Tried the Ibea on demo from Saltex to no avail. Will look at Billy Goat and Little Wonder next and possibly the Weibang.

    The Windy Vac
    Have a look at this The Windy Vac page from the Professional Leaf Vacs department at Abbey Garden Sales
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