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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It works! I had one of these Parker vacuums https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/ipsAAOSwvhhc5cP4/s-l640.jpg
It has an 8 HP engine coupled to a big plastic impeller, which sucks things up pretty well, but is incredibly frustrating to use. The intake nozzle is constantly grounding out and gouging the grass, and frequently clogs. You have to stop what you're doing and stick your hand under there to manually dislodge whatever is stuck. The real problem though is after you've got the bag filled. It is simply AWFUL to empty the bag. The back side of the bag unzips and lays down. But there's now way to tilt it, no way to shake it. You have to practically crawl up inside the bag to get it emptied. After a couple bags full, you look like you've been drug by a horse.

I already had a decent sized lawn trailer that I built a few years back. The bed is a repurposed heavy gauge sheet metal drip pan from a commercial HVAC unit, with welded on sides made from the same kind of sheet metal. It is mounted to the axle by 2" EMT "v" risers. The axle itself is 3" EMT with a pair of 2004 Silverado front bearing/spindle assemblies welded into it. The entire axle/bed assembly is hinged to a "t" tongue welded up from 2" EMT.
Tire Wheel Plant Window Tree
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To this trailer I added a (removable) box enclosure,
Shelf Rolling Shelving Gas Motor vehicle Wheel Tire Wood Plant Gas Tire Wheel Plant Automotive tire Tread
then extended the trailer tongue and added a motor mount bracket, then mounted the vacuum engine and housing, then extended the discharge chute upward to the top of the trailer box

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Then for a top I made a frame out of 1" EMT stretched a mesh fabric over it. The mesh is a shade sail that I bought 3 or 4 years ago, and have replaced due to staining. The top frame and mesh are held onto the box by a couple loops of heavy wire.
Plant Wood Tree Grass Asphalt

Finally, I built a mower deck-to-vacuum hose housing, and hooked it all up.

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And it works. If you're sucking up very wet and heavy stuff, then you have to stop to clear clogs where the deck discharges into the housing from time to time. Mimicking the factory Case discharge housing, I intend to add a curved inner baffle to mine that "wraps around" the arc of the far right-hand mower blade, so that the deck is effectively discharging at a backward angle, instead of directly to the right. But that'll save for next season, for now it's entirely functional, especially on dry leaves.

The trailer has always dumped since I built it, and latches to the tongue via a gate-latch style mechanism. With the extra metal of the upper box and rear door added, the bed is now heavily weighted to the dumped position. You have to lift around 80 or 90 pounds to manually pick it back up from the dumped position.
Being full of leaves, especially wet ones, only makes that worse. So when I tried do dump it, it was very heavily weighted to the rear, and plopped backward, bending the door a bit. It took me 5 minutes to get the contents emptied and get the box back up into the upright position.

I learned from that that I needed to limit the dumping extent of the trailer box, and provide some kind of assistance in lifting it back up from the dumped position. So I added the cable/winch mechanism to assist both with dumping and resetting.

Gas Grass Wood Automotive wheel system Automotive exterior Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

You can pull the latch and let the bed tilt back to take up the cable slack. Then manually "uncrank" the winch to let the bed down to where the rear of the bed is just off the ground. Then drive forward (jerkily) to dump the contents. Then crank the winch in, and the bed comes right back up.

It works a little better/smoother than I really expected. I expected it to be usable if frustrating. But it's really not to hard to do at all. I'm very pleased.


 

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Where did you get hose and pipe?

The box on my Trac-Vac is tapered. Leaves dump without jerking.
I am wondering if the inside was painted with graphite paint, if that would help the load slide out easier?

:cheers:
Gordy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Where did you get hose and pipe?

The box on my Trac-Vac is tapered. Leaves dump without jerking.
The hose is 7-in ID vacuum hose that I picked up on eBay. Best I recall it was about $78 for 5 ft. When I got it it was much stiffer than I had anticipated and I thought that was going to have real problems with turning. But it actually works just fine.

The pipe is some 6-in thin-walled sprinkler pipe that I dumpster sourced. I then split it longitudinally with a metal cutting circular saw and inserted the 1-in or whatever it was thin-walled plate that brings it out to the 7-in OD. It was easier than it sounds.
 
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