We’ve had a few months to give this sweeper a try and would like to post our review along with some photos. It may be an unusual piece of equipment to review on a preparedness blog but I’m sure there’s a few readers that may have considered buying one of these. We think it’s a valuable implement to have around our place. We have a hungry garden to feed and have two large compost piles working to keep it nourished.
This is the Agri-Fab 42″ Pull Behind Lawn Sweeper. It was purchased at our local Rural King back in July. Agri-Fab manufactures several sizes and Rural King usually keeps them in stock. The 42″ must be pretty popular since they only had the display model left when we got there.
We didn’t have the opportunity to assemble it right out of the box but we did use the quick-disassembly feature to break it down into small enough pieces to transport back home in our Jeep. It basically just knocks down into 2 parts by pulling a few pins….. a very nice feature.
If you’re not familiar with how one of these works, it has full length brushes that flip the debris up and into the rear basket. Gears inside the wheels turn the brushes when the sweeper is pulled forward. When the collection basket is full, it is towed to wherever you want to dump the debris. The dump rope is pulled, tilting the basket forward to empty it.
It was used over the summer to pick up grass clippings left by our non-bagging lawn tractor. It did that job very, very well. I will say that it took several height adjustments to get it to work properly. I’ve read some reviews stating that the brushes wouldn’t pick anything up, I would have to say that the owner may not have assembled the brushes correctly or they may have adjusted the height improperly. It seems to work best when the brushes just skim the top of the grass or surface. Adjusted too low, it will vibrate when it’s pulled. Too high and it will leave debris behind. The adjustment arm is shown below.
We were anxious to give it a try after our trees dropped their leaves. Leaf raking our property is major undertaking and we usually have to rake several times during the autumn just so we aren’t overwhelmed by them all. If left unraked, the leaves could be several inches deep under some of our trees. We don’t mind the exercise but anything that would help speed the process would be welcomed.
We gave it a try under one of our maple trees and had mixed results. It did fill itself up with leaves but it did it very quickly! We had to empty it constantly. In fact, it made more sense just to hand rake the spots that were thickly covered with the larger maple and oak leaves.
This sweeper has almost eliminated our manual raking time in the lightly covered areas and the areas under the trees with small leaves like cherry and elm. Below is a photo taken under a cherry tree after making a pass through with the sweeper.
Overall, this is a well built piece of equipment. There’s only a one thing about it that I plan to change over the winter….. the hitch pin. They supply a pin, 2 spacers and a hairpin. This is an awkward arrangement. I will be fabricating a spring-loaded pin that should take care of the problem.
This sweeper doesn’t do anything that a bagging attachment wouldn’t do but it does cost less than adding a bagger to a yard tractor. These are available through Amazon although your local tractor supply or home improvement warehouse may have a better deal.