Autumn is a time of changes; the days start to get shorter, the weather gets colder and the country’s trees get naked (despite the reduced temperatures). There is undoubtedly great beauty to be found in the latter of these processes: in northern America, for example, tourists known as “leaf peepers” travel great distances to see the local foliage undergo its spectacular colour changes. The warm reds and yellows that pepper autumnal forests have also inspired artists, poets and songwriters for generations. But for horticulturalists, once the novelty of the changing seasons has passed, fallen leaves are just another garden-based chore.
It is important to tidy fallen leaves for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is to ensure a healthy lawn. This is because a covering of leaves will prevent light, oxygen and water from penetrating the surface of your turf, so prompt clearance helps to make sure that grass doesn’t suffocate. Fallen leaves left unattended can also clog up drains and gutters, while wet leaves on the ground are incredibly slippery and pose a significant health hazard. So to keep your garden safe and tidy when the autumn rolls around you need a tool which will clear leaves quickly, efficiently and effectively.
Homeowners with smaller gardens will typically resort to one of the many handheld leaf blower/vacuums currently available on the market. Leaf blowers are probably the most well known clearance tool around, using a powerful fan to gather fallen leaves so that they can be collected later on. Handheld leaf vacuums, meanwhile, use an impeller to create a suction effect for leaf collection, with many models combining both blower and vacuum functionalities. These machines, however, will struggle to perform over larger areas; corded models in particular are limited by requiring access to a power source at all times, but even the newer battery powered blower/vacs are limited by run time and overall collection capacity.
This is why landscaping professionals across the country use larger wheeled vacuums for clearance work come the autumn, trundling across the parks and playing fields of Britain collecting leaves as they go. Fitted with powerful petrol engines for a little (or sometimes a lot of) extra oomph, these four-wheeled leaf vacuums save significant time and effort when clearing extensive areas of loose leaves, dirt and other debris. These machines are also far more convenient than your average backpack blower (which is the main alternative for those seeking powerful leaf-clearing performance), because wheeled leaf vacuums feature high capacity collectors to aid disposal and smooth-running wheels to prevent strain during prolonged periods of use.
The undisputed champion of the wheeled leaf vacuum market is currently Billy Goat. Having garnered a brilliant reputation for quality and long lasting performance over the years, Billy Goat now offers the most complete line-up of leaf and litter vacuums in the industry. This includes a variety of outstanding commercial grade machines such as the MV Multi-Surface Commercial Duty range and the QV Quietvac Contractor and Industrial Duty Vacuum series, all of which guarantee professional quality results in even the largest outdoor spaces. But the Billy Goat Leaf Vacuum collection also includes a little something for private users seeking outstandingly convenient leaf clearance performance.
For those with smaller gardens, the adorably compact “Little Billy” stands out. A smaller sibling to Billy Goat’s superb commercial vacuums, the LB352 “Little Billy” walk-behind leaf vacuum is powered by a compact 158cc Briggs & Stratton 500 series four-stroke petrol engine and features a working width of 58cm to enable effortless clearance of leaves and loose debris from small lawns, patios and pool areas. The Little Billy is also reassuringly user-friendly and manoeuvrable thanks to its low weight (only 25.85kg) and four large wheels, which will definitely prove a boon for anyone trying to tidy up in a garden full of trees and other obstacles! And thanks to a range of optional accessories the Little Billy can be customised for optimal performance in different settings; this includes a felt collection bag for use in dusty conditions and a turf bag for clog-free collection of leaves and grass, as well as a handy hose kit to enable precision vacuuming in tight corners.
Perhaps your garden is a little larger than most people’s though (you lucky thing). How will Little Billy cope? Well he can always call on his bigger brothers and sisters if things get too much, because Billy Goat’s KV600 and KV650H leaf vacuums are perfect for tackling even the largest residential lawns or extensive private grounds. Like the Little Billy, these machines feature hardworking petrol engines for dependably powerful suction. But in addition to this the KV600 and KV650H feature bladed impellers to shred leaves as they are collected, thereby boosting the capacity of their (already impressive) 151 litre collection bags. Along with their increased 68cm working width and optional self-propulsion systems, this means that the KV600 and KV650H are perfect for tidying larger gardens. None of this comes at the price of convenience, however, with both machines pleasingly easy to handle and operate even for inexperienced users.
The machines in Billy Goat’s KV series can also be customised to suit the setting in which you are working. This includes a selection of turf bags, dust bags and on-board hose kits similar to those available for the Little Billy (albeit scaled up slightly) but the KV series also features a variety of accessories designed to boost the long-term reliability of your Billy Goat Leaf Vacuum (such as nozzle wear plates and weatherproof covers). Needless to say, this superb toughness helps to guarantee many years of dependable performance.
All of the above certainly belies the notion that wheeled vacuums are only good for commercial applications. Billy Goat’s KV600 and KV650H are wheeled leaf vacuums ideal for anyone responsible for maintaining a large property, whether garden or smallholding, with their superb power and manoeuvrability saving significant time and effort compared to manual clearance. And for those with a more modest lawn to tidy the “Little Billy” walk-behind leaf vacuum offers an exceptional alternative to conventional handheld leaf blowers. So whatever the size of your garden, everyone can benefit from the exceptional performance of a wheeled Billy Goat Leaf Vacuum.