Regardless of how thorough a job a lawn mower does in taking up leaves and clippings into its inflating bag, invariably there will be clippings and other debris scattered around the freshly-mown lawn. Unless a homeowner or gardener has no objection to arduous raking or sweeping up with an old-fashioned rake—or even a carpet sweeper, which is actually effective on very small lawns—a gas powered sweeper may be an attractive solution.
Let’s Look at a few types of Gas Powered Sweepers
If you’re looking for “gas powered sweeper,” you probably want something to sweep a parking lot, garage, or street area and possibly not a lawn; although you can use them for some lawns if the grass is plush and cut nice and even. We’ll cover both types here and if you’re talking about gas powered lawn sweepers, you’re probably thinking about leaf blowers possibly or even a lawn or yard vacuum.
A gas powered lawn sweeper is also an expensive option for your lawn maintenance. The average price range for gas sweepers is between $350-$500, and they are also heavier than the more compact and less expensive electric sweepers. That said a gas powered sweeper might also be safer to use. If your lawn is very large, and you will work far enough from any power source, you have no worry about long electric leads that can still cause dangerous problems when operating power lawn equipment.
However, you may consider the investment worth it. When you consider that these sweepers not only blow the debris and clippings from your lawn, but many of them have air reversibility that converts them to a kind of lawn vacuum enabling you to suction the debris into a good-sized collection bag, much the way household dirt is swept into the bags of hand-held or upright vacuum cleaners. Gas powered lawn sweepers range from handheld models similar to standard leaf blowers to full-size apparatus pushed from behind or towed by a small utility vehicle or tractor mower.Cyclone Rake
If you do not mind spending twice the average, though, you can buy the Cyclone Rake, an apparatus designed to fit a tractor mower and powered by its own gas engine, the 9hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard. The Cyclone Rake uses the company’s Jet Path vacuum system and has a collection receptacle capable of holding up to 415 gallons worth of clippings and debris and easily unloaded into a compost heap. This apparatus includes foldaway storage for receptacle and platform, and the engine and hose apparatus can be stored compactly on its own casters.Jet Sweep
Lacking a tractor mower, however, there are gas sweepers such as the Troy Built Jet Sweep. This sweeper is pushed on two large and one smaller semi-pneumatic wheels and features a large circular sweeping system that blows debris to your left—though you will have to sweep up once it is cleared from your lawn, much like a shoulder- or back-harnessed leaf blower. The Jet Sweep runs on a Briggs & Stratton 850 engine and yields blowing speeds rated up to 150 mph. It lists normally for $449, but it has been sold as low as $419.Power Vac
Some multi-purpose outdoor vacuum sweepers may do the lawn sweeping job as well as sweepers designed explicitly for lawn sweeping, especially for very large lawns. Industrial Air Solutions Power Vac, which you might think a little excessive for the job, may actually do well for large lawns, and many apartment complexes use it. Powered by either Honda or Briggs & Stratton gas engines, the Power Vac can cover 40,000 square feet per gasoline hour and features an 11 cubic foot, rear mounted receptacle bag that includes a zippered screen vent for dust control, and the 30- or 40-inch nozzle is height adjustable. In addition, much like a household upright vacuum, it features a hose attachment that can be unfastened from its mount atop the receptacle bag to pick up leaves, clippings, or lawn debris that the nozzle cannot quite reach.
Whichever option you choose for your home or complex lawn maintenance, there are certain basic practices to use when using your sweeper. Be sure you have the proper gardening gear, including filter masks if you find the gas fumes or flying debris—no sweeper, regardless of nozzle or brush length and strength, will fail to miss a little, though debris can escape if your receptacle or transit hose becomes dislodged—impede your breathing to any extent. Be sure the nozzle or brush height is well matched to the height of your lawn.
If your sweeper is not towed by your lawn tractor or tractor mower, do not walk too fast while pushing it—even the strongest sweeping action or suction will miss debris if you push it too fast. In addition, be very certain that your sweeper’s gas tank is closed tight and has no leaks before you begin your work.