For the first year ever I’ve been persuading the leaves to fall from the trees. Come on, thick blanket of ground cover, heavy, wet piles of leaves. Gimme all of the leaves… please!
There’s really only one reason for this absurd request… we have a Cyclone Rake!
With no obligation to review, the company drop shipped its XL product right to us, a tool with serious oomph that claims to stand up to the size of our yard and the leaf density produced. We’re not commercial users or clearing a rolling estate, but we do have lots of trees, and heavy down cover. Three of our neighbors have Cyclone Rakes, and we’ve been hearing good things about them for years (I couldn’t even tell you any of their competitors, this is the only brand name to which I’ve been heavily exposed).
The thing is, we’ve been using it so regularly now (4 times total, every week or two) that we haven’t even yet had to clear fallen leaves in their typical, obnoxiously heavy form. That’s because unlike every year in the history of me doing chores, I haven’t been putting this one off. I really like the product so far, and if you have a riding lawnmower and you have a lot of land and more trees with falling leaves than you can keep up with, I think you’ll really appreciate it too.
As I’ve described it to other friends and family, the Cyclone Rake is most simply a vacuum attachment for your riding mower. As you drive the mower, you’re running over leaves and chopping them up a bit. The Cyclone Rake has it’s own impeller which sucks up everything that cycles beneath the mower. Leaves, small sticks, acorns, everything is pulled into the Jet Path Vacuum System, chopped further, and deposited into the tow-behind high-capacity bag.
We have plenty of obstacles in our yard besides trees – I’m talking, long downspouts, fences, fire pits, and this time of year, miscellaneous Halloween decorations. To simplify leaf collection, I’ve been using a secondary leaf blower to push the leaves away from the edges of the house and the other obstacles, into spaces where I could navigate easily with the mower.
Leaf pickup is pretty easy after that, quite literally as simple as mowing the lawn until every last leaf is collected. It takes about an hour and a half, all in.
I have noticed that on hauls when I collect as much as obsessively possible between dumpings, the weight of the Cyclone Rake becomes such that I start to wheelie. All that really means is that turning the mower becomes a little more unpredictable, so you have to slow down and make wider turns… this effect also might be due to our specific mower make/model (it’s a Husqvarna YTH22V46).
Speaking of totally overloading the capacity of your Cyclone Rake bag, you’ll be thrilled to know that it’s still super easy to unload, even when at max. We have plenty of vacant property on which to dump chopped leaves, but I know other people use them as perennial ground cover and still others would deposit the collected leaves into a pile and bag them for trash collection. Any way you spill them, it’s a simple process of disconnecting the clips and velcro from the back of the bag (all of the overlapping panels pull out of the way and connect to the sides of the bag). You then unhook the chute from the top, and raise the bag up to dump out the debris. You celebrate a little, because you collected all of those leaves in like, 20 minutes! Do you know how much I can rake in 20 minutes?
From there, you can leave the bag tipped upright, pull forward a bit to make sure the bag has cleared completely, and then close it right back up and continue collecting leaves.
If anyone’s in the market and has any questions, feel free to ask more about our experience with the product. The product has great warranties, and there seem to always be good discounts available for purchase (and no, it’s not too late in the season because Cyclone Rake can ship it to you in just a few days too). Happy Fall!