Paddock Cleaners - Advice please?

jobrew

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Hi - I'm looking into getting a Wessex paddock cleaner (the one with brushes and spring tines at the front). Has anyone had any experience of these types - or other makes? I've not found favourable reviews about the vacuum ones but can't find anything on the brush ones! Many thanks.
 

airedale

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had a friend who tried the brush/tines one - didn't work - spread more than it picked up and the drippings had to be fresh - not a week old

the hoover type again need fresher droppings.

Problem with these is that for the hoover type your right arm drops off after a while using the hose as you are never THAT accurate with the pick up suction

also the collection tank on them needs emptying - and as that is a reversing job with an awkward hose on one side and then tipping it - you end up putting teh piles of collected droppings side by side instead of on top of each other like a muck heap

so then you have the 2nd job of forking up the piles (or having an ever increasing area of land dotted with piles of output from the tippa tank)

then there is the noise - most of these are run from petrol engines mounted on the machine itself. these are noisy and drink petrol. - they mainly use petrol as it's a cheaper engine to build than a diesel.

anyway - the noise is horrid and you need to wear ear defenders

and you have the expense of the fuel for the vehicle/tractor towing the thing

Personally unless you have 30 or 40 horses out 24x7 I'd stick to the wheelbarrow and the opportunity to watch wildlife and bond with the horses in the field whilst you are working.

or use a chain harrow and rest the ground

pooh picking has no easy answer and there are enough of these machines on the market 2nd hand to indicate that people have tried and given up

nice idea but....
 

jamiegordonok

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I have a terra vac when I looked around it was a bit dearer but to save your arm has ground scoup for short grass and wander hose for big pilles, long grass and stables. sweepers are a wast of time if you have a stables to muckout a vacum is great. saves runing to the muckheep every 2mins with the wheelbarow. I would deffanatly recomend a terra-vac vaccum.
Its no harder to revers than a normal trailer and with practics you can do it with your eyes shut.

hope this helps
 

horsestristrum

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I have spent a great deal of time researching and testing various units in the marketplace for our own use and find the only really effective solution to be the Predator Lynx,its performance is unbelievable in all conditions and it has a useful no effort hydraulic tip the manufacturers are very helpfull and attentive,they generally advertise in the back of H&H or have an interesting website www.predatorpeople.co.uk
 

gbj

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Has anyone tried or bought a Danelander Combi machine that flail mows, sweeps manure and cuttings in one operation? They have a high tip facility and look good for a small acreage? They seem to be too recent for any used ones to be for sale. Thanks for any advice or opinions.
 

MDPC

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Hi....I have read the replies you have had and have to say that the Trafalgar Paddock Vacuum seems the best all rounder, it is light to handle and works effectively all year round without blocking, yet they are a fraction of the cost, they can also be used for acorns, cleaning out the water troughs, leaves and all sorts due to the vacuum system they use, my friend has one, try www.fresh-group.com they have video of it working
 

Wendyc

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Hi, I've had my trafalgar paddock cleaner for about year now. We decided on the swivel model and poo picked all through the winter months (apart from in the snow), even when it was really wet, which surprised me and my mother! We also use it regularly for cleaning out the bottom of the water troughs and picking up the leaves - this time of the year it's working flat out!! Would happily recommend it - here's a link to who we brought ours from http://www.fresh-group.com/paddock-cleaner-poo-vac-paddock-vacuums.php
 

frb

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My yard owner uses a preditor cub pro, a hoover one and it does a good job. You have to fork the poo out the back onto the muck heap but does not take too long. Is very loud though. Some horses get used to it, my odd boy licks it whilst it is running, but some horses always hate it, it used to terrify my last horse. So horses can go nuts if you are poo picking near them. I think they save a lot of graft, esp if you have a number of horses. My YO has a bad back so could not do manual poo picking.
 

irish_only

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I've had both. Sold the sweeper. It works VERY well but only on short grass, so unless your paddocks are immaculate then it won't work, as most horses poo in any long grass they can find.
We have a pto driven terra vac, which is absolutely brilliant (I joke it would suck up a jack russell), but it is time consuming. However far more efficient than wheelbarrow and fork.
 

Crazy Friesian

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I would personally go for a Predator. They mulch the poo into a find dust so it breaks down quicker and takes up less room in the hopper.

The mechanical sweepers have been warned against as a possible contributor to grass sickness due to the disturbance of the ground.

Poo pickers have GOT to be easier than a wheelbarrow and fork! Yep done that too!!! :D
 

eggs

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Have both a Logic sweeper poo collector which is brilliant on short grass but not good in long grass - just sweeps the grass over the top of the poo.

I also have a Predator Pro vacuum which works very well in the both the wet and long grass. It also has a larger hopper than the Logic so I can do all our fields before having to empty it. It is however heavier and noisier to run and uses more petrol. It does take longer to empty but that is mainly due to the fact that there is more muck to fork up than I get out of a load from the Logic. It also takes a little more effort to keep clean.

If you have moe than six horses out for most of the day I would be tempted to go for the Predator.
 

jacks

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I've got a horse and my 12 year old daughter has a pony. Like Wendyc we've got a trafalgar and find it works well for us. Ours is the 500 towable model and we find the machine and hose light and easy to handle. Even when I'm busy my daughter is able to hitch up and start it.
 

ashen

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We've just bought our second trafalgar paddock cleaner. We first got one about 7 years ago but now we've got 12 horses so went for the large 1000 swivel with the 4 stroke engine as it was much better value. We've noticed its quieter and uses a fraction of the petrol. Would never go back now to a wheelbarrow and fork!
 

Pippin79

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We have a Nicholson paddock sweeper which is brilliant, its the brush one and much quicker than the vacuum type. We have about 15-20 horses here usually and it saves days worth of time poo picking!

We can use ours in long grass but as it tends to pull up dead grass too it can fill very quickly if the grass is longer. Its very easy to empty, just drive up to the muck heap, press a button and it tips itself out.

Some research has shown they may be a contributing factor the grass sickness, due to the rakes disturbing the soil. If you harrow your paddocks, this would be a greater risk as the harrow probes deeper so I guess its personal choice really, I'd decide based on the type of land you're on and whether the area is prone to grass sickness.

It is also fine with all ages of poo and the rakes break up any of the older more solid ones so they go in fine too. The only problem is if you use it in the wind with the older droppings as the dust can blow up and if the winds blowing the wrong way you can get covered in a fine poop dust!
 

WandaMare

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Another vote for the Trafalgar, I bought one 2 years ago and have been very pleased with it. I haven't had to do any maintenance to it at all yet and it has started well all through the winters. My fields are on a slope and pushing a heavy wheelbarrow of wet poo up to the muck heap was plain painful, i won't be going back to doing that again. The best thing is that it sucks up all the poo and leaves the ground much cleaner than scraping up the muck with a fork or shovel.
 

RutlandH2O

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I agree with airedale. I have both the Terra Vac Colt and the Trafalgar 1000. The Colt
was towed by a compact tractor and operated by a handyman who is no longer with us.
It is just too large and heavy for me to operate and empty myself. One of the most
problematic aspects of the machine was the constant deterioration of the hoses. (As an
aside, I'd love to hear from anyone who had the same problem and how it was solved.)
Its use in tall grass (where the horses always tend to leave their droppings) was, at the
least, frustrating and, at the most, arm and shoulder destroying!

So, I purchased the Trafalgar. I would have gone with the smaller version, but, having 5
Shires, its capacity was questionable. I used the Trafalgar for one season. I towed it
with an Avant 220 (a most remarkable little machine: go to Avant Tecno website).
Again, the emptying process was too heavy for my back.

Now, I just drive my little Avant, which is fitted with a front loading bucket, manually poo pick and pop the poo into the bucket. When the bucket is full, I drive over to our
grain trailer, which is parked at a lower level than the ground on which I'm driving
(bed of trailer is level with walkway on which I access trailer), drive on, dump the
muck and then use that same bucket to push the muck tightly and neatly into a mound.
I can see and hear the horses, sheep, wildlife, birds (I always carry a small pair of
binoculars and camera). I poo pick daily and don't have to stop and wrestle with
tipping and emptying either muck sucker, or worry about the state of the hoses. I think
the muck suckers are terrific on flat, level ground with short grass. I'm on sloping land
which is ridged and furrowed. With the Avant, all the emptying work is done by the
machine: I just sit there and operate a little joy stick and, hey presto, job done! I
realise the Avant was pricier than the suckers, but not having a handyman to pay, it
has more than paid for itself. Hope this helps.
 

Threetrees

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Interesting discussion everyone. From looking at the replies and looking at the manufacturers I take it that the vacuum type is best. I see that most sell a 500 lt or 1000 lt variants which by my calculations equates to 3 barrows and 6 barrows of dung approx respectively. Has anyone experience of the smaller 500lt versions? Or is it better just to go big from the start. Also is there any secondhand market in these? Also ( sorry about this !) one guy has a Honda powered units and a Kawasaki units - the Honda one being more expensive, any ideas on which is the best one?
Thanks in advance.
 

FaldingwoodLivery

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I've got a Wessex dung beetle and I absolutely adore it. Have no problems with it picking up old or fresh poo. As long as you have the times down far enough it picks up anything, great for sweeping up autumn leaves too. As someone else said it's not great on long grass and I also dont use it when wet in winter purely cos I struggle to get it through our muddy gateways,
 

Threetrees

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Just for the record and to pass on our experiences. We finally went for a paddock "sweeper" specifically a logic sweeper. We've had it 3 weeks now and we're very happy with it. For example one small paddock ( with very short grass ) took one hour with a wheel barrow to shift 4 barrows, this paddock contained 4 cobs ( avg 15 h.h.); they generated this much dung in 36 hours. With the sweeper and under the exact same conditions ie same cobs, same paddock and same 36 hours, this job took 15 minutes. So our sweeper is four times faster than the wheel barrow. There are some disadvantages to the sweeper, yes it does streak the dung a bit and is not great ( but not useless) in long grass. We hope to use a mower to help solve this problem. I think the risk of grass sickness seems low and worth the potential time saving. Will keep you posted! I should also say that I saw the Wessex dung bettle in action and was impressed. its a bigger unit than the Logic but we were offered a better price for the logic, I can't by the way see these units being suitable for use by a jeep, I think the quad is the only way to go.
 
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Jesster

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I have to agree with Airedale. My boss recently purchased a Predator vacuum after skipping out the paddocks for one (yes, one!) day on one of my days off. I said before she bought it that I probably wouldn't use it as I find it quite relaxing when I stick my audiobook in my ears and trundle about with fork and barrow, chatting to my charges.

Yes, it may be a bit quicker but is actually no less effort and crikey, the thing is incredibly noisy and drinks fuel, as does the quadbike. It's cumbersome and frustrating to use as sometimes the blasted hose won't reach that extra foot and you have to drive forward and all the way back around for one measly poop. Gaaah! A little effort is saved I suppose by not having to pull a barrow around. But I have a beautiful barrow, a Haemmerlin-the biggest they do, and it's so well balanced that the muck never feels that heavy anyway!

I have fourteen horses here and in retrospect, a tipping trailer that goes on the quadbike would have been a much greener, much quieter option. Naturally, as I type this the fields have all been done this morning by barrow, and the Predator sits in the barn waiting to...well....predate!
 

misst

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:confused::confused: Is this an advertising post?
Lots and lots of new posters suddenly all posting with websites to visit?
Very strange.
Like BoF I understood the sweeping ones were connected to grass sickness.
 

packwood

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We have a Trafalgar which we have had for about three months. It was brilliant BUT the hose split after just three months and is not under guarantee. Considering they are very expensive - we are beginning to think we made a mistake!!
 

Threetrees

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:confused::confused: Is this an advertising post?
Lots and lots of new posters suddenly all posting with websites to visit?
Very strange.
Like BoF I understood the sweeping ones were connected to grass sickness.

I'm not an advertiser, I my case I did a search on "paddock cleaners" that took me to this post, I then joined the H&H forum and posted my experiences!
 

scimitargtc

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Just bought a preowned T paddock vac with the Kawasaki KRB400 engine - easy enough to figure out how to start and use (their web site has vids as well) BUT I just cannot see what 2 stroke fuel mix this motor takes (25:1? 40:1?) no stickers, have maxed out trying a search so anyone enlighten me? :confused:
 

kerilli

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don't bother with the sweeper type, utterly useless ime. i had one and eventually gave up and sold it, went back to wheelbarrow!
next time i went for a big ATV with room for muck-skips on the back and I drive it round and use a long-handled skip to pick up the muck and put it in the skips, then drive to muckheap. quick and easy. I can do 5 acres, 5-6 horses living out, in about 20 mins, a.m. and p.m. easy peasy. much less hassle than linking things up, dragging them round etc imho.
 
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