Saturday, March 31, 2018

Product Review - Pasture Vac

I’ve maybe written here about my right shoulder, which has been sore since the late fall after I (as usual) did too much raking. Once I overused it I’ve had a hard time getting it back to normal. A month or so ago I met with a physical therapist who checked range of motion and strength and gave me strengthening exercises to do as well as general guidelines about how to work on my technique when using my shoulder. I tend to use the right (my dominant) shoulder to do things I’m not quite strong enough to do without that extra shoulder shove.

It’s better but still not normal. The PT said he felt it would heal completely but would take time.

With all this in mind, my birthday gift this year was the Pasture Vac in hopes that I could get the mucking done using different movements and hopefully a bit more quickly. We’ve had it for a month but just got around to trying it out today.

The pros: IT WORKS. EXTREMELY WELL. I can’t believe how perfectly it sucks up manure, sweet gum balls, leaves, etc. It’s a quality piece of equipment and aesthetically very nice. We did nearly the entire back field before having to dump the canister - which has a mechanism that allows you to tip without unhitching it. Very handy. The vacuuming action also breaks the manure down quite a bit so when you dump and spread there are very few actual balls of manure left - great for composting. The motor is externally attached and is a Honda motor which can be easily removed for repair. It is quieter than the mower! (Note on capacity - we got the large size)

The cons: It had to be drop-shipped by a huge 18-wheeler that couldn’t get down our private gravel lane, much less into our driveway. They met husband up the road and put the pallet into the back of our truck. Husband got it out but I was afraid to watch - he didn’t complain so I guess it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it was going to be! While it works like a dream, the hose is heavier than I expected and between trying to steer the mower and hold the handle and maneuver it with my shortish arms, I’m not sure I will be cruising the pastures vacuuming manure any time soon. However, since most manure tends to be in clusters where the horses graze together, it’s not a big deal to drive the mower, hop off, vacuum the general vicinity, then move to the next cluster. If one person drives the mower and another mans the hose, it is very fast and I can see it being a time-saver using it that way.

Overall: We bought it during a sale and so got a good deal on it. It was still pricy but in the long run if it saves my shoulder from wear and tear, a bargain. There was a small cosmetic piece that was damaged in shipment. The company sent a replacement very quickly with no fuss. I think when my shoulder is stronger and if we had a larger mower it would work more easily as shown in the photo above. Husband can maneuver the hose from the mower much better than I was able to do. However, it uses different movement than mucking/raking so at the very least it will give my shoulder a break that way.

I suspect as we use it more it will get easier to handle. We still need to try using it in the stalls tomorrow to see how that goes. I read that it sucks up a pee spot instantly! And now that we used it in the field I believe it will do just that.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I like it! Looks like a time saver and easy to use. I will have to look into it. Let us know how the stall cleaning goes. Hope your shoulder heals quickly.

billie said...

It really is nice - and works as billed too. I think if I had something to rest the hose on so it is already close to the ground and I could use my arm to steer it near the manure it would be easier for me to manage. We might try to rig up a holder.

Matthew said...

I definitely had some fun with it. Not sure we've ever gotten all the poop up in all the fields over the weekend until this past one, so this will be a good help in maintaining the property.

billie said...

Will be interesting to see if the novelty of the vac persists... :)