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FAQ: DR Walk-Behind Leaf & Lawn Vacs

How much time and effort will I save by using a DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuum?

DR Walk-Behind Leaf Vacuums combine several steps by vacuuming, mulching, and storing lawn debris at the same time. This eliminates the labor of raking everything into a pile, mulching it with your mower, then wrestling it into bags.

How do the traditional models compare with the direct bagging models?

"Traditional" models (the PREMIER and PRO SP) use a permanent, reusable collector: These machines use heavy-duty canvas bags that can be filled and emptied multiple times. The collector bag detaches easily from its frame for unloading. When the bag is filled you will either need to carry it to the spot where you are dumping leaves or drive the machine to that spot. These traditional models entail more unloading labor than the Direct Bagging models, but they also have higher capacity (up to 2.5 times higher) so you can work longer between unloading stops.

"Direct Bagging" models (the PILOT XT and PILOT XTSP) are designed for use with disposable leaf bags: These machines are the newest innovation in leaf collection. They fill standard disposable leaf bags so they are ready for curbside pickup. They come with a leaf caddy for carrying extra bags so that, when one bag is filled, you can remove it and replace it with an empty bag. The filled bags can be moved to the curb for pickup, or—since leaf bags are biodegradable—they can simply be added to a compost pile. With the PILOT XT models you can simply leave the filled bags at various locations in your yard and collect them later.

What materials will these machines vacuum up?

The DR Walk-Behind Vacuums perform best on leaves, twigs, and dead grass. Any vacuum will struggle with materials that are embedded in the turf or extremely wet, matted leaves. For best results, vacuum when your lawn is dry.

Does it mulch the debris or is it just a vacuum?

As debris is vacuumed up, it’s chopped and shredded into a fine mulch by the DR’s Shark Teeth™ steel impeller. It has a 10:1 reduction ratio, which means 10 times the room for more leaves!

... The impeller creates immense suction as it shreds collected material to a fraction of its size.

Is there an electric-start option?

DR offers both manual- and electric-start options for the PRO SP model. The PILOT XTSP (self-propelled) is also electric-start. The PILOT XT (push model) if available with manual-starting only. The 9-amp battery recharges during use for instant turn-key starts.

What’s the best way to empty the bag?

The DR "traditional" walk-behinds (PREMIER and PRO SP) are designed with zippers on both sides of the bag, so you only need to unzip one side and let the power-assisted discharge do the rest. Simply turn on the engine and the impeller will blow contents out of the bag.

... Save your back some stress by emptying right from the machine.

Alternatively, the bag can be detached from the vacuum without any tools for remote dumping. Just lift the entire frame off its hooks, carry it to your dump spot, and unzip one of the sides to shake it out.

... Empty from the side instead of flipping over a heavy bag!

Will leaves stick to the inside of the bag?

DR designed the collector bag with heavy-duty canvas, allowing the leaves and other debris to slide right off. Many competitors use a felt-lined bag, which leaves are attracted to and will usually require a rake to empty.

... No tools are needed to empty the collector.

How much of a difference does self-propelled make?

If you’re planning on taking this up any inclines, we recommend a self-propelled model. With 3 forward speeds and 1 reverse – all accessible from the operating position – the PRO SP is designed for any terrain. The PILOT XTSP has a variable speed drive (rather than fixed gears) and speed is controlled by a hand lever.

The PRO SP features EZ-Turn™ steering technology, which makes for effortless cornering and 180º turns. When you turn, the 2 axle shafts are free to drive independently and go wherever you guide the machine.

... Navigate in tight corners or circles without wrestling the machine.

Are there accessories to use with these machines?

When the vacuum can’t fit everywhere you need to clean, add a DR Leaf Vac Extension Hose to help clean tight corners, flowerbeds, under fences, and any other hard-to-reach spot right from your Leaf and Lawn Vacuum.

... The extension hose gives you an extra 7 feet of reach.

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Last updated: 8/29/2022

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