Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leaf Blower III....

I've been in my house almost 10 years and for the first year I used to rake and sweep tree debris almost daily for many months. The house is surrounded by large pecan and live oak trees. I will warn homeowners here; Don't ever buy a house with live oaks or pecans anywhere near driveways or patios. They have developed a delicate symphony of nature whereby one or the other of the species is dropping somes sort of crap on your property at carefully orchestrated and different times. Except for the 3 months in the dead of winter, there is always something falling.

But I digressed. Having raked and swept for a year, a good friend mentioned that in West Texas a leaf blower is not a luxury, but a necessity. I took this to heart and in the last 9 years rarely do several days go by that I'm not blowing something noxious off my property. I have been through two Toro Super Vac Electric Leaf Blowers in that time. Big brutes with about 500 h.p. creating winds in excess of 2,000 mph. But they were expensive, as they came with all that power and the leaf sucker upper vacuum attachment. I'll add that it looks like the life of a Toro Super Sucker is about 4.5 years.

Today I purchased leaf blower number three. Number two had been sounding "raspy" and losing power for a month or so but still working although sometimes I had to use a very sophisticated system to get it going after being turned on. I hit it really hard. It worked okay, until Tuesday evening when I was blowing debris after dark and noticed a glow coming from the air vent holes in the motor cover. I was rather surprised to find the glow coming from a lot of swirling flames. Not sparks, real genuine fire. But it was working so what the lit the way and the fire eventually stopped. The next day I took ol' number two over to the other family home to clean up 20 year old dust left by the roofers after they installed a new roof. Number two worked fine and I was just finishing up when the smell of burning electricity and plastic filled the garage and number two ground to a smokey end. I suppose it's gone for good. I don't think they were designed to have fire in them.

So today, to Ace Hardware I went and found the Number 3 blower of my dreams. A smaller compact Toro with no sucker apparatus that was twice as cheap as numbers 1 and 2. The downside is that it only puts out about 1,200 mph winds, but it sure is a lot easier to use, quieter and in 4.5 years the flames shouldn't be as large when it blows up.