Backpack Leaf Blowers

Great Grounds Management

By: - Gardening - August 11, 2011
backpack leaf blowers great grounds management

Many people will remember when they were younger and their fathers meted out the proverbial death sentence when autumn came and you had to rake up the thousands of fallen leaves.  Sure, they are pretty to look at as they hang on the branches but a literal pain in the back when it came to collecting them up for delivery to the curb for garbage collection.  There were all kinds of innovations to the rake, from longer teeth to a wider, more flexible span on the rake head and ergonometric handles to minimize the amount of bending each time you drew back on the handle or reached ahead for the next pull.  That was great, but you are still raking leaves, aren’t you?  A good axe settled the problem and that summer beauty of a tree was no longer an autumn pain.  Why waste a great tree?  Thank heavens that there is an innovation that eliminates raking all together and it is literally on your back with backpack leaf blowers.

The concept of backpack leaf blowers is not a new one, ironically enough and the technology has been around since they were first invented in the 1950’s by an innovative man named Dom Quinto.  The career of the backpack blowers was not intended for casual property maintenance though as their original use was as that of a chemical sprayer.  Some people who had the device actually began modifying their backpack blowers, taking off all components that had to do with spraying chemicals and instead using the powerful engine to push large volumes of air and rid their property of bothersome leaves in autumn.

The way these useful and effective backpack blowers works is that they push large volumes of air through a hose held by the user. The user can simply point the extended air hose with a fairly large opening toward the problematic leaves and they are quickly swept away by highly pressurized air into a managed pile for collection or just off of the property all together.  Standard backpack leaf blowers derive their power from either an electric powered motor or a kind of engine known as a two stroke engine.  Because some backpack blowers emanate a fair amount of fumes from the exhaust port, enviormental concerns were raised and innovations to the backpack blowers have resulted in the more recent variety of backpack leaf blowers containing four stroke motors as a means of pollution reduction.

Although there is a continued need toward innovation as regards the gas fumes emitted from these machines, there is an ongoing problem with environmental impacts in addition.  The backpack leaf blowers are not quiet machines as they emit a tremendous amount of noise, necessitating the ear defenders that one can typically see the average user with.  As well, there has been an ongoing debate as to the efficiency of the backpack blower with regards to the general health and safety of people in the areas surrounding the backpack leaf blowers.  Not only are leaves dispersed to other areas as a means of grounds management, but so too are other items such as smaller leaf particles, dust particles, dirt, small stones and allergens.  These irritants which are contained within the large clouds of dust have caused some concern and adverse physiological reaction in relation to respiratory problems and allergy reactions owing to the dust, dirt, allergens, pesticides and even animal droppings which could produce some dangerous health risks.

Backpack leaf blowers are a primary implement in grounds management, however the debate as to the merits of the backpack blower in relation to aesthetics and labour reduction compared to established health risks by the population in close proximity to the areas in which this device is utilized is an ongoing debate across the country and under the scrutinizing eye of the federal regulatory authorities.

Photo: leaf blower – copyright 2007, Chris – reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0 Unported, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LeafBlowerVac.jpg


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