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Thanks to reader Fred who pointed out the Billy Goat outdoor vacuum. If you want to go one step further — clean up the yard and mulch the big pieces as well — then check out this offering from Troy-Bilt. This multi-function chipper/shredder/vacuum can’t match the Billy Goat’s impressive vacuum statistics, but it’ll convert your lawn trash to a useful lawnscaping substance, which could be a good reason to stop and consider.

Street pricing for the CSV060 chipper/shredder/vacuum is as low as $540.

Chipper/Shredder/Vac [Troy-Bilt]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


While it’s still cold out and the grass is still brown, now’s a great time to start drooling over a new mower for next season.  And if you’ve got more than a postage-stamp’s worth of land — like I wish I did — you’ll need a rider, and the ultimate riders are hydrostatic “zero turn radius” mowers like this one from Troy-Bilt.

I’m sure you’ve seen these used by pros, but for just $2,400 you can have your own.  Before you start laughing, take a quick spin down to the local big-box and check out what you’ll pay for a crappy standard mower with an engine that’ll only last a season or two.

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My Dad made extra money for the family when I was a kid by doing small engine repair out of the garage, the upshot of which was that we almost always had whatever motorized lawn implements we needed/wanted.  They might not have been new-looking, but we had ’em, and they worked.  But there were two lawn/garden machines that we didn’t have, and he always talked about them as if they we magic: the Troy-Bilt roto-tiller and the Ditch Witch.

The Ditch Witch wasn’t part of our fleet mainly because it was tremendously expensive — and we didn’t really have any good reason to dig that many ditches anyway.  The roto-tiller, on the other hand, would’ve been extremely handy.  Instead of Troy-Bilt’s smooth-running, easy-to-use Horse, we had a crappy open-front-tine type which tore the living mess out of whatever got near it (including me) and was prone to climbing chainlink fences.  (Don’t ask.)

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