Using a Hurricane Stand-On Blower

The Hurricane X3000 and Z3000 are some of the most powerful debris blowers on the market. They’re also able to cover large areas quickly, thanks to a stand-on ZTR setup that emulates stander mowers. However, all that capability comes with a learning curve. Here’s what you need to know to get the most from these machines.
Taking Power into Consideration
The most powerful backpack blower available today moves about 1,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The Hurricane Z3000 moves 8,500 CFM. This doesn’t just mean it works faster, it requires an entirely different approach. For example, while a backpack blower may move leaves a few feet, a Hurricane can move them 20 feet or more with each pass. That means fewer passes to clear out a yard or parking lot It’s also far more effective at lifting matted debris, taking minutes to complete jobs that would normally take hours.
While small blowers are always used at top speed, you may want to have less power when using a Hurricane in tight quarters. Air speed can be controlled by changing engine speed. Since the Hurricane series uses a hydrostatic drive system, engine speed does not affect movement speed.
Motion Controls
The controls on this blower work just like those on a stand-on or ZTR mower. Pushing a lever forward makes the Hurricane move forward, and pulling back moves it backward. Changing speeds left-to-right turns the blower. The parking brake engages automatically when both levers are in the neutral position.
Nozzle Control
The Hurricane’s three vent doors are operated by a stick on the control panel. Pushing the stick forward, left or right opens the corresponding door. Pulling the stick back closes all of the doors. This setup lets you use a combination of doors for different tasks:
– Use the left or right doors to move leaves and debris in open spaces.
– Use the front door to clear leaves next to buildings.
– Use the front door and one side door to push leaves farther away from buildings and curbs
– Use all three doors to clear sidewalks
The left door has two flaps. By setting the pin on the side of the nozzle, you can open one or both doors at a time. This lets you use the full length of the vent, or use half the width for concentrated, high power air flow. Unlike the other vents, this door is motor controlled. Opening up the door a small amount directs air downward, pushing debris off of ground surfaces. Opening the door fully pushes air straight across, which helps shape leaf piles. You can tell the position of the door by looking at the gear train above the nozzle.
The front vent is on the left side of the blower. If you want to blow leaves away from buildings, the left side of the blower should face the wall to get the air as close to the building as possible.
Closing all three doors minimizes the amount of air exiting the machine. This is ideal for transport.
We Have Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat
Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, Hydro-Gear and Vanguard, making us your one stop shop for everything on your Hurricane blower. Our site makes finding parts easy. Just tell our search engine your model and serial number, and it can find parts that fit your machine. These listings include factory descriptions and exploded parts diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. We can ship your order to any address in the USA or Canada. Visit us at

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Billy Goat’s New F14 Contractor/Municipal Wheeled Blower

Do you need a blower that works faster than a backpack? Do you wish you could get something with more power than the F13 contractor blower, but don’t need a giant machine like the F18? The new F14 walk behind blower bridges that gap, making it a great choice for landscapers, seal coaters and property services for schools, estates and golf courses.
Better Construction for Better Performance
The F14 uses a composite housing paired with a composite 17 inch impeller with 16 blades and closed faces.  By using plastics, the clearances can be much tighter than those on a metal fan. The result is more power, less fuel consumption, less wear and tear, and less noise. Durability is better, too. While metal fan blades can loosen during use, the F14’s fan is cast in a single shot that won’t come apart. Composite construction also saves weight, making the blower easier to move, so you can finish jobs faster.
Like other Billy Goat walk-behind blowers, this model lets you adjust the angle of the nozzle from the controls. By moving a single lever, you can skim the surface of the ground to roll debris into a pile, then aim upward to shape the pile without blowing it around. Billy Goat includes a forward discharge elbow that snaps into the air outlet. This makes it easy to push leaves and debris away from buildings.
The F14 is powered by Vanguard’s new 408cc single cylinder engine. While its 14 HP output is impressive, where it really shines is its focus on maintenance. The air box has a cyclonic air filtration system, something rarely seen outside of the largest commercial V-Twin engines. This keeps large debris away from the air filter, giving it a 600 hour service life. That’s twice as long as any other engine in this class.
Billy Goat makes two versions of the F14. The F1402V only uses the engine to spin the impeller. The F1402SPV adds hydrostatic drive, decreasing operator fatigue and increasing speed. On average, an operator will be able to push the F1402V at a speed of 1-2 MPH, while having the help of the F1402SPV’s drive system increases speed to 2-3 MPH. Both models weigh about the same.
The F14 can be outfitted to best fit the terrain you deal with day to day.
A caster wheel kit makes it easier to turn the machine, which is helpful when working around landscaping features.
If you regularly work on hills, the parking brake kit can keep the blower from rolling away when you leave the controls.
Do you have trouble with flat tires? You can swap out the pneumatic front wheel and tire with one fitted with a foam-filled tire.
Want to make transporting your blower easier? The quick hold down kit includes a bracket that you can bolt to your trailer, creating a place to lock down your blower.
Briggs & Stratton Vanguard guarantees the engine for three years of use. Billy Goat guarantees the housing for 5 years, and the rest of the machine for two years of use. These warranties cover both commercial and residential users.
Get the Parts and Accessories You Need for Your Billy Goat
You can get everything you need to upgrade or repair your wheeled blower from Billy Goat Parts. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat, Tuff Torq and Vanguard, which means we offer replacements for everything on your machine. Want to add a parking brake, or switch to a foam front tire? We also sell accessories. Our site can show you parts listings and factory parts diagrams specific to your model. To order, visit us at We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Using and Caring for Billy Goat Vacuum Bags

The bag is the most important part of your Billy Goat vacuum, and also the source of the most problems. Knowing how to properly maintain the bag can help you avoid clogs and get maximum performance. Here’s everything you need to know about these bags, from break-in to cleaning.
Attaching and Removing Bags
To attach a bag to your vacuum, lift the vacuum door and slide the bag into the slot. Once the bag opening seats, lock the four straps to the handle, starting with the straps closest to the door.
To empty the bag, move your vacuum to the area where you want to unload the debris and shut off the engine. Wait until the motor and impeller come to a complete stop. Unlatch the clips on the bottom of the bag. Lift the top center of the bag to take the tension off of the straps. Remove the back straps, followed by the front straps. Pull the bag opening away from the vacuum and tilt the bag back to empty it.
Cleaning Vacuum Bags
After using the vacuum, remove the bag from the machine. Turn the bag inside out to remove any debris clinging to the fabric. Rinse the inner bag surface with a garden hose, and let the bag dry before putting it back on the vacuum. If you’re using your vacuum multiple times per week, you may want to pick up a spare bag, so you always have one ready to use while the other is drying.
Over time, the bag fabric will become saturated with dust. Wash the bag in water and a mild detergent, then rinse and wipe down the inner and outer surfaces. Never use a pressure washer or compressed air to clean your bag. Doing so will damage the fabric.
Breaking In New Bags
While you can use a new vacuum bag straight out of the box, breaking it in will improve performance. This process helps open up the pores in the fabric and gives the bag some shape. The result is a bag that holds more debris and is less likely to clog. This process also improves the performance of bags that are freshly washed.
To break in a new bag, attach it to your vacuum. Set the vacuum on a flat, dirt-free surface, like a parking space or driveway. Start the engine, and set the throttle to 50%. Let the vacuum run for 30 minutes.
Do I Need a Felt or Standard Bag?
Felt bags have finer pores. This helps trap more dirt inside the bag, but it also means the bag will clog up faster than a regular vacuum bag. You should switch to a felt bag if fine dust pours out of your current bag while in use.
Keep in mind that a felt bag is not effective at filtering silica. If you need to clean up cement dust, use a QV Quietvac with a dust sock installed. The sock has a superfine surface that traps silica before it becomes airborne.
Need Something for Your Billy Goat Equipment?
Billy Goat Parts is your one stop shop for everything Billy Goat. We’re a certified dealer for the brand, as well as their manufacturing partners. That means we carry everything from vacuum bags to spark plugs. Our website has a section dedicated to vacuum bags, making it easy to find a replacement. We also have a search engine that can show you factory parts diagrams for your model, so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. Visit us online at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Protecting Yourself from Noise and Vibration

You probably glossed over the sound and vibration section of your Billy Goat equipment manual, but these two factors can have a big impact on the health of you and your employees. Here’s what these numbers mean, and what you can do to protect everyone using your equipment.
Billy Goat measures their equipment using ISO 11094 and ISO 5395, which are standard tests for measuring noise from outdoor equipment. That means you can do an apples-to-apples sound comparison between a Billy Goat product and equipment from other manufacturers. Measurements are taken at the operator’s position, so they accurately predict real world noise exposure.
Extended exposure to sounds over 70 dB can cause hearing damage. Virtually any machine powered by a small engine will produce at least 85 dB of noise. At that level, hearing damage can occur after one or two hours. The moving parts of the machine also add to the noise. Billy Goat’s walk-behind blowers are the loudest type of equipment they make, with models making around 95 dB of noise.
Ear plugs and muffs decrease the sound reaching your ear by their dB rating. For example, if you’re wearing 22 dB ear muffs while using equipment that makes 90 dB of noise, your ears are exposed to 68 dB of noise. When you’re choosing hearing protection, be sure there’s enough noise being blocked to bring the level below 70 dB.
Over time, extended exposure can lead to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS.) This can cause numbness in the fingers and muscle weakness. Up to 1 in 10 people who work with vibration tools regularly may develop HAVS. This typically progresses from numbness after using tools to occasional numbness and finally permanent loss of feeling. Likewise, blood vessel damage can lead to Raynaud’s syndrome (white finger) in cold weather, and eventually permanent damage. Vibration exposure can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Research into vibration damage is relatively new. While the European Union warns against prolonged exposure over 0.5 m/s2, there aren’t any concrete regulations in the U.S. OSHA recommends frequent monitoring of employees, so that risk factors are identified early. When it comes to lawn care equipment, it may be best to take a proactive approach with maintenance and personal protective equipment.
Vibration gloves should be EN ISO 10819:2013 and/or ANSI 105-2016 certified. Unlike hearing protection, this is a pass/fail standard. Gloves that meet these standards reduce vibration transfer by 40% in frequency ranges strongly associated with nerve damage.
Vibration dampening materials are bulky, which can limit dexterity. Before you buy a set of gloves, try a few pairs on. Some designs allow for more finger movement than others. This is important for safety as well as comfort. Gloves that force you to grip handles tightly increase vibration transfer. Likewise, the gloves should have good insulation or good breathability, depending on whether you’re working in hot or cold weather. This helps your hands maintain circulation, reducing blood vessel damage.
It’s also important to maintain your equipment. Imbalanced blades, loose bolts and poorly-tuned engines don’t just increase wear and tear on your equipment, they also increase the vibrations experienced by the operator. Keeping up on repairs can greatly reduce exposure.
Keep Your Equipment at Peak Performance
If you need something for your Billy Goat equipment, you can get it at Billy Goat Parts. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, which means we’re able to ship OEM parts and accessories for your aerator, blower, debris load, or anything else from the company to any address in the U.S. and Canada. Visit us at

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Which Debris Loader is Right for You?

Billy Goat debris loaders vacuum up lawn debris, chop them up, and drop them into your truck bed or trailer. This saves time on cleanup jobs, and the compacted debris cost less to dispose of. Which debris loader model will deliver the best return on your investment?
How Much Power do These Loaders Have?
The DL13 is powered by a single cylinder Honda GX-Series engine, while the DL14 and DL29 use Vanguard V-Twins. Glancing at the horsepower ratings, you would think that the DL13 and DL14 are evenly matched, while the DL29 should have twice the performance. However, the vacuum ratings tells a different story.
DL1302H: 2,100 CFM
DL1402VE: 3,700 CFM
DL2901VE: 4,400 CFM
Why is the DL14 so much closer to the DL29 than the DL13? The DL13 uses a smaller impeller that can pump loads of air, but doesn’t chop heavy debris as well as the other models. The DL29 has a massive impeller with 12 blades, four more than the DL14. This reduces air flow, but it helps the loader chew through large quantities of debris. All three models have Piranha blades, which have edges that slice through grass and leaves, compacting them up to 12:1.
Which model has enough power for your needs? The DL13 is great for small crews, while the DL14 is aimed at contractors and regular municipal use. The DL29 is targeted at municipalities that need to clean massive areas, like parks and campuses.
What are My Options for Mounting?
While most debris loaders on the market require some custom fabrication for mounting, Billy Goat’s CustomFit system gives you some options:
– Use the holes in the skid to bolt the loader to a trailer
– Bolt the loader to a CustomFit trailer
– Hang the loader on a truck or trailer tailgate using a CustomFit hanger kit,
– Attach a CustomFit Swing Away hitch and slide the loader into your truck or trailer’s hitch receiver.
– Attach a CustomFit Stake Body Swing Away hitch and slide it into one of the stake supports on your flatbed truck or trailer.
Every debris loader is mounted to a skid with fork pockets. You can use a fork lift to position the loader, or transfer it between vehicles if you use a hanger or swing away hitch. The DL2901 is too big for a hanger kit or swing away hitch, but it can be mounted to a trailer.
Here’s what these machines weigh without adding accessories:
DL1302H – 230 lbs.
DL1402VE – 280 lbs.
DL2901VE – 490 lbs.
Both the DL1302 and 1402 are 32.25 inches tall from the factory, and you can add extensions to the chute for more reach. The DL2901 is almost 75 inches tall before adding extensions.
Billy Goat makes horizontal and vertical extensions, as well as swiveling mounts that let you turn the entire chute. You can add up to 5 feet of horizontal reach with an extension hose, or use a deflector to aim the flow of debris into your truck or trailer. The vertical extension adds 15 5/8 inches of height. You cannot use this extension with the rotational chute kit.
Get the Parts and Accessories You Need for Your Billy Goat
When you need something for your Billy Goat, go to Billy Goat Parts.  We carry the full line of OEM parts and accessories for your equipment, including extensions, mounting kits and replacement hoses for all of the company’s debris loaders.Check out or commonly ordered parts pages for fast ordering. We also have a search engine that can show you diagrams and parts information specific to your model. Visit us at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Mounting a Billy Goat Debris Loader

Do you need to get your Billy Goat debris loader to work with your trailer or truck? Here’s everything you need to know about installing and using CustomFit mounts and discharge chute accessories.
Truck Hanging Kit
This kit lets you hang your loader on the side of your truck or trailer’s tailgate. Keep in mind that you need a strong gate to use this mount. While a truck or dump bed should be strong enough, a ramp gate will bend under the weight.
1. Slide the arms into the fork pockets on the loader’s skid. Bolt the arms to the skid using the included hardware. The small carriage bolts goes through the top, while the washer and nut go on the bottom.
2. Screw the large carriage bolts into the tops of the arms and through the included clamps.
3. Hang the loader off of the tailgate of your truck or trailer, and screw in the carriage bolts to clamp onto the surface. After an hour of use, check the tightness of the clamps.
Swing Away Hitch
Billy Goat offers both stake bed and trailer hitch versions of this CustomFit mount. The trailer hitch attachment requires a Class III or stronger hitch receiver.
1. Insert the pivot pins into the holes on the sides of the hitch/stake mount.
2. Bolt the hitch to the center holes in the fork pockets using the included hardware. The carriage bolts should sit flush with the top of the hole.
3. If you’re using the hitch mount, attach it to your truck’s receiver using the safety chains, arm pin and cotter pin, like you would when connecting a ball hitch and trailer. If you’re using a stake bed mount, slide the end of the mount into one of your bed’s stake supports.
To swing the loader out of the way of the tailgate, remove one of the pivot pins. Never remove both pins. When the loader is 90 degrees out, you can lock it in place using the uncovered hole in the swivel mount.
CustomFit Trailer
This trailer only fits DL25 and DL35 loaders. It comes fully assembled, complete with highway lights. Use the included hardware to bolt your loader to the trailer, being sure to line up the carriage bolts with the square holes in the loader’s skid.
Getting the Outlet to Reach Your Bed or Trailer
Billy Goat offers several accessories to get the right position for your loader’s discharge chute.
360 Rotational Kit – This adds a swiveling joint between the loader and the vertical chute. Once installed, the chute can be rotated by hand. This lets you adjust the position when moving the loader from vehicle to vehicle.
Extension kit – This kit adds a two foot long extension to the vertical chute, letting you reach over tall tailgates on trailers. The extension cannot be used with the rotational kit.
Length extension and exhaust deflector – These attachments give you two ways to extend the horizontal reach of your loader’s outlet. The length extension is a 5-foot long reinforced hose that can be draped over bed walls. The deflector bounces debris off an adjustable metal shield, letting you change the angle debris exit the discharge chute.
If It’s Billy Goat, We Carry It
Billy Goat Parts is an OEM dealer for Billy Goat as well as Honda and Briggs & Stratton. That means you can get parts for your debris loader as well as the Honda or Vanguard engine that powers it. We have sections for commonly ordered parts, like impeller bolts and air filters. You can also use our parts lookup system to see factory diagrams and descriptions for parts used on your model of equipment. Visit us online at We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Tips for Using an Outdoor Vacuum

Is it fall already? Now that the leaves are falling from the trees, it’s time to break out your lawn vacuum. There’s more to using one of these machines that just rolling it over your lawn. If you don’t know the right vacuuming and maintenance techniques, a simple job can quickly become a frustrating one. These tips will help you get better performance from your Billy Goat lawn vacuum.

How Does a Lawn Vacuum Work?

A lawn vacuum works a lot like a bagged household vacuum. The engine drives an impeller. This creates a vacuum at the front of the impeller chamber, which connects to the nozzle. The air drawn into the chamber is forced out of the back into the bag. The bag is made from a fine fabric that lets air escape, while captures dirt and debris.

The main difference between outdoor and indoor vacuums is the impeller. While your home vacuum has a simple plastic impeller, a Billy Goat vacuum’s impeller is made from thick sheet steel with serrated edges. These edges chop debris as they pass through the chamber. The fine pieces that reach the bag take up less space, reducing disposal costs. They’re also perfect for composting.

When Should I Use My Lawn Vacuum?

There are three times when a lawn vacuum is your best solution for dealing with debris:

– Your lawn has a heavy coating of leaves or pine needles.
– There are too many grass clippings.
– Weeds are germinating, and you want to remove their seeds from your lawn before they take root.

When it comes to leaves and clippings, vacuuming shouldn’t be your first choice. When mulched, this organic material can feed your lawn. It also encourages the growth of microorganisms, which will help digest thatch before it becomes too thick. Once you can no longer see the tips of the grass after mowing, it’s time to pick up lawn debris with your vacuum.

What Conditions are Best for Picking Up Lawn Debris?

Clean up your lawn when it’s moist. If the lawn is too dry, you’ll pick up dust, which will blow straight out of the bag and onto you. If the lawn is wet, your vacuum will have a harder time picking up soggy leaves and debris.

How Do I Get Good Suction?

For the best performance, your vacuum’s nozzle should be about an inch above the debris it’s picking up. This lets the debris slide under the nozzle, while still being close enough to be picked up.

If you need to pick up a pile of leaves, or you need to clean out bushes, use the hose attachment. If your vacuum doesn’t have a hose, you can add one using a hose kit. Like the front nozzle of your vacuum, your vacuum hose works best with an inch between the end of the nozzle and the debris.

Most performance problems can be traced to the pores in the bag. If they’re covered or dirty, air can’t flow freely, reducing suction. For the best performance, always empty your vacuum’s bag when it’s 50% full. Rinse the bag with water after using your vacuum, or after each work day, to remove dirt from the pores.

If you’re working in less than ideal conditions, you need to take some extra steps to take care of your bag. Wet leaves weigh up to 40% more than dry leaves. Emptying the bag when it’s 1/3 full will keep wet debris from stretching the bag. Your bag will need more frequent cleaning when used in dusty conditions. Likewise, felt bags need to be cleaned often, because their fine pores clog easily.

When water isn’t enough to clean your vacuum bag, wash with water and mild detergent, then let it air dry. It’s a good idea to have a spare bag on hand, so one bag can be in use while the other one is drying.

When you buy a new bag, the fabric will be too tight for air to pass through without hampering performance. Run your vacuum at half throttle for 30 minutes to gently break in the fabric.

We Have What You Need for Your Vacuum

Whether you have a KV, MV, LB, QV or TKV vacuum, you can get the parts and accessories you need for your Billy Goat vacuum at Billy Goat Parts. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, Honda and Briggs & Stratton, so we carry everything you need to fix your equipment. Looking for vacuum bags? We have a section for them on our homepage. Looking for specific parts? Our search engine can find you matches that work with your model. We even have built-in factory descriptions and diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. Best of all, we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada. Visit us at

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Managing Fall Leaves: Collection, Decomposition and Disposal

Tips for Fall Lawn CareFall is coming, and that means lots and lots of leaves. If they’re left on the ground, they can damage your turf, choking grass and possibly acidifying the soil. These tips will help you get the most out of your Billy Goat truck loader and vacuum, save on disposal costs, and keep your lawn healthy.

Should I Mulch or Bag the Leaves from My Lawn?

In some cases, you may be able to let leaves decompose naturally, instead of removing them. While the breakdown is slow for whole leaves, it can be accelerated by using a mulching mower to chop them into small pieces.

Leaves are acidic. Sandy soils rapidly absorb leaf mulch, decreasing pH. Other soils take longer to absorb organic matter, so this mulch usually breaks down before absorption. As a result, it has little effect on soil acidity.  In fact, this mulch layer can act as a buffer, reducing acidification from other sources. This is true for all types of leaves, including oak and maple, which are the most acidic. Mulching leaves return their nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer. It also boosts the activity of microorganisms, which helps them break down thatch.

You should always remove leaves from black walnut trees. They contain juglone, a natural herbicide that affects a wide range of plants. Mulching won’t break down the poison fast enough to prevent it from having an effect. However, the poison will break down if the leaves are composted. It takes about a month for the juglone to fully decompose, making the compost safe to use.

Your leaf mulch layer should be thin enough that you can see the grass poking through. During the peak of leaf-fall, you may need to mow the leaves two or three times per week. If the mulch completely covers the grass, you need to start bagging leaves.

Collecting Leaves

Billy Goat lawn vacuums and truck loaders have impellers with serrated edges that chop leaves as they pass through. Since lawn waste services usually charge by the bag, the resulting compaction greatly reduces disposal costs. The fine organic matter coming out of your Billy Goat is also great for composting. This lets you return nutrients to the soil and cut out disposal costs entirely. If you already mulched the leaves with your mower, your vacuum equipment will have no trouble picking them up. However, there’s no benefit to mulching leaves before collection.

You can use a truck loader or vacuum to pick up leaves at any time, but you’ll get the best results if the leaves are moist. When using a lawn vacuum, adjust the nozzle so that it’s kept just above the ground without scraping against it. Remember that your bag doesn’t just have a size limit, it also has a weight limit. If you’re picking up wet leaves, empty the bag when it’s half full to reduce the strain on the bag fabric. When picking up dry leaves, you will need to wash the bag more frequently. This keeps the pores in the fabric open, so air from the vacuum can pass through freely.

When using a hose on a vacuum or truck loader, keep the end of the nozzle about a half-inch above the debris you’re picking up. This lets you maximize vacuum pressure around the leaves as you work through tall piles.


Composting’s bad reputation can mostly be traced to household waste. Yard waste compost doesn’t have the same smell as home compost, and it’s much easier to manage. Recycling your leaf mulch saves money and produces humus, which can fertilize your soil. This organic material also makes great top dressing for trees and gardens.

Since winter is coming soon, you will need to make some adjustments to how you care for your pile. The microorganisms in compost generate their own heat. If you live in a place with severe winter temperatures, you can keep this heat in by surrounding the pile with hay bales or bags of grass and leaf clippings. Turning the pile releases heat, so you should do this less often. It will take longer for the mulch to decompose, but you should have humus ready to use by spring.

Be Ready for Fall Yard Cleanup

Do you need to get your Billy Goat equipment in order, so you’re ready for leaf collection? If you need parts or accessories for your Billy Goat, visit Billy Goat Parts. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their partners, including Honda, Vanguard, and Briggs & Stratton. We make shopping easy with pages with commonly needed parts, like collection bags and air filters. Our site also has a search engine that can show you factory diagrams specific to your machine, so you know exactly what you’re ordering. Visit us at We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Vanguard 200 Maintenance

Vanguard 200 MaintenanceThis year, Billy Goat started offering the Vanguard 200 engine to their lineup, fitting the engine to the OS552 overseeder, PL1801 PLUGR aerator, and F601V walk-behind blower. Even if you’re familiar with working on small engines, this new single-cylinder has some design quirks that may surprise you. Here’s everything you need to know to keep this engine running.

Maintenance schedule

Before use: Check the oil level. Remove dirt and debris from the muffler, controls, and intake grille.

First 5 hours of operation: Change the oil.

Every year: Replace the spark plug. Clean the fuel and cooling systems. If the engine is performing poorly, have the valve clearance checked.

Every 100 hours or every year: Change the gear reduction oil, if equipped. Clean the exhaust.

Every 200 hours or every year: Change the engine oil and clean the air filter.

Every 600 hours or three years: Replace the air filter.


Vanguard recommends using oil that has an SAE service grade of SF or higher, while they prefer owners to use oils officially backed by the company. Several oil viscosities can be used with this engine. Vanguard’s own 15W-50 synthetic oil can be used at temperatures above 20°F, while synthetic 5W-30 oil can be used below 100°F. Conventional 10W-30 can be used between 20 and 100°F. Be aware that oil consumption will increase at high temperatures, especially if you’re using conventional oil. It’s a good idea to periodically check the oil level when working on hot days.

This engine has a dipstick to check the oil. Make sure the engine is sitting level, then wipe the dipstick clean and fully insert it into the engine to get an accurate reading.

This engine has two fill ports and two drain ports at the base of the engine. There’s nothing separating these holes, so you can use the most convenient ports to drain and add oil. Removing the dipstick lets air enter and exit the crankcase, making draining and filling it easier. The manufacturer recommends waiting for a minute before checking the oil level after adding oil. This gives the oil time to settle in the crankcase.

Currently, Billy Goat doesn’t use an engine with a gear reduction. However, if you buy a future model that has one, here’s how you change the oil:

1. Remove the fill plug at the top of the gear reduction case, the level plug on the side of the case, and the drain plug on the bottom of the case.

2. Once the case is empty, install the drain plug. Slowly add 80W-90 gear oil to the fill hole until it drips out of the level hole. Install the remaining plugs.


Vanguard recommends 87 octane gasoline or 85 octane at elevations over 5,000 feet. This fuel can contain up to 10% ethanol.

Fuel can be left in the tank during storage, as long as the fuel tank is full, and the gas was treated with a stabilizer. Before storage, let the engine run for two minutes to draw the stabilized fuel through the carburetor.

When it’s time to service the fuel system, look at the fuel lines and carburetor for signs of cracking. Remove the strainer (if equipped) from the fuel filler neck and clean it as needed.

Air Filter

Both standard and low profile air filter boxes are used on the Vanguard 200. With either version, twisting the two thumbscrews unlocks the cover. Remove the air filter, and tap it against a hard surface to remove surface dirt. Wipe out any dust inside the air box, then reinstall the filter.

Muffler and Coolant System Servicing

These parts should be cleaned with a dry rag or brush to remove surface dirt. This lets the cooling fins transfer heat, and prevents heat from the muffler from igniting debris. Never use water to clean the engine. This can get inside the crankcase and dilute the oil.

Spark Plug

The plug gap should be 0.030 inches. When installing the plug, tighten it to 180 in-lbs. Replace the plug if it’s fouled, or has damage to the electrode or insulator.

Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, as well as their manufacturing partners. That means we don’t just carry Billy Goat parts, we also have parts to repair Vanguard engines. For fast ordering, our site has a section for common replacement parts, including spark plugs and air filters. We also have a search engine that can find parts for your specific model and serial number, so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need for your equipment. Visit us at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Tips for Making Fence Post Holes with Your Billy Goat Auger

Billy Goat’s AGR1301H augerBilly Goat’s AGR1301H auger makes it easy to dig holes, but even the best tools will only go so far. If you want to build a fence, you need perfectly straight, perfectly positioned holes with just the right depth to keep the posts in place over time. These tips will help you get these holes right, so you can build something you’ll be proud of.

What Size of Auger Bit Do I Need?

Each hole should be three times as large as the post. Filling the space around the post with compacted dirt provides the support needed to keep the post in place. For most steel fence posts, you’ll need a 6-inch auger to dig the right size hole, while 4×4 posts need holes dug by an 8-inch auger. If you’re installing a lightweight fence for snow or sand, a three-inch bit is usually large enough to get the job done.

As a general rule of thumb, support posts should have 1/3 of their length buried in the ground. This gives the surrounding dirt enough grip to keep the post from moving. Gate posts should have ½ of their length buried, so they have added support to resist the twisting forces exerted by opening and closing the gate.

Holes need to reach deeper than the maximum frost level where you live. Dig too shallow of a hole, and frost heaving will push your posts out of the ground. In most of the country, a three-foot hole is more than deep enough to support a fence post. However, if you live in a particularly cold area, like Wisconsin or Maine, you may need to go four feet or more to get past the frost layer. If the hole is too shallow, frost heaves will push your fence posts out of the ground. You can always use an extension with your auger bit to get more depth when you dig.

What Pilot Bits and Teeth Do I Need on My Auger Bit?

Billy Goat offers three materials for pilot bits and teeth: carbide, dirt, and hardface. Carbide is the best at chipping rocks, but it wears out the fastest. Dirt only works well on soft ground, but it lasts the longest. Hardface bits are between these two extremes in hardness and wear.

Digging Pilot Holes

Once you start digging with your auger, there’s no going back. This makes it critical to get each hole in the right position. Measure out the center point for each hole. Dig a shallow hole that’s as wide as the flutes of the auger. This hole should be just deep enough to remove the turf and root system. This keeps the auger from wandering when it starts digging the hole.

Digging Post Holes

The AGR1301H is a whole lot easier to use than standard post hole augers. You don’t need to wrestle with the engine on a post hole auger, and you don’t have to guess at the angle like most wheeled augers. Just line up the auger with the spot you want to dig and drop it onto the soil. Lift the bit out for each foot you dig. This gives the flutes a chance to pull the dirt out of the hole.

Finishing Post Holes

Your auger will do most of the work, but your holes will need some finishing before you can drop in posts and fill them in with dirt. There are three tools that make quick work out of completing a post hole:

– A digging bar chips away rocks that protrude into the hole.
– A drain tile shovel has a narrow, curved head that’s perfect for shaping holes and removing dirt at the bottom of the hole.
-A clamshell post hole digger can cut out roots, pick up dirt at the bottom of the hole, and extend holes that need to be deeper than your auger can reach.

Always cover holes with a sheet of plywood after digging. This keeps people and animals from stepping in them.

Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat from One Place

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and Honda Engines, so we carry everything you need for your auger. Looking for a different bit, or need to swap out teeth on your current bit? We have what you need. Need to fix the engine or replace a tire? We have those parts, too. We make ordering easy with our sections for common parts. If you need something else, our search engine can narrow down options to the model and serial number of your machine. We even have factory parts diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. Visit us at We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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