Frequently Asked Questions about Aerating, Dethatcing and Overseeding

Frequently Asked Questions about Aerating, Dethatcing and OverseedingIf you want to go beyond basic lawn care to get a lush, green lawn, you need to understand how to care for the soil. Fertilizing gets the most attention, but aerating, dethatching and overseeding is every bit as important to build up your lawn. Not sure where to start? Here are some answers to common questions about this part of lawn care.

What’s the Difference between Dethatching and Aerating?

To have a healthy lawn, your grass needs drainage and access to oxygen. Thick thatch and compacted soil can interfere with both.

Thatch is the layer of woody organic material above the soil. Stems, roots, and rhizomes are harder to break down, so they stay in your lawn longer than grass blades. A thin layer protects the soil, but too much can cause drainage, insect and root issues.

Soil compaction is caused by weight pushing out spaces between soil particles. Aerating physically breaks up the soil. Contrary to popular belief, aerating isn’t an alternative to dethatching. At most, core tine aerating removes just 5-10% of thatch.

When Do I Need to Dethatch or Aerate?

As a general rule of thumb, thatch should be no more than ½ inch thick. Lawns should be aerated when drainage and growing issues crop up due to ground compaction.

Dethatching and aerating will help you establish new grass with overseeding. Thatch can prevent seeds from reaching the ground, while compaction makes it harder for new roots to penetrate the soil.

What Can I Do to Dethatch and Aerate Less Often?

Address lawn care issues can help reduce thatch buildup.

Poor watering practices: Frequent watering in small amounts encourages roots to grow toward the surface. Unless you’re establishing new grass, your lawn should only be watered every three or four days. Balance irrigation with rainwater to maintain 1/2-1 inch of water per week.

High nitrogen levels: Overfertilizing with fast release nitrogen encourages thatch buildup. Be sure to get a soil test to use as the basis of your fertilizing plan. If you’re still having problems, switch to organic fertilizer. It releases slower than inorganic lawn treatments.

Bagging clippings: It sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually breaks down thatch faster. This material is easy for microorganisms to digest, making it easier for them to break down woody material in thatch.

High pesticide use: Using pesticides in high quantities kills off earthworms. These worms help disperse organic material and break it down, speeding up thatch decomposition.

Compacted soil is caused by weight crushing the soil. This weight can come from construction equipment, vehicles and foot traffic. Heavy clay soils are the most susceptible to compaction, while sandy soils suffer the least.

– Don’t park on your lawn, especially in winter. Cold, soggy soil compacts more easily than dry soil.

– Avoid foot and bicycle traffic. Add a walkway to keep pedestrians off of the grass.

What’s the Difference Between Coring and Solid Tines?

Core tines have a hole with a razor sharp edge. As they plunge into the ground, they cut a hole and pull out a plug of soil. Once dry, plugs can be mowed to break them up and distribute them across the lawn. The holes can be unsightly and take months to disappear.

A solid tine is a spike that pushes through the soil, breaking up compaction. This causes compaction directly around the resulting hole, but the hole is smaller, and there’s no plug left over. This saves work and helps the lawn heal faster.

Opinions about core and tine aerating are starting to shift in the golfing community. In the past, core aeration was universally seen as the superior option. However, landscapers are learning that the compaction caused by these tines in sandy soil is minimal while decreasing recovery times from months to weeks. As we learn more, there may be a shift to solid tine aeration across the landscaping industry.

Modern aerators like Billy Goat’s PLUGR series don’t penetrate in a straight line. By moving at a slight angle, they produce less compaction than the straight up-and-down action of older designs. This makes both core and solid tine aerating easier on lawns than straight and drum aerators.

How do I Get Even Seed Coverage?

Always dethatch and aerating beforehand to give seeds a clear path to the soil.

When choosing seeds, remember that conditions vary across your lawn. You need a mix of shade-loving and sun-loving varieties to get even growth.

Apply half of the seeds at a time, first going in one direction, then running the overseeder 90 degrees in the other direction. This fills in any gaps.

Get the Quality Parts You Need for Your Billy Goat Equipment

Is it time to do some maintenance on your overseeder? Do you want to use different tines with your aerator? If you need something for your Billy Goat, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat, Honda and Briggs & Stratton, which means we offer everything you need for your equipment.

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Which Vacuum is Right for You?

TKV Self-Propelled VacuumIf you’re looking for a debris vacuum, Billy Goat has you covered. They offer 13 models designed for everything from picking up leaves on narrow walkways to cleaning up after major construction projects. Which vacuum is right for you? Here’s how you can pick the right model and accessories to fit your needs.

Leaf and Limb Disposal

All models can pick up leaves, but the KV and TKV Series are the only vacuums that come with an integrated chipper. Both models can handle branches up to two inches in diameter.

Getting in Hard-to-Reach Places

A hose kit can be added to any Billy Goat lawn or hard surface vacuum. These kits include mounting hardware to keep the hose out of the way when using the main nozzle.

The LB352 is the smallest vacuum in Billy Goat’s lineup. At just 20 inches wide, this vacuum is perfect for clearing small spaces including sidewalks, gardens, patios and pool areas. Want something with more clearing power? The KV Series is wider, but it can be outfitted with front caster wheels for better maneuverability.

Electric Start

The MV601SPE is the sole model available with electric start.

Hard Surfaces

The QV Series has a nozzle designed specifically for hard surfaces.

The MV Series has a gobbler door that can be adjusted from the operator’s position, making it easy to transition from turf to hard surfaces. The KV Series also does both paved surfaces and grass. However, nozzle adjustment requires stopping the vacuum and changing its wheel height.

High Dust Environments

The QV Quietvac’s cyclonic filtration combined with the fine dust sock lets it filter out dust as small as 0.1 microns. This makes it safe to use for concrete dust removal as long as the area is dry.

An electrostatic dust sock is available for the MV Series. It isn’t suitable for cement cleanup, but it does keep the operator from being coated in dust when working on dry dirt. Like the QV’s dust sock, it’s only effective when picking up dry debris. There’s also a sand-resistant liner that can be fitted to the impeller chamber to save wear and tear on the machine.

Fast Debris Clearing

For all out vacuuming speed, the QV Quietvac and MV Multi-Surface vacuums have the highest air volumes and the widest vacuum nozzles at 33 inches and 29 inches respectively. If you need a residential model, take a look at the KV series with its 27-inch nozzle.

The TKV650SPH, MV601SPE, and MV650SPH have a single speed drive system. This helps the operator roll the vacuum up hills.

The QV Series is the only walk-behind vacuum on the market available with a hydrostatic drive. This drive system is built into the QV550HSP and QV900HSP, propelling them to a top speed of 3 mph. The adjustability of this drive lets the operator use it in all conditions, increasing speed over any surface.

Low Noise

The QV Quietvac’s cyclonic filtration system isn’t just effective, it helps tame the noise from the impeller. It makes 77 dBa of noise at full RPM, dropping down to 76 dBa at 2,800 RPM, the engine speed needed for typical use. This makes it the quietest vacuum in this segment of the market.

Debris Capacity

All models have a serrated impeller that breaks up debris, compacting them at a 12:1 ratio under ideal conditions. Expect to empty the bag more frequently when picking up wet debris.

LB Series: 28 gallons
QV Series: 36 gallons
KV, TKV and MV Series: 40 gallons

Billy Goat makes disposable liners for the MV series. These fit inside the reusable bag, so they’re loaded as you use the vacuum. This saves a step when loading debris for disposal.

Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat Equipment

Is your Billy Goat equipment due for service? Need to add a hose kit or other accessories to your debris vacuum? Want to get an extra bag so you’ll always have one ready to use while the other one is being cleaned?

If it’s Billy Goat, you can order it from www.billygoatparts.com. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their partners including Honda Engines and Briggs & Stratton. That means you can get all the genuine parts and accessories for your equipment from one place. We have sections for common parts including engine parts, wheels, and accessories. You can also look up your model and compare parts listings with factory diagrams, making it easy to find the parts you need for your vacuum. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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When and How to Replace a Debris Loader Impeller

Debris Loader Set-Up and Maintenance: DL14 and DL18Your debris loader’s impeller goes through a lot to pick up lawn waste and turn it into easily compostable, disposable material. If your machine performs poorly, wants to stall, or vibrates violently, the impeller might be damaged. Here’s how you can inspect and repair this important part of your Billy Goat truck loader.

Safety

The impellers used in these loaders are made from thick steel and have serrated edges to chop up leaves. That means they’re sharp and heavy. Always wear thick gloves when working on your debris loader.

Before working on your equipment, disconnect the spark plugs. The impeller connects directly to the crankshaft, so turning it may be enough to start the engine.

What Does This Part Do?

The impeller has two roles in your debris loader.

Fan: The blades spin at high speeds, moving air and debris. Suction at the front of the chamber pulls debris through the hose, while pressure on the chamber edges pushes debris up through the chute. The plates’ flat shape may not be the best for airflow, but this lets them physically push debris through the system.

Shredder: Breaking apart and compacting leaves saves space, letting you haul more debris and pay less for disposal costs. Smaller pieces are also easier to compost, which is better for recycling and on-site reclamation. To shred material as much as possible, Billy Goat separates their impellers into two sections. The star-shaped Piranha Blade has 5 serrated edges that break apart leaves as soon as they enter the chamber. The plates on the main impeller have less aggressive blades to finish the job. Together, these parts can reduce debris up to 12:1.

Accessing the Impeller

Billy Goat truck loaders have a bolt-on plate that covers the front side of the impeller housing. After shutting off the engine and disconnecting the plugs, disconnect the hose, then remove the bolts or lock nut holding the intake plate onto the housing. Be careful moving the plate: the safety kill switch for the hose has a wire leading to the engine. Either set the plate to the side, keeping some slack on the wire, or disconnect the switch from the wiring harness.

Addressing Poor Performance

Most clogs happen inside the hose. However, sticks, rocks, and other debris can make their way into the impeller chamber, wedging between components or blocking airflow. Clean out the chamber, then check the front and back sides of the crankshaft for wound up grass, cutting it away as needed.

Larger models have a wear plate surrounding the sides of the chamber. As it wears down, this plate increases the gap between the impeller and housing. This reduces the vacuum.

Damaged teeth on the Piranha Blade or the impeller will keep the machine from effectively breaking down debris. These teeth should not be sharpened, as this can throw the impeller out of balance.

Bent and cracked parts will throw the machine out of balance, causing poor suction and vibrations that are hard on the engine and bearings. Replace these parts as needed.

Can I Weld a Cracked Impeller?

No. When the engine is on, the impeller is spinning at 2,000 to 3,000 RPM. That means the impeller needs to be carefully balanced to prevent engine damage or contact with the housing. Using a welded impeller risks major damage to your equipment and injury to those using it.

Removing and Installing the Impeller

Always use a new bolt and washer when fitting the impeller. These parts stretch when tightened down, and reuse may lead to failure. Replacement fasteners are included with new impellers, or they can be ordered separately.

To remove the bolt, you’ll need an impact wrench. The hammering action loosens the bolt without spinning the unit. With the bolt removed, the impeller should slide off of the driveshaft. If it doesn’t, apply penetrating oil to the shaft and pry against the hub. Prying against the plates can bend them, ruining the impeller.

When fitting the impeller, be sure to tighten down the bolt with a torque wrench. The recommended torque varies depending on your model:
DL14 and DL18 – 33-38 ft-lbs.
DL25 – 60 ft-lbs.
DL35, DL37 and DL39 – 175-180 ft-lbs.

Get Everything You Need Without Leaving Your Computer

Do you need parts for your Billy Goat equipment? Visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re not just an online retailer: we’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their partners including Honda Engines and Briggs & Stratton. That means we carry OEM replacements for everything on your equipment. We have a section of our website dedicated to impeller parts, or you can search by looking at factory diagrams for your equipment. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Feeding Your Lawn in the Summer

Building a lawn from scratchIs your lawn looking bad despite careful watering and mowing? Maybe it needs to be fertilized. Fertilizer application can boost grass growth and help your lawn survive summer heat when applied correctly. However, done haphazardly, the application can do more harm than good, resulting in burnt, brown patches. Here’s how you can feed your lawn effectively to keep it growing all summer.

When Should I Fertilize My Lawn?

Your first application should be in late spring and early summer. After that, the next application depends on your local weather conditions and the type of grass you’re growing.

If you live in the far north or at a high altitude where temperatures rarely go above 80°F, you can fertilize your lawn at any time in the summer. Otherwise, you shouldn’t fertilize within 30 days of peak summer temperatures. High heat stresses grass, making it easier to burn.

Longer growing seasons in the southern U.S. require more nutrients to keep plants fueled. If your lawn is in poor shape despite proper mowing and watering practices, you may need to apply another application of fertilizer in the late summer. As a general rule, apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks of active growth. For most lawns, that means applying in April or May, then June or July and finally in late August or early September.

Lawns struggle once temperatures reach the 80s, with cool-season grasses fading first, followed by warm season grasses. When this happens, the leaves will turn brown, but the root system is still active. When this happens, it’s best to leave your lawn alone. The grass is more susceptible to fertilizer burn, and it will deplete nutrients quickly if it’s brought out of hibernation with watering. Cool season grasses should not be fertilized until October or November when they spring back to life.

Which Fertilizer Should I Use?

Fertilizer contains salts that can dry out foliage, hampering growth and turning grass brown. Unlike hibernating grass, burnt grass will be dry and browning will start at the tips.

The faster the fertilizer acts, the more likely it will cause fertilizer burn. Organic fertilizers release nutrients slower than inorganic fertilizer, making it less likely to cause burn. Compost is even slower, but it should only be used in the summer for ground cover after aeration. Both options are pricey, but you can get similar results with controlled release and time released inorganic fertilizers.

For the best results, get a soil test a couple weeks before fertilizing so you can see exactly what your lawn needs. If you don’t have time for a test, go for a balanced mix, like 10-10-10.

Tips for Application

If your lawn has compacted soil, aerate it before applying fertilizer. The holes left behind help water and lawn chemicals penetrate the soil.

Water the ground one or two days before fertilizer application, then the day following application. This helps the fertilizer absorb into the soil, and washes off any fertilizer that landed on the grass blades.

If you’re using your Billy Goat overseeder to drop pelletized fertilizer, set the hopper to half the recommended drop rate. Go over your lawn with one pass, then again at a 90-degree angle. This gets the evenest spread, reducing the chance of over or under-fertilizing.

Grass clippings are a valuable source of nutrients, they boost thatch digestion, and they help shield grass from the heat. If you switch from bagging to mulching clippings, you should be able to reduce fertilizer use by 1/3.

Keep Your Equipment Ready for Summer

If you have a Billy Goat overseeder, dethatcher, aerator or anything else from their lineup, you can get the parts you need for it at www.billygoatparts.com. Billy Goat Parts gives you several ways to find the right part for your machine: type in the part number, check out our sections for popular parts or use our search engine to match up parts to your equipment. We can ship whatever you need for your Billy Goat or its engine to any location in the U.S. or Canada.

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Using the AGR1300H Landscape Auger

AGR1300H Landscape AugerThe AGR1300H landscape auger isn’t just a new piece of Billy Goat equipment, it’s the first in a new category of augers. The AGR’s linkage-supported auger and hydrostatic drive make it faster, easier and more accurate than any other post hole digger on the market. Here’s what you need to know to get the best performance out of this machine.

Staying Safe While Using Your Auger

For your safety, Billy Goat recommends wearing gloves, eye protection, and closed-toe shoes when using the AGR1300H.

Whether you’re in the U.S. or Canada, dial 811 before you dig. This will connect you to a state or province office that handles underground utilities. They will arrange for utility companies to come to your digging site and mark off buried lines, so can avoid hitting them with your auger.

Selecting an Auger Bit

The AGR1200H has enough power to handle bits from 2 to 18 inches in width. A 7/8 square bit adapter comes standard. Billy Goat also offers 1 ¼ square and 1 3/8 hex adapters.

When using Billy Goat bits, you have a choice of three pilot bit and tooth materials: carbide, hardface, and dirt. Carbide is the hardest material, but it’s brittle and wears the fastest. Hardface is strong enough to handle striking most underground objects. Dirt teeth and bits are the softest, but last the longest cutting through soil.

Starting

Push the throttle lever, located on the right side next to the handle, all the way forward to “fast.” Pull out the choke lever, located on the front of the engine. Finally, pull the engine’s starter handle. Once the engine is running, push in the choke lever.

Using the Hydrostatic Drive

Check the drive bypass lever on the side of the machine. This lever should be to the left with the washer inside the frame to shut off the pump bypass. If you want to move the auger with the engine off, pull the lever out and to the right. This disengages the drive, letting the wheels roll freely.

The control levers are mounted below the operator handle. Move the right lever to roll forward, and the left lever to roll back. The farther you close each lever, the faster the auger will move.

Positioning and Setup

The linkage and strut system on the AGR1300H keeps the bit plumb when digging, requiring minimal repositioning.

To position the bit, first push down on the operator handle. This releases the transport lock. If you need to drill at an angle, pull out the quick release pin on the right side of the auger bit arm and put it in the hole on top of the arm. Move the bit left or right to the correct angle, then twist the T lever on the arm to lock the bit in place.

If you’re drilling on a hill or on rough terrain, engage the parking brakes. There is one for each rear wheel. Pushing the lower pedal engages the brake, and pushing the upper handle disengages it.

Drilling

Pull the bit release pin, located between the operator handle and throttle control.

Push down on the operator handle to lower the bit.

When the end of the bit is touching the ground, use the auger control lever to engage the auger drive. Pulling the right side of the lever spins the bit clockwise, digging the bit into the soil. Keep some pressure on the operator handle while holding the auger control lever to dig a hole.

Occasionally, you will need to lift the bit to clear dirt out of the hole. With each foot of depth, lift up on the operator handle while keeping the auger control engaged.

If the auger gets stuck on a rock or other obstruction, pull the left side of the auger control handle to spin the bit counter-clockwise.

When you’re done drilling, release the pressure on the operator handle and let the struts lift the bit out of the hole.

Transport

The AGR1300H can be moved with the auger swinging freely for short distances. If you’re done drilling, put the bit in the transport position. Push the handle down, then push the transport lock lever, located on the right next to the linkage.

To stop the engine, move the throttle lever to “stop.”

Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat Straight from Your Browser

Billygoatparts.com is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and Honda Engines, so you can get everything you need for your AGR1300H from one place. Our newly upgraded site is more mobile friendly while still giving you access to factory parts diagrams and information. This makes it easy to exactly what you need for your machine. We can ship whatever you need, big or small, to any address in the United States or Canada.

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Stopping Lawn Moss

stopping lawn mossWhile some people build their landscaping around moss, its presence on turf lawns is an eyesore. It’s also an indication that your soil isn’t providing the conditions your grass needs to thrive. These tips will help you get at the root of the problem.

Where Does Moss Grow?

Moss is much easier to get rid of than most weeds. Here’s why:

– The plant does not directly hamper the growth of grass, but it thrives in conditions that are poor for growing turf grasses.

– Moss has difficulty on sandy soils, but it grows fine on all other soils from loam to hard clay. It also has a hard time gathering on pebbles, hardscaping and tree roots.

– Moss spreads through rhizomes that move across the soil surface, following the path of runoff.

– These primitive plants don’t have a vascular system, so they can’t store food. Changing growing conditions even slightly can stop growth.

Soil Acidity

The most common cause of moss growth is soil acidity. Grass thrives in soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Moss grows on the surface, making pH less of an issue. However, it grows best at a pH between 5.0-5.5, both by increasing growth and hampering the growth of competing grass. You can check your soil pH using test kits available at any garden or home improvement store.

You can increase soil pH by adding lime or potassium carbonate. The best amendment will depend on the needs of your lawn.

There are several types of lime available with wildly varying strengths. For easy comparison, these adjuncts are labeled with a Calcium Carbon Equivalent (CCE) number. Pure calcium carbonate has a CCE of 100, while stronger alkaline materials have a higher number and weaker ones have a lower number. CCE ranges from 86 for slag to 179 for quicklime. Fine liming material will mix more easily with soil, making it more effective. Lime isn’t soluble, so it needs to be mixed thoroughly with the topsoil.

Potassium carbonate adds potassium (K) to the soil. It can be used to fertilize the lawn, but it shouldn’t be used if your soil already has a good nutritional balance. Unlike lime, it’s permeable, so it can be applied directly to the surface, soaking into the soil during irrigation.

Soil Compaction and Thatch

Moss thrives in wet soil, and that soil will stay wet if it’s compacted or covered in a thick layer of thatch. Heavy rainfall on compacted soil also washes away alkaline components from soil, raising pH.

As a general rule, thatch should be no more than ½ inch thick. A Billy Goat overseeder or power rake can lift the thatch layer. After removing the thatch, use an aerator to break up the surface soil and relieve the compaction.

Shade

Moss loves to grow in shade, but so do some grass varieties. Planting shade-loving grasses like St. Augustine, perennial ryegrass, poa bluegrass or tall fescue in shaded areas will increase ground cover. Don’t want to mess with spot applications of seed? Use a sun/shade seed blend when you overseed.

Water

Too much water creates the moist conditions that moss needs to thrive, while too little will stress grass, opening up areas for moss to take root. Water enough to keep the soil moist through the growing season, and keep track of precipitation with a rain gauge so you can just enough water to keep the grass healthy.

Killing Moss

Moss leaves behind spores that can establish a new foothold after you’ve killed off growths. For this reason, it’s best to address issues that encourage growth before trying to remove moss from your lawn.

The easiest method to destroy moss is to use your overseeder or power rake to scarify the surface of moss-infested areas.

Moss can be killed by applying ferrous sulfate or potassium soap. These chemicals kill moss by drying it out. Keep in mind that ferrous sulfate will stain anything it gets on, including pavement, wood and patio furniture.

Your Billy Goat Equipment Protects You Lawn. We Can Help You Protect Your Equipment

When you need to work on your Billy Goat equipment, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re more than an online parts warehouse: we’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their partners including Honda Engines and Vanguard. Our site has factory diagrams and descriptions built into our search engine, so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. We ship to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Which Billy Goat Blower is Right for You?

Billy Goat Hurricane Stand-On BlowersDo you need a stander or a walk-behind blower? Is it worth buying a self-propelled model? What’s the difference between CFM and MPH? Here’s what you need to know to pick the right Billy Goat debris blower for your needs.

Power: Volume, Force and Speed

Picking the right blower isn’t just a matter of getting the most power you can afford. Several factors affect performance.

Cubic Feet per Minute: CFM is a measurement of air volume. The higher the volume, the more leaves the machine will clear with each pass.

Velocity: The faster the air exits the blower, the more force it will have. The higher the airspeed, the better the blower will be at moving heavy material like wet, matted leaves.

Speed: The faster the blower moves across the grass, the faster it can move leaves. The average walking speed is 1-2 MPH while pushing a blower, increasing to 2-3 MPH with the help of self-propulsion. The Hurricane stander blowers have a transport speed of 11 MPH, but operating speeds peak at around 5-6 MPH.

Air Direction

Hurricane blowers have three discharge chutes, letting you redirect air around the machine. Once you reach the end of the yard, you can turn around, switch to the chute on the opposite side, and make another pass. Walk behind blowers have a single chute on the left side, so you need to back up for each pass, increasing job time.

All blowers have chutes that adjust up and down. This lets you skim the surface to pull up matted leaves or push against piles to gather them in one spot.

The front vent on stander blowers and discharge elbow on walk behind blowers pushes leaves forward and away from buildings. The elbow is optional on the F6 and comes standard with all other walk behind models.

The F6 is compatible with a 10-foot hose kit. This lets you direct air around bushes and other landscape features to remove hard to reach leaves. This makes it a great compliment to large blowers like the Hurricane standers.

Noise

Billy Goat’s walk behind blowers use a cast composite housing and fan. This reduces turbulence inside the fan chamber, reducing noise. At the operator’s position, noise ranges from 87 dB for the F9 to 97 dB for the F18. This is quiet enough to be well below the 70 dB at 20 feet noise limit mandated by many neighborhoods.

The Z3000 may be more powerful than the X3000, but it also keeps the engine running 800 RPM slower, decreasing noise.

Power

Dealing with thick buildup? Air exits Billy Goat’s walk-behind blowers at speeds nearing 200 MPH, making them the best choice for clearing heavy debris. However, maximum output tops out at only 2,900 CFM for the F18.

Need maximum clearing power? The Hurricane Z3000 moves air at a rate of 8,500 CFM, but the airspeed is only a little over 165 MPH. This makes it the best option for clearing wide areas.

Self-Propulsion

Billy goat offers self-propulsion versions of all of their walk-behind models except the F6. They use a direct drive system, so speed is determined by engine RPM.

Both the X3000 and Z3000 use dual hydraulic motors for maximum maneuverability and fine speed control.

Comfort

The composite housing and fan used in F-series walk behinds reduces weight by 30% compared to steel housing blowers, making them easy to push. The handle has thick padding to limit vibration, and it’s tilted to the left, positioning the operator behind the nozzle for a clear view.

If you’ve ever used a stander mower, you know what to expect from the Hurricane blowers. The operator stands on an isolated, non-skid platform, and can lean against a thick knee pad for stability. The Quad Control handle has two fixed bars surrounding the drive controls, giving the operator several hand position options for reduced fatigue.

Models

F-series walk-behind blowers are named after their approximate engine horsepower.

F6
F601V: 205cc Vanguard Engine
F601X: Briggs & Stratton XR950 Professional engine

F9
F902H: Honda engine
F902S: Subaru engine
F902SPS: Subaru engine, self-propelled
The F902S and F902SPS are being phased out, as Subaru has ended small engine production.

F10
F1002SPV: Vanguard engine
F1002SPV: Vanguard engine, self-propelled

F13
F1302H: Honda engine
F1302SPH: Honda engine, self-propelled

F18
F1802V: Vanguard engine
F1802SPV: Vanguard engine, self-propelled

Hurricane
X3000: 6,500 CFM at 3,200 RPM
Z3000: 8,500 CFM at 2,600 RPM
Both models are powered by a Vanguard V-twin.

Parts Support for Billy Goat Blowers

Picking the right blower can be confusing, but keeping it running is easy. Billygoatparts.com can ship anything you need for your equipment straight to your door, whether you live in the U.S. or Canada. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners including Honda, Vanguard and Hydro-Gear. Our site even has factory diagrams and descriptions so you can see exactly what you’re ordering for your machine.

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Staying Safe When Using Your Equipment

Billy Goat Home Pro MowerPersonal protective equipment (PPE) and best practices aren’t fun subjects, but it’s a necessary part of using outdoor equipment. No one wants to think about being injured on the job, and some workers will avoid equipment and safety precautions because they think it just slows them down. However, consistently using preventative safety measures can prevent long term health problems and reduce your liability.

Inspecting the Work Area

Striking obstacles can be dangerous and costly. Before you use a vacuum, aerator, sod cutter or overseeder, take some time to inspect the lawn. Remove rocks, chains, toys and other obstacles from the areas. Mark fixed obstacles, like sprinklers so you can keep your equipment away from them.

If you think your vacuum has something hard rattling around inside the impeller case, shut it down immediately. The object will either damage the machine or turn into a projectile once it leaves the chamber.

Hearing Protection

Even as outdoor equipment and small engine manufacturers work to reduce the noise of their machines, they’re still loud enough to cause hearing damage. Exposure to sounds over 85 dB for 8 hours is considered hazardous, with Billy Goat’s loudest equipment reaching 97 dB at the operator’s position. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so loudness doubles every 10 dB. At 97 dB, a machine can cause serious permanent hearing damage in just 8 hours of exposure.

The best choice for hearing protection is the type you can live with. Some people prefer muffs, while others like earplugs. Either will work as long as you use them consistently.

Eye Protection

On average, over 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day in the U.S, and one in ten of these injuries results in the loss of at least one work day. Using the right eye protection could eliminate or reduce the severity of at least 90% of these injuries. Eye protection is part of OSHA-required personal protective equipment, but it should be part of any operator’s equipment, whether they’re a professional or homeowner.

Make sure your glasses or goggles meet the latest ANSI Z87.1 standard, currently 2015. This will be stamped somewhere near the lenses. If you see an earlier year, it’s time to get a replacement.

Vibration

Vibration damage isn’t as well researched as hearing and eye damage. However, we’re starting to understand how it affects the body, and what we need to do to reduce exposure.

Hand-arm vibration (HAV) exposure leads to carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand and finger-related injuries. Vibration limits blood flow, starving cells of nutrients and oxygen over long periods. This first shows up as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS.) Nerve damage limits feeling in the hands and fingertips, and fingertips turn white from lack of blood circulation.

Billy Goat includes vibration test data in their owner’s manuals based on the ANSI S2.70-2006 measuring standard. We don’t have any vibration regulations in this country yet, but the EU requires protection for workers exposed to0.5 g of vibration force during their work shift. Wearing anti-vibration gloves reduces the transfer of vibration, preventing nerve damage and reducing operator fatigue.

Dust

Dust is more of an annoyance than a danger unless you work on construction. Cement leaves behind silica dust, which can cause permanent lung damage if inhaled. The QV Quietvac can vacuum this dust, but only if it’s dry and if the dust sock is installed.

Maintenance Safety

When working on your equipment, don’t just shut off the engine. Unplug the spark plug wires. There’s always the possibility that turning something connected to the crankshaft will turn over the engine, starting it.

Never put your hand inside a vacuum or debris loader. A jammed impeller can snap forward when it is freed, damaging or slicing off fingers. Instead, use a piece of wood to push away debris. Still stuck? Shut off the engine and disconnect the spark plugs. Unbolt the impeller housing and use tools to remove the blockage.

Debris loader chutes are heavy, and their placement almost always requires reaching overhead to get them in position. If you’re fitting a chute or extension to your loader, have someone on hand to help you move it and keep it still while bolting it down.

Maintained Equipment is Safe Equipment

Do you need to do some work on your Billy Goat Equipment? You can get everything you need from www.billygoatparts.com. We’re not just an online store: we’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners including Honda Engines, Tuff Torq, Briggs & Stratton and AR Pumps. Our site has built-in diagrams for machines and engines so you can see what you’re ordering. We also have sections for popular items, making it easy to order tines, air filters, and other common replacement parts. We ship across the United States or Canada.

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Controlling Weeds on Your Lawn

controlling weeds on your lawnAre you looking for a better way to combat weeds? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and consider what you can do to get your lawn to do the work for you. Your Billy Goat equipment can improve the health of the grass, increasing coverage and pushing out spaces for weeds. That means less time and expense applying herbicides and pulling out unwanted plants.

Soil Nutrition and pH

A soil test should be a regular part of your lawn care routine. It tells you exactly what your lawn lacks in nutrients and its acidity. This lets you add nutrients and amendments that will help grass thrive, and make it harder for some types of weeds to grow.

Some weeds thrive in conditions that aren’t ideal for grass. You can get some idea of what your soil needs based on the types of weeds growing in your lawn.

Poor quality soil: Dandelions, ragweed, crabgrass or clover
Fertile soil: Foxtail, chickweed, chicory, horehound, and lambsquarter
Acidic soil: Moss and hawkweed
Alkaline soil: Chicory, chickweed, and spotted spurge

Overseeding

Even the best soil won’t stop weeds if you don’t have a good ground cover. As grass matures, the blades thin out, opening up spaces for weeds to grow. Overseeding fills in these gaps by establishing new, more active grass. A well-kept lawn will need to be overseeded every three or four years to keep up with maturing grass.

There’s more to getting good coverage than just filling the hopper on your overseeder and covering your lawn. If you live in a temperate zone, you can plant both warm and cool season grasses to extend the growing season, keeping weeds out through the year. Changing up varieties also helps get solid coverage. Go for shade-loving varieties under trees and next to buildings, and sun-loving varieties out in the open.

Thatch and Soil Compaction

As with soil nutrition, some weeds thrive in areas with physical soil issues. Horsenettle, pennycress, morning glory, Bermuda grass and knotweed thrive in compacted soil. Knotweed, moss, bindweed, sedge, chickweed and creeping charlie show up in soil with poor drainage due to compaction or excess thatch. Compaction and thatch also reduce water and root penetration, thinning out grass coverage.
Leaving clippings on your lawn decreases thatch build-up. Mulched grass is easily digested by the microorganisms living in the soil. This boosts their populations, helping them break down the woody components that make up thatch. A thin layer of thatch is healthy, but if it’s over a half inch thick, it’s time to get out the dethatcher.

To get the best results when aerating, use core tines with your aerator. Unlike spiked tines, they don’t compact the soil around the hole. Cores may be unsightly, but they can be ground up by your mower after they’ve had a chance to dry out.

Stopping Seeds from Germinating

Both annual and perennial weeds release seeds, but annual weeds like crabgrass rely entirely on this strategy to spread. That means a single plant can release thousands of seeds on your lawn. You can stop this spread by picking up grass clippings when these plants go to seed. For the best results, use a lawn vacuum. It will handle wet and thick grass more effectively than your mower.

Instead of throwing out clippings, consider building a mulch pile. This will kill the seeds and let you return nutrients back to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.

Heat-loving microbes start taking over at 113°F and can reach as high as 170°F in two or three days. A well-managed compost pile can reach temperatures above 140°F, breaking down all organic matter. This temperature will kill black nightshade in about three hours, and most other weed seeds in about an hour. Here’s how you can get the best results:

– Alternate layers of brown (dry) material and green (wet) material.
– Adjust the mixture if it smells like rotten eggs. A good mix will smell like soil.
– Keep the pile moist, but don’t add so much water that it runs out of the pile.
– Mix the pile occasionally to break up clumps and add oxygen.

Keep Your Equipment Ready to Protect Your Lawn

Whether you live in the United States or Canada, billygoatparts.com has everything you need for your Billy Goat equipment. We have parts to repair everything from classic finish mowers to the latest equipment including stand-on blowers and augers. Looking for accessories? We ship those, too.

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How Do I Find the Model Information for My Billy Goat Equipment?

Billy Goat model informationOur advanced search engine makes it easy to find the right parts: When you select the model and serial number, our site will show you parts listings and diagrams specifically for your equipment. Here’s where you can find the model and serial number on your Billy Goat equipment, as well as major components like engines and transmissions.

Identifying Your Billy Goat Equipment

Billy Goat puts the model, serial number and other important information together on a plate. The location of this plate varies depending on the type of equipment.

Lawn and Construction Vacuums
BG Series: On the left side of the frame, below the engine
KV Series: On the left side next to the bag attachment
MV Series: On the left side height-adjustment plate
VQ Series: On the rear left of the impeller housing
Blowers
F6, F9, F13 and F18: On the right side of the frame directly below the engine
FZ: On the rear right side of the impeller housing
Hurricane: On the left side of the engine deck, close to the impeller.

Mowers and Brushcutters
FM and HP Finish mowers: Behind the right rear tire
HW High Weed: Next to the left drive wheel, directly below the engine
BC Outback Brushcutter: On the lower right corner of the frame

Lawn Care Equipment
Aerators and OS Series Overseeders: Rear left of the frame
PR and CR Power Rakes: Rear right of the frame

Sod Cutters
SC: On the left side of the frame, next to the engine
All other models: On the frame below the handles

Aerators
AE: On the rear left of the frame
All other models: On the left side of the housing
Truck Loaders
TR and HTR: To the right of the engine
QL: Below and in front of the engine
DL12, DL13, DL18: On the rear right side below the engine
DL25: On the rear of the housing to the left of the engine

Auger
AGR1300H: On the left side of the frame near the front of the auger.

Identifying Engines

Honda
The model name is printed on the engine cover or the recoil starter cover. It always starts with the letter “G.” The serial number is stamped into the side of the engine. The serial number always has a 4-5 letter prefix followed by a dash and a 7 digit number.

Briggs & Stratton and Vanguard
The model, type and code are always etched in that order on a metal part of the engine. Depending on the model, these numbers are either next to the muffler, on a valve cover, or on the top front of the engine. You may need to remove the engine cover to see them.

Subaru
The model and serial number are printed on the side of the flywheel housing, just opposite of the dipstick.

Kohler

The model and serial number can be found on a large silver label on the engine cover.

Identifying Other Components

Hydro-Gear Hydrostatic Transmissions
The model information is printed on a label located on the transaxle case. The top left number is the model, the bottom left number is the serial, and the top right number is used for cross-referencing.

CAT Pumps
The model number is printed on the metal tag on top of the pump. The serial number is printed on the bottom of the case.

AR Pumps
The model label is on the top of the pump. Look for a number next to “Nr.” on the model tag. The first three numbers are the pump series. The rest of the numbers make up the serial number. The following four numbers are the week and year of production. The next four numbers make up the progressive number, the production number for that week. On newer models, there are 5 more numbers for the manufacturing code.

We Make It Easy to Fix Your Equipment

Billygoatparts.com is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, which means you can get everything for your equipment from one place. We give you three easy ways to find the right part: by the part number, the model series or the equipment model and serial number. We can ship whatever you need to any address in the USA or Canada.

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