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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've got a Husqvarna TS354XD. I know that there is an OEM bagging kit, but many reviews are plagued with not-so-positive reviews.

The bagger doesn't offer a quick ability to switch between discharge or collection and it looks like having the unit installed would also prevent any usage of the tow hitch in the rear. My research shows that there are pull-behind options, from Agri-Fab, but this would then mean that I'd have be able to reach all areas.

My lawn (7500 sq/ft) is a little tricky, having a slope and some areas that I have to go back over, due to not having the best design for proper mowing patterns.
It's a typical Northern-season mixture and I mow regularly, with the slope preventing a lot of leaves but still a number that hit. Right now, I use my Honda push to collect these.

I do use the trailer function on it. The dump cart and roller are really handy, and it's super easy to swap. I have a backyard that hits the tree line, so all of my disposal is in the woods. I do try to mulch-mow, but when the lawn is going gangbusters during the higher-growth times, I can't make it out often enough to cut quickly enough to prevent clumps.

Right now, it looks like my best option would be the 52" Lawn Sweeper from Agri-Fab. It also costs about the same as the OEM bagger.


if I don't go with the OEM bagger. If I did, I have seen a few videos with modifications that will make it work better. I'm not opposed to that, but the sweeper seems to offer better help for when I dethatch. Does anyone have other options or thoughts?

Thanks
 

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…and it looks like having the unit installed would also prevent any usage of the tow hitch in the rear.
Logically, there’s generally no reason to be mowing with a bagger and pulling a trailer at the same time. So when you want to use the trailer hitch, you just remove the three bags. No need to remove anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Logically, there’s generally no reason to be mowing with a bagger and pulling a trailer at the same time. So when you want to use the trailer hitch, you just remove the three bags. No need to remove anything else.
That's good to know. It seemed like it was possible, I just didn't know for sure that having the bagger would prevent the tow hitch from being used without removal of more than just the bags. (I'd think this would also be a very poor product decision.)

Some folks have commented that the bagger sucks more up than any sweepers. Do you know if this is the case?
 

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It’s all relative depending on the material you’re trying to suck up. Baggers should definitely suck up more, but I’m sure there’s some things like acorns and more wooded droppings that you’d prefer the sweeper and not damaging the blades, might not be able to suck up acorn nuts, etc. But the bagger should outperform the sweeper for most things, especially since it chops up the leaves to improve capacity.
 

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20k Tif419 Bermuda in Greenville SC.
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There is no material reduction when using a sweeper but we're also only talking about 7,500sq ft of lawn here. Which begs the question, why a 54" mower?, but I digress. Sweepers work well, if it's windy, you may find it tricky keeping leaves in the bag. A top cover for the bag/hopper is a big help in those conditions. Steep slopes can be a bit of a pain for a sweeper but if it's comfortable to mow, the sweeper should track just fine behind the tractor.

The 54" deck is the reason why there are no easy answers for leaf collection. Unless specific compromises are made, most decks that large require powered baggers to efficiently move material into the hopper. It's either because the deck design doesn't create enough positive pressure to tolerate a bagging chute, or the deck is capable of discharging more material than a simple chute can handle without a powered blower to move things along.

If you have a mulch kit for the deck, I'd try mowing as often as possible to recycle those leaves into the lawn. If you can hit it every 2-3 days during peak drop season, it should go very quick with the 54" deck. You'd only be doing that for a couple weeks until things calm down.

Also, with only 7,500 sq ft and wooded borders, a good backpack blower would be a highly useful tool and able to clear even heavy leaf cover from that area efficiently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is no material reduction when using a sweeper but we're also only talking about 7,500sq ft of lawn here. Which begs the question, why a 54" mower?, but I digress. Sweepers work well, if it's windy, you may find it tricky keeping leaves in the bag. A top cover for the bag/hopper is a big help in those conditions. Steep slopes can be a bit of a pain for a sweeper but if it's comfortable to mow, the sweeper should track just fine behind the tractor.
I needed one when we moved in, and it was April of 2020. It's 1.5 acres total with about half being what I need to mow. Sadly, due to what was going on in the world and being late to grabbing one, the only one available at my shop was a 54". At the time all I had is my 21" Honda (still do). I'd love to sell it because it is way too big, but hate to think about losing half the value despite having only 35 hours of time on it.

The bigger areas, the 54" does come in handy but, yeah, it's way too big. To do the lawn and dispose takes 45-60 minutes with the push mower.

I also need the hydrostatic with the slopes. When it's off, it'll struggle to make it up the slope.

The 54" deck is the reason why there are no easy answers for leaf collection. Unless specific compromises are made, most decks that large require powered baggers to efficiently move material into the hopper. It's either because the deck design doesn't create enough positive pressure to tolerate a bagging chute, or the deck is capable of discharging more material than a simple chute can handle without a powered blower to move things along.

If you have a mulch kit for the deck, I'd try mowing as often as possible to recycle those leaves into the lawn. If you can hit it every 2-3 days during peak drop season, it should go very quick with the 54" deck. You'd only be doing that for a couple weeks until things calm down.

Also, with only 7,500 sq ft and wooded borders, a good backpack blower would be a highly useful tool and able to clear even heavy leaf cover from that area efficiently.
My neighbor has a nice Stihl and, yep, considering a backpack blower. I definitely have the land to justify the cost, but I have to convince the wife on this, since I already devote "a lot" of resources to the lawn.

What you said makes complete sense. What's an ideal compromise on size? I might see if someone wants to do a swap for something smaller. I asked the folks at my tractor store (where I got it) if they'd do a trade-in and I'm looking at $1500 on a $4000 purchase. That's way too low.
 

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20k Tif419 Bermuda in Greenville SC.
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What you said makes complete sense. What's an ideal compromise on size? I might see if someone wants to do a swap for something smaller. I asked the folks at my tractor store (where I got it) if they'd do a trade-in and I'm looking at $1500 on a $4000 purchase. That's way too low.
There actually used to be a "blue book" for this kind of thing. Unfortunately, it's the wrong color for resale value and outdoor power equipment in general (and especially residential) continues to be a terrible investment. You'd be much better off selling the unit privately around March/April. Plenty of folks looking for a true Garden Tractor, with a big mower deck, but without the new price tag. But I agree that $1,500 is a "I don't want it" offer. They clearly are avoiding trades.

Interesting quip about the diff lock (what you refer to as the "hydrostatic") as that makes replacing this machine a bit more complex. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any machines offered with a differential lock and a smaller deck. The smallest I have seen is 48" which is ok - but still can have similar challenges in regard to bagging attachments. From time to time, I have seen Deere offer a high-end lawn tractor with a diff lock, (without having to upgrade to the X500 series) but all of those are usually 48"+ as well.

In years past, there were garden tractors with 42" mowers, a diff lock, and a simple bagger system that worked well. (Not sure if you're interested in a used, older machine?) But the customer for that machine was/is relatively rare compared to the one that wants the big tractor AND a big mower. Even then, property owners with more demanding tasks than mowing, dictating a heavier duty tractor, are likely to invest in a HD machine to do everything - except mow, and then purchase a dedicated mowing machine (or hire that out) to manage the lawn according to their specific needs.

.... It's 1.5 acres total with about half being what I need to mow. ...
Half of 1.5 acres is 35,000+ sq ft - are you sure you're only mowing 7,200? If your current machine is working well for everything except leaf collection, you may be better off committing to the OEM bagger and making it work for you rather than trying to sell the machine (for a loss) and find a unicorn to replace it with. Compare cost and capability vs buying something like a backpack blower ($500 give or take).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There actually used to be a "blue book" for this kind of thing. Unfortunately, it's the wrong color for resale value and outdoor power equipment in general (and especially residential) continues to be a terrible investment. You'd be much better off selling the unit privately around March/April. Plenty of folks looking for a true Garden Tractor, with a big mower deck, but without the new price tag. But I agree that $1,500 is a "I don't want it" offer. They clearly are avoiding trades.

Interesting quip about the diff lock (what you refer to as the "hydrostatic") as that makes replacing this machine a bit more complex. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any machines offered with a differential lock and a smaller deck. The smallest I have seen is 48" which is ok - but still can have similar challenges in regard to bagging attachments. From time to time, I have seen Deere offer a high-end lawn tractor with a diff lock, (without having to upgrade to the X500 series) but all of those are usually 48"+ as well.

In years past, there were garden tractors with 42" mowers, a diff lock, and a simple bagger system that worked well. (Not sure if you're interested in a used, older machine?) But the customer for that machine was/is relatively rare compared to the one that wants the big tractor AND a big mower. Even then, property owners with more demanding tasks than mowing, dictating a heavier duty tractor, are likely to invest in a HD machine to do everything - except mow, and then purchase a dedicated mowing machine (or hire that out) to manage the lawn according to their specific needs.
Yep, I know it well. A 42" would be better. I don't mind used at all. I can do basic stuff and I'll eventually get a trailer so I can take it to one of the many folks in the town and surrounding area if I needed any more serious maint done. I was going to spend part of the winter doing homework here.

If the picture helps (attached), the slope next to the driveway is the greatest.

I'd love a tractor, just so I could do some real simple excavation work, but that's obviously a much greater investment. I'm fortunate that one of the local hardware stores/lumber yards 3 miles from me rents out most small equipment, and they'll deliver for $20 since I'm so close.

Half of 1.5 acres is 35,000+ sq ft - are you sure you're only mowing 7,200? If your current machine is working well for everything except leaf collection, you may be better off committing to the OEM bagger and making it work for you rather than trying to sell the machine (for a loss) and find a unicorn to replace it with. Compare cost and capability vs buying something like a backpack blower ($500 give or take).
I only had a specific section of the property done with lawn. I had mapped it using my drone with GNSS, so I know it's about that. The rest is just land with half being trees. I have a part on the front near the swell that my neighbor and I share.
Sky Plant Building Cloud Tree
 
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