It does a pretty good job on oak leaves--which is why I purchased it. Half of my acre lot has 20 oak trees with 6 being very large. Each spring, it rains oak leaves from March to April. I take the leaves to the brush pile at the local dump. My lot has St Augustine grass directly under the oaks and the rest of the lot is natural Texas Bermuda grass.
In the past, I used a sweeper to collect leaves. This did a good job on picking up surface leaves on level turf, but I had to use a blower on much of my lot to work the leaves away from the trunks and out of the grass or depressions in the lawn. I would dump the leaves from the sweeper into two huge piles and load them into a 16 ft trailer for disposal. Shoveling 7.5 yards of leaves/thatch from the piles into the trailer was a lot of work and the problem that I was trying to solve by purchasing this bagger.
I considered a towable lawn vacuum, but aside from the expense, I really didn't want have to store it and maintain another motor. So, I bought the Cub Cadet bagger. It was slow work--maybe 1 mph--to pull the leaves from the grass and some areas required multiple passes. However, the result was equal to or better than using my blower and sweeper. While using the bagger took about 4 hours, I did not have to spend 2-3 hours with a blower to work the leaves away from trunks, out of the grass, or onto level turf. Overall, the time to clear the leaves was about the same as using a blower/sweeper but took a fraction of the effort.
For me, the best part was that the grass was collected in manageable loads that were dumped directly into the trailer--no more shoveling huge piles of leaves into the trailer. While the bags are small, they were packed and heavy. Like others, I was covered in dirt and dust when the job was done--but it was no worse than when I shovel the leaves into the trailer.
- Easy assembly--aside from the lid hinge
- Perfect fit for my Cub Cadet
- No clogs
- Manageable loads
- No more shoveling leaves into a trailer
- More maneuverable than a towable collection unit
- I had to move a bit slow to effectively pick up leaves.
- Some leaves did shoot out from under the front of the mower deck. However, this was more of a problem in thin grass than thick grass.
- Lid gasket falls off. Like others, I had to caulk this on. I recommend that you do this before the first use while the gasket and lid are clean. We'll see if this holds
- Lid latches are difficult. The right side unlatches easily, the left side was difficult but manageable.
This bagger exceeded my expectations. I did not have to use the blower, it removed leaves that were deeply embedded in the grass, and picked up the leaves from the depressions in the turf. Keep in mind that I do NOT try to remove every leaf from my lot--just most of them. Transferring the leaves/thatch to the trailer was manageable and the end of the day, my back did not hurt. Wear a quality dust mask and eye protection to deal with the dust.