God, I'm tired of manually scraping 1-2" of tree junk off my driveway. What I need is a gas powered push type reel-mower type thing with a rotating bristle brush up front to blast the junk ahead of it. Called the local rental place: "$40 for 4 hours (sucker)". As Chris Rock would say: "Good Lowd, that's alota money". Checked HF; no go. I suppose I could whip something up- another project on the long list. Ideas? source for a drum shaped bristle brush? JR Dweller in the cellar
Cut down the trees? Hire local teens to sweep? Bribe street sweepers? Pressure washer?
On Capitol Hill the homeowners adjacent to Volunteer Park routinely rake tree stuff (mostly leaves) out into the street for the city to pick up. I moved up there in 1961, it still goes on to this day ..
John Deere makes a 24" diameter x 72" wide rotary brush that mounts on the front of their gator and is powered by a 10HP motor. It might give you some ideas. If you go with a large rotary broom concept it will need to be mounted to something because it would certainly out power you manually.
Black and Decker, Toro, and others sell "power brooms" that are smaller and can be handled manually; but it sounds like you want something more like the "rotary brooms", which are much larger.
That's what I was thinking, too - but snow throwers and blowers are designed to break the snow up, and rake it toward the center of the machine. Blowers pass it to an impeller which tosses the snow out the chute. and throwers get the snow moving at high speed up and around the drum and pass it to a set of turning vanes to steer it to one side... Either way, leaves and needles are going to clog up the works in about ten seconds.
A walk-behind single-stage snow *thrower* might work with the impeller removed and a big brush attached, but only if you reverse the motor so it pushes the debris forward. And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - it's going to be fighting with you every foot of the way.
On top of that, there's no easy way to adjust for brush clearance as it wears, you have to allow for several inches of change or throw out the brushes way too often.
You need one of those powered wire-brush drums that mounts to the front of a Bobcat skid-steer or a small Kubota-style tractor. Now the bare brush drum for /that/ Tom might be able to make, but the mounting and drive mechanism is going to be your problem.
The ones I've seen being used by paving, sewer and pipeline contractors have a hydraulic motor turning the brush drum *against* the forward direction of travel (at roughly 40 to 90 RPM) to push the crap forward like a push broom, and the brush can be angled either way (with a pivot and double-acting cylinder) to push the debris toward the curb or shoulder.
And they usually plop a molded poly water tank on top of the tractor safety cage and rig a water spray pipe in the brush region to cut down on the (considerable) dust thrown up in the process.
Consider your lawn mower. The blade cuts and shoots the clippings into the bag. First try and adjust the height of the mower and mow your driveway. If that doesn't work perhaps you can make a blade with a little more lift to suck up the tree stuff.
A front tine rototiller with brushes installed and pulled backwards behind your tractor? You could leave the wheels on and use the skeg arm to attach it to the tractor and have an adjustment up to the handlebats to set the amount of contact for the brushes. You would probably need some way to set it at an angle so it sweeps to one side. Or if ya want to walk behind it. Use the same type brushes with a bagger behind for the tree junk to fly into and adjust how fast it travels over the driveway by how ya hold the handles. Sorta like one of the old gas powered reel mowers.
My favorite way to get rid of that stuff is with a blower and my chipper. The chipper has a chute that drops down so you can blow stuff into it or rake it into it. I put some side boards on the intake chute to make a bigger target. It is a 10HP chipper/shredder and has a bagger attachment. It always amazes me how I can put a good sized truckload of tree junk into a garbage bage or two. I usually just set it to blow someplace I want the chips to be like the garden and blow all the tree junk to it.
Martin (never used a snow plow before) Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member