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What Is a Walk-Behind Leaf Blower?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Cleaning up large yards often requires heavy-duty equipment that can perform jobs normally reserved for hand tools, but in much shorter amounts of time. A walk-behind leaf blower is one such tool. This machine is usually mounted on pneumatic wheels and will feature a gas engine that powers a large fan. This fan will produce wind that is funneled through a directional chute, thereby allowing the operator of the walk-behind leaf blower to control where the wind blows. The chute usually pushes air sideways from the machine, thereby allowing for better visibility during normal operations.

The walk-behind leaf blower will feature a handle that allows the user to control the machine easily. One or more of the wheels may swivel to allow for better steering. In some cases, the rear wheels are drive wheels that can make moving the unit much easier, since the user will not be solely responsible for pushing the unit on his or her own. In other cases, the rear wheels will not feature a drive motor and the user will need to push the machine manually. The walk-behind leaf blower may also feature a choke and emergency cut-off switch, but many models will not have these features.

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The tires on the machine are usually pneumatic, meaning they are rubber and contain air. This means the tires will be better suited to adapting to uneven surfaces such as lawns or gravel surfaces. Smaller units may feature solid rubber or plastic tires that are less susceptible to damage but not as forgiving over uneven surfaces. The frame of the machine is usually made of steel for durability and resistance to impact damage that may result from debris being blown by the machine.

This type of leaf blower is generally considered a larger machine that is suitable for larger jobs; for detail work or for smaller jobs, the user may not use the walk-behind leaf blower, but instead a handheld blower or even a backpack model. Handheld blowers are the smallest options, and they tend to be fairly lightweight. Backpack blowers feature larger motors that the user will carry on a backpack frame and straps. The blower motor will be connected to a long, flexible chute that has a trigger and handle mounted to it, allowing the user to control where the wind from the blower goes. By letting go of the trigger, the user can also cut off the flow of air without stopping the motor entirely.

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