Good and bad purchases I made this past month

I have a couple products I bought this past month that I wanted to share my thoughts on with you. One is good and the other still has me steaming a bit.

First the good.

We cover our garden with leaves ever fall and leave it that way all year. It keeps weeds under control as well as continues to add organics to the soil. Every year we just keep adding. When it comes time to plant, you push away the leaves and now composted material enough to plant the seeds/plants. It has worked out really well for us so far.

I had been borrowing a family members leaf sweep to pull behind the lawn tractor which works pretty good. I don’t like borrowing things more than once or maybe twice, so this year it was time to get our own.

After a lot of review reading I settled on the Agri-Fab 44 inch. It seemed as rugged as any other one I have looked at and a bit more than many of them. One of the features that I didn’t give much thought to is the handle that you can use to empty the collection bag while sitting on the tractor. With the one I borrowed, you just got off the tractor, lifted the bag and shook it around a bit. With the Agri-Fab handle method, you can be lifting the bag while you drive away from the pile which turns out to be a great feature and glad that I have it. 

One improvement I may make to it, as we did with the one I had borrowed was to screw a bunch of small sheet metal screws into the tires. it really helped with keeping them turning in piled or wet leaves.

Overall, I really like this leaf sweeper. It has a good adjustable range for the sweep itself, picked up dry and wet leaves and was easy to dump and keep going. Certainly in the recommend category

And now for the bad.

This is the first year that I decided to do some bow hunting from a tree stand. Not being a big fan of heights, ground blinds (natural materials) was always my choice. This year I am going to try it out for the experience more than anything else.

I did a fair bit of reviewing of actual stands and found one that I think I’ll like. I’ll give an update on that after using it several times.

The piece that I didn’t do much research on was a ladder system to actually get up to the tree stand. There are a couple different kinds, those being stick models (pegs coming out from a central pole) and actual ladder looking models. I liked the idea of an actual ladder model as I didn’t like the thought of my big fat feet trying to stay on the pegs of a stick model.

I ended up getting a Guide Gear 20 foot ladder. It met my requirements of being an actual rung ladder as well as reaching twenty feet. 

Here are my observations after installing it a week ago and climbing it around 5 times during install of it and the tree stand.

1st is the paint is flaking off of it and rust is already forming. I’m not sure what the paint process is, but it doesn’t hold up. 

2nd issue I have is the way the sections bolt together. Each section is square tubing about 4 feet in length that slide into each other and then are secured with two bolts. The problem is that the bolts protrude into the rung area where your feet go. This may not seem like a bad thing, that is unless you are wearing Muck boots. I now have a hole in each boot from the bolts tearing at them. Even if I were wearing my leather boots they would get scratched pretty good. If nothing else, the bolts could catch your boot sole which is not my idea of a good time while climbing a skinny ladder strapped to a tree. The bolts should go through the ladder from front to back rather than sideways just adding a snag in the making. 

Now I get to experiment with duct tape and Muck boots to repair the cuts.

I could put the bot the other way, but honestly I don;t think it is going to solve the complaint.

3rd is that the ladder does not stand off from the tree far enough. I won’t be using this wearing running shoes or barefoot. I will be wearing insulated boots which tend to stick out a bit more than normal footwear. Being that is the case, a couple inches in just not comfortable for climbing, at least not for me. With the bigger boots and the snow that will be on them, it should be a couple more inches of clearance.

Clearly I need to move a strap here…glad I looked at the picture.

That’s it for the products, the sweep is great, the ladder will end up being turned in some firewood stands or something.

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