Quiet-List 1997

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Leaf blowers

On Tue, 10 Jun 1997 10:11:25 -0400 (EDT), 
Sorrento95@aol.com  <Sorrento95@aol.com> wrote:

><<  Why move? My noisy downtown neighbourhood is at least not 
> inundated with the daily leaf (and dust!!) blowers of the more affluent 
> areas.  >>
>    I am not familiar with these devices.  I guess it's a new
>    noise source which will probably show up in my neighbor-
>    hood some time.  What do they do?  Are they for people
>    who are too lazy to rake the leaves out of their yard?
>             -- Michael Wright
   Leaf blowers now seem to be the weapon of choice for suburban lawn
contractors.  To my ear they sound like 200 pound mosquitos; similar 
to a chain saw, but at a slightly lower volume.  I believe they were 
originally intended for cleaning up after-game trash in large public 
sports arenas, but caught on elsewhere simply because they are more 
"macho" than brooms.  I have never used one myself but I've seen/heard
them used/abused plenty.  Typical abuse: trying to blow *wet* leaves.  
A rake is *much* more effective.  Also, they are routinely used 
after mowing to blow clippings off sidewalks and driveways and for 
dust and debris in parking lots, where the next good breeze blows it 
all right back again within 10-15 minutes.  Also, it must be fascinating
for the operator to observe how much dust can be extracted from cracks in
pavement, although I doubt there is any compelling hygenic reason 
to do so.
    I have lately noted a newer, more powerful version, mounted on 
wheels, which is towed back and forth to clear a swath three or feet 
feet wide with each pass.  The noise can be heard 1/4 mile away.  
Typically, the operator spends a good deal of time trying to "finesse" 
the eventual pile of leaves, and ends up taking almost as much time as 
one would with a rake.
    If anyone can supply me with any historical information on these 
devices, I would greatly appreciate it.

David Staudacher - quiet@igc.org 
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