Who Is The Agri-Fab 38″ Lawn Sweeper For?
Because the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper is one of the smallest tow behind lawn sweepers on the market, it is more suitable for people with smaller lawns and limited storage space. If you have a large lawn and want to spend less time emptying out a filled-up lawn sweeper, check out the Agri-Fab 44″ model.
- Author: Sid
- Updated: June 28, 2016
- Research Sources: Amazon.com and Sears.com
- Verified Purchases (?) Used For This Review: 50
- Average Amazon Rating*: 3.7 out of 5.0
- Average Sears Rating*: 3.5 out of 5.0
- Average Total Owner Rating (Amazon + Sears)*: 3.6 out of 5.0
* On Publishing Date.
- Official Homepage
- Model Number: 45-0331.
- Lawn Type Compatibility: works with all common residential lawns.
- Lawn Tractor/Riding Mower Compatibility: works with machines that have a universal hitch (check with the manufacturer about your specific towing machine).
- Weight: 63 lbs (28.57 kg).
- Assembled Product Size (L x W x H): 72″ x 45″ x 23″ (182.9 x 114.3 x 58.4 cm).
- Carton Size (L x W x H): 46.25″ x 18.75″ x 12.5″ (117.5 x 47.6 x 31.8 cm).
Riding Lawn Mower Required
Then check out the best selling riding lawn mowers on Amazon. Most are shipped for free to your door if you live in the USA.
What Owners Say About The Agri-Fab 38″ Lawn Sweeper
What Owners Like
There are plenty of pleased owners of the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper.
Many people deem it as capable of picking up grass even with wet lawns, which comes as a pleasant surprise considering that lawn sweepers usually perform poorly in wet conditions.
There are counter claims by others stating that wet conditions prevent it from picking up any debris at all. These contradictory reports seem to be due to a better understanding among the former (more satisfied) group about how to adjust the sweeper height to suit their lawn situation.
Important lesson: learning how to adjust the height of a lawn sweeper makes a big difference in how well it works.
Once owners get past the initial difficulty of assembling the Agri-Fab 38″, they are generally satisfied with the way it works. Many people rave about how it saves significant amounts of time, effort and frustration throughout the year.
What Owners Dislike
The wheel quality seems mediocre. People mention hard plastic wheels that chip. However, the manufacturer is responsive about replacing them upon request.
In addition to the wheels, there are instances of the drive gears stripping. Again, this may be due to the plastic material. It would have been better for the sake of durability if the drive gears were made of metal. However, that would result in a higher price.
One person mentions how the brushes stopped turning just a few hours after the first use, and that the wheel-gears turned into powder. The cause could be the plastic material used in the components. It is very likely that this person did not set up the lawn sweeper properly (especially the height adjustment) and inadvertently caused damage to the machine.
A common gripe with the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper is difficulty of assembly due to confusing instructions. There are many complaints about the instruction manual being heavy on pictures and lacking in sufficient text-based instruction.
One owner warns against downloading any instruction manual from the web site because of outdated versions. To prevent getting your hands on an outdated manual, you can ask the manufacturer for the latest manual by email.
Many owners say that once they got the hang of the instructions and finished assembly, the product works so well that the poor manual can be forgiven.
There are several complaints about disorganized packaging with metal parts getting bent during shipping. Most people find a way to reverse the bent metal (often by hammering it back into shape) and the denting does not seem to affect overall machine functionality. The manufacturer is responsive to requests for replacement of parts that are damaged during shipping.
Height adjustment of the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper seems to be an issue for some people. However, when comparing what happy owners say versus unhappy ones, it is clear that the height adjustment struggles are due to incorrect understanding about how to operate the machine.
It is important to spend time learning about the height adjustment mechanism using the operating manual.
What The Lawn Sweeper Picks Up Well
- Grass clippings
- Pine cones
- Pine straw (though there are reports of wheels getting locked with pine straw)
- Twigs and sticks (small only – has trouble with large ones)
- Sweetgum tree balls
- Wet grass (some people report positively and others negatively about wet grass)
- Mildly wet leaves (soaking wet leaves are a struggle)
What The Lawn Sweeper Does Not Pick Up Well
Pine needles and straw are challenging because they can get wrapped around the wheels and cause jamming. Some people suggest shredding pine needles and straw into smaller pieces with a lawn mower before lawn sweeping.
Wet leaves are reported to be challenging to sweep up. As a rule of thumb, it is best to wait until your lawn is dry before rolling out the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper.
Reported Lawn Sweeping Time Savings
An Agri-Fab 38″ owner with a 10,000 Sq. Ft. lawn containing many trees used to have to set aside a whole weekend to rake and bag the leaves. After getting the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper, he now does the same amount of work over just a couple of sessions of 1 hour each. He no longer feels exhausted after clearing his lawn.
Another person says that he used to spend entire weekends – several of them per season – to rake his lawn. But now, with the Agri-Fab 38″, he spends only one hour over four weekends in the fall and this gets him through the season.
Ease Of Assembly (With Approximate Assembly Time)
Many people report difficulty assembling the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper. The culprit is the poorly written instruction manual, which causes confusion. For many, the struggle with the manual was a key point of frustration with the product itself, while the customer satisfaction after assembly is high.
We calculated the average assembly duration from 11 mentions about assembly time on Amazon (verified purchase) user reviews: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Several people report that a full toolbox is required to put the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper together, so be prepared with your own tools prior to opening the product package.
Perseverance and a positive “nose to the grind” attitude are important to resolve the challenges with assembling this product.
An assembly option some people make use of is getting the lawn sweeper put together at the hardware store after purchase. It can save time and hassle. However, getting it put together at the store could make it difficult to transport back to your home as the assembled product is large.
Ease Of Use
Getting into tight spots can be a challenge with the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper. In fact, that is the case with all tow behind lawn sweepers, because they require a motor-driven vehicle (such as a lawn tractor or riding lawn mower) to tow them. These motor-driven vehicles have a limited ability to turn in tight spots.
Ease Of Storage
The Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper comes apart by pulling two clips, which makes it easier to store. It is a fairly large machine and will require ample storage space.
However, it is one of the smallest tow behind lawn sweepers on the market. If you cannot comfortably store it, you will struggle to store any other model (except for the smaller push lawn sweepers). Take a look at the product dimensions at the top of this page and use a measuring tape to determine if you have sufficient storage space.
The basket and machine itself can be stored separately, as they come apart, which allows for more flexible storage options.
The Agri-Fab 38″ will definitely reduce the fatigue that comes with sweeping a lawn, especially for middle-aged and senior individuals.
There are several complaints that the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper packaging is not sturdy enough. The product sometimes arrives with dents. However, there are also many people who are satisfied with the shape in which the package arrives. That means packaging problems likely depend on the level of care and attention of the shipping company rather than the manufacturer.
The general consensus is that the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper is sturdy. However, some parts are of rather poor quality, such as the wheels and fastening pieces. Certain fasteners that hold the unit together are made of plastic. Some people replace them with their own metallic nuts and bolts to increase durability.
The dumping mechanism is easy to operate: there is a release rope that is pulled, which raises the dumpster and causes all collected debris to fall quickly to the ground.
We did not come across any safety issues with the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper. However, there are precautions that all users must take when operating any machinery as specified in the manufacturer’s documentation.
Customer Service Experiences
Agri-Fab customer service is responsive, though their tone can be subdued and unenthusiastic. We have tested their email customer service via their web site. They are responsive but may take several days to get back to you.
Performance Tips From Owners
General Performance Tips:
- The basket of the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper (where debris is gathered) seems to be of low quality and can be damaged if not assembled property. One owner recommends putting the basket together first, during assembly, before securing it with the included plastic plugs. The reason is that once the plugs are put in they cannot be removed without being destroyed.
- The lawn sweeper requires ample turning room: sweep your lawn in a loop to increase efficiency and save time.
- One person offers simple and practical advice on how to overcome the difficulties with the poor instruction manual: read every word carefully – several times! – before putting anything together.
- Many people suggest going over an area of the lawn several times to pick up more leaves and grass clippings. In terms of frequency, you will need to experiment to see how it works out for your lawn’s unique attributes (grass height, incline angle, moisture, etc.).
- Grease the wheels before the first operation to make the lawn sweeper run better over the long-term.
Increasing Your Productivity With The Agri-Fab 38″ Lawn Sweeper:
- Productivity is increased by dropping collected leaves on the driveway, then using a leaf blower or vacuum to collect them into a bag and dropping them off for compost collection. Some people also collect the leaves and burn them.
- Before using the lawn sweeper, walk and pick up large sticks from your sweeping path to prevent them from getting jammed up in the rotating brushes.
- Experiment with various speeds to find the “sweet spot” where maximum leaves and other lawn debris are picked up. The faster you go, the more volume of debris will be picked up.
- Tow the Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper at around 3mph to optimize pick-up of debris and minimize damage, which equates to the 3rd gear of most riding lawn mowers.
- Set the right height before use in order to achieve maximum debris pick-up and avoid damage to the sweeping brushes. Setting the right height may require experimentation and is one of the most important aspects of proper operation of the machine. Unfortunately, many people give up on lawn sweepers and their life-enhancing benefits because they do not bother to figure out how to set the right height.
- The Agri-Fab 38″ works better than many other lawn sweepers when the ground is wet. However, strive to only sweep when your lawn is dry as that will enhance efficiency and save you time. This goes for all lawn sweepers and not just the Agri-Fab 38″.
About The Manufacturer
The Agri-Fab 38″ tow behind lawn sweeper is made by Agri-Fab, an American company specializing in lawn care equipment that was established in 1975 in Illinois.
Agri-Fab products are manufactured by AF Manufacturing, a division of Agri-Fab, with a large 300,000 Sq. Ft. manufacturing plant in Sullivan, Illinois. The company is a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of lawn sweepers, both of the tow behind and push varieties.
Here is a short video that shows the Agri-Fab manufacturing plant where lawn sweepers are made:
United States of America.
Agri-Fab provides a 3-year limited warranty for the Agri-Fab 38″. In order to activate the warranty, you need to register your lawn sweeper purchase.
Owners report that the manufacturer (Agri-Fab) does not allow for direct returns or refunds past a certain point. You would have to go to the e-commerce merchant/retailer for returns.
For example, if you order from Amazon.com, you may be able to return it within 30 days of the order date, depending on the condition of the package.
Check with your chosen retailer about their return policy before ordering.
Replacement Part Availability And Cost
Product Manual Download
The product manual for the Agri-Fab 38″ tow behind lawn sweeper is available as a PDF document.
It contains instructions in English, Spanish, and French with the following sections: safety, assembly, operation, maintenance and parts.
We suggest contacting Agri-Fab to receive the latest version of the manual by email because the downloadable version might be outdated.
The Agri-Fab 38″ lawn sweeper is a capable machine that works well and is sturdily built.
However, it is one of the smallest tow behind lawn sweepers on the market.
Smaller lawn sweepers have smaller collection baskets, which means they fill up quickly and have to be dumped more often, which increases the time required to clear a whole lawn.
If you have a large lawn and wish to save maximum time when clearing it, check out top-rated larger tow behind lawn sweepers (40 inches and above).