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Greystone Maxi Vac / Horrible quality / poor design / ridiculous restocking fee

1 PO Box 98095Las Vegas, NV, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 702 791 3111

Our worst buy ever has been the pasture vacuum made by Greystone USA of Las Vegas. We bought one (the larger Maxi Vac and mostly made in the USA). We think it is poorly made with numerous design flaws.

The Chinese made trailer coupler was assembled backwards and even after we took it apart and put it together with the springs in the right order it still needed to be pried apart each time you took it off/put in on the trailer ball. A call to the company for a replacement was ignored.

The tilt mechanism didn't align properly with the trailer tongue making it difficult to latch and unlatch. The Chinese made frame was so light that the tab supporting the tilt mechanism bent the first day. We had to straighten it and reinforce the tab to stop it from bending again. The tilt design is great except they forgot to put a chain on it to limit the travel. It can tilt all the way over on itself - way beyond 90 degrees - which isn't safe for the operator or good for the motor, not to mention the possibility of a fuel leak and a possible fire.

The machine had a horrid running noise squeal. The factory suggested we check the wheel bearings. It turned out there was almost no grease in the bearings. It was hard to stay calm since we had just paid almost $4000 for a machine shipped with almost greaseless bearings.

The very light elastic shock cord used to secure the hose to the machine's clamshell style body - snapped in the first week - we replaced it with something heavy duty and meant to last longer than a week.
The standard hose is only 7.5' long. That is far too short to use on both sides of the machine without constantly getting in and out of your tow vehicle to move the vacuum short distances. When you do use it on both sides of the machine it is easy to burn a hole in the plastic hose as a result of the location of the vacuum engine's unprotected exhaust.
We accidentally burned a hole in the hose the first week we had it. We solved the problem by attaching a garden hose holder made out of bent wire, to the exhaust area to act as a guard.

We fabricated an adjustable riser and swivel to support the hose and allow it to rotate 270 degrees and keep it out of the way of the engine's hot exhaust. The company sells a longer replacement hose (14') which they wanted to sell us for $240 $17/ft. We felt that was highway robbery on a machine we just paid almost $4000 for. We found a better quality hose for only $12/ft and decided to stick with the 7.5’ hose to prevent voiding the engine warranty.

The throttle lever is mounted to the frame in such a fashion that the plastic housing protecting the throttle cable is also susceptible to being burnt by the exhaust. The lever itself constantly comes loose and falls over.

The padded handles on the nozzle kept coming loose and required constant retightening.
We solve the problem by adding another nut and using a thread locking compound.

The clamshell design (on the door you use to empty the machine) is such that you can't open the door without dropping some of the manure (that you just vacuumed up) onto the ground. That would be fine if you could completely fill the machine without having to open it before you were done. But we never found that to be possible. The screen filter inside the clamshell has to be cleaned off at least once or twice in each session as it loses suction and puts added strain on the motor.

The clamshell door has a gasket on it to seal the door to the body.
The gasket fits perfectly on 3 sides. The bottom has almost a 1/4" gap. It looks like a manufacturing mistake. The factory claims it was designed that way. I've looked at large yard vacs and haven't seen a similar gap designed in any of those. If you need the gap – why not have it at the top where the hinge is located?

We found other design flaws in this unit.

This machine doesn’t have an impeller that touches the vacuumed manure. It uses vacuum created by the Shindaiwa commercial blower for suction. This may be suitable for some types of manure and light use applications but it just isn’t strong enough for use on our farm.

In the few months we’ve owned it – we have gone through 3 motors.
Yes, you read correctly – we have replaced 3 motors. The Shindaiwa dealer (who was tremendous to deal with – Glen owner of Citrus Equipment in Crystal River, Florida)
couldn’t even verify that this motor was authorized for this application. We never found out if it was. They replaced 2 motors for us under warranty and we bought a 3rd motor as a spare.

We finally decided that this machine wasn’t well made enough made for use on a farm – 7 days a week - and we took the distributor (wonderful person to deal with) up on her offer to buy the machine back. The original buy back offer was for a full refund. Then we were advised that the “head office” required a 25% restocking charge.

So this little exercise ended up costing us more than $1500 including the price of the spare motor. We are very unhappy with the manufacturer of this product and what we consider to be a very, very substandard machine. Especially for the top of the line price they sell it for.

For around $3700 - this machine could stand a lot of improvement. If you are in the market for a pasture vacuum and have more than a couple of animals, be very, very careful before making your buying decision. If you need a heavy duty pasture vacuum we strongly suggest you buy something other than a machine made by Greystone USA. We also think the company's customer service is atrocious and that a 25% restocking charge on a substandard defective piece of equipment is tantamount to criminal.

Help us all help the USA. Buy 100% American whenever you can. Stop this Chinese onslaught of goods and services. Stop buying from the Harbor Freights of the world.
Pick up items before you buy them and check the country of origin. Buy imports when necessary – just don't buy imports from China.
They have a terrible record on human rights and on the environment.
No one should trust their food products because of their poor standards.
If you are a dog lover you should know they recently clubbed 50, 000 dogs to death in one province because humane methods were too expensive.
This is a fact. I would be glad to send you the proof or see the links below.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14139027/
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E7DA103FF931A3575BC0A9609C8B63


Jeff
Dunnellon, FL

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Comments

  • Je
      24th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    *****UPDATE**********UPDATE*****
    The president of the company called and was very apologetic about how this matter was handled. He immediately initiated a refund for the balance due us which we have received. As far as we are concerned this matter has now been resolved to our satisfaction.

  • Pa
      23rd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hi - our machine IS made in the US. We use as many US components as possible bearing in mind that some things are no longer obtainable US made.

    We have a range of machines available for upto 100 horses.

  • Pe
      19th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    I am not sure why Mr Weller had so many issues with his unit. I also bought the larger unit but mine came with a Honda 4 stroke engine. I have been using mine regularly for about a year with absolutely no problems. It picks up everything I put in front of it and then some. My unit came perfectly assembled. Perhaps the earlier models had issues but I fully endorse the newer models.

    Peter La Tronica
    Woodbridge CT
    203-393-9212

  • Ja
      11th of Apr, 2012
    0 Votes

    We also purchase one of the original paddock vac. We did have some problems in the beginning but when we contacted Greystone, they were very apologetic and did everything they could to help us. We have been using our paddock vac for quite a few years now with absolutely no problems! I look forward to finding out about the new products they have available.
    Jan Gustman
    Lone Willow Stable
    Wisconsin

  • An
      30th of Jun, 2014
    0 Votes

    I found this review interesting and do agree with a few of the complaints. That being said however I love my vac and have had it for about 3 years now. My main complaint is that I also burnt a hole in the hose as he did and had it duct taped up until this year. The hose has now totally disintegrated with splits all the way along. What would have caused that I wonder? Anyone know? Anyway maybe it's because I live in canada but I've been unable to find any replacement hose and my vac is sitting idle at the moment while manure piles up in the fields.
    Never the less I would still recommend it to my friends, just have to sort out the hose issue.

  • Sa
      24th of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    Interesting, I have had the larger model of Greystone Vac for over 5 years and never had one drama with it. works exceptionally well during our harsh, wet winters and powers through summer, pick up is excellent. Always vacuum to fill it completely, top machine with great service.

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