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View Full Version : the TOUGHEST BRUSHCUTTER - walk behind unit!


Pecker
02-05-2005, 11:18 PM
Hey what's up!

I'd like to know what is the toughest, most rugged, heavy duty, reliable, bullet-proof walk behind brushcutter on the market (properties not big enough for a tractor pulled bush hog). Although I value everyone's opinion, I especially want to hear from anyone who uses one on a regular basis (if there are any).

What are all the brands available?

Is there one that is "commercial" duty (meant to be used daily that won't tear up under heavy duty), like we use our ZTRs?

The unit I'm considering is the Billygoat Outback. I know DR makes one but don't know that it would be considered commercial grade. . .same thing regarding Troybilt. . . but I'm open for any and all suggestions.

For whatever brand you recommend, how is parts availability?

Thanks in advance.

Oldtimer
02-05-2005, 11:30 PM
www.bachtoldbros.com

They ain't pretty but they are indestructible.

TGIB
02-06-2005, 12:35 AM
Giant Mow made by Giant Vac has a real decent "trash" mower that cuts about 28 inch wide. This mower uses a hydrostat drive which gives you very easy and good control of the mower in real rough conditions. This company was bought out by Simplicity Tractors a couple of years ago, and I think you can find them at Simplicity dealers now.


The greatest walk behind bush hog type mower ever made was the Gravely two wheel tractor with a 30 inch front mower. Unfortunately Gravely stopped making them last year[ after 70 years !] You may still be able to find a new tractor at some Gravely dealerships, or you might find a good used Gravely, if you look around the internet. There is no walk behind machine made anywhere in the world that is the equal to one of these tractors !!!!

If you do look for a used Gravely, only get a "newer" model that has a Kohler or Briggs Vanguard engine. The older units that had Gravely made engines were real neat for a collector, but the 30 to 70 year old machines are not up to being used everyday in a modern business environment.

sildoc
02-06-2005, 02:05 AM
I have used several and in-fact have the outback. All in all I don't think any are commercial quality. I have had, used, or still have a simplicity, Troybuilt, Outback, snapper and giant. All have spindle problems. I have not used the hydro model of any but would really like to test one some time.
All in all they work fine, if you expect and are prepared to replace the spindle at least once a year.
I hire a guy every spring to mow housing lots and ag areas. I have roughly 1 month of work for him 6 days a week just mowing these junk areas. In that month I usually have to replace the spindle once if not twice. Problem is the spindles are not tough enough to handle smacking a rock or brick or beer bottle, or ????? several times a day. Knowing this and the spindle being 50-70 bucks I add this in to almost every bid I do.
Don't get me wrong they work fine but expect to have repairs.

op4_camper
02-06-2005, 02:51 AM
www.bachtoldbros.com

They ain't pretty but they are indestructible.


CPSC, Bachtold Brothers Inc. Announce Recall (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml04/04043.html) of Brush Cutters



I guess people will never learn... Well I guess when they lost there fingers they did.
It seems people would if you can believe this pull on the front of mower will it was running. This is why manufacturing in this country is next to impossible.


I was watching a show on pbs they where saying one reason products don't get improved on. Is because lawyers would go see there was a problem with your product thats why you changed it.

Mowingman
02-06-2005, 10:54 AM
The two-wheel Gravely tractor with a 30" mower, or a sickle bar mower, is the alltime best brushcutter ever made. It is an indestructable chunk of iron that will mow anything you run over with it. It will also handle hillsides you can not even stand up on. All these "newer" brushcutters are a piece of junk, compared to a Gravely.
Yes, as mentioned before, Gravely quit making them a little over a year ago. However, there are thousands of them out there, and usually several good ones are being offered on Ebay at any given time.
I prefer the older models with the Gravely engine. Parts are readily available, and pretty cheap too. However, not just any small engine shop can work on them. The Kohler-powered machines offer more engine choices, are still tough machines, and the engines can be repaired by more shops. For brush cutting with a kohler engine Gravely, I like the 10hp or 12hp models best.

Pecker
02-06-2005, 01:07 PM
Thank ya'll for your input. Keep it coming.

TURF DOCTOR
02-06-2005, 08:24 PM
I have used the outback for several seasons never had a problem slipped a belt 1 time.I would look at the snapper version of the out back the controls are easy,the out back has cut rocks stumps dirt piles locust trees tough as a anvil.

Turf Dancer
02-06-2005, 11:39 PM
I have run and worked with others who have used the following Bachtolds, DR's, Outbacks, and another which looked like a Bachtold but was different. I would go for the Outback with the Honda engine. Make sure to got the tires foam filled if you have a lot of problems with puncture vines.

Pecker
02-07-2005, 12:09 AM
Well, first let me thank you all for your input.

I've looked at all the models you've mentioned (online) and see great attributes with each of them.The only two available to me (dealer locally) are Billygoat and Simplicity.

I really like the Gravely tractor but don't want to invest in them since they no longer produce the unit. Parts availability is a major concern for me.

The BCS would be a great option for me because I could use many of the attachments, but they have no dealers/service centers in neither my state, nor any state near me, so that one's out.

I like what I've heard about Billygoat and I like the price. A little concerned about the trouble with the belts and spindle.

I also like the hydro Simplicity, although the price is $1000 more.

Kinda see-sawing on the two. . .
Billygoat and Simplicity. Also, Billygoat has one dealer near me, Simplicity has two. . .

LB1234
02-07-2005, 12:28 AM
We have a Billy Goat Outback Brushcutter. Model #BC2401C to be exact. B&S engine, 10.5HP. 1 Reverse and 3 forward speeds. Either 00 or 01 can't remember right now. We do not use it everyday like your saying. Perhaps once a month for 2-3 hours. Thinking back paid around 18-1900 for it. Maintenance parts are very easy to come by. Although I think that has to do with dealer NOT with Billy Goat themselves.

We love it. Starts 2nd/3rd pull every time. We are pretty good about general maintenance and long-term storage. Does excellent in tall grassy stuff. We cleared a lot last year with bunch of old sticker bushes/brush whatever you want to call it and went through it like hot knife through butter. IMHO, you'll never use third gear unless you like to run. 2nd is a nice quick pace to get the job done. Can handle <1" diameter "trees" with no problem. Can go up to 1.5" but you tend to bog the engine down or worse just stall it outright. Of course you are taking your time in 1st gear.

It does have a tendency to get stuck if you are on some hilly uneven terrain taken out some really thick brush. Just need to rock a little back and forth and put your back into it a little. More of a workout for you, still faster than a brushcutter on the end of a trimmer or by hand with tools. Just my two cents. Any specific questions you may have about it I'll try and answer.

Pecker
02-09-2005, 10:52 PM
Just wanted to thank everybody for your responses.

Also, I checked into the Bachtold unit and inquired where their closest dealer is. They said it is no longer being manufactured. . .

Anyhow, thanks again. :waving:

Pecker
02-09-2005, 10:58 PM
LB1234,

I looked at the Billygoat yesterday ata trade show and the guy there who was telling me about it said it would give you a real workout. . .I can't imagine it being much worse than using a tiller or an aerator, or something like that. . .but I could be wrong. What's your take on this? Is it that hard to operate?

LB1234
02-10-2005, 01:12 AM
LB1234,

I looked at the Billygoat yesterday ata trade show and the guy there who was telling me about it said it would give you a real workout. . .I can't imagine it being much worse than using a tiller or an aerator, or something like that. . .but I could be wrong. What's your take on this? Is it that hard to operate?

Hard to operate? No, not at all. There is a bar to set your gear down below the handle bars. Similar to some WB mowers and snow throwers. There is a throttle along with an on/off switch for mine mounted on the right handle. Pull down on the right lever handle and machine goes in whatever gear you are in. Pull down the left and it engages the blade. I might have handles reversed can't remember off top of my head. Anyways...turning it takes a little getting use to...after all you are physically turning the machine with a little help from the forward gear. It's not like the hydro pumps on mowers where one wheel is going in the opposite direction to make the zero turn.

It will give you somewhat of a workout. I don't think you'll ever use 3rd gear, not even for transport...unless you didn't go for your morning jog. I guess you could equate the use of it to a tiller. Thats a pretty good comparison. Instead of breaking up dirt you are breaking up brush. Look at it another way...would you rather till clay or potting soil. Well same for brushhog. Would you rather cut tall grass or 1" saplings. It will handle the 1" sapplings and brush but you need to go slower and pay a lot more attention...similar to tilling clay soils.

Again, good luck with your search. I'll try and answer any other questions the best I can if you have them.

greengrass2003
02-10-2005, 10:14 AM
Hey what's up!

I'd like to know what is the toughest, most rugged, heavy duty, reliable, bullet-proof walk behind brushcutter on the market (properties not big enough for a tractor pulled bush hog). Although I value everyone's opinion, I especially want to hear from anyone who uses one on a regular basis (if there are any).

What are all the brands available?

Is there one that is "commercial" duty (meant to be used daily that won't tear up under heavy duty), like we use our ZTRs?

The unit I'm considering is the Billygoat Outback. I know DR makes one but don't know that it would be considered commercial grade. . .same thing regarding Troybilt. . . but I'm open for any and all suggestions.

For whatever brand you recommend, how is parts availability?

Thanks in advance.


Hustler used to make the Hog. It was a 48" one blade mower. It shared parts with the shortcut mower and could swap decks with it. Unfortunately, they have been discontinued, but maybe you could find one used.

mmacsek
02-10-2005, 11:35 AM
Good thread!! I have some work this year for rough cutting and I don't even advertise it. The few jobs I get I usually rent one as long as it's not broken. I can't justify a new one so I have a question about a used Gravely. What model Gravely is good for this kind of work? I seen some L models on ebay with no specs i.e. horsepower , age , etc. Is there a website I can get specs or info? I'm researching this and would like as much info as I can get. If I should of started a new thread let me know. Thanks Matt

crawdad
02-10-2005, 06:22 PM
Good thread!! I have some work this year for rough cutting and I don't even advertise it. The few jobs I get I usually rent one as long as it's not broken. I can't justify a new one so I have a question about a used Gravely. What model Gravely is good for this kind of work? I seen some L models on ebay with no specs i.e. horsepower , age , etc. Is there a website I can get specs or info? I'm researching this and would like as much info as I can get. If I should of started a new thread let me know. Thanks Matt
There are a couple of Yahoo clubs (Mailing lists).
My 16 hp kohler is probably the best gravely WB tractor for such cutting. It's not for sale, but I see you are in PA. There are a lot of gravelys up there.
Crawdad

Pecker
02-10-2005, 09:36 PM
I must say, I really like the BCS unit. I could put MANY of those attachments to good use and I'm a big fan of using one power unit for the wide assortment of attachments (like the Gravely which has been discontinued). Unfortunately, according to the BCS website, they have no dealers in any state near me. . .bummer.

I think Billygoat is my best option. . .especially when it comes to dealer support, which is a major factor for me.

Again, thank you all for your input.

PS: Mmacsek, your welcome to use this thread as far as I'm concerned and your information is right in line with the info I was seeking. . .

Lovbcstiller
02-14-2005, 07:35 PM
Go Try a BCS tractor. (it's like a gravely) I have the rototiller on it. It does not even jump or 'walk' on hard ground. They also have a good sickle bar attachment for it so i hear. their website is www.bcs-america.com. This machine has all kinds of attachment to it.

Pecker
02-14-2005, 10:43 PM
Go Try a BCS tractor. (it's like a gravely) I have the rototiller on it. It does not even jump or 'walk' on hard ground. They also have a good sickle bar attachment for it so i hear. their website is www.bcs-america.com. This machine has all kinds of attachment to it.
I'd love to but they have no dealer anywhere close to my state. That really stinks. :mad:

Gravely Pro 10
03-11-2005, 11:08 PM
i LOVE my Gravely! it's a late 80's model with the Kohler Magnum 10. as everyone said, they are bullet proof! with the 30" brush hog deck with 3/8" blade, i can tackle small trees... i actually grew up using my grandfather's old 5260 (8 hp Kohler) and have been hooked ever since. once i got my new house with property on the lake i had to get one for myself. now every time i use it, i'm reminded of the "good ole days"...

anyway, they are great machines and you can still find parts pretty easily. there is a huge following for the 2 wheel tractors and there are several vendors that specialize in them. i found my tractor on ebay or $800 and it included a riding sulky, 30" brush hog, and 40" finish mower. what a deal!