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the TOUGHEST BRUSHCUTTER - walk behind unit!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Pecker, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    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.
  2. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

  3. TGIB

    TGIB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    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.
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    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.
  5. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    CPSC, Bachtold Brothers Inc. Announce Recall 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.
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,700

    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.
  7. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Thank ya'll for your input. Keep it coming.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    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.
  9. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    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.
  10. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    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. . .

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