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Posted on September 28, 2012, updated October 1, 2012
Received my DR trimmer today after much anticipation and research. Out of the box, put it together, fired it up and it didn't work! The head that holds the cord would not spin. So after trying a few adjustments - I just parked it until tomorrow. I am a very patient person and I will follow the trouble shooting guide and see if I can get it to work. BUT, I expect a new item to work out of the box, to have been tested before shipping. Especially a $1200.00 one! I don't like hassle which is why I bought the trimmer -- to end the hassle with my hand held trimmer. So we are not off to a good start DR!
On October 1st, 2012, freebk changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Ok, so after talking to DR and the local dealer I took the trimmer apart to check the belt and sure enough it was off -- so I put it in place and fired it up again and did some serious damage to some 5 foot weeds! DR is sending a new belt since the one in the unit was a little shredded but still working. It is a powerful machine. Unless your property is perfectly flat buy the self propelled model! It really makes a difference. I'm a petite female and this machine is heavy to push and pull on a slope.
Happy weed eating to all!
The Dr. trimmer pro is a good machine, but it is not without its problems! I would buy it again from a dealer,not from the factory. Once the machine is dialed in it worked great. There are some design flaws. the cutting head is way to soft and will wareout quickly if you use it around any hard rocks or cement.. The wheels are very cheap for the cost of the machine. You must tip the machine up on edge(like doing a wheely) to change the cutting line, not a good thing when the machine is hot. the top of the engine should have a better cover on it ,it fills up fast in thick grass or weeds cause engine to over heat. If you order from factory make sure every bolt and nut is tight on the unit from top to bottom. I had to take my machine into the local dealer 2 times but they fixed the problems and showed me how to prevent it from happning again.
It goes like a bat out of hell now.
I have owned a 17 hp DR Field and brush mower for over 5 years now. This thing works awesome and the information on their web site is true and accurate. I am so impressed with this machine and the people at the DR factory store in Merrimack, NH They have always been courteous, respectful, pleasant and very knowledgeable about the equipment they sell. I have almost 340 hours on my machine and I use it year round. . I have the chipper attachment, the snow blower attachment and the generator. The main reason I bought this was to use it on my remote property in Vermont. I also make a few bucks clearing peoples overgrowth now. When my regular snow blower died it was either get a new one or buy the attachment. I went w/ the attachment so I would have to maintain one engine. The only problem I have w/ the snow blower is that it is way to big for my house. The generator kept my fridge, TV, several lights, furnace, my neighbors TV, fridge, and several of their lights on when we were with out power for a week after a major ice storm. I am also very happy with the wood chipper.
I have had some problems since owning it, but, compared to the punishment I give this beast, please see the video, I consider them minimal...The axel/differential has been replaced a few times ( a "skid" plate under it might help from things hitting lock in/out cam causing it to bend), once while under warrantee, I have had my deck welded several times and have bought a 26" deck so now I have 2 (I do have a couple of very simple ideas for improvements to the deck that would make it a little more user friendly) and the spindle was replaced once. The pulley has sheared many times and I consider them to be a "shear pin" of sorts and have at least 1 replacement at all times. The most expensive repair, a month or 2 ago, was the transmission. I follow the maintenance schedule as far as oil and lube and have never had a problem with the engine. Every time I have been in for repairs, the service has been prompt and thorough. They go through the machine and have taken care of small things like a missing nut or lose connection and often at no charge. I feel they have never over charged me or did work that wasn't necessary. If they didn't have the parts I need in stock, they have them sent to me and I have never been charged for shipping. They have always exceeded expectations!!! I wish more business were like the people at DR. Since they treat me good, I go back!!! I like them so much, when my lawn mower died, I got a battery powered mower from them... Of which I have not had a single problem with in 2 years.
I would like to state that I do not work for them or affiliated with them in any way. I decided to sign up for Daves Garden after reading some of the negative reviews DR has received. Who else, in any business, gives a 6 month trial/money back guarantee AND a 2 year warrantee? (I bought mine late in the season and it came with a YEAR trial.) If anyone reading this is considering buying one of these and you have the place to use it, just do it. Speaking from my experience you will be glad you did.
Want to see what this machine can do? Check out the 2 links below. These are actual before and after pictures and the video is of an actual job, it wasn't "staged." I am sure you will be impressed!!!... You might even see your problem overgrowth in the pictures.
I have a 6.0 HP DR trimmer. After a couple of years of HARD use the Briggs & Stratton engine died. While I was waiting for a new engine I relied on a used Troy built trimmer/mower. No comparison in quality and ease of use. The DR trimmer is the winner, hands down. I have installed a 6.0 HP Kawasaki engine on it and what a difference. The RPM's are a little slower but it has a heavier flywheel - much less vibration and it desen't bog down at all. And I really use my trimmer. I almost didn't by the DR because the trimmer came with a B & S motor. DR should really consider dropping the B & S line of engines. I think the new trimmers are a bit over-priced but they are SO much better than the Troy/Crafts/Husky alternitives.
I've had my trimmer/mower over 10 years and have used it on thick St Augustine on the Texas Gulf coast and now over koliche laden with rocks of all sizes in the hill country as I trim weeds of assorted varieties and the little grass that's here. Although I had to replace the wheels about 1 year ago and the top shield assembly could stand replacing, I've had no other problems. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that a friend buy one.
On Aug 15, 2010, FAADAN Kimberling City, MO wrote:
Posted on October 31, 2008, updated August 15, 2010
I have had a DR field and brush mower for about 5 years. It has performed very will. I have cleared 4 brush covered acres, mowing over trees up to 1 and a half inches. Mine is the older model without the locking differential. It has a little problem on steep slopes of the upper wheel spinning. I call it the Beast because it mows watever I want to mow. I wouldn't recommend the biggest model to someone small of stature as it is a powerful maching. I sheared a pully and broke a blade but I have really used it as a brush hog. Since purchsing the heavier blade I have had no problems. It is a beast so make sure you can handle a powerful machine.
On August 15th, 2010, FAADAN added the following:
It's two years later and I still love my DR Field and Brush Mower. It has the 17HP Kawasaki engine and tho I have had to replace some parts, I have really abused this machine and it starts and runs first time. I have still to replace the battery after 7 years. I beat the deck to death throwing stones and branches into it and just replaced it this year. It still has the original belts on it. I have lost a bolt here and there and had to replace them but that is from not paying attention to proper maintenance. I cleared 4 acres of undergrowth the first year and that involved hitting a lot of big rocks and broken branches and mowing off a bunch of small trees. Now, I can mow the entire place in two mornings, cutting off the weeds and small trees that try to regrow from the old stumps. I have picked up most of the rocks so I have sheared no more drive pulleys. It's been a workhorse for me.
LOVE THIS FIELD AND BRUSH MOWER!!!
My husband and I purchased a DR Field and Brush mower, 15 HP about three years ago. We have 5 acres of land of which one is cleared and 4 are overgrown woods. If you have ever been to NW Florida, you know what I'm talking about. We have used it consistently to help us clear this acreage and it has never let us down (we did replace the battery). This machine is a dream come true if you need to clear land. We even take down trees (Youpon) about 2" round when they get in our way. We are probably using it much rougher than it was designed, but again it has never let us down. It is so easy to use that it has now pretty much become mine rather than my Husband's. At the same time we also purchased the DR 13 HP Wood Chipper and again we have worked it to death and it has never let us down. Since we have had such success with these two we are getting ready to purchase the DR Trimmer Mower, self propelled, for weed whacking some pretty rough areas. The only thing we would change on our brush mower would be the key start. It's kind of flimsy and you have to be careful turning it on as the key can bend the plastic pretty easy.
At 61, the 3 acres I have been weed wacking for years has now started to pose a real headache trying to keep up. We have even thought of downsizing although we don't want to. I bought the key start pro model DR trimmer this year and the weeds (even very large ones) do not have a chance. I get it done in a hour or so of just walking around (and can play golf in the afternoon). Used to take me multiple weekends by which time, the first weeds cut were back. This unit is made extremely well from my perspective, starts every time and is so many more times powerful than my other timmers, it's amazing. They now are merely dust collectors. In addition, I was able to get rid of my walk behind lawn mower that I used for areas my tractor could not fit. My only regret is that I did not get it a few years ago.
I have a 5.25 HP DR Trimmer and after almost 15 years, just had to replace it. Up until this season, I could still start it with just one or two pulls. I love this thing and will order a new one this month. I have read all the negative reviews, but I think it is more in the operator than the equipment. These things are bullet proof and worth every penny. You can by the cheap home store version, but those machines I would consider disposable. These DR Trimmers will last with normal maintenance and operation.
********If you read a lot of the complaints, especially the ones with rebutals, I would imagine there is more to the story.********
I purchased my DR Fieldbrush four years ago. It has run perfectly from day one. Other than typical maintenance, the only thing needing replacement has been the battery. I use my 15 hp machine to run the lawnmowing attachment, brushcutting attachment, and the snowblower. My only complaint is that the mower can easily scald the yard in uneven areas.
I have used the brushcutter on 3+ acres of harsh terrain with significant slopes. It can be a little tiring on a side slope, but the results are incredible.
The snowblower throws snow further than any product that I have owned in the past.
I have had relatives, friends and neighbors use this machine over the years, and all love it and have asked to borrow it numerous times.
On Sep 21, 2009, aw0043 Lady Lake, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I am a 65 yr old woman. I bought the DR trimmer a few years ago because I could not use the hand held "weed whackers". I love the DR trimmer. It works great. I also bought the Beaver blade attachment, and it is great for cutting down small saplings and other shrubby bushes that are too big for the trimmer cords.
We have 4 acres and we find lots of uses for our DR.
We have had our DR Trimmer/Mower for 5 years. It has a Briggs and Stratton engine, electric start (which I would definitely get again), but is not self-propelled (under most circumstances this is not necessary as it is very well balanced and easy to push - even for me, a 5'5" woman). It should not be confused with the Field and Brush Mower which we also have (several of the negative postings were about this machine) and which is very powerful and heavy and requires some strength to operate. The Trimmer/Mower is definitely the most wonderful piece of lawn equipment I have ever used. It is very important, however, to use it correctly and maintain it according to the suggested schedule. I mow through 4 foot tall star thistle along with many other woody weeds. In order to mow this type of material you have to use the largest of the lines, and I found it best to place them close to the ground on the mow ball. Then start working from the side going back and forth; otherwise you may get tangled up in the very large, stringy plants. No other line trimmer could come close to getting through large star thistle plants. As for maintenance, such as changing belts, I just did that this morning on mine. While it is not as easy as changing oil, it is not that difficult if you have just a little bit of mechanical ability. The manual could have a little better and larger photographs of some of the things, but most are quite good and instructions adequate. The maintenance schedule calls for removing the stone guard (2 nuts) and the bottom shield (3 nuts) to check the belt on a routine basis - same operation for changing belt. I have found that grass and dirt do manage to get in this area and it is good to clean it a couple times a season. Seems like most of the negatives I read are probably attributable to failure to operate or maintain correctly. I have found the company very helpful whenever I have had to call them (we did have a problem with the key switch early on, but they sent out a new part and I easily replaced it). I would not hesitate to buy another one of these wonderful machines.
On Jun 12, 2009, northstar142 Bellingham, WA wrote:
I have to say that my initial experience with my DR Trimmer was very bad. We used it for less than an hour and the engine started choking out and misfiring when trying to start. I took it in to a local repair shop and he got it running again and billed Country Home Products...no problem...except for the next time we ran it, it ran for less than an hour and the engine died and wouldn't start. Back to the repair shop and this time the B&S engine was shot. The repair guy had Country Home Products send out a new engine and it's been working great ever since. It's so much easier having one of their affililated repair shops deal with them because he must speak their language. I have to admit that I'm completely satisfied with my trimmer now, sometimes I wish I had purchased the self propelled model, but it works great now! I'd definitely purchase another one when I wear this one out!
I notice that several different machines are being evaluated under this heading. I have the 65 hp DR String Trimmer Mower with a Kohler Engine. If I have to buy another one I would get a Briggs & Stratton engine and an electric key start instead of the pull start. I was advised to get the Kohler engine because I have some steep slopes in my mowing area. The Kohler engine was supposed to keep going on the slopes without choking out. In fact the Kohler engine has some narrow apertures in it and is susceptible to clogging. You have to keep your gas fresh and 10% ethanol which attracts water is not good either.
The strings are easy to attach - its a good idea to mark the correct holes and over the winter keep the dirt daubers from blocking the holes. I would cover the engine and store so it is dry, protected and doesn't freeze up over the winter. You need a fresh spark plug each season and it should start up and be ready to go.
I love my trimmer. It will mow 3 or 4 ft weeds and its not too hard to push even for a getting older every year lady.
Ive had the machine for about 15 years. The strings - I use the heavy green ones you buy on a big roll at Lowes - will last a long time if you dont try to cut into trees, tin cans, fence posts, etc with them. You can "sharpen" them with fingernail clippers for a fresh edge.
After reading the posts about the DR Trimmer, I was compelled to join Dave's Garden and comment positively about the DR Trimmer. My trimmer is a manual start 6.5 Pro purchased in July 1999. It has performed excellently on uneven ground against thick Kochia, Canadian Thistle, Mallow, Sunflowers and other odd woody plants. I mow fence lines every month from May through October and paddocks as needed on a 5.5 acre high altitude property. The mower continues to start right up, it has easily been repaired when needed, the company has provided good advice and quick parts. I highly recommend this product and will replace mine with another when simple repairs no longer solve a problem. Thanks very much.
I'm not sure if some of the other reviews here are based on the same machine I've owned and used for almost 2 years, because I've been satisfied beyond measure at how well my DR Field and Brush Mower has performed. Expensive? Yes, although I've been around long enough to know that you get what you pay for in tools. This machine is very well built, and it's obvious that if I care for it that it may outlast me!
It cuts just about anything it will push over, and it really does do the things that the TV commercial shows. I also purchased the snow-blower attachment which has worked well. The only problem I've encountered is a blade v-belt that shredded before it should have, but their technical support was good and I was back in business pronto.
Others in my community also own DR tools and are universally happy, so these negative reviews really surprise me. I'm eyeing one of their chippers now...
I saw the negative votes and wanted to say something positive about a machine that I really love. I bought my first DR brush mower about 15 years ago when I bought a house that came with an acre of overgrown brush. It was a great mower. I didn't challenge it much and it was a pain to reverse but I loved it. A few years ago I bought a new house on 10 overgrown acres. Lots of brush and thorns and swampy areas. I acquired a tractor with a brsh hog to tackle the field but I wanted to be able to make trails and clear under trees and manage the septic mound. I bought a new DR brush mower, 15 HP Kawasaki. Lock in differential. PLUS I got a snowthrower attachment which is easy to switch with the mower deck.
I can't say enough good things about this machine. It could take down the rainforest. I have never had a problem. It's built better than my JD tractor! I change the oil every year spring and fall when I switch out the mower/snowthrower. I've made lots of trails that I have fun keeping clear. I boast of the DR to friends and let them borrow it for the weekend. I have no problem handling it. Its a big machine and I'm not a big person -- but we're a great match. As we head into winter the tractor is sitting in field but my DR mower is snug in the barn waiting for the first snowfall to tackle.
On Jul 19, 2008, bropastor Collinsville, MS wrote:
I would just like to say in defense of DR Trimmer mowers that several years ago I was given one from an elderly cousin who could not longer use it. It was a fantastic machine and we wore it out!!! We ordered another one and it has worked just as good as the first one. Now we own more than one home and will be purchasing another one to keep at our other home. I would reccomend this product to friends and family without a doubt. In fact, a friend of mine used our DR and was so impressed that he purhcased on for himself and loves it! Keep up the good work!!! Thanks DR Trimmer!
I knew that having to stop and replace string whenever it breaks-off was a bad idea the first time I had to do it. I spent more time replacing string than trimming and ran out of replacement string in the first half hour of use. I also noticed that the handle seemed to vibrate a lot and my thumbs got numb after a couple minutes. I was frustrated and knew this was a bad purchase right away, then things got worse...
The drive shaft's retention clip started slipping and the chain popped-off repeatedly. I bought some new string, but then the trimmer's engine started locking-up on me. I think we filled its small gas tank 4 times and have about an hour's use on it.
The phone support people were nice & responsive. DR sent me plastic parts that had broken on initial shipment and new clips for the drive shaft; I also bought new string. DR's email-support-people were more mediocre, they seemed overly impressed with their engines - even though "freezing-up" didn't impress me at all. We've trimmed for 8 years using the same cheap-o lawn mower and its engine still runs, but after such little use, the DR's doesn't.
Please note: I am not trying to influence DR by posting negative comments, only letting potential buyers know that we qualified the DR Trimmer as our "Worst purchase ever" because our unit seemed like a bad idea right away, and it proved to be ridiculously bad after about an hour of use.
On June 13th, 2008, inbeesill added the following:
News flash: DR has a 2month money-back policy, so many bad feelings may be soothed if they live up to it. Note: I found this out from other links, it would have been better if they told me about it earlier and it'll be interesting if they calculate that my time to ask for my money back has passed. On June 15th, 2008, inbeesill changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
NOTE: This started out as a negative rating, but DR got back in touch with me and their return policy isn't 2 months... it's good for six. No fuss, just simple instructions (drain the gas) and a number to call when it's ready to ship back. So an hour of distress doesn't seem so bad considering they give you 6 months to feel good. I hope someone takes a bow, 'cause I'm giving DR a standing ovation. On June 18th, 2008, inbeesill added the following:
When readying for shipment back to DR, I discovered I had no oil in the engine (what an moron.) I use to wonder why the engine didn't last, now I wonder how it lasted so long... the weird part is that I filled oil and ran for the last half hour with no problems (why is this engine still running?) I didn't lose cords; I even pulled bark off a tree and ran through the ickiest of the stickiest, but the cords and the trimmer just kept whippin away. Between the nice people, an American co., an engine that tolerates morons and a newfound respect for the thick string - I'm thinking to hang onto it. I think anything can look good on an easy day, but DR is looking good after my worst. I'd applaud more, but my hands are starting to hurt.
Bought my Dr trimmer , top of line in the 90's.Other than the electric starter was junk, no other problems.
I have worn out 3 high end riding mowers. Still have the same dr trimmer, tho its now time to replace. Cables rusting up, wheels ready to brake off. This machine has taken more abuse that you wouldn't believe. Still starts right up , but really is time to retire it. Have more than gotten my moneys worth.
Held up great in this Oregon wet sunshine.
Thanks dr, Tony
On Apr 16, 2008, horne Wellsford New Zealand wrote:
We purchased our DR Trimmer Mower from the New Zealand agents Hunkin Garden Products about 3 years ago. Our model is the 6.75 HP self drive commercial machine and it has now done 346 hours and apart from normal routine maintenance it has not missed a beat. It is easily the best machine we have ever owned.
The DR Trimer is a very nice machine. I have the 6hp Professional one. I don't know what I would do without it. It is very easy to change the string. Easy to start. I have used it to cut all around my house and two acres of fence line both sides. I have not had any trouble with it. You are not suppost to lift up on the handle and put weight on the ball bar. Doing that and draging it around puts stress on the bar and will reck it. Have to remember to push down on the handle bar to get over areas or pull the machine backward over them. I have so much triming to do in my yard that I use a full tank of gas everytime I use it so it has had plenty of hours of use. I have had it all of this cutting season.
On Jun 1, 2007, EloiseH South Hero, VT (Zone 5a) wrote:
Our son bought a DR trimmer for us maybe 10 years ago. When lightening hit our garage in 2001 and burned it to the ground, the DR trimmer was one of the very first things we replaced. The newer model is even better than the older one. Does everything it claims to - simply terrific at keeping down weeds and mowing around stumps in rough-cleared meadows. They have several different machines and models. I would advise that you talk with the company, describe your property and what you intend to do with the machine so that you buy the right one that will do the job you need done. If what you need is a field and brush mower, don't get the trimmer and expect it to do the job. You wouldn't use a weed-wacker to mow your front lawn, would you? By the way, their service and tech support is stellar.
I have had my DR Trimmer for over 5 years and wouldn't have any other product again. I have carpal tunnel of hands and arms and this trimmer still allows me to trim my 3 acre yard and get rid of small brush. Easy to change whips and still starts first time I pull it and every time! Not like having to carry a heavy gas trimmer around or a battery trimmer which keeps needing a charge. I can push it with one finger or hand. I Love it!!!
I purchased my first DR Trimmer in the late 1990's. I used it almost weekly, trimming around a fish pond, trees, raised flower beds, etc., for all these years. The only thing I have replaced are the wheels and a belt, both due to normal aging with high usage. I have just placed an order for my second one and can hardly wait for it to arrived. I highly recommend the DR Trimmer and give a big thumbs up to the customer service department. As far as the price goes, of course, I wish it cost a bit less, as I am retired, but you must remember you get what you pay for and this is a quality machine with fantastic customer service!
Bought our first D.R. Trimmer (6.5HP) in 2002 with a 14 inch Beaver Blade. We worked the heck out of this machine clearing Huisache (nasty stuff that becomes spiked trees) and cleared 3 acres a week. The machine worked like champ. Later, when clearing heavy weeds, we used a HD string purchased locally and it worked even better, longer! We liked this machine so much that when we saw another like it for sale locally, we bought it, too. Now we use one for string and one for a blade and the two of us togther can do four times as much work. So far, the only failure is the metal shield on the lower bearing has separated, but the machine is still running great and I'll order a new bearing shorthly. Tough, tough machine. We love it!. TxRancher
On Mar 26, 2007, homebrewer Shingle Springs, CA wrote:
We bought our 5hp Pro back in 2001 and other than the normal maintenance, have had absolutely no problems with it. We are currently cutting 12" weeds (thick) with a single pass and only have to change the string about every two hours (or after hitting too many rocks). It still starts on the second pull and outperforms my Echo Weedeater by at least 10 to 1 (time spent on a measured area).
We've only had to call the company once (concerning the mow ball) and the representative gave us the pros and cons of switching to the aluminum ball (which we won't), thus saving us from buying a more expensive part that would not have worked as well as the nylon one.