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Has anyone used the 18 HP Brush mower with lawn deck attachment?
I have called our local store that sells DR and they don't have any useful information. They also didn't know that it had an electric pump. I currently have a snapper walk behind that is worn out. I am looking to buy a DR Mower to cut tall grass from time to time. But the only way I can make the price work for me is if I can also utilize the lawn mowing deck as well. I cut several yards weekly so need the mowing/finishing deck to do a good job on yards and the brush attachment on tall grass maybe once a month. Can anyone comment on how well the lawn deck does? Does it do a good job finishing the lawn? I have heard the Brush mower has a proven record but cant find much info on the lawn deck. Even the 800 number wasn't helpful. Thank you in advance.
I realized I'm pushing the envelope as to how I use our DR Trimmer/Mower (XL, self propelled model). It is primarily used to cut back ferns and other growth that encroach on mountain bike trails here in the U.P. of Michigan.
When it works it is the bees knees, cats pajamas etc. It cuts my trail mowing time almost in half over using our 15hp All Terrain Mower on these narrower trails.
After 4 hours of use we starting having some problems with parts becoming loose. So I would say, use it for a couple hours then have your dealer or if mechanically inclined take it apart and put it back together, carefully tightening all the bolts and nuts. Our spindle and spindle brake came loose about 4 hours in. It wasn't fun having to push it back to the truck, haul it in, fix it and then get back out there again.
The self propelled drive worked adequately for about 4 miles of trail. I say adequately because the torrington clutch bearings in the wheels would begin to slip if the machine had to climb an incline greater than 10%. It wouldn't take much to help it up but I would hope for a more positive drive. The drive mechanism stopped working altogether shortly after the spindle problem. My dealer fixed it quickly, but when we went out the next day about 3 minutes in, we're pushing it again. Maybe I should have bought the model without the self-propelled feature, its considerably lighter. Anyway my plan is when I get it back from the dealer on monday, if it fails again I will trade it back in for the model below without the self propelled feature.
Pneumatic tires would be a benefit to this machine as it has difficulty in getting over anything more than 2 inches high. You got to back up and horse it over. I'd like to see a 3.5 or 4 inch wide 12 inch diameter wheel myself. (The speed is bit too fast with the 14 inch wheels)
The plastic wheels flex far to much if you're going across a side hill (would estimate grades of 15% or more.) Steel spoke would prevent this. (Get some 12 inch bike wheels with wider tires.)
I'm giving this a neutral rating because when this works as it should it is great. I just think DR needs to address some issues and really field test it beyond what is "normal."
If this economy turns around, I may take this over to a local machine shop and make the appropriate mods and see what happens.
On Aug 15, 2010, vladimirtractor Wardsboro, VT wrote:
After what seemed like a long wait (actually delivered in the number of days stated) the trimmer arrived. Initially I was challenged how to thread the string, but as the instructions say, once you do it, the next time is a snap.
The trimmer is fine for mowing level, smooth fields, although on one of the videos they state that it's designed for the type of mowing conditions we have here in Vermont. It would work very well on something like a weeded over tennis court. But any hope that I had that it would be easier than using a hand held string trimmer was soon dashed.
Its main problem for me is that the solid rubber wheels are far too small and the trimmer keeps hanging up on small rocks and ruts and depressions. So you have to back it out and bull ahead. I asked the company if larger wheels were available and the quick response was no. Pneumatic tires would help too. I may look into installing larger wheels and somehow making the trimmer ball taller to compensate.
I've thought about returning it and trying a self propelled model but I think that I'll have the same problem.
So when I go out to work in the pastures, I take both the DR trimmer and the string trimmer, and find that if you use them both you can get the job done quicker than using the string trimmer alone.
And the thing is heavy - after you've bulled the thing around for a while you'll need a rest. But heavy means quality, right?
So the machine will get you to second base but don't look for a home run in most instances.
On Jan 17, 2010, leedobolek New Orleans, LA wrote:
When this machine works, it's great. That said, I find it also one of the worst designed pieces of farm equipment I've ever worked with. Mine had wires hanging out on the right side. They caught on brush and disconnected, stalling the machine. It took me hours before I found what caused the machine to stop and about ten minutes to fix a problem that should have been caught at the factory. The lock nut that holds the blade welded to the spindle after a period of particularly heavy use and required service to remove. The deadman control causes cramping in your hand after extended use and my handgrips kept pulling off when the machine lurched forward. Small issues, but again ones that should have been resolved at the assembly stage. Changing the battery requires lots of small tools, far too much disassembly and really small hands. the battery also should have been installed 180-degrees from what it is as the cutouts that give you access to the screw terminals are now facing into the engine instead of ouward as they were designed to be. Expect lots of sparks as your tools ground-out against the shift lever. Again, not enough cable to relocate the battery and barely enough to do it comfortably as it is. They are all too cheap with the wiring as, for a few cents, they could have added a few more inches of wire that would allow you to relocate the battery in a better position, to more easily bundle and secure the hanging wires and also to get to the &^&%$# fuse conatiner that's almost impossible to service unless you have skinny, 9-inch long fingers. Line leading to gas filter also required replacement with a longer piece, again it was too short for easy service. For what I paid for the machine there were way too many small problems. When it does work though, WOW! I use it to chew up the brush where my tractor-mounted mower can't go.
Ordering, receiving and usage (so far) of my DR trimmer/mower has been a positive evperience. The DR people are good people to deal with and very professional. I feel they will stand behind their product. The trimmer operates well and as advertised, but could use a heavy rubber flap or some sort of shrouding along the rear of the deck to protect from debris flying backward. It has a very solid feel and the controls operate smoothly. I have the manual start Pro model with the aluminum deck. My problem with this machine is the cost. My previous trimmer mower was a Troy-Bilt ($329 + tax) that was designed similarly to the DR. The spindle was under a deck that had a deflector. The Troy-Bilt had a rubber flap at the back of the deck. The bearing in the spindle of the Troy-Bilt gave out after four years. Because MTD no longer makes trimmer/mowers for Troy-Bilt or supplies parts, I had to replace it. Other brands like Swisher have a completely different, deckless design. Having bought and returned the Swisher trimmer (weapon), I had no choice but to purchase the DR to get a trimmer/mower with a deck. I hope it holds up and serves me well for many years to justify the exorbitant amount of money I paid for it.