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Comments regarding DR Trimmer/Mower

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32 positives
5 neutrals
25 negatives


Negative OldNick
(1 review)
On Jan 8, 2015, OldNick Perth,
Australia wrote:

Posted on January 8, 2015, updated January 8, 2015
I thought I had posted this. RUN away from the DR Line trimmer! I bought the \"top of the line\" self drive one as I had some hillier ground to work on.

The first thing that happened was the starter would not function every time I turned the key. Next time it would work, but this was intermittent.

Next was the fact that unless you slip the drive belt all the time, you have to literally run to keep up with the machine on even ground in lighter grass. The slipping belt is the only way to slow down the machine at cutting speeds of the engine. I have to imagine that in heavier grass, the belt slips as well, even though you are not feathering it. This has to be tough on the belt. In fact after only a few (4?) hours of use, it is stretched nearly to the limit of the adjustment.

Then the gearbox started locking in drive. It would lock one or both wheels intermittently, even though I pushed the machine forward after disengaging the drive belt as instructed. It seemed to get worse as the machine was used more in a given session. It got to the point that the trimmer was more fight than it was worth, when trying to reverse it. In the end it just stopped being reversible at all.

I live in Western Australia. There is nobody here officially set up to service these machines. In the end the local agent told me to take it to a large dealer and service shop nearby. That was in early December 2014. I still do not have the machine back. So we are talking well over a month. The service guys were flat out at the end of Spring, but they said a couple of weeks. Then they got sent the wrong gearbox. AFAIK there is only one DR Line trimmer! How can you be sent the wrong gearbox? Anyway, at the moment, I am still waiting for another (hopefully the right) gearbox to be shipped from the US. The service guy said it was a \"cheap plastic thing\", so it will probably go again, out of warranty as I will not use the machine much if at all during Summer.

I wish I had read these reviews before I bought this machine. 50/50 positive vs negative is a bad service record and I would have avoided spening a good deal of money on what looks like a piece of junk, badly set up and apparently untested before shipping as many other people have related here.

On January 8th, 2015, OldNick added the following:

I hope this is allowed to stay, but iut is argumentative. geowaldman, please do not "attack the man" for their "obsessively negative commnents. They are relating real experiences and there is nothing obsessive about complaining of machines that do not do the job they are sold for, and simply fail fast. Basing your attack on ownership of a 20 year old machine is fallacious as well. Machines change quality a great deal over time. As for asking what else they had found that was better. At least one person had a Bearcat that they are glad they kept, and not everyone has a failure and can simply duck out and spend another several hundred to try again.
Negative bicyclebob46
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2014, bicyclebob46 Valmeyer, IL wrote:

I am the owner of a DR Field and Brush mower, the Pro model with an 18 H.P. Kawasaki engine and 30" deck. Design shortcomings are just rampant. I'll start with the operator controls which are real nice and up front. Sounds great, but here's what happens with that. Working under low limbs and vines, the ignition key was bent over sharply. The operator presence switch wiring was destroyed requiring I buy a new one. The lever controling the drive axle locking mechanism hung on any low hanging features which often caused the machine to pitch suddenly. The throttle gate has no lock-out to prevent inadvertently throwing the choke full on. When this happens at full field throttle, and the operator doesn't instantly react, the engine floods severely. I had to remove the plugs and wait 45 minutes before the machine would grudgingly restart. I've engineered a choke lock-out from a small section of off the shelf hinge stock. I've relocated the drive axle lock-out control to a position low between the handlebars with the lever facing the operator.(Seems to be easier to operate in this position also) Then I fashioned a half round guard over the handlebars and control panel. Despite these efforts another OPS was recently ruined. Let's talk about safety now. NO GUARDS ON THE OPERATOR'S HANDLES! The operator's hand can be caught between the grip and a tree or post. It happened to me. Very painful, but thankfully there was no lasting injury. I fabbed a set of extra heavy duty guards. As with every manufacturer of a mowing device, the deck on this machine was so restricted that it constantly choked up. What I've done to my mower's deck would be any product liability lawyer's delight had a manufacturer actually put their machine in production with it. Given the original DR designed deck, it may have been realistic to discharge the output from a 8 H.P. engine and a 20 " cut--maybe. How about equipment protection? I've had to fabricate guards on both sides of the engine, and one that floats with the pivoting deck for the engine's front wiring and carburetor linkage. If I hadn't, nothing would be left of any of that by now. And underneath? When brush cutting, there is serious mayhem down there with the belts and bowden cables and blade clutch wiring and chain drive all exposed to said mayhem. There needs to be an underbelly guard as well, and my %^>#@ mower will have that before all is said and done. It now looks as if I'll be needing a transmission before long. The input pulley shaft is developing a lot of play. I made price considerations a very low priority when shopping for my brush cutter. The DR offered the widest cut of any of the walk behinds I found, and 18 H.P. sounded brutal enough. The pivoting deck was appealing as was the drive wheel lock up feature. This last feature works great so long as you can keep it clean down below where the mechanism does what it does. That is about one New York minute! Being liberal with my money didn't equate into a satisfying purchase. I can't believe those folks up in Vermont tried to find a real field of brush to test this machine on. Any serious effort at building a capable product would have had them scurrying back to the drawing board. Once bitten-twice shy!

Negative jh45
(1 review)
On Jul 23, 2013, jh45 Grass Valley, CA wrote:

I live in the Sierra foothills in California on eight acres of hilly land. Because of the summer fire danger we have to weed whack about 3.5 acres of native vegetation (2 - 6 ft tall) each late spring after it drys out. There are a lot of rocks on the surface and gopher mounds that the weed whacker turns into dust clouds when going over them. I think this is a more challenging job than most people use their trimmers for so it really stresses the equipment.

I have two self propelled string trimmers--a 9 year old Bearcat and a three year old DR top of the line self propelled. I've had a lot of trouble with both of them but the Bearcat is a fundamentally better design than the DR. On the Bearcat I had to repair the handles and the B&S engine became impossible to start after about five years so I installed a new Harbor Freight engine and its working fine now. The Bearcat comes with a iron mow ball which stands up much better to the occasional rocks it hits than the plastic mow ball on the DR. The transmission on the Bearcat is working fine after 9 years of usage and it has much larger wheels than the DR which makes it easier to go over irregularities. I almost sold my Bearcat when I got the new DR--glad I held onto it.

The DR has several design and quality problems and I have become an expert at repairing it. These include:
1. Within weeks of owning it both drive wheels failed with cracks along the edges of the tread. DR replaced them with new ones and they seem to be holding up better.
2. The shaft bearing right above the mowing head failed during the first season. DR sent me two new bearings--must be a common problem.
3. The drive wheels are relatively small since the drive chain is connected directly to the main axle rather than having the dual chain drive of the Bearcat which allows the axle for each of the drive wheels to be located several inches higher (allows much larger wheels) while still keeping the frame level. This is a big deal and a serious design flaw in my opinion. When sitting on my level garage floor, the frame (and thus the engine) are tilted over 10deg forward. You have to tilt the unit back 10deg in order to even check the oil level properly. Worse yet, the engine is specified for a maximum tilt of 20deg so when you're trimming down a 10deg slope with the engine running you are right at the design limit and at risk of inadequate lubrication.
4. The wheel drive clutch cable will not stay in adjustment and I have to tweak the cable adjustment daily to keep the drive working. It's a simple adjustment but annoying since I have never had to touch the adjustment on my Bearcat after nine years.
5. The wheel drive stopped working this week while I was trimming across a slope. After removing the bottom cover I discovered that the drive chain had come off the axle sprocket--simple enough to fix. But it came off the sprocket because the sprocket from the transmission shaft is slightly out of alignment with the axle sprocket and when trimming on a slope the lateral play in the axle caused the chain to derail. Not hard to fix but shouldn't be able to happen.
6. When fixing the chain issue above I noticed that the drive belt is on the verge of failure after only three years of part time usage (with all the problems, I've had a lot of downtime). Big chunks of the belt are torn off so I just ordered a new belt. I didn't have to replace my Bearcat belt until after five years of much heavier usage.
7. The DR uses a plastic mow ball that will barely make it through one season before it wears out ($15) on our land. When I complained about the life of the ball they sent me one of their aluminum ones which only lasted one year also before wearing out. It's not recommended to use the aluminum ball with string trimming (it's meant for the cutting blade) because it can fly apart if it fails when wearing out. The iron mow ball on my Bearcat lasted five years and when I purchased a new one it was much heavier iron than the original and will last the life of the unit.

Anyway, if you are capable of repairing your own equipment or your conditions are less harsh than mine, the DR may work fine for you. Their service guys were always helpful but there were just too many problems for me to recommend the unit. Their newer model (redesigned in the last couple of years) may be better. It has a three-speed transmission like my old Bearcat and they may have fixed the wheel size and drive problems.

Negative jpholly
(1 review)
On Jul 2, 2013, jpholly Lambertville, NJ wrote:


My Self-Propelled DR Trimmer arrived yesterday via UPS. I paid over $1500.00 including an extended warranty and various additional parts and maintenance equipment that the salesperson told me were needed.

When I opened the box, I immediately saw that the Drive Engage Bar was not attached to the handlebar, and was hanging down, swinging around. As a result of this, the drive cable was damaged - with a distinct 90-degree bend in it. When I tried to attach the Drive Engage Bar, I found that it was simply too short to even fit in the space between the two holes in the handlebar assembly.

When I called DR technical support, after waiting for a long time on hold, the technician dismissed the problem as unimportant and told me to just bend the Drive Engage Bar so it would fit properly. (It's a piece of quarter-inch-thick, high-tensile carbon steel that is already bent into a very specific shape.) When I found that I couldn't bend the Drive Engage Bar using ordinary tools, I called DR back and spoke to someone else in technical support with a condescending attitude who told me that most of their customers have workshops and bending a piece of steel like this isn't really really be a problem for them. He told me that if I just attached the Drive Engage Bar to a vise, it would easily bend. I did that and it did not bend. To be clear, the bending I'm referring to is essentially straightening out a piece of carbon steel that is bent too much and is therefore too short.

One technician told me that the bar was probably bent as a result of improper handling by UPS. (The box arrived in perfect condition.) But another technician told me that this was a common problem for this piece of equipment.

I tried using Channel Lock pliers on it and ending up actually damaging my workbench with the weight I had to put on the Drive Engage Bar trying to bend it. Still it did not bend (because high-tensile carbon steel is not supposed to bend.) I was finally able to straighten the bar out only slightly by pounding it with a hammer onto a concrete floor. After this the bar did fit just barely enough to attach it, but it is still loose.

So then I started up the machine and it ran well and worked well for about 15 minutes, when the forward drive stopped working. I inspected the trimmer to see if there was anything obvious wrong with it, which there was not. I again called DR technical support and spoke to someone else who told me that a simple adjustment was needed on the drive cable tension. I made the adjustment, but it still did not work. So I called DR once again and spoke to a 4th person in technical support who told me that it sounded like the drive belt had come off. He said "just pop the panel off and reattach it." He also told me there was a kit that he would send containing a part that needed to be retrofitted in order to keep the belt on. I WAS COMPLETELY ASTOUNDED. Why are they delivering these machines that are made-to-order when they KNOW it's not going to work properly and needs to have parts replaced??

When I was unable to find which panel needed to be "popped off," I called DR technical support a 5th time and this person told me I needed to drain all the oil and gas out of the machine and lift it onto a table upside down in order to remove the panel. Again, I WAS ASTOUNDED!!! This company expects its customers to perform major repairs on BRAND NEW EQUIPMENT!!!

This technician also told me that when the specifications for this machine were drawn up, the specs for the guide piece that holds the drive belt were drawn up incorrectly and that the guide piece needs to be bent in a different way than the way it was manufactured in order for the drive belt to stay on. AGAIN, ANOTHER PIECE OF METAL THAT NEEDS TO BE BENT TO GET THIS BRAND NEW EQUIPMENT TO WORK !

When I raised an objection to making these repairs myself, I was told that a local dealer could make the repairs, but it would take two weeks or more.

So the questions the public needs to ask of this company are:

1) Why are you shipping products in completely non-working condition that require major repairs when you open the box?

2) If these machines are "made to order," then why isn't the properly-bent belt guide piece already being installed???

Frankly, this has all the earmarks of a class-action lawsuit in the making.

Negative travelingmike
(1 review)
On May 24, 2013, travelingmike El Sobrante, CA wrote:

Two brand new 2013 trimmers broken in one day . The first one lasted 25 minutes before the self propel stopped working-took it back to the dealer-they would have to take it apart. The great dealer gave me a second one to get me back to work, it lasted 1.5 hours before the self propel stopped working again( I had found out the first machine the chain had fallen off because the sprocket was not lined up properly). We thought the second one the same thing but it was a transmission that broke-something about the belt rubbing on something-I had noticed from the get go it did not seem to cut as well as the one I used for 25 minutes. The dealer had also taken apart his other machines and found 2 more with sprockets not lined up. The great dealer refunded my money-offered me another machine also, but I am not feeling so confident in this company. I had high hopes for my trimmer to shorten my work on 10 acres. DR POWER has refused to place my review on their website-it was resubmitted 2 times following guidelines. Obviously these revamped machines for 2013 need a bit more quality control. A 1200$ trimmer?-on sale at that. I am so glad I used my local dealer. I feel a bit sorry he has to deal with this though-he has provided me with great equipment -not a single take back in the 2 years-stihl trimmer and pole saw, husk chain saw(6 years), a blower(2 years) which I forget the name, Honda power washer 4 years.

Negative colrain0365
(1 review)
On Oct 16, 2012, colrain0365 Colrain, MA wrote:

I bought the biggest DR Field & Brush Mower available (I think it is a 15 hp) with a lawn deck in the 1999 or 2000. When it runs it works great. However, the machine was badly underdesigned and does not hold up over time. I note that I use it primarily for mowing my lawn but I also use the brush deck and when I do I mostly mow small brush, weeds etc. rarely do I mow brush greater than 1" in diameter. I have had multiple major failures including a broken frame, broken handle bars, a broken differental lock (the replacement is breaking again) and a broken weld on the brush deck. Except for the broken weld, I had to tear the machine apart in order to replace the parts. I understand that belts, blades, control cables, tires, batteries, etc.wear out and require replacement but one major structural failure is unacceptable - I have had three; the frame should outlast virtually everthing on the machine. I just retired a $100 lawnmower from Wal-Mart because the engine wore out and the handle and mower are still in good shape. I contacted DR and got the run-around and less than geniune responses to my issues: when I reported the handle bar failure and had to purchase a replacement, I was told that they did not have a history of handle bar failures. I wrote a long letter to the president of DR and explained the entire history of failures my mahcine has experineced. DR responded by sending me handle bar stiffeners; the copyright date on the handle bar stiffeners was a few years prior to the time I reportied the handle bar failure and contradicts DR's claim that they have no history of handle bar failures. DR knows that it underdesigns its equipment and relies on slick advertsing to get people to buy and counts on limited use by purchasers to limit major failures. I would not reccomend a DR to anyone who actually wants to use it for its intended purpose. I gave DR mulitple chances to make things right with me including taking my machine in trade in the event that my machine was simply a lemon - most reputable equipment manufacturers stand behind its equipment and do what it takes to get lemons out of circulation - and warned DR that it had to make a business decision to either make things right with me or permanently lose me as a customer and a fierce critic of DR. I am now taking every opportunity to spread the word about my experience with DR.

(1 review)
On Sep 12, 2011, JACOBUSJAKE Sweetwater, TN wrote:

They try to make a good trimer,but they failed
I bought the pro with the electric start.use it for two hrs
im 65 to hard to push the wheels are filimsey
the electric start takes to long to get it going,thats because its a brigg eng
The shrud builds up with grase clipping,if you use it to long the engine will get hot.
If they have a different engine,and design so the clipping dont get suck in the shrud.then i think they have a good machine
Please work on this dr power

Negative skyeler
(1 review)
On Jun 3, 2011, skyeler Morganton, GA wrote:

I did not see any comments about the DR Tow Behind Brush Mower, which I purchased, with the 17 HP Kowasaki engine about four years ago. I bought it, relying exclusively on the DR promo pages, to clear what had become an overgrown 13 acre pasture, using a Polaris ATV as the tower. The brush cutting ability-- 1"-2" pine saplings-- is excellent; but the mowing ability is limited. The machine is described as "rough cut;" and it is very "rough," leaving numerous grass/ weed stalks uncut. The mowers used with the web site videos must have razor sharp cutting blades, but the blades are very difficult to access to sharpen/ replace. Also, the videos show the machines being used on rather flat ground. The mower tow assembly is simply not configured (putting aside the not terrific turning radius) for somewhat bumpy pastures with small hills/ gulleys. Running at about 5-6MPH, I have had to replace the tow bar connecting pin five times at about $30/ replacement. Sometimes, I can get about 12-14 hours of use before the connecting pin breaks, sometimes less. The tow bar system allowing offset cutting apparently puts too much stress on the pin if the mower is used on other than flat, pretty smooth terrain. This machine turned out not to be suitable for use on my horse pasture.

Negative ricknudd
(1 review)
On Nov 15, 2010, ricknudd Walworth, NY wrote:

While my dad may actually own this DR field mower, I'm the on who's been fixing it--and almost the only one to use it. The machine is an ATM 0008XXX.
With lesss than 200 total operating hours I've had to:
--Replace the spindle bearings,
--Weld the spindle bracket,
--Weld the mower deck,
--Weld the deck support tubes--the mower broke completely
off the chassis,
--Replace the upper bearing in the NORAM clutch-brake,
--Replace the drive clutch cable,

We use it to mow tall weeks, and very little saplings
which are interspersed (up to 1" at most) in the grass. This
mower seems to be more of an ornament to park in our
garage, than for use by a homeowner.

By comparison my first Troy Bilt horse worked from the
early 1960's until I replaced it in the late 1990's; doing
my, and a few neighbor's gardens all those many years.
Just belts, tines, and a few shaft seals for all those years.

Rick Nudd

Negative yellowcat2000
(1 review)
On Aug 8, 2010, yellowcat2000 Midlothian, TX wrote:

I purchased the 6.75 trimmer/mower just over 2 years ago. This is a piece of junk. I sure do miss my Toro. It has been use about 7 times since I got it. I had it to the shop 3 times. The rpm's was not fast and had to be adjusted, than it did not start twice. Now the belt broke. DR would not stand behind it and I had to pay for all the repairs. They said that debris got in to the carburetor. If you are cutting high grass there is no way to prevent it. My Toro had a shield in the front to deflect the debris. I just hate the Briggs engine. My neighbor purchased one 1 week after I did and she has the same problems. It took her 1 hour to try to start it the other day.

Negative clearmind3
(1 review)
On Jul 4, 2010, clearmind3 Dayville, CT wrote:

I purchased a 17 HP DR field and brush mower 2.5 years ago and added the 42" lawn mower attachment. Three weeks ago the differential let go. The wheels were no longer aligned and the chain assembly was destroyed. The shop owner said that there were bolts missing from the differential, accounting for the break. The part was back ordered twice and I have had a number of conversations with DR. Most the 'information' was eyewash, designed to placate. One service rep may have slipped up. She said that 30 differential replacements were expected, 15 assigned for individual landowners! Why would they need so many spare differentials for their latest model mower? And before they were back ordered, how many individual land owners received replacements? DR will pay for one half the differential cost but not the labor and additional damage. It is six months out of warranty but it is most likely a factory defect. If it was a Chevrolet, the wheels would have fallen off and would have triggered a recall, no matter what the mileage or age of the mower. DR is overrated as a machine and a company. It's not 'done right'.

Negative XmasTreeFarm
(1 review)
On Sep 1, 2009, XmasTreeFarm Sussex,
United States wrote:

Purchased a 17HP DR brush mower last month. I WILL be taking advantage of the 6 month return policy.

The parking brake was broken when I received the unit.

On the slightest incline, the machine free-wheels. It is so dangerous, I will not permit anyone else to use the unit.

The "easy turn" feature is an absolute joke. I am a heathty 250 pound male, and I am completely out of energy after one hours use of this machine. The DR video shows a 70+ year old woman using the DR. In one word.... IMPOSSIBLE!

Negative middam
(1 review)
On Aug 9, 2009, middam Rangeley, ME wrote:

I have a DR All Terrain mower with 18 HP Honda engine. I have had it since 1 July 2008 and right from the start I've had problems with the axle sprocket picking up grass and jamming it into the drive sprocket resulting in the chain being forced off the drive sprocket and bending the bolts holding the safety cover. I contacted the DR company and complained about this problem more than once and was told they would pass it on to developement. That was all I got from the company. I've used the machine approximately ten times and everytime I have to be prepared to put the chain back on the sprockets and straighten the safety cover bolts. I had started leaving the cover off as it was getting destroyed and was having to remove grass etc. from the sprockets several times each time I used the machine. Today while backing it up some grass got jammed into the drive sprocket and the main shaft broke off before I could get the machine stopped. This was approximately five minutes after I had put the chain back on after it jump off. Sure wish I had known about this page if I had and had read it I certainly would not have purchased the mower. Now I have an expensive piece of equipment that I can't use and don't know what I'm going to do with it. As someone else said in a prior comment you better be prepared to be beat up by this piece of equipment. I'm 6'4" 270 pounds and the thing would give me a work out.

Negative JoachimNaus
(1 review)
On Jun 11, 2009, JoachimNaus Anderson, SC wrote:

In April I bought the Trimmer/Mower professional use.
When it arrived, the box was damaged and the machine was damaged and several parts were broken.
The mower was returned and I got a "new " mower about 3 weeks later.
The box arrived open and it was obvious that I got the same piece of equipment back only some of the first damages were repaired and others not.
When I called and spoke with a supervisor, he told me that they spent 100 dollars per box for packing, but the equipment is heavy and difficult to ship.
I am waiting now for UPS again to collect the mower/trimmer and to get my money back.
This cannot be refunded until UPS collects the box.
Just a bad experience!
We are now in the middle of June and had nothing but a headache.

Negative cjohansson
(1 review)
On Dec 1, 2008, cjohansson Auberry, CA wrote:

I was interested in buying the big DR mower to do work on my 40 acres. Before i bought one - I borrowed a freinds new machine (less than 10 hours) the DR field and brush mower - with the 15 HP Kawasaki motor. In the 3 times I have used it - I have not gotten through 1 hour of mowing before something broke. First the drive housing fell off and balled up everything underneath. I called DR - it was a recall item - I took it to their local service (50 miles away - and picked it up 2 weeks later, and it worked fine.

This fall i figured I would give it another go, so I picked up the machine - it would only jump start - and the blade would not activate. It seems as if the electrically operated sensor wouldn't work on a dead battery (even with the engine running, which would not hold a charge - so 75 bucks later and 1/2 day of chasing a funky sized battery - I got it back up and running!
45 minutes into it - the blade stops spinning - broke the spring that keep tension on the drive belt. I was finally able to find a similar spring at home depot - and got back up and running.
Just now - the machine all of a sudden quits - restarts, but will not run at more than about 1/2 throttle - I don't know if the throttle cable has slipped? or a spring broke somewhere? or what - so no I have to wait till next weekend to trouble shoot that little item.

By the way - do not buy this machine unless you are linebacker sized and are willing to wrestle constantly with the machine. I'm a big guy -0 6'2 & 220 - and it wears me out!

To make a long story short - a good concept completely undermined by poor hardware, poor engineering, and poor quality.
Lucky for me I was able to try one out for a few weeks - I certainly would never buy this unit after my experience with it.

Carl Johansson
Auberry California

Negative jwilliams1130
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2008, jwilliams1130 Charlotte, NC wrote:

Bought Field and Brush mower. Piece of junk. Wheels are supposed to be positraction, they are not. One will always spin. Even when I locked the nut to stop the spinning as tight as possible. now hard to turn. Won't cut vines, climbs them instead. Poor design. Needs to have blade further in front and exposed to cut vines. Hard to cut on a slope as not able to provide drive to the upward wheel, it spins. I can think of many ways to improve this machine. DON'T waste your money.
Support was no help. Some did not know the machine well enough to provide help, others told me all they knew, but problem still exists. It will cut down small trees, but so will my other mower, and so will a chainsaw.
Their best advice to me was buy a newer model where they supposedly fixed the defects of the previous model.

On September 29th, 2008, jwilliams1130 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

This should have been a Negative rating. I realized today as I looked to see what other users had to say about the product, that I had erroneously given it a Neutral rating. Mower may work for you if on flat terrain, no vines, and if you don't buy my 17 h.p. model. A real disappontment.
Negative dogbreath
(1 review)
On Aug 14, 2008, dogbreath Bradenton, FL wrote:

I have the field and brush mower. I purchased the supposedly best one available. Its a commercial model with a 494CC Kawasaki motor. It was expensive. It is the worst piece of equipment I have ever owned. When I 1st got it I used it on hills a couple times . It broke every time I used it. The drive axle has a "bell" made out of deep drawing steel. This steel is not intended to be used as a mechanical part .Its very soft.This broke every time. I got new ones and put them in (not easy). I got tired of this and quit using the piece of crap. I did use it occasionally to mow paths for hiking. Surprize ! it still broke, Clutch cables, chains , belts ,what a piece of junk !! The only good thing on it is the motor. Of course DR (dont reorder) had nothing to do with the motor. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THESE PEOPLE.

Negative ibmargie
(1 review)
On Jul 17, 2008, ibmargie Slanesville, WV wrote:

We ordered our DR Trimmer in August of 2006 and the packing slip shows a date of 9/27/06. So wasn't used much that year as the season was nearly over for trimming. In the beginning of the next mowing season we had a problem and had to order a V-Belt. It was not an easy task to unassemble
everything to replace the belt. Then on 7/16/07 we had another problem and had to order (a) transmission belt, (b)pulley for the transmission drive, (c) retaining ring, (d)spring,Ext.,Transmission Tension, (e) pulley, Transmission. The design of this machine is horrible and not customer friendly at all when parts have to be replaced. This year in June of 2008 it no longer self propels so we have ordered a new pulley for the transmission.
The DR Trimmer (when it works) is great and I couldn't ask for a better machine. As an older woman (who does all the
trimming) it is easy to use and cuts brush just as advertised.
We bought this machine using the credit plan of no finance charges for a year and believe it had a two year warranty. The people in customer service are knowledgeable and friendly. The mow-ball and strings are easy to replace. We have a 6.75HP self propelled.
Would I recommend this to a friend/family can't honestly say. I would like to but the aggravation and frustration of replacing the parts that went sour weigh on my mind. Also the shield that keeps the debri from hitting the feet and legs is pityful, with the power of this machine this needs to be corrected.
In closing it is necessary for me to say that this is the first letter that I have ever written about a product. In doing so I hope to achieve the attention of the manufacturer to correct the weaknesses in the trimmer and to those interested in
purchasing the machine a little insight.

Negative JackK1
(1 review)
On Jun 15, 2008, JackK1 Auburn, NH wrote:

Although the product works great when it works, for someone like me who uses it 4-5 times a year it should last longer.So many things go. Belts are hard to replace. Customer service is fair. Some of the people you speak to sound brain dead. I would not buy another or tell a friend to. I went to a local store and they sold me the wrong battery. Despite looking me up in the computer.

Negative timmer08
(1 review)
On Jun 3, 2008, timmer08 Trempealeau, WI wrote:

The DR Trimmer has been hands down, without a doubt, the worst piece of lawn equipment I have ever purchased. It has never been easy to start, and I usually give up after 10 minutes and find another way to trim my lawn. Even when I have been able to get it started I can only run it about 10 minutes before I need to change the trimmer cords, and that's not exactly easy either. Over the years it has gotten to the point where I rarely try to use the machine anymore. It takes up space in my garage reminding me how I got ripped off.

Negative old_toiler
(1 review)
On Aug 9, 2007, old_toiler (Zone 9a) wrote:

After only 60 hours use The DR® TRIMMER/MOWER™

On the demo video of the DR is an old lady using this machine—about the same age as my wife.
My wife loved using this machine till it would no longer self propel & the wheels are so poorly designed that they wont travel through slightly lumpy terrain without frustrating physical assistance.

After only 60 hours use ( there is a timer on our machine.) We have these problems 75 HP OHV self-propelled commercial)

We contacted the local New Zealand dealer (Hunkin Products) who we purchased the machine from.
He said he contacted the manufacturer & they were not interested apart from supplying new parts at our cost plus freight. He was also not interested.

Friction drive in wheels packed up after 60 hours.

The axle wore out & then the transition stops working.

Ball wore out & was unusable.

All segments in the string line assembly have all worn out on shear.

Sprockets on shafts for the transmission chain too lightly connected & keep sliding out of alignment causing chain to continually come off.

I told Graham Hunkin of Hunkin Garden Products Ltd, Tuakau, New Zealand. That I was very unhappy with the machine & his service & that I would be actively not recommending this machine

For a machine that is in excess of NZ$2000.00 we certainly bought a pup..

The one good thing about this machine is the motor

Company representative comment on September 27, 2007:

On Sep 27, 2007 Hunkin Products added

We are a small family business with old-fashioned family values and it is disturbing to have someone actively trying to undermine our business this way. Initially Lew purchased a DR 6.75 push trimmer mower on the 13th Jan 2005 with a 12 month warranty and our unique one month right of return if not satisfied. The customer after at least two months of use (records show a return credit was given on the 11th April) decided the push mower was too difficult to push, and wanted the self-drive. We took the used machine back at no penalty to the customer (though it was well outside our one month right of return) and supplied a self-drive machine on the 5th April 2005. This replacement machine was also supplied with a 12 month warranty and our unique one month right of return.

The first notification of a problem came in an email on the 10th of January 2006 from Pat, his wife, saying a sprocket had moved. The grub screws had vibrated loose and simply tightening them fixed the problem. The next contact was made by phone and email in March 2007, a year later, complaining about the wheel drive. Apparently the axle had worn. I said we could supply another for around NZ$30.00 (cost price) plus air postage from the USA. We did not have the axle in stock because is not a part that normally fails. The alternative was waiting for an axle to come with our next shipment (which was due in about six weeks) and because it was in with other product, there would be no charge for freight.

Lew insisted that there was a design fault, despite thousands being sold successfully in the USA, and did not want the axle. He decided to write off a NZ$2000 plus machine for the sake of a NZ$30.00 axle! Other items that he complains about are all news to us. I suspect these are made in an attempt to embellish his complaint, but if genuine they are easily resolved. To say DR and HGP were not interested is false.

The machine was clearly out of warranty and a NZ$30.00 repair after 2 years and 60 hours use (72 hours according to Lew's email of 2nd March 2007) is not unreasonable. One has got to ask the question - If he found the self-drive machine would not travel through rough terrain and was not up to expectations, why did he not return it? Remember our one month right of return. With the first machine we went the extra mile by accepting a return after two months use, so there was no question we would honour it.

By now I hope most people will realise they can have confidence in our machines and our integrity. We have always honoured our right of return policy no matter the reason (on the rare occasion we get a return) and stand 100% behind our equipment.

Lew, the axle is still here if you want it, and we will once again go the extra mile by suppling it free of charge.

Graham Hunkin

Negative MSCountryboy
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2007, MSCountryboy Crystal Springs, MS wrote:

Fool me once, fool me twice, but you won't fool me a third time. Yes, I have two, not one, Dr. Trimmer mowers. My wife has already asked me why I purchased the second one when I had had problems with the first. Perhaps it is because their ads sound so convincing, perhaps it is because I was not thinking clearly! The design on these mowers is flawed, for belts and the mow-balls should not break as often as they do. And heaven help you when you have to change a belt and/or mow-ball. The instructions are not clear and everything on the machine has to be removed to get to the area where the work needs to be done. While my second machine--a self-propelled one--was under warranty, the company did pay for repairs on it. I appreciated that, but I ran the machine for less than an hour and the machine froze up and quit working. I find it impossible to even open it up to work on it. The machines are extremely over-priced. I would not advise anyone to buy one. If a belt or some other item breaks, you have to order the parts from DR and this takes about two weeks. Grass in the South grows too fast to wait that long. I have decided I can purchase a cheap trimmer annually and come out for less than I would pay for repair parts on my two DR Trimmer mowers. Anyone want a used one? Make an offer.

Negative drbeckl
(3 reviews)
On Apr 13, 2007, drbeckl Prichard, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

We bot one of these "Dr Trimmer mowers" with a 6 hp engine, and a aluminum deck about 6 or 7 years ago, for about $500.

I do not think it is worth $500. Probably worth $200. It has several design flaws, some of which they improved in later models.

After reading all their advertising about it, before buying it, after I finally got it and used it, I felt that they over-fluffed their wares. It does work fairly well as is, but it could work a lot better if it had been designed a little better. (clutch mechanism, debri shields, pulley system design, etc etc.

I think a lower priced model from a local hardware store would have been a better bargain for the money.
dan in WV

Negative tatkins
(1 review)
On Aug 25, 2006, tatkins Kingsland, AR wrote:

A few years back I purchased a DR Trimmer 6.5 horse. From the very first time up until now I have been terribly disappointed, disillusioned, frustrated and embarassed beyond anything I can tell you. I expected the machine to do all that it said and showed on the video that came with it but it didn't. Grass or weeds over two inches high choked down the machine and despite what was advertised it wraped up quickly with tall grass{ about a foot and a half tall}. I watched the video 4 times and read the manual 3 times to make sure it wasn't something I was doing wrong. I have been gardening for over 40 years and NEVER have I purchased a peice of equipment that was SO overrated! I thought, since I was paying what I considered a very high price, that it must be a really good product but I guess that's my fault for being so gullible.

I contacted the company not long after purchasing it{paid cash,again my fault} and told them how disappointed I was in their product and all they told me was, " Sorry You Didn't Like It!" I would not recommend their product to anyone!

I guess the final blow was when my neighbors gave me a suggestion for my problem: " Just remove the wheels and handle bar and use it as an anchor for your boat!" It was embarassing because they were using a 79.00 dollar weed eater and doing a quicker a better job than me with my REALLY high priced beauty contest machine.

On Aug 25, 2006, DR Trimmer/Mower responded with:


On Aug 30, 2006, DR Trimmer/Mower posted a response, but published it as a customer review rather than a response. When it was brought to the attention of the editors on May 3, 2007, it was moved to its correct spot:

Dear Friend:

Greetings from Country Home Products, makers and distributors of DR and NEUTON Power Equipment.

We recently received your posting from Dave’s Garden regarding your 1999 model 6.5 HP DR TRIMMER/MOWER. We’re sorry that you’ve been disappointed with its performance. In some instances, the DR will bog down in grass when too much pressure pushing the handlebars drives the Mow-Ball Support into the ground. If the Mow-Ball Support is allowed to glide along the ground, it can spin freely and use its cutting cords at top speed.

When using the DR in tall or heavy grass or weeds, it’s important to slow the forward movement of the machine. It’s also more effective to take small bites with the DR and to make two passes through the material. The first pass should be made with the nose of the DR slightly off the ground, cutting at a higher height than desired; the second pass should be made with the Mow-Ball Support gliding on the ground.

The DR discharges to the right, so it’s best to approach uncut vegetation from the left side of the machine. Let the cords work as much as they need as only the tips of the cords do the cutting. Lastly, the cutting cord works best on green, fibrous vegetation up to about the thickness of a pencil.

According to our records, your last call to our Technical Support Department was in May 2003. We encourage you to call Tech Support again at 1(800)DR-OWNER(376-9637) for machine operation and/or troubleshooting advice, or a referral to the nearest DR Sales and Service Dealer. Technical Support is open Monday thru Friday 8 am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Eastern Time.

We hope you’ll call us so we can help you get your DR TRIMMER/MOWER up and running to your expectations.

Thanks again for your posting.


David Prodell
Customer Relations

Negative hayley3
(2 reviews)
On Jun 27, 2006, hayley3 New Salisbury, IN wrote:

The Dr Trimmer/Mower is not as great as is advertised.
From the moment I purchased mine I had trouble. The clutch cable keeps breaking. At first they told me they had just gotten a bad batch. Now they are telling me that maybe I need to sand the metal bracket the clutch cable attaches to. This is AFTER 4 times of being broken. Also while it was under warranty, the cable was free, but now I have to pay for an OVERPRICED one of $25.99!!! That is ridiculous.
The saleperson pointed out that I was the only one to not be happy with their products and I was the only one having problems, but the previous salesperson had already told me that other people had the same problem, so who is telling the truth.
GARBAGE and OVERPRICED at that. Don't buy.
Also they say it is mandatory that you buy their parts and when you are broken down, two weeks is a very long time to wait.

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