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  1. #1
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Default Walk behind trimmers

    There is another thread going on about these now. I always wonder if these walk behind trimmers are better than a weed whacker. Which is less work? I have about 2,500 feet of fence line (both sides) that I trim with a weed whacker 3-4 times each year. We don't use chemicals on our fence lines. So is pushing a walk behind trimmer to and fro that weighs a couple of hundred pounds easier than carrying a 13# weed whacker?
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whistlepig View Post
    There is another thread going on about these now. I always wonder if these walk behind trimmers are better than a weed whacker. Which is less work? I have about 2,500 feet of fence line (both sides) that I trim with a weed whacker 3-4 times each year. We don't use chemicals on our fence lines. So is pushing a walk behind trimmer to and fro that weighs a couple of hundred pounds easier than carrying a 13# weed whacker?
    I have an old DR walk behind trimmer that my father let me have. It is definitely lighter than 100lbs, probably less than 75. It had a bad Tecumseh engine which I replaced with a new compatible B&S. replaced a few odd parts and repainted it. I tend to use it a lot on steep ground or in the drainage ditch along the road front and this makes for a good workout, but isn't hard on my back like long stints with my weed whacker. If you find the right trimmer line for it and don't try and trim a lot of woody material, the line lasts a long time. It will cut through incredibly thick, dense material as long as it is not woody, and will definitely go through it much faster than my pretty impressive husky weed whacker. Admittedly, if mine was self propelled, it would probably be used much more often, but even being manual push, it still is great for the right application and is easy to push on flat terrain. I would try and borrow or rent one before buying new, or find a good local deal on Craigslist.

  3. #3
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    The weed whacker is hard on my back also. I don't cut thick stuff with the weed whacker. I trim often enough to prevent this. My legs aren't what they used to be either. I haul the weed whacker around on a ATV. My lack of experience with walk behind trimmers suggests that pushing one of these for a mile or so would be more unpleasant. I just don't know. I am aware of the pull behind that Swisher makes. Unfortunately our fence is woven wire that is only an inch two above the ground. I don't think the Swisher pull behind would work well for that.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    pushing one of these for a mile or so would be more unpleasant.
    Pushing or carrying and swinging its all unpleasant
    I have both multiple weed whackers and the walk behind -- when doing the long laneway fence I go with the walk behind. In general if the terrain is not too rough I go with the walk behind. Some of my fence lines have a lot of rock along them -- those I use the weed whacker-- the best tool to use would be a young one that works cheap

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    I have a good Stihl brush cutter / weed wacker that uses .90 line. We have a Troybilt wheeled trimmer I bought at either Lowes or Home Depot maybe 10 years ago and it is still working fine. The wheel trimmer has alot more power and uses .155 line. The line does not feed like the weed wacker but rather you have to replace two lines every so often depending on how tough the material is. They both have their place. To go fast in fairly light material the weed wacker is the way to got. To get through a large amount of tough growth like it was butter the wheel trimmer is better. Glad we have both.
    Alan L., TX
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  6. #6
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    I just got a new DR walk behind, and I love it. The power differential makes a huge difference. I have a couple different groves of cedars in our backyard and try to trim under them a couple times a season. It's a chore I've always dreaded, even with a high powered straight shaft trimmer with a good harness. What's always taken me two full days with a regular string trimmer got done in two evenings after dinner. I could get much closer to the tree trunks without scarring the trees than I ever could with a handheld trimmer. When I run a regular string trimmer, I'm covered head to foot in clippings. I barely got any one me at all with the new DR. Like Curban wrote, with the .175 line, it will take down anything that's not woody (and will take some that are). There's an optional Beaver blade that has chainsaw teeth if you want to tackle saplings. I haven't ordered that yet, but after the first few days using this, I think I might. One thing nice about the DR is that you can pivot the frame relative to the axle so that the head sticks out to the left of the left wheel. You can trim under your fence while walking straight down the fence line, with very little back and forth. DR is clearing out last year's models, at the same price that most places have the Husqvarna, which doesn't have the offset feature, has a more complicated cutterhead, has a smaller engine, and doesn't have the option to add the Beaver blade (or any other cutting option beyond line). I thought the big wheels would walk over ruts and rocks better than they do, but that's my only gripe. If the ground is relatively smooth pushing the thing is like pushing an empty two wheeled dolly. It is very well balanced.
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  7. #7
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    I've got a Honda 4stroke string trimmer and a DR 5hp walk behind. Each has it's place. The Honda has a harness that takes the weight of the trimmer which helps a lot. I like it for doing around the house and on the uneven stuff. I can move much quicker with it.

    The DR is kind of like using a push mower. It has large rear wheels so it goes over roots and rocks easy but it still takes about the same amount of effort. But the line (which is thicker) does break and when it does it means stopping, turning it off, cutting two equal lengths of string, and then connecting it to the head. The head is a solid disc of steel with rubber bonded to the center, this keeps the string from cutting too close to the ground. It has three loops on each side and you feed the string through the loops in a way that as it spins it tightens it up. Changing the string only takes a minute or two but there's no easy place to carry extra string.

    I've had several 2 stroke weedwakers and now that I have the Honda I'll never go back. The Honda has so much more torque and is extremely quiet. Most of the time I only use about 1/4 of the throttle. For that kind of distance I think I would go with the walk behind.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  8. #8
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    I think I am going to stick with the hand held trimmer. I bought a Stihl 4mix last spring after owning several two cycles. The difference in the 4mix and the two cycles is pretty amazing. I'll never do two cycle again either.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  9. #9
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    The one thing about my Honda is it only has the string trimmer head and a saw blade for cutting thick stuff. Other brands have other attachments that look like they would be nice. If you haven't tried it yet the saw blade will cut amazingly fast.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  10. #10
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Walk behind trimmers

    I have had trimmers with the saw blades. This 4mix trimmer is a string head only trimmer. Sawing saplings and brush with a trimmer and then stopping every few feet to pick them up got to be too much on these old bones. I weed whack often enough to not need a saw blade on my fence lines. For saplings, brush, or vines I shave them off with the FEL or use the rotary cutter on them.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

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