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  1. #1
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    Last weekend i rented a Billy Goat Outback mower to maintain a piece of land i own. The mower was great on the smaller thorn bushes and heavy grass, but really struggled on any alders over 3/4". So it was back to the spacing saw and hand piling for the larger stuff.

    I found the Outback was lacking the weight to push over the larger branches and seemed to jam up and stall the blade, not the engine. It also could have benefited from some sort of posi traction, because it always seemed to spin a wheel when you least wanted it. The back edge of the mower deck also hung up on 3-4" tall stumps from a previous cutting. The deck was set at max height.

    How would a DR field mower cope with the larger alters, say 1"+? The alders around here usually grow in clusters of 3-4 "trunks" sharing a common stump. Would it have the weight to push it over and cut it?

    How is the DR's traction and ground clearance? Would it hang up on the older stumps, or is the rear of the deck open? Its hard to tell from their website pictures.

    After renting the outback, i don't think it fits my needs, however they are the only rough mower available locally and i really liked the Honda engine.

    If the DR will handle the vegetation i need to control, then i will strongly consider buying one for next year, however, there's no DR dealer within 250 Mi. according to their website, so a hands on inspection would be out. Id hate to order one and have to send it back, even with their excellent return policy.

    Hopefully someone on here will have used both machines and can do a direct comparison so I know whether the problems i had were due to the outback being a rental or just lacking in design.

    I'm open to any suggestions for other machines as well. What about BCS? There's supposed to be a dealer in Halifax but they're $$$. Would it handle the alder clusters?

    I'm still a few years away from my tractor and bush hog. It cant come fast enough lol.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2003
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    1,418
    Location
    East Texas, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4740, B2400 and F2680

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    I don't know if I'm the right person to reply to this as I have no idea about a Billy Goat Outback and my Dr is one of the old, old models. It has steel bicycle wheels and solid rubber tires, no reverse and only one forward speed. I bought it for a specific purpose, to mow around the lake, and I put the heavy brush cutter blade on it. Having said all that, 3/4" saplings are not a problem, 1-1/2" is stretching it a bit. When you take out a sapling, it rides up on to it, bending it over until the blade makes contact and there is a whole lot of banging and clattering and bits come flying out everywhere. The newer models have pneumatic tires, 3 (?) forward speeds and a reverse and are much heavier than mine so they should handle slightly thicker stuff with the heavy brush blade. The traction should also be better than mine, which isn't all that bad by the way, except when going downhill as there is no engine breaking on the old ones. It's a case of hold on and go for a ride.

    The thing is not to get in too much of a hurry. If the blade passes over a stump or stob with the side runners on the ground then the back of the mower will pass over it too. It will leave a couple of inches sticking up though and when cutting a lot of brushy stuff it does make for some tough walking, especially since it doesn't mulch, just chops.

    The Dr's are built for just the situation that you describe. In fact I just dug mine out today after sitting idle for 3 years. Checked the oil, filled it with fresh gas and it only took 4 pulls for it to fire up. It's a good quality machine, well made and the only time I had to use their customer service, it was excellent.

    It's a pity that you can't hire one to see if it fits the bill because they are not inexpensive even with their return policy. The only thing that I would add is that they are a lot harder work than their commercials and advertising shows. Perhaps the newer ones are a lot easier.

  3. #3
    Gold Member dbdartman's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    491
    Location
    central New Jersey (No. Burlco)
    Tractor
    JD4400

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    The DR does SEEM to have a limited slip differential. Having said that, the LSD WILL make it more difficult to turn. The mower is open in the front, closed back, so I'll assume it'll hang up on "stumps" also. Can't comment on what it will cut size wise, never cut anything more than heavy grass/weeds, don't use the cutter any more as it's been replaced by a 5' rotary, but do have the snow blower attachment (which works pretty well).

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    834
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    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    If you plan on cutting a lot of stuff over 3/4" with any walk behind mower, you are gonna get a thorough and rigorous workout. Invest a few bucks in an elastic back brace for additional support. I've never run a mower like this over the heavy stuff you describe, but imagine it will be something like operating a front tine tiller over virgin ground (something I used to do a lot of), the back brace will help.
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    Thanks for the info so far guys. Thats why I love this site! As my use of the Outback will attest it is a real workout!!! I think the DR sounds like a much better unit for my needs. DR certainly seams like a top notch company,i used their chat feature and it turns out i have a dealer 45 mins away (info was buried on the international dealers page!) so ill likely try to get over and look in person one of these days. I ordered the DVD and catalog from DR as well.

    Does anybody know if the dealers follow DR's satisfaction guaranteed return policy or does that only apply to mail order?

    Has anybody tried a Simplicity mower? I think they're hydrostatic? Dealer is 2 hrs away though.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    ChuckinNH's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    NH
    Tractor
    (B2620, had BX22) Simplicity Legacy w/48" mmm

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    There are some more extensive threads on DR field, and brush mowers here, and a search may turn up more of the info you are looking for. It does seem that the DR's will chop up about anything they can push over / climb. You may want to check carefully with your dealer about the DR buy back policy. I bought my Troy Built tiller from a dealer years ago, and they did not have the same warranty that the company had directly.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2008
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    USA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    Some places do rent these DR Brush Mowers out, not near me though.

    I bought the 17HP 30" last year, I have used it to cut down trees over 3" thick, but once you go that thick a chain saw is easier. Using it to cut down trees is quite a work out. I cleared black berry bushes and alders mostly, then just keep that land up with a riding mower. I take it places that a tractor can't fit.

    I have hit concrete, rocks, bricks, steel chunks, stumps. It smashes most things to bits.

    I used tech support for the first time on Saturday, as I ripped the wires off the side in heavy brush, need info on where to hook things back up to. American guy answered within 60 seconds, didn't know the answer, but called me back within 5 minutes. Very satisfied.

    On their promo videos they show a little old lady using it . . . . no way could she cut trees.
    I think the 6 months guarantee is only for items bought direct.

    There are several videos on youtube of these in action.
    Last edited by jinjimbob; 07-14-2008 at 03:41 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    How bout a gravely L... you can usually find a running one for about $300 bucks with the bush hog. Power? Plenty! Ability to push over 1+ saplings and not look back, Yep did a 100 square foot patch with no issue. Just make sure it is using the heavier bush hog blade and it sharpened. Actually hit a metal chain link fence that was buried it tore it up until it got tangled around the blade. Another time it hit a cinder block also partially buried in high grass, it aint no cinder block no more. Both incidents resulted in no damage to the machine, but I did resharpen the blades not sure what current machine could say the same at any price. These machine sometimes do need a little of Tlc but the oil filters are PH-13 the same filters used on my doge 318 Mopar. Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    Gravely might be an option if i can find one in decent condition. Ones around here seem to sell for alot more than $300 and are pretty used up. I understand most parts are still available.

    Im probably going to hold off on any purchases for a while. Hopefully within the next year or two ill have a bushog. That would be the best answer, those walk behind brush cutters will wear you out

  10. #10
    Gold Member caver's Avatar
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    Sikeston, MO
    Tractor
    Fisher Price, toddlers first tractor.

    Default Re: Billy Goat Outback VS DR Brush Mower

    I went with a . Swisher Predator It's a heavy beast. The reviews on various websites are fairly accurate. I had a cutter head bearing fail after several hours of use. It was fixed locally under warranty with no hassle from Swisher. Made in Missouri.

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