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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Wheeled String Trimmers

    Do any of you have a comment about the various brands of wheeled string trimmers made. The situation is this. The DR Trimmer we use had a Tecumseh engine, I think it was 5 or 6 HP. Yesterday it got way to hot and seized the rings or ate an exhaust valve. I removed it and anticipate replacing it with a Honda 5.5 HP engine. Prior to doing it though we thought perhaps we would explore the possibility of replacing the entire machine. Any comments, likes or dislikes about the various makes would be much appreciated. I looked at Bearcat and DR Trimmers on the internet. It will pretty much have to be string type because of the extremely dry weeds or grasses we have here in CA. Steel blades will almost always start a fire from hitting rocks. Thanks, Mark Rat

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,265
    Location
    Western Michigan
    Tractor
    NH TC33D w/R4 Tires, Rear Remote, Hydraulic Toplink, 2 Auxiliary Work Lights, 7308 Loader w/Kasco Uni-Hitch (Quick Tach)

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    Rat, I just bought a 5.5 hp Honda engine and that was $360 from a friend who works at a dealership, so I wouldn't go that way. I bought a Ariens wheeled trimmer with a 5.5 hp Techumseh engine on it a couple of years ago at Home Depot. They had it clearanced at the end of the season for $199 instead of the normal $299. The machine works well but I had to disassemble the engine housing just to change the oil.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,696
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    A year ago I bought a Troybilt wheel trimmer with a 6HP Briggs & Stratton engine. It has been a great machine so far.

    I think it was $400 at Lowes.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    556
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720 Cab

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    Mark, I got a father's day gift of a DR Trimmer 7 years ago with the briggs and Stratton side valve engine. As you might expect the Briggs failed after about 4 years and needed replacement. I thought about just replacing the engine from a local supplier until I learned that since the DR Trimmer doesn't have a blade to act as a flywheel like a lawnmower that the engines supplied to Country Home PRoducts (the DR people) have a much heavier flywheel. I then thought I would purchase a replacement engine from the DR people but didn't want to spend the extra money. At the same time I was becoming frustrated with the way the cutting head would wrap with long grass especially quackgrass. It had a tendancy to wrap and stall the unit from the beginning. I was ready to give up and try another brand. Well, at about this time the DR people introduced their new trimmer with a commercial Kawasaki engine and a newly designed trimmer head that appeared to be virtually unpluggable. I purchased the biggest one which has the 6.75 hp Kawasaki with electric start. They're expensive as it was around $900. I ended up selling the old one that needed an engine for $200. I couldn't believe the difference. The OHV Kawasaki starts instantly, is quieter, idles like a sewing machine and seems like it has twice the power of the old sidevalve Briggs. The new cutting head does not plug. This is my 3rd season and I am quite happly with it. I know there are less expensive wheel trimmers and they may work just fine. But I'm impressed with the DR. The folks at Country home Products are very pleasant to deal with.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member PhilNH5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    786
    Location
    SE NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B3000HSDCC

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    I have a Sears with a 6.5 hp B&S engine. Starts all the time and it is very quiet. This is my third summer with it. It is not as handy as I had hoped. On my model the trimmer head stays parallel to the ground. So you can't really get down and close to trim around a rock or fence. Due to this I wind up using my over-the-shoulder trimmer which I was trying to get away from.
    The wheeled trimmer is great for keeping some rough trails open. An I use it for the first mow of the year at our camp. Grass was up to my thigh this year and the walk behind mower couldn't handle it. But the wheeled trimmer did a great job.

    Phil

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    38,099
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    Texas

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    Rat, when I first looked into the DR trimmer/mowers I passed because the biggest ones had a Tecumseh engine. They may be great engines, but I'm still a bit prejudiced because of a bad experience with a Tecumseh over 30 years ago. Then when they came out with the 6hp electric start B&S, I bought one and really liked it. They later came out with the new head to prevent grass and weeds from wrapping around it, and I bought that, too. And now I see they have attachments to make an edger and small tiller for them. They're expensive, but I'd probably stay with the DR.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    1,862
    Location
    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    Thanks for the comments. One of the reasons I was considering replacing the motor was because we just replaced the head with the new anti wrap black one. The trimmers pretty old, about 6 years, but looks much older then that since as you know, these things throw out a lot of debris and put a pretty heavy film of weed juice everywhere. I'm interested in this 6.5 HP model they make. Their site shows it in a B&S engine only. Again, thanks for the comments. Rat...

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    240
    Location
    Corning, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota BX1800

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    RaT,
    I have had a 5hp DR for 5 or 6 years. I believe that it is a Tecumseh engine. I also upgraded to the new anti-wrap head. I've got the edger also, but I haven't had time to try it. (So many projects, so little time!) Actually, it has been so wet in the northeast that I basically mow as soon as I see the grass dry out. Then there isn't time to trim before it rains again.

    I've been happy with the DR. I looked at other brands, but they don't seem as rugged. Or at least the ones available around here.

    One problem that I have noticed is getting junk into the cooling fins. With motors so tightly shrouded now, it's hard to clean them. I really should tear the shrouds off every spring, but I don't. I have had them off a few times though, and found a bunch of trash in there. That may be why your engine died. No cooling air!

    Now that I have an air compressor, maybe that will help.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    Texas

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    Yep, Mike, I'm convinced the air compressor is the way to go; I blew the debris off the cooling fins (and the rest of the machine) regularly.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    338
    Location
    santa barbara, ca
    Tractor
    kubota b7200hst

    Default Re: Wheeled String Trimmers

    I have a craftsman eager-1 20 inch wheeled trimmer. It has a 4hp engine. I think it is a tecumesh.

    I wish I could say I was in love with the unit but I am not. It works a HECK of a lot better than the ryobi string trimmer and is far safer than a blade mower up in the orchard. Still, that little pump bulb to prime it, not always so easy to start when cold, wheels not quite big enough for ruts and, as has been said, packaged in such a way that it is not so easy to clean. Changing the oil is a major mess as well since the drain plug empties onto the chassis.

    I do like the quiet powerful 4hp gasoline motor over the 30 cc 2stroke screamers. It never bogs down and chews through weeds like there is no tomorrow. String replacement isn't bad either when I get into a fence or a sapling.

    Best thing I can say is to look the products over carefully with your needs in mind. Check out the wheels (not too small) the motor (easy to service and clean) the trimmer head (easy to change strings).

    One other thing you might want to think of is standardizing on parts. My push mower, push tiller and chipper all have 5hp b&s motors that use the same air filter and spark plug. I save a few pennies by buying the bulk pack of J19LM plugs instead of individuals. Went to 4 stores looking for a RDJ7Y the other day. They all had J19LM's but none had a RDJ7Y. Poor ryobi has been running this season on a 2 yr old plug. Making sure you can get parts for whatever you buy is always an important consideration.

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