Walk behind trimmer for the farm?

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Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
82
I'm looking at DR and Troy and they all have Briggs and Stratton motors.

Cub Cadet has a Kohler.

I'm leaning more toward the Kohler. Briggs and Stratton aren't the epitome of reliability in my experience. Pity there's not a walk behind trimmer with Honda or Kawasaki.

Recommendations?
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,341
Location
missouri
I don't have much faith in B&S anymore. They have become a 'low bidder' supplier. The company younger Son works for uses Kawasaki and he feels they're a good motor. Honda used to be a high end motor but I'm not sure they meet the old standards that got them their reputation.
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,058
Any company that sells in big box stores is dancing with the devil. It usually leads to the cheapening of their entire line.

You really want to deal with a real power equipment dealer.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,715
ALL the manufactures make different levels of price point ( quality ) engines. The name on the engine means very little.
Most of the small single cylinder Kohler are sourced out of China and in our experience no better or worse than the lower end B&S.
Based on history, best parts support still goes to B&S then Kohler with Honda and Kaw being a geographic "toss up".
My personal preference would be Honda, their low end engine parts are very cheap to replace. Carburetors for example in the $20-30 range, recoil starter assembly's maybe $12-15 range. We no longer clean carbs or repair recoils on those...cheaper to toss and replace.
Most all the little engines will give decent service given a chance, as in clean oil, clean air filters, and keep the crap cleaned out of the cooling fins.
The wheeled line trimmers are about the dirtiest environment to run an engine in, and they need help to survive.
The Chinese will build whatever quality the manufacture wants to pay for. That said, engineers will admit to 200 hour design life on some of the low end stuff.
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
824
Location
coleman texas
I have a string trimmer. It has a Brigs & Stratton. Runs ok. I have found little use for it except around the front gate where there are a lot of large soft ball size and larger rocks. Otherwise it sits in the shop unused. Between the weed eater, push mower, and bush hog most jobs are better served without the string trimmer. It does not have the versatility of the weed eater. Especially around fence lines.
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,058
Location
Midwest Illinois
I have a DR brush mower and a DR snow blower. Both have been very dependable. I mow paths in my deer timber with the brush mower and it will easily cut 2" trees. It is the basic one that won't take attachments. I've had it for 5 years now and I got the snow blower 3 years ago.

I ordered both direct. I see Farm King (local store), and Farm & Fleet now carry them.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,715
I have a string trimmer. It has a Brigs & Stratton. Runs ok. I have found little use for it except around the front gate where there are a lot of large soft ball size and larger rocks. Otherwise it sits in the shop unused. Between the weed eater, push mower, and bush hog most jobs are better served without the string trimmer. It does not have the versatility of the weed eater. Especially around fence lines.
I'll second this opinion. We have one at the shop and it never gets used, everybody here finds it too slow and cumbersome to bother with. We all just grab the big hand held line trimmer. Only place I would maybe use one would be in a ditch that was too rough for a push mower. I'll trim 3 or 4 fence post with a hand held for every one somebody does with a wheeled trimmer.
 

moparclan

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
72
My 16 year old John Deere riding mower has a Briggs and Stratton V-twin engine and my 50+ Troy Built tiller has a Briggs and Stratton both still running great. The Troy Built Tecumseh 6hp threw a rod in 1993. Troy Built dealer in Chandler had the 8hp Briggs, wasn't electric start like the Tecumseh but still starts after one or two pulls. I also use Amsoil fuel stabilizer and ethanol free gas in all my outdoor equipment, my Harley and 56 Ford F100 too.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,466
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
There is another option... Walk behind trimmers powered by 2-stroke engines. I have two. A tiny one that gets used often, and a larger one that never gets used. The larger one, 17" , has power enough to march thru anything, but it's just big enough to no longer be a trimmer as much as it's a small brush mower.
P1030244.JPG



There's some discussion of the major engine brands. I've discovered them to no longer be worthy of their past reputation(s).

eg: Honda products. I've owned many and still do. I have a Honda 2200i generator that refuses to start easily when cold. It's been to the shop, has undergone a recall, but it still wears me out to get it started. My recent "Firman" generator, wouldn't run at all. Took it back for a refund. My previous two "Champion" brand generators started effortlessly. I've had three new Honda mowers in the last three years. Two of them have been horrible to start. The most recent, bought one spring ago, after 4 uses, it began surging terribly. Took it to the Honda dealer. They agreed, "it's surging". Their fix? Leave it with us. We're 4 months behind and should be able to get to it by end of summer. Really? What good is their world class warranty if they're so far behind they can't even schedule it for service. I took it home, removed and disassembled the carburetor, and found a small piece of red plastic in the jet. Still doesn't start easy when cold, but once running, it runs great.

I have a riding mower with a Kohler engine. In spite of a plethora of service and trouble shooting, it often requires starting fluid to get it started.

I've about given up on the major brands.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,715
There is another option... Walk behind trimmers powered by 2-stroke engines. I have two. A tiny one that gets used often, and a larger one that never gets used. The larger one, 17" , has power enough to march thru anything, but it's just big enough to no longer be a trimmer as much as it's a small brush mower.
View attachment 2604


There's some discussion of the major engine brands. I've discovered them to no longer be worthy of their past reputation(s).

eg: Honda products. I've owned many and still do. I have a Honda 2200i generator that refuses to start easily when cold. It's been to the shop, has undergone a recall, but it still wears me out to get it started. My recent "Firman" generator, wouldn't run at all. Took it back for a refund. My previous two "Champion" brand generators started effortlessly. I've had three new Honda mowers in the last three years. Two of them have been horrible to start. The most recent, bought one spring ago, after 4 uses, it began surging terribly. Took it to the Honda dealer. They agreed, "it's surging". Their fix? Leave it with us. We're 4 months behind and should be able to get to it by end of summer. Really? What good is their world class warranty if they're so far behind they can't even schedule it for service. I took it home, removed and disassembled the carburetor, and found a small piece of red plastic in the jet. Still doesn't start easy when cold, but once running, it runs great.

I have a riding mower with a Kohler engine. In spite of a plethora of service and trouble shooting, it often requires starting fluid to get it started.

I've about given up on the major brands.
Thread drift.....as a long time Honda dealer I can tell you the2200 and earlier 2000 generators will basically never start well after sitting for a while.
The fuel to the carburetor is NOT gravity feed, those little units have a fuel pump and require several pulls to fill the bowl and lines after sitting.
It's my number one complaint about them. We've installed primers on a few for "special" customers. If you're inclined look at an old school small snowmobile primer and run a line to a tee in the fuel line near the float bowl. pick up the fuel with a tee between tank and pump.
Bit of work that should not need to be done but will cure the issue
 

BROKENBEAR

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
98
Well which ever one you end up with ..and of course depending on where you live ..just remember who the next person that pizzed off rattle snake, cotton mouth or copperhead sees is you as you walk behind that machine .. ;-)

Just saying

Bear
 

KS25-06

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Moscow, Ks. Stevens Co.
I was the city maintenance man for a small town in SW Ks for 8 years. We had a DR trimmer that was fantastic. Used for those 8 years with no problems. Rigged it to use .175 dia. cord. Main use was trimming weeds around the sewer ponds. Did not use it in town because it could really throw rocks thru windows. Take care of your equipment with proper maintenance and it will last for years. Blow out the air filter every day, and change oil at recommended time.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,341
Location
missouri
I don't have very good luck with small engines-probably due to the very seasonal but stressful use here. HONDA engines have held up better than other brands.
Here's the story of one B&S engine running a 2" water pump: It's old, worn, and very hard to start(probably due to low compression). In order to keep the pump functional, I removed the recoil starter assembly leaving the ratcheting dog and square shaft end. Using a 7/8"(?) 8 point socket and 1/4" impact driver, I can start this old clunker with one hand anywhere/anytime. Add 4-5 tablespoons of oil to the crankcase with each gas fill and it just keeps going and going. Once in a while the intake manifold shakes loose requiring re-tightening but it doesn't foul the plug and pulls the full load of the pump so I'll live with it until something flies apart.
 

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