Vive le difference. My wife is happy now that we have tile rather than carpet downstairs. I was content with what was there before, but I’m happy she’s happy. As for me, I’m thrilled that, when I mowed the tallish grass today, my new DR Field and Brush Mower didn’t leave clumps of cuttings all over the lawn.
To Laurel, this earns a big yawn. But she wasn’t the one who had to keep going over the lines of grass clumps produced by my old side-discharge, three blade, non-mulching mower. I’d remow some clumpy cuttings, which would merely shoot the clump over five feet or so.
I felt like the Oregon equivalent of Sisyphus, doomed to mow and remow grass clumps for eternity. However, the good folks at Vermont’s Country Home Products have come to my rescue. I’ve owned three of their Field and Brush Mowers, to which can be affixed a nifty lawn mowing attachment, and they keep getting better and better.
You’ve probably seen them advertised on television. A guy is shown walking behind the self-propelled mower, whacking down saplings and brush with ridiculous ease. I can testify that this is pretty much the reality now, but my first DR Mower had a small engine, bicycle type wheels, and no reverse.
I’d enthusiastically rev it up, get a running start, and plunge with reckless bravado into a six foot high thicket of dead blackberry vines. I’d then not so enthusiastically work on wrestling the machine backwards out of the vines, cursing the absence of a reverse gear.
That was fixed with my next DR Mower. And it had a bigger engine. However, several frustrations remained. The lawnmowing attachment left the aforementioned giant clumps when the grass was high, and changing between the field mower and lawn mower attachments was a twenty minute ordeal. Numerous bolts and springs to unfasten, plus dealing with a belt that would barely fit over a protruding engine part.
All in all, a bad design that marred an otherwise well-fashioned machine. So after spending seven years with DR Mower #2, this winter I decided to treat myself to a DR Mower #3. Sort of like “Big Love,” but my tripartite mower polygamy was sequential rather than simultaneous.
Several months ago I uncrated the new machine and with some trepidation set out to affix the lawnmowing attachment. It went on in just a couple of minutes. Love at first attachment! Since then I’ve put in about four hours of mowing time. Side-discharge, until today.
When I put on the mulching part—a plastic gizmo that fits over the discharge chute. The instructions said that you shouldn’t cut more than a third of the height of the grass if you want to mulch mulchily. Though the lawn was about six feet high, I said to myself, “Screw that advice. Let’s roll!”
Because Mower #3 is more powerful than #2 (the engine has a pleasing throaty sound and you can easily do wheelies), I’d been noticing that with my usual mowing pattern, it had been shooting grass clippings way up into the ground cover and other plantings next to the lawn. If I reversed the pattern, then it’d shoot the clippings into the middle of the lawn, where they would clump together like mad with the grass so high.
Hence, the decision to become the Mad Mulcher this afternoon, breaking the 1/3 cut rule. Fortunately, the mower worked great. Hardly any clumping at all. What there was came mostly from the large rear wheels, whose knobby tires accumulate clippings until they fall off in a clumpified heap.
Mower #2 did that too. I can live with it.
So if you’re thinking of getting the new and improved DR Field and Brush Mower from Country Home Products, which probably means that you live in the country, have a home, and need some products, I give it a thumbs up.
It seems solider and a bit heavier than my old machine. Takes a bit more work to turn it. If you’re small or sort of frail, this probably isn’t the mower for you. The handlebar controls have been enlarged. I’ve got pretty big hands, but it’s kind of a stretch for me to operate the grips.
It’s nice to have a brake on the right handlebar now. Except, I forgot to use it recently and ran into a tree while on a downhill mowing run. Bent the front left wheel support pretty good, so much that it was rubbing against the mower deck.
I considered running the support just as hard into the tree from the other direction, but figured I shouldn’t press my luck. A sledgehammer, piece of 2 X 4, and some energetic blows accompanied by “take that, George Bush!” did the trick. It’s nice to find out that our President is good for something.
I have only 10,000 sq ft of yard to mow, and I pretty much hate anything having to do with yard work--but even I sit there in awe watching that brush mower whack down sequoias in the commercial. You could deforest the Amazon in about 2 hrs with one of those things! Happy devegetating!
Posted by: torridjoe | April 21, 2006 at 08:44 AM
Hi I came across your website, thought i would post a question. My wife and i live in WA state, we are over run with scotch broom on our 5 acres. have you encountered this weed problem. If so has your DR mower worked on the problem. the dealer statesthat the 17hp, model will cut up to 2 1/2 inch stalk, and the stuff we have is thick! please e mail your thoughts thanks ART.
Posted by: Art Common | February 11, 2007 at 02:01 PM
Hi, I came across you page and figured I'd put my 2 cents in about my 17 HP DR Field and Brush mower... I love it!!! I don't have any other attachments yet, but I plan on getting a generator. I bought this to clear out some growth on my 10 acres in Concord VT... It works like it does in the commercials and the people that work in the DR store in Merrimack NH are a pleasure to deal with. They have taken care of every problem that I have had with my mower... 1 problem was one of the bar that rides on the ground bent, I had brought it to them after I bent it back as far as I could and was wondering if they could bend it back the rest of the way... They did much better and replaced the deck for me. The other problem I had was that it was stuck in 2 wheel drive, they replaced the differential for me to correct that problem. All work was done under warranty with no questions asked. It is good to know that DR stands behind their product, when AND if I ever need or want a new one I will definitely get another DR.... I would like to see a "wood chipper" attachment for it....The biggest thing about owning one of these is its like owning a truck when people know you have one, they want you to do things for them. If you are thinking about getting one... don't think, just do it!!!
Posted by: Garret Lewush | March 10, 2007 at 06:15 AM
I own 3 of these. I own and operate Oregon Field & Brush Mowing "Short or Tall, We Mow It All!" and I use these in my business.My first one was a 1997 8hp Original DR Field and Brush Mower (originally made by Bachtold Bros.) which I bought in 2001, and it was slow, with only one speed and cutting only 24" per pass, but did a pretty good job as long as the grass was 4ft tall or less and dry or the brambles were short and sparse. Then I purchased a 2001 10.5 All Terrain Mower Electric start in 2007. It has the lockable differential, the 26" deck and the 48"lawn mower deck which I still have not used as the blade clutch is frozen up on it. It works great! Then in 2010, I bought a 2003 17hp DR Commercial model with the 30" brush deck and the 42"lawn deck which I have successfully used several times. I love this one. It is half the width of a 5ft bush hog and has a 2.5 gallon tank that lasts almost as many hours as it has gallons. I really did have to bulk up from using it at first, but now no problem! I really feel like I get so much more done and I didn't even rent a tractor for my main properties I maintain this year for the first time due to efficiency and cooler weather.
Posted by: James L Tyree II | November 18, 2011 at 06:33 PM