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Check Out My Billy Goat Outback Brush Cutter!

Last updated : 5 November 2010

This is my brief review of the Billy Goat Outback Brush Cutter.   It wasn’t until last year that I was aware that you could buy a walk behind mower designed to cut tall grass and brush.  So when I saw a used Billy Goat Outback Brush Cutter advertised I jumped at the chance to buy it.

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This machine really amazes me!  It cuts through anything.  I had some really tall, heavily clumped grass and the Outback marched right through it.  I had to go slow because since it really doesn’t have a discharge shoot the cut grass under the deck can bog the machine down a little.  But what I was mowing was a lawn that hasn’t been cut in almost a year.

Then I took the machine out back and started using it in wood areas, and that’s when it really impressed me.  I ran right over a tree that was 1″ in diamter and the motor never even hesitated.  Watch the video to see how well this machine works.

-Mike

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Comments

    • Mike says

      Yes, I have been thoroughly spanked on the safety issues. I did have no steel toe shoes which is a must when working even with hand tools.

  1. Alice Herron-Ray says

    Dear Mike,
    Although I don’t have a yard that has enough brush to use a bush hog, I really was also impressed with the machine. Thank you for your wonderful website, I learned so many useful things, Its always a treat to have you come to visit me on my e-mail. There is no one like you!
    I wish you lived next door
    Thanks, Alice

  2. Jean from MA says

    WOW – what a machine! Does a great job and no hesitation or bogging down!
    A comment aside of the machine but about you in the brush – do you spray yourself with bug repellant esp for ticks. Up here in MA Lymes is all over and I contracted it without knowing!
    Had 2 tick bites that I had a reaction to and after a day went to the doc and he tested me for Lymes – sure enough the test was positive but not from the recent bites – I have had it a while to have that many antibodies present in my body. So just be aware that you don’t have to have a classic site reaction ! Seeing you work outside and esp in the brush causes me now to ask how do you protect yourself against Lymes disease. A lot of people I have talked to that work outside have contracted it. Thanks – your info is great!!!

    • Mike says

      Jean, we’ve heard little about Lyme disease around here for a long time. About 10 years ago it was in the news a lot, but it doesn’t appear to be an issue around here right now.

    • says

      Limes? I have plenty and to spray them is not good.
      Cut them in half and squeeze add some sugar and Triple Sec and 2-3 oz of Tequila, salt the rim of a nice glass then enjoy the day.

  3. Michelle says

    This is amazing!! We have live Goats that clear all vegetation, but they leave the trucks and stems of privot, momosa, oaks, ect. So my husband has been going thru with a chain saw after it. But we want it mulched to the ground. This is the solution! Thanks

  4. Ann Gaydosh says

    Mike – great video to support your opinion of the Brushcutter and very timely for me. My 100 series John Deere rider bogged down a number of times in my back pasture yesterday, after the continuous rain we are getting in Iowa. I tackle very similar overgrowth, and it’s great to see you head right under the shrubs, just like I do! Enjoy getting your new property in the shape you want.

  5. mj says

    Mike – Nice video! Wish I had a place to use one! I used to use a Gravely sickle to clear brush in the 60’s…this looks much better. Keep the vid’s commin!

    • Scott C says

      I think a walk behind sickle might work on grade a little at a time. What was your experience? Those Gravelys are hard to come by now though I do see them on occasion at auction. Most need some TLC.

  6. Dennis Schlittler says

    Mike,
    Seems to work very well. The machine needs to have a handle shifter for the reverse forward action. The less we have to bend over the better. And as others have said, one should have eye and hearing protection, and don’t forget to spray oneself. Keep up the good work.

    • Mike says

      Dennis, you’re right and when I first watched a demo video I thought the same thing. But it’s not a big issue because you learn to make as many forward passes as you can. But I do wish it were a little more convenient. I didn’t mention that the machine has a three speed transmission.

    • Mike says

      Judy, Actually I did. But just a touch. Not sure exactly when I got it because I was also over there ratting through bramble with the chainsaw. I didn’t see any posion ivy where I was working, but it does hide. I think I’m going to do a poison ivy video since a lot of folks aren’t sure what it looks like.

      • Yvonne says

        Yes, I get poison ivy (or poison oak) every year I am gardening. Easy to get hard to get rid of. However, I have found a great product and when I use it, have been avoiding outbreaks. It is Tecnu by Tec Lab. I like the tecnu extreme medicated poison ivy scrub. Would love to hear your ideas on it.

  7. Sara P says

    LOL I love the video. This stuff is like porn to me. I love the brush cutter, although I have to rent one at $100.00 a day. This machine mows right over logs and large rocks. The only thing that stops it is fence wire. I will agree with others as far as safety issues. I wear gloves, helps when you get close to trees and I wear safety glasses. Otherwise, nothing warms my heart more than to watch the brush hog at work.

    • Mike says

      Sara, this is like porn to you because you are a true gardener. We get all excited about a pile of dirt if it’s good stuff. I’ve got a great post about gardeners that I’ll send out in a newsletter if I remember.

  8. Roger says

    Fun Mike. I had a 12 horse DR brush cutter very similar to your outback. It would cut anything that you could knock over, up to 2 inch. It also had an adapter that used very heavy plastic string for areas that were just grass and or had lots of rocks. It was really great.

    • Mike Spieth says

      Like Roger, I purchased a DR for my dad about 10 years ago. Now it is mine and is working great. Any bush cutter can do the job but I am partial to the DR. It has a safety bib in the back to protect from anything coming at you, you must hold a safety switch when the blades are running, it has 4 forward and 1 reverse that is located on the control handle and if you are cutting on a hill or are getting stuck you can lock the frive gear, but it is hard to turn when you do that..

    • says

      DR is good equipment. BUT too bad troy built gave up on their heavy duty line.
      ooopps sorry i forgot it was never released. ( I was the test unit and I could remove a 30 inch tree, stone, even any thing in my way but those days are over. OSHA put a stop to all that wild stuff.)

  9. Carle says

    I wonder if the newer version has a better backward/forward transfer; seem that it’s kind of awkward for you to have to reach down and move the lever each time. I too wonder about not so flat surfaces. I have a lot of those. I concur with those who are concerned about safety issues; goggles, gloves, ear muffs, and long sleeves. I hate goggles and safety glasses because they usually fog up as I begin to perspire, but better safe than sorry. And I’ve been through enough brush to know that at least a light weight hunting jacket would protect you from thorns and prickly vines w/out getting you too overheated.

    I understand why the person sold it. Not immediately knowing the cost of one of those new, if you don’t have acres and acres to do, you probably would be better off renting such an animal for what you do have, and then keep things short w/a rider or underbelly mower on a good-sized garden tractor. Still, good stuff. Keeps people aware of the different possibilities out there. Thanks!

  10. michael lambert says

    hey mike !!one heck of a machine,,i laughed so hard i cried,,watching you disappear in that thick brush !!,,maybe next time it won’t be a year before that area gets cut again..Keep them videoes coming my friend.and stay safe.

    • Mike says

      Michael, well you’re right about that, I’ve got almost 5 acres that has been sorely neglected. We’re making progress, but it will be a work in progress for a long time. More videos on the way.

  11. Jim Brown says

    Hey Mike,

    Wear protection, glasses, etc… Please answer E-Mails, sent you a few notes on creeping phlox…. Please answer…. Thanks

    • Mike says

      Jim, I get hundreds of Emails a day. They all go to Kathy and she deals with them best she can. I just spent two hours on the Backyard Growers Message Board answering questions in detail and my Saturday is slipping away. Lots to do today and I’m still here on the blog answering questions. I wish I could respond to every Email and question asked of me, but I just can’t find the time. That’s why we have the Backyard Growers Message Board for customers who want that extra customer service and need answers quickly. I do the best I can with all other requests but I’m only one person who already works a zillion hours a week.

  12. Charles says

    Put some Slick 50 in that baby the next time you change the oil Mike. and she will run better and, have more power, and last longer!!!!!

  13. Scott C says

    Love the vids Mike. Very informative. Liked the digging trees one. I agree with otehr posts. Safety first! Nothing wrong with putting the machine through its paces but be prepared. I use a DR field and brush mower and it is a large powerful machine with a side discharge. I go slow and steady and would advise anyone looking to mow grades to exercise extreme caution because the cut grass and weeds are wet and very slippery and can cause the operator to slip and loose control. The clutch will stop the machine but the belt driven blade is locked until the operator drops the lever. Grades are tricky as gravity always wins.

    • Mike says

      Scott, you’re right. Steel toe shoes are a must and hearing and eye protection should also be used. I never work without steel toe shoes and should mention that more in my videos.

  14. Nathan B says

    Man I could really use one of those about now! I have an acre and a half of fescue + white clover that I need to get knocked down. It should’ve been a cinch to do with my riding mower, but I live just above a flood plain, and here where I’m at spring and summer have brought tons of rain and by the time the ground is solid enough to ride on without causing ruts, the grass has already shot up too high for the rider. The nice thing about that is that it means my soil is wonderfully fertile, as the rich, delicious smelling earth and abundance of worms in my garden plots can attest to. But keeping the rest controlled is a Pain! I checked into renting one of these, and it’ll cost about as much as it would to have someone come out and knock it down in a couple hrs with a tractor and brush hog, neither of which are cheap. I may just bite the bullet and rent it, see how it does for me, then start saving like mad to get one of my own. Should pay for itself in a couple summers.

  15. KYrondeaver says

    Ditto on the safety issues. Use the videos to promote safe practice. Vision and hearing protection primary issue. I enjoy getting the material.

  16. Brenda M says

    We rented the Billy Goat brush cutter last summer to clean out the fence lines and walking paths through the woods. Great machine!! Getting ready to do it again this summer. We wait until the fastest Spring growth is over; so once a summer does the trick.

    • Mike says

      Patsy, the best time to water is early morning. That way the water has a chance to evaporate before the mid day sun. It’s best if the leaves don’t have water droplets (mini magnifying glasses) on the leaves when the sun is so intense. But you also want to make sure that all of your plants, and your lawn are dry before the sun goes down. Fungi creep in the night, and they will attact plants and turf grasses that are wet, especially when it’s hot and humid.

  17. Hugo Romo hjvr1@verizon.net says

    Tomatoes plant problems.This is the first time.My tomatoes plant are growing beautifuly large leaves large flowers but the flowers keep dropping I follow your books instructions and in the past I was very happy with the results.We live close to the beach in southern California.The temperature is now approx 70 days and nights approx 58.My plants are now approx 3 to 4 ft high…but not a single tomatoe yet.What are your thoughts.?Hugo.

    • Mike says

      Hugo, I’m not the tomatoe guy, I think you are thinking of somebody else’s book. But if Kathy comes along she knows a lot about tomatoes.

      • Mary says

        Im thinking there not getting pollinated by bees?? Also, never water the plant, only the dirt under the plant. Hope this helps. You can try using some epsom salts 1 tablespoon to a gallon of water. And, try putting some marigold flowers by tomatoes to attract the bees. Good Luck. :)

  18. Gaynor says

    Mike, I have gotten email from you for awhile now but today, I was mezmarized with your videos, they are the bomb, thanks a lot and keep up the good work PLEASE

  19. Anonymous says

    Mike, I know you are swamped with questions, but I wanted to know the best time to move raspberry plants to a new location. Will be cutting out old canes and transplanting the new ones.

    Love your videos and comments. I am the Sr. gardener that bugs you about the Dirt Farmer Fudge !!

    Thanks for your time,

    janbutterfly32

    • Robin H says

      On transplanting those raspberries, in northeastern Wyoming I’ve found early spring is good. In fact I did about 100 plants last spring and got a lot of berries this summer. Like about 5 gallons of them, in fact my wife was real glad when they quit!

  20. Anonymous says

    Mike, my husband and I cut off about an acre of tall weeds and grass with a DR trimmer. It was not a hard job at all. Now, we just mow it with a rider.

    Phyllis Doane (janbutterfly32)

  21. Ron in Colorado says

    Wow! I wish I had one of those years ago when we were reclaiming a neglected farm in Kentucky. Anyone who has property should not be without one! Yeah, and How about some EYE and EAR protection next time!

  22. marty brown says

    enjoy your videos – however, whenever i play them, they only download a fraction at a time and,
    therefore, take a veeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy long time to play
    have you heard of anyone else having this problem?

  23. Patricia del Valle says

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the video and information. I keep learning a lot from your emails and website.

    Best of everything with your new nursery site.

    Patricia

    PS Take care.

  24. Mitch says

    Mike, that is a nice machine, but a dummy like me just uses his riding lawnmower to do the same thing and then wonder why they don’t last very long.

  25. Kim says

    Mike, that is a great machine. Thank you so much for showing how easy it is to operate one and how nice it really does cut. I have a yard full of Scotch Broom and it is difficult to pull it by hand even when the ground is right for doing so and it is hard on the joints when trying to cut it out with a pair of pruners, especially when it has large stems. I think the brush cutter did a splendid job on the area that you covered and would be worth having. For two years now I have been using a lawn mower where a secondary handle makes the machine go ahead for me and I love the idea of using the brush cutter. Boy, that sure would save my hands and back.

  26. RAY says

    just bought a 2006 billy goat with the honda motor used from united rental. they have three of them for sale in maryland. I paid 450.00 for it. i cut grass as part of initial services that i perform for numerous banks on their inventory of foreclosed properties. some of these homes have not had their grass cut in over one year. this machine will prove to be invaluable

  27. says

    Mike,
    It is a great machine I rented one and just bought one on craigslist(what would we do without it), Do you know where to get parts, I’ve gone to their website, and when you click parts nothing, does anyone stock parts.
    Thanks, Tom

  28. Keith says

    For smaller jobs and people on a budget who do not mind some extra work – has anyone tried the DR mower/trimmer which is the $500 to $1200 price range for the various models? I noticed on their website that they have a beaver blade attachment ($90) that cuts up to 3″ trees. I have had a craftman heavy duty trimmer/mower for many years. The craftsman with 175 mill line from DR has impressed me with what it will cut and a line trimmer is better to use around rocks, etc. I realize that I am probably talking Ferrari vs. Volkswagen beetle. A DR brush mower is the order of $2000 to $3500.

  29. Anis Bootwala says

    Hi Mike; i own a D.R. myself. It has been with me for over 15 years. i also have a lawn mower attachment with it. Mine is a very7 old model with not all the bells and whistles the newer ones have, but the 9.h.p. briggs and stratton does a fine job on my 4 acres of land. thanks for demonstrating the newer model.
    Off the subject , what can I plant or do in the yard while waiting for the last frost to to get over with. How can I do my own seeds for onions and garlic instead of buying at $ 3 a pack?

  30. says

    Hi Mike; its a great machine .I am the proud owner of one,but a lot older model. I am assuming this is one of the D.R. brush cutters. Mine comes with a 9h.p. brigss and stratton and all the power does is turn the heavy duty blade. I have had it for almost 18 years now.

  31. John Reed says

    Did Pam ever get all that brush cleared? BTW, you look great with the weight loss. I dropped 40# this year too. Just a couple of health nuts!

  32. says

    Hi Mike, Oh! No! Mick Please please don’t pull the mover back towards you when you are using it because you could easily cut your feet or even fall backwards while moving. It may seem easier to go backwards but it is very dangerous. Hate to hear that you injured yourself.

    Regards
    Barbara

    We don’t want you to get injured.

  33. Dale Anderson says

    Mike,
    I’ve got a couple of the old cast iron Gravelys. Your Billy looks easier to handle, but they do chew up anything in their path. Useful machines, all. Thanks for what you do.
    Dale

  34. Tim Bodle says

    So right! No eye protection, no foot protection, and the easiest, no hearing protection. Mike, you should know better. Shame.

  35. Robert Danaher says

    Mike, that was really great how you did all that work with that brush cutter of yours, I find you a really interesting guy because I see we have the same interest as each other about Horticulture Landscaping work and I want you to stay in touch with me as a friend Check it out because I also doing very big tree cutting jobs also and if you scroll down to photos on my Facebook page you will see how skilled I am ! I’ll tell ya Mike I can really learn a lot from a guy like you because you keep it teachable ! Best Regards Robert Danaher

  36. Jim Coulter says

    Now that is down right impressive!
    I have heard of the Brush Hog but not the Outback.
    Nice Mike, Thank You for the demonstration!

  37. Shirley says

    Dear Mike,
    I was also not aware of such a machine. A great demo and I appreciate all the time given to your videos. Not a machine I need right now but in the future I hope to have more property as well and it will be usefull. Regards Shirley

  38. Mary says

    Well Im jealous, I have probably a half acre left of untamed wilderness,lol !! We used chain saws and cutters all winter, to clear a quarter acre and it now keeps filling up with water, UUGGG !!! This is great info for us as I didnt even know they made something like that. The time we will save. Thanks Mike!!! P.S. It’s the end of Sept. in N.C., and I have red ants that are making there homes all over, and BIG hills everywhere. I am using pots of boiling water, as everything else has failed. Im trying to get the land ready for our backyard nursery and gardens, if I dont get rid of them they will kill everything, any ideas??? Thanks

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