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Hedgemaster
08-16-2011, 11:12 PM
Last month I was asking about 4 cycle trimmers, as I wanted to get some sort of backup trimmer in case my Stihl should ever crap out on me.
I figured I'd pick up something with a split shaft so I could then buy attachments for occasional use. At this stage in my business, I can't justify the expense of some of the commercial grade tools, so these should "get me by" until I can upgrade. I can then sell these off, or keep them as backups.
Here's the thread (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=14564&highlight=cycle) I started regarding 4 cycle trimmers.

I ended up getting a 26cc Yard Man Select straight shaft (split) trimmer that was on clearance at W-mart for $140.(reg $190)

While I was there, I picked up a pole pruner attachment as well, and figured I'd wait for the other attachments to go on clearance before buying them.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2391.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2394.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2395.jpg



With pole pruner attachment...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2396.jpg

and with extension...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2397.jpg


A few shots with my Stihl FS90R for comparison...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2398.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2399.jpg

Note that the hedge trimmer attachment for the Stihl was absolutely worth the money - very well built and has been extremely useful. I highly recommend it.

Also note my forward "dork handle". LOL! It looks retarded like that, but it weighs next to nothing, isn't in the way, and comes in handy when using the hedge trimmer attchment.


Close up of the pole pruner...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2400.jpg

Craftsman 18' saw for comparison...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2405.jpg



And the rest of the attachments...
(Pole Pruner, Hedge Trimmer, Edger, Cultivator)

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2467.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2469.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2468.jpg



I was in W-mart last night and saw that the attachments are now on clearance so I picked them up. (prices noted are clearance prices)
Pole Pruner - $75 (I paid $92 - going back for a price adjustment!)
Hedge Trimmer - $45
Edger - (I got my edger at Lowes with a coupon - paid $60. The ones in W-mart are now $45)
Cultivator - $75

The only one I've actually used so far is the edger. Since I've never used one before I couldn't tell you if it's any good. I mean, it worked, so woo-hoo!
Hope the rest come in handy. They may be "garbage" compared to commercial grade units, but they are better than not having them at all, and until I can justify the added expense of commercial equipment, they will have to do.

monoshock
08-16-2011, 11:26 PM
I've been using the same power head with a curved shaft trimmer all summer and realy like it. Cold starts 2 pulls,warm starts 1 pull and it running. I need to get one of those edger attachments.

Hedgemaster
08-17-2011, 12:05 AM
I've been using the same power head with a curved shaft trimmer all summer and realy like it. Cold starts 2 pulls,warm starts 1 pull and it running. I need to get one of those edger attachments.


I think you mentioned that in the other thread.
Honestly, it doesn't hold a candle to my Stihl. When using the string trimmer, it bogs down easily unless running full speed. It is what it is though. I understood that going into this purchase, so I can't complain. At least it solved several of my "problems" and met most of my "needs".

Like I said, W-mart has the Poulan Pro stuff on clearance. Get 'em while they are cheap!

Steve
08-17-2011, 01:58 PM
It will be great to hear the review of the equipment as you use it in the field.

All those attachments look very functional.

Hedgemaster
08-17-2011, 03:18 PM
I can do one better. How about a review FROM the field? :D

I just used the pole pruner!
Had to cut a few feet off a row of Forsythia and a lot of it was too thick for my hedge trimmer to cut. It worked great and the chain never loosened or popped off.

I'm on my phone, or I'd post pics.

Hedgemaster
08-18-2011, 12:23 AM
Nothing spectacular and I forgot to take closeups, but here's what I cut today using a combination of my Stihl with the hedge trimmer attachment and the new 4 cycle trimmer with the pole pruner (chainsaw) attachment...
(the row of forsythia at the corner)

Before

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Misc%20Hedge%20Shrub%20Trimming/IMAG2475.jpg


After

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Misc%20Hedge%20Shrub%20Trimming/IMAG2476.jpg


slightly different angle showing truck for scale...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Misc%20Hedge%20Shrub%20Trimming/IMAG2474.jpg




If I didn't have that pole pruner attachment, I would have been up on a ladder using loppers to cut off each trunk. Worked pretty well and didn't ooze/spray bar and chain oil like my craftsman saw does!

I also shaped those two sets of shrubs, but I did those last week when I was there to mow the grass. This is one of my biweekly accounts. I mow all the grass you see in the photo as well as the two strips down the sides. There is no grass to mow behind the building. $25 job - easy. Then I walk across the street and do one that's even smaller for $20.

Steve
08-18-2011, 02:29 PM
That's really good! It shows the functionality of the tool!

How long did it take to work on the shrubs with it and how long do you think it would take if you didn't have it?

Hedgemaster
08-25-2011, 07:41 PM
That's really good! It shows the functionality of the tool!

How long did it take to work on the shrubs with it and how long do you think it would take if you didn't have it?


I forgot to note the time in my log book, but I recall that I wasn't in a hurry because that day my schedule was already screwed up, and rushing wasn't going to help. I just know that standing on the ground with a small chain saw on a pole is a lot less work than working on a ladder with hand tools.

Hedgemaster
08-25-2011, 07:57 PM
I also used the hedge trimmer attachment the other day. It's nowhere near as nice as my Stihl hedge trimmer attachment, but for the money, I can't complain.

I used it to cut back some overgrown ivy on the ground and I'm glad I had it - I wouldn't have wanted to risk damaging my expensive Stihl attachment doing what I was doing. As a matter of fact, I may pick up ANOTHER one as a spare. For $45 you can't go wrong.

It articulates, but not as easily as my Stihl - the blade is shorter too.
That said, it cuts through average hedges with ease and makes a nice addition to my growing arsenal of tools. It gives me a little added reach over my standard gas hedge trimmer and since I can add the 3' extension pole from the pole pruner to it, I can reach even further.

On top of that, I had picked up a second pole pruner on clearance, intending to return the first one I paid full price for, but I'm thinking of keeping it as a spare, AND it gives me ONE MORE 3' extension pole I can add to either the pole pruner OR the hedge trimmer for REALLY long reach if needed.

I realize that some people may scoff at the purchase of such "inferior" equipment, but I honestly don't care because this "crap" has already (a) allowed me to make money I otherwise would not have made, and (b) has made my job EASIER, and FASTER.

Thus far, I do not regret buying any of it and I now carry the "powerhead" and all the attachments (except the cultivator) in the truck at all times.

Steve
08-26-2011, 03:29 PM
As you look ahead, is there any hedge trimming equipment you would like but haven't purchased yet?

brian'slawncare
08-26-2011, 05:30 PM
how has the cultivator worked for both of you? what kind of jobs have you been able to use it on?

picframer
08-26-2011, 05:38 PM
how has the cultivator worked for both of you? what kind of jobs have you been able to use it on?

I have one for the Kombi system and it works perfect for flower beds and I have a garden at home that I use it to keep the ground loose between rows of produce. We have also used it to freshen up mulch beds that do not have landscape fabric.

It's not great at breaking up hard/new ground, I have a tiller on the back of the tractor for that.

Hedgemaster
08-26-2011, 08:55 PM
As you look ahead, is there any hedge trimming equipment you would like but haven't purchased yet?

I'd like to pick up a standard, "handheld" commercial grade hedge trimmer next season. The Stihl trimmer with the articulating gearbox attachment gives me decent "reach" for many jobs, but sometimes it's "too much".

I do have a decent Craftsman 22" hedge trimmer I bought new last year, but I can't expect it to hold up to a lot of abuse.
Can't find a photo of mine, but it looks like this Weedeater model...

http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/260110_lg.jpg


And more tarps! Those $6 4'x12' painter's tarps from Harbor Freight make cleanup a breeze!

Hedgemaster
08-26-2011, 08:58 PM
how has the cultivator worked for both of you? what kind of jobs have you been able to use it on?


I haven't used it yet.
I connected it and ran it to make sure it works, but haven't turned any soil yet. I don't expect much from it, so I shouldn't be disappointed. ;)

Hedgemaster
08-30-2011, 11:13 PM
Haha! Since all this stuff is on clearance, I took my first pole pruner (that I paid $92 for) back and got a price adjustment. (now clearance priced at $75) They technically only do price adjustments within 7 days of purchase, but they did it as a return and then I "repurchased" it at the clearance price. :D Hey, $17 is $17.

Then I turned around and put that $17 toward ANOTHER hedge trimmer attachment! (clearance price $45) The thing has come in handy 4 times already, so I figure it's worth having a spare.

Now I have:
2 pole pruner attachments
2 Hedge Trimmer attachments
1 Cultivator attachment
1 Edger attachment

The two attachments I didn't buy are the brush cutter attachment and the blower attachment.
I can't see a use for the blower since I have an Echo handheld and if I need to cut heavy brush, I'll get a blade for my Stihl.

Hedgemaster
11-02-2011, 10:31 PM
Just thought I'd pop in to mention that I took down a medium sized Japanese maple today using the pole pruner to take the highest branches off first, then sectioned the trunks until I got to the base which was 8" across, then used my chain saw to cut that off at the ground.

It works great - no chain loosening, cuts nicely - made my job faster and easier.




I also found a use for the cultivator attachment. A few weeks ago, I used it to "dethatch" my back yard, and then scuff up the soil in preparation for reseeding the many bare spots.

Steve
11-03-2011, 11:58 AM
That is great! How often are you finding you need to sharpen the blade after such work or do you simply replace it?

Hedgemaster
11-03-2011, 07:34 PM
That is great! How often are you finding you need to sharpen the blade after such work or do you simply replace it?

Not sure. I've only used the one unit a few times. If I find it seems dull, I'll pull the other one out of the box (I bought two of them) and drop off the first one to be sharpened. I don't know how to sharpen them, nor does it sound like something I want to be bothered with.

Hedgemaster
06-29-2012, 09:53 PM
Thought I'd post an update since it's been a while.



So far, I have no real regrets about having purchased all of these "crap" items.
Is the Yardman a great unit? No, but it's sufficient for what I need it for.

I've found the pole pruner and hedge trimmer attachments to be the most useful.
I picked up a Stihl edger attachment for my Stihl FS90R, so I don't really need to use the cheap one now.

The string trimmer came in handy last week when my Stihl stopped working.
I knew that one day I'd need a backup and I was glad to have had one handy. (I keep it and the attachments in the truck)
The Yardman is slightly underpowered and spins the opposite direction, so that made it a bit frustrating to use for a few days while my Stihl was in the shop, but it allowed me to continue working.

If I had to rely on these items for daily use, I think I'd be disappointed, but for occasional use, they are working out just fine.

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-29-2012, 10:26 PM
The string trimmer came in handy last week when my Stihl stopped working.
I knew that one day I'd need a backup and I was glad to have had one handy. (I keep it and the attachments in the truck)
The Yardman is slightly underpowered and spins the opposite direction, so that made it a bit frustrating to use for a few days while my Stihl was in the shop, but it allowed me to continue working.

If I had to rely on these items for daily use, I think I'd be disappointed, but for occasional use, they are working out just fine.

I have back ups for back ups lol. It does come in need. I had a hedge job and I brought 4 trimmers. I had problems with two right off the bat and the third had the pull cord get stuck. The weedeater trimmer was the only one that had no problem. Go figure!

I havent noticed a big difference with commercial and homeowner hedge trimmers.

There is a huge power difference with the string trimmers. Since there used more the reliability becomes a bigger issue. I always stuck with commercial trimmers. I do have 2 cheapo split shafts that I plan on getting a articulating trimmer for.

Hedgemaster
11-13-2012, 08:16 PM
Update: (again)

These cheap, "piece of crap" attachments were without question, money well-spent.

Over the last week alone I used the hedge trimmer attachment, the tiller, and the pole pruner/saw.

I had to cut down a dozen clusters of ornamental grasses and about twenty large hostas. I'd NEVER want to run pricey, commercial hedge trimmers along the ground where they could be damaged by hitting rocks and/or other hidden dangers. Screw that - I'll use my $40 trimmer! It worked perfectly - I didn't even have to get down on the ground - just set the attachment at an angle and cut the grasses from the standing position.

I used the tiller attachment to turn over a small garden and it worked great. It would never turn over hard soil, but it works great in an established bed - Much faster than using a shovel.

The pole pruner got a workout today cutting down an overgrown row of shrubbery/rose of Sharon bushes. Some were simply too thick to cut with loppers and I had about fifty feet of it to cut, so I just used the "chain saw on a stick".
Since the powerhead is a 4 cycle, I attached the pole pruner so that the saw was "sideways", that way the engine remained upright while I did most of the cutting, keeping the oil flowing to the internals properly.


As I've mentioned, these will not hold up to heavy use, but for all the more I've needed them, they have been a great help.
The biggest weakness in any of them is the connection points - some of the hardware has fallen off (I located and replaced it) and the shafts inside tend to want to slide out if you don't keep the protective end cap (included for shipping) on when not in use.

I keep every piece in the back of the truck at all times (except the tiller) and have never regretted buying any of it.

:)

Steve
11-14-2012, 12:15 PM
As you look ahead, wold you replace them when needed with the same product or do you feel you would need to get a heavier duty version of them?

jasonw
11-14-2012, 04:37 PM
I use all that same stuff and am very happy with it, Mine is all Troybilt but they are both made by the same people "MTD" I have the TB 4 stroke head as well as the Craftsman 2 stroke head that both fit all the attachments, They also both fit the electric starter which I have as well and is WAY worth it.

Last month I was asking about 4 cycle trimmers, as I wanted to get some sort of backup trimmer in case my Stihl should ever crap out on me.
I figured I'd pick up something with a split shaft so I could then buy attachments for occasional use. At this stage in my business, I can't justify the expense of some of the commercial grade tools, so these should "get me by" until I can upgrade. I can then sell these off, or keep them as backups.
Here's the thread (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=14564&highlight=cycle) I started regarding 4 cycle trimmers.

I ended up getting a 26cc Yard Man Select straight shaft (split) trimmer that was on clearance at W-mart for $140.(reg $190)

While I was there, I picked up a pole pruner attachment as well, and figured I'd wait for the other attachments to go on clearance before buying them.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2391.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2394.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2395.jpg



With pole pruner attachment...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2396.jpg

and with extension...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2397.jpg


A few shots with my Stihl FS90R for comparison...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2398.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2399.jpg

Note that the hedge trimmer attachment for the Stihl was absolutely worth the money - very well built and has been extremely useful. I highly recommend it.

Also note my forward "dork handle". LOL! It looks retarded like that, but it weighs next to nothing, isn't in the way, and comes in handy when using the hedge trimmer attchment.


Close up of the pole pruner...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2400.jpg

Craftsman 18' saw for comparison...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2405.jpg



And the rest of the attachments...
(Pole Pruner, Hedge Trimmer, Edger, Cultivator)

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2467.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2469.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Equipment/4%20Cycle%20Trimmer%20and%20Attachments/IMAG2468.jpg



I was in W-mart last night and saw that the attachments are now on clearance so I picked them up. (prices noted are clearance prices)
Pole Pruner - $75 (I paid $92 - going back for a price adjustment!)
Hedge Trimmer - $45
Edger - (I got my edger at Lowes with a coupon - paid $60. The ones in W-mart are now $45)
Cultivator - $75

The only one I've actually used so far is the edger. Since I've never used one before I couldn't tell you if it's any good. I mean, it worked, so woo-hoo!
Hope the rest come in handy. They may be "garbage" compared to commercial grade units, but they are better than not having them at all, and until I can justify the added expense of commercial equipment, they will have to do.

Hedgemaster
11-14-2012, 04:56 PM
As you look ahead, wold you replace them when needed with the same product or do you feel you would need to get a heavier duty version of them?


Both.

I already have a commercial hedge trimmer attachment for my Stihl line trimmer and I'll be getting a commercial pole pruner, but I still wouldn't use it for the "dirty work" I described above that these cheap tools can be used for. Why risk ruining equipment that costs HUNDREDS when you can use something that can be replaced for less than half the cost.

Keep the good stuff for the good jobs.

rbljack
12-08-2012, 08:38 PM
Guys...i got to tell you I hardly ever post, but I can tell you this; I bought the Poulan Pro 33 cc with the attachment system and that thing lasted three years of regular use. i also bought every attachment they make for it, and did so on clearance. The hedge trimmer works fantastic for those quick jobs. the pole saw is great for occasion use. The cultivate works great for small beds. I (to this day) still dont have a backpack blower, so the blower attachment was used extensively. I started with only the poulan pro and used it for Trimmer Edger, and blower for every yard during my first year. As soon as I had the extra cas, I bought the Stihl FS90R trimmer. Then I bought a Stihl FC75 Edger.

Long story made short, that poulan pro isnt going to be commercial grade and its a throw away item BUT>..if you take care of it, its a GREAT starter set, and becomes a great back up piece of equipment that can do those odd jobs such as hedge trimming, tree trimming, etc.

I totally agree with Hedgemaster on this one.

I HIGHLY recommend it as a cheap back up set. When it fails, its not that pricey to replace either. Just my 2 cents on it. No..its not commercial grade, so if you can afford the Stihl kombi, or something similar im sure it will be even better. But the concept remains the same.

Hedgemaster
12-09-2012, 09:27 PM
Since this popped back up, I'll post a quick vid clip of me using the tiller attachment...

Click image and put on protective eye wear!

http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o483/OakLeafLawnService/Equipment%20and%20Truck/MIsc%20Equipment/th_Tiller_143734.jpg (http://s1144.photobucket.com/albums/o483/OakLeafLawnService/Equipment%20and%20Truck/MIsc%20Equipment/?action=view&current=Tiller_143734.mp4)

Steve
12-10-2012, 02:48 PM
That looked like it did a perfect job. It seemed that it's power and the requirements to til that section worked well together.

Hedgemaster
12-10-2012, 08:18 PM
That looked like it did a perfect job. It seemed that it's power and the requirements to til that section worked well together.

Exactly.
So long as you don't expect it to be something it's not, it will do just fine.

It was a lot less time consuming than turning the soil over with a shovel.
If I ever need to do a large garden, or turn over hard soil, I'll rent a rototiller.

willshome
12-10-2012, 10:58 PM
If I ever need to do a large garden, or turn over hard soil, I'll rent a rototiller.

I have that same unit and use it all the time. It is great and I have used it to do a few 20' by 10' only about an hour each (going over it two times), no need to rent a big one

Hedgemaster
06-13-2013, 09:31 PM
I've used the pole pruner saw twice in the last month. Once to trim some low hanging branches back and today I used it to cut a large, fallen branch in a client's lawn. A chain saw would have been overkill, but this thing was just the ticket.

Still no regrets for any of these purchases. I WOULD regret it if I were using them daily because they clearly are not built for such use, but for what I have needed them for, that have been fine.

The only bad thing I can say is that the parts that hold the shafts inside tend to get loose. One fell out of my pole extension, rendering it useless, so I'm extra careful when taking any of the sections apart now.

I would NOT recommend this unit as a string trimmer for daily use. It is way too underpowered. Also, it would not hold up well to daily handling due to the cheap plastic parts.

Steve
06-14-2013, 12:35 PM
Have you found another unit that would be commercial grade which could be the next upgrade?

Hedgemaster
06-14-2013, 09:55 PM
Have you found another unit that would be commercial grade which could be the next upgrade?


I suppose either the Stihl Kombi system or Echo PAS (pro attachment series) would bet the comparable commercial equivalent - with assorted attachments.