An impressive machine with a remarkable quality of finish. Definitely a welcome piece of equipment for any commercial operator with slashing/clearing jobs.
Recently acquired by the Briggs & Stratton Corporation to add to their extensive range of outdoor power equipment, American company Billy Goat have been producing grounds maintenance and turf care equipment for over 45 years. I had the pleasure of testing Billy Goat’s walk-behind slasher, and what a weapon it is.
Powering the machine is the quality 13hp Honda GXV390 engine, known for its reliability and capability in this type of application. Drive is via a Tuff Torq™ hydrostatic transaxle, which is equipped with auto-sensing diff lock. This enables the machine to cope with steep and irregular terrain with ease. I was amazed at how effortlessly the slasher climbed up and across slopes, over small logs, stumps and vegetation at the same time.
The solid reinforced 26” deck has a very easy to use winding height adjustment on the front, which enables the operator to raise or lower the front of the deck in seconds. The deck is also articulated from the machine, pivoting 12° either way from centre to cope with the irregular terrain that is inevitably encountered when slashing scrub. With the front of the deck being open, a covering rubber flap ensures larger material is easily pushed down and slashed by the solid single reversible blade, and saplings up to 2” diameter are easily bent over and smashed up.
The front castor wheels are greasable and can be locked into place if required, the rear wheels are wide and have aggressive tread for increased traction.
The Billy Goat is simple to use with forward and reverse being engaged by levers on the handlebars, right hand depressed for forward, and left for reverse. The left handlebar also has the blade engagement on the top, which can be depressed and released with ease. Once the throttle is set the operator can drive the machine in either direction and engage/disengage the blades without stopping or letting go of the handlebars.
Foam padding on the handles provides a comfortable grip and steel protector bars wrap around the handlebar ends to protect the operator’s hands from injury.
A tough steel cowl on top of the deck covers the spindle and its drive from the engine keeping it out of the way and protected from debris accumulation. My first use of the Billy Goat was on steep terrain littered with obstacles and followed a week of constant rain so I was concerned how it would handle driving in the situation, let alone slashing tough material. As mentioned earlier, driving over rough terrain and obstacles was not a problem at all; even in the challenging conditions the weather set us. Slashing a variety of materials from long grass to small saplings and clumps of Lantana was effortless for the Billy Goat Outback slasher. I was astounded at what this
machine could do in one pass and the quality of the finish, definitely a welcome piece of equipment for any commercial operator with slashing/clearing jobs.