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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    Grillo 107d

    Default Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    I am looking to buy (my first) 2 wheel tractor, mainly for soil working (rotary plow and/or tiller) and some cover crop mowing. I'm leaning heavily toward the Grillo 107d. Any advice on getting the gas vs. diesel?

    I like the option with diesel to use biodiesel, especially with increasing prices and this being a long term investment for me. But i'm not sure its worth the extra cost (i could get one or two implements for the increased cost). Also, has anyone run into problems using just biodiesel?

    I understand that diesel's are generally stronger and last longer, but also louder and more vibration. I've heard gas is easier to fix and get parts, and that I could even eventually replace the gas engine for less than the difference in the diesel's price. This won't be my only equipment, i can rent a neighbors disk and tiller for bigger jobs. But i want something of my own, easy to use for a few beds here and there, and if it works well for me, maybe use the tiller more and rent the tractor less often. I don't have any experience fixing machines, so easy to maintain is important too.

    And finally, for knocking down cover crop before incorporating, recommendations on the flail mower vs a brush mower. I know flail will chop finer and spread evenly, but also costs more and needs more maintenance. will a brush hog do the job well enough?

    thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    IMO the flail mower is the only way to go for a cover crop. We've used a brush mower for cover crops and ended with the tiller wound up clear into the oil seals. Now we use a flail mower and stuff is shredded up very well.

    We went diesel, but I hate spark plugs, easier and safer to store, can use biodiesel, less fuel use, ect ect

    Cory

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    24
    Location
    canada
    Tractor
    JD 4520

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    I've got a diesel-powered Grillo 107d. I originally got the brush mower with the idea that I'd mow cover-crops with it. We like to grow a thick rye/pea/vetch mixture. I'd try to mow it as soon as it got about a foot, foot and a half tall but quickly realized that the brush mower is not designed for that. Full throttle, first-gear and the mower still often bogs down or floats over top of the grass. I think I remember it taking HOURS to mow a half-acre (it's only 26" wide!). When the cover crop was not too dense or tall it did a great job, grinding it all up into a wet pasty mush. Not sure if the flail would be any faster, but surely it would work more effectively.

    The brush-mower does work fine for mowing shorter or sparser grass, but then again it's kind of overkill for that. It does a spectacular job of mowing small brushy woody things though.

    Also, if you decide to go with diesel I suggest you get yourself a REALLY good pair of earmuffs, not your standard hardware store quality. They are loud, let me tell you! I finally broke down and got myself an expensive pair of Husqvarna-branded ones that work well. But the diesel works very hard and uses very little fuel.

    I like my Grillo 107d. Even though it's quirky and low-tech and I sometimes feel like I've had more than my share of problems with it, it still does a ton of work for me in the end. It's a pretty tough machine. The tiller is awesome for quickly prepping beds if they've been disced first.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    162
    Location
    Western, NC
    Tractor
    PT-1430, Wright Z-turn mower, BCS 853

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    I have a BCS853 with the diesel and love it. I also have a flail mower for my cover crops and it does a good job. The flail will chop and leave the cuttings where they fall. The Grillo is a good two wheel tractor but I went with the BCS because it seems to me I had more options for accessories.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    Yeah, ear protection is mandatory with the diesel, especially at higher rpm. I use cheap earplugs tho.

    Cory

  6. #6
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    553
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    Hi Carbs,

    I'd highly recommend the 107d. Of course, I'm a dealer, so my opinion may be colored by that fact.

    Unfortunately, while I do really like diesels, the 107d doesn't have a good mate in a diesel engine. The 8 horse Lombardini Earth Tools mounts is a little short in power for the largest attachments. They really should offer a 9 hp on the 107d. With the 11 hp Honda, you get a better bang for the buck - more power for a lot less money. If you really have your heart set on a Diesel, you should consider the BCS 853. i have a BCS 830 I put an 11 horse diesel on and love it.

    Udder has it right with the flail vs rotary. The rotary does a better job all around. Another point - The flail mower is shorter, making it less likely to get hung up while going through a ditch. You should also seriously consider upsizing the tires to 5-12s. They will further prevent getting hung up while going through ditches and over bumps. I'm not sure what would require more maintenance on a flail mower.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, 18 inch combined ridger, 36" dozer blade, 28" snow thrower, BCS BIO100 chipper, blade, 38" mower, 26 inch rough cut mower, 36 inch sickle, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger, hiller/furrower

    Deere 60, 3010, 3020, 4010, 4020, 4430, 4640, 4840 and all the implements to work 'em

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    I have a Berta flail mower for my BCS and it works well for cutting up Winter Rye as a cover crop. As with most mowers it takes alot of power to run. As for the gas vs diesel - stay with the gas engine unless your putting tons of hours on it each year. With the amount of use described, the Honda will never wear out if you properly maintain it. Diesels are great, but for average use it takes years to recover the original investment spent with current fuel costs.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2
    Tractor
    BCS 735

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    Unless you have more than a few acres to do... I would suggest using the Berta Rotary Plow for knock-down and plowing all in a single pass.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    I have a BCS 853 with the 13 HP Honda engine and teh 26" Berta Flail Mower. I use the Flail for mowing down cover crops including Rye, Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrid (after felling it with my sickle-bar mower) and Rape. I also use it to mow down cornstalks, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and other vegetables at the end of the season. Then I use it to chop up mountains of leaves from a bunch of maple trees that I incorporate into the garden or use for mulch.

    Bottom line is that the flail is much more versatile and useful, IMHO, than the rotary. I have a rotary that I almost never use. Sorry I got it, although every now and then I do use it for knocking down brush in the back of my lot. But the money would have been better spent on something else, I think.

    If you get the flail, I recommend getting the hammer blades in addition to the Y blades. I use the hammer blades for all the rough stuff. Don't use the Y blades much any more, but they do do a nicer job when cutting grass.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,754
    Location
    canada
    Tractor
    1946 cockshutt 60

    Default Re: Grillo questions - Diesel vs Gas, flail vs brush

    Since here the diesel costs more then gas, and the honda is a very good engine, and is more powerful, I would buy it wit the honda.

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