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  1. #1
    Member DLVinCT's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    25
    Location
    Sandy Hook, CT
    Tractor
    BCS 853 diesel, 33" Zanon mower, 33" Berta, 2 stage snow thrower

    Default BCS 853 Differential Question

    I am about to purchase a BCS 853 diesel. The description states it has a "standard differential with differential lock". What does this mean? How is this different than the smaller models that have "none"? The two implements that I will be using most are a lawn mower and snow thrower.

    On a similar note: What are the "steering brakes"? Are these just independent brake levers? One for each wheel?

    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks

    BTW - great forum!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    615
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Welcome to the group and congrats on looking at buying a very good machine.

    The 853 has a lever that locks and unlocks the wheels. With them unlocked, the machine only drives one wheel, making for very easy turning and maneuvering. With them locked, both are providing pulling power (or hold-back in the case of running a tiller), giving better traction. This is a very useful feature for both your requirements - mowing and blowing snow.

    The "smaller" models have a solid axle. Both wheels spin full-time, making for good traction, but making it harder to maneuver. BTW, the smaller models are just as durable. They just have fewer features.

    Steering brakes are just as you described - one lever for each wheel. They are most used for "holding" a hillside while mowing. As you mow along a hillside, the machine is inclined to want to turn downhill. Trying to keep it going in a straight path by manipulating the handlebars can be very tiring. To keep it going along the hillside, you "ride" the uphill brake. This creates drag on the uphill wheel and makes the differential put the power to the downhill wheel, allowing you to "hold" the hill with less effort. They also help you to make sharp corners while mowing on flat ground. As you come to a corner , you squeeze the inside brake and the machine will turn sharper, faster. Other than those uses, the steering brakes usually go unused.

    Let us know how your purchase goes.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Del Morino 26 inch rough cut mower, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    Deere 60, 2040, 3020, 4010, 4430, and all the implements to work 'em

  3. #3
    Member DLVinCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    25
    Location
    Sandy Hook, CT
    Tractor
    BCS 853 diesel, 33" Zanon mower, 33" Berta, 2 stage snow thrower

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Thanks for the response. These features make sense to me. I don't think my applications would work without them. I'll let you know how it goes. Just waiting to hear from the accountant.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2008
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    3,267
    Location
    NE USA
    Tractor
    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DLVinCT View Post
    Thanks for the response. These features make sense to me. I don't think my applications would work without them. I'll let you know how it goes. Just waiting to hear from the accountant.
    About your mower purchase; you should invest in the flailmower rather than the rotary mower as it will mow much more effectively for you and it will also be a safer way to mow as it will not throw anything if it impacts it making it a missle.

    The other issue is the flail mower will not leave clippings as it will shred the clippings very finely and they will decompose very quickly. The flail mower will also stripe your lawn at no extra charge.

    You will also be able to mow when the grass is wetor damp if desired which you cannot do very well with a rotary mower.

  5. #5
    Member DLVinCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    25
    Location
    Sandy Hook, CT
    Tractor
    BCS 853 diesel, 33" Zanon mower, 33" Berta, 2 stage snow thrower

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Quote Originally Posted by leonz View Post
    About your mower purchase; you should invest in the flailmower rather than the rotary mower as it will mow much more effectively for you and it will also be a safer way to mow as it will not throw anything if it impacts it making it a missle.

    The other issue is the flail mower will not leave clippings as it will shred the clippings very finely and they will decompose very quickly. The flail mower will also stripe your lawn at no extra charge.

    You will also be able to mow when the grass is wetor damp if desired which you cannot do very well with a rotary mower.
    Really!? I just need a lawn mower for now. No brush or anything just normal grass. Does a flail give a good finish cut?

  6. #6
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    615
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    The flail mower is a more versatile tool versus a finish mower, and it does a fairly good job mowing lawn. However, it isn't gonna do quite as good as a purpose built lawn mower. The flail mower really shines in garden cleanup (mowing your spent sweet corn patch, frost killed tomatoes, exhausted squash on site), cleaning up patches of ground that have brush up to 3/4 inch, and making paths through woody areas. If you aren't concerned about a perfectly mowed lawn and think you have use for it for the other reasons in the future, the Berta Franco 26 inch flail mower is very hard to beat.
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Del Morino 26 inch rough cut mower, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    Deere 60, 2040, 3020, 4010, 4430, and all the implements to work 'em

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    3,267
    Location
    NE USA
    Tractor
    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DLVinCT View Post
    Really!? I just need a lawn mower for now. No brush or anything just normal grass. Does a flail give a good finish cut?
    If you purchase a finish flailmower attachment with a high knive count flail mower rotor you will have great lawn.

  8. #8
    Member DLVinCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Sandy Hook, CT
    Tractor
    BCS 853 diesel, 33" Zanon mower, 33" Berta, 2 stage snow thrower

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    Quote Originally Posted by leonz View Post
    If you purchase a finish flailmower attachment with a high knive count flail mower rotor you will have great lawn.
    Who makes one?

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Feb 2009
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    53

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    I have both a Berta Flail mower & the 38" BCS finish mower. The Berta is heavier and more versatile, but doesn't leave nearly as nice of a cut as the 38" BCS finish mower. To be honest I have never had a mower (and there have been a bunch!) that does as nice a job on my lawn as the BCS. I would highly recommend either implement, but if your just cutting the lawn go for the finsh mower.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Hector NY
    Tractor
    BCS 605, 740, 850

    Default Re: BCS 853 Differential Question

    To DLVinCT:

    It has been a recent suggestion from BCS that the 38" finish mower, the 30" HD mower be run with the tractors with the hydraulic clutches. These mowers have brakes to stop the blades which have to be overcome every time the mower is started. This would suggest the 740 or 749 tractor to get the steering brakes if you are going to need to start the mower running frequently. When the mowing season starts I'm going to use the 739 as I personally don't use steering brakes. Where I have slopes I find it is better to just lock the differential. The uphill steering brake is pretty useless. I regularly mow across slopes near streams up to 30 degree slope.

    The 749 comes standard with 6.5x12 wheels and tires but the new mowers specify 5x10 wheels and tires. The taller diesel engine on the 749 really needs the larger tires but it upsets the cutting angle on both mowers. My suggest following the BCS recommendation is to get the BCS 740 over the 853 for heavy usage with both mowers.

    While there are some on this forum that say the hydraulic clutch is unproven (in the US) but the standard friction clutch has proven unreliable in heavy usage of these mowers. I trust the BCS 20,000 cycle testing on the new hydraulic system.

    I agree with mpapiary that the cutting quality of the 38" mower is excellent. I just wish my lawn was smooth enough to show off the cut quality.

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