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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on batwing mower.

    I am looking for a batwing rotary mower. 20' width to cover 8 row planter with 30" rows. Anything to be aware of when buying used or new? What kind of tires - air plane, laminated, foam etc. Better brands? I see mostly Rhino in my area. Will use it primarily with 105-125 pto hp tractor. Will be used to mow waterways, smaller cedar trees, corn stalks and road sides.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    I use a Rhino 15' to mow weeds and brush. I like the newer models with the smooth upper decks better than older units. It sure makes it easier to clean off. I use the laminated tires to prevent flats from the stobs left from the brush. Look for C/V driveline on the pto shaft. Seals, blades ect. on used. Check for how much slop is on the unit by turning the blades on one wing and seeing if there is a delay before the others start to turn. That could be a sign of bad u-joints or worn gears.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

  3. #3
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    JD 5525 and 5093e Kubota SVL75

    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    I have a John Deere HX-15 (15' unit). It has been a good tool. I did have a couple yokes fail, but I guess that is normal.

    One think to consider is how many hydraulics you have/need.

    My wings fold together, on some you can adjust them separately.

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  4. #4
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    Popular brands vary by region. My least favorite brand is Woods, but that's just me. The best advise I can give you is to buy a cutter with 1000RPM input speed. Much, much less driveline problems over the life of the machine. On used machines, be sure to check the CV center plate for wear, and be sure ALL the driveshafts telescope smoothly. Gearbox shafts and seals, of course. Laminated tires are great, but road rough, and float like bricks in soft ground. Airplane tires are a good compromise. Good Luck

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    Need to ask what is a C/V driveline? (Not familiar with that
    abreviation.) I have no experience with a batwing mower and you guys are my initial source of information. Thanks for the help. My other mowers have been 3 pt. (6' and 10' rhino models.) The tractors running the mower will have either 3 or 4 rear hydraulic outlets. I assume this will be plenty.

    I am kind of surprised that most mowers are available in 540 or 1000 pto. I plan on the 1000 pto given the size of the mower and hp needs.

    Can I assume that my available hp will run a mower of this size at reasonable speed (5 mph) for most conditions? How fast can you mow in an open field and smooth terrain?

    I noticed that rhino has a spring/shock assembly on the hydraulic lift. Is that common? It seems like a good idea to remove some stress on the wheels.

    Another stupid question. Can one wing be raised and disabled when mowing ditches with the other wing down when mowing roadsides? I have country/gravel roadsides that are too uncomfortable for me to mow due to steepness but I don't want to take up most of the road when mowing. These are getting overrun with small brush and trees.

  6. #6
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    You will have adequate HP for a 20' mower in most conditions. Mowing speeds are dependent on terrain, materials being mowed, desired cut quality, and HP available. Any kind of suspension on a batwing is good if designed properly. Three remote valves on the tractor will allow lift and independent control of each wing. Disabling wings independently will require disconnecting the driveshaft from the transfer gearbox to that wing.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    C/V Constant velocity driveline. It takes out the U-joint chatter in turns. Most brands now have the springs in the cylinder to take out some of the bounce.
    3 Hydraulic outlets lets you raise the wings seperately and have height adjustment. I only have 2 so my wings are plumbed together.
    You can't easily turn off 1 wing. They claim you can run them with 1 wing folded up in the up position, but I never was comfortable seeing the blades spinning like that myself. I keep it all down when mowing road ditches and adjust the heigth to keep it out of the gravel.
    In the size your looking at 1000 rpm would probably be standard for your tractors, wouldn't it? I use 540 but that is what all my equipment is set up for. You should be able to do 5 mph over open fields in grass, weeds, or cornstalks pretty easily.
    I have owned to 2 Rhino's and I Bush Hog brand over they years. All have been good machines. I don't really care for Woods either.(thats just a personal preference though) Landpride, Shulte and Modern are all supposed to make good machine's also. I think you can even get much larger size in the Shulte according to the ads I've seen.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    Batwings typically aren't as bad as smaller single-spindle mowers as far as multiple choices of models with-in each brand, but there are still a few alternatives from the "big boys".

    I have three Bush Hog 2715L's. They also sell a 2615L that's just a tad bit less expensive, and a bit lighter built. I'm thrilled with the performance. We logged over 1400 hours on one last summer without the first breakdown.

    Rhino (Alamo Group) builds standard, heavy, and extreme heavy duty batwing cutters. Bush Hog and Rhino collectively sell over 85% of the batwings used in commercial mowing. Woods has a bit of a tarnished reputation in that catagory. (gearbox failures, driveshaft failures, deck hinge failures, ect)

    Shreding cornstalks is rough on tires. I'd suggest EITHER the airplane tires OR the segmented solid rubber ones. The latter won't do too well if you have to take the mower on a paved road to transport.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    Quote Originally Posted by chh
    C/V Constant velocity driveline. It takes out the U-joint chatter in turns. Most brands now have the springs in the cylinder to take out some of the bounce.
    3 Hydraulic outlets lets you raise the wings seperately and have height adjustment. I only have 2 so my wings are plumbed together.
    You can't easily turn off 1 wing. They claim you can run them with 1 wing folded up in the up position, but I never was comfortable seeing the blades spinning like that myself. I keep it all down when mowing road ditches and adjust the heigth to keep it out of the gravel.
    In the size your looking at 1000 rpm would probably be standard for your tractors, wouldn't it? I use 540 but that is what all my equipment is set up for. You should be able to do 5 mph over open fields in grass, weeds, or cornstalks pretty easily.
    I have owned to 2 Rhino's and I Bush Hog brand over they years. All have been good machines. I don't really care for Woods either.(thats just a personal preference though) Landpride, Shulte and Modern are all supposed to make good machine's also. I think you can even get much larger size in the Shulte according to the ads I've seen.
    Shulte has a FOURTY FOOT WIDE batwing on the market now! Shulte is part of the Alamo Group, which includes Rhino.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on batwing mower.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk
    Shulte has a FOURTY FOOT WIDE batwing on the market now! Shulte is part of the Alamo Group, which includes Rhino.

    Thanks FWJ I thought it was 40', but it has been awhile since I saw an ad for them. I didn't realize they were part of the Alamo group.
    My first batwing was a Bush Hog, bought nearly worn out and I pretty well finished it off. The second was a Rhino Flex 15 Magnum that I purchased new. I replaced it with a medium duty 12-15 several years later. The medium model had as heavy a deck and gearboxes as my old magnum model and the newest heavy duty was really beefed up. The first 2 didn't have C/V drivelines, I sure like it better on the new one.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

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