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  1. #1
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    I am upgrading to a 41hp tractor and will have both routine pasture mowing and occasional brush clearing duties. I've decided to get a 75" flail (Caroni TM1900) for the routine mowing and light brush clearing but am now considering adding a Bush Hog for some heavier brush clearing. Need to decide what size and light/med type of rotary mower.

    Basically the task that I am not sure the flail will be best for is real brush clearing of the sort that you are backing into 8-10ft bushes (multiflora rose, small trees, vine and bramble covered who knows what) and other things that have grown up on a former pasture that was not mowed for roughly 10 years. There is nothing that appears to need a chain saw but some of the bushes I can get access to look to be 2-3 inches at the trunk. I'd estimate there are 200-300 of these various bushes to be taken out in 13-15 acres. It is too dense with briar to walk through and I don't think I'll be driving forward through this with the tractor/cutter.

    My plan is to clear the area by backing (mostly) with a bush hog (??flail) and ripping out anything that is too big with a grapple. Once the land is cleared of the bushes I will maintain it with the 75" flail so I am not concerned with time spent mowing as a consideration in choosing the bush hog size. My concerns are to choose a rotary cutter: 1) adequate to take out most of these bushes, 2) future use will be limited to similar "first clearing" operations so no routine mowing, 3) cost/value.

    I'll buy this from a Bush Hog dealer who is delivering my other equipment. I currently own a SQ480 so am comfortable sticking with the Bush Hog brand but am waffling on size. In an ideal world I'd use the flail first to see how it handles this scenario but as I live on an island it is not worth the risk of needing the hassle/cost/delay to get a second cutter delivered later so I am going to just get both the flail and hog. The price I have on the SQ720 with slip clutch is about $300 more than the SQ600 w/clutch. Both have the same 1/2 inch blades. My tractor tread is 60 inches wide.

    Is there any advantage to having the 60" rotary cutter vs 72" with regard to this specific bush hogging task? Also, am I being too shy about just using the Caroni TM1900 flail for this task...it has hammers, not knives so is certainly rated for brush.

  2. #2
    Gold Member dtd24's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    406
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    Schenectady, NY
    Tractor
    98 JD 1070

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    I have a 60" and I like it. It falls within the rear tires, so if the tractor goes through so does the mower deck. Nice and easy to move around!
    98 JD 1070 (573 hrs), 440 JD Loader, 8B JD Back Hoe, 5' King Kutter Rotary Cutter, 6' King Kutter Landscape Rake, 7' King Kutter Back Blade, 6' Farm Force Box Blade, Custom Design/Built Grapple, Farm Force PHD w/ 9" & 12" Augers

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    Island,

    Why not use the 4' to take out the heavier stuff? Any real big stuff you can chain saw.

    I think you'll be surprised on what the Caroni can do. I mowed 6-8' tall, thick wetland grasses with ease in 4th gear on my 32 HP tractor. I hit some smaller thickets of rasberry briar and tag alder and it did not even hestate to mulch that stuff up.

    Marty
    Kubota L3000DT w/ 480 loader
    Landpride 1558 Tiller
    Caroni TM1900 Flail Mower
    MF 85 w/ 6' Bush Hog rotary cutter
    5 ATVs
    170 acres of heaven

  4. #4
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    Quote Originally Posted by IllMarty1
    Island,

    Why not use the 4' to take out the heavier stuff?
    Well, that is a thought. Somehow I convinced myself that a 4ft hog would not work well with a wider tractor but I'll think about that option too. Price would be right!

    I guess the other approach I could use is to use the grapple to knock over/pull out the bigger bushes and just flail mow the rest. Since I posted my question I've been looking at grubbing websites and seeing all the implements other than rotary cutters designed for the job. I wasn't thinking of using the FEL mostly because I couldn't do that easily with the CK20 and its 1000lb lift capacity but I'll have more than double that with the new tractor so maybe that is a viable option too.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Jun 2004
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    871
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    Clark County, WA
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    Mahindra 2615 4WD, Ferriz 1500Z ZTR, Craftsman GT5000

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    I'd go with a 60" as a minimum. With a 40HP tractor you could run a 72" no problem. IMO, bigger is better.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
    -Gerald Ford

  6. #6
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    east wells,vt
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    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    Afternoon Ed,
    If you do upgrade to a 40 hp tractor the 6ft mower is the way to go, slightly less manuverable than a 5ft but the larger tractor will run that no problem !
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2007
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    I agree on 6' - I have a 6' rotary cutter and a 47 PTO hp tractor and I have nearly double the hp I really need to run it. Never slows down more than 50 rpm in the thickest grass, and that's at less than half throttle.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    Quote Originally Posted by Z-Michigan
    I agree on 6' - I have a 6' rotary cutter and a 47 PTO hp tractor and I have nearly double the hp I really need to run it. Never slows down more than 50 rpm in the thickest grass, and that's at less than half throttle.
    I appreciate that the 6footer is appropriate for mowing and I will have a 75 inch flail for that task. What if you were only going to use it for backing into thick brush? Would a 5ft version make more sense then or would you still go with the 6?

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Dec 2005
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    66
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Tractor
    JD 4600 JD LX 277, CUB CADET 1100

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    [QUOTE=IslandTractor]I am upgrading to a 41hp tractor and will have both routine pasture mowing and occasional brush clearing duties. I've decided to get a 75" flail (Caroni TM1900) for the routine mowing and light brush clearing but am now considering adding a Bush Hog for some heavier brush clearing. Need to decide what size and light/med type of rotary mower.


    Hi Ed,

    Welcome to the dark side. HP junkies finally got to you?

    from one of your former posts

    "I don't agree. The other downsides to consider with bigger tractors are extra weight (not good for an application that is primarily mowing), extra fuel use, extra maintenance costs (more oil/hydro etc), bigger storage space needed and of course somewhat higher initial costs of the tractor and the upsized implements necessary to take advantage of that tractor.

    Spend some time balancing your maximum need with your routine need for hp and be williing to compromise. Buy a machine and implements that do 80-90% of what you need done easily but are capable of getting the other 10-20% done if a little more slowly than ideal and I think you'll be happier overall."


    You were my hero of the power of small tractors. I am sure your reasons are well researched for the upgrade. I seriously looked at smaller tractors before stumbling on a used 43hp John Deere. It has turned out to be the right size for most of my uses. I use a JD 613 and cut 1-2" brush with no problem. I cut about 4 acres of open field for a neighbor and am happy to have 6 feet. When the grass is tall I just use a bigger overlap for a cleaner cut. This effectively reduces cut width to five feet. I have worked hard in the last year and a half to dig ditches and clear land. It seems I do not the have time to put more than 100 hours a year on the tractor. The bigger machine makes better use of my time.

    I have a number of great implements for a 40 hp tractor. If you need help let me know. All kidding aside, I await pictures of your new addition.

    John

  10. #10
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: 60" or 72" Bush Hog for brush clearing with 40hp

    [quote=jcottaHi Ed,

    Welcome to the dark side. HP junkies finally got to you?

    from one of your former posts...John[/quote]

    I was afraid that someone here had a long memory. Turns out it is another Rhodie no less.

    Well, the dark side is lookin' pretty good at the moment especially after considering trying to accomplish what I needed to with the addition of 13-15 acres of conservation land to the 4-5 acres I was already working on. I'd like to think the upgrade was justified pound for pound, horsepower for horsepower by the added land but I will freely acknowledge that the thought of a larger tractor was enticing all by itself. There. My name is Ed and I'm a tractor junkie.

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