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  1. #101
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    6,028
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    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Foozle
    It make me wonder if something is being missed
    What's being missed is your understanding of cutting height. How high the material to be mowed is NOT cutting height. Cutting height is what's left AFTER the mower passes over. It can probably handle two feet of stuff in front of the mower, and leave behind up to six inches when it's done.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  2. #102
    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: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Foozle
    Well, I was all set to get a Woods rotary cutter and Woods finish mower until I read this thread, now it has given me pause to think. Does Woods make a flail mower? They have something called a "flail shredder" but it doesn't look the same. More tough decisions - all I needed!

    From the spec sheets it appears that the max cutting height for flails is around 6", but I seem to recall a poster earlier said they cut weeds that were 2 feet high. If max height is really 4-6", it seems the rotary cutters would have an advantage in that department? As someone said earlier, it seems odd that rotarys and finish mowers aren't obsolete at this point if flails are that compelling. It make me wonder if something is being missed that might be other advantages of rotarys and finishing mowers.
    Interesting points and questions. The max cutting height for a flail is more flexible than with a finish mower as you can either use the flail as designed (by adjusting the rear roller to set cut height) or you can simply run the flail and adjust it with the 3pt position control. I use mine mostly with the roller but when "bush hogging" I simply raise the 3pt and then back into whatever I want to cut.

    I have also wondered why flails are not more common. This thread has gone over some of the obvious issues (eg more expensive and more maintenance on the flails). However I believe, admittedly without any data to back me up, that rotary mowers simply became more popular in the US due to their relative simplicity and because they were cheaper to make.

    Flails or shredders in the US seem to have a clear market with highway maintenance, institutional lawn cutting and especially crop shredding so it is not like it is a new technology. However, flails have not caught on (yet) with CUT guys like those of us here on TBN. Given what the major US manufacturers charge for flails that is not hard to understand. They don't make the sort of light duty or medium duty flails that correspond to the light and medium duty rotary and finish cutters we TBNers tend to buy. There are plenty of heavy duty flails made by US manufacturers and they are again presumably sold for professional Ag use and highway maintenance etc. Without any data to back me up I suspect things are different in Europe where flails seem more common. Caroni for example is a major manufacturer probably similar to Woods, Landpride, Bush Hog, Rhino etc but they don't even make a "bush hog" rotary cutter. They do sell a rotary finish mower (?primarily for US export) but they also make the light/medium duty flails at a price point that is competitive with the traditional light/medium duty USA built rotary cutters. Perhaps the Bush Hog, clearly a US invention based on the name/company, simply got very well established as the standard before economical flails had a chance to develop a market.

    Maybe Caroni will succeed in breaking that stranglehold the rotary cutters have. It will be interesting to follow the trends. I know that when I first joined TBN there were only a few people who had light/medium duty flails. That seems to be changing rapidly with the AgriSupply/Caroni connection. I wonder when Woods/Landpride/BushHog/Rhino will see the market for this type of flail and join the fray. I believe JD has a light/medium duty Frontier flail but I don't know how it is priced.

  3. #103
    Bronze Member Foozle's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    96
    Location
    Pelzer, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_g
    What's being missed is your understanding of cutting height. How high the material to be mowed is NOT cutting height. Cutting height is what's left AFTER the mower passes over. It can probably handle two feet of stuff in front of the mower, and leave behind up to six inches when it's done.

    //greg//
    Greg, thanks for you enlightening, and most certainly humbling, clarification. Being a novice to the tractor world and tbn world, I suppose I should mind my P's and Q's better in the future.

  4. #104
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    22
    Location
    Finger Lakes in NY
    Tractor
    MF 135 diesel, Deutz-Allis 6250V w/ cab & 4wd, David Brown 780D, Kubota L4200 4wd, Kubota BX2200, MF 533D, 2 JD Gators

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    A question was asked about a "flail shredder". About a year ago I purchased a Kuhn VK155 (5') flail shredder for chopping grape brush our vineyards. This is a medium duty unit made in France and cost about $4100 at the time for a base unit. It has 16 forged steel hammers weighing 2.5 lbs each. Since it tends to be wet and somewhat muddy when used, I got a wheel kit instead of a roller on the rear. The rollers plug up with mud and residue and don't work well. Inside the unit there is a cutter bar, (a flat piece of high strength steel), that the hammers just miss. This is so that materials are chopped into small pieces, usually pretty well pulverised. Also at the back is a brush rake. This is nothing more than flat bar stock inserted through slots in the back deck of the unit and running edge on to the line of work. They are adjustable for ground clearance and float in the slots. They keep materials inside until it is chopped small enough to pass through the spaces between them. This unit works quite well and my wife likes it as a field mower as well. In fact, she wants a bigger flail unit for the fields. I'm just about ready to get a Caroni TM1900 BSC. I wish they made a seven footer. We have 2 Bush Hog mowers and she would like to park them both. Almost all the mowing looks way nicer when done with the flail units. Someone commented on how quiet these machines are. In Europe, all new equipment has to meet tough EU noise standards so their stuff tends to be very quiet. No real standards in the USA. It may be that bush hog type machines are too loud when in use so the flail mowers are more common over there. Another point is that farms and most properities are fairly small and lighter equipment tends to live longer because of less use and extremely high fuel costs. This has been a great thread!

  5. #105
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    3,179

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Horse
    There are also high dump models that can empty straight into a small tip truck and i have seen trailed catchers you can add to your existing flail mower , just clips on and has it's own set of wheels . Nuru// leaves will turn to chaff with a flail mower and will be gone in a couple of days . And as flails do'nt leave winrows will not be noticable at all . As you have seen what happened to the 8' tall Lantana in my gallery , imagine what your results would be . I do large lawns with my setup and people say the finish is better than their lawn tractor can do .
    Ok i am definitely sold. now i wil look at getting one that costs between $1800 and $2700, bgesides the Caroni, any other recommendations?
    Nuru
    JD 3520


  6. #106
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    3,179

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeman
    A question was asked about a "flail shredder". About a year ago I purchased a Kuhn VK155 (5') flail shredder for chopping grape brush our vineyards. This is a medium duty unit made in France and cost about $4100 at the time for a base unit. It has 16 forged steel hammers weighing 2.5 lbs each. Since it tends to be wet and somewhat muddy when used, I got a wheel kit instead of a roller on the rear. The rollers plug up with mud and residue and don't work well. Inside the unit there is a cutter bar, (a flat piece of high strength steel), that the hammers just miss. This is so that materials are chopped into small pieces, usually pretty well pulverised. Also at the back is a brush rake. This is nothing more than flat bar stock inserted through slots in the back deck of the unit and running edge on to the line of work. They are adjustable for ground clearance and float in the slots. They keep materials inside until it is chopped small enough to pass through the spaces between them. This unit works quite well and my wife likes it as a field mower as well. In fact, she wants a bigger flail unit for the fields. I'm just about ready to get a Caroni TM1900 BSC. I wish they made a seven footer. We have 2 Bush Hog mowers and she would like to park them both. Almost all the mowing looks way nicer when done with the flail units. Someone commented on how quiet these machines are. In Europe, all new equipment has to meet tough EU noise standards so their stuff tends to be very quiet. No real standards in the USA. It may be that bush hog type machines are too loud when in use so the flail mowers are more common over there. Another point is that farms and most properities are fairly small and lighter equipment tends to live longer because of less use and extremely high fuel costs. This has been a great thread!
    No kidding i was wavering about a flail but I am gonna go for one soon. Going this route, will probably get me back down to the 3320 vs trhe 3520, unless the dealer comes back with a surprising price on the 3520! I think i can drop the Mid-PTO option now since I will be going witha flail.
    Nuru
    JD 3520


  7. #107
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    94
    Location
    Chelsea, MI
    Tractor
    Shopping, Farmall 450D previously

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    A caroni tm1900 is on my short list also. I'm mowing 4+ acres now with a zero turn 60". I hope to cut that back to 1.5 of mowed, and then flail the rest monthly or so.

  8. #108
    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: Let's talk flail mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by CurtC
    A caroni tm1900 is on my short list also. I'm mowing 4+ acres now with a zero turn 60". I hope to cut that back to 1.5 of mowed, and then flail the rest monthly or so.
    That would be duck soup for the flail. Using a flail to mow something that has already been returned to pasture land status means that you could do that with a 30hp tractor easily and I personally would not worry about doing it with a 25hp machine so long as you mowed a bit more frequently during the fast growing season.

  9. #109
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    1,906
    Location
    Brazos County Texas 77808
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST w/LA723 loader

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    I haven't said much here since IslandTractor has anwsered the questions quite well. I also have the TM1900BSC and have no problems attacking anything up to about 2 inches with my kubota L3130 (27hp at the PTO). The only time I came close to bogging down the engine I was actually digging dirt - long story.

    I believe that if you have 20 or more hp at the PTO you could run a TM1900 with carefully controlling your ground speed.

    I had two rotary shredders and just sold the Modern Commando HD, keeping the medium duty Bush Hog just for back up.

    Vernon
    Kubota L3130HST, BL4690B backhoe, LA723 Loader w/QA, 6' BB, 6' Bush Hog, 5' RB, PHD, ATI grapple, Hy-Reach Tree Shear, toothbar, pallet forks, grubbin bucket.

  10. #110
    Platinum Member
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    May 2007
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    558
    Location
    SW OH - near Dayton, OH
    Tractor
    Kubota L285

    Default Re: Let's talk flail mowers

    This truly has been a great thread. I also searched under "flail" and read for several hours.

    It seems that a Coroni 1900B may be in my future.

    Two concerns:
    A) Will the Caroni TM1900B cut a pasture field of 18"-24'' tall grass/weeds at a tractor travel speed of say 3.75 - 4.25 mph (miles per hour) down to a remaining cut height of 3"-4"? (Note: My enjoyable reading time seemed to find many contradictory reports on this subject. Many of the older threads under "flail" seemed to indicate that slow travel speed was required in tall grass/weeds. Many of the newer threads seemed to to indicate that normal tractor travel speeds were possible in tall grass/weeds. Some of the contradiction could be due to different knife styles the posters used, but who knows for sure).

    b) What about us tractor owners with non-live PTO? My tractor (1978 kubota L285F with 26.45 PTO hp) has a tranny driven PTO with a built in over-running clutch. This is not a problem with my bush-hog as the blade loses very little momentum when I deprress the clutch. I can change gears or even direction without issue while the blade continues to cut weeds due to the flywheeling effect of the large blade. How long will the Caroni TM1900B cutter drum continue to cut weeds or flywheel without PTO power?

    Thanks for all replies!

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