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  1. #1

    Default Mower for maintaining trails?

    My wife and I are looking at purchasing some land (~100a) that is mostly forest (70%) with 30% open land for a vacation home. I'm starting to look at tractor options to:

    - Mow ~5 acre field area around house
    - Maintain some existing walking trails in the woods
    - Clear snow with small rear mount blower

    One tractor I'm considering is a low hour, well maintained ford 1510. It's 22hp, 4x4 with ag tires, cab with heat (helpful for winter snow blowing!), comes with a bushhog and a hydro controlled front blade. While this is a compact and may not seem to fit the size of the land, I think it's a reasonable match for the basic work I'm going to do.

    What thoughts do you have on the best mower to maintain the 5 acres and trails. The land is uneven, hilly in parts and the trails do have rocks and ruts. Thoughts on a bushhog vs. flail for this use?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ModMech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    We use a 5' shredder and have rocks, logs/sticks and a wash to keep clear so I sould think that what you have would be fine for trails as well.
    JohnG
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    My preference for just about everything is a rotary cutter, but for good weight distribution in hilly terrain absent a FEL, the flail may very well be the way to go. There are several threads on flail mower on here. Good luck.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  4. #4
    Platinum Member brandoro's Avatar
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    Kubota B3030 HSTC

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    I bought my flail mower for cutting and maintaining trails and am very pleased with it. Mine is rated for up to 1" and deals with that size material with no problems. Even the odd larger piece dosn't seem to bother it, just sucks it in and leaves shreds behind.
    Rod.
    B3030HSDC, LA403 FEL, B2782A front blower, B5320 ballast box, Landpride-BH, RFM, tiller, FM2060 flail, GS1572 grader/scraper, BX42 chipper, PTO generator, homebuilt splitter and 3pt carry all.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member kebo's Avatar
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    2001 John Deere 790 4x4, bar tires

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    My opinion here.... I would go with at least a 30hp tractor with 4x4 for the hills. You will be glad you did. As for the mower, with 30 engine hp you can go up to 5ft width and be just fine. Typically the cutting time for 1 acre calcuates out to about 1.35 hours with a 5ft mower, so keep that in mind. With a 4ft mower (which is probably the size that will work best with the 22hp Ford 1510) your cutting time will go up some. Just another thing to consider.

    As for flail or rotary, I would go with rotary but only because that's all I ever used so that may not be a fair recommendation. I just know how tough the rotary mowers can be and I don't think the blades have to be sharpened nearly as often as with knives on a flail mower. That is, if you want a near finish cut quality.

    One advantage going with a smaller tractor though is that if your trails are going to be narrow with tight turns, then a flail might be the better choice. They are a bit easier to turn with, or manuever in tight situations.

    Just wish I could afford to be looking at 100 acres to buy!!! Good luck with it!
    Nothing could be finer than riding my JD790 in South Carolina!!

    2001 John Deere 790 4x4 with Model 70 FEL, 5ft International World Agritech bush hog, 5ft Wallberg BB, 5ft Frontier disc harrow, 5ft King Kutter II Rototiller, 5ft Cultipacker, 5ft Sitrex finish mower, Leinbach PHD with 9" & 12" augers, Leinbach middlebuster, Leinbach #11 Field Cultivator, boom pole, custom 3pt handi-hitch, clamp on bucket forks, Pat's Easy Change.

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  6. #6
    Veteran Member SpringHollow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    I had a 4WD 1520 that i used to maintain 12 acres of field and 13 acres of woods. It worked real well. Because of my steeper hills where i am now, i switched to a Power Trac.

    Ken
    PT1850, mini hoe, grapple, stump grinder, brush hog

    http://www.usadiscountgenerators.com...T1850Home.html

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    Thanks all - this is good advice. I do wonder a bit about the size, but this one seems to fit the budget for now and I think it capable of what I'm thinking of.

    I could go to an older Ford 3000 but more heavily used, no cab, no 4x4, and not sure about power steering or live PTO.

    The main issue I was worried about is the rocks on the trail , I thought the flail would someone be more 'flexible' than the blades. I've never used either and it's been about 25 years since I was a kid driving a tractor on a farm (good place to learn to drive standard, but I mostly towed hay wagons around)

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Veteran Member SpringHollow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    I have never used a flail mower before but i like the safety aspects of them.

    Ken
    PT1850, mini hoe, grapple, stump grinder, brush hog

    http://www.usadiscountgenerators.com...T1850Home.html

  9. #9
    Gold Member Kevin M's Avatar
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    48" bobcat walk behind , 60" Dixie Chopper Classic , 755 John Deere 4x4 70 ldr belly mower etc etc , 7610 Ford 4x4 7412 ldr and 10 ft rhino hogg

    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    The 1520 should service you well , bush hoggs can take beating , not sure I could say that about a flail .

  10. #10
    Gold Member MF RED in MT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower for maintaining trails?

    I use a Woods 54 inch rotary cutter that claims to make quick work of brush up to 1 inch in diameter. They make no claim about rocks . I think the heated cab is a good choice for just about anyone. KC
    2009 MF GC2410TLB; Sims Cab; MF 2360 Snow Blower; MF 2340 Dozer Blade; Woods HC54 rotary rear cutter. Frontier 48" BB. KC

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