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  1. #1
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    Default Finishing mowers

    I have a 9 year old Rhino FM 100 that looks like has finally bitten the dust. I have used the heck out of it and am not disappointed. I am looking at the Rhino TM 100 or the Befco Cyclone C 70-110 for the replacement. Anybody have any ideas on the 2 mowers or other single deck mowers in the 100 inch range. I don't want to cut back to 90"'s with the Woods or Landpride lines because I cut 30 to 40 acres a week and it takes long enough with the 100 incher. I am afraid to get the batwing models because of complexity and initial cost. Any suggestion or thought would be appreciated. TIA

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Lee, IL
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Sorry that I can't make much of a suggestion as mine would have been the woods rm990. But I will say that 9 years of mowing 30-40 acres per week does not sound like that impressive of a lifespan for a finish mower. Maybe I am wrong. What could have possible happened to it that makes it now worth the repair? Gearboxes and spindles are the first things that I would think of, but neither would make me say that it is beyond repair.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    tn75s, tc33d, mc35, gt65, 6640, 3010s, TS110, TS115, TN70, Massey 5470

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    I hear you, but some of what I have to "finish" is definitely not sod. I may still have it fixed, but I need a mower now and Rhino is slow on parts. The two side blades are cutting fine, but the middle one is absolutely scraping the ground and removing the grass all the way down to dirt. I plan to take it in. I took it in today because the blades were hitting somewhere underneath and they fixed that and it seemed ok, but when I got back and started using it the scraping started. I had to stop and got on my small tractor with a belly mower and it took me forever to finish. Soccer season starts next week and I have to cut those fields 2 or 3 times per week over at the church. I am glad the preacher was not around when the scraping started! My dealer said he liked the Befco, but, the blades turn at 14,900 on it and the TM 100 turns a little over 18,000 fpm and I was afraid there would be a considerable drop off in performance. Any thoughts on that??

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    NE USA
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    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    If your mowing that much sod I would suggest
    purchasing an 8 foot finish flailmower.

    It will outlast your tractor and you can upgrade
    your power with no worries.

    The nice thing is that flail mower has a built in
    grass striper at no extra charge too.

    We had a 7 foot JD25A finish flailmower behind a Ford Jubilee
    and the sod was always well groomed after mowing.

    The great thing is there are no clippings to worry about and if you
    have tall grass you can mow overe the clippings a second time
    and they will compost quickly.


    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________
    Once you go flail you never go back
    Pronovost or not at all!!!

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    tn75s, tc33d, mc35, gt65, 6640, 3010s, TS110, TS115, TN70, Massey 5470

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Only about 6 acres sod. I have never used a flail mower. Do you have to go real slow??

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Trivoli, IL
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    do a search for "gang reel" mower. if grass gets to tall you may be in trouble. but leaves a nice smooth cut. and requires less HP at the PTO compared to other mower types. the con. is blade sharping all the reels and greasing everything up.

    bat wing (3 deck) finishing mower, should be no real problem. each deck can be adjusted with its own gauge wheels or rollers, and most likely some sort of chain or cable, just like a belly mower fits up under majority of riding lawn mowers, to belly mowers under larger size tractors. only exception is you have a large frame that sticks out behind tractor. though rear hydraulic ports may be a problem. and you may need any were from 1 to 3 sets. pending on how bat wing is setup.

    why not go for a commercial size zero turn mower. that has 3 decks? were the decks are out in front of you. to make it easier to watch and make turns.

    flail mowers can be a safer mower compared to other mowers out there, more so when compared to rotatory cutters (bush hogs), and finishing mowers. due to they are very less likely to send something shooting out of the deck and breaking a window or denting a car or worse hurting someone. though the can be costly. you can also get them in 2 or 3 deck bat wing styles. you can more easily off set fail mowers, to one side if you want to. vs being positioned directly smack center behind tractor.

    ================
    100" single deck finishing mower, scares me, and scalping. if area is just a little off level. you end up scalping something. hit a stick or something that causes a gauge wheel on deck to raise up. and you end up with a huge uncut area. the purpose of multi smaller decks like a bat wing. is a bat wing will operate better on uneven areas better. and not scalp something. also smaller decks will be less prone to "deck flexing" allowing a blade to slightly set off level compared to what blade should be set at due to deck bends some.

    ya soccer fields, baseball diamonds, foot ball fields and like should be nice and smooth and flat. but the outside area around the fields, will most likely be not as smooth and flat and i am guessing hilly. if you need to mow in a tight area. raise one of the 3 decks or 2 outer side decks and keep on going. vs getting a smaller riding mower or push mower or weed eater out.

    if RPM's of the blade are that worrisome for you. you could always modify a finish mower deck. and re-size the belt pulleys. the pulley that connects to PTO shaft you would want bigger. and the PTO shafts that connect to spindles for each blade you would want smaller. the higher the RPM's for the blade, the more HP your tractor will need to put out at the PTO.

    ================
    i would seriously look into contacting various manufactures / companies / dealers. and find out specs, for "ground speed" and "deck size" and get a spread sheet going, to see how long it would take with various equipment, vs initial cost. and do a formula for labor costs to operate machine, and figure little bit of time for maintenance.

    you might find various equipment even dedicated mowing machine like a commercial size zero turn mower. fits the bill better than a 3pt hitch mower.
    Ryan

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Thanks for the reply. I have no hills or valleys. I am using a TN75S New Holland and the cab with A/C is really nice in Alabama. I mow at 9 to 11 KM/Hr.....which I think is about 6 or 8 mph. Anything slower would be too time consuming. I am concerned about maintainence costs and time on a flail as well as speed of cutting.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpen View Post

    Thanks for the reply,

    I have no hills or valleys. I am using a TN75S New Holland and the cab
    with A/C is really nice in Alabama.

    I mow at 9 to 11 KM/Hr.....which I think is about 6 or 8 mph.
    Anything slower would be too time consuming.

    I am concerned about maintainence costs and time on a flail
    as well as speed of cutting.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

    Please look at the flailmowers section of the
    attachments page as it is very informative for
    your specific needs.



    AS your NHTN75 has 62-63.9 horsepower at the
    Power Take Off (from Tractor Data) and it is an
    8 speed gear drive, a finish flail mower will work
    very, very well for you and you will have power to
    spare as long as you stick with a mechanical drive
    folding flail mower rather than a flail mower with an
    outboard wing hydraulic drive flail mower as the hydraulic
    drive mowers will not allow you to mow productively.


    A flail mower uses it entire width of cut at all times to mow.

    A rotary mower uses one cutting edge with the blade behind it following
    and the rotary mower will tear the grass as it cuts rather than slice it with
    a fine edge as is done with the verticut method which was pioneered by
    Mr. Mott.


    A finish flail side slicer knive will have 1.5 inches or more of cuting edge
    exposed to the work and it is paired witha second side slicer to double
    the cutting edge at each hanger station.


    In my case as an example My 48 inch mower has 4 rows of finish type
    side slicers to mow with. with a total of 64 knive stations including 4 single
    knive stations per row which all over lap. I have a 128 side slicers with 1.5 inches of cutting edge exposed to the grass and I have total of 192 inches of cutting edge to use for mowing on one side of the 128 knives which is 16 feet of actual cutting edge exposed to the mowing task and 16 more feet of cutting edge on the opposite side of the side slicers available for use.
    The same specific factors applies to larger all flailmowers as well.


    In comparison a rotary mower would have only 48 inches of cutting edge of which only half of which is used at any time during the mowing cycle.


    The maintenance for a flail mower is not a big issue as long as you
    are greasing the rotor bearings every time you mow which is a MUST
    be done thing at each mowing or every 8 hours as needed as well as
    the belt tension snubber bearing(s) as well as greasing the the rear
    roller as needed(8 hours).


    About the flail mower rotor bearings- in our case we replaced our
    original equipment rotor bearings after 25 years of continuos seasonal
    use(they last very long time as long as you grease them regularly.


    The rear roller is what regulates the mowing height of a
    flailmower and it also reduces the chance of scalping sod
    to an absolute minimum.


    The flailmower will need these spares (depending on the manufacturer)

    1. side slicer knives (all types). The great thing about the side slicers
    is you can buy hardened knives and the side slicer knive has two cutting
    edges so all that is needed is to flip the knive to the opposite side to expose
    a new cutting edge for your use.

    2. knive hangers
    3. bolts, nuts and lock washers to secure them
    4. D rings

    A flailmower requres very few tools to change side slicers
    (with my flail mower I do not need them as it is spring tensioned hanger).

    1. half inch ratchet
    2. box end spanner(wrench)
    3. Blue Loctite(to allow you to remove the nuts from the bolts


    Its always a good idea to have a set of jack stands available to keep
    the mower at a higher point to aid in changing knives as you should never
    be working under a raised implement unless it is secure with jack stands or
    hardwood blocks.

    You need a side slicer knive for finish mowing as it will
    give the best finish for good sod.

    My First Question to you is this;


    Do you need a folding mower because of transport width issues only
    or because of immovable objects you must mow around?


    My Second Question is this;

    What height of cut is required for your mowing?


    If so this is no issue for a mechanical drive folding
    flail mower or a wide cut finish flail mower of 8 or
    more feet in width.


    A flailmower of any size is constructed with 2 side weldments continuosly welded
    to the flail mower hood and a box beam across the front of the flailmower to maintain its
    frame construction in one solid mass, as well as an apron in front and under the full width box beam which also aids in preventing racking and twisting of the mower.


    The rear roller is used to adjust the cutting height along with the three point hitch of the tractor and the top link when adjusted to (level) witha small bubble level to prevent scalping.



    The nice thing about a flailmower is that it will outlast your tractor and you can keep the flailmower for a new tractor with greater power too and use it for many many years.

    My towed flailmower is 30+ years old and many of our members use older Mott Flail Mowers as well as Bush Hog, Ford, New Holland, and other brands. The nice thing is you can always buy parts for them too as the most of the parts and knives are used are universal in nature for many, many, many, models and manufacturers.


    I and the members here only wish for you to succeed with this task and not fail, please examine the posts on flail mowers by entering flail mower in the search box.
    Last edited by leonz; 08-15-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Leonz, thank you for that great reply! I don't have a folding mower and have not looked at one mainly due to cost and complexity issues. Transportation and immovable objects are not a problem. A new 12' folding rotary with three decks looks to be in the $12-14,000 range. I paid $3100 for the FM100 Rhino in 2003 and it looks like $5-6,000 now. I also looked at the Befco Cyclone C70-110 (single deck and 110 inches wide) and it is slightly more expensive. The main worry I have on the Befco in blade speed.....14,900 fpm vs. 18,200 on the Rhino TM100 (the replacement for the FM100, single deck with 100 inch cutting width). My cutting height is around 1 1/2 inches on the grass. My dealer discouraged me regarding the flail this afternoon saying that replacing the blades is very expensive and that maintenance would be a lot more for the flail vs. the rotary. He also thought that cutting more than about an inch of grass with the fine cut blades might be a problem. My main concerns are 1.) cost of acquiring the new mower, 2.)the need to have a very professional look after cutting, and 3.)not having to go too slow so I can get through and do other things. Thank you again for your time in preparing the above response.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Finishing mowers

    Actually the gang reel mower doesn't sound like too bad of an idea to me. They make a very professional cut, actually this is what golf courses use- of course their's are a little different as they are usually powered and are sharpened/ maintained very meticulously. I don't think that you can go too fast, since the blades will turn faster the faster you go. I see a small airport by me- grass runway, and that is what they use. It is probably about 15 feet wide and looks like the cut 20-30 acres with it. Does a fine job and I believe requires very little hp to operate. But like mentioned will require a little more sharpening/ adjusting on your part.

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