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  1. #1
    Silver Member Teikas Dad's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    244
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    In a city in a state
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200

    Default Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    I've got the itch to buy a rotary cutter for my kubota B3200 (with FEL). We don't have acres of pastureland or orchards, just a couple acres that includes a field that we only mow once every month or so.

    Before I go out and spend my money I thought I'd check with you guys to see if I'm about to do something stupid. I've been looking at 60 inch cutters. The field area is not a problem, it's relatively flat and the largest rock is about the size of a marble. What I've been wanting the rotary cutter for in addition to the field (which overpowers the JD lawnmower) is the fringe areas. There's a hill on one side of the field with trees and small scrub brush less than an inch in diameter. What I had planned on doing was backing the tractor and mower up the hill into the brush, the hill is too steep to go across the face of the hill. My wife does it to a certain extent with the lawnmower, but it's go a much lower center of gravity.

    Here's an overview:


    Here's what the edges look like that I want to use the rotary mower for. In the past I used to use a weedwacker, but I'm getting too old for that crap!








    My questions to you guys are these:

    Am I looking to get my self hurt or damage my tractor if I use the rotary mower on this stuff by backing into it?

    Am I expecting too much out of the rotary cutter to keep all the Russian Olive and other scrub brush down?

    If this is not a stupid idea and the 60" rotary cutter will do the job, my next question is with regards to which one to get.

    I looked at the TSC model...looks like it was built in China. I researched all I could here on the forum and if I do get one I've got it narrowed down to a Woods BB60X or a Bush Hog SQ160.

    My local Woods dealer gave me a price of $1800 for the BB60X with a shear pin. The dealer that carries Bush Hog gave me a price of $1895 for the SQ160 with a slip clutch. The Woods dealer is a couple miles from my place, the Bush Hog dealer is about 45 minutes away. Both are tractor/farm equipment dealers.

    The Woods dealer said if I'm not going to be encountering rocks and logs then I didn't need the slip clutch. The Bush Hog dealer says the opposite...don't buy one without a slip clutch. The BH dealer did tell me that he could do a little better on the price is I'm paying cash/check and not using a credit card.

    For something that I'm only going to be using 6 or 7 times a year, do I need the slip clutch or is a shear pin model easier to deal with? A friend of mine has a Bush Hog with a slip clutch and he said you have to mess with it a bit to get it work correctly. I like it simple.

    Both cutters are within a few pounds of each other. The BH SQ160 has a larger (4"X1/2") blade, but the mounting system and tail wheel frame on the Woods looks to be a lot beefier. The SQ160 is 11 ga top and sides, the BB60X is 12 ga on top and 11 ga on the sides.

    Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts, concerns, warnings, suggestions and input regarding what I'm trying to do, particularly the good, the bad and the ugly comparing the BB60X to the SQ160. Or, am I wasting my money?

    Thanks!
    2012 Kubota B3200 FEL/BH w thumb R4

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    15,833
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    IMOP I would use a slip clutch, You never know what you might find. Murphy's law.
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    955
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Tractor
    MF 135

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    A bush hog type with the large center disc and 2 heavy duty swinging blades will work for backing into the light brush but won't leave the nicest cut on the lawn part. A finish mower with 2 or 3 belt driven regular type blades won't work in the brush but will leave a much nicer cut on the lawn. A flail would be good option but cost more. I'd be inclined to get a finish mower and either rent a bush hog type for a day to fit your tractor or rent a walk behind brush mower like a Billygoat or a DR. A brush blade on a straight shaft weed eater would work in the brush too and can be rented.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    12,786
    Location
    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    I think your work is easily do-able. Not foolish at all. I have never owned a slip clutch model.. Obviously they cost a bit more and require set up and maintenance. If you dont have much to hit, the shear bolts work fine. It is what I have. If you think there are stumps and big rocks in there, you might consider the better system of the slip clutch. But I have gotten along fine with the shear bolt. I do make every effort to be careful I occasionally mow in the back yard, and back up towards the house, and it is so steep I can hardly walk up and down it. The 4wd tractor will go up and down it. but just barely. I go extremely slow and back into the brush, go back down and move over on the less steep ground, and back up again.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  5. #5
    TRR
    TRR is offline
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    299
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L235

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    I had a 5' bush hog with a shear pin and converted it to a slip clutch. Easy to do. Slip clutches do require setup and periodic adjustments. Either will work for what you want to do. Like it was previously mentioned, the Bush hog will handle the brush, but won't make a nice finish cut. Also know that the blades between the brush cutters and lawn cutters are different. The brush cutters have a blunt blade and are intended to mash the stalk as it hits it. The lawn cutters have a sharp blade and are intended to slice the grass like a pair of scissors. (The brush cutters are called shredders here in Texas.) If you're trying to control (kill?) the brush, why not use a spray?
    Kubota L235
    John Deere 5055E

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    551
    Location
    Tauranga NZ
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2350

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    My vote would be for a Rear Finish Mower. Tear into that scrubby stuff with the weedwacker one last time and the next day push the RFM over it. You could even hire a bush hog for a day to do the initial knockdown. The majority on the lawn area needs to look good and the RFM will make a good job of that. The frequent use of the RFM over that area will keep the regrowth down and soon knock it into shape.
    I run a 60" Sicma RFM and have backed into some rough areas where it was never designed to go.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    2,872
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    I personally would not want to use a rotary / bush-hog style cutter on the "pasture" area that you've got. I tried using one on my "lawn" and found that it left a very uneven cut, and the skids sometimes dug in and scraped up the turf if I wasn't careful. Others are right that, for the brushy part, a rotary cutter would be perfect. Backing up the hill into the brush is no problem, but it does take some time compared to going across the hill. If it's the only option, it's the only option. I would think twice about renting a rotary cutter, because they can be bought on Craigslist or at auction in beat-up-but-usable condition for $300-$500. At that price, I don't think it would take many rentals to break even, especially when you figure in zero transportation hassle and being able to mow whenever you feel like it without having to pre-arrange a rental. My local Sunbelt shows about $90 a day to rent a 5' rotary cutter.

    I think the suggestion to cut it back once with a trimmer or a rented rotary cutter and then stay on top of it with a finish mower may be the best one. It's more abuse than the finish mower is designed to take, but if you keep on it, eventually it will fade.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member yelbike's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Location
    Near Winnipeg, Mb, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305, 2320,Z465

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    I had two Farm King rear discharge finish mower. I think they are very heavy duty in design. I think it would knock that brush just fine if you go slow at it the first time. Personally the rfm mower is what i'd go for. The only observation from my experience is the rear discharge mower doesn't like mowing in reverse for long runs if the grass is relatively tall. The mower may plug up as it can discharge properly so I would look for a side discharge instead. The belts themselves are a "poor man's slip clutch." If you do end up with the rough cut mower, I would go for the slip hitch model. You only pick it up once so the driving distance isn't really a big deal. The closer may have a different model with a slip clutch too. Just ask.

    Good luck!
    Carefull what you aim for, Aim for nothing and you will achieve it with amazing accuracy.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member GManBart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Location
    Belleville, MI
    Tractor
    Ford 8N, LS R4047H, Massey Ferguson 241, Hustler Sport ZTR

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    For the amount of use you plan, I'd go used. Craigslist, or farm auctions are a great source, and you can get a lot of cutter for way less than half of new. I recently bought a solid 5' cutter that has some years, but little mileage on it for $350. I loaned it to my neighbor before checking the gear oil level....oops, my mistake. Still, all told I have less than $600 in it, with a new OEM gearbox, and a new set of blades.

    A little paint is in order....I can live with that for now.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    3,114
    Location
    NE USA
    Tractor
    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Is this a bad idea that's going to damage my tractor or me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teikas Dad View Post
    I've got the itch to buy a rotary cutter for my kubota B3200 (with FEL). We don't have acres of pastureland or orchards, just a couple acres that includes a field that we only mow once every month or so.

    Before I go out and spend my money I thought I'd check with you guys to see if I'm about to do something stupid. I've been looking at 60 inch cutters. The field area is not a problem, it's relatively flat and the largest rock is about the size of a marble. What I've been wanting the rotary cutter for in addition to the field (which overpowers the JD lawnmower) is the fringe areas. There's a hill on one side of the field with trees and small scrub brush less than an inch in diameter. What I had planned on doing was backing the tractor and mower up the hill into the brush, the hill is too steep to go across the face of the hill. My wife does it to a certain extent with the lawnmower, but it's go a much lower center of gravity.

    Here's an overview:


    Here's what the edges look like that I want to use the rotary mower for. In the past I used to use a weedwacker, but I'm getting too old for that crap!








    My questions to you guys are these:

    Am I looking to get my self hurt or damage my tractor if I use the rotary mower on this stuff by backing into it?

    Am I expecting too much out of the rotary cutter to keep all the Russian Olive and other scrub brush down?

    If this is not a stupid idea and the 60" rotary cutter will do the job, my next question is with regards to which one to get.

    I looked at the TSC model...looks like it was built in China. I researched all I could here on the forum and if I do get one I've got it narrowed down to a Woods BB60X or a Bush Hog SQ160.

    My local Woods dealer gave me a price of $1800 for the BB60X with a shear pin. The dealer that carries Bush Hog gave me a price of $1895 for the SQ160 with a slip clutch. The Woods dealer is a couple miles from my place, the Bush Hog dealer is about 45 minutes away. Both are tractor/farm equipment dealers.

    The Woods dealer said if I'm not going to be encountering rocks and logs then I didn't need the slip clutch. The Bush Hog dealer says the opposite...don't buy one without a slip clutch. The BH dealer did tell me that he could do a little better on the price is I'm paying cash/check and not using a credit card.

    For something that I'm only going to be using 6 or 7 times a year, do I need the slip clutch or is a shear pin model easier to deal with? A friend of mine has a Bush Hog with a slip clutch and he said you have to mess with it a bit to get it work correctly. I like it simple.

    Both cutters are within a few pounds of each other. The BH SQ160 has a larger (4"X1/2") blade, but the mounting system and tail wheel frame on the Woods looks to be a lot beefier. The SQ160 is 11 ga top and sides, the BB60X is 12 ga on top and 11 ga on the sides.

    Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts, concerns, warnings, suggestions and input regarding what I'm trying to do, particularly the good, the bad and the ugly comparing the BB60X to the SQ160. Or, am I wasting my money?

    Thanks!
    Spend some time reading the flailmower threads on the forum here.
    We have over a hundred pages of posts and threads and think about
    it some more before you do anything as you have plenty of time.

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