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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    8
    Location
    Seymour, IN
    Tractor
    2003 NH TC25D

    Default Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    I am a new owner of about 40 acres of mostly wooded, somewhat hilly property in south-central Indiana. I have a few acres of lawn that I mow with a ZTR finish mower. I want to clear trails through the mostly untended woods, which are a mix of hardwoods and some cedar. The undergrowth is mostly saplings, some kind of thorny vine and lots of poison ivy!

    I already have a 25hp New Holland tractor with a cat. 1 3 pt hitch and a loader. I also have an ATV and Gator. All of these would be candidates for motive power for a brush mower of some kind.

    I am mostly considering a flail mower or a sickle bar mower because I don't like the large storage space needed for a rotary-type brush mower and I don't like the prospect for hi-velocity projectiles.

    Is a sickle bar an appropriate choice for rough-cutting sub-1.5 inch saplings and other brush? Is a sickle bar a high maintenance item? How does one sharpen a sickle bar?

    Any thoughts on a flail mower for this job? I like the idea of being able to use a flail mower to mulch leaves in the fall, too. All tow-behind (not 3 pt hitch)flail mowers that I have found are sold only in Europe. Anyone know of a US source?

    I also have pond edges and slopes that need maintenance, so the ability to offset a mowing implement to keep the motive power on flatter, dry ground would be very helpful.

    Thanks for your advice!

    Jon

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2009
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    4,080
    Location
    SW WA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Most sickle bar mowers cut beside the tractor. That can be a problem in trees and single lane roads or trails.

    Bruce

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2004
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    2,220
    Location
    East Coast of Lake Huron
    Tractor
    Deere, several

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Rotary cutter is the only way to go.
    My JD MX6 isn't bad for tossing projectiles with the chain shields. Only thing I wish is was I had ordered the 7 footer instead.
    Or clear the trails with a chainsaw. Running the tractor through the trees with ruin the paint, dent the sheet metal, smash grills, bust lights and poke sticks into vital components.

  4. #4
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    4,748
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    I'm with buickanddeere, Rotary Cutter.

    I manage and create a LOT of timber trails for 4 wheeling. If clearing thick, thorny vines and small saplings I back in. If you need something that cuts to one side you can get an offset hinged Rotary Cutter but they are pricey.

    As for projectiles, I also have chain guards as mentioned above. Nothing, I mean nothing comes out the front of my Rotary Cutter.

    Excuse my shoddy work cause I made my own guard. But here's what we are talking about.

    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    3,254
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    I agree with a rotary cutter. With 25 hp, (probably 22 to the PTO), it should handle a 4-5' cutter. The usual rule of thumb is 5 pto hp per ft of cutter.

    Hopefully the tractor is 4wd? You will want that for any steep hills.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    691
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Echoing the prior posters a rotary cutter is your best choice. I had a 5' Fred Cain behind my L2900 and that was all it wanted. Since you are cutting trails the 4' may be your best choice. A good heavy duty mower is nice, but expensive and if you will only be using it occasionally an inexpensive one may suit your needs and save you some money. HD mowers will last longer with fewer problems, but they will work your tractor harder as they are heavier. Flail mowers are expensive.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2011
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    2,367
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Elakeind View Post
    I already have a 25hp New Holland tractor with a cat. 1 3 pt hitch and a loader. I also have an ATV and Gator. All of these would be candidates for motive power for a brush mower of some kind.

    I am mostly considering a flail mower or a sickle bar mower because I don't like the large storage space needed for a rotary-type brush mower and I don't like the prospect for hi-velocity projectiles.

    Is a sickle bar an appropriate choice for rough-cutting sub-1.5 inch saplings and other brush?

    Any thoughts on a flail mower for this job?
    If you update your personal information with tractor model, horsepower and weight you will receive replies better tailored to your tractor.

    Sickle bar is a hay cutter.

    Flail mower come with several types of flails/cutters, some have fine cut knives where lawn work is priority, some have coarse knives where chopping through woods is priority, some in between. I am sure rotary cutters outsell flail mowers by 10:1 but flail owners seem to love 'em. Flail owners claim flail residue is mulch size so debris pick up is minimal.

    If you SEARCH "FLAIL" here on T-B-N you will find plenty of advise and opinions. One flail thread has 1,300 replies.

    Your tractor one size smaller than my kubota B3300SU. It will likely take a 48" rotary cutter. The blade on a 48" rotary cutter revolves at lower velocity than blades on 60"-72"-84" cutters. I try to keep equipment as simple as possible. There are few implements simpler than a 'hog. I pull a 48" King Kutter rotary cutter. Clears 1-1/4" saplings fine. I have a good amount of debis pickup after mowing to achieve a groomed apearence.

    Small tractors do not have Position Control. If you go with a 'hog, inure yourself to adding Zerco check chains to substitute for Position Control, holding the implement at a height held by the chains.

    You will likely want a dumping trailer with flotation tires for the Gator. Monroe Tufline makes two that appear ample size and weather resistant.

    LINK:

    Landscape UC20 Series Utility Cart - Monroe Tufline
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0501-jpg  
    Last edited by jeff9366; 06-25-2013 at 09:33 AM.
    The word tractor was taken from Medieval Latin, being the agent noun of trahere "to pull, draw".




    Kubota B3300SU; no longer with me but still pulling in the community.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2011
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    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Elakeind View Post
    The undergrowth is mostly saplings, some kind of thorny vine and lots of poison ivy!
    Thorny vine is probably multiflora rose. You have to dig out the bulbs/corms or spray repeatedly with Roundup/Glycophosphate.

    LINK:

    Multiflora Rose

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    Location
    Seymour, IN
    Tractor
    2003 NH TC25D

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Thank you all for your advice!

    By the way, the tractor is a 2003 New Holland TC25D with just over 600 hours, and it is 4WD.

    I visited a local implement dealer today and looked at rotary mowers. Guess that I'll just have to buy a slightly longer trailer to accommodate to extra length of a rotary mower.

    Jon

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: Your thoughts Brush Mower Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Elakeind View Post
    Thank you all for your advice!

    By the way, the tractor is a 2003 New Holland TC25D with just over 600 hours, and it is 4WD.

    I visited a local implement dealer today and looked at rotary mowers. Guess that I'll just have to buy a slightly longer trailer to accommodate to extra length of a rotary mower.

    Jon
    Although not exctly ideal, but when I was a kid (no money) doing bush hogging, I'd let the mower hang off the rear or send it up over the tongue of the trailer. As long as you keep your hitch heavy (good tongue weight) you'll be ok. Throw a flag on any hangover over a foot or so, to be safe. A new trlr. just to fit the mower on makes it expensive mowing.
    ]We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

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